London Files, the latest web series to come around the corner, starts with a gluing narrative. There is suspense, thrill, and excitement as the first episode unfolds. However, it slips into a known conceptual paradise like that of Asur and the recently released Abhay Season 3, both of which were class apart.
How does the series fare throughout its 6-episode length? Here is a detailed London Files review.
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London Files Review Summary
The Voot Select original, London Files, relies on the performances of Arjun Rampal and Purab Kohli while trying to deliver a decent thrilling experience. Undoubtedly, the series has several pluses, but a glitch in writing stops it from reaching its highest point. Read on as I decipher its pros and cons.
London Files Synopsis
Starring Arjun Rampal and Purab Kohli in lead roles, London Files is a web show streaming on Voot Select. It is directed by Sachin Pathak and focuses on the intelligence of Om Singh (Rampal) as a detective.
Gopal Dutt plays Gopi, and Medha Rana plays Maya Roy. The film’s supporting cast includes names like Sapna Pabbi, Geetika Updhayay, Ruchika Jain, etc.
London Files is based around the issue of illegal immigration. When Amar Roy (Purab Kohli), who pushed the Anti-Immigration bill, finds that her daughter is missing, he goes to the Homicide and Major Crimes Department.
His case is assigned to Om Singh, who soon unravels numerous trails about the mystery. Butchered between a rebel group and personal demons, will Om be able to bring truth to the fore?
What works for London Files?
Before indulging any further, I strongly feel that London Files was shot years ago and found takers only recently. Otherwise, why would they repeat the concepts that are too recent?
Makers of London Files flawlessly execute the art of switching between timelines. Though a bit confusing initially, the transitions are smooth and effective once you get hold of the type of storytelling.
Since the focus is on Arjun Rampal’s prowess as a detective, it was tough to find a parallel narrative. However, the show digs an answer in the past, present, and a third narrative of the criminal mindset to ace the screenplay.
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Witnessing Arjun Rampal brings a lot of nostalgia. I feel the pitch of his voice has a different fan following. The actor produces a brilliant performance and brings the convoluted aspects of on-screen acting to the fore. His last series, The Final Call, also had shining moments, and the chocolate boy springs the magic again.
As always, Arjun is restrained and controlled even in the most exhilarating moments. His character is not a savior or someone with extreme machoistic powers, but he’s still the best among the lot. Rampal’s charisma lives on, even after his inconsistent appearance on screen, over the years.
Purab Kohli is underutilized as Amar Roy. Though the makers try to add layers of gray into his character, a bit more of his acting heroics would have done wonders to the viewing experience. However, whatever screen space he has, Kohli ensures none of it is wasted.
A new addition to the lineup is Medha Rana. She is decent as a brainwashed youngster and delivers what is asked of her. The veteran actor, Gopal Dutta as Gopi, is also someone I feel is underutilized in London Files.
He reminds me of Pankaj Tripathi from Sacred Games. Both are excellent actors with a magnificent ability to influence the plot. Gopal Dutta has mostly done funny or sarcastic roles, but he shows his versatile side through London Files.
London Files has an intriguing story that falters at the wrong time. But that dip is due to the ambitious writing, not because of the overall plot. As mentioned earlier, the story of London Files is strikingly similar to Asur and Abhay Season 3, which could have gone against it; however, that doesn’t happen.
The elements of surprise, shock, and emotions work together, providing a fulfilling experience. The interlinking of characters and plots facilitates the storytelling. If the plot was a bit more unpredictable, nothing would have gone south when looked at as a whole.
What doesn’t work for London Files?
Several scenes in London Files seem off. Sometimes, the lighting is strange, and the audio is low on other occasions. As the audience, you can guess which scene has been shot using the green screen. The professional edge in the show is missing when it comes to VFX and Green Screen editing.
The strangest thing is the overburdened Warm White lighting which must have been done to accentuate the use of a Green Screen. Unfortunately, it works against London Files.
Now, this is where things go awry for London Files. Firstly, the plot becomes predictable after a while, and you can guess what is about to come. Secondly, there seem to be some forced twists that make the narration look stale.
Moreover, we have the never-ending cliché of allowing the protagonist to complete their dialogue or monologue even during a hostage situation. The story starts with a dramatic sequence, but it gradually pales into a slow and stretched affair.
Another thing to ponder is the absence of the London Police. Even during a hostage situation, there is no trace of the London Police personnel. It is the Homicide and Major Crimes Department that looks after the entire chain of events.
At least, in the middle of all that is going on, there could have been a reference to the London Police.
Underutilization of Actors
Why would you waste someone like Sapna Pabbi in a supporting role? Her charm could have worked wonders for London Files. Furthermore, I felt Purab Kohli and Gopal Dutt were given characters below their potential.
However, these are all personal opinions, and the makers were better positioned to decide.
Will there be a second season of London Files?
There is no indication of a second season going by the end of the first season of London Files. However, no official confirmation has come yet.
Is London Files related to The Kashmir Files?
No, there is no connection between London Files and The Kashmir Files.