Review Hindi

London Files review: Arjun Rampal-starrer shows the dark side of the city

Release Date: 21 Apr 2022

Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

The six-episode Voot Select show is yet another addition to the already long list of crime dramas on the web.

A show named London Files is bound to be shot in London. But director Sachin Pathak’s Voot Select web-series surprises you by the way in which it portrays the English city. In plenty of Hindi movies over the decades, London has been show to be a beautiful and happening city.

But London Files shows the dark underbelly of the British capital. It stays away from even a glimpse of important tourist destinations like the Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. The web-series mostly focuses on the lanes and bylanes of the city that appear more like scenes from a third world country.

This portrayal goes with the serious nature of the show. London Files revolves around detective Om Singh (Arjun Rampal), a senior officer in the London police. He gets involved in the case of a missing woman, Maya Roy (Medha Rana), daughter of media tycoon Amar Roy (Purab Kohli).

Amar had been pushing a controversial anti-immigrant bill, the passage of which has created chaos in London. Hence, he is seen as a villain by many.

The case takes a turn for the worse when Maya is found dead. After preliminary investigation, Om is convinced that Amar himself is the culprit and gets him arrested.

Om himself is going through depression. He had a perfect life two years ago, until a ghastly incident at his son’s school changed it for the worse.

London’s representation goes with Om’s state of mind. He is living a life of misery with no hope for the future. Arjun Rampal makes the character believable throughout. As required by the script, he does not speak much, conveying his state of mind more through his body language.

Purab Kohli is also believable as the arrogant and rich head of a media house. This is the kind of role he hasn’t played before and he sinks his teeth into it. Medha Rana shows a good amount of confidence in a difficult role in her debut project.

London Files moves mostly at a good pace and the narrative resorts to simple techniques to get the viewer involved, including the hook at the end of each episode. Although you are likely to guess one or two outcomes, it doesn’t hurt the experience since you are sucked into the unusual world of Om Singh.

The problem with the series is more external than internal. Over the past few years, crime dramas and murder mysteries have become the most explored genre in the web-series format. For this reason, the entire investigation drama is unlikely to excite the regular web-series buff.

The lead investigator leading a troubled personal life owing to his dark past has also become something of a trope now in such series. Then some things take place quite conveniently at different points in the story.

London Files does explore an unusual issue stemming from an anti-immigration bill and an underground cult headed by a character played by Gopal Datt. Both these aspects are sure to gain your interest, but their denouement leaves something to be desired. Datt is reliable as usual, though his character does remind one of his performance in Candy (2021).

Watch the trailer for London Files here.


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