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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

London Dreams

With his latest film,Vipul Amrutlal Shah goes back to familiar territory : Punjabi ‘munda’ in London town,all set to conquer the world.

Written by Shubhra Gupta |
October 30, 2009 6:59:09 pm

Cast: Salman Khan,Ajay Devgn,Asin,Rannvijay,Om Puri

Director: Vipul Amrutlal Shah

Rating: **

With his latest film,Vipul Amrutlal Shah goes back to familiar territory : Punjabi ‘munda’ in London town,all set to conquer the world. Akshay Kumar did it wonderfully in ‘Namaste London’. This time around,it is Ajay Devgn’s turn,accompanied by partner-in-crime Salman Khan,but the two-for-the-price-of-one isn’t as much of a success.

Young Arjun (Devgn) runs away from his music-hating uncle at Heathrow airport,arriving at a conservatory. His dream is to sing at Wembley,surrounded by millions of adoring fans. The Mozart to his Salieri,is childhood friend Mannu aka Manjit (Khan),who is by far the more talented of the two. Mannu’s arrival in London sets into motion a chain of events leading to catastrophe,and a parting of ways.

Shah sets up his tale of love and rivalry and betrayal against a series of ultra-expensive backdrops,including the scenes in London and Paris. Ajay delivers a competent but dour performance as the driven rockstar who will do anything to get his way,even if he has to resort to lies and deceit. Asin is altogether too wholesome to be a convincing rocker chick,and spends most of her time in a line-up of swaying extras,with the two men in the foreground.

It is Salman’s country bumpkin who is the surprise packet of ‘London Dreams’. In his rustic attire-and-accent,only slightly exaggerated,he snatches the film away from the blond-streaked,suited-booted Devgn: this is not just Salman playing Salman as always,this is Salman filling out a role. It is a pity that Shah didn’t know where to draw the line in terms of length. He allows it to go on and on,diluting the impact of his not-very-standard-twist: Devgn’s change of heart comes after he has been painted thoroughly black.

Strangely,the score isn’t scintillating,barring a couple of numbers. For this film to have soared,it needed to have been a little more untethered,a little more free-spirited. ‘London Dreams’ is rescued by Asin’s occasional flashing smile,and Salman’s unrestrained act.

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