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‘London Files’ Review: Arjun Rampal Is The Only Saving Grace Of This Predictable Thriller. But Wait, Where’s The Female Representation?

April 19, 2022 | by Janvi Manchanda

I am a woman who loves a good crime thriller and more so if it has a lawyer or a cop. And I’m the kind who’s a fan of shows and films like How To Get Away With Murder and Zodiac. I love a crime thriller full of unexpected plot twists that can keep me guessing till the very end. TBH, what’s a thriller if it doesn’t have you biting your nails and sitting on the edge of your seat? That’s what made me watch this latest web series starring Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Gopal Dutt and Sapna Pabbi. Directed by Sachin Pathak, London Files is all set to premiere on Voot Select on April 21. And to say that it’s dull would really be an understatement.

 

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The Story Of London Files

Set in London against the backdrop of an Anti-Immigration Bill passed by the country, London Files follows the story of a homicide detective, Om Singh played by Arjun Rampal. What begins as an investigation into media tycoon Amar Roy’s (played by Purab Kohli) missing daughter Maya soon turns into a homicide investigation as a dead body is found and the DNA and the evidence hints at foulplay by the businessman. But Amar Roy makes it abundantly clear that the dead body is not his daughter’s and soon after he is arrested, detective Om realises that something is amiss. No shit, Sherlock! And just when one thinks that it’s about to get interesting, everything becomes even more obvious as the detective discovers an underground cult angle and it looks like there’s a mole in the police department as well. Not very surprisingly, the cult seems to have a connection with Arjun Rampal aka Om Singh’s past trauma and his son who seems to have committed a crime under the influence of the cult. While the story does seem fast-paced and interesting, it also seems lacking. I must admit that the story seems promising but eventually, it just gets predictable and fails to make one feel the thrill and emotional turmoil.

 

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Cast And Characters

Speaking about the cast, one would expect Arjun Rampal, Gopal Dutt and Sapna Pabbi would bring a lot to the table but the half-baked characters make it impossible for them to do so. Sapna Pabbi hardly has screentime or space with her grossly underdeveloped character. Arjun Rampal’s character Om Singh seems to have a traumatic past but his character still fails to make an impact. With his impeccable acting skills, one would expect so much more from the series but I assure you that it will be disappointing. Om Singh seems to be a druggie cop who vapes (yepp, that) and yet he manages to investigate a case, successfully, might I add. His character is a rather cliché rugged cop with a traumatic past as he navigates through his inner turmoil while trying to prove himself as a good cop with a good instinct. And let me point this out, his character too happens to be a tad bit underdeveloped and has what I call character holes.

 

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Also Read: ‘Pachinko’ Episode 6 Review: Yuh-jung Youn And Minha Kim Starrer Highlights The Struggles Of Zainichi Koreans

We’ve all known Purab Kohli to breathe life into his roles but sadly his character here was not meaty and did not have enough screentime but he did manage to make an impact with his acting skills. Gopal Dutt has time and again proved his mettle as an actor but the character in London Files is not only different from his past work but it’s also half baked with a missing backstory and is rather forgettable. And I just have to say this but the story seems to have forgotten all about female characters. The series lacks any strong female character or any decent female character for that matter. IMHO, the writer failed to make an impact with the characters he wrote and even an ensemble cast could not do much about it.

Final Verdict

I’m going to rate London Files with 2 stars out of 5 purely because of the actors and their skills. Now, let me begin by pointing out all the issues in this web series. I genuinely want to understand how a drug addict cop is managing to work and investigate any case at all. London Files seems to revolve purely around Arjun Rampal’s character as he goes through the trials and tribulations of failing as a parent and turning into a cliché cop.

Having said that, Om Singh’s backstory is also rather dull and half-baked. Apart from that, London Files makes me question logic. Set in London, Arjun Rampal happens to be a homicide detective who has far too many Indian colleagues and barely any British colleagues. How? And it doesn’t end there. We have an Indian, Amar Roy (Purab Kohli) who is pushing an Anti-Immigration Bill. Like really? A man who happens to be an immigrant himself? Moreover, the backstory or even the story of the Anti-Immigration Bill barely scratches the surface.

 

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Also Read: ‘KGF Chapter 2’ Review: Yash Is Golden In This Bigger, Better Written Sequel. But Things Still Rocky For Female Characters

Don’t even get me started on the female representation in the web series which seems to be missing altogether. Even with a stellar actor like Sapna Pabbi, the series failed to have a strong female character. But what can we say, it’s not like London Files had any developed characters at all. Now that I’m done with my rant about the characters being half baked and of course the lack of any powerful female character, let me point out the failed sub-plots and the numerous plot holes! TBH, it seems like a series of plot holes and failed plot lines as compared to anything else. But at the same time, the story does have a lot of offer and since this is just the first season, I would like to give it the benefit of the doubt while pointing out that it lacks the thrill to get your heart racing. And that’s probably because everything is so predictable and rather trite.

In the end, I’m just going to say that it’s not a must-watch but it does have scope for growth.

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Janvi Manchanda

Janvi uses her pen to smash the patriarchy. Geet one day and Wednesday Addams the next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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