Web Series: London Files
London Files Cast: Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Gopal Datt, Sapna Pabbi, Sagar Arya, Eva Jane Willis, Medha Rana
London Files Director: Sachin Pathak
Where to Watch: Voot Select
Review by: Russel D’Silva
Indian shows have come a long way over the past 5-6 years with the advent of web series, but it also can’t be denied that the recent 2 years, which saw an OTT boom, has also been riddled with several of these web series resorting to a combined formula of sex, swear words and crime in the hinterlands, of which barely a handful like Mirzapur and Paatal Lok stood out. In this cluttered scenario, Arjun Rampal and Purab Kohli starrer London Files, directed by Sachin Pathak and produced by Jar Pictures for Voot Select, comes along as breath of fresh primarily because of how its essence takes us back to the slow-burn investigative thrillers of yore during Indian TV’s golden era of the 80s despite it holding enough of flavor and appeal to gravitate towards contemporary viewers.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering if London Files is worth your time? Scroll down for my full London Files web series review …
What’s it about
Om Singh (Arjun Rampal), a senior police detective in London, is handled a high-profile missing-girl’s case, which soon turns out to be a homicide investigation, implicating her media tycoon father, Amar Roy (Purab Kohli). However, the further Om digs, the more he finds clues to a cult that’s linked to his son’s dark past that he’s trying to forget.
Watch the London Files trailer below:
London Files plays a perfect tight-rope act between old-world visual storytelling, embellished with broad modern brushstrokes, thus offering something for everyone, just like how Sherlock, True Detective or Veronica Mars did. You’ll love the unpredictable ride as you keep an eye open for all the clues and twists that appear at the least expected moments, while also never feeling like you’re trapped in a bygone time capsule. Kudos also to how Director Sachin Pathak and writer Prateek Payodhi for how they integrate world-weary issues like gun control and the immigration crisis across Europe sans ever bogging down the script or making every expat Indian out there seem like the victim.
As for the acting; Arjun Rampal delivers one of his career best, finely balancing the duality of a smart cop plagued by inner demons while Purab Kohli, Gopal Datt, Sapna Pabbi, Sagar Arya and Eva Jane Willis lend him ample support. Technically, too, this is a very sound show with pleasing production values, good camerawork and editing that makes sure the show ever overstays its welcome at 6 episodes of about 30-38 minutes each.
As tightly engaging a watch London Files is, there are certain easily avoidable silly mistakes that you wonder how the makers skipped in such a well-made show – like a character delivering a very important speech in Hindi to an eclectic ethnic community, which we ‘ re just supposed to believe they understood, more so as it serves as a pertinent catalyst to the plot or how the Indian cops in a British police force casually and unempathetically use Hindi while discussing cases in the company of their British colleagues. Also, as good as Arjun Rampal is, he again falters a bit during moments that need him to get teary-eyed, which has always been his bane.
Barring some unavoidable silly mistakes, London Files is a welcome nostalgic trip to the golden era, slow-burn investigative thrillers of 80s TV shows, mixed with enough of a contemporary vibe so as not to alienate modern viewers. It also has Arjun Rampal delivering some of his best work in a perfect homage to stoical detectives who crack a case while battling inner demons. I’m going with 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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