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London Dreams Movie Review

November 1, 2009

This is an average film for those who don’t mind a bizarre story, sitting through a long (almost three hours) film and Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan, the two lead characters. For those who shy away from Bollywood kitsch, this film is bad.

The major problem with this film (directed and produced by Vipul Shah)  is the mismatch between the actors and the story. The story is about two young aspiring youngsters, Arjun (Ajay Devgan) and Mannu (Salman Khan) who enter the world of pop music and form a band which plays Indipop. What is completely unbelievable is to see two middle-aged men playing this role. They look middle-aged, particularly Salman. This is a film which called for young actors. The days when middle aged actors in the film industry played young men in their twenties is long gone. Thankfully Asin, who plays the role of Priya, a part of the band, looks her part. However her characterisation is woefully inadequate. She comes across as a paper cut-out. Not that the characterisation of the other two is anything special. They come across as unbelievable characters.

Another drawback of the film is that although the film is about music, it isn’t really about music. One keeps getting the feeling that Arjun, who wants to make it in the music world, wants success, and it is not music that he is passionate about. This is so unlike Rock On, where all the characters’ lives revolve around music! I am sure that the director wanted to convey the impression that the film is about music, but it didn’t come through, not through the characters. And then, when a film is about music, one expects awesome music. While the music is good (Shankar Ehsaan Loy) , it is nowhere near awesome. Again, I couldn’t help comparing it to the music of Rock On.

The theme of this film is a good one. It’s about how the relationship between two friends changes once they grow into adults and enter the same profession. It is also about how one can sabotage one’s own success because of one’s own insecurity and jealousy. Being successful is all about concentrating on one’s success, not destroying another’s. The film is also about the self-centeredness of one friend and the selflessness of the other. The theme is an interesting one, but executed poorly. Sure, the film is not an absolute bore (again, if you don’t mind Bollywood) but it did drag in several places. It was too long.

I don’t know why directors continue to make films where the “hero” acts in a crass way with women, even in 2009. Sure, the “hero” who does this in the film is a village bumpkin but why portray villagers this way? I mean, making lewd remarks, staring up their skirts (even in adulthood), staring at their bodies in an obvious way and propositioning every good looking woman? There is also another guy in the band who refers to women as “butter chicken” and this is supposed to be humour, but when will directors realise that women don’t find this type of humour funny. The scene in which Mannu is shown misbehaving with an airhostess, in real life, the airhostess would have complained to the Captain and the person would have been offloaded or perhaps cuffed to his seat.

All in all, this film is an avoidable one. The most stupid thing about it is the story. Yes, there is a story, but it’s too ridiculous to even mention.

(Movie poster is from bollywoodworld.com)

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36 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2009 11:14 am

    i do think bollywood need young actor instead. they always end up with then khans, kapoor..tho my fav always the SRK. heh

  2. November 1, 2009 11:24 am

    ahh a movie review after many days! I don’t like Asin and Salman so I m not watching this one.

  3. November 1, 2009 11:52 am

    that bad eh? it didn’t look too good in the promos either. waiting for ajab prem… now… long time since I saw a good bollywood movie!

  4. November 1, 2009 12:46 pm

    Haven’t seen a good movie in a long time.With this review,even this will get a miss.
    Thanks anyway

  5. November 1, 2009 1:37 pm

    Hmmm.. */The film is also about the self-centeredness of one friend and the selflessness of the other./*
    this idea sounds very interesting..

    but yes we should learn that midle aged men can’t and should not play youngsters.. are good young actors so scarce..?

    i think i’ll avoid it..

  6. November 1, 2009 2:07 pm

    I thought this will be a nice movie…. but after your review I will give a miss to this film..

  7. rags permalink
    November 1, 2009 3:39 pm

    You right about the middle age thing. Asin looks like Devgan’s younger sister and Salman’s daughter!

  8. November 1, 2009 5:46 pm

    Middle aged men as youngsters, yeah guess its high time that they play their age. :)

  9. November 1, 2009 6:45 pm

    The theme and the message the movie wants to portray is nice but if the other things you had mentioned had been good, it would be a pleasant watching experience, I guess.

    Destination Infinity

  10. November 1, 2009 7:15 pm

    As Reema said,its been a while since i read any movie review.. Chances are that i will not be watching this one..Asin is an overhyped actress…

  11. vandana g permalink
    November 1, 2009 8:22 pm

    Saw the film in new york last night. Some of the positives about the film – Good direction and cinematography. Ajay Devgn does justice to his role of a jealous friend. The film manages to convey the reality of jealousy,competition and relevant himan emotions that occur in all of us. I do concur with the review though on all its points. Yes we need some new heroes – fed up of these almost fifty year olds playing men in their twenties. Asin was not impressive.

  12. vasudev permalink
    November 1, 2009 8:48 pm

    yesterday an today i saw some actors of the ‘yet to be released’ movie ‘jail’ langushing in campaigners jail in oberoi mall. and the inmates included the ‘raw hide’ hero 9or so i guess, looking at the poster and the guy’s face’. like trapped lions they were. how boring! my wife remarked: ‘these guys should sue the producer and the promorter for ‘cruelty to human kind’. i cudn’t agree with her any less. whatever it is, this is too much! cud they get to keep sharukh khan in such a make-shift promotional jail? i suspect it was part of the agreement signed by a hapless actor trying to break ice with the film world. no wonder he must have been paid pittance and wehatever was paid to him must have bounced. hope the movie ‘bounces’ at the box office and drowns itself in corruption and scum infested ‘mithi’ and hope and pray the producer takes a calibre .56 to his brain!

  13. November 2, 2009 1:15 am

    Thanks Nita, for saving my time and money.

  14. phantom permalink
    November 2, 2009 4:46 am

    Saw this one last night. Have mixed feelings.

    Firstly – Asin is super HOT !!!!…beautiful, pretty, sexy…call it what u want…she’s eye candy alright !!!! . And while she didn’t have a significant acting role, she certainly wasn’t bad as such, in terms of her dialogue delivery, facial expressions, dancing and looking good. But then again, maybe I’m biased 

    The central plot itself is an interesting one….professional jealousy is something that occurs very often especially in music bands, sports teams etc. Its especially acute when we have such a contrast in personalities of the two mates….the reflective, melancholy, success-obsessed, dream-driven focus of the Arjun (Ajay Devgan) and the nonchalant, hugely talented, whimsical, “I love life” passion of the Mannu (Salman).

    I thought the best scene was the one where they are rehearsing, and Ajay D sings the song first…then when Mannu comes, he renders the song impromptu in 4 other styles (bollywood, gazhal, his style and hip-hop)….seeing this highly talented adaptation of his relatively one-dimensional version, AND seeing Asin visibly bond with Salman’s singing…..drives Ajay D mad. This is the classic characterisation of the jealousy that eats Devgan alive.

    Flaws:

    Salman Khan cannot play a punju….he does not have the accent right, he cannot say “Praah” to save his life…and real punju’s don’t use that term 20 times in a sentence. The other punju characters reflect a punju style of dialogue far more effectively. Akshay Kumar would have done this job far better….being a puju himself…and being very adept at playing that casual, nonchalant, masti-bhara, “borrow from peter to pay paul” type of character (see Hera Feri, Singh is King, Garam masala etc).

    Salman also has that characteristic Salman Khan way of talking…..that is so showy, put-on, and just does not seem genuine. For someone playing his character, I expect to see total genuineness in the facial expressions, body language, verbal delivery and accents.

    The process of Salman getting hooked onto drugs was shown in a “fast forward” manner…in reality it takes more sustained usage of drugs to get hooked on…and the movie might have benefitted from showing more intense and frequent drug usage episodes….perhaps at more than just 3 of their concerts.

    Asin falling in love with Salman is not shown as the emotion conflicting process that one expects in such a scenario…I can think of few gals that would readily give their heart to a chap that is an open flirt/player….i can understand a girl wanting a fling with him…but to go all out and get all in love….too filmi. They should have shown some senti “change” in samlan’s behaviour that inspires the love from Asin.

    The ending was the worst. What could and should have been shown as a theatrically substantial, emotionally stimulating phase of the movie….was reduced to a ridiculous short scene where everyone forgives everyone…..Salman’s forgiveness, while admirable, was not realistic. His character should have been extremely hurt from the episode…more so because he never intended to steal his mate’s thunder.

    Music – some of the songs were ok…and some were not that enjoyable…nothing to rave about.

  15. November 2, 2009 5:00 am

    What is with these 40+ actors still acting as cool doooodes? :mad:

    • rags permalink
      November 2, 2009 8:01 am

      Especially when the doodes romance 20 year olds.. Disgusting. Imagine hema romancing shahid. Wonder why nothing like that ever happens..

      • vasudev permalink
        November 2, 2009 11:48 am

        rags..reason being there are more no of 20 yr old fems doodling over a 40 or 50 or even 60+ yr old salman/amitabh. but there r hardly any 20 or 30 or 40 or even 70 yr old men doodling over hema or even sridevi (for that matter). and therefore hema romancing shahid would look like an incest. mind you..i ain’t ‘mcp’ing. sadly this seems to be the truth

        • rags permalink
          November 2, 2009 1:01 pm

          Yeah, I agree you aint ‘mcp’ing. You are simply stating the facts of an mcp world. BTW, sridevi still looks hot. She can easily give the current crop of heroines a run for their money if only people stop seeing through the prism of age.

          • November 2, 2009 1:04 pm

            rags, while vasudev is stating facts, it is on the assumption that viewers see movie to look at “hot” people. Today the audiences are changing and there are people who want to see a real movie, with a convincing story and convincing characters.

            • rags permalink
              November 2, 2009 2:11 pm

              I want to beleive that too nita. I want to think that people want to see sensible movies but every time a tamil movie gets released and I see the trailer I want to bang my head somewhere. The problem is this kind of a niche audience is hard to develop in regional cinema, its only now starting to grow in bollywood.

            • vasudev permalink
              November 2, 2009 4:25 pm

              actually it won’t be such a bad idea if we could get shahid and hema paired as lovers. wonder whether hema would agree? problem is that amitabh might readily agree to play lover boy to asin but wud jaya agree to pair with karan? i do not see the possibility…unless of course, it is a women’s lib promo…but it might bounce, break and explode in the box office. unless of course the theme is something made out on a semi-porn base appealing to some super kinky inexperienced fantasising young brains.

    • November 2, 2009 10:56 pm

      Maybe this gives us a clue, http://beta.thehindu.com/arts/movies/article42292.ece?homepage=true

  16. November 2, 2009 9:42 am

    Thanks for the review! Whoever I know who’s watched it says its boring, and some say its so bad it’s entertaining, but that depends on what your tolerance levels are ^_^
    Neither Salman or Ajay Devgan are good-looking anymore, and I’ve heard that Ajay totally failed in looking like a rocker. Definitely will pass on this one.

  17. November 2, 2009 12:59 pm

    heedsidek, I too like SRK, but he has started playing roles of older men. For eg, as a hockey coach or a recent movie of his where he has a double role. Forgot the name.

    Reema, yeah if you don’t like the stars, its best to avoid.

    perplexed, well it depends how much you like Bollywood. I personally did not like the movie.

    BK Chowla, nowadays not too many good movies to see.

    oorja, the idea is good but the movie below average.

    Kanagu, Destination Infinity, its okay for timepass actually.

    rags, vandana, Xylene, Solilo, and Purpler, I think the directors will realise that they have made a mistake. Without good casting a movie cannot be good. The character has to be convincing. Its about time that our directors gave importance to casting. None of the two lead characters looked like rockers.

    Nimmy, Asin is quite pretty actually although she didn’t have much to do here except looking good.

    vasudev, you always seem to have these interesting experiences! :)

    Prerna, you are welcome.

    Phantom, thanks for that lovely analysis. And I agree that the ending was completely flawed. In fact that character that Salman was playing was itself unrealistic.

  18. November 2, 2009 6:03 pm

    no time so watch movies these days :( :( Good that i wont “miss” this one!

  19. November 2, 2009 9:41 pm

    Yet to watch the movie, was searching for a review though. Thanks.

  20. November 3, 2009 1:54 am

    Hate the movie like hell. Why does Bollywood even produce such shit.

  21. Lakshmi permalink
    November 3, 2009 2:33 am

    I have stopped watching new movies unless there are good reviews. So this is a no no for sure. It is unbelievable that people do not grow up to roles their age. In south, our super star Rajni still acts with girls who are may be 1/3rd his age.

  22. Vinod permalink
    November 3, 2009 8:45 am

    Nita, kudos to you for analyzing why a movie goes wrong. That too takes intelligence and you have demonstrated that aplenty here. I would never be able to do that. I cannot get over the feelings of disgust and melancholy watching such movies.

  23. minal permalink
    November 5, 2009 2:49 pm

    thanks for sparing me the movie.. now i definitely know i should NOT land up there

  24. November 5, 2009 4:49 pm

    I am not watching this movie! I can’t stand these middle aged men pairing with young girls and trying to look and act like they are in their twenties!

  25. November 9, 2009 10:11 am

    Thanks for the review and early warning ;) Definitely skipping this one!

  26. November 9, 2009 12:58 pm

    Ok..that’s one movie off my wishlist. One less movie to watch. 3 hours saved.

  27. November 10, 2009 8:20 am

    Just hated the movie!! :?

  28. November 11, 2009 6:11 pm

    I watched this movie on my birthday, thanks to my parents! And I must say that it was a monumental waste of time! I was terribly boring and way too long. Salman Khan should stop acting! He was so over the top! And you are right, both Ajay Degan and Salman Khan look way too old for their roles.

  29. keya permalink
    January 17, 2010 5:08 am

    boring movie. Don’t waste your time and money.

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