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London Dreams (2009)

ICGirls i-see-girls
At a glance:
Namastey London director Vipul Amrutlal Shah continues his fascination with the English capital and trades his favourite actor Akshay Kumar for two able leadin men in Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan with London Dreams, an aptly-titled musical caper that reunites the duo some ten years after Straight From The Heart. Pic opened head-to-head with another Deepavali release Aladin and if BO figures and critic reviews are anythin to go by, is the superior of the two. London Dreams are shared by Arjun (what's with this name and Vipul?) and Mannu, two childhood friends who find fame and fortune after a bit of Punjab village backstory. However, their bond is severely tested when the determined one is not the more talented one, while Chennai dancer Priya (Asin Thottumkal) introduces a love triangle.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Can't get much cheesier than this, can it?
Lead actress Asin is the sorest point of the movie. She ain't improved from Ghajini and delivers an unconvincin, stutterin performance when flanked by two established stars. Underutilised supportin characters include bandmates Zoheb (Rannvijay Singh) and Wasim (Aditya Roy Kapoor), while veteran Om Puri gets a cameo as a disapprovin uncle. Addin to the mediocrity is a lacklustre score by Shankar-Ehasan-Loy (would it have been a different movie if A.R. Rahman didn't fall out of the project?) which is found wantin especially in the buildup to the climaxin showdown at Wembley, itself an almost farcical drama overkill, complete with water bottle shower. Music lacks a certain energy to it; Barson Yaaron, Yaari Bina and Tapkey Masti just pass us by while Khanabadosh and Man Ko Ati Bhavey manages to be slightly more sprightly.
Watch out for:
Devgan (successfully breakin out from the action hero mould), who puts in a heartfelt performance of angst and aggression; and Khan, more than comfortable playin a lackadaisical but hilarious, simpleton womaniser who is blessed with talent but not the ambition to use it.
Most memorable line:
Mannu: "Every year, a Manjit or two get married here."
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?Three stars. London Dreams is best remembered for a strong chemistry between the two leads and for providin a second revivalist injection to Salman Khan's star appeal after Wanted earlier this year. Asin though, can go back to Kerala.
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