BOTTOM LINE: A Meek Spy Thriller, Minus The Thrills
Rating: 1.75 /5
Skin N Swear: No skin show, a few lovemaking scenes in long shot
|Platform: Zee5||Genre: Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
ZEE5’s latest Original film, London Confidential, is a spy thriller which credits prolific crime writer, S Hussain Zaidi as the creator. The movie is directed by Kanwal Sethi, out of a screenplay by Akshay Singh and Prateek Payodhi. Mohit Chhabra and Ajay Rai are the producers. The film was shot entirely in London, sidestepping the lockdown in India.
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Intelligence Agency, RAW, uncovers a sinister Chinese plot to unleash an even more dangerous virus onto unsuspecting public. Apparently, the virus has already begun spreading along the India-China border, but China has denied any wrong-doing on its part.
RAW undercover agent Biren Ghosh (Diljohn Singh) has got in touch with a Chinese virologist who’s willing to testify before a World Virology Conference about China’s hand in the creation and dissemination of the new virus. Of course, the Chinese Intelligence Agency, MSS, is willing to go to any length to cover up China’s tracks – including a body count that’s rising by the day.
When Biren gets murdered, it’s a race against time for RAW agents Uma Kulkarni (Mouni Roy) and Arjun Mathur (Purab Kohli) to ensure that the virologist makes it to the conference, safe and unharmed. And while doing so, they must stave off multiple threats – a mole within the ranks, a ruthless killer with murder on his mind, and their own boss (Mohan Kapur), who’s breathing down their necks to show results.
Mouni Roy renders a fine performance as RAW agent Uma. She maintains a steely, hawk-eyed gaze throughout the movie, never ringing in a false note. Purab Kohli is as dependable as always. His cynical drawl and natural performance are always a welcome addition to anything he’s part of.
Kulraj Randhawa, as Nirupama Das, the Indian Ambassador in England, is elegant, assured and inscrutable. The support cast, comprising of actors such as Pravessh Rana, Sagar Arya, Mohan Kapoor, among others are aptly cast.
As a film in the espionage thriller genre, London Confidential is quite meek. It has none of the urgency and slow buildup of suspense that makes a spy thriller a memorable piece of work. Nor does it have that final explosive reveal in the climax that will make us go….heck, what the f**k!! In fact, we guessed the suspense soon as it presented itself in the picture, which was in the first ten minutes of the movie. Not that it says much about our detection abilities — it isn’t rocket science to guess the villain of the piece – it stares at you right in the face.
The entire narrative is expended on wild-goose chases to hunt down the mole in the organisation. And the story arc of each suspect is downright boring. The narrative tries to shock us with a gay love angle, but — we ain’t buying. Coz, sorry guys, we’re way more evolved in what may or may not shock us in this day and age.
Another puzzling thing about London Confidential is deploying the rather strange plot device of showing Mouni Roy as pregnant while she cracks the case at hand. One wonders at the need of it. A swelte and spry female intelligence agent tackling the enemy head-on is a far more attractive proposition than a pregnant, waddling secret agent.
Finally, exhausted by its own attempts to prove itself a smart thriller, the movie rushes headlong into the final disclosure – which turns out to be a damp squib and not the juicy morsel of suspense we hanker after.
That said, what works in favour of London Confidential is the fast pace and short runtime – it is just 1 hour 17 minutes long. Which is a blessing in the only way that counts – it doesn’t waste time on niceties such as song and dance, tiresome flashbacks or hidden agendas. Events occur swiftly and cleanly, without setting up of overdrawn circumstances or lengthy framework.
To put it in perspective, London Confidential makes up in succinctness what it lacks in storyline.
Music and Other Departments?
Sanket Naik’s background score is entirely forgettable, as is the lone song in the movie. The meloncholic number, sung by Jonita Gandhi, plays at the time of the unrolling of the end credits. Parikshhit Jha’s editing is impeccable. It is the one good thing about the movie.
Lack of thrills
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
‘London Confidential’ Review by Binged Bureau
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