What’s It About
Mannu (Salman Khan) is a wedding band musician in Punjab while, his childhood friend Arjun (Ajay Devgn) aspires to be a rock star in London. Mannu lives a carefree, vagabond life, Arjun has strived to reach the pinnacle of music world with the ultimate dream to perform at the Wembley Stadium. He is brought to London by his uncle (Om Puri) but the family embargo on music works against his London Dreams (Wembley show) and so he runs away. Not finding an outlet, Arjun lands up at Trafalgar Square and launches himself as a musician of great promise with a rendition in public. Within minutes his one man band has two more guys and a girl (Asin). And very soon the media takes note of Arjun’s great talent and dubs him as a new rock star. Arjun then invites Mannu to join him and brings him to London. But, soon it is Mannu who is touted to be the new superstar instead of Arjun.
London Dreams weaves a script of convenience. Arjun’s struggle gets over in one scene where he is playing flute and someone throws a coin at him. His wealth having been created, his music lessons get over with him pouring a bunch of coins as fees. His road to stardom is paved with a song at city square. He is benevolent towards his friend Mannu but when he turns against him, what does the story want him to be, a villain or an underdog? Also, what is Arjun’s self flagellation for? Besides villain, it makes him look a bit loony! Also, the heroine’s role is ill defined, she is just a rolling trophy passed around.
Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn come together after a decade since Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. While both seem comfortable together, Salman gets a better role with better lines and caters to the gallery. Ajay Devgn is left to convey much of his part through monologues or reflections which does not offer him scope to express. Asin has to just hang around and lead the dance groups. Ranvijay Singh and Aditya Roy Kapoor are alright. Om Puri has very little to do.
Visually, London Dreams is picture postcard; fresh locations well filmed by Sejal Shah. While all songs and concert scenes are impressive, the Wembley climax is especially so. Dialogue by Ritesh Shah is funny where needed. Editing needed to be crisper, especially in latter parts. More attention is paid to choreography than tunes. Being a musical, a melody or two would not have been out of place. However, the use of ‘Jai Hanuman Gyan Gun Sagar..’ is soul-stirring.
Vipul Shah’s direction is generally in tune with the story, where the story stumbles, he stumbles. Things go awry when Ajay Devgn’s character‘s identity is mixed up. His visualisation of shots is very good.
With its generally feel good factor and familiar storyline, London Dreams should sail safe despite a mixed opening response.