London Dreams poster

London Dreams

wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)

quick review:

There's drama. There are moments atypical of Hindi films. There's the regular Bolly-masala. It entertains and it engages but not for the entire length. Ultimately like many films longer than 2 hours it doesn't arrest you in your seats.

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Director: Vipul Shah
Running time: 150 minutes
Genres: Musical
More Movie Info

Friends are forever or maybe they are not. Or maybe they become best of friends except for that thin line that still keeps them apart. Does being human mean taking care of yourself or does it mean giving yourself to one and all? Can a human be so selfish or so selfless? Both nauseating in their own way? Well, it takes all kinds to make this world. And that I guess makes it an interesting place to live in albeit insane. Yes. A Vipul Amrutlal Shah film made me think beyond what was going on, on screen. And this is, despite having a few of the quintessential Hindi film touches to it.

That's because it ALSO had broader non-standard and pleasantly surprising strokes. Example, there's no one event or line that transforms the good to evil or vice versa, the character is written in such a way that the transition is smooth. Another such stroke, which I thought made this entire film worth its while, was Arjun's (Ajay Devgn's) character. His traits established, the passion that drives him to his goal and maybe even to insanity. Whether or not he achieves his goal and/or insanity is for you to go and watch. And that's the beauty. The film maintains a dark-ish atmosphere where you know anything could happen and it's equally likely that the film won't end on a popular note. And that keeps the interest alive. Ajay, of course, makes and maintains the serious ambience through the film. The twitches and the way the eyes move to disclose what's on Arjun's mind are not to be missed.

But, then again it's a mainstream Hindi film and it keeps reminding you of that. For instance, almost all the other characters are pretty much flat. Including Manu (Salman Khan) and Priya (Asin). And the actors didn't do much with whatever little scope their characters had either. Salman Khan is his usual stuff. His comic timing is best at some of the really funny lines given to him. It's amazing how the man can do the same thing over and over and over and still have his fans cheering and hooting for him all through. Though in this one there are a few dashes of facial muscle movement here and there.

In a script that did so much with the male protagonist, it’s a shame that the lead woman was so etchily sketched. She could have been more involved. She could at the very least have not disappeared from one of the most crucial plot points in the film!

The show-down is a bit too much to swallow. And the climax came way too quickly and was abrupt. Yes, and I'm still complaining about its length. It's sad when a film is long and you still find something amiss.

Whatever the drawbacks of the film are in terms story or dialogues the improvement, in the entertainment-quotient of these two departments (of a Vipul Shah film) came as a pleasant surprise. And so did the aesthetics in terms of cinematography and sound design. Maybe just losing Akshay Kumar might have done the trick. Ok, sorry, couldn't resist that unwarranted dig.

It's a film that makes you want the hero to win and the anti-hero to not lose. You flinch when the latter is punished and want to reach out to him and tell him it's ok. This one also has a strong hard work vs. talent+charisma debate as a backdrop. But the drama goes on a tad too long. Long enough for you to notice the holes in the other departments. And there they lose us.

- meeta, a part of the audience

40 reviewers(?) - 13 yays 12 so-so 15 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, AOL INDIA : ...Shah does manage to take it ahead but completely falters in what could have been a worthy climax. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music fails to rock.... full review

Thumbs up, by Anand Vaishnav, Buzz18 : ...While he doesn't get the crowd pleasing one liners, Ajay is the only actor who has the intensity to carry off the role... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, : ...Thankfully, post interval the pieces are picked up and the script gets tighter. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...Vipul Shah adds profound depth to the drama and the sensitivity in his direction makes you relate to the conflicts of both the characters convincingly.... full review

Thumbs up, Indicine : ...With well-etched characters, Vipul has also managed to extract brilliant performances from both actors.... full review

Thumbs up, by Gloria D'Souza, merinews : ...Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has provided music to the movie and no song seems out of place.... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...The director shows these streaks in him but never explores the dark side of Arjun fully... full review

Thumbs up, by Padmaja Thakore, Passion for Cinema : ...story, plots and dialogues that have been (re)worked upon, heartfelt acting, a fair mix and match of characters and their setting and where the narrative moves at a steady, consistent pace... full review

Thumbs up, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...The director very well expresses the emotions of the die-hard friendship that feel you relate with real life... full review

Thumbs up, real bollywoood : ...Ajay is excellent in his part and one can see the best villain awards coming his way at the awards for this year.... full review

Thumbs up, by SpiceZee Bureau, Zee News : ...Vipul has managed to give equal attention to both his leading men.... full review

So-So, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Spiced up with racy humour from start to end, it packs in fair enough laughs but not enough musical thrill that is to be expected from a film of this genre.... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...But despite all this high-mindedness, the individual episodes are right out of any old lowbrow Bollywood movie... full review

So-So, by Bobby Singh, Bobby Talks : ...The emotional conflict between Ajay and Salman further leads to a completely unexpected and splendidly conceived climax which gives new meaning to the spirit of friendship between two artists and childhood friends... full review

So-So, by Roshni Mulchandani, Bolly Spice : ...The film only works because of the performances by both Ajay and Salman. Beyond that, London Dreams has very little to offer.... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...The narrative has some interesting moments in the first hour, but the actual story unravels only towards the second half. ... full review

So-So, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...Now where have we seen this before? Yes, yes, everywhere.... full review

So-So, by Irene Nexica, Planet Bollywood : ...The film suffers from trying too hard to look “young.” ... full review

So-So, by Chandrima Pal, Rediff : ...And the climax comes a bit too early, with the tail end of the film dragging on for an eternity. ... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Arjun’s multi-layered character is the high point of London Dreams.... full review

So-So, by Samiya Shakir, StarBoxOffice : ...The film takes a predictable turn right from the word go.... full review

So-So, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...the weakest link in the film is its music by Shankar Ehshan Loy... full review

So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...completely simplistic and linear, often bordering on the implausible... full review

Thumbs down, by Nita, A Wide Angle View of India : ...Another drawback of the film is that although the film is about music, it isn’t really about music.... full review

Thumbs down, by Udita Jhunjhunwala, DNA : ...Salman Khan steals the show. Controlled well by Shah, he delivers with spontaneity, lifting his scenes even if he is stuck with a character too good to be real.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Garimella, : ...the climax at Wembley undoes everything that you'd have found right with the movie.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...Himesh from Aap Ka Suroor would’ve appeared more realistic. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...London Dreams is packed with unintentionally hilarious gems like that back-story involving Arjun's grandpa... full review

Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, IBOS : ...Sponatenity is at a low premium among these wannabe rock stars. ... full review

Thumbs down, mag4you : ...Asin seems to have done this film just to be in the big league.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ashish Gharde, MH-31 Fun Unlimited : ...the plot is rotten and it stinks too – London Dreams might have been successful had it been released ten years back ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sarita Tanwar, MiD DAY : ...overlooks the most important part – the script... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Meanwhile 90,000 people, including Brits who I’m assuming cannot follow Hindi, are lining up to see these two men sing Hindi songs... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...Shah also adds his own desi tadka, so our musical geniuses are made to trace their roots back to rustic Punjab, also to help throw some homely humour into the script... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohammed, Passion for Cinema : ...This is not cinema, it’s a by-now-obsolete formula which you thought the director had wringed dry, and just about in Namaste London.... full review

Thumbs down, by Bhargav Saikia, Reviews Etc By Bhargav Saikia : ...Salman Khan delivers a stunning performance as Arjun's chaddi-buddy... full review

Thumbs down, by Pankaj Shukla, : ...Director Vipul Shah falters at the very beginning by choosing Ajay Devgn and Salman Khan for the lead roles. ... full review

Thumbs down, by The ThirdMan, Upper Stall : ...You wonder why Sejal Shah strives so hard to give the film a polish it didn’t deserve especially in some of the concert sequences. ... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

3 readers - 1 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by steffi : One Word. Just Awesome

So-So, by Best web hosting company : It's really a great movie.

So-So, by Consumer Goods

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Arjun (Ajay Devgn) is passionate about music. So much so that he's willing to hurt himself to reach his self-assigned aim. Manu (Salman Khan) is fun-loving, carefree. He too has a natural ear for music. They are friends. Does music bring them together or tear them apart?

What Worked

  • The film was full of lovely montages in long shots. Really added to the experience and kept your eyes glued to the screen.
  • The lighting in the night shots was very well done.
  • Showing 90,000 people from UK dance to pop-Hanuman Chalisa while a muslim actor is syncing to it.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • What kind of music school in London has fees that can be paid in coin change?
  • When will we stop making an entire city dance to the tunes of our lead character?
  • Ajay Devgn's wardrobe.
  • The shot of the nose of the airplane!
  • Asin's make-up and her overall look.
  • The sky that's colored a little too pink when Priya faces her dad. Looks too artificial. And what a shame if those are natural colors.
  • The Eiffel Tower shots.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None. One of the characters is a substance abuser.
  • Language: A few innuendoes here and there and a little bit of toilet humor.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Skimpily clad women in bars and dance sequences.
  • Concept: That of friendship - what makes and breaks it.
  • General Look and Feel: Is nice and peppy without being too bright or away from reality.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

London Dreams - Cast, crew, links

Costume Designer:
Running time:
150 minutes

Comments (4)

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Going to see this tomorrow so will comment more then, but in the meantime: "etchily sketched" is a wonderful turn of phrase!

Hi Meetu, The Plot Summary looks eerily similar to Amadeus. Does the film take inspiration from there?

I have to pick one to watch, I think I'll go for Aladin.

Re:Asin's make-up and her overall look - I wonder how much of the blame for it goes to the film. She tends to ply on the paint too generously even at social dos (so I gather from photos/TV).

@Rahul so how did it go?

@Beth what did you think?

@Shuchi About Asin - oh really? didn't know that. but its really annoying.

@Shuchi @Raaj Amadues - well yeah. but then any professional jealousy plot will be like Amadeus. And am willing to place a bet not even close as a good film :)

@Rahul Really? I liked them while playing in the theater, but couldn't remember one after getting out.

@harsh really liked it that much, ha? and it would be great if you could reply to @Ramen 's question.

This is one of my most favourite movies, you can also share this movies lyrics which are at

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