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Film Review: Namaste London
Vipul Amrutlal Shah's latest film Namaste London is neither unconventional nor makes an impact on the minds of the viewers. It leaves one wondering as to what issue the director is trying to address.

Vipul Amrutlal Shah struck a chord with his last directorial venture Waqt - Race Against Time. Earlier he got a mixed response for his unconventional Aankhein. However, his third film Namastey London is neither unconventional like Aankhein nor does it connect with the audiences like Waqt did.


Namastey London has everything going for it , a very good subject indeed, an accomplished cast and rich production design. The only undoing is a trite screenplay.


The film revolves around the story of a London bred girl of Indian origin, Jasmeet (Katrina Kaif) or Jazz as she prefers to be called. She thinks of herself as British and wants to marry a man of British origin. The problem arises when her father (Rishi Kapoor) declares that Jasmeet should marry a man of Indian origin.


He tricks Jasmeet into coming to India for a vacation not revealing to her, his ulterior motive of getting her hitched to a suitable Indian groom. Enter Indian groom , Arjun Singh (Akshay Kumar). He is besotted by Jazz. To avoid any hassles, Jazz marries Arjun and convinces him to come to London.


Once back in London, she makes it very clear that her real calling or is Charles Brown, thrice married and thrice divorced, British man.


What leaves the audience wondering is if the movie has enough meat? The problem with Namastey London apart from a trite screenplay as already mentioned is also the ambiguity of any genre, which it seems accounts for the films’ confused narrative.


It cannot be understood as to what issue the director is trying to address. Is it the generation gap between a father and daughter settled in London or the relationships of the day, confused and insecure? The identity crisis the Indian or for that matter Pakistani expatriates face?


There are too many issues and none of them have been properly delved into. The climax of the movie is the weakest point which relates to why Katrina agrees to marry Akshay in the first place.


The vignettes of India when the Malhotra’s come visiting could have been much more interesting instead of the passing shots of Badrinath ji, Taj Mahal, Golden Temple, Harki Pauri and Rishikesh.


The two scenes that stand out are Malhotras’ interaction with one of the grooms. He is fascinated by serials, a by-product of couch potato syndrome. Well, the director shouldn’t forget he was once a telly director himself!


The other scene being Akshay’s dressing down to Mr Pringle and telling him India is much more than the land of snake-charmers or call-centers. Though clichéd, it works. 


The cinematographer fails to capture the rustic fervor of Punjab. A crisp editing could have hid the loopholes in the screenplay, but Amitabh Shukla opts for a leisurely pace. The music bears the typical Himesh Reshamiya stamp. Passable.


Lastly, where is the controversial skirt shot of Karina at Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Namastey Undone or what?


RATING: 4 on 10

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