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"London"



"London" ... comedy that tickles little.

TEEMING WITH known faces and packed with incidents, Spice Team Entertainment's "London" (U/A), presented by Inspired Movies U. K., is an assortment of levity and sentiment.

Siva (Prashanth) secures a job in London for which he has to shell out two lakh rupees. The family is in dire straits with each member in need of money for one reason or the other. Prashanth decides to take up the job with the amount he gets after selling their house, and later help his widowed mother, sisters and brother with his earnings. But his plans misfire miserably once he lands in London.

Impersonation, you have come across in many a film, but two men acting as one in the presence of a blind couple is something new that leads to hilarious situations. Prashanth is the `voice' of Saravanan, the couple's long lost grandson, while Pandiarajan is the physical self, which the husband and wife recognise by touch. Their tactile skill is so good that once they touch a hand they will know it always, and so it is with the voice. When Pandiarajan and Prashanth enter the old couple's home pretending to be Saravanan interest in the story mounts, but not for long, because soon the place is cluttered with characters, whose sudden arrival on the scene Sundar C. doesn't bother to make clear.

If Prashanth's prowess in comedy doesn't come to the fore as much as it did in "Winner," it is because the character is neither here nor there. As Siva he is serious — his much-expected scenes with Vadivelu are few and far between and even they fail to impress. Ankita, the new face, offers a little suspense and that's about it. Again `Delhi' Ganesh who has to down a couple of drinks to make Vijayakumar understand his honest intentions reminds you of the role he did in "Sindhubhairavi," of course, here it is in a much lighter vein.

A story set in London ambience is something new to Tamil cinema. You get to see much more of the city than you normally do in duets. But the indoor scenes are a crude contrast that the viewer is left foxed about many matters that supposedly occur in London but bear a clear desi look. The home of Vijayakumar is an example. Who but Sundar C. can conceive Vadivelu as a practising lawyer in the U.K.! Sundar needn't be realistic, but this kind of casting isn't very humorous either.

"Yaro Oruthi ... " is a melodic offering from Vidyasagar. But the rerecording is unbelievably jarring. Whatever happened to the composer during the background spell? And how much longer do we have to suffer white women in bizarre costume in song sequences?

Clichéd characterisation and exaggerated expressions do evoke a smile now and then but rarely do they lend themselves to a hearty laugh. The selfish and sexy other woman and the bullying, fat, termagant wife are stale caricatures. Vadivelu's teary-eyed humour, which was absolutely enjoyable in "Winner," tends to get predictable and repetitive in "London." The ease with which Manivannan and company rob a bank is downright ridiculous even for a comedy film. The yearning grandparents (Srividya and Vijayakumar) typify melodrama that makes you restless.

"London" comically stresses on the importance of wealth in this mercenary world (very much on the lines of the yesteryear fun fare, "Kasaedhan Kadavulada,") and in the bargain logic, credulity and spontaneity go for a toss.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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