The pandemic has certainly churned out a lot of creativity. From cooking videos to online skilling, it has kept all of us busy on digital platforms. And with this background comes a script that focuses on controlling the spread of another virus.
London Confidential is a short spy thriller that sizzles with intrigue and murders. This is another ZEE5 original. The story is simple—Indian intelligence agency RAW has found strong evidence of the involvement of Chinese Communist party in the spread of another virus. They are just a few days away from getting the final evidence but then the movie begins. The Chinese authorities in London get the wind of it and they are working hard to stop the agency from getting that evidence. The issue between India and China is sensitive in the movie as well, as they know any leak or outrage could lead to war. So, both the embassies in London try to keep a low profile while digging for the source who will hand over the evidence to the Indian side.
The story has been written by S. Hussain Zaidi—a prolific crime writer and former investigative journalist. The thriller has been directed by Kanwal Sethi.
Characters & Actors #TheTraitorWithin
The focus of the movie is not on the Chinese but protagonists Mouni Roy and Purab Kohli, that is Uma Kulkarni and Arjun. These are not your picture perfect James Bond agents but could be just another Indian in London. They have a turbulent past, lots of failures and a scanty present. Their days and nights are involved in hiding their identity, tracking and tracing. There are covers and then there are murders because everyone is trying to get ahead of the other in the race to find the evidence. The key person who would have carried this through is an artist, Biren Ghosh, played by Diljohn Singh. He gets captured and murdered in the first few minutes as the movie length is only 1hour and 17 minutes.
Uma is a trustworthy agent working in the Indian embassy in London. She is great friends with the Indian Ambassador to London Nirupama, played by Kulraj Randhawa. Even though the movie is short, everyone here has skeletons in the cupboard and they keep popping out every minute. Probably, this is the reason you can sit through the entire movie #LondonConfidential. The shades and layers add to the drama of secrecy and pretense of loyalty.
Uma has help from another agent Mrs Mehta that is actor Kiren Jogi. She doesn’t have many dialogues in the movie but her role is to be the technical eyes and ears. There are many characters that come in for short roles such as Gaurav Sharma who plays Nishant, Dandan Liu is Yuki, Pravessh Rana is Azaad, Sagar Arya as Sharad. But through them we manage to see a short round of emotions and how these little things matter. For instance Azaad doesn’t earn much but spends five times the amount and his time in strip clubs and playing poker in the evening. Then Sharad is the unhappy husband who is now in a sad relationship with his ambassador wife, Nirupama. And his affair with his student is called a ‘honey trap’ in spy parlance. Grocery stores are places for keeping the spying equipment and running the operation.
That’s the beauty of thrillers, they make even the mundane sizzle with excitement and you feel that your next adventure could spring out of the local kirana store.
Pros & Cons
The best part of this movie is the authenticity of the location. The editing and cinematography are super. All of London has been captured so well—you can see the Thames, the London Bridge, the street art, the pubs, the grocery stores, the homes, the greenery, the bureaucratic parties and the university. Nirupama’s character has been played out the best.
The cons lie in the fact that Uma could have been more expressive. She is too cold and doesn’t seem comfortable sometimes. Mrs Mehta called M could have been renamed to another alphabet. Taking M from James Bond wasn’t a really catchy idea. Arjun’s make up could have been better. He looks too old in some places and too suave to be an agent.
Nevertheless, the sepia and grey tones are all about ‘keep it down, keep it confidential’. Watch it for the many facets of life framed in just 75–odd minutes. This is the world of gays, bureaucrats, top shots, criminals, famous personalities, ambassadors, delegations, scientists, pregnant agents and more. And you would like to know who actually is the mole in the Indian embassy and what does fate give him/her in the end. A short and sweet watch on ZEE5.