The famous saying “the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill” is true of the life of an NRI. Many people in India envy and strongly believe that an NRI’s life is a cakewalk and that they are the most fortunate people on earth. People here, especially youngsters, toil hard to take that flight, only to get find themselves in a materialistic web there.
Londonalli Lambodhara aims to tell one such story with a comic touch. Five-year-old Lambodhara, on his way to a grocery store, is interrupted by a roadside astrologer who does gini shastra (parrot astrology). His predictions come true and Lambodhara becomes a staunch believer in astrology.
From then on, a daily horoscope column in a newspaper decides Lambodhara’s day. Owing to this ‘virtual’ guruji’s predictions, Lambodhara (Santhosh) spends two years after college lethargically at home, hoping that he would magically get a job once his bad time is over. His over-confident first interview fails to fetch him a job, making him question what he believes. He then goes out looking for the virtual guruji (Sampath Kumar), who is now a pub hopping and beer-gulping stylish businessman. Meanwhile, he almost falls in love with his childhood friend Rashmi (Shruti Prakash). But guruji’s fresh prediction gives wings to Lambodhara’s two childhood dreams – a luxurious life in London and a wedding with a ‘white girl’. But his life in London becomes chaotic overnight, thanks to his actions.
Londonalli Lambodhara starts off slow with tolerable comedy scenes. However, the predictable storyline with unnecessary dialogues thrust in only to play to the gallery, and the lack of clarity in characterisation make it a tedious watch. Though the makers claimed that the movie narrates the ordeal of NRIs, it touches on this only in a dialogue or two during a drinking session.
The Kannada wordplay on the term ‘nigger’ - a racist slur against black people - is far from funny. There are many such instances of wordplay and a few double-entendre sexist jokes. Lambodhara cribbing about a woman ‘touching and kissing him and evoking his feelings’ only to reject him, makes no sense. The film’s storyline takes a hit with many such scenes.
Londonalli Lambodhara is actor Sampath Kumar’s show all the way. His role as Challa could’ve been written better. Nevertheless, he makes the entire experience tolerable. Another impressive performance in the film is from the lead woman actor Shruthi Prakash. The Bigg Boss Kannada contestant, in her debut film, has unabashedly displayed her acting potential, reiterating that she is here to stay. She has to work on her accent, though. Her screen presence is commendable.
Lead actor Santhosh, however, fails to deliver. His face is always expressionless, his acting below average and his dialogue delivery needs some serious attention. He needs to take up a few acting lessons before signing his next film. Veterans Achyut Kumar and Sudha Belwadi as Lambodhara’s parents are apt for the role but have very less screen space.
Throughout the film, the actors are always excited and are mostly speaking in a high-pitch. Too loud does not mean too funny, and we sincerely hope the director takes note of this. Sadhu Kokila’s jokes are a big annoyance and the ‘Kannada Utsava’ in London comedy scene is offensive at several levels. The 'sadhu speaking in Kannada with the British and abusing them’ scenes need a serious reality check. The portrayal of the IT industry by randomly using the word ‘project’ and ‘you are in my team’ here and there is as stereotypical as it can get.
The background music does not add anything to the film. The two melody songs – "Ee Manasu" and "Ee Parinama" – are good. Music director Pranav Iyengar’s debut attempt is laudable. Shot in exotic locales in London, these two songs are pleasing to the eyes and ears.
The film tries hard to blend several themes – family, drama, comedy, and motherland sentiment - which leave the audience confused about what to take from the movie. If meaningless comedy isn’t your choice, you can give Lambodhara a miss.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.