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7 Welcome to London: a Bollywood drama with British sensibilities

Mainstream Bollywood – with its often stale formulas and dearth of originality – has undoubtedly taken off on the wrong foot in the New Year with audiences and critics alike finding ‘Players’ as welcoming as a long-dead rodent in your take-away Tesco sandwich. It is encouraging then that 2012 seems set to be the year which sees the triumph of UK-based filmmakers marrying Bollywood sensibilities with Western innovation and storytelling.

Days after the unveiling of ‘Nachle London’, the first in a series of ‘Bolly-Brit’ films, which aim to combine Bollywood narratives and British creative talent, comes news of ‘7 Welcome to London’; a British production helmed by popular British-Indian TV presenter Asad Shan.

Shan – who directs and stars in the film – describes his debut feature as one which offers the quintessential flavor of Bollywood whilst retaining a true British heart; and if there’s one genre of film that the Brits get consistently right it is the edgy thriller, which is an apt description of the film with plenty of Bollywood-esque romance thrown in.

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The movie centers around the struggles faced by a young immigrant from India who arrives in London intent on personal and professional glory. Once in the capital he finds love in the Underground but soon encounters trouble in the form of some unsavory elements. The film follows the indomitable hero as he attempts to keep his wits about him and overcome numerous obstacles.

Much like Nachle London, 7 Welcome to London boasts a slew of homegrown talent both behind and in front of the camera. UK-based model and actress Sabeeka Imam stars with Asad Shan – who also co-wrote the screenplay – alongside British star Rob Thorne. The film’s production team includes Oscar and Bafta award winning editor Chris Dickens. 7 brand new tracks for the film have been provided by Access and underground rocker Zuj Jibran among others.

7 Welcome to London hits cinemas in the UK 09th March 2012.

–       Poonam Joshi

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