Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two stars)
Star Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Shruti Haasan, Paresh Rawal, Dimple Kapadia, Naseeruddin Shah, Shiney Ahuja, Ankita Shrivastav
Director: Anees Bazmee
What’s Good: Getting glimpses of the original film Welcome, especially Akshay Kumar’s Kabootar scene in the utterly boring sequel. Also Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor and Paresh Rawal’s genuine efforts to keep afloat this jarringly old school comic ride.
What’s Bad: The sheer crassness that can be portrayed as comedy. Expecting intelligent comedies may be too much to ask but people flying in sandstorms don’t make up for any kind of humor, not even a brainless one.
Loo Break: Yes, yes, yes! This torture stretches two and half hours long.
Watch or Not?: Do not watch it, unless you have a tendency to laugh on the silliest of things or at least you enjoy making fun of actors who really can’t act!
Uday Shetty (Nana Patekar) and Majnu Bhai (Anil Kapoor) are back but this time not as goons but ex-goons who run white collar business. Their antics are still the same, Uday trying to ‘control’ every time he loads a gun. In Uday’s language, ‘Bhagwan ka diya sab kuch hai’, other than a wife that both are so desperately seeking for. In the midst of all this, Uday learns that his father has a daughter from his third marriage and that now it is his responsibility to find her a suitable goon – oops! groom.
Enter, Ranjana (Shruti Haasan)! In the meanwhile, there is also a sub-plot of Dimple Kapadia and her daughter Ankita Shrivastav who play the conniving mother-daughter fooling Uday and Majnu for money. To find a suitable ‘sharif’ guy for Ranjana, obviously, Uday and Majnu turn to Dr Gungroo (Paresh Rawal) who has recently learned he has a ready-made son Ajju Bhai aka Ajay (John Abraham).
Because everyone crosses everyone in Mumbai, Ranjana and Ajju fall in love in the most ‘natural’ way. They even dance on a pathetic song and soon there is an entry of another don.
Wanted Bhai (Naseeruddin Shah) and his druggie son Honey (Shiney Ahuja) are introduced and Honey is in some obsessive love with Ranjana, hoping to get married to her.
Combine all of this with Dubai’s desserts, swanky hotels, choppers, sand storms and edited to awful perfection (read sarcasm) camels running, that’s your climax.
Welcome Back Review: Script Analysis
First question to the director, was there an actual script? Actually, of course there was, Shruti Haasan and John Abraham were anyway reading (not acting) it. Let’s get started on what passes off as comedy in Bollywood. Doctor Ghungroo addressing his wife as ‘Boy cut, halkat’ in one of the scenes. Wait, this is just the start, if the dialogues are this crass, what happens next, without any reason we see Rajpal Yadav in PK’s nude-holding transistor avatar. Not funny!
Forget about a stomach-holding laughter but you get minor chuckles when Anil Kapoor is addressed as ‘Tedha Kandha’ for his stance and secondly when he starts dancing on ‘Dhina dhin dha’ in a graveyard. Coming to the graveyard, it is such a hilariously written scene (I am high on sarcasm) that we see Uday and Majnu playing antakshari with the ghosts and to scare them off, Shruti Haasan dressed in a white strapless gown walks towards them. Wow! Who recognizes their sister decked up as a ghost!
Dialogues are forcibly made quirky and hence you hear things like ‘moochwala beanbag’ for a fat, petite man with a moustache. Also, in one of the ssenes, Nana Patekar describes Ghungroo’s character as “Dr Ghungroo ka khaandaan itna sharif hai ki inki ghar ki makhhiyaan bhi sar pe dupatta leke nikalti hain” and you’re like whaaat! Is that supposed to be funny?
But I have to say, the climax makes up for the best laugh. People flying in sandstorms with camels running in the background is how you show that your story is set in Dubai.
Welcome Back Review: Star Performance
Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor are a super combo. They are the only reason, the first half is watchable. As Uday Shetty and Majnu Bhai, they revive the old film’s charm in this one too.
Paresh Rawal as Ghungroo is the same old. Although in this film he does not get many punches. He is particularly excellent in the scene where he gets to take the case of Uday and Majnu after they approach him to break-off the wedding.
John Abraham needs to understand that comedy is not his cup of tea. He is completely non-watchable in the film, right from his dialogue delivery to the dance to the Bhaiwala accent.
Shruti Haasan is truly lucky to be the daughter of two great stars because, on her own, she would have never made it to an acting class audition either. She speaks each dialogue as though she is reading it and pouting does not help it make any good. With her performance, it looks like Katrina Kaif performed her career best in Welcome.
Dear, Mr. Naseeruddin Shah, you may have become bored of doing serious films but there is some quality we expect. Why would you choose this film out of all? As Wanted Bhai, the blind one, he seems irritating and it is sad to see such an actor getting wasted.
Shiney Ahuja is one character whose entry and act, both will have you in splits. He is the only actor seeing whom I had a good laugh in the film, who cares if it was unintentional.
Dimple Kapadia is another actress who is a complete waste in the film. She is often seen strutting in colorful robes which in no way look even a facade of royalty.
Ankita Shrivastav has one of the most unnecessary debuts in Bollywood history. She is plain irritating with her dialogue delivery and to top that she provides ample of skin show that is remotely needed for her character. We truly missed Mallika Sherawat from Welcome.
Welcome Back Review: Music, Direction
I have a serious problem with the treatment of comic films in Bollywood. While the censor is busy cutting words like ‘saala’ from the film, they hardly care about the underlined messages running through an entire script. Scenes such as Ajju’s gang members eve-teasing and lecher leering go uncut because somehow they are building a love story. On the other hand the mindless lyrics ‘main bubbly hui, tu bunty hua..bandh kamre mein 20-20 hua’ with item girls for hero’s entry is another headache. The songs are impossible to sit through in the film and I even saw a few people leaving the theater waiting for them to finish.
Background score as well is another assault. Clearly, the editing department too was so fed-up after watching the first half that they left the second one untouched. They let the film stretch to over two hours, nearing it to almost three. And hence, they even made sure that the graphically created camels look ‘so natural’ that you wish all the characters would die in the sandstorm and save us from another sequel.
Bazmee’s imagination runs wide and hence we see mini chopper bombs as Shiney Ahuja’s toys which he spins in the desert killing none. And after we see all the characters flying in the sandstorm in the end, you are so happy that the film has ended with all logics going out of the window.
Welcome Back Review: The Last Word
Welcome Back is no where close to Welcome so I suggest you don’t go watching this film with expectations of the previous one. If your tastes involve logic defying humor filled with crassness, you will love this film. I am going with a 2/5 for this film.
Welcome Back Trailer
Welcome Back releases on 4th September, 2015.
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