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Convoluted plot: Welcome

What could be worse than a Priyadarshan film? One that’s trying hard to be a Priyadarshan film. If Priyan is used to lifting his plots from Malayalam movies, Bazmee usually find his inspiration from the Hollywood section of his DVD library. Thi s time around, Anees Bazmee decides to steal a few ideas from Priyadarshan’s school of story-retelling including parts of his regular cast and comic gimmickry. If you aren’t yet tired seeing Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar find an excuse to be a part of a comic romp involving a bunch of idiots chasing each other, walk in for another round of assembly line gags.

Hardly funny

How seriously funny can a film be when Paresh Rawal gets slapped for unintentionally soliciting (women and men) due to a strange health condition that makes him turn his face at the most inappropriate moments? Hang on… the film does have its share of funny moments, a few jokes strung together by an extremely convoluted plot and asinine situational comedy. Bazmee probably thinks that a leave-your-brains-home entertainer means he doesn’t have to use his at the set. It’s the kind of film where cars are conveniently flimsy: where the driver finds the steering wheel wireless in his hand and this somehow also causes brakes to fail and the characters who have left-their-brains-home don’t have the common sense to take the foot off the accelerator. All for the sake of manufacturing laughs.

One moment we hear Majnu (Anil Kapoor) say that there is only one other person more powerful than his brother Uday Shetty (Nana Patekar): George Bush apparently. Half the cinema hall erupted into uncontrollable laughter, spooking the hell out of the rest of us.

Halfway into the film, absent-brained Bazmee introduces the all-powerful RDX (Feroz Khan) who has Uday and Majnu by the leash. It’s tragic to see the old chap make a fool out of himself like this. Even the red-hot sizzler Malaika Arora ends up showing her stretch marks. And Mallika Sherawat gets a half-baked role that requires her to make an entry a little after interval.

At least Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor had interesting characters baiting them into this gag-bag. But it must be said here that it is indeed refreshing to watch Kapoor do comedy like this after ages: Here’s the Anil Kapoor we liked since ‘Ram Lakhan’ and ‘Deewana Mastana.’ Nana too breezes through it comfortably, making the cheesiest of lines look cool.

Good actors can make the most ridiculous jokes work. And there are gags that work even when they are second or third hand, like the entire cliff-hanging-house climax ripped off from ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Michael Madana Kamarajan.’

At best, it’s watchable on TV, on a rainy, boring afternoon. Otherwise, after spending 200 bucks, the only way you’ll find ‘Welcome’ funny is if Bazmee slips on a banana peel on the way to the bank and gets run over by a car without brakes or a steering wheel.

Welcome

Genre Comedy

Director Anees Bazmee

Cast Akshay Kumar, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Feroz Khan, Katrina Kaif

Storyline A couple in love find themselves between their respectively clean and mean families

Bottomline Gags to make you smile, some to make you gag

SUDHISH KAMATH

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