Welcome: It’s pure entertainment, desi style
By MovieTalkies.com, 24 December 2007
Anees Bazmee’s Welcome stays true to its genre. There is not much sense and logic in the goings-on in the film and that is how it is intended. The film is spiced with a lot of nonsensical capers, one-liners and silly jokes. But it gives you your money’s worth as it never strays from its intention. The humour is crude and basic at most times, quite in the tradition of a David Dhawan, but it seems to work for the film and Welcome should have a fairly decent outing at the box office. The director may have borrowed liberally from a couple of desi and videshi sources but the tadka is pure Indian. What makes this film endearing is the presence of veteran actors like Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor, who quite steal the show from the others, Akshay Kumar included.
The film’s story revolves around three ridiculous mafia dons who make all kinds of attempts to get their sister married into a respectable family. Actually, Sanjana (Katrina Kaif) is the sister of Uday Shetty (Nana Patekar). Uday, Majnu (Anil Kapoor) and Sikander (Feroz Khan), are basically three goons based in Hong Kong. The film details their attempts to find a proper husband for Uday’s sister Sanjana. They do find one simple guy Rajiv (Akshay Kumar), but he has an uncle Dr Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal), who decides against the marriage as Sanjana is the sister of a gangster, and hence not respectable enough for his nephew. Into this chaos enters Mallika Sherawat, who claims to be Rajiv’s wife. By now, the film is at its chaotic best at this juncture. Of course, it all resolves itself at the end..
Welcome is an out-and-out entertainer. It’s strength lies in its very talented cast, specially Nana, Anil, Akshay, Paresh, and Vijay Raaz in a short appearance. This is one film whose promos are not misleading. It delivers on its promise of gags and laughter galore. Much has been written about the on-screen chemistry that exists between Akshay and Katrina, but the chemistry to really watch out for is the one that exists between Anil and Nana. Anil has managed to perfect the tapori role in the years and Nana’s talent needs no introduction. Of course, it rests mainly on his reputation as an intense serious actor, but he just reveals another side of his mercurial nature and proves that he has a flair for comedy as well. The duo sizzle on screen and their sense of timing is worth watching out for. The mood of the film is set right from the beginning as all the characters are introduced.
The second half sees the entry of Feroz Khan, Mallika Sherawat and Raaz. The sequences in this half, specially the ones between the Mallika’s character, Nana and Anil are also quite funny. Of course, in a film which relies so heavily on one-liners and jokes, there are quite a few which actually fall flat and do not have the desired effect. Also the director is not able to maintain the brisk pace of the first hour, which just happens to zip past.
Bazmee does well in the manner in which he handles his talented cast, though one felt that Paresh Rawal could have had a stronger role or a little more scope. He is a master at these kind of comedies and could have done better in a role with a little more meat to it. Nana, as has already been said, reveals a fantastic sense of comic timing. Anil Kapoor is a perfect foil to Nana and displays his mastery over the tapori type. Our hero, Akshay Kumar, the man of the hour, plays a simple guy, torn between his love and the two warring factions – his uncle and the three goons. He is another old hand at comedy and does his bit very well as usual. However, unlike his previous movies, the scene, one feels, is stolen by the jodi no 1 of Anil and Nana. The very talented Vijay Raaz too has a small role but he makes his presence felt amply in this ensemble cast. It is good to see Feroz Khan take to the screen, but he is not very effective.
The two females, Katrina and Mallika, have much smaller roles but they do them full justice. Besides looking look, the ladies show that they can act as well. Katrina is apt for the role of Sanjana. She still has an air of freshness about her which works well. Mallika, as the femme fatale, is in form too.
The film’s music by Anand Raj Anand, consists of a mixed bag of goodies. It is not its strongest point, which remains its actors, the ridiculous situations and the one-liners. There is not much that one can complaint about after seeing the film. It delivers what it promises. This is not your subtle, clever comedy type of film. It is very Indian in its confusion, its, at times, off-colour jokes, and its one-liners. The film is an entertainer and does not have pretensions of being anything other than that.