A comedy is perhaps the safest bet in Bollywood. This is because everyone likes to laugh and enjoy themselves. If you are able to produce a solid film with good laughs, it will surely work. Anees Bazmee is one man who is known to be able to get laughs out of his audience, as he proved with his smash hit No Entry. Now he is back with yet another comedy, Welcome. Though Bazmee fails to recreate the same magic he brought with No Entry, he is still able to bring out the laughs which make this one a decent entertainer. This is obviously a senseless leave your brains at home comedy, and thus, one should not try to make too much out of it. If you are able to treat the film for what it is, you might be able to enjoy it. Movies either enlighten or entertain us. If they do neither, then that movie is a failure. Welcome’s sole purpose is to entertain, and that it does, although you would hope there would be just a little bit more entertainment packed in during those two and a half hours.
Welcome is a loose adaptation of the Hollywood film, Mickey Blue Eyes. Long story short, it’s about a guy who falls in love with a girl who is from a mob family. Now he is trying to reform the family in order to marry her with no worries of being associated with criminals, as well as so his family will be able to accept the alliance. Beyond that, it would be a mistake to look for much of a story because you just will not find one. This type of film obviously relies on the abundance of funny sequences to keep the audience entertained. The thing with the film is that the funny sequences it does have are really funny, but the problem is there are not enough of these funny sequences. There are times jokes become repetitive or just do not have the impact that was intended. When these jokes fail, it makes the film dip and drag considerably. That is what hurts Welcome. Comparatively, No Entry was a total entertainer that never had a dull moment and had funny sequences throughout the film and these funny sequences all hit your funny bone hard and often. The humorous sequences in Welcome truly are hilarious and make you laugh, so I am not trying to take away from the fact that the film is still a pretty funny one. It just doesn’t have the consistent amount of laughs to be a great comedic entertainer. But it can surely be classified as a good comedic entertainer. I like to believe that every comedy must have a memorable, rocking, gut-busting climax. Welcome’s climax starts off very well, as it is executed very well and keeps you laughing like mad (once again, if you like senseless stuff like I do). The problem is that the climax starts to dip as it comes closer to the end. Just like the film, even the climax is like a roller coaster of laughs: sometimes there are many, sometimes there are none. The writers have penned some good gags; they just were not able to spread it all throughout the film. For instance, the first half starts slowly, but picks up few minutes into the film and there are many laughs thereon out. The second half, on the other hand, starts off with the laughs and then slows down considerably, only to pick up once again pre-climax. The pacing, as you can see, is a bit off. From a writing sense, it has failed because the writers were not able to place jokes anywhere and everywhere like they should have. But from an execution point, it has succeeded because most of the jokes are shown very well and will leave an impact on the audience.
Anees Bazmee does very well in bringing the comedy on the screen. He is a man who is able to handle comedy very well and proves it once again in this film. His direction is solid, as it has now become easy for him to can and execute comedic sequences. But his writing is not up to the par, because as stated above, he was not able to make this a laugh a minute entertainer. Bazmee was also blessed to have such a comically gifted cast along his side. This is why, even with its deficiencies, the movie is still able to make you laugh and that is a testament to the cast for being so talented, as well as, the director for extracting such performances out of his cast.
The film is beautifully shot, as the locales of Dubai look wonderful on the screen. The editing is decent, although a quicker paced second half would have helped. The music of the film is, perhaps, the biggest downer in the film. The title track is a good listen, but the rest of the tracks offer nothing new to you and register no impact whatsoever. But all the songs are picturized very well because they offer comic elements inside the picturization. A joint association of Himesh Reshammiya, Anand Raj Anand, and Sajid-Wajid do not come up with a rocking soundtrack, which a film like this needs and would have benefited from greatly.
The performances of the film are what make the movie. Starting with Akshay Kumar, we are all too used to seeing him in these comedy roles. But this time, he enacts the role of a nice guy rather than the street smart dude. He is in form yet again, but this time he is not the main attraction like he is in almost all his films. For perhaps the first time, he is not the one who neither makes you laugh the most or is he the character you remember the most.
That distinction belongs to Nana Patekar. Nana is the show stealer of this enterprise and brings the house down whenever he is on screen. Nana gives a terrific performance and one that will surely be remembered after the film is over. Nana is always known for his hard hitting roles, but this film proves he is awesome at comedy too, especially of the dry variety. He is truly as versatile as they get.
If Nana is terrific, then Anil Kapoor is no less. Teaming up with Bazmee for a second time, Anil gives yet another awesome performance that will make you laugh as hard as Nana does. The true show stoppers in this film have to be Anil and Nana as their chemistry is impeccable It is a true joy to watch the two of them together. Anil has a true flair for comedy, and having so many talents around him only helped him step his game up to the next level.
Paresh Rawal is as dependable as they get in the comedy genre. He will never let you down and he surely does not here either. Paresh gives a great performance yet again, but this has become routine for him by now.
Katrina Kaif is not required to do much as most of the jokes belong to the guys, but she is able hold her own and definitely keeps your attention when she is on the screen. That can mainly be because she looks so gorgeous.
Feroz Khan is only there for a few scenes, and when he is there, he is always overshadowed by his fellow costars. He does the best he could, but the jokes are all reserved for the other characters. One would have hoped he would have been utilized better.
Mallika Sherawat also is not there much, but she is able to make an impact when she is there. She does not try to rely on skin show to do the talking for her and she is truly growing as an actress now. Her scenes with Nana and Anil especially are great.
Welcome ends up being a solid entertainer that had the potential to become the biggest entertainer of the year. Faulty writing can assess to its failure to reach the elite status. But wonderful performances can attest to it being a funny and nice time pass film. If you’re bored and have nothing better to do, this film will do the trick to get rid of your boredom. It will have you laughing for sure and you will not be disappointed when watching the movie. Just be sure you leave the brains at your uptight friend’s house. I’m sure they would love another brain to show how much more intellectual they are than you. When you’re the one having fun, who cares what anybody else thinks because Welcome will provide you with the fun you are looking for in a day you can use a good laugh.