Welcome Back which is the sequel of Welcome (2007) helmed by Anees Bazmee begins from where the prequel ended & takes you on a zany, outlandish, crazy, outrageous ride replete with extravagance and stellar starcast but Alias! it works in parts. Anees Bazmee is a name to reckon with when it comes to filming movies that are laugh riot which you can enjoy, relish provided you leave your brains out while entering the theater to watch his flicks. The only logic required to enjoy his films is not to let your logical senses prevail while watching his movies because logic and sense have no place in his movies. His mantra is simple ; leave your brains at home, throw your worries out of the window and simply go with the flow of the movie. Welcome back is a step forward in that direction but unfortunately for the makers the movie works in parts. Welcome back is much more ambitious than Bazmee's earlier flicks as director has concentrated lot on sets, grandeur, costumes and extravaganza. But,all this works if you have a cohesive script with well etched out characters which seem to be missing from this movie. What works in favor of the movie are stellar acts portrayed by Majnu Bhai (Anil Kapoor) & Uday Shetty (Nana Patekar) ably supported by Dr Ghunghroo (Paresh Rawal). It is these three main characters from the prequel that infuse some life into this crazy film by enacting their characters earnestly and mouthing some really funny one liners. Like Nana Patekar describes Paresh Rawal's family by saying ; Dr Ghunghroo ka khandaan itna shareef hai ki inke ghar ki makhiyaan bhi sar pe dupatta le ke nikalti hain. Or when Anil says to Nana that ; Ye to main aapki vajah se kaayde mein hoon, nahin to aaj tak mere apne do teen Al Qaida hote. The scene where Anil & Nana carry John to burry him in the graveyard has come out very well where to overcome their fear they start playing antaakshari. But, the overstretched climax of the movie is a big let down. Overall, Welcome back is definitely not in the league of its prequel Welcome and will be savored only by those who like to watch no-brainers leaving their logical skills behind.
STORY & SCREENPLAY (SPOILERS AHEAD) :: The story of the movie has been penned down by Rajiv Kaul, Anees Bazmee where as screenplay of the movie has been written by Rajan Agarwal, Rajiv Kaul, Praful Parekh along with Anees Bazmee.The film begins in Dubai where Uday Shetty (Nana Patekar) & Majnu (Anil Kapoor) are now living a legitimate life as businessmen leaving their dubious past behind and are still bachelors. Cut next, two con women Babita (Ankita Shrivastava) & her mother Poonam (Dimple Kapadia) enter their lives posing as Princess Chandani and Maharani of Nazafgarh. Soon, both Uday & Majnu fall in love with Chandani and begin showering gifts to woo her. Un aware about their past, Majnu & Uday arrange a matrimony meet with Princess and Maharani. At the same time, Uday's father arrives and tells them about Uday's sister Ranjana (Shruti Haasan) and purports them with the responsibility of her marriage. Meanwhile, Dr Ghunghroo (Paresh Rawal) comes to know that he has a step son Ajju (John Abraham) who is living in Mumbai. Uday & Majnu fix the marriage of their sister with Ajju, unaware of the fact that Ajju is actually a goon and known as Ajju Bhai in Mumbai. After a few misunderstandings, Ranjana & Ajju fall in love with each other. Ranjana takes Ajju to Dubai to make him meet her brothers posing as Ajay. On the day of engagement, Majnu comes to know about the reality of Ajju and calls off the engagement. Ajju confronts them and challenges them that he will marry Ranjana at any cost. To prevent Ranjana from marrying Ajju, Uday & Majnu seek help from a dreaded blind don Wanted Bhai (Naseeruddin Shah). But, hell breaks loose when they come to know that Wanted Bhai's only son (Shiney Ahuja) who is a drug addict is also madly in love with Ranjana. Will Ajju be able to marry Ranjana, What will happen to ulterior motives of Babita & Poonam, Will Uday & Majnu still remain bachelors, Will Wanted Bhai force Uday & Majnu to marry their sister to his son is what forms the rest of the story.
STARCAST :: Kudos to Shahid Hasan (Casting Director) for assembling appropriate stars as well as ensemble starcast for the movie as per their characterizations as the formidable starcast of this movie gives a major impetus to the on-screen proceedings. Each & every actor has portrayed his/her part with effortless ease but the actors who emerge as clear winners in this star studded affair are Nana Patekar & Anil Kapoor. Nana Patekar who has a penchant for essaying hard hitting, intense characters portrays a role which is in stark contrast to that continuing from where he left in Welcome. It is a real treat to watch him display his funnier side with perfect comic timing. Anil Kapoor is one of the most accomplished actors of Indian film fraternity who has time and again proved his versatility by portraying diverse characters. But, his act as Majnu Bhai is simply.....Jhakaas. His body language coupled with his facial expressions are a treat to watch in this movie. Anil's camaraderie with Nana Patekar has come out as good as icing on the cake and has to be seen to be believed. John Abraham has turned out to be the surprise element in this movie by imbibing and portraying the finer nuances of a typical Mumbai Tapori Bhai. It's heartening to see him unleash his wittier side on-screen leaving his macho image behind. And, it's not that he doesn't get a chance to flex his muscles in the movie, he does that with aplomb and goes shirtless like Salman Khan. Naseeruddin Shah is one the finest actors we have today and it's disheartening watching him him portray such shoddily written characters. Shah tries his level best to put some life into the lifeless character that he plays in the movie. Paresh Rawal is simply first rate in the movie and continues from where he left in Welcome. Paresh is such an effortless actor who manages to bring smiles on your faces with his on-screen antics in the movie. Shiney Ahuja who has appeared on-screen after a long hiatus makes his presence felt in the movie by portraying his character with utmost conviction. Shruti Haasan has nailed her character of Ranjana to utmost perfection proving her mettle as an actress. It's not easy to hold your ground admist so many acting stalwarts but she has stood her ground firmly. Dimple Kapadia has come up with a laudable performance as the con artist in the movie. She looks really graceful while posing as the Maharani.
TECHNICAL FINESSE :: The musical soundtrack of the movie that has been composed by a battery of composers namely Anu Malik, Meet Bros. Anjjan, Siddhant Madhav, Mika Singh, Music Mg... & Abhishek Ray is primarily a collateral mix of racy and peppy tracks. The background score composed by Aadesh Shrivastava is loud, jarring and is a big let down. You begin to hear sounds of Ajju Bhai...Ajju Bhai whenever John Abraham appears on-screen for a fight sequence which sounds very irritating. The cinematographer of the movie is Kabir Lal who has done a swell job of capturing visuals and definitely deserves all the praise for the same. Kabir definitely knows, recognizes, acknowledges and records beauty in every form right from picturesque locales of UAE to sizzling beauty of starlets of the movie. Kabir Lal's cinematography has definitely given the movie a grandiose look. A special mention of Sailesh Mahadik (Production Designer) and Abbas Ali Moghul (Action Coordinator) for their effective contributions in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Steven H Bernard who has kept the run-time of the movie to 153 minutes. Steven's editing is one of the highlights of the movie as it is quite racy, taut giving you no time to ponder. As a director, Anees Bazmee knows his comic movies tropes well, and how to hit them to maximize their impact which he has proved in his earlier outings. It's not a mean task to helm plethora of actors and justify their characters but Anees has done the same with elan. It's just that he has been let down by the weak script this time in Welcome Back. You find traces of his cinematic excellence while making a comic flick but Alias! they are too few and too far.
CONCLUSION :: Welcome Back can turn out to be delightful fare for those who relish silly shenanigans being portrayed on-screen without putting their thinking caps on leaving their logical skills back home.
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