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Welcome 2 Karachi: Comedy goes comatose

Welcome 2 Karachi

Welcome 2 Karachi  



A mad cap version of entertainment, director Ashish R. Mohan has put together a desi version of Dumb and Dumber in this road buddy comedy. While the idea to send the audience on a crazy trip with two guys with abysmal IQ is promising, Mohan and writer Vrajesh Hirjee have put together a crude product which goes hammer and tongs to fracture the funny bone. It hurts!

In what seems like an extended version of a gag on a comedy reality show, two good-for-nothing boys accidentally stray into Karachi. An ex-Navy officer, Shammi (Arshad Warsi) has sunk a submarine and Gujarati boy Kedar (Jackky Bhagnani) is eager to drown his father’s business with his ludicrous logic. The two literally walk into a blast in Karachi. It spirals a chain of events where they become victim of mistaken identity.

From secret agents to terrorists, the boys try to bumble their way into our hearts. But more often than not they manage to generate only a forced smile. The idea is to look at strained relations between India and Pakistan in a comic way but it ends up stretching things in the realm of absurdity. From CIA and ISI to Taliban, Mohan brings in all the stakeholders in the bizarre mess but fails to generate the momentum that Tere Bin Laden managed. Amidst plenty of blank shots, there are moments where the lunacy metamorphoses into a black humour with its take on irrelevance of war but somehow apart from giving us a blundering Gujarati hero it fails to add anything fresh to the subject which has been in vogue since Toba Tek Singh.

The film sticks to the racial stereotypes that dominate popular culture. Almost every Pakistani flaunts a gun, Americans are conniving and Gujaratis are miserly and when it tries to find fun in death, it leaves a bad taste. The absence of female characters is problematic. Lauren Gautileb is cast as an intelligence officer but is completely sidelined by the boys but then the director suddenly realises that her strength is dance and paratroops her in an item song.

Arshad knows this terrain well and in the absence of any challenge he repeats himself. Unlike Kedar’s father in the film, Jackky’s producer father hasn’t lost hope in him and Jackky does try to lift his game as the moronic character but is let down by an inspired writer, a lazy editor and a director who has taken only baby steps since Khiladi 786. It seems like the aeroplane in the climax, Kedar and Shammi have taken the reins of the film!

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:38:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/welcome-2-karachi-comedy-goes-comatose/article7261002.ece

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