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Welcome Back: Back to basics

A scene from the film Welcome Back

A scene from the film Welcome Back   | Photo Credit: 05dmcwelcome-back1

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Anees Bazmee’s cinema, if you can call it one, thrives on the spiralling absurdity of the situation and the comic timing of his actors. The original released in 2007 worked because the crazy premise had a ring of credibility. What if two feared dons have a sister and how in order to get her married into a respectable family they have to control their wicked side. And Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor ensured through their comic jugalbandi that beneath the high pitched gags there is some tangible base audience can relate to. It worked and worked so well that it soared in front of Taare Zameen Par released the same week.

This week Bazmee has got a solo run but he is back with the same story. Uday and Majnu Bhai discover that they have one more sister (Shruti Haasan) and Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal) finds out that he has a step son (John Abraham). In short, John and Shruti step into the shoes of Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif and Bazmee presses cut, copy, paste in one go. There is Naseeruddin Shah as well making up for the loss of Feroz Khan and we have a shimmering cacophony shot in wide angle lens in Dubai. It is a kind of film where the makers want the audience to feel the good time the actors must have had while shooting for the film.

At 153 minutes it does test your patience and ear drums but the saving grace is despite the sameness of situations, Bazmee, essentially a writer, and his long time collaborator Rajeev Kaul have been able to regenerate the kind of humour that made Welcome, a wanted package for the audience which loves to switch off brains once the lights get dim in the theatre. From making fun of disability to Rajpal Yadav to graveyard sequence, Bazmee injects all his strengths and the end result is better than his last three interjections, Ready, Thank You and No Problem.

It is a script that is driven by Uday and Majnu Bhai and here again it is the duo that keeps you in business largely because Nana and Anil are on song. This time as dons who have learnt to live the decent way they are forced to return to their core competence when their sister falls in love with a Mumbai don. John has his limitations when it comes to loud comedies but he doesn’t have to do much. He simply plays along. Shruti Haasan is expected to pout and preen in the man’s world and she does the needful. As a gold digger mother Dimple Kapadia adds spice to the scenery and Paresh Rawal repeats himself ad nauseam.

Naseeruddin Shah surrenders himself to the chaos. As the visually impaired don, Bazmee has given Naseer the “Sparsh” of crass. He calls him Wanted bhai as if to remind the actor that he is sought after in Bazmee’s bizarre universe as well. Naseer returns the favour. After every punch-line he keeps reminding the cynical critics, mazaaq tha bhai, (it was a joke!) Indeed.

Welcome Back

Genre: Comedy

Director: Anees Bazmee

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, John Abraham, Shruti Haasan, Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia

Bottomline: A recycled product which in Bazmee’s language gives a sense of dejawoo!

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 7:30:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/back-to-basics/article7616124.ece

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