Thursday, March 27, 2008

Welcome two and a half hours of pure torture.

I'm kidding. Well, sort of. The new comedy starring Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, and Feroz Khan wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

But it was pretty darn close.

I may not be qualified to criticize here, and I don't mean to poke fun of Hindi comedy--Something I clearly know next to nothing about. But I am beginning to think I'm simply just not wired for Bollywood comedy. After Partner, Heyy Baby, and now Welcome, I'm guessing there's something lost in the translation (which is very possible) or I just don't get it. Or perhaps it's the choices I'm making. I'd be willing to take suggestions, but for now I guess I can only judge what I've seen.

I figured I should start watching some Akshay Kumar films, since his movies all seem to do really well at the box office. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, why people flocked to see almost anything he starred in. Unfortunately, Welcome didn't give me any answers. Although his character was likable enough, I still have yet to find one of his performances where I can go, "Oh, yeah, that's why he's doing so well!" But I don't hate him or anything...he's funny, attractive, and sweet in any role I've seen him in, including this one. Akshay's Rajiv was probably the highlight of Welcome, if you can call it that. I'm just waiting to have my own "moment" with him.

As a movie, Welcome was chaotic, as most "silly" comedies are. I wasn't impressed, but my expectations were low to begin with. It had it's funny moments (the scene where the steering wheel comes off in Akshay's hands had me cracking up), but most of the time it was, in my opinion, second rate entertainment. Welcome was almost like a bad Hollywood comedy from the 80's - with a more scatterbrained plot.

The girls were okay. Malika Sherawat seemed comfortable, and Katrina Kaif was cute paired with Akshay. I'm beginning to worry about Katrina, though...She's a lovely girl, but does she try to look and sound fake when she laughs/talks/cries? I'm no acting professional, but the poor girl makes some of the stiffest faces in Bollywood!

The music of Welcome wasn't bad, and it was nice to get a break from the "story" to watch Akshay and Katrina look like they were having some fun. Having said that, I thought some of the choreography looked borderline ape-ish, and Katrina's beach outfits made me want to jump on the ol' treadmill. Unfortunately, none of the tunes from Welcome's soundtrack stuck with me.

I also have a small proviso to this review I need to share with you. Say what you will, but I missed the last 30 minutes or so of this movie. I had to leave, and haven't felt compelled to pop it back in the DVD player since. Perhaps, for those of you who've seen the film, that makes me a poor judge of the movie.

Or perhaps Welcome just wasn't interesting enough.

Text © Copyright 2008 Nida Nazir


Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat March 28, 2008 at 8:42 AM  

Beleive me, you didnt miss a thing- the last 30 minutes were so scatterbrained that I had a splitting heaache by the time it ended :)

Anonymous,  April 1, 2008 at 6:07 PM  

I Akshay but you are right about his recent hits. Try Jaaneman.

Sanket Vyas April 1, 2008 at 8:41 PM  

Never saw this one and now never plan to ;) Broad comedies never really were my thing (both Hollywood or Bollywood). If you are looking for some good comedies some recs are both of the 'Munna Bhai' movies, 'Gol Maal' (original one) 'Chasme Badhoor' & 'Chotisi Baat'. The last three are from the late 70's and are some of the sweetest and funniest movies that Bollywood has turned out.

Nida April 4, 2008 at 9:12 AM  

Shweta--LOL...thanks, now I don't regret missing it one bit(although I don't think I did anyways ;) )!

Anonymous-- I will try Jaaneman! Thanks!

Sanket-thanks for the recommendations! I'll be looking those up soon!

bollywoodfoodclub April 6, 2008 at 6:51 AM  

Namaste Nida,
I agree with your sentiments about the comedies. I saw "Partner" and I am still haunted by that scene that looks like it was shot at some resort in Dubai. You may remember it too, where there were lots of people dressed as clowns, some of them on stilts, dancing to a salsa tune. I get a lot of movies from the library and for some reason I keep forgetting NOT to order "Heyy Baby" and end up seeing it and thinking "why do I keep accidently re-ordering something that looks like 3 Men and a Baby?" I haven't yet been able to appreciate the comedies that are in the wacky/goofy genre. I did like the first "Munna Bhai" like Sanket wrote about and also thought that "Malamaal Weekly" (2006) was sort of cute, but I have a movie crush on Paresh Rawal, so that could explain that. I also thought that "Khosla Ka Ghosla!" (2006) was sort of a cute comedy. Maybe I will someday see "Welcome". Thanks for your review!


Nida April 12, 2008 at 1:02 PM  

Thanks for the recommendations, Sita-ji! Glad I'm not alone on the newer "blockbusters" like Heyy Baby that I just don't get...

Amrita April 15, 2008 at 11:02 PM  

Oh lord, you've just hit the trifecta of horror! poor you :) akshay kumar, paresh rawal and sunil shetty made one actual comedy - Hera Pheri and theyve been scamming people off that for years. In addition to Sanket's recos (and I thought the second Munna bhai was way better than the first btw) I'd add Hera Pheri and the 70s cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. Although that might be a bit culture specific.

sanya April 17, 2008 at 12:15 AM  

Waiting for Taashan............the blockbuster

Bollywoodblogger May 14, 2008 at 7:30 PM  

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Weltmeister May 21, 2008 at 2:48 AM  

You are absolutely right.

80% of Akshay's films are bullshit and no one was watching them until December 2006 ( When Jaan-E-Mann bombed big-time )...All of a sudden, 2007 brought him 3 hits!

I pity the abysmal taste of the Indian movie-goer.

Payal June 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM  

I think the only people I enjoyed in the movie was Nana and Anil Kapoor.. The last 30 mins wer ust sheeer torture. even for a film addict like me!

Nida June 8, 2008 at 2:23 PM  

Amrita, Weltmeister, Payal;

I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't like this movie! You know, watching this film I kept thinking, "Please tell me this is not supposed to be what is considered funny in Bollywood!"
And, Amrita, thanks for the additional movie recs. I'll add them to the list, also!

Anonymous December 10, 2010 at 12:43 PM  

hi nida
its first time i come across your blog and read your review of welcome and i have to say i didn't agree with u . It's one of the good bollywood comedy and i have seen and laugh again n again . i think the translation doesn'twork out with u as the real sense of the movie comes with its language and the dialogue delivery and the people for whom its made something u cannot find till u connect with there culture (i m sayin this from my personal experience of Hollywood films whom i understand but my family doesn't)
wish u a better experience next time

Anonymous December 10, 2010 at 12:50 PM  

one thing more . i also doesnt like most of his movies 7/10 of his movies are complete bullshit. in welcome nana and anil make the magic
- pranav

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