Welcome Back - Review

wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)
quick review:

I laughed while watching Welcome Back. At interval, a tentative girl apologized to the boy accompanying her to the movie and asked if he wanted to leave. That was the only thing that made me laugh while watching Welcome Back.

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I think, I've seen it all now. Dimple Kapadia goes all slapstick-y. A fine actor turns to over-the-top acting to play an ill-defined character. Nothing else can be as repulsive. By now, we have gotten used to some of the other actors – Paresh Rawal, Nana Patekar and even Naseeruddin Shah once in a while - showing up in a film that considers even scratching the surface of their acting capabilities a crime. Getting a dignified actress like Dimple Kapadia to do so feels like a hit under the audience's belt.

It doesn't come as a surprise that she is the most restrained of them all. The other two main women in the film, Shruti Haasan and Ankita Srivastava are miraculously both central to the plot and completely irrelevant. If you can call a reformed goons, Uday (Nana Patekar) and Majnu (Anil Kapoor) finding himself a new sister to be married off a plot at all.

In the first hour of the film or so, there seemed to be some coherence because everything that happened somehow revolved around getting the sister or themselves married. After a couple of rounds of sexual objectification and standing up against it, it all boils down to one thing – getting married.

Even the bigger goon, Wanted, yeah, that's his name (Naseeruddin Shah) is also focussed on getting his son married off. The son, is played by no less than Shiney Ahuja, wh o goes over board in being over board about anything he does in the film.

As the movie moves into its last half hour or so though, everything becomes more and more bizarre. By now, the writers have even stopped trying to make sense. Sure, that was only a matter of time.

I really don't know what to say. Why anyone thinks any of this is even remotely funny, I don't understand. Even the one-liners are WhatsApp forwards. A couple rare lines bring a smile. Sure, there were a few laughters in the theater. But, if I had to guess it would be more because they were laughing at the film rather than with it.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lot of monkeying around with guns. A couple of fist fights too.
  • Language: Some abusive language.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Skimpily clad women, shirtless John Abraham and Rajpal Yadav. Kissing is implied.
  • Concept: Goons wanting to get their sister married and wanting to get married themselves too.
  • General Look and Feel: Loud, garish.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 0.5
  • Story: 1
  • Lead Actors: 1
  • Character Artists: 1
  • Dialogues: 1
  • Screenplay: 0.5
  • Music Director: 0
  • Lyrics: 0

Welcome Back - Trailer

If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube

Comments (21)

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Fan:

@Meetu: Harsh words (at least for the first part). However logicless it was, the movie was still a full-on entertainer. And the BO proved that.

Of course the second installment has yet to redeem himself. Statistically the 2nd installment is almost always a dud (even in Hollywood) - so wait and see.

TimELiebe:

Poor Meetu! Having to grit her teeth and watch the sequel to a dumb comedy....

We liked WELCOME, but of course that was largely due to it starring Akshay Kumar, who Tammy loves - and Anil Kapoor's hilarious turn as as an artistically inclined gangster. I don't know if she'll like the Akshay-less sequel nearly as much....

Fan:

@TimELiebe: share your thoughts. Wonder if an Akshay-less sequel to a hit given by Akshay (even though it was a logicless film) would survive. Personally I do not rate the model-turned-actor John Abraham's acting skills on a high level. Despite him being a nice guy, and involved in several comic capers, I have always found him a single expression guy in whatever film he has done. So a lot will depend on the antics of Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal (and hopefully a bit from Naseeruddin's act but promos show him to be loud and over the top). So wait and watch. Only a few days left for the suspense to unveil.

Anup:

I Was actually shocked that many of the dialogues are funny but the length was too long and the interval between such jokes were too much. Also we need a good characters and atleast a plot to back up such dialogues. But o guess story writer has not wasted his time in writing the plot.
Although i dont like when Akhsay do chidish characters but he was cute in WELCOME. But John not being anywhere close to cute is one of the worst actor to cast in a comedy role..And why the hell Nassir Shah waste himself in such bad characters..He was most irritating of them all and not funny at all , and its only after his arival the movie became worst.
thanks to the chemistry of Nana and Anil with support of Paresh Rawal and dialogue writer at least the first half was not boring.
And yes it has one of the worst cilmax bollywood ever have..
oh i forgot to mention the loud ear bursting songs and back ground score , without any rhyme , just being noises..

Anuj:

Poor old Naseer "saab". This hypocrite has spent a lifetime criticising Amitabh Bachchan and attempting to prove that Sholay is a mediocre piece of art when all he himself can manage is a 5th lead in a senseless commercial comedy (the very brand of cinema he's been ranting against all his life). He represents of the true face of parallel cinema bigotry, something that the cappuchino class and worthless so-called critics swear by. I hope the 2 faced [comment partially deleted for abusive personal attack.] knows that the only reason people know of his existence is courtesy "commercial blockbusters" like Karma & Tridev. And yet some actors along with their cronies try to be bigger than the Amitabh Bachchan!

Anup:

Anuj - Its like you always copy paste the same thing about Naseer..
Please write something new..

TimELiebe:

@Fan - "logic"? What is this "logic" of which you use in the same sentence as "Akshay Kumar"...? :D Honestly, I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen an Akshey Kumar vehicle that "logicless" didn't describe perfectly. I can't remember a single one - they're all like that! Either you enjoy his particular brand of silliness, or you don't....

Maybe it's just the editing, but from the trailer this movie looks like a GOLMAAL item number from start to finish. I had to keep checking the credits above to make sure Rohit Shetty didn't direct this movie!

Yeah - the best thing I can say about John Abraham is he sure looks ripped, don't he? As an actor - he's about at Abhishek Bachchan's level, competent but rarely inspired. You keep wishing somebody else would play the part instead, who might bring more than muscles and a boyish smile to the proceedings.

I like the older actors, mainly - I even like Naseeruddin Shah playing an old Godfather type who doesn't let a little thing like losing his eyesight stop him from shooting the place up! Though WTF happened to Paresh Rawal's voice? He sounds like he was miked with a kid's walkie-talkie, at least in the trailer.

Fan:

Welcome Back!!!

Those who loved Welcome are very likely going to enjoy this one. Equally slapstick if not more. Those who hated Welcome, Meetu included reading her review of Welcome, should stay miles away from it because if you didn't judge it from the promos then let me warn you that this just continues where the original had signed off.

Only sticking points are John and Shiney. There is that nagging feeling on seeing John that somebody else with a far superior comic timing would have been a better choice in his place.

Dimple is subdued. Probably not her cup of tea this slapstick stuff. Probably a deal struck by Akshay for dearest mother in law to be in the film as he was probably unavailable? The leading ladies are an eyesore. But all that is far then compensated by top comic act from Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor and Paresh Rawal who get almost 80% of the screen time.

There are sufficiently whacky situations to put you into splits. The chemistry between Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav is awesome. The graveyard sequence is a laugh riot.

Enjoy the film.

And for all critics, I would politely request you to look up the definition of "slapstick" in any English dictionary worth its salt before blowing their trumpet about "film lacking sense or story". Even Laurel Hardy films are outright slapstick without any rhyme or logic.

Fan:

@TimELiebe: you have dared to do the utmost blasphemy by saying that Akshay's films don't have logic.

Fan:

@TimELiebe : my previous comment got truncated due to use of smileys. It gives a very wrong and even an opposite perception of what I wanted to say. Let me try once again, this time only with text characters.

You have dared to do the utmost blasphemy by saying that Akshay's films don't have logic. ;-) ;-) ;-) Don't you know who is the greatest admirer of Akshay Kumar's Baby on this site? :-) :-) :-)

Anuj:

"Honestly, I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen an Akshey Kumar vehicle that "logicless" didn't describe perfectly. I can't remember a single one - they're all like that! Either you enjoy his particular brand of silliness, or you don't...." ~ you've obviously never heard of OMG,Special 26 & of course, Baby (not to mention the "mass entertainers" like Holiday & Gabbar which are too unpolished and tacky for the armchair critics and their cronies). Or perhaps your statement might have been different had these films been starring an Aamir Khan!

Anuj:

And I perhaps forgot to put Mohra (yet another mass entertainer starring Naseer 'saab'), Hera Pheri, Aankhen & Khakee to the above list. So that's 7 films of Akshay which are better than any of the rubbish the NRI king kong has ever enacted in his entire life (barring a couple)

Fan:

The humongous commercial success of Welcome can be gauged from several facts.

a) In the calendar year 2007 it was the 4th Akshay Kumar film. The other 3 being Namaste London, Heyy Babyy and Bhool Bhulaiya. One would have typically expected an audience fatigue to yet another Akshay film going against the film's commercial success.

b) horrible soundtrack. A simple analysis of all failed films would definitely have at least one common trait in that their songs sucked. Having a good soundtrack is one of the most important ingredient for a Hindi film to succeed commercially.

c) releasing the same date as an Amir Khan starrer and hugely successful Taare Zameen Par. And giving a tough competition to TZP.

Despite all these adverse factors and despite a constant thrashing of all wannabe critics the movie was a runaway success and is considered in the blockbuster category.

Just to show that if a Hindi film entertains then there is no stopping its success, even if the critics are wondering what a majority sees in the film that they cannot see.

Anuj:

@Fan : On the contrary, Akshay was riding a wave in 2007 as all 3 films before Welcome were box office successes (despite being bogus imo). Hence that only increased the anticipation and craze for Welcome. As for the TZP factor, TZP was always only & only for the multiplex crowd in metropolitan cities. Welcome had a universal appeal across A.B & C centers and hence was obviously the bigger grosser among the two (although TZP was a bigger hit in terms of ROI). But yes, had it not been for TZP, Welcome would easily have surpassed OSO to become the top domestic grosser of 2007. Unfortunately that did not happen and hence till date, Akshay does not have even a single top annual grosser in his 24 year career.

Anuj:

Even big daddies of worthlessness like the Raja Sen's and Masand's of the world have mellowed down a little bit and at least given Welcome Back a ho-hum rating instead of ripping it apart completely (like they did with Welcome in 2007). I guess very soon Meeta Kabra is gonna be entering that rare breed of film critics who are so self obsessed by their own choices that they're completely blind to anything and everything happening around them. Worse, they're not even willing to give the other side of the audience a consideration.

Anuj:

Watched it and I regret wasting 300 bucks on this. Frankly, there is nothing new that Welcome Back has to offer that we haven't already seen in its already mediocre prequel. At least Akshay invoked a few laughs and Katrina/Mallika invoked some oomph! This one is a loud, migrane inducing desperate attempt at slapstick comedy that falls flat for most part except the scenes involving Nana and Rawal. Read my review on

http://bollywoodboxofficedata.blogspot.in/2015/09/welcome-back-review-migraine-inducing.html

Anuj:

But ya, i must add that Welcome Back is a good entertainer for brain-dead noobs who laugh to splits watching Chennai Express and other Rohit Shetty films.

TimELiebe:

@Fan - I figured, okay hoped you were kidding! :D

I have seen movies where Akshay Kumar reminds you that he's capable of being a really good actor - but he mostly seems happy to be the version of himself he kidded in Om Shanti Om.

OTOH, he's still better at it than John Abraham....

Fan:

@TimELiebe: of course I was joking. Hence the importance of the smileys. That's why I mentioned that the truncated message gives a very wrong perception of what I want to say.

Anuj:

As expected, this pile of trash has crashed at the multiplexes and metros after its initial weekend. Its only the B/C centers, tier 2 cities and single screens that are holding it together. Perhaps due to a lack of choice!

TimELiebe:

Hence the importance of the smileys.

Hence Indeed, @Fan! :)

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