Saw Welcome (2007) this past weekend. Produced by Feroz Nadiadwala, directed by Anees Bazmee, starring Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Mallika Sherawat, Paresh Rawal, and Feroz Khan, and with music by Himesh Reshammiya. Thought it was a good comedy flick and surprisingly cleaner than I thought.
Understand one thing: this film is nonsensical but funny. Several bits of the film are just downright hilarious, some grossly overdone.
1. Akshay Kumar is very effective, but it is Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar who steal the show (see #3 below).
2. The scene in the car and the scenes toward the end (in the collapsing house) could have been deleted from the film while maintaining its comic quotient. These scenes are so literally unbelievable that I thought it best to fast forward through some bits. Although I must admit the passing-the-parcel bit was funny.
3. Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar put in the two best performances of the film, showcasing their seasoned talent, and proving that comedy that makes little sense can also have class. The scene where Anil Kapoor freezes a busy roadway for his painting is remarkably innovative. So is the portion of the film where Nana Patekar is being shot as a movie hero.
4. My favorite part of the film is when Nana Patekar, dressed in a suit for his film within the film, walks with a cart full of potatoes and yells, exactly like a thela waala (hawker)..."Aaloo le lo, kaanda le lo". Very very tasteful comedy, and one that made watching the movie worthwhile. What's more, the bit after that, with only one misra (i.e. the first half of the 'sher'): "Na subha se ek aaloo bika hai, na aadha kaanda". Wacky, and funny as funny can be.
5. Sticking with Nana Patekar, his character is very well developed, and he executes the role to perfection. Sample the dialog: 'oopar wale ka diya hua sab kuch hai. Daulat hai, shohrat hai, izzat hai...'. Very well done!
6. The story around Lucky and his father (played by Feroz Khan) is ordinary. That is one bit of the film that could have used more development. Disappointing.
7. Both actresses look stunning throughout. Katrina Kaif plays her part well. Mallika Sherawat makes for a very good comedian. Her handling of the first scene in which she appears, and the way in which she convinces both Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor of her being their fan, is convincing!
8. The music to the film is quite ordinary. Not surprising, given that it is Himesh Reshammiya's music, which proves after every occurrence that it is among the most redundant sets of music pieces around. Sad but expected. Yet, the film's cast manage to salvage something from the soundtrack...since every bit counts. Malaika Arora Khan proves yet again why she is the undisputed item number queen, and is absolutely fabulous in Hont Raseele. Kiya Kiya is another above average track in a soundtrack that I believe has little repeat listening value. And it's not because it's a soundtrack that makes little sense. No. I still enjoy the soundtrack to Partner (2007)!
Overall, Welcome is successful as an entertainer. Take your thinking caps off when you watch it, and you will likely enjoy it. Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar really make the watch worthwhile. I am going with three stars for this good comedy film, and that is only because as a complete film, it lacks a soundtrack that is good and that fits in well.
Movie rating: *** (Good)
Soundtrack rating: ** (Average)
My classification: PG-13 (mostly clean, making it somewhat of a family entertainer)
Official website: http://www.welcome-thefilm.com/