Rating                                        2/5

Directed by                              Anees Bazmee

Produced by                            Firoz Nadiadwala, Arjun Kumar , Vijay Khanna & Sanjay Morakhia

Written by                               Anees Bazmee, Rajiv Kaul & Raj Shandaliya

Starring                                    John Abraham, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor, Shruti Haasan

                                                   Shiney Ahuja, Paresh Rawal

Music by                                   Anu Malik Abhishek Ray Meet Bros Anjjan and Mika Singh

Cinematography                   Kabir Lal

Edited by                                  Steven Bernard

Production Company          Base Industries Group

Distributed by                        Eros International

Release date                            4 September 2015

Running time                         152 mins

Anees Bazmee’s WELCOME BACK is a time-machine that takes you in the times of its successful predecessor WELCOME (2007). The moment it takes off, you come to realize that nothing have moved an inch in all these 7-8 years; neither the silliness in the plot nor the sensibility of the director. A girl, despite having strong and extreme dislike for ‘goondas’ gets kissed by one belonging to the same genus and ends up singing and dancing a romantic number with him, without showing any apprehension.

This is a crass world where everyone makes a joke on everyone’s looks, features and physical stances irrespective of their gender, age and class. All in the name of entertainment! All for the sake of cheap laughs! Some really work but in the tiring 2 hours and 33 minutes of its total duration, most fall on the face.

WELCOME BACK remains a terrible try to reproduce and recreate the box-office magic WELCOME (2007) created long back; which by now, looks like a classic in comparison with this partly funny-largely frustrating flick.

The furious Uday Shetty [Nana Patekar] and the fanatic Majnu Bhai [Anil Kapoor] are looking for a simple, sober and sophisticated groom again for their brand new sister Ranjana [Shruti Haasan]. The search takes them back to Dr. Ghoongroo [Paresh Rawal] whose newly-find son Ajay [John Abraham] loves Ranjana. Now if you are scratching your head to know where these new additions have come from, let me give you a hint. ‘The dark secrets of a happy married life’.

Anyways, the trouble in the proposed marriage happens to be the groom himself. Ajay is actually Ajju Bhai- a local don in Mumbai. Things go messy when an international mafia Wanted Bhai [Naseeruddin Shah] makes an entry with his drug-addict son [Shiney Ahuja] wanting to marry Ajay’s love interest and Uday-Majnu’s sister. Meanwhile, there is a con mother-daughter duo [Dimple Kapadia & Ankita Shrivastava] to make it more muddled and mixed up.

WELCOME BACK is majorly backed by the Nana Patekar-Anil Kapoor combination. Together, they live every moment in the film with total conviction and wholesome energy. Although Bazmee relies more on the third-rate giggles out of unapologetic comments on everyone’s appearances like Anil Kapoor is called ‘Tedhe Kandhe” because of his leaning body posture, Supriya Karnik’s character is cursed for her hairstyle with ‘boy-cut halkat’ comment etc.

The list includes blinds, deafs and dumbs, overweights and what not. The background music constantly hammers on your hearing senses with a completely unbearable chorus-intro for every major character. Sub-plots are added just to complicate the storyline and to make it overcrowded to create a chaotic climax where you can easily fall for the trick and get ready to accept anything that comes on the way to finally end it all. The logics get its high when a blind don gains his eyesight after his head gets banged in a fight. Similarly, the hero manages to run on the humps of running camels to save a life.

In a very few mentionable sequences, Nana and Anil supposedly play Antakshari with ghosts in a graveyard. In other, Rajpal Yadav impresses in a scene where he’s beaten by goons but forced to dance while being in the middle of it. Paresh Rawal is watchable but Dimple, Ankita & Shruti are not even that. John carries off it well. The addition of Naseeruddin Shah to the cast was supposed to recreate the magical presence of Late Feroz Khan but ends up being in an uncomfortable zone. Shiney Ahuja seems out of the place all the time.  

Overall, WELCOME BACK is an old and predictable, long and tiring joke. Some of the performances do make it watchable but the lack of smart writing-clever punches-logical explanations and idiocy in the storyline kills the fun and the pun both. If WELCOME had amused you, this will annoy you. 

Written By- Gaurav Rai

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