Welcome 2 Karachi

The comedy film ‘Welcome 2 Karachi’ saw a decent response when it hit screens on Thursday, May 28, a day in advance as new films are usually released on Fridays. The cast of the film include Arshad Warsi, Jackky Bhagnani, and American actor-dancer Lauren Gottlieb. Pakistani actor Ayub Khosa and Dalip Tahil also play important roles. “Welcome 2 Karachi’ is the second film directed by Ashish R Mohan after the Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Khiladi 786’. He had earlier worked as an assistant to director Rohit Shetty.

The plot of the film is about two simpletons from Gujarat who dream of going to the US, but accidentally end up at Karachi and gets caught up amidst some assorted terrorists. It is their journey and trouble in the neighbouring nation and attempt to come back to India that forms the story.

Shammi Thakur (Arshad) and Kedar Patel (Jackky) are best friends. While Shammi is an ex-naval officer who gets thrown out due to his stupidity, Kedar is the obedient son of Mitesh Patel (Dilip Tahil), an event manager who organises weddings and parties. But he is dejected because his visa has been rejected due to his surname Patel.

Once, in an inebriated state, the besties plan to leave for America on a cruise. Their wish is fulfilled when Kedar’s event manager father asks his son to manage a wedding party that was to be held on a cruise. Mitesh instructs him to leave only when the guests arrive. Obedient that he is, Kedar sets sail as soon as he sees the baraatis arrive in the port, without taking them onboard.

The ship gets caught in a storm and they are washed ashore where a bomb explosion ocurrs killing many. However, the duo escapes with minor injuries. When they discover in which part of the world they were, both make a desperate attempt to reach their homeland, but they are not carrying any papers. The more they try to escape, they more they get webbed among the Taliban, Al Queeda, ISI, CIA and so on.

Welcome 2 Karachi’ is a comic caper, but it hardly gives audience a good laugh. The laughter, if it may be called so, is elicited through buffoonery. The movie employs the caricature of Gujaratis, their embellished get ups and their wish to go to the US for comedy. According to the movie, Pakistan is the most dangerous place to be, and one must always carry armes to such a place.

The film also borrows an idea from ‘3 Idiots’ as one actor delivers a baby with the aid of a vacuum cleaner. Even the visual effects (VFX) seem to be childish, like the storm scene and bomb blasts, at this age of technology, could have been projected in a much better way. The language of the Pakistani reporters sounded more Hindi than Urdu. Moreover, the movie passes off streets of London as the lanes of Karachi.

Jackky, who has so far worked in his father Vashu Bhagnani’s films tries a shot at stardom in another of his father’s production. He tries hard to manage his Gujarati accent, but overall pulls off fine.

Lauren Gottlieb was being promoted as if she was an integral part of the movie, but she does not have much screen space. Her role as an intelligent officer of the CIA appears most improbable, and she is seen dancing to the song ‘Shakira’, and then is hardly seen. Lauren is better off as a dancer.

Arshad is the only one who stands out. He excels in his comic timing and even in a weak script he is watchable. He thinks that ‘Taliban’ is a place and says “Hum Taliban mein hai” (We are in Taliban). Again when a terrorist camp is destroyed, he utters “Taliban khaliban hogaya” (Taliban has become empty). These small dialogues at least bring a smile, if not a laughter. There is also a sequence where a Pakistani parliamentarian speaks in rhymes.

Arshad has made audiences laugh in his other films, especially as Circuit, the funny, street-smart side-kick of Sanjay Dutt in the 'Munna Bhai' franchise.

'Welcome 2 Karachi' is not worth a second watch. Arshad, and to an extent Jackky, solely carry the film, if one takes things for granted and don’t seek logic and reason behind every joke.