My review must begin with a very pertinent question – what does a film like Welcome to New York have to do with 3D? What is the purpose? To magnify the many cinematic misdemeanors the film commits? There are anyway such gaping holes in the screenplay that it’s hard to ignore them as it is. What looked like a spoof of Hindi film industry is so toothless and sans wit and humor, it roasts us to boredom.
We start with a list of “Special Thanks” that includes nearly the whole of the film industry. From Amitabh Bachchan to Sonu Sood everyone does a little cameo – usually smiling and clapping at an awards show, which in this case is the IIFA. That’s where all the action is.
The show organisers Garry and Sophie (Boman Irani and Lara Dutta) have a brainwave where they decide to run a contest and have two lucky winners fly down to New York from India to showcase their talent from the IIFA stage. Therefore the title Welcome to New York.
Of the two winners, one is acting addict Teji from Ludhiana and the other a Gujarati fashion designer Jeenal, from Vadodara. The former can’t act and the latter has the most garish dressing sense. Together they try to make sense of the madness, as do we.
Riteish Deshmukh and Karan Johar have been roped in to play IIFA hosts and the usual inside jokes about KJo, his sexuality and Ritesh’s not-so-commendable film choices are made. We tolerate it because there isn’t much else to do in a movie that sources real footage of celebs clapping at the IIFA and tries to pass it off as some engaging drama. There are also moments where Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapoor come on screen to explain how to act well.
I found it funny but I suspect director Chakri Toleti did it in earnest. So much for a spoof!
If anything, Welcome to New York proves what a delightful performer Diljit Dosanjh is. That raw Punjabi energy and charm comes so naturally to him that he singlehandedly ensured yours truly didn’t walk away from the film midway.
Also Karan Johar might have been a disaster as Khambatta in Bombay Velvet but here he plays himself with all his idiosyncrasies intact and manages well. A ridiculous humshakal side story is forced into the proceedings and Karan is made to play Arjun, an evil gangster. KJo somehow pulls it off.
Other than these two, there is precious little to hold our attention. Sonakshi Sinha’s atrocious attempt at playing a Gujarati is best forgotten. The same with the now done-to-death Dabangg one-liners. Stale and senseless, go for Welcome to New York at your own risk.
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