Banners: Pooja Entertainment,
Producers: Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky
Bhagnani, Deepshikha Deshmukh,
Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari,
Director: Chakri Toleti
Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha,
Karan Johar, Boman Irani, Lara
Dutta, Riteish Deshmukh,
Writer: Dheeraj Rattan
Music: Sajid-Wajid, Meet Bros,
Comedy is probably the most difficult genre to make movies in. A good storyline with funny dialogues, a set of actors who have amazing on-screen chemistry as well as comic timing, all contribute to an entertaining movie experience. A comedy should elicit laughs at regular intervals, if not throughout the movie. Welcome to New York, helmed by Chakri Toleti, who makes his directorial debut in Hindi cinema, manages to check a couple of these boxes.
The story is set against the backdrop of the IIFA Awards happening in New York. The organisers of the show, Gary and Sophie, decide to add an interesting element by having a talent hunt. The winners turn out to be two wannabes - an aspiring over-the-top actor Jith and waiting-for-the-big-break fashion designer Jinal. The two land in the Big Apple with dreams in their eyes, unaware that they are part of a bigger plan.
The major USP of the film is the pairing of Diljit Dosanjh and Sonakshi Sinha, who make a cute pair with able help from the supporting cast. Karan Johar, who plays an exaggerated version of himself, is the anchor of the IIFA Awards. His co-anchor is Riteish Deshmukh. The scenes involving the two have some of the funniest lines; especially with Karan spoofing himself.
Another highlight of the movie is Arjun, played by Karan Johar in a double role. He is the villain who hates director Karan Johar and his movies. The interaction between Arjun and the rest of the cast, and the confusion created, makes the movie watchable to some extent.
Since the movie is set at the IIFA Awards, there is a lot of footage from the awards and several big stars make interesting cameo appearances. We see the likes of Sushant Singh Rajput, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rana Daggubati and of course the Khan trio of Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail (the presence of these biggies is yet another USP of the film). The scenes involving these actors take off on their hit movies namely M.S. Dhoni: An Untold Story, Aashiqui 2, Baahubali and Dabangg. There are many funny moments and the dialogues are also cleverly written.
Music usually takes a back seat in a comedy, but here some of the tracks are hummable and shot well too. The portions shot in New York look nice, but the IIFA bits from the actual event do not seem to have matched seamlessly. This somewhat compromises the overall look and finesse of the movie.
The movie is in 3D and is touted to be the first Hindi comedy in this format, which is a laudable endeavour. The parts involving the actual awards look nice in 3D and you feel as if you are there in person.
The movie may have its fair share of criticisms but there are definitely parts of the movie that are enjoyable. We have to give it to the makers for attempting to make a movie that pokes fun at the Hindi film industry and its awards. It is not easy to laugh at one’s self and Welcome To New York manages to that.
Performance-wise, as mentioned earlier, the pairing of Diljit Dosanjh and Sonakshi Sinha is one of the highlights of the film. They are fantastic in the movie. Karan Johar, though loud at places, is hilarious. Boman Irani is very good. Lara Dutta is superb. Riteish Deshmukh makes you laugh and laugh. Others lend adequate support.
Verdict: Worth a watch for Bollywood fans.