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Welcome confusion

With the Welcome party giving the multiplexes a miss, what first welcomes you is the joy of a single-screen theatre. The first-day-first-show crowd is amazing, and it was fun to watch them go berserk waiting for the screen to light up. Cheers blasted the eardrums as the curtain went up introducing the stars of the film.

It’s a welcome break to see Nana Patekar in a comic role. This is not the typical melodramatic Nana. He’s learnt to “control” his excesses and is totally mind-blowing here, without the gun, of course, though he does play a Don in Dubai.

The plot revolves around Paresh Rawal on the lookout for a bride for his sister’s son Akshay. He is determined to get him married into a “clean” family but, with his usual antics, makes the gravest of mistakes in his quest for a suitable girl. He promises to have Akshay married to Nana’s sister without knowing her real identity.

Nana ,who’s also on the lookout for a decent guy for his sister — and it is next to impossible with his don’s reputation — makes sure this rishta doesn’t slip out of hand, with some slippery tricks and a couple of triggers.

The plot thickens, confusion reigns, new characters get introduced — Mallika Sherawat plays love interest to both Nana and Anil (Nana’s brother-in-crime), Feroz Khan alights from his private jet and claims again and again ‘Main zinda hoon’ and calls himself RDX the bade Bhai — and things go hilariously haywire.

As relationships get entangled, Anees Bazmee has his characters deliver some funny lines, do some bizarre things and they all end up in a log house on the verge of toppling off a cliff precariously balanced on two logs of wood, a la Italian Job. Impending death is a great leveller and things get sorted out, even though the big and bad goons are in full attendance.

Akshay is definitely the man of the season. He is out of character in Welcome. He’s not the dashing hero who braves the fire or faces the bullets, he is just a sweet and charming gentleman, fainthearted for most of the film. Katrina, his ladylove, ravishing as usual, even carries him out of the fire on one occasion. Only in the end does he become his usual heroic self.

Anil Kapoor defies his age and is quite a pleasure to watch. Carrying forward from No Entry, Anil gets under the skin of Majnu Bhai, the gangster with a passion for painting who wouldn’t hesitate to halt traffic at gunpoint to paint his scene.

The film would do better without a couple of songs. With colourful characters galore and a good plot, the pace of all the action is pulled down with unnecessary musical interludes that spoil a little bit of the fun.

But on the whole, Welcome is heartily welcomed.

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