By Shubhra Gupta
Welcome To New York movie cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Karan Johar, Riteish Deshmukh, Lara Dutta, Boman Irani, Rana Dagubatti
Welcome To New York movie director: Chakri Toleti
Welcome To New York movie rating: 1 star
When you hear Karan Johar, playing Karan Johar, he who wears many Bollywood hats and limited-edition designer shoes, say: ‘Vaada? But what about my Prada?’ you laugh, as you are meant to. You hope that that will set the tone for Welcome To New York, and settle in for a so bad-it’s-terrific film.
But sadly, there is no bite to the badness of this enterprise, which is less a film, more an extended show-reel to celebrate an awards function called IIFA (International Indian Film Academy), which carts A-list Bollywood stars, and their hangers-on, to glamour-starved NRI audiences.
So this is what we get – Boman Irani (the guy who is running the show), Lara Dutta (the crook who wants to ruin the show), Sonakshi Sinha and Diljit Dosanjh (the Gujju girl who dreams of designing dresses for Salman Khan, and the ‘gabru Punjabi munda’ who wants to become a star, as part of the show), Riteish Deshmukh (who is hired to anchor the show), and Karan Johar, who IS the show.
Did I say show? If Welcome To New York had been a trenchant look at the whole business of award shows, with the machinations and the money and the drama that goes on both on and off stage, we may have had a film on our hands. But this one just tells, with everyone speaking their lines loudly, including Dosanjh who can be quite droll, but comes off dull. As does Sinha, who pairs ‘bindis’ with all her outfits, and swoons at the sight of Salman Bhai.
The ‘jodi’ that does have some fun on the side is Deshmukh and Johar (in a double role), especially the latter who gets to send up his designer loving, romance-creating filmmaker persona with, yes, some amount of winking gay abandon. Some of those jokes, especially when Johar lets himself go, are worth a couple of snickers.
You wish there was more savagery and skewering all round, but Welcome To New York turns out to be a limp, lame tribute to Bollywood. Why would I bother to see this in a film, when TV shows are full of it?