Director Chakri Toleti's 'Welcome to New York' is not merely a bad, popcorn entertainer, but a waste of an opportunity. An agonising experience in every category one can think of.
Touted as India's first comedy in 3D, this makes this film the dimmest, one has seen in years. The comedy here is not humour, but absurdity.
The narrative takes us directly into the planning stages of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards.
The awards are to be held in New York, and in order to lure sponsors and to promote the awards, the marketing strategist, Sophie (Lara Dutta) hits upon the idea of a talent hunt contest where the winners would be invited to New York to display their skill and get their moment of fame at the awards.
The sponsors lap up the idea. Sophie, who has been working hard over the years for the event management company tries negotiating a raise for herself. But her shrewd boss Garry (Boman Irani) refuses to budge. So Sophie hatches a plan to ruin him. And she thinks she would achieve this my messing up the big event.
So instead of inviting the actual winners for the big day in New York, she invites two losers instead. The duo are Tajinder Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) aka Teji from Punjab -- a recovery agent who aspires to become an actor -- and Jinal Patel (Sonakshi Sinha) a dress designer from Gujarat. How they snatch their moment of glory on the stage forms the crux of the tale.
From the unintelligent and unengaging plot to the poorly written characters to flat dialogues, to clumsy screenplay with major plot-holes, the writing definitely is trashy, tacky and unimpressive.
The gags that revolve around the awards are not funny in the least. They seem to be hackneyed and not remotely comic.
Though packed with ace stars playing themselves, the performance of every actor is perfunctory, satirical, dull and uninspiring.
Lara Dutta and Boman Irani seem burnt out. Diljit Dosanjh and Sonakshi Sinha, though good actors, appear juvenile in most of their scenes. With Diljit addressing Sonakshi as "Darji Madam", their on-screen chemistry appears forced.
Karan Johar in a double role as Karan and Arjun, is impressive in certain scenes, but on the whole, he delivers his part in his inimitable style and hams most of the time.
Riteish Deskmukh offers nothing exceptional. Stereocast, his histrionics now seem jaded. He along with Karan, does manage to juggle a few laughs by playing off the rules of comedy which seemed forced most of the time.
The 3D effects are unwarranted. As for the special graphic effects, the visual element that stands out is the scene which is designed like a stylized, comic book narrative, giving us a brief insight into Arjun's (Karan Johar) backstory.
The film has decent production values and actual IIFA Awards shots are seamlessly meshed into the narrative.
The background score is loud and ear-deafening. Overall, the film is aimless and joyless.
(Ratings: 1.5 Stars)