Welcome To New York Review

Diljit Dosanjh in “Welcome To New York” is back to the inane comedies he has done back home in Punjabi cinema. (photo provided)

Pooja International and Wiz Films present “Welcome To New York”

Produced by: Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani, Deepshika Deshmukh, Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari & Sabbas Joseph

Directed by: Chakra Toleti

Written by: Sara Bodinar, Dheeraj Rattan, Anukalp Goswami, Aakash Kaushik, Amol Parashar, Adhaar Khurana & Dheeraj Rattan

Music: Sajid-Wajid, Shamir Tandon & Meet Bros.

Starring: Sonakshi Sinha, Diljit Dosanjh, Karan Johar, Lara Dutta, Riteish Deshmukh & Boman Irani Sp. App.: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Rana Daggubati, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput and others

MUMBAI—The trailer gave a good inkling of what was in store for us – unfunny comedy. The film lives up to it and more. An extended brand endorsement, totally counter-productive, of course, of the IIFA awards, this film has a skeletal plot – a disgruntled employee (Lara Dutta), who wants to ruin the organizers, selects the dumbest contestants for a live talent contest that will be a novel high-point for the latest awards ceremony, to take place in New York.

The chosen ones are Sikh recovery agent Tejinder Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) and Gujarati fashion designer Jinal Patel (Sonakshi Sinha). They happen to arrive in New York together, are given a common apartment with separate bedrooms, and after a bad start (full of the most insanely predictable humor), become friends.

A parallel track is of award ceremony hosts Karan Johar and Riteish Deshmukh, and Karan’s double, NY-based gangster Arjun (get the joke?) who hates Karan as people mistake him for this celluloid ambassador of romance and do not get scared of him. He wants to kidnap Karan.

The threadbare plot did have some scope for comedy, but the comic broth is irrevocably botched up by too many cooks…oops! We mean “writers” (see above). Predictable, ultra-corny humor is the order of the day, and the first half is especially insufferable. The catchiest composition, “Meri Pant Mein Gun Hai,” composed by Sajid-Wajid has some weird arrangements.

Director Chakra Toleti strings up the lousy material he has—stock footage of past IIFA awards, kitschy sequences featuring Deshmukh and Johar, double-meaning lines galore, and what-have-you. Beyond a point, all said and done, one feels sorry for this captain of a ship that is already underwater.

It is a wonder that the film is actually made in 3-D. There seems to be so much surplus money around to finance some trash, but 3-D films are generally expensively priced at the movie halls, and so the audience quotient will be even less than what the film warrants on its (de)merits!

Diljit Dosanjh, confided a Punjabi colleague, is back to the inane comedies he has done back home in Punjabi cinema. Sonakshi Sinha does get it right in many comic scenes but is intolerable in many as well. And we cannot blame either of them. On second thoughts, maybe we can! Because they actually accepted this crap and it can be either only for the moolah or for getting in the good books of the IIFA folks.

Karan Johar is unbearable, especially as himself and Riteish Deshmukh handicapped by the terrible writing and gags – I chuckled at just four to five tepidly but genuinely funny points in the film.

Lending a thin sliver of respectability to the film are the dignified and smooth turns by Boman Irani as the organizer-in-chief and Lara Dutta as the disgruntled woman. Dutta proves yet again after “Chalo Dilli,” “Singh Is Bliing” and “Azhar” that she has taking it easy in her profession just when she has truly evolved as an actor.

Rating: *1/2

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