'All that glitters isn't gold'! Chakri Toleti's 'Welcome To New York' proves this saying just right. Made with the blessings of the IIFA awards, the first question which instantly strikes in your mind is 'Why was this film even made in the first place? What were the makers smoking?
The starting credits begin with a 'Thanks' to an umpteen number of celebrities who made their presence felt at the IIFA awards this year. Just when you stop yourself from muttering 'What the heck' aloud, you are treated to one of the most absurd tracks that feature celebs like Varun Dhawan, Taapsee Pannu, Anil Kapoor, Sonu Sood exhibiting some of their fakest laughter on-screen. Not so funny, guys!
Jumping to the plot, Welcome to New York opens in a plush meeting room where Gary (Boman Irani) and his aid Sophie (Lara Dutta) announcing their big plan to the board of IIFA awards- a talent hunt where the winners will get a chance to share the 'green carpet' with the stars at the award show. Unfortunately, things go a bit awry and Sophie plans to seek revenge by plotting to sabotage Gary's show.
She purposely zeroes down a sloppy recovery agent, Teji (Diljit Dosanjh) who is also a struggling actor and a tacky fashion designer named Jinal Patel (Sonakshi Sinha) as the winners of the talent hunt, believing that this move of hers could put a full stop to Gary's career.
Meanwhile, there is Arjun (Karan Johar), a daunting gangster who once ruled over the Big Apple. Until his look alike Karan (Karan Johar) made films like 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' and 'Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham...' and filled up dread with romance. Arjun's ultimate goal is to destroy Karan Johar.
The rest of the film revolves around how Teji and Jinal prep up for their big act and Arjun plotting to kidnap Karan for his 'badlaa'.
It's disheartening to watch a talent like Diljit Dosanjh agreeing to be a part of such a mockery! The actor tries his level best to offer some dignity but falls short because of 'non-existent' writing.
Sonakshi Sinha's caricatured portrayal of a Gujarati girl is a strict thumbs down. It's 2018, guys! When will Bollywood steer clear from stereotypes? Her dream sequence with Salman Khan turns out to be a desperate attempt to draw in some laughs. Unfortunately, it falls flat straight on the face.
Karan Johar manages to bring in a few chuckles here and there when he pokes fun at his real-life obsession with luxury brands and haute couture. But that too soon weans off as the clock goes 'tick-tock'.
Boman Irani and Lara Dutta too fail to save this sinking ship. Even Ritesh Deshmukh's funny gags seem repetitive and barely gathers your attention to tickle your funny bone. Rana Daggubati switches on his Baahubali mode only to leave us with regret. Sushant Singh Rajput's cameo too is wasted.
Not to forget, there's Aditya Kapur and Katrina Kaif playing themselves and offering some acting advice. Irony just died a painful death!
Talking about the film's music, except for 'Ishtehaar', the rest of the tracks just add minutes to the runtime. Lesser said about the garish visual effects the better.
Welcome To New York is something that the actors should secretly wish for to disappear from their filmography. To put it in a few words- there's nothing 'welcoming' about this shallowness which has D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R written over it. Keep this mockery of a film at an arm's length!
(P.S I watched this film in 3D and am yet to replenish my grey cells.)