Thank God producer Vashu Bhagnani decided to release Welcome to Karachi on a Thursday instead of on the holy, filmy Friday. For, his movie has no potential of seeing the dawn of the following Friday. Ashish Mohan directed latest Bollywood offering resonates with poor production value and an impoverished script.
Welcome to Karachi is a story that revolves around dimwitted Kedar Patel (Jacky Bhagnani) who aspires to organize dandiya parties in New Jersey and his loser friend Shammi (Arshad Warsi) who is fired from the Indian Navy. Caught in a storm, their boat capsizes and the directionless duo reach Karachi, survive a bomb blast on the beach, get kidnapped by a family in need of a doctor, circumvent a real kidnap, get enrolled in a Taliban training camp, are imprisoned by the American CIA, are chased by the Pakistani ISI and well…the plot keeps progressing even when all rationale has regressed.
The tacky graphics used in the title credits punctuated with ludicrous laughter track were promising enough of a disaster of a film. That the filmmakers are floating on a faithless jetty themselves is visible when Alibaug is passed on as the coast of Jamnagar and the muddy Arabian Sea is replaced with digitally enhanced sea green waters to resemble a pseudo Pacific Ocean. From bomb blasts to sea storms, the film seems to be produced more on a computer screen rather than on a credible set.
Arshad Warsi has proved his potential as an actor in the Munnabhai and Ishqiya series. Jacky Bhagnani with his boy next door looks and dancing feet has manifested his mettle for a romantic hero. Yet, when they are brought together on-screen for the length of 131 minutes, what the audience sees is talent trapped in a tale that has no head or tail. Comic effect can be a distant dream but it becomes truly tragic to see these actors give a sincere shot at the mediocre dialogues and senseless scenes penned for them. The songs and their lyrics initially seem annoying noises but soon act as a breather from the breathless stream of gibberish that dominates the screen otherwise.
Terrorism is a real threat to the very foundation of sovereign states and diplomatic geopolitical relations. Fundamentalism infested with violence is a real impediment to the growth and progress of an entire generation of a nation. Communalism is a real plague that cripples true peace and dignified living. Going by Welcome to Karachi, every Pakistani is a hot-headed terrorist in the making, every Muslim is a plotter, every American is a two-faced and self-serving opportunist, every Indian is a good-hearted, righteous man, every Afro-American is rooted in family and values. One can attempt a satire on these social issues but to make a film that is more of a farce is truly frightening. Investing national resources and human labor on such products of entertainment is truly debilitating. Subjecting an audience to ludicrous representation of serious political issues is a solemn act of irresponsibility.