There are bhais and there are bhais. The first belong to the underworld and the other, to sisters at large. Uday (Nana Patekar) and Majnu (Anil Kapoor) belong to both categories. In Welcome Back, a sequel to Welcome by the same director, we meet Uday and Majnu, miserable in their decent man acts and gentlemen suits, which, incidentally, make for quite an eye-catching wardrobe.
Eight years after Welcome, Uday and Majnu have stayed away from don-hood in Dubai, having promised their sister’s uncle-in-law, Dr Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal) that they will walk the straight and narrow. Now, as Dubai businessmen in Welcome Back, Uday and Majnu find respectability comes with baggage, sisters and con artistes.
This time, the duo find themselves saddled with one more sister — Ranjana (Shruti Hassan), daughter to Uday’s wife-hopping father (Patekar in a small double role appearance).
So Majnu struts around, shoulders tilted, wearing silver or black jackets and his trademark blue shades. Uday glares and glowers at goons while muttering “control” to himself while in his head, guns lock and load each time anyone does anything to annoy him.
In Welcome Back, Uday and Majnu’s woe is that they’re single. Even their henchmen have families, but our winsome twosome don’t have wives who will gaze at them on Karva Chauth nights. Then, both of them land up in love with the same girl, Princess Chandni (Ankita Srivastava), daughter of Maharani Padmavati (Dimple Kapadia).
However, this is no real love story. Padmavati is a con artiste who works with her daughter to snag rich men and weasel money out of them.
In case you thought this was a spoiler, all this happens within the first 40 minutes of Welcome Back, which is proof that plot is the least of Bazmee’s concerns in this film.
When 50-something and fitter-than-ever Kapoor and Patekar begin their screen time dancing to “Meet Me Daily Baby” and spend the rest of the film going round in circles, you know you are in for director Anees Bazmee’s brand of slapstick comedy.
Matching them gun for a gun, skip for a skip, silly words for sillier one, and crow for a pigeon is John Abraham as Ajju bhai. While romancing Ranjana, he does some surprisingly good jumps and moves of his own to outwit Uday and Majnu.
Our first encounter with him has him thrusting body parts to the tune of “Main Babli hui, Tu Bunty hua/ Bandh kamre mein 20-20 hua”. A rival don (a cameo by Ranjeet) says, “Yeh 20-20 khel rehein hain, inke body ka 50-50 kar do.” There follows the inevitable fight in which more of the inevitable follows — small-time baddies go flying in different directions and Ajju takes off his shirt to display a huge, sinewed back and several packs of abs.
But he’s not all muscle and no masti. Ajju has some romance scenes, in which he’s the ingenue opposite Ranjana, which suits Abraham just fine too. Haasan is a better and refreshingly sweet replacement for Katrina Kaif from Welcome.
And if that wasn’t enough, two more characters (Naseeruddin Shah and Shiney Ahuja) fly in with choppers to add to the chaos created by Hop Patekar, Skip Kapoor and Jump Abraham.
Shah is Wanted Bhai, a blind daddy of all dons who will, of course, kill for his druggie son, Honey (Ahuja). A fine mess is created with Honey being in love with Ranjana while Ranjana wants to marry Ajju while her ‘brothers’, Uday and Majnu, want Ajju dead. Oh, and Ajju happens to be Dr Ghungroo’s wife’s illegitimate son. This causes Ghungroo to call his wife “boycut hulkut” (she has short hair) and come up with devious schemes of his own.
Welcome Back gallops along, powered by lines like “Logon ki ma-behen hoti hain, aapki baap-behen ho gayi” and “Mobile uski, sim apun ka, tu beech mein missed call dene waala kaun?” A long graveyard scene is thrown in, with Kapoor breaking into his fantastic “Ae ji O ji” number, with his never tiring, super-enthusiastic grin. Thankfully, the film moves on to a quick climax point with all the actors running across sand dunes of Dubai, chased by camels.
Welcome Back kicks up a storm of utter nonsense thanks to terrific comic timing by Patekar and Kapoor. And it happens to be a welcome break from 24/7 coverage of murder, financial crashes and other serious news — purely because of the two talented actors who hop, skip, dance and fool around with complete conviction.