Welcome to Karachi review: Jackky Bhagnani, Arshad Warsi and fafda will explode your brain
Welcome to Karachi, finally unlocks the mystery. Like a chest-beating ape, it proudly tells us that stupidity exists because it simply happens
There comes a time in every film critic’s life where he finally begins to ponder over a strange phrase uttered by Forrest Gump – “Stupid is as stupid does.” What does that mean exactly? Does it say that human stupidity is a sum total of bad things in the universe? Or does it mean stupidity exists and propagates without any reason to do so? Is it like a virus, where its only aim is to multiply at an alarming rate and spread to every living and breathing host possible?
The new Jackky Bhagnani – Arshad Warsi film, Welcome to Karachi, finally unlocks the mystery. Like a chest-beating ape, it proudly tells us that stupidity exists because it simply happens. Director Ashish Mohan demonstrates with panache that stupid films are the cornerstone of fine art. Unfortunately, Welcome to Karachi also poses a few other queries in its viewers’ minds. Like, ‘How stupid is too stupid?’, and 'Is it ok to bombard the viewer with nonsense from start to end?’, and also ‘What is the maximum dosage of asininity that one can be subjected to before it becomes fatal?’
The film is supposed to borrow elements from the Jim Carrey – Jeff Daniels classic Dumb and Dumber, but Welcome to Karachi goes way beyond that. Trying to explain the plot of this film is like teaching a duck how to skate, so bear with me here.
Warsi is Shammi, a naval officer discharged from duty because he sinks a submarine. Bhagnani is Kedar, a hardcore Gujju trying to get a visa to the US. Kedar’s father owns a boat for hire company. Somehow the two find themselves on a boat full of luscious hot phoren girls. They sing one song, and then a storm capsizes their boat, leaving the duo washed ashore in Karachi. ‘Hilarity’ ensues as they try to return to India, but are constantly captured by a string of caricature-ish goons and terrorists.
Now this is a masala comedy film, so we’re not expecting it to be intelligent. But with comedy like this, even the brain left at home, twiddling its thumbs inside a securely-locked safe, far away from the theater, would explode. Sample: Kedar, when questioned about a drowned U-boat, replies ‘Jo cheez paani ke andar hai wo dooba jaise sakta hai?’. This exhibition of wit is promptly followed by strange sounds of a puppet laughing and a bed spring compressing.
Here’s another example. A terrorist that our heroic duo encounter tells them, ‘Mujhe tum pe fakr hai.’ ‘No I fakr you’, says Shammi. ‘No no we fakr you’, the terrorist replies. ‘No we both fakr you’, say Shammi and Kedar. ‘We all fakr you’, the entire terror camp chants. At this point, you want to grab one of the explosive bags in the camp and blow yourself up.
Unsurprisingly, the Pakistan seen in this film is so much of a joke that it’s offensive. Everyone in Karachi is a fundamentalist Muslim, ready to launch a nuke at India or kill each other. A sabzi mandi guy holds a shotgun and says ‘Karachi me logon ko maza aata hai goli chalane me. Aloo ke bhaav me bikte hai goliyan.’
Look, there’s nothing wrong with farce, so long as it has some charm. Welcome to Karachi has none. If you were planning on watching this movie, the lyrics of its song ‘Chal bhag nahi to G pe laat padegi’ should be a strong enough hint to help you decide. The film thinks it would be hilarious to use the word ‘fafda’ as a euphemism for ‘f*ck’, presumably because Gujjus love fafda more than … never mind. So, taking a leaf out of Welcome to Karachi’s script, heed this warning: everyone involved in this fafda film overacts, there isn’t remotely a fafda funny line to make you fafda laugh, it looks tacky as fafda, is loud enough to make your fafda eardums fafda explode, and long enough to deplete your fafda hairline.
I have a few good friends in Karachi. My deepest apologies to all of them on behalf of Bollywood.
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