Tag Archives: Welcome to Karachi

Opening June 5: Dil Dhadakne Do

One new Bollywood film hits Chicago area theaters on June 5, 2015, and it’s a big one: Dil Dhadakne Do (“Let the Heart Beat“). Zoya Akhtar directs an ensemble cast that includes Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anil Kapoor, and Shefali Shah as a dysfunctional family on a cruise ship that also carries Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar.

DDD opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and AMC Loews Crestwood 18 in Crestwood. Ticket demand is expected to be so high that the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17 are showing DDD on multiple screens. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 50 min.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns gets a third week at all of the above theaters, except for the Crestwood 18. Piku gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 17, and MovieMax, which also holds over Welcome 2 Karachi for a second week.

The English-Hindi film Unfreedom — touted for being banned in India — also opens on June 5 at the Goodrich Randall 15 in Batavia. It has a runtime of 1 hr. 42 min. It is my least favorite film of 2015. Click here for a national theater list.

Another release of note this weekend is the restored version of director Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy. The three Bengali classics start their run on Friday at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Click here for a national theater list.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Masss (Tamil w/English subtitles) and Pandaga Chesko (Telugu) at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge and MovieMax, which also carries Nee-na (Malayalam) and the Telugu movies Andhra Pori, Asura, and Rakshasudu.

Movie Review: Welcome 2 Karachi (2015)

WelcomeToKarachi0.5 Stars (out of 4)

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When a character in Welcome 2 Karachi says, “I want to shoot myself,” it felt like he’d read my mind. Watching this alleged comedy is torture.

I’m still not entirely sure where the film’s first scenes take place. Former British Navy officer Shammi (Arshad Warsi) and his idiot friend, Kedar (Jackky Bhagnani), work for Kedar’s dad, an event planner. They discuss Kedar’s desire to move to America, preferably via a boat from London.

Kedar’s dad puts the guys in charge of a yacht party, accompanied by a dozen bikini clad white women. The boat sinks after being caught in a ridiculous CGI cyclone, and Shammi and Kedar wash ashore in…Karachi, Pakistan?

Despite all the indications that the movie opens in the UK — Shammi’s British Navy discharge, talk of traveling from London to America, a boatload of white women — they must have been in India all along. Otherwise, their arrival in Pakistan would make no sense. Not that sense has much value in Welcome 2 Karachi.

The movie is casually violent to a jarring degree. While the guys are still passed out onshore, a bomb explodes next to them, killing dozens of people. They joke around in a morgue. When the guys seek help from the Indian embassy, they trigger gun battles between several other embassies: the US and Iraq, Israel and Palestine, and Russia and Ukraine. Because ongoing conflicts with civilian casualties are hilarious.

Lowbrow jokes based on offensive generalizations are tossed about without care. Every Pakistani is violent. White women are scantily-clad sex objects. Americans are buffoons keen to take credit for military victories they didn’t earn. India is always the best, yet the first thing Shammi and Kedar request upon their rescue as accidental heroes is joint US-UK citizenship.

Lauren Gottlieb plays a Pakistani spy, but the fact that she’s actually a white American means that Kedar and Shammi can hallucinate her performing a sexy dance number in a bra top and hotpants.

Her character doesn’t do much to drive the plot forward, but then again, neither do any other characters. Stuff just happens, and characters drop in and out of the narrative at random. By the time Shammi & Kedar’s redemptive arc peaks with them having to rescue a plane full of deaf Paralympians, I wanted to barf.

As poorly constructed as the story is, the technical execution in Welcome 2 Karachi is worse. Every bit of CGI — from the cyclone to the plane taking off — looks cheap. The voice dubbing is wretched. It’s easy to tell which characters have been dubbed because their lips don’t match the words they speak.

The movie has particular trouble with its American characters. The dubbing is so bad that the same character’s voice changes from scene to scene. A high-pitched Southern accent becomes a flat, middle-American accent the next.

Also, why is the American embassy in India staffed by Aussies, and the American embassy in Pakistan staffed by Brits?

Welcome 2 Karachi‘s single biggest problem is that its main characters are annoying. Almost every character who meets Shammi and Kedar eventually tells them to shut up. If everyone else in the film finds them that irritating, imagine how annoying they must be to a bored, confused audience.

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Opening May 29: Welcome to Karachi

On new Hindi film opens in the Chicago area on May 29, 2015. The comedy Welcome to Karachi stars Arshad Warsi and Jackky Bhagnani alongside So You Think You Can Dance‘s Lauren Gottlieb, who plays a Pakistani spy. Movies in which Warsi is the marquee star don’t often release in North America, so this is a surprise.

Welcome to Karachi opens on Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 11 min.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns carries over for a second week at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, South Barrington 30, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Piku gets a fourth week at MovieMax, Cantera 17, Woodridge 18, and South Barrington 30, which also carries over Bombay Velvet for a third week.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include Masss (Tamil) and Pandaga Chesko (Telugu) at both the Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont and MovieMax, which also carries Gaddar: The Traitor (Punjabi), Rakshasudu (the Telugu version of Masss), Lailaa O Lailaa (Malayalam), and 36 Vayadhinile (Tamil).