WELCOME BACK…TO BEDLAM!
Writer-director ANEES BAZMEE tells NICHOLA PAIS why no one should miss his sequel to the hysterical entertainer that was WELCOME…
Fun on the Run!
It’s a great script, even if I say so myself. People generally make sequels because the first film is a hit and then it becomes a money-making proposition. But that was not the reason I wanted to make a sequel to WELCOME. The sequel had to better the original. WELCOME was a cult film; people keep it in their film library and watch it any time they are down. Since the past five years it’s also the most watched film on TV. As a writer, I was in a dilemma because if I made something entirely different people would find no point of similarity with WELCOME and if I stuck to it too closely, they would say I’ve merely copied it. So when people ask what’s new about WELCOME BACK I reply that it has nothing old in it!In WELCOME, Nana and Anil Kapoor were big dons but now they are shareef. They want to get their sister married. Back when they were gundas they wanted to find a decent boy to wed their sister. It’s no different now – they still want a shareef boy but a gunda enters their life! Being an experienced writer as well –I have 54 filmsto my credit – I keep it interesting, from script to dialogue.
Every character is very important in the film – I haven’t just cast actors on the basis of their name and status. As a writer, I’m able to bring a certain definition to each character which sees the actors shine. Good actors end up doing even better when there is clarity to a role. For instance, Nana Patekar first did comedy with me and he loved the results; the same kids who were petrified of him now clambered onto his lap. From Feroz Khan to MallikaSherawat, their characters were excellent. In WELCOME BACK as well I predict people will love the characters. John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal, Shruti Haasan, Sara Loren, Dimple Kapadia, Naseeruddin Shah, Shiney Ahuja and AnkitaShrivastava – there are a lot of characters to love!
I have seen many of John Abraham’s films and I’ve always liked him but when I see him in this film, as an audience, I think he is stupendous! His body language, his style of speaking, it’s totally different. He is surrounded by great actors like Naseeruddin Shah, PareshRawal, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor, but you will feel that he is the real hero of the film. His dance, his action, his romance… people are going to see him in a new light and they will love him! I consciously decided not to ‘exploit’ his body in the film but yes, there is one shot of John’s, in the middle of a torrid action sequence, where his shirt splits wide open…
We have shot entirely in Dubai at beautiful locations there. Naseerbhai plays a very wealthy man and we have shown his home to be the Emirates Palace.
A treat to the eyes will also be ShrutiHaasan and newbie AnkitaShrivastav, including an item song by Sara Loren.
The climax was very tough to film… Shooting with all our actors in the blistering heat in the desert; it was very challenging. There were choppers and Land Cruisers and Hummers and don’t forget the camels! The cast was completely frazzled by the sand and the soaring temperatures. It was a gruelling 15 days but I’d like to think the results will wipe away all bad memories of the shooting. Yes, I do think it will outshine the climax of WELCOME, which saw all the characters battling it out in the house which was swinging dangerously over the precipice. …That was easy in comparison!