Welcome Obama is the remake of the Marathi film ‘Mala Aai Vhhaychy!’ and revolves around the internal conflict of a surrogate mother and her emotional attachment with her son. Director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao has picked a novel thread and woven it into a story that’s high on emotions but low on entertainment values. Here, I am not trying to refine or redefine entertainment but the narration becomes awry and goes through a rough phase. All that can be attributed to the unwarranted gags and sub-plots.
The acting department shined all through the film. Debutant Sanjeev is sprightly in his role. He mixes humor, naiveté and emotions so well that you never feel that it’s his first film. After Potugadu, Rachel is in her second outing and gets a meaty chunk. She very well managed the angst and emotions. And finally, it’s all Urmila’s film. Right from the word go, she owns the film. She reprises her role from the Marathi original and pulls it off with aplomb. In fact, she is the saving grace among many performances on screen.
The main plot of the film rides high on emotions and the multiple interspersing sub-plots involving noted lyricists of Tollywood brings some irritable laughter. You are perplexed as what to do of it; you can’t laugh or cry, but stay in a state of pain caused by the thorns on your seat. That’ what happens when the comedy scenes pop up on the screen. Adding to the trauma, these comic episodes are borrowed from 50 First Dates and Groundhog Day.
As the movies progresses, things start falling out of place, and there is no justification for the title – Welcome Obama. If anyone coming from USA is called Obama then the world is filled with many Obamas! Most of the film moves at snail’s pace and when you feel it gained some momentum, there’s some bad element lying around the corner that’s been waiting to kill the film. Some songs are cool and are a relief but some are painful as they are poorly placed. To everyone’s surprise, Singeetham composed crackling score and the escalating BGMs in some scenes is magical.
Welcome Obama is a new concept that’s hitherto untouched by anyone in Telugu cinema. However, Singeetham Srinivasa Rao’s treatment kills the core of the film. On one side, he captures the essence of life’s little nuances and on the other he fills it with unwanted comedy – that’s the disparity. What could have probably been a definitive comeback of ‘high on emotion’ films turns out to be a bad product that’s neither artistic nor entertaining.
My rating: Expectation – 8/10; Reality – 4/10view less