It was way back in 1994 when Naseeruddin Shah had taken Akshay Kumar as well as Suniel Shetty for a ride with his blind man act in Mohra. It had turned out to be a huge twist in the tale when as a businessman Jindal, Naseeruddin Shah had turned out to be a villain of the piece, instead of being a savor that he projected himself to be.
Now 21 years later, it is John Abraham's turn to face the music, as he comes face to face with Naseeruddin Shah in a blind avtar again. The film is Welcome Back and this time around there is no pretense being put as the veteran actor is playing a comical don named Wanted Bhai in the Anees Bazmee directed action comedy.
In the first of the series, it was Firoz Khan who came in the lives of Akshay Kumar, Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar as the Don named RDX. Now for the film's sequel, Naseeruddin Shah has stepped into the arena and while Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar are already bracing up for all the terror that Wanted Bhai is expected to unleash, the new entrant is John Abraham.
Considering the fact that this is a stage and setting put together by Anees Bazmee, there is no emotional drama in the offering as Naseeruddin Shah is projected as a colorful don who uses blindness to his advantage, instead of being bogged down by the handicap.
Says Anees Bazmee, "Exactly. You expect a blind man to be carrying some troubles of his own but Wanted Bhai is someone who creates troubles for others. Moreover, Naseeruddin Shah has an impeccable comic timing. When you give him a stage like this where he can show this facet of his acting talent, he would go all out to leave you in splits."
Now that's a marked differentiation from the earlier instances of turning blind for the veteran actor. While in Mohra he was superb in the commercial arena put together by director Rajiv Rai, many years back in Sai Paranjpe's offbeat Sparsh , he had delivered a terrific act as a Principal of a Blind school. Playing a blind man, Anirudh Parmar, he made sure that audience was left mighty impressed with his sensitive act. So much so that he even won a National Award for the Best Actor.
Now that he is going blind the third time around in Welcome Back, one waits to see the kind of conviction which is on display with his performance as Wanted Bhai.
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