Welcome Obama

The movie is basically a remake of the Marathi film ‘Mala Aai Vhhaychy!’, but the makers have not highlighted that before. The director of the Marathi film, Samruddhi Porey, is given a credit in the film along with Mr. Singeetham Srinivasa Rao for Screenplay. To begin with, Singeetham sir read a newspaper report in 2010 (Or watched a Marathi movie titled Mala Aai Vhhaychy). It dealt with a legal battle involving an Indian surrogate mother and a client belonging to some other country. Then he set forth to write a story on the conflict between two such characters. Before long, it became so familiar that, except for the surrogacy element, rest of all was as
familiar as the scenes we found in those adoption stories.

The story deals with the emotional issues surrounding the practice of surrogacy. Lucy (Rachel) is an American in search of a surrogate mother. An agent brings her to Yashodha (Urmila Kanitkar) and a deal is brokered. Yashoda needs money for the medical care of her daughter and that is why she agrees. But eventually she metamorphoses into a mother displaying unadulterated sentiment. The lady, who had dreamt of a son along with the Indian surrogate mom in the backdrop of lush greenery, thinks with her mind today and with her heart tomorrow.

After Yashoda is clinically impregnated, Lucy stays with her to take care. But as fate would have it, Yashoda suffers a fall and Lucy suspects that the baby is going to have abnormalities. She disowns the kid and asks Yashoda to get aborted. An emotionally attached Yashoda disagrees.
After a while, a healthy baby boy is born and Yashoda brings him up with a lot of love. However, mother and son are in for a rude shock when Rachel returns, to claim her son. What follows is an emotional struggle that highlights the conflicts between biological parents and surrogate mother.
Not many would have expected much from a film whose title sounds much like the name of an event organized by Indian relatives of NRIs in honour of the visiting American President. The treatment is outdated; the screenplay leaves much to be desired.

The dialogue (by Rohini) sound like mothballs. The feel is quite oldish and the technical quality could have been much better. The less said about Singeetham sir’s music the better. While Rohini’s dialogues are ok, the lifeless screenplay and poor performances destroy the impact

‘Welcome Obama’ gives many every casting director a platform to find actors for television serials. Urmila proves to be a not-so-good choice. Rachel, the boy and Sanjeev are fine and deliver a confident act.

If the veteran director wanted to make a serious film, he should have pushed the envelope like Raj Madiraju of Rishi fame. But that would have necessitated some research. It would have fetched him an award, if not money at the BO. If his intention was to primarily cater to
women audiences, he should have struck a deal with some television channel.

Somewhere in the middle, Singeetham sir seems to have thought that all Doordarshan era treatment and no comedy will make the matters worse for his fans among youngsters (?). Therefore, there is an inexplicably unrelated comedy track (involving Ananth Sriram and Bhuvanachandra) and a song dedicated to all the lovely children out there. After that,
the film is back to its predictable ways, as it is.