Ready: A complete entertainer

Producer: Bhushan Kumar, Kishan Kumar, Nitin Manmohan, Rajat Rawail, Sohail Khan.
Director: Anees Bazmee.
Cast: Salman Khan, Asin, Paresh Rawal, Sharat saxena, Mahesh Manjrekar, Manoj Joshi, Manoj Pahwa, Akhilendra Mishra, Nikitin Dheer, Aryan Babbar, Puneet Issar, Sudesh Lehri, Anuradha Patel, Eva Grover, Hemant Pandey.

MUMBAI: After a long time, here comes a film which people want to watch because of its star; the star power is back even if for a while.

Coming as it does in the wake of ‘Wanted‘ and ‘Dabangg‘, the latest release, ‘Ready‘ brings along the brand Salman Khan with its all-Indian mass entertainer tag attached.

Ready, having been remade from the Telugu hit of the same name, has all the ingredients of a complete entertainer: action, romance, drama, comedy, villains and, mainly, songs in lip sync which is what people seem to prefer and which seems to be a fading commodity in Mumbai whiz kid filmmakers‘ movies.

Salman Khan‘s is one happy family, he being the only heir to a prosperous business run by his father, Mahesh Manjrekar, and two uncles, Manoj Joshi and Manoj Pahwa. Needless to say, he is the apple of their eyes with his mother, Anuradha Patel, and aunties doting on him.

This is one exemplary happy and united family where everybody is of the opinion that Salman Khan should marry and settle down. As such, he is asked to go pick up a prospective suitor for him from the airport; instead he comes back with Asin, on the run from her warring uncles. A reluctant Salman Khan is soon won over by Asin and the love story begins; but in true formula film style there are villains to contend with, not one or two but a bunch of them and who better than Salman Khan to do it convincingly?

The villains are two groups of the girl‘s maternal uncles, both wanting Asin to marry their respective wards so as to grab her Rs 2 billion worth of property. While one group wears all black, the other wears white. Both sport long ponytails and try to look as uncouth and sinister as they can manage.

Asin takes refuge with Salman Khan‘s family posing as his suitor from the US, while her passport is processed so she could go back to the US. She wins over his family and, eventually, also Salman Khan‘s love. What is interesting then on is how Salman Khan‘s family joins hands to take up the crude and rough family of Asin‘s uncles; not fighting them hand to hand but outwitting them and eventually turning them into a decent, presentable lot. 

The film‘s cast includes a lot many kith and kin on both sides of families and that needed a horde of character artistes. This is one aspect where the film is compromised since not all of them, especially the villains‘ lot, possess the talent or the range and Salman Khan‘s all powerful, dominating character makes them look even more vulnerable. Those who make their presence felt are Paresh Rawal, Manoj Joshi, Manoj Pahwa, Sharat Saxena and Nikitin Dheer. Also on show is the makers‘ goodwill as Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan, Chunky Pandey and Kangna Ranaut make special appearances.

The film is a one man show and it is Salman Khan all the way, excelling in acting, comic moments, dances (with him around, you don‘t really need an item girl) as well as action, a complete package. His chemistry with Asin does not work and her performance is just passable but, one supposes, she was an obvious choice to play the female lead as she had also acted in the original Telugu version. Paresh Rawal manages to hold his own.

Direction is apt. Music, which has been a great help in the film‘s promotion, caters to the masses with two numbers, ‘Character dheela…‘ and ‘Dhinka Chika...‘ being already very popular. Dialogue is well penned and is full of wit and punch. Action is well choreographed.

Coming as it does on the heels of Wanted and Dabaang, it will benefit Ready in getting bumper opening; the months long cricket jamboree having starved the cine-goer of a fair family entertainer also works to the film‘s advantage. However, the film‘s comparison with Dabangg will be inevitable only to conclude that the Dabangg hangover still lingers.

The opening response to Ready is strong, assuring its safe passage; whatever comes thereafter will be bonus.

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