Dir. Anees Bazmee. India. 2011.

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This  Salman- Anees Bazmee combo is most likely to strike a chord with the front-benchers. “Ready’ is more about style than content or substance. The story, screenplay, direction, performances are all glaringly feeble. The songs and choreography are definitively lurid and in bad taste and the net value of the experience is more minus than plus.

Let’s get down to the bare basic storyline. Prem (Salman using that screen name for the umpteenth time in his career )  is a brash, loud action oriented do-gooder belonging to the Kapoor family- a family straight out of the sugar coated Rajshri world consisting of three brothers and their respective wives. Rajveer (Mahesh Manjrekar) is Prem’s father who appears to run out of verbs and therefore uses obscene gestures to prompt his loved ones to guess correctly. They live together as a joint family and blindly follow a guruji who not only provides the family with orphan maids but also decides on a suitable mate, Pooja, for the laadla beta of the family. Prem is not interested so when he is sent to the airport to fetch his soon-to –be bride, he mistakenly brings home a runaway Sanjana(Asin) in bridal costume. Sanjana claims to be Pooja and sets out to win the family over but soon enough her notorious past in the form of two warring uncouth Mamas (maternal uncles) and their vituperative offspring, zoom into the idyllic frame. Prem intervenes, love blossoms and following some trashy narrative manipulations the two finally get to complete their pheras together in the marriage mandap.  Time and again we hear Salman mouthing the inane ‘'zindagi mein teen cheesein kabhi underestimate nahin karna, I me and myself' (never underestimate three things in life, I me and myself). What does that mean you wanna ask..does Salman even understand?  But that is not the sole grouse here. Complications, confusions abound as the hero embarks on a do-good journey tricking the Chaudhary’s (Sanjana’s uncles) into behaving respectfully and lovingly. Phew!

Bazmee’s patchy script is derived from his own hopelessly flawed past works  so expecting sense was just so improbable. Salman’s Dabbang persona replete with strut and swagger is rehashed but it means nothing when there is just no story to back it. Bazmee tries to innoculate southern color and melodrama into the distinctly north Indian set-up but the mix looks blotchy and ungainly. The action choreography appears ancient, the sound mix is overwhelming and the narrative  is far more reliant on silly antics and their glorification rather than unfolding into a logical and viable end-play. Anees Bazmee’s style of filmmaking is hopelessly Neanderthal. He employs the same unedifying tricks - derivative innuendo obsessed dialogue, tasteless choregraphy, loud bombastic untrue  performances, shoddy cutting and shabby unwieldy  and disconnected takes . Bazmee’s sole intention is to ride on the post-Dabangg Salman wave. Salman too appears to be riding the same malnourished horse.  Now it remains to be seen how far they will get !

Rating:   *  

Johnson Thomas

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