Film Review: Ready (2011)

After Anees Bazmee’s recent disasters at the box office with Thank You and No Problem, you would be forgiven if you were wondering what could possibly make Ready any different. Arguably, the answer to this should be Salman Khan. Yes, we have been the brunt of this combination before in the confusion that was No Entry (2005). A huge starcast, the intermingling of madness in the plot and a film which was appreciated by some but switched off my others. Personally, I fall in the latter category. For me, No Entry was just too… fake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good Bollywood comedy but I don’t think one can match the comic timing of.. say… Govinda? In all honesty, after watching the likes of Welcome (2007), Singh is Kinng (2008) and, more recently, the disastrous No Problem (2010), I decided to steer clear of Thank You (2011). However, I think it was the soundtrack which drew me to think that Ready could be a little different, a little more engaging, a little less torturous. What with Salman Khan’s popularity at an all-time high following the tremendous success of Dabangg (2010), Ready was sure to be a film which SHOULD live upto the expectations that came along with it. Why else would Salman Khan sign such a film?

The story of Ready surrounds a farce. Yes, a total and utter farce. A girl named Sanjana (Asin) who had fled her forced wedding finds herself taking advantage of an indivudual and a family who almost instantly fall for her because she brings their handsome yet self-confessed kamina son, Prem (Salman Khan), in line. The story up until that point seems very predictable but the unimaginable (yeh, right!) happens when Prem falls for her charms even after she confesses about her fake identity. What follows is the unravelling of a story about her family’s background in the mafia and how they are coerced into becoming “normal” human beings by yet another total and utter farce. Prem uses the family’s chartered accountant to get his way into the family circle and “take care” of things so that her family give him her hand in marriage “khushi-khushi”. Are you yawning yet?

As you can probably tell, the film failed to create any kind of impression on me. However, I will divulge the positives first to balance out my negatives. It has to be said that Asin is not an actress I took much notice of in Ghajini (2005) and neither did she stand out for me in London Dreams (2009). In Ready, it seems she comes into her own. Although not a bad actress, this is a role that doesn’t carry much scope but her look in the movie is absolutely exquisite. She is elegance, charm and beauty personified and manages to keep it all going with a mischievous kick. She pulls off Sanjana’s character well and no doubt her performance will go down well with the audiences.

There are only two other positives to Ready in my book. The comedy seems to have been tailored somewhat to accommodate the kind that Salman Khan is known very well for. His antics which have been seen in previous movies such as Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998) come to light once more in a lovable character. The dialogues in particular are commendable in the comedy aspect of Salman’s character and can perhaps be seen as a pluspoint in the movie. The best part is witnessing his rendition of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’s title track and Aaya Mausam Dosti Ka from Maine Pyaar Kiya – both with lyrics changed to suit the situation in the movie.

The third pro of the movie is undoubtedly and most importantly the soundtrack. The music has been noticeable enough to bring the audiences in and the picturisations of all of the songs will hopefully be remembered. This is one film in a long time where there are a number of tracks I found myself downloading because I simply couldn’t get them out of my head. A very big thumbs-up to the music.

Now here come the cons of the movie. It seems the second half of the film is just another version of No Problem. There isn’t much to work with and if one has seen No Problem, one will find it is just as excruciating to watch. The plot just seems to be elongated for no reason and there are mad larger-than-life characters that are there for affect but can very easily be cut out. The story is hugely unrealistic – there are no two ways about it! Perhaps Mr Bazmee needs to re-think his formula rather than churning out the same exact stories and characters disguised in different avatars. The times have moved on and it seems this director is just stuck in the period which saw his films being appreciated. Move on sir, you’ll be all the better for it.

Overall, it would be safe to say that if you are a die-hard Salman Khan fan then this might be a movie which is unmissable but for the rest, this is one which you will perhaps find yourself wanting to end as soon as it begins. The positives simply don’t make up for the lack of storyline and mundane portrayal which has been seen many a time before. I would say naming two characters Veer and Yuvraaj might’ve been Mr Bazmee tempting fate… What say?

Rating 2/5

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