Starring Salman Khan, Asin, and Paresh Rawal. In Hindi with English subtitles. Rated PG.
Bollywood’s summer box office launched with one of its biggest stars, Salman Khan, in Ready, yet another lazy farce from hack director Anees Bazmee that leaves a sour taste in your mouth despite loads of charm and coolness from Khan.
Coming off one of the Indian film industry’s biggest hits last year, Dabangg (Powerful), the expectations for Ready were huge, but this is an unsuitable, simple-minded mess that Khan needs to avoid at this phase of his career.
Although Ready is reported to be a remake of a South Indian (Tamil) hit of the same name, it is, in fact, the kind of hackneyed film that has been the mainstay of popular stars like Khan and Akshay Kumar, where all they’re really asked to do is get the choreography right.
In this Thailand-set story of mafia brothers hell-bent on usurping the wealth of their niece Sanjanna (Asin) by controlling whom she marries, Khan plays a guy named Prem (it’s gotta be his 10th Prem incarnation) who becomes the woman’s unlikely savior. This happens after Sanjanna escapes her uncles at the airport following her arrival from America and assumes the identity of Prem’s arranged-marriage fiancée, also arriving from America.
There is much confusion and a lot of unbelievability as Prem concocts a harebrained scheme to teach the criminal uncles a lesson and win their approval for Sanjanna’s hand.
The main problem is that the filmmakers have no respect for storytelling or character development and seem to be putting this mess together as they go along. Although the song-and-dance numbers—particularly the two smash hits, “Character Dheela” and “Dhinka Chika”—do liven up the proceedings, it is a real slog in between.
Note to Khan: get someone to actually read the scripts.
Watch the trailer for Ready.