Cast: Salman Khan, Asin, Paresh Rawal, Arya Babbar, Mahesh Manjrekar
Director: Anees Bazmee
Earlier this week while interviewing Asin, I joked to her that it was probably futile on my part to ask about her role in 'Ready'. She said she was relieved I wasn't taking the film too seriously: "It's an Anees Bazmee film, I play the female lead opposite Salman Khan. What else is there to say?" Not much, you reckon as you sit there in your seat watching 'Ready', and waiting for a joke - any joke, even half funny - to draw a laugh out of you.
'Ready' is strictly for die-hard Salman Khan fans (are there any other kind?) who're willing to forgive the fact that this tasteless, senseless film has no plot to speak of, yet lazily unfolds over two hours and thirty minutes. Director Anees Bazmee asks very little of his charming star: flash a few adorable smiles, romance the girl, beat up the bad guys, and don't forget to take your shirt off. It's an indifferent performance from an actor who showed us only last year that he can be riveting if he so much as makes the slightest effort. Remember 'Dabangg'?
The problem with 'Ready' is that the film doesn't even try. It's depressing to think that Salman would use his considerable star wattage to get such a lousy film made, which in turn only tarnishes his own brand. This film's wafer-thin story involves Salman falling in love with Asin, then trying to reconcile her two criminal uncles who have fallen out with each other. You're expected to laugh in a scene where little boys line up on a balcony and pee on the villains; and dialogues like "Main kutta hoon, yeh meri kuttiya hai" are meant to be funny.
To describe this film as paisa vasool or time pass is to confess that you really don't have a life. Because apart from two energetically filmed songs - 'Character dheela hai' and 'Dhinka chika' - this film offers little by way of entertainment. Salman Khan fans, I assure you that reruns of his 'Dus Ka Dum' episodes on Youtube are more likely to make you smile than this agonisingly boring film that wastes the charm of its immensely charismatic star.
I'm going with a generous one-and-a-half out of five for director Anees Bazmee's 'Ready'. Salman Khan deserves better than this. And so do we!
Rating: 1.5 / 5
Winners: Shruti Chhabra, New Delhi
Jatin Tanwer, Bangalore
Gautam Datta, Kolkata