A remake of the 2008 Telugu film also called Ready, the Anees Bazmee-directed Hindi comedy stars Salman Khan and Asin. Khan plays a bachelor, Prem, who lives with his father (Mahesh Manjrekar), mother (Anuradha Patel), two uncles and their wives in a plush house in Bangkok.

One day, Prem rescues runaway-bride Sanjana, believing her to be the girl his family’s spiritual leader has selected as his wife-to-be. And Sanjana, making the most of a case of mistaken identity, hides out in Prem’s idyllic joint family home. She is on the run from her two feuding uncles (Sharat Saxena and Akhilendra Misra), who are after her generous inheritance. The brothers are shown as chauvinists with bad wigs and a worse attitude, not to mention the terrible acting.

Same old moves: Asin and Salman Khan grooving in Anees Bazmee’s Ready.

Thus begins a long-winded project involving a chartered accountant to both the brothers, played by Paresh Rawal. So, from a Rajshri-type designer clothes, family-who-eats-together-stays-together set-up, we move into a Priyadarshan zone with myriad supporting actors and complicated family trees. In fact, once Rawal arrives you almost expect Priyadarshan favourite Rimi Sen to follow. Thankfully, she is the one actor from the world of Manoj Pahwa, Manoj Joshi and Puneet Issar who is missing, though sadly all the said men are very much present.

Ready does not really offer anything new. It tends towards the regressive and, like its Telugu source, includes one preachy scene about women being equal and housewives deserving more respect. The skinny premise is wrapped around a few catchy tunes, several supporting actors and Khan’s trademark humour, his minimal dancing and over-the-top action. There are plenty of digs at other films, including Dabangg and Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! There’s even a borrowed scene from Singh is Kingg and references to Khan’s Veer and Yuvvraaj.

It’s almost like a big tribute to, and summarized resume of, Khan’s films. In one scene, Khan pokes fun at his own obsession with removing his shirt. Such laughs are punched into the script, but they come only occasionally. The first half is inordinately tedious and the entire film is unabashedly vacuous.

Asin has little to do besides pout and smile admiringly at Prem, and you can’t help but notice her make-up, which makes her look oddly ashen. Though the songs are a hit, the choreography is appallingly lazy, with repetitive steps and minimal movements, such that you tire of the viewing experience rather quickly.

When you see that Khan’s introductory scene is an item song followed by cameos by Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Kangna Ranaut and Arbaaz Khan, you know exactly what this is—an inane family entertainer. This is no Dabangg, but thankfully, it’s not No Problem or Thank You either. It won’t stoke the box office like Khan’s 2010 hit, but it will please his fans.

If you love to whistle at one-liners (the humour is largely puns and PJs) and dance in your seat to songs such as Character dheela, you might consider Ready a “time-pass picture" more easily consumed along with a large drink and greasy samosas.

Ready released in theatres on Friday.

Hanna | The thrilling female assassin

Academy Award-nominee Saoirse Ronan (‘Atonement’) plays the titular character of Hanna, a teenage girl raised in the wilds of Finland in director Joe Wright’s (‘The Soloist’) adventure-thriller with dark fairy- tale elements.

Before she can accomplish her mission, Hanna must face disturbing truths about her existence. Ronan’s performance is one of the high points of this film which, in the end, is less about a 16-year-old skilled assassin and more of an emotional story that wavers between action thriller and art house.

‘Hanna’ released in theatres on Friday.

Udita Jhunjhunwala

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