So are you ready for the first biggie of the season? Who isn't, actually? Love him, loathe him, but you can't overlook him. Salman Khan is, without doubt, the sweetheart of the masses. No two opinions on that!

But here's a word of caution. READY is NOT for the rigid detractors or counterfeit scholars of Hindi cinema who masquerade as messiah of meaningful cinema. They rebuke masala films, ridicule big stars, detest anything and everything associated with 'commercial cinema' -- a genre cherished by a wide majority of audiences. They wrote off DABANGG [which recently won the coveted National Award], pulled down the super entertainer GOLMAAL 3, scoffed at YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA [the biggest hit of 2011 so far], even panned the iconic 3 IDIOTS [which ranks as the biggest grosser of Hindi cinema], but these films had the mandate of the junta and that's what matters eventually. Isn't it?

Remake of a Telugu hit, READY is a traditional, Southern-flavored family drama that we thought had gone out of vogue in the 1980s. But let's not forget that ingeniously crafted masala entertainers remain the first choice of an average Indian moviegoer to this day. And READY serves the same dish with a fresh tadka. Pack in humor, stir some peppy music ['Character Dheela' and 'Dhinka Chika'] and add the star power of Salman... the outcome is one delicious, scrumptious, yummy dish called READY.

In fact, READY re-invents the much revered formula in contemporary idiom. Plot-wise, there's not much to talk about, you may call it behind the times, but it's a vehicle that showcases the star charisma and magnetism of Salman and the actor hits the bull's eye yet again. He has a ball on screen and makes sure the viewer joins the festivity as well.

READY is a full-on entertainer, a paisa vasool film that has just one motive -- entertainment -- and it succeeds in its endeavor absolutely. This is a Salman show all the way and even those who don't hero-worship him will be forced to admit that like WANTED and DABANGG, Salman's dynamic presence and powerhouse performance translates into great entertainment. He's comical, wicked, aggressive, besides larger than life and yet warm and real.

As a film, READY is one of the easiest watches of our times. It transports you to a world that's dreamlike. It packs one gimmick after another. Also, the dialogues are totally mass appealing; they are simply mazedaar -- humorous and impactful, both at the same time. Frankly, it's a film that guarantees ceetees, taalis and cheers aplenty. It's a film that lets you into its world without hesitation and gives you a thoroughly entertaining time during your two-hour visit.

Final word? If you are ready to discard logic and rationale and have a good time at the movies, if you consider yourself being a part of the mob, then READY would be the right experience for you. Go on people, go enjoy your annual dose of Salman Khan. The star performer plays to the gallery from start to finish. READY is outlandish and bizarre, but it's tremendously entertaining.

Prem [Salman Khan] lives with his father [Mahesh Manjrekar] and two uncles [Manoj Joshi, Manoj Pahwa]. Sanjana [Asin], an orphan, lands in India to be with hermamas [Sharat Saxena, Akhilendra Mishra], who are greedy and want to usurp her property. Prem, who falls in love with Sanjana, decides to teach her mamas a lesson. Both the mamas, who are sworn enemies, want Sanjana to get married to their respective brothers-in-law, so that they can lay their hands on Sanjana's property. But Prem makes a fool of them by getting friendly with them and making his family pose as billionaires.

One of the uncles of Prem poses as the manager from the World Bank, who reveals to themamas that Sanjana's father owed the bank millions of dollars. Either they sell their property or disown the girl. Circumstances prompt the mamas to accept Prem as the prospective husband of Sanjana. But Prem's game plan gets exposed on his wedding day.

READY is boisterous, crazy, wacky, irrational, comic book type, totally make-believe with the desi tadka of songs and dances. So those questioning its makers, Where's the story?, ought to shut up since the question is simply irrelevant. READY was never expected to have a ground-breaking story. The only thing it was supposed to have is Salman, Salman, more Salman... and only Salman. So just relax and savor the antics of Salman, who communicates with the viewer like never before. He knows the rules of the game and is a master at it.

READY may not boast of an inventive or pioneering story, but director Anees Bazmee packs loads of entertainment in those two hours. In fact, you hardly get time to ponder on anything else but the goings-on. Like I pointed out at the very outset, it's a wholesome entertainer, absolutely in sync with what one would've expected after one watched its first promo a few months ago.

Any flaws? Yes, the screenplay isn't gripping in the first hour. There are sequences that don't work, while a few do manage to make you laugh not because they are funny, but because they are extremely ludicrous and farcical. In fact, this movie celebrates bizarre conduct and kitsch, which may give an impression that the writing is outmoded and obsolete at places.

READY has the sort of music one would expect from an entertainer. Tracks have a larger-than-life feel and gel well with the content. The action sequences, not many though, are done in an enticing mix of masti and mayhem. Especially the chase in the end and the sequence when Salman shows off his exceptional physique - the viewers are sure to go into frenzy.

Salman Khan continues his super act with gusto. He's the soul of the film and the reason why READY works. Asin convinces in parts. At times you feel that she's got it right, but there are sequences where she looks ill at ease. Paresh Rawal is excellent and compliments Salman beautifully. I'd like to single out one more actor - funster Sudesh Lehri - who makes a solid impact. He's exceptional and brings the house down with his style of comedy.

The film has a number of actors in supporting roles and the ones who stand out are Akhilendra Mishra, Mahesh Manjrekar, Anooradha Patel and Sharat Saxena. Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Kangna, Zarine Khan, Chunky Pandey and Arbaaz Khan appear in cameos.

On the whole, READY is strictly for the masses and for those who relish typically formulaic masala entertainers. The film prides itself with super music ['Character Dheela' and 'Dhinka Chika'], gags and gimmicks aplenty and of course, Salman Khan, the beloved of the masses and the mainstay of this film. If you hero-worship Salman, you cannot afford to miss this one. Even if you don't hero-worship him, watch READY as a stress-busting therapy that makes you smile, laugh and break into guffaws in those two hours.



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