Friday, June 03, 2011


Salman Inc.

They might as well give the National Award to Ready in advance.  It is packed with so much ‘family values’ that family members are practically falling off the screen.

If only there was as much plot or as many gags as there are characters in every frame.  It looks as if well fed and over dressed uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours, pandits and servants were picked up from some TV soaps and dumped on screen. For ‘inspiration’ Anees Bazmee looked back at old Kader Khan gags, like a character (played by Mahesh Manjrekar) forgetting words and using “woh” instead.

The film is a Salman Khan stand-up comedy act, and he struts his stuff wearing a sneer, a ‘Superman’ T shirt, referring constantly to his own films—like putting his sun glasses on his collar at the back, having two minor villains called Veer and Yuvraj, and so on.

Prem (who else but Salman) is the pampered ‘youngster’ in a family consisting of parents, two sets of uncles and aunts, two maids, a dog and a neighbour who seems to live in their mansion with a pool.

Sanjna (Asin) comes from a family with a grandfather, two uncles, their wives, the wives’ brothers, a cousin, the cousin’s wife, their awful kid, several henchmen and a slave.  It’s like peak hour crowd at Churchgate station.

The plot—borrowing from Welcome and Hulchul (Priyadarshan’s)—involves ‘young’ Prem and his family, reuniting Sanjna’s warring uncles, who are dons and want her to marry their brothers-in-law, so that they can lay their hands on her fortune. Even in 2011, it doesn’t occur to anyone that a girl can manage her own money—not this daft girl maybe, but the notion of a son-in-law inheriting the girl’s money is outdated. As odd as an American girl coming to India (actually Bangkok) to meet her intended groom without even seeing a photo of him, or he of her. The silly device allows Sanjna to impersonate her, to escape from her uncles (Sharat Saxena –Akhilendra Mishra).

Admittedly, the film is not meant for those looking for sensible cinema, but for those who go to the cinema just get some ‘timepass’.  When Salman is on screen, there is rapidfire repartee and constant bantering between him and the uncles and Paresh Rawal playing a clueless chartered accountant; also a kind of funny sequence of him teaching an obnoxious brat some manners. If people like this sort of thing, they are welcome to it… their money, their time, who’s to stop them. Salman even takes his shirt off at the end, what more could a fan ask for!


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