Sunday, June 05, 2011

mini-review: Ready

I can't do any better to summarize my feelings about Ready than my film-loving friend Samrat did when I found him online at 1:00 in the morning after our one local screening.
Samrat: Is it good?
Beth: It is whatever. Nowhere near as offensive to everything I stand for as Housefull.
Samrat: So, mostly harmless but also mostly charmless?

And that was it exactly. I can, at a sort of academic level, accept that if one enjoys byzantine, duplicitous shenanigans that are eventually and somewhat hypocritically swept under the carpet of respecting elders and women and telling the truth and loving family and blah blah blah, then Ready might be perfect summer fun. Salman is funny enough; the heroine, who could have been played by anyone but was solid under the sass-dishing eyebrows of Asin, is pleasingly feisty more of the time than I thought (though all but absent post-interval) and even gets to express desire; there are too many pee jokes but only one about skin color; its wackadoo plot and action are left relatively unamplified, mercifully free of slide whistles and bug-eyes and solid seconds of screaming; and all of the songs looked and sounded good, though I'm not sure what to make of the limited range of motion in most of Salman's moves.

My favorite part of seeing Ready, contested only by the very presence of a skeleton suit, is probably getting to see it in the cinema and enjoy the reactions by the other viewers in the hall. A boisterous pack of 20something men sat right in front of me and talked and laughed full volume throughout (a behavior I, unlike most American movie-goers, have no issues with). Their hoots started at the certificate and abated only at the Ra.One promo, during which they grumbled "Robot! Robot!"—and as much as I love SRK, I can't say there was anything in that particular clip to make me disagree. They were thrilled to see Hrithik and Katrina in the trailer for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and Zarine Khan proved waaaaay more tantalizing than Ready's actual heroine. Not surprising, given poor Asin was put in junior high outfits and Zarine got black leather jeans.

Basially, my expectations of Ready, as well as both its offenses and payoffs once the film began, were far less complex or significant than those in other recent finger-quote "comedies" like Housefull and Tees Maar Khan, and I'm just not excited enough by it in any direction to bother writing very much more.

And now for a bit of housekeeping. Back in May, I was also profiled in the most recent edition of the Polish blog MasalaWBigosie's Blogue. Thanks Louella! Most of the rest of June will be devoted to Kapoor Khazana, organized by Totally Filmi with posts collected here. And at the end of the month, I head to Toronto for the IIFAs and to meet up with lots of other blog and twitter friends from around the world! Of all the goings-on I've heard about so far, I am most delighted about the exhibit Bollywood Cinema Showcards at the Royal Ontario Museum (where I used to work in the Egyptology collections) and the opportunity to squeeeee at Dharmendra in person. Cover your ears!

15 comments:

The Mighty Mango said...

"I'm not sure what to make of the limited range of motion in most of Salman's moves."

I've had this problem with Salman's dancing in just about every post-Aish movie I've ever seen him in. Not sure if he's just getting old (if so, he can take lessons from the other Khans who have no problem moving like they did 20 years ago) or is maybe a little lazy or disinterested in dance, but that's Sallu for you.

Overall, I enjoyed Ready. True, no substance, but it was hilarious. The entire theater was laughing like crazy. But then again, I like rude and crude humor and I'm a nearly-20-something who was in a theater full of mostly 20-somethings.

Yunus Perveez said...

The dancing seems to be a trend started by choreographer Ganesh Acharya who is as close to morbidly Obese as a choreogrpaher can ever be. I don't know if he was involved in the choreography of Ready but it's definitely a style Sallu has kinda run with ever since workig with him at the start of the 90's.
You know what I truly hated about Ready one of the final lines of dialogues Salman says: Thats about the only smart thing a woman has ever said. WTF, why was that needed? Wholly blame azmee for this

Beth said...

Mighty Mango - I wonder if it's the muscle bulk and/or whether uncomplicated and small-scale moves are more easily replicated by the rest of us and thus more likely to turn the song into a big hit because we all dance along at home etc? I think that style worked really well in Dabangg because of who his character was; it was okay here but I would have liked more, given how the backing dancers were really workin' it!

I don't care for rude and crude humor, generally speaking, but this one was not as in-your-face with it as other films, I thought. Once again, because of where I live and the limited access I have to new Hindi films (legal access, that is), I go see whatever shows up just to show my support, NOT based on what I would actual choose to see if I had access to everything. :) POOR ME, TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM. Hee!

Yunus - That's interesting! I should look into that.

I agree with you about that line - it was completely out of the blue (since it was mouthed by Salman and not by one of the bad guys who had been repeatedly characterized as old-fashioned and sexist)! Since it only happened once and since most of his character's other actions did not follow the same philosophy, I didn't bring it up. But I agree with you 100% and am glad you mentioned it.

dustdevil liz said...

"if one enjoys byzantine, duplicitous shenanigans that are eventually and somewhat hypocritically swept under the carpet of respecting elders and women and telling the truth and loving family and blah blah blah,"

Hee, this sentence pretty sums up my love of Telugu movies. All of the crazy family members were the best thing about the original, so I'm looking forward to them in this version.

Filmi Girl said...

Ha ha ha!! I do enjoy rude and crude humor so I probably found Ready way more hilarious than you did but otherwise, totally agree on the disposable but inoffensive nature of the film. Not that it's a bad thing - Ready is solid popcorn flick for packs of guys (and gals) to go and laugh at.

The only thing I don't get is the fever-pitch hysterical bad reviews... but then who knows what critics are thinking.

Beth said...

liz - Hee! I thought the family was pretty fun, actually. There were so many people that no single one of them got on my nerves. And fortunately the likes of Johny Lever never showed up!

FG - Yeah, this is not one I can really imagine getting too worked up over! I need to go look at your review to see what you thought about Asin and a few other points :)

Briyanshu said...

Obviously I have a different viewpoint - I haven't seen it yet, but I understand Nikitin Dheer is in it, so it's automatically 10 stars.

Banno said...

Have lots of fun at IIFA. And Dharmendra in person, really? Is he going to be there? Lucky you!

I haven't seen 'Ready'. But will, of course. I'm glad it's not a 'comedy' on the level of 'Housefull' or 'Tees Maar Khan' which I hated. Salman even with his limited moves is fun to watch.

Banno said...

Liked you in 'Blogue'. I love the rapid-fire Q and A. Reminds me of 'Stardust'.

Lime(tte) said...

So Ready is just what I expected... Dabangg without Chulbul.

Beth said...

Briyanshu - I have no idea who that is, but there are certainly many, many male actors in bit parts (the big sprawling families and their goons) that I didn't recognize!

Banno - I heard he was coming and REALLY hope it's true! :D

Lime(tte) - Oh noooo, I would not compare this movie to Dabangg in any way. There is no Chulbul, but I don't think Ready is trying to be like Dabangg at all except in parlaying Salman's star power.

The Mighty Mango said...

@Beth "Because of where I live and the limited access I have to new Hindi films (legal access, that is), I go see whatever shows up just to show my support, NOT based on what I would actual choose to see if I had access to everything. :)"

Same here! I live in north Florida, and there's a theater about an hour away that picks up a Hindi film every now and again. I try to go as much as possible just to show my support, like you said. Ready was one I was looking forward to, though.

Luckily I'm in New York City for the summer and they have actual Bollywood theaters. :D Ready's the only thing I've gotten to see so far, but I'm so happy to have actual opportunity to see stuff.

Vidya said...

It has been a couple of years since i have seen the telugu flick "ready" and i just dont remember what was the film about!!! Hope Salman 's "ready" has some redeeming feature....:)

Salman's dancing moves r basically 'chakki peecing' moves :)

Its been a long time since I have read ur reviews,love the as always (esp the Shashi ones).....they always give me a DIL squish....

Beth said...

Mighty Mango - It's a weird conundrum, really. Part of me thinks "Show support! Do whatever it takes to get more fillums here!" and part of me thinks "Why are you spending your time on things you are pretty sure you won't like when you have 80 unwatched DVDs at home and dozens more on netflix and hulu?" It hurts the brain! :)

I hope you enjoy New York! You'll go to Jackson Heights for some DVD shopping, I assume?

Vidya - Thank you for your lovely comment! Dil squish! :D As for Ready, I really did think it was fine for what it was, and what it was is not something I tend to enjoy much or think the world needs more of, but it's also basically harmless and inoffensive.

The Mighty Mango said...

I'm that way with films in general... I get more and more even when I have at least a dozen DVDs left to watch. I've had Asoka for months but haven't watched it yet because I keep buying newer stuff. But I think seeing something in the theater is a completely different experience (especially in NY when there's a full audience that I can react with), so I don't mind "wasting" my time on them. :)

And I didn't actually know about Jackson Heights until recently. I'm in Manhattan down in the East Village, so Jackson Heights is at least a 45-minute hike for me and I'm wary of going alone. I'm going to a place here in Manhattan for now, but once I find time and company I'm definitely going to Jackson Heights. :)