So I’m actually now stranded up in New York for the summer, away from my beloved Florida and my fellow fruits. But despite a lot of aggravations that have set my relationship with this city as rocky already, I have found a serious redeeming factor:
INDIAN FILM CINEMA! Specifically, Big Cinemas Manhattan.
Tonight, I was able to go to a theater and see the much-anticipated Salman Khan film Ready on the day it was released – which is pretty much unheard of for me! I had to catch a late show because of work, but it’s OK because YAY, I got to see a film right away!
So I’m now still awake at 3:30 a.m. my time because I want to be one of the first to chime in on the film.
Synopsis (of which there are NO good ones yet on the net): Prem Kapoor (Sallu) has made a habit out of helping couples in love to have their happy endings but is meticulously avoiding love himself. When Sanjana Singh (Asin) sneaks her way into his heart by conning him and his family into believing she’s a potential bride come from America, Prem is reluctant but of course falls anyway. Then reality strikes: Sanjana’s uncles are two feuding dons who are each out to marry her to their choice of man so they can lay hands on her inheritance. Prem now has his hardest case of stealing the bride yet.
Going into it, I read a couple of the very mixed reviews, but as usual, THE REVIEWS MEANT NOTHING. I laughed HYSTERICALLY throughout the entire movie! It was that fantastic! Yes, parts of it that I’m sure were meant to be serious were so absurd to be laughable, but when a movie has the dialogue and antics generally geared to make you laugh, how else can you take the over-the-top serious stuff? (Also, many people were saying it was too close to Dabangg. Not having seen Dabangg, I can't be a fair judge of that, but hopefully that won't be problematic for anyone else.)
Yes, it’s true, this film has no great substance to it, no overwhelmingly great message, but he bhagavan is it entertaining! I took four friends with me to the theater who had NEVER seen a Hindi film before, and most of the inside jokes and nuances of puns were lost on them, but they all thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. It was that universal.
|My Bollywood-virgin friends couldn't appreciate the long line of cameos, including these. But the comedy... That they could. Definitely.|
The movie was full of more crude humor than I've ever seen a Hindi film have. There was peeing (intermission is referred to as "Pee Break" while Salman urinates on a haystack), farting and lots of bad things happening to butts (sitting on hot pots, getting a fork stuck in a cheek, etc.). Now that may not be your cup of tea, but there's plenty of other humor to go around -- witty dialogue, absurdness, those deft inside filmy jokes, lots of innuendo (see below) -- there was a dash of every kind of humor.
I’ve heard Ready pegged as masala, which I’ll take. It’s a dash of romance, a dash of (sometimes painful) action, a little family drama and a whole lot of comedy. On top of that, it has a plot! One that gets crazy and out of control, of course, but it does have a definite and distinct plot.
The other thing I’ve seen Ready called though is a family film, which I will NOT agree with. There was more innuendo (some of it RIDICULOUSLY blatant) than I’ve ever seen in a Hindi film. For a genre that manages to skirt the sex issue even when hookers are around, this one really lays the references on thick. (Almost as many innuendos as this Weiner scandal going on in the U.S. right now.)
Sallu does have the tendency to get on my nerves with his attitude as you might have gleaned from my previous posts about him. Yes, there are moments when Salman’s attitude made me roll my eyes, even during songs (especially when he takes off his shirt in a fight scene because someone says he won’t because he’s gotten fat; sorry Sallu, you’re not fat by general standards, but you’re definitely getting older and pudgier). But for the most part, he’s so caught up in making you laugh that you don’t have time to be PO’d at his attitude.
|I have kind of a love-hate relationship with Sallu. Sometimes I wish he'd just be less full of himself.|
Asin also brilliantly pulls off a witty, spunky girl who’s willing to give Prem his what-for. I honestly don't see why some people said they had no chemistry. The jodi worked just fine for me. The cast of supporting characters likewise has all of the quirks and character you could hope for, including a couple of poor schlubs who become the butt of SO MANY jokes.
|Yeah, these two schlubs.|
In essence, yes, this film has no enduring message quality, but PLEASE don’t tell me you go to all films purely for the message. There’s a reason it’s called entertainment, people.
(Also, apparently this film is a Tamil film remake? I really want to see the original.)