Review: READY is a concealed kick for Sallu lovers

There are few things that can help you sail through a movie as beautifully well as the energy of the crowd around you, at a theatre like Chandan Cinema (Juhu), cometh to watch the first day first show of a Salman Khan movie. In cities where Multiplexes offering the comfort of booking tickets online for 250 bucks or so, and with an increasing dearth of single screen theatres, a theatre like Chandan is not always thronged by the people that we go out dining with. But they love their cinema. And they make bollywood tick. For instance, when I parked the car, I competed with three autorickshaws for space. Those guys hadn’t booked the ticket online. They had come earlier to book the ticket from advance booking window. And they had come to see Salman bhai (how do so many of them have such a strong rapport with sallu). At 60 bucks for stall tickets, I don’t think they come inexpensive, but way cheaper than what you’d pay at the shiny PVRs. And they offer a lot more. It’s a place where suddenly bursting into a dance is not weird, nor is hooting/seeti maaroing or expert commenting.
Yet. Ready. Disappointed. And before you bring me down as a pseudo intellectual, I present my candidature as the lover of Dabangg, Gunda, All The Best as well as Stanley Ka Dabba, 3 idiots, Kanoon, etc.
Here’s how it happened. When I walked into the cinema hall (that’s the right word, not theatre), the crowd’s energy started at the same level as that of an India-Pakistan match with Tendulkar on song. Several trailers (Murder 2, Chillar Party, Singham) later, even a pedestrian initial credits/casting sequence was cheered for. Salman entered with Character Dheela, and a Katrina Kaif imitation Zareen Khan was gyrating to the latest chartbuster. So, what happened? In about 5 minutes, a barrage of guest appearances (Katrina Kaif.. sorry, Zarine Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan, Arbaaz Khan, Kangana Ranaut) are thrown at you. And for some reason, as I look back, those were the somewhat better 5 minutes of the movie. From that point onwards, the movie goes downhill. It has its occasional sparks. And they are bound to be there when you have Salman, literally, playing to the gallery. Half the dialogues are spoken to the audience, and have nothing to do with other people on the screen. People tried hard to cheer even the worst-est of things, to keep their hopes alive. Every now and then, Sallu would give people hope. Like Ajay Jadeja. But that’s match-fixing. You keep hoping for some of the Wanted and Dabangg awesomeness. But, it’s just a ploy to make you watch the entire goddamn thing. The crowd energy by the end of it all is at that level of surrender, as the point when Wasim Akram might just have taken a hat-trick to polish off the Indian tail. Yet, all is not lost. For Ready would have already recovered the bulk of money over the weekend. People have booked, hoping to see another National Award winning movie after Dabangg (how many “g”s did we have in there?). And I like that. Industry needs to keep trying these movies – just so that every once in a while there is a flash of brilliance. OR, just so that you appreciate other movies. I appreciate the existence of Akshay Kumar and Khatta Meetha, just because they make the rest of the world look like a better place.
The high point of the movie are the two songs (Character Dheela and Dhinka Chika), with DC coming up trumps, in the spirit of the movie. The choreographer (most likely Raju Khan) deserves credit for making a double footed Sallu look like he is dancing, while he is largely standing at just one place making an insanely cool twist with his hands. Almost like there are wipers in his pocket, set at speed 2.
The reason I am alive is – Salman. He is a star. Even when he doesn’t actually, he manages to show off his shirtless body. And then ask you – mazaa aaya kya? The movie is so full of star-juice-extracting one liners like – “jiske paas ho family ka support, use nahi kar sakta koi deport”, “koi to rok lo yaar”, “tumhara shauq poora karoonga”, “jeans ki fitting kaafi achi hai”, “jahan pakadna hai pakdo, jo karna hai karo” – you could have called the movie – Cornflakes, or, Salman Juice Stall, or something like that.
I don’t blame anyone. I blame myself. I went to see a Salman movie. I forgot that its an Anees Bazmee movie. The man with a magical sense of humour. The man who believes in a suraj barjatya world, where there should be at least 15 people in 90% of the movie. And they should all, usually, shout when they talk. Akhilendra Mishra (Kroor-Singh of Yakku fame), that guy I love (the boxing villain from Ghulam), Mahesh Manjrekar, etc. etc. They all shout. Bazmee – Don’t you ever buzz me again. If it ever in my power, I’d bring you down some day. From that place from where you keep throwing these rotten tomatoes at us, just for getting your personal laughter.
Ah. A special mention for Asin. She is beautiful. And she has a very expressive face. Someone, anyone, please give her some better roles to work with. I am sure if Tusshar Kapoor can get a Shor, and if Sunil Shetty (what’s the right spelling these days?) can get a RED, someone can give her a decent role, no?
Endnote – Don’t watch it if you are a pseudo intellectual. Don’t watch it expecting to see a Dabangg. Watch it if you love Salman’s style of doing things. Watch it if Housefull, Thank You, etc. worked for you. And extract as much value as you can through the 4/5 trailers you get to see, and the two songs. Sallu bhai – please avoid Anees bhai. I love your movies (of this genre), but I can’t stand that idiot’s movies.

About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

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