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!