Ready (Telugu): I Think I Might Like The Salman Version Better?

It feels wrong to say that!  The Hindi remake is always supposed to be the watered down less good version of the non-Hindi original.  But watching this movie, I found myself missing the slight changes the put in to make it work better for the Hindi industry.

I watched Ready years ago, around the same time I watched Wanted.  And then I saw Pokiri and suddenly Wanted came rushing back to me, and there were the things I liked, only done a lot better.  And other additional things that they had pulled out or not done as well in the Hindi version.  Watching the Telugu Ready it was mostly the reverse.  The stuff I really liked, I remembered from the Hindi version.  And then there was other stuff that I don’t remember, which I didn’t like as much.

(I even kind of missed this ridiculous, and ridiculousy catchy, song)

See, what I loved about the Hindi version is all the stuff about how our hero is just really not interested in love or marriage, and neither is the heroine.  They kind of meet their match in each other, because they are both tricksters and liars and determined to go their own way.  And they get to know each other for “real”, because they really don’t care about each other, they are just acting in their own self-interests.

Every “twist” in the film is about that, how the hero and heroine have one more level left to the game they are playing, a level that even the other doesn’t know about.  And the delightful part of the film is how, rather than them learning to be serious and stop with the tricks, they teach everyone else the value of trickery and pull everyone into their scams by the end.

But, that’s the Hindi version.  In the Telugu, not so much!  There’s no selfishness and tricks, both of them are pretty decent people.  Which is good in the abstract, but takes a lot of the bite from the film.

And there aren’t as many layers to it.  I remember in the Hindi a couple of real jaw-dropping “Whoa! Did not see that coming!” moments, and here, although they were still technically in the plot, they just didn’t land as hard, didn’t feel like such a surprise.

Still a pleasant movie though!  There were plenty of things I liked about it, and the family relationships worked even better in the Telugu version (because you could have actual cousins marrying, not just “friends like cousins”).  Genelia and Ram were sweet together, very young, which isn’t a bad thing, although it did remove some of the bite from the film.  I think maybe Genelia did a better job that Ram?  I seem to remember her line delivery and expressions in certain scenes better than his.

But overall, well worth the $0 and 0 effort I had to put in to watch it (it started playing automatically on youtube when I looked up the final scene of Happy).  And, to talk in more detail about what they changed and what they kept in the Hindi, now is the time for SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

 

 

 

 

Both movies start the same way.  There is a bride, a young man helps her escape from her wedding.  But it’s a little confusing, because it also looks like maybe the young man is the groom?  So why would he need to elope with her?  And then he delivers her to a registry office, we see her sign her name, and the camera pans up to reveal someone else as the groom!  He was eloping with the bride in order to help her marry someone else!

It’s a clever fun opening.  Especially with the twist that his family is the bride’s family (in the Telugu, they are two cousins who are engaged, and in the Hindi they are the children of friends so close it is like they are cousins).  So he is in trouble with his own family for helping the elopement.

But after that the two movies go in completely different directions.  In the original, he just helped his cousin elope because he is “good”.  That’s it, he wanted her to be happy so he helped her.  BORING!  But in the Hindi, there is this meta twist of all Salman’s relatives wanting him to finally get married (in the movie, not in real life.  Don’t know what they think in real life).  And he just plain doesn’t want to.  This elopement is just part of a bigger issue in the family with him avoiding marriage.

In the Telugu, the elopement is the big break, he is sent back to college in disgrace with his family, and then randomly and unrelated ends up offering to help a friend with his elopement.  Only, he goes to the wrong wedding hall and kidnaps the wrong bride!

That’s kind of a clever twist, but they don’t really go anywhere with it.  I mean, it doesn’t become a running gag, or a thematic thing, it’s just their meet cute.  In contrast with how it happens in the Hindi!

In the Hindi, Salman is never exiled, instead his family informs him that they have found a bride for him, he has to go to the airport to pick her up.  He purposefully goes to the wrong gate and tries to miss her, but Asin, in full bridal outfit, is trying to escape some gundas and jumps on the chance to pretend to be the girl he is picking up.  Salman sees through her, but the rest of his family doesn’t, and she ends up joining his household.

See, that’s clever!  Salman is trying to avoid marriage, Asin is running away from marriage, they form a pact of mutual convenience allowing her to hide out in his home and him to use her to keep avoiding a real engagement.

It’s also simple, in the Telugu they take the long way around.  There’s all of this back and forth with Genelia’s family discovering she is kidnapped and chasing after Ram’s group, and then Ram and Genelia getting separated from the rest so they can have cute Qayamet Se Qayamet Tak like time together in the forest, and then finally her discovering that her friend isn’t in town so she needs somewhere else to hide out while she waits for her passport, and only then does Ram introduce her to his household.

While in the Telugu they take the long way around to move the plot along, they take the short way on the relationship.  Ram is in love with Genelia even before he kidnaps her, seeing her from the distance riding in a car.  And then is delighted at the reveal of her face after they have bundled her into a van.  Genelia is pretty clearly interested all along too.  We don’t get a real “falling in love” moment with her, it just sort of seems to happen at some point.  There is a nice moment about halfway in when Ram keeps wanting to show her a picture of that girl he told her about, the one in the car that he fell in love with, and she keeps putting him off, and then he finally shows her the photo, and of course it is her.  That was cute!

But it’s the only moment of their romance I really remember.  The accidental kidnapping was nice, the photo was nice, everything else was “eh” to me.  In the Hindi remake, I remember a lot of moments of real spark when they two of them just sincerely got down and dirty in fighting with each other.  It made it feel really satisfying when they finally did get together, not fated, but something the circumstances of the film had to work towards happening.  And yet, also more fated in a way, because it was so hard to get together since they were matched in stubbornness, a sign that they were made for each other!  In the Telugu, I didn’t get nearly as much of a sense that they two of them were just right together.

The romance being more interesting could have been a coincidence.  Because Salman was in the film, he turned into an older character running from marriage instead of just a random young man.  But the rest of the plot tightening and getting punchier, that was on purpose.

The big twist I remember going “whaaaa!” in the Hindi version was halfway through.  We were introduced to Asin running from bad guys in full wedding dress through an airport.  Which is a great visual, and also very mysterious.  We know she is running from a marriage, but we don’t know who is trying to force her into it or why.  And then she and Salman end up on the run together, after she’s spent all that time with his family, and clearly there are even more people after her.  And finally, after a confrontation and she ends up going off with them, we learn that they are HER family!  It’s not a gangster trying to force her into marriage, it’s her own relatives who are so scary and they are fighting over her because they both want so much to marry her into their families because they love her so much!  She was never in any danger at all!

And in the Telugu, we kind of already know all this?  I mean, we knew it was her family chasing her from the marriage hall, and the marriage to her maternal cousin isn’t really a surprise since that’s how it often is.  There’s no mystery about who is chasing her and who they want her to marry, and then no big surprise when we find out.

And again, Asin and Salman are a matched set, both of them so beloved by their families that it causes fights over who gets to have them.  In the Telugu, it is the opposite, both Genelia and Ram love their families, that’s what they have in common.  But, firstly, that’s kind of dull, to have them love their families.  And secondly, that’s not a very useful message, “love your families and try to make your parents/uncles/aunts happy”.  I find it much more exciting to have the message of “love your kids and indulge them if they don’t want to get married until they are way way too old.”

The second half of both films is basically the same.  Hero and Heroine are in love, Hero is now aware of the real situation of the heroine, that she is a pawn between her two feuding uncles, both of whom want her to marry into their family.  Hero sends the heroine back to her uncle, but tells her he will come for her.  Hero ingratiates himself with the accountant shared between the two uncles, and gets in with both households.  Heroine acts the saintly obedient daughter to both households and follows all their commands, while hero tricks them into bending to his wishes.

But the really cool thing, which is in the Telugu and I loved it there just as much as in the Hindi, is that the hero’s family joins in the fun!  His uncles and aunts come along to play the NRI millionaire characters necessary for the scam.  And through a series of tricks, they eventually maneuver her uncles into deciding that the best solution is to marry their niece off to the accountant’s “nephew” (Salman).

Almost everything is the same in the second half, but somehow the feeling is different?  In the Hindi, I felt like the heroine’s family really did love her and want whatever they thought was best for her.  But in the Telugu, while sometimes it seemed like that, at other times it seemed like all they wanted was access to the money she inherited from her parents.

In the Hindi, it all builds to a reveal that all of Asin’s running from the wedding and trickery and all of this wasn’t just because she didn’t want to get married, but because she was trying to reunite her uncles.  Which is cool for two reasons.  First, that Asin’s planning and desires turn out to have been driving this whole thing!  She’s not some pawn being passed between them after all, she is running the whole board!  And second, that this was all about a more noble purpose than simply getting married, that Asin (a woman) has more concerns than just being in love and getting married.

But in the Telugu, I honestly thought it was going to end 15 minutes early.  There is this big celebration dance after Genelia and Ram trick her family and get engaged, and I kind of thought the movie was over.  They tricked her family, got married, that’s all anyone wanted!

And it kind of is all they wanted.  The movie keeps going and there’s a big confrontation at the wedding, but instead of the heroine getting a chance to give a big speech about why she came and the purpose to all her actions, it just turns into a chance for the hero to have a big fight scene and to show up how he tricked her whole family.

 

Generally, comparing the two movies, I am just really surprised to discover that I find the Hindi one to be the one that took more risks, did more original things, and just general has more of a flavor to it.  Who’s have thought!

(See?  Flavor!)

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25 thoughts on “Ready (Telugu): I Think I Might Like The Salman Version Better?

  1. Interesting. I tried to watch the Telugu Ready before the Hindi version came out, but could only watch about a half hour as I found it so boring! Or perhaps it’s just Ram that I find very, very boring to watch. He has the least charisma of any of the young Telugu heroes, and in any given movie, I’d almost always rather be watching someone else.

    In the Hindi version also, I remember that Asin’s uncles want her for her money, not so much pure love as you stated. I loved the bickering between Asin and Salman part of the story, but felt Asin’s character got tamed too early, and then it got boring. I also thought Salman was too old to play the part given him. So, with all those reservations about the Hindi version even without seeing the Telugu version fully, I’m surprised that you think the Hindi version is better. But also perhaps a little gratified, because now I don’t need to watch the Telugu version. 🙂

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    • I agree with all your issues with the Hindi version (except that I didn’t remember that Asin’s uncles were so interested in her money), and I STILL like the Hindi version better than the Telugu. Which tells you how bland the Telugu one was. If Asin’s character got tamed and then it got boring, Genelia was never wild to begin with.

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  2. Ram isn’t that decent for me too. But, to be honest, I enjoyed watching his recent film Nenu Sailaja. Not that it isn’t cliched, but it was long for me watching a Telugu film deal the issues between an introvert daughter and parents with fully-fleshed out characters. You and Moimeme may enjoy it.

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    • Yeah, I was looking at his filmography, and it looked like he hasn’t really hit it big? Only a few movies (considering most heroes seem to have 2 or 3 a year), and none of them looked like big hits.

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  3. Ok, that first song is amazing! I listened to it last night before I went to bed and woke up with it in my head this morning. I am not the biggest Salman fan but I may have to watch Ready at some point. Too good.

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    • It’s Pritam, so it’s very good, and also very plagerized. Wikipedia says Anu Malik claims it was stolen from his song for Ajnabee, and someone else sued over the lyrics being stolen. But I don’t care! Even if all of Pritam’s stuff is stolen, he steals GOOD stuff!

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 2:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Honestly, I am kind of fond of Ram. He has this certain energy that I also see in Varun. Actually Kandireega, one of Ram’s biggest hits, is the original version of Varun’s Main Tera Hero. Ram is a smaller hero who I would compare to someone like Imran Khan. Both of them tend to stick to the same genre of films, Ram does these action-comedies and Imran does the rom-coms. The main reason that I like Ready is because the movie is funny and I think Ram and Genelia look cute together. You should watch Jagadam (“violence”) which is directed by Sukumar (the guy that made 1:Nenokkadine) starring Ram. It was just his second movie and it flopped but I think it is really good. Apparently it’s inspired by a movie called City of God but I don’t know.

    I haven’t seen the Hindi version but based on what you wrote, it sounds like they made the changes to suit Salman’s image. Character Dheela is a fun song 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Happy Birthday Salman Khan!!! You are 51, but still the Youngest of the Khans!!! – dontcallitbollywood

  6. I watched this last night and enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. What a fun movie! I have watched a some ‘heavy’ movies during my post holiday binge (Doosra Aadmi, Ghajini and Aashiqui 2). While I enjoyed them quite a bit (well, the first two anyway) I think that I needed some silly entertainment to cleanse my palate. I had watched the Character Dheela song about fifty times since your post. I liked Asin so much in Ghajini that when I realized she co-starred in this one, it pushed me over the edge. I think that it was just the right movie for my mood- great songs, an easy-breezy story, over-the-top performances, humor, action, with a feel good ending. Dhinka Chika is so crazy and awesome. I didn’t have to think too much. It made me smile. Perfect!

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    • What did you think of Doosra Aadmi? Also, samesies! I also watched Aashiqui 2! It is terrible! But if I were a dreamy 13 year old girl I think I would have loved it.

      Ready is kind of the perfect palate cleanser, taking all that romantic angst and making fun of it. Which was missing in the original film, and made it into more of just another standard rom-com. I liked the sort of light cynicism of Salman’s Ready.

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  7. I really liked Doosra Aadmi, not quite as much as Silsila, but they definitely make an interesting pair. It was a little more melodramatic but it still had that somewhat naturalistic style of acting. I liked Rishi in it. His character was rather unpleasant, and really mean to his new wife, but he did a nice job. Neetu was good in the role and she definitely had my sympathy. I felt for her situation. This guy swept her off her feet, married her, then lost interest and drifted away so quickly. It reminded me of kids with new toys at Christmas. Rakhee stole the show, though. Wow! Incredible performance and, even though she was ‘the other woman’, her portrayal was so sensitive and delicate that I couldn’t help but sympathize with her as well. She was stunningly beautiful. I was a bit taken aback when she first appeared and had to collect myself. My goodness. That shorter haircut REALLY suited her! She also helped me relate a bit more to Rishi’s character. Who wouldn’t be drawn to that woman?

    Aashiqui 2 was such a slog. I found it so depressing from start to finish. It made me feel horrible inside. I can’t see how anyone would find it romantic. I don’t think we would have finished it, had it not been for Aditya and Shraddha being in it. Tum Hi Ho made me tear up the first time I heard it. The movie didn’t. Such overindulgent, overwrought rubbish. I don’t drink so I always have difficulty understanding and sympathizing with alcoholics. It seems the height of selfishness. I kind of felt the same way about the Devdas character in the Bhansali version (although that was a visual feast and had some great dances). This didn’t have much going for it. On the bright side, I don’t think OK Jaanu could possibly be worse!

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    • If you are in a Raakhee mood, you should check out Blackmail and Sharmilee, both of them have great Raakhee performances. And Sharmilee has her opposite Shashi Kapoor again.

      I found Doosra Aadmi really fascinating for how ready everyone was for Neetu to leave Rishi. Did you notice that? Her parents and his parents were both completely on her side and unaccepting of Rishi’s behavior, which was so refreshing! Instead of expecting her to just endure and be silent.

      It also felt like it had a bit of a anti-young marriages message. Because, to me, it did a realistic job of showing how they were both so young when they got together, Neetu didn’t really have any thing else in her life to fall back on when she felt she was losing Rishi. And Rishi’s growing away from her was kind of natural, he was going out in the world and finding his profession and all of that while she was still stuck in the college mindset. And they had the parents specifically object because they were just too young.

      As for Aashiqui 2, you should be grateful you have boys! If you had girls, you would probably end up needing to slog through a whole bunch of movies like it when they hit puberty. Twilight, Titanic, various versions of Romeo and Juliet, the list goes on and on. My sister was in town for the holidays and we watched Aashiqui together and got all sentimental for our youth. Which is probably the only situation in which I would have enjoyed it.

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      • I watched Blackmail last night and it was wonderful! The main plot, with the elaborate plans to steal the ‘formula’ for solar power was okay and all, but I really fell for the sweet love story between Raakhee and Dharmendra. She was so beautiful and elegant and thoughtful. She was torn by the love of these two men, and didn’t just make a rash decision. She really seemed to labor and worry over it. He was this big, lumbering hulk of a man, but so gentle and soft spoken. He seemed like such a nice guy, that was really sincere and loved Raakhee so purely and truly.

        And Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas… oh my God, that song! So sweet and melancholic, with a melody that gave me shivers. It was the perfect song for that perfect couple. She’s reading his letters, discovering his feelings and starting to fall for him, and it really, really touched me. It captured that ‘falling in love’ feeling so perfectly. I must have gone back and rewatched that song four or five times.

        I’ll put it this way: I wasn’t focusing in on the camera work or technical qualities of this movie. I was swept off my feet by this adorable couple and their love story!

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        • Oh, I am so glad you liked it! I don’t remember how I first saw it, I think it might have been just a random purchase because the DVD was on sale. But after I watched it, and could see it was really something kind of specialy, I started running across other people who loved it. And Raakhee herself mentions it as one of her all time favorite films and her favorite performance.

          A few years back, I was visiting my sister and I put it on to watch while she graded papers. And after about half an hour she was completely distracted from her papers and caught up in the plot too!

          By the way, I don’t know if you have been following the Humsafar conversations scattered in the comments, but the Humsafar love story is kind of similar to this. It takes a long time to get going, like almost 4 full episodes (which is over 2 hours), but once it starts, it is all about these two really nice people coming together and learning to appreciate each other.

          On Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 11:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I should give Humsafar a try! It sounds like my kind of love story. I was pleasantly surprised when they added that and Zindagi Gulzar Hai to Netflix. I’ve really been impressed by Fawad Khan in his Hindi film roles and Mahira Khan seems to have quite a presence. It should also be an easy sell for my wife- Kapoor & Sons and Khoobsurat with Fawad are two of her favorites.

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  8. Ha! I had to go to watch all the Twilight movies in the theater with my wife. What a fantastic comparison for Aashiqui 2 (although, I probably got more enjoyment from the Twilight series). I am guilty of unabashedly loving Titanic. I was about sixteen or so when it was released, in my first serious relationship, and it always puts me back in that sweet and innocent place.

    You made some great points about Doosra Aadmi. It makes a strong case for waiting, and really getting settled in and comfortable with someone, before plunging into marriage. You’re totally on point about both sides support for Neetu’s situation. Even though her husband was less than perfect at least she found herself with wonderful in-laws! So many movies seem to imply that wives should just sit idly by while their philandering husbands paint the town which is, of course, utterly ridiculous. I will check out those other Raakhee movies you recommended. It’s great to see her in some juicier parts after seeing her play the mother roles in Ram Lakhan and Baazigar.

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  9. Hi mredlich21,

    I am a big fan of your blog. I love some of your insights, especially your review of Kshana Kshanam. But I think you are missing the whole point of the telugu Ready. The movie’s hero is Brahmanandam. The telugu version is way more fun than the Hindi version. Maybe a lot of the foreigners miss the comedy when they read subtitles?

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    • It probably is the subtitles. I have a hard time with Hindi comedy, but I can understand it a little, because I know a little Hindi. Telugu though is completely impenetrable to me, so I probably missed a lot of stuff.

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