Ready Player One — A Honest Review of an Underrated Film

Amongst all the crazy hype for Marvel Studios Avengers : Infinity War there were some really good films that went kind of unnoticed by the movie-goers in India. One among such films was Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi action adventure piece Ready Player One. Based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 bestselling novel of the same name, the film is produced & directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay was penned by Zak Penn & Ernest Cline and distributed by Warner Bros. worldwide. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, Hannah John-Kamen and Mark Rylance in leading roles.

Set in 2045, the plot talks of a world where most of the population uses OASIS – a virtual reality software, to escape from a desolated world. When the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday (Rylance) dies, he announces a competition which involves finding a hidden ‘Easter Egg’ in the game which would in turn grant the winner inheritance of Halliday’s fortune & total control over the OASIS itself. The film follows the journey of a young Wade Watts (Sheridan) who also tries to win the competition before the CEO of a large video games company – Nolan Sorrento (Mendelsohn) can do so.

The film was released on March 29, 2018 to worldwide critical acclaim. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film holds a score of 74% based on 326 reviews. The site’s critical consensus reads – “Ready Player One is a sweetly nostalgic thrill ride that neatly encapsulates Spielberg’s strengths while adding another solidly engrossing adventure to his filmography.” Several critics directed their praise towards Spielberg’s direction, the writing and visual effects. Others have also cited the film to be an improvement over the novel in many ways. The film is also a commercial success and has made around $550 million worldwide.

Honestly, I was totally surprised by the film. I was expecting only a decent film but the film outperformed my expectations. I believe the film to be one of the best films made by the 70-year-old maestro. Steven Spielberg once again proved that he is one of the best directors in the world for a reason. With Ready Player One, he delivers one of the best sci-fi films. A colorful adventure that totally engrosses the viewers and stuns them with it’s powerful visual effects, the film is a triumph in every way.

Its tone is very well balanced, the screenplay is outstanding and Spielberg’s direction is just flawless. It is a briskly-paced film that will surely keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Even though there is some lack of character development but Mark Rylance delivers a really great performance nonetheless. Also, the lack of character development doesn’t affect the film too much as most of the film is dependent on visual effects. One of the most striking features of the film is the pop-culture references that form a crucial part of the story line. It is a dream come true for all pop-culture enthusiasts.

Surprisingly such a beautiful film failed to perform at the Indian box-office. The major credit for the failure of the film goes to the feud between Warner Bros. International & Warner Bros. India. It sparked up over the issue of profit-sharing of the film. This led to Warner Bros. India canceling all the shows of the film in India. As a result the film missed it’s March 29 release date. It was abruptly removed from all the popular online listings like BookMyShow and Paytm. People who had already booked the tickets in advance had to return home from the theaters upon knowing that the film was canceled. This led to a lot of discontentment among the audience. Warner Bros. India also did a very poor job of marketing the film. When asked, many people did not even know that such a film existed. The film was eventually released in India like a week later but obviously did not meet expectations.

Ready Player One is undoubtedly a really great film but it’s just that the Indian market wasn’t really ready for it !


Picture Credits: YouTube

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