Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Seeing and Thinking and Doing 7 Days Before Raees?

Second week for this, and I think it is going well so far!  This is just a general discussion area, for movies you are watching this week, or thinking about, or want to know if anyone else has seen, or really anything at all!  I will, of course, chime in with my thoughts and suggestions and opinions, because I just can’t help myself.

I’ll go ahead and start off.  I got a bunch of old Rajnikanth Tamil movies from Netflix, so I am going through those this week.  And also making my way through Zindagi Gulzar Hai.  On the one hand, it moves much faster and is much more addictive than Humsafar, but on the other hand, because of that I don’t dare start it unless I can be awake long enough to finish it.  So I am stalled at the 10 episodes I managed to watch over the weekend.  And tonight I have a friend coming over who was never able to see Dear Zindagiso we will probably watch that on my new DVD.

64 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Seeing and Thinking and Doing 7 Days Before Raees?

    • That is interesting! I saw the rumors that he was going to make an appearance, but there were the same rumors about Sultan, and then it turned out to just be that he had visited Salman on set and someone got a picture of them, so I ignored it.

      Based on the tattoo and earrings, and the rumored plot of the film, I assume he will be some kind of local guerrilla fighter type character maybe? That could be interesting.

      On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 9:35 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • Not at all! This is really just an open chat forum if there is anything you feel like talking about that you have been watching. Hollywood, TV, any Indian industry, whatever.

      On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 10:47 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • OK. Well, first, I am kicking myself for missing the Telugu film Goutamiputra Satakarni, which I really, really, really wanted to watch, and wasn’t sure it would come to our city. It did, but for just one show (as most South films are here). I had planned for it for almost a week, but the night before, I was hit by raging insomnia, with the result that I couldn’t possibly get up in time to go. 😦

        I’ve been watching an old Telugu film, Edureetha, on youtube this week, though not for the past two days. It’s either from the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. What immediately struck me, about one minute into the first scene, was the quality of the writing. Of course, this was the era in which they had real authors writing the dialogues, so that they are actually a pleasure to hear, and require the actors to not only have clear enunciation, but also proper modulation and expression in their delivery. Sigh.

        This week I plan to see HIdden Figures, though when I have no idea, since the week is already half over.


        • Oh! I forgot that I started watching Itlu Sravani Subramanyam, thanks to T. J. Stevens. I’m about an hour into it and find it very well done so far.


          • If you seem to like it then I might go back and finish it soon 🙂

            You should check out Neninthe if you want to watch another one of Ravi Teja’s collaborations with Puri Jagannadh. Apparently it is somewhat autobiographical, especially in terms of Ravi Teja’s characterization.


        • Looks like I could still see Goutamiputra Satakarni, but realistically I probably won’t looking at my schedule for the next week. And then on Wednesday Raees comes out, which will pretty much kill all my free time. Not because I am super Shahrukh obsessed (although I am!), but because all my friends want to see the new Shahrukh movies in theaters and beg me to give them rides and go with them. If they could all come at the same time, that would be one thing, but no matter how I try to schedule, it always ends up being at least 3 different trips, and there goes my free time for the week.

          I of course immediately went to youtube to look for Edureetha, following your recommendation. Of course, no subtitles. But I can comfort myself that if the main pleasure is the enunciation and writing, I wouldn’t have appreciated it anyway.

          I’ve heard Hidden Figures is good, but it is probably one I will miss in theaters thanks to Raees. But hopefully be able to catch once it is available streaming or in Redbox.

          On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 11:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • I wasn’t exactly recommending Edureetha (because of the subtitles issue), just commenting on the quality of the writing for what is clearly a mid-level film with mid-level stars – and still, so superior to even the “best” product out today.

            I would urge you to see Gautamiputra if you can, however, just for its technical values, which I’ve read are great.


        • I watched Gautamiputra Satakarni last weekend and I thought it was pretty good. The story was quite interesting but most of the movie is mainly war scenes. Plus the dialogues were hard for me to understand and I had to consciously read the subtitles. I felt like I would appreciate the depth in the dialogues more if I re-watch the movie. Plus the movie got kind of boring during the last 20 minutes but overall it was a good movie.


  1. Rewatched Bunty aur Babli this weekend. Every single song is fantastic and I love watching Abhishek “dance.” I know that many consider the Abhishek/Rani pairing one of the best…it’s definitely up at the top for me, too. But I think she just pairs well with anyone.

    Also, this week, I binge-watched the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the first season of The Crown. I was just in the UK this summer, so I find myself drawn to all of the Anglophile stuff right now and Matt Smith as Prince Phillip is so entertaining. Claire Foy is fine but I disliked her as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall and I’m just not sure that she has the It Factor that everyone seems to think she does.


    • Really? Every song? Even “Nache Baliya”? I always skip that one on the re-watch. Especially because Abhishek’s vest seems strangely too short for his torso.

      I was much more impressed with Matt Smith than Claire Foy myself. Of course, he also had a much more interesting character. Several reviews I read pointed out that the writers and directors were entirely male, and maybe because of that, the male characters ended up feeling a lot more deep than the female. Yes, Claire Foy’s character was the “hero” and did everything right. But that’s kind of boring, you know? Matt Smith got a lot more notes to play, and I think he hit them out of the park. I hope the next season “redeems” his character a little, it felt like by the end they were leaning a little heavily on “cad married to a saint”, instead of the more complicated idea that they were a couple trying to navigate a very tricky situation together.

      Kimmy Schmidt is, of course, fantastic.

      On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 11:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, every song! OK, maybe not the Amitabh rap at the end. When I first saw Nache Baliya, it was early on in my fandom and any big dance production song was enjoyable, but then I became aware of the levels of dancing competency and realized how bad Abhishek was, but now I’m to the point again that I love watching him *because* he’s so bad and the styling in this one is so bad. They also are positioning the cameras lower and looking up so it emphasizes how long his legs are…which doesn’t actually help in this, especially next to the petite Rani. Still the song is so catchy and they seem to be having fun!

        I’m not a Doctor Who fan at all though I’ve tried, but Matt Smith is so well cast and definitely commands the screen in his scenes. I’m not as concerned with the all male writers and directors (though I do hope they’ll change it up as the series continues). The director did well by the Queen and Helen Mirren in The Queen. I think that ultimately the whole point of the show is to show how Queen Elizabeth has always been essentially “unknowable” and to explain why duty has always come first. I find it particularly unsettling how they are setting her up as a very cold mother, which there does seem to be ample evidence of in real life. Also this is probably my favorite John Lithgow role…he avoids going completely over the top. Also Stephen Dillane as the painter…swoon, I have loved him since seeing him in one of the best romances on film, Firelight. So many good actors and actresses in that program and it will be interesting to see how far they go chronologically and who they cast along the way.


        • Abhishek’s cheerfully bad dancing, for me, reaches its zenith in “Ticket to Hollywood” from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. Actually, Abhishek’s cheerfully over the top everything reaches its zenith for me in that movie, and I love it!

          I love John Lithgow as Churchill, and I also love how he added a little bit of human weakness and humor to the show. With him gone, I hope they find another character to carry that.


          • Love Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. It is, to me, one of the trippiest, strangest, and most joyous films that I’ve seen. When I was in the UK, I made a special point of going to Waterloo Station just because of that movie.


  2. After a couple of busy, film-less days, I watched Ohm Shanthi Oshaana last night (I’ve seen so many variations on the title, I went with the Wiki spelling). It seems that it was my first Malayalam film. I thought it was great! It was a very nice coming of age story. It was refreshing to watch one of these films with a young woman as the lead. I always enjoy different perspectives on life, love, growing up and this definitely fit the bill. I thought that it was very funny, at moments, and never got too serious or severe. The daydream sequences were so entertaining and really showed the personality of the character and the way she viewed the world.

    The acting was fantastic. Nazriya Nazim, the lead actress, was delightful- likable, charming and cute. She carried the film and turned in a wonderful performance. I’ve heard of Nivin Pauly but never seen him in anything. I thought he was very good, and very believable, in his role. The rest of the cast were all great. It really felt like you were watching life unfold in a sleepy village.

    The music was amazing! This soundtrack is a keeper for sure. Every song perfectly complemented the story and the style of film- dreamy, folksy, slightly melancholic with a nostalgic feel. So wonderful.

    I loved the laid back, relaxing style of film-making. It had an easy pace but the plot never meandered or grew dull. I’ve always enjoyed slice of life storytelling. There was no real villain or antagonist. Everyone was kind and decent (even her troublemaking cousin was a pretty good guy). They all seemed to care deeply about the main character and wanted only for her happiness. The ending really illustrated that fact and I thought it was absolutely perfect. I probably had a smile on my face for the entire two-plus hours.


    • I love that movie! I watched it about 6 times the first week I saw it. 3 times on my own, and 3 times making everyone I knew watch it with me.

      If you want to try out some things of similar quality (although a little less perfect romance and wish fulfillment happy), Bangalore Days and Premam are the other two big new high quality Malayalam films. And they have some similar cast members. Action Hero Biju is another good one, and Thattathin Marayathu. Not quite as high quality as the top three (Bangalore Days and Premam and Ohm Shaanti), but still good. Also Ustad Hotel. Oh man, now I am all jealous of you getting to watch these movies for the first time!


      On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 2:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I have all of those, except Action Hero Biju, on my computer from Einthusan. I’ll get that one as well. I’ve held off these Malayalam films because I had a feeling I would love them (I’m not sure why I do that but it seems to be a habit of mine). Now I’m so excited to watch them all!


      • Yay for discovering Malayalam films. I’ve also done the same this year with the help of Movie Maven Gal and Margaret’s recs, too! I loved OSO, too, and can highly recommend Bangalore Days, Premam, and Ustad Hotel (all of which are on my keeper shelf). Thattathin Marayathu was nice, but Margaret’s right…not as high quality as the others.

        Also you must see Charlie (2015) with DQ (another keeper).


        • I watched Bangalore Days last night. It was fantastic! The storytelling in these films is quite special. Each character had an interesting, and fulfilling, story. I loved how the characters grew separately, and together, while at the same time they remained true to themselves and their hearts. The acting continues to impress me (Nivin Pauly, in particular, just based on the differences between his characters in the two movies I’ve watched and how believable and real he seemed in both roles). The music was wonderful, very similar in quality and tone to Ohm Shanthi Oshaana. It isn’t as grand, or as lushly produced, as a lot of Hindi film music. I think the more intimate, relaxed sound suits the style of the films perfectly. This will definitely be another soundtrack that I purchase (or at least keep in constant rotation on Gaana).

          Thanks for the Charlie recommendation! I had somehow missed that one when I was “gathering” movies. I notice that the female lead is Parvathy and I also thought she was pretty great in Bangalore Days. I will definitely add that my list and check it out.


          • I’ve seen Parvathy in a few movies now, she is quite good! If you ever feel like having your heart broken, check her out in Enne Ninte Moideen. Charlie is a slightly less good role for her (although still very good!), but a much happier film.

            I love the sound of the Malayalam soundtracks too, it’s what got me to try the non-Saavn music apps. For some reason, Saavn is really bad with the Malayalam music options.

            Thattathin, the so-so Nivin Pauly movie, has a really gorgeous soundtrack And Premam, the really really good Nivin Pauly movie, also has an amazing soundtrack. In fact, now I’ve got “Malare” from Premam going through my head, just talking about it!

            On Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 3:03 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. I saw Hidden Figures on Sunday with a group of friends. Then Netflix DVD delivered Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which I had seen before but remembered fondly. It held up beautifully. Then I watched Kapoor and Sons on Eros, which I thought was awesome. And now I have bronchitis and have slept for two days. Boo!


  4. I was bored a couple days ago, so I randomly found Manmadhan Ambu on youtube and started watching it. This is a movie of which I read the plot of on Wikipedia before so I wanted to see it but I finally watched it for the first time on Monday. Manmadhan Ambu is a romantic comedy about a businessman (Madhavan) that hires a detective (Kamal Haasan) to spy on his actress fiance (Trisha). I’ve never seen Kamal Haasan in a comedy movie and I really enjoyed this movie. Trisha and Madhavan were also great and I think you would really enjoy watching this movie 🙂

    Since we had that whole discussion about Ravi Teja recently I decided to re-watch Khadgam (“Sword”) which is a Telugu patriotic movie. This is one of those movies that was played on TV every Independence Day and every Republic Day when I was a kid. But yesterday was the first time that I saw Khadgam fully and I loved it. This is more of an ensemble movie so the performances by Prakash Raj, Ravi Teja, Srikanth, and Sangeetha were great! The music and background score was really really good. And I totally loved the message of the movie that the director was trying to convey. I couldn’t find Khadgam online with subtitles but I think you should try to track it down. I think you’ll find this movie to be really interesting! Plus you get to see Prakash Raj dance in a couple of songs in this movie 🙂


  5. I finished Humsafar earlier in the week. At last Khirad shed some of her timidity and stood up against Mommy-Dearest-Farida – such an evil person. And Ashar full of remorse – so he should be. I preferred Zindagi Gulzar Hai though.

    During the course of watching and wikipedia-ing I discovered that Fawad had been in a rock band in his earlier days. . So there you go, you learn something everyday.

    I plan to go and see Lion tomorrow.


    • Yes, there is this connection between popular music and pop culture in Pakistan, which sort of reminds me of Korea. It seems like a lot of the actors got their start in music, and I know the popular music scene is very vibrant there, less over-shadowed by film music than India.

      I think I might prefer Zindagi Gulzar Hai too, except that it is SO STRESSFUL! I have a terrible time stopping watching and then I can’t sleep for thinking about it, unlike Humsafar which was almost soothing with its one set and repetitive storytelling.


  6. Some random comments: first, watching Humsafar and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara I noticed that listening to the Urdu is really enchanting and easier to follow than Hindi. Now, the fact that they are theoretically two languages is often silly since they understand one another very well. 2nd if you are looking for some light binge watching of American shows two with Sutton Foster (a very talented actor, singer and dancer who would have been the triple threat Indian film demands ) is in two lovely shows: Bunheads from a few years ago that sadly only has one season and Younger which as several seasons. I found Moonglow and Manchester by the Sea which everyone is talking about too depressing for words.
    Personal note: Margaret, thank you so much for the lovely lovely cards. I will share with Carol.


    • So glad you got the cards!

      I had the same feeling watching the shows! That I could almost follow the dialogue and it was lovely just to listen to it. I have the same feeling watching the great Amitabh Salim-Javed movies. Which I guess makes sense, because Javed wrote the dialogue and he came from an Urdu poetry background. And Amitabh is a master at clear dialogue delivery.

      I’ve been considering trying both those shows! Although I am reluctant about Bunheads knowing that it only has one season. And I am reluctant about Younger because we don’t know yet if it will have enough seasons. Really, I should finish Gilmore Girls first, now that I know it actually has a semi-satisfying ending.


      • If you like Gilmore girls you will LOVE Bunheads and even though its only one season there are 18 episodes and its really wonderful. Younger also, the first 2 seasons are worth it. I think this Sutton Foster is mega talented.


  7. Something that some may be interested in – a few years ago our multicultural TV channel ran a TV competition to find a Bollywood Star – imaginatively called ‘Bollywood Star’, lol. Mahesh Bhatt picked the winner. This YouTube channel has all the episodes (4 in total) –

    I don’t know what happened to the winner – she did have an IMDB listing for a while but it seems to have disappeared. She seems to have faded into oblivion.


  8. There is a movie on Netflix (or, at least Netflix Japan) called Straight, with Vinay Pathak and Gul Panag. I love Vinay, I loved Gul in Dor which is the only thing I’ve seen her in, and most of the reviews said, basically, “eh, it’s OK,” so I started watching. I made it through one hour before I was so embarrassed for everyone involved that I had to stop. I just found it a cringeworthy film full of awful characters.

    So then I went for an old favorite: Billu. Now that I’ve also seen Fan, it’s interesting to compare. Despite the light tone and happy ending, I actually think Billu has a darker view of fame, which is so corrosive that Billu’s brief encounter nearly ruins his relationships with everyone he knows, including his wife and children. I love the ending to this film, and the music and also Irrfan, who looks, as the kids say, low-key hot in ethnic clothes and earrings.

    Hey, might that make a nice Friday post: men in traditional clothing? Aamir in Lagaan, SRK in Swades?


    • Ugh, I just wiki’d Straight, and it looks terrible.

      I love Billu’s view of fame too, not so much for what it does to Billu, but for Shahrukh’s character. Showing how his life is about always being the thing that people need him to be, not just himself. And not having anyone in his life who knows and loves him for himself. Really, the big superstar in the film is also kind of the most boring and saddest character.

      And thanks for the TGIF idea! This week is set, but maybe next week?


    • I wondered what that was! I saw it on Netflix but didn’t realize it was a documentary. If you are in a documentary mood, I saw they just added Big in Bollywood, which I saw on some other service following moviemavengal’s recommendation. It is delightful!


      • Some other documentaries from Netflix that I watched a couple of months ago – Sufi Soul – the Mystic Music of Islam and India’s Frontier Trains. I found both of these interesting.

        Also Shukranallah – about the music of Salim-Sulaiman, in their own words. Interesting but perhaps a wee bit superficial.

        And not on Netflix and not that I am particularly interested in trains (more like I love seeing how things work behind the scenes, as it were), a 4-part BBC doco on the Mumbai railway system, “The World’s Busiest Railway”. It looks as though all parts are available on YouTube –
        It was just fascinating.

        We have Big in Bollywood in our Netflix so have added it to my list 🙂


      • It is! I never realised Omi was NRI. I loved how his group of friends all went along for the journey ( and the dock filming, lol) and blagged their way into the press area of the premiere. Wonder if they ‘fessed up later. Omi’s mum is a sweetie 🙂


  9. I watched Premam last night. No surprise here- I loved it! I don’t know what to write about these Malayalam films without sounding like a broken record. These movies are wonderful. Nivin Pauly has absolutely blown me away with his performances three nights in a row. He is so different in all three films! He is an amazing actor, with an incredible gift of disappearing into these roles and truly creating and crafting characters. Lead actors like this, with these chameleon-like abilities, are incredibly rare. Character actors often have this quality but it’s normally in smaller roles with far less screen time. Nivin is so good. I am a big fan already.

    I fell hard for Sai Pallavi as Malar in the second section of the film (I will have to watch Kali, which seems to be her only other role). I really, really became intoxicated with that second love story. It was so heady, in fact, that I was a bit upset going into the third section. However, that actress, Madonna Sebastian, was really good too and the ending was fantastic as well. It was bittersweet, but also true to the character and the story that they were telling. Also, after going back and reading your two reviews of the film, the ending made even more sense and I was even more pleased with the film as a whole.

    I loved the music in this movie, maybe even more than the other two Malayalam films I’ve watched. I liked how the songs were woven into the story more than just as montage pieces, but not as front and center as in Hindi movies. He was singing parts of the songs but it didn’t feel like he was “performing” them- more like he was daydreaming and trying to convey the feelings that he had trouble expressing in life.They really struck a perfect balance. The songs feel like a part of the film, not a separate entity. You worded it so nicely in your first review, that the songs exist “to show how love creates a sort of surreal effect, heightening experiences so that they feel more real”.


    • So glad you liked the movie! Pretty much everybody I have read or know in real life who has seen it reacted the same way, falling in love with the middle section and being almost disappointed with the ending. However, on my many many re-watches, I have grown increasingly fond of how it all plays out. That middle romance was kind of too perfect to last, whereas the last section romance had flaws and difficulties and all of that stuff instead of just being a perfect dream.

      Kali is a very very different kind of movie, but Sai Pallavi is really good in it as well. And Dulquer is the hero, and I thought the role was a huge leap forward for him. And then I saw Kammattipadam and realized that Kali was just the halfway mark and Kammattipadam is where he really showed his stuff.

      Both of those movies are good, but not the light coming of age type dramas you’ve seen so far, be warned!


  10. I watched the double feature of Streets of Fire/Tezaab on Friday. What a fun night! Both movies were good and incredibly entertaining.

    Streets of Fire had some great music. It was crucial to the story, it really needed to be good, and this soundtrack absolutely delivered. As you wrote, the story is so simple and easy to follow. I love that style of film as well- gritty, neon lit streets, always dark, foggy and rainy. This was interesting, as it had some elements from the 50’s (hairstyles, clothes, biker gangs, diners) mixed with a modern (80’s) landscape and soundscape. The action was pretty awesome. One thing I found interesting was that the violence wasn’t bloody at all and no one was killed (unless I missed something). The climactic fight began with weapons, but they were quickly discarded. They fought with their fists, beat the tar out of each other, until one man could no longer get up. No one jumped in or interfered. The bikers picked up their beaten pal and rode off- fair and square. I thought the ending worked and it certainly fit the story and the character. It made sense. I liked Amy Madigan’s sidekick character, so that cushioned the blow.

    Tezaab was a real thrill ride. I loved it! I have read that 80’s Hindi movies were awful, the absolute dregs of cinema. I watched this one and Mr. India in the last week and they are two of the most purely entertaining movies I’ve seen in some time. They’re both great! Anil and Madhuri were fantastic. Anupam Kher was good, as always, and so unlikeable in the role. He is really adept at playing the jerk when he needs to (little touches like how he chews his paan or his fur hats- you just want to smack him). As usual, with Hindi movies, I loved the extra hour or so of backstory that was added. To me, that’s always the meat of the story. The songs were amazing. Madhuri’s opening number was fantastic (you could definitely notice the influence and style from the last song in Streets of Fire). I liked Anil’s introductory number quite a lot. The song after he jumped off the roof was incredible! (He did actually jump off the roof, right? They showed a couple of quick flashes of his recovery in the song, and then they were dancing on a hill. I assumed that he went through months and months of painful rehabilitation. That just isn’t any fun, though, so they left it out.) The ending of this was so much better! If I had to choose between the two films, I would definitely go with Tezaab- extra love story that makes you care more, even better musical numbers and a more satisfying ending! (Tezaab also doesn’t have the “good guy” punch the leading lady in the jaw and knock her out cold… what the heck was that?)

    Last night, we watched a newer Marathi film called Family Katta. It is a family drama/comedy that takes place mostly in the parent’s house. An elderly couple is preparing for their 50th wedding anniversary and the immediate family is getting together for a celebration. You come to find out that the daughter has been estranged for six years and that this will be the first time the entire family has come together in many years. The first half is more of a comedy, showing the older couple preparing, bickering and playfully needling each other. They are very cute. It also shows glimpses of their grown-up children and grandchildren getting ready to make the trip (and not exactly thrilled with the idea). You get the impression that this is not a family that enjoys spending time together. The second half begins with everyone arriving and you can see why they haven’t been together in so long. It gets a little weird, and dark, as well. It really is a nice ensemble film. The acting is superb and, in such a simple, little story, it really has to carry the film. The few songs play over montages and are very soft and nice. Afterwards, I discovered that the film is based on a play and I was not surprised in the least. It really had that sort of feel to it. It is a very good, funny and melancholic, movie.

    Kali was awesome! Dulquer really is great in it. It’s only his third film I’ve seen but this performance was definitely on another level. To be fair, though, this role did have a lot more substance for him to sink his teeth into. He managed to convey so much anger and aggression, bubbling beneath the surface, simply with his expressions and demeanor. And the moments when he can no longer contain the rage feel violent, explosive and lightning fast (also, terrifying). Small outbursts, like the one where he knocked the chip bowl out of his wife’s hand, are almost more sobering because they come out of nowhere. Sai Pallavi was wonderful as well. I can hardly believe that this is only her second film! I loved the two parts of the film equally. The first half set up the couple very well- you went through the ups and downs of their love story and marriage, and the specific issues they face. It was funny at times, sad at times, a bit unsettling as well. The second half was a perfectly paced, suspenseful nail biter that had me on the absolute edge of my seat. Only in Indian cinema can you find such a mixture of genres and emotions in one film, and have it work so effectively. This was also the first time that I have ever seen an “Elephant Crossing” sign! Also, I was wondering: does the color yellow represent anything specific in Indian culture? I noticed that Sai’s sweatshirt in the second half was very similar to the one Anushka’s character wore in NH10, which definitely shared some similarities with this film.


    • Wow! You have been busy! Let’s see, what do I have to say?

      For Streets of Fire, I’ve always kind of wondered if it is some kind of post-nuclear war scenario. Like you said, everything was very 1950s. But there were so many more young people than older folks, and all the stuff looked kind of old, so my personal backstory is that most of the older generation (except that one cop) was killed in some way, and these younger folks are left to pick up the pieces.

      I always wonder if he really did jump too! I think so. All the songs from Tezaab are great, “Ek Do Teen” is the famous one, but I like the traveling song a little better. I must not be the only one, because it was just remixed and used in a recent movie. For 1980s movies in general, I have been sheltering you a little, Tezaab and Mr. India, and Silsila too, are some of the best. But also, with your professed love for so-bad-its-good type cinema, the 80s might be right up your alley! Check out Shahenshah, for instance, if you want kind of joyfully ridiculous cinema.

      I have nothing to say about the Marathi movie, because I still haven’t watched any Marathi cinema! Well, I guess I can say that I have heard the Marathi theater scene is old and vibrant, so a Marathi play would presumably be very good.

      For Kali, was it you that was asking about “Chocolate Heroes” last Monday? To me, Kali is the performance that Dulquer used to kill his “chocolate hero” identity. No more love stories, no more sensitive young man, he is ready for full fledged hero parts now. And then Kamattipaddam is where he takes it to a next level.

      Oh, and “saffron” is the color of India and patriotism and so on. But it’s not the sort of bright yellow that Sai wears in this, it’s a different kind of yellow. So I don’t think that’s the meaning of it. Really, it could just be as simple as “a bright hopeful color that shows up well in night scenes.”


      • I did ask the “Chocolate Hero” question last week and that makes complete sense! Kali was the perfect role for him to step out of the young lover parts and into characters with more depth and range of emotion. This was a great showcase of his talents and capabilities. He was awesome in the action and fight scenes- full of fire, rage and passionate fury. It was remarkable, really. I didn’t expect it from him! And if this was just the tip of the iceberg, I am very intrigued and excited to see what Dulquer has in store for us next. I will have to watch Kamattipaddam very soon. And you’re probably right about the yellow sweatshirt. It would “pop” more in the night scenes. When I think back to the specific shots: Dulquer was in the more well-lit motel/restaurant areas, and Sai was in a dark car or in the dark field, lit only by headlights. She would definitely need something that would be easy to see on camera. It definitely seems like a practical choice. It’s very easy to overthink some of this stuff. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

        Tonight we watched 100 Days of Love (my wife wanted something light and fluffy). I enjoyed it, although, probably the least out of the handful of Malayalam films I’ve watched. Dulquer and Nithya have great chemistry and light up the screen together. I found the first section, the set up until he actually finds Nithya’s character, to be a bit slow. Once Nithya appeared on screen, though, it was magic. She is such a beautiful girl, it is difficult to take my eyes off of her (my wife feels the same way about Dulquer, so it was a win-win). Was Dulquer’s character supposed to have a problem with alcohol or was that supposed to be funny? It seemed like he drank way too much and found himself in quite a bit of trouble because of it (and almost cost himself everything by getting black-out drunk and being very forgetful). I found it kind of sad and pitiful. I really loved the fantasy song near the end (Hridayathin Niramayi). The black and white, rain, sweet moments, the beautiful waltz- very romantic. It was a fun, little movie.


        • Hey Ryan, since you like Nithya Menen maybe you would like to watch some of her Telugu films? If you haven’t seen any yet, then I have to mention that Telugu films are more commercial, more over-the-top and in general more hero worship based. If you want an introduction with a true blue Telugu masala movie then I would recommend that you watch Pokiri starring Mahesh Babu or maybe watch Varsham which is a Telugu movie that was inspired by Tezaab. Coming back to Nithya Menen, I would recommend Ala Modalaindi (“That’s How it Started”) which is like a Harry Met Sally style rom-com. Or you should see Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju (“This Day Won’t Come Again”) which is a really good romance film. Both of these are my favorite Nithya Menen movies but she’s done some other good movies too. All the movies that I mentioned are on youtube with subtitles except for Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju which is on einthusan with subtitles 🙂


          • I have nothing to add to this beyond “Thanks! I’ll be checking out those recommendations too!”

            And also, “How cool! All my little people are talking to each other now! I feel like a successful hostess at a cocktail party!”


          • Thanks for the recommendations! I will definitely watch all of those. I haven’t delved too deeply into Telugu cinema yet (only Manam and Manmadhudu) and I’m sure Nithya will make for a very pleasant way in. It’s also nice that these movies are so readily available! I will probably start with Ala Modalaindi, since my wife is very agreeable to rom-coms. I’m intrigued by Varsham as well! Have you watched Ishq (2012) with Nithya yet? It looks pretty interesting and I noticed that is on Einthusan.


          • Yes, I have seen Ishq. It’s actually directed by Vikram K. Kumar (the man who directed Manam) and it’s a good movie. It’s probably number 3 in my list of favorite Nithya Menen movies. The only reason I didn’t mention it is because Nithya’s role has less screentime during the second half of the movie. It’s a nice love story with a little action thrown in.


  11. I saw Lion on Friday. Don’t know if it has been promoted much in the US or anywhere else (but it was nominated at the Golden Globes). If you don’t know the story it is based on the true events of the life of a 5 year old Indian boy, Saroo, from a small town in Madhya Pradesh who was accidentally separated from his family and ended up in Calcutta some 1800km away. He survived on the streets by his wits for a few months, was taken into a hideous home for street children, then to a much nicer orphanage where they tried to find his family. He was eventually adopted by an Australian couple and went to live in Tasmania. As an adult he began to try and find the location of his home town using his memories and Google Earth. It was very good, differed a little from his autobiography but that didn’t really matter. Do see it if you can.

    The little boy who played the 5 year old Saroo was just gorgeous 🙂 And Dev Patel as the adult Saroo is pretty gorgeous as well. I had seen that Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Tannishtha Chatterjee were in it and was pleased when they came on screen – but they played sinister characters :(. Played so well, of course.

    And woo hoo, I won some tickets to Raees, courtesy of Mind Blowing Films. I do hope it will be screening at sensible times (not just at 9pm).


    • I did know about Lion, because the artsier theater that sometimes shows Indian films has been running trailers for it.

      My big reaction to the trailer was “Whoa, Dev Patel looks like THAT now? And, Nicole Kidman looks like THAT!?!?!”

      But I’m glad to hear it was a well done film! And I may have to see it, if Nawazuddin is in it.


  12. Something I meant to mention about Zindagi Gulzar Hai, forgot but have suddenly remembered – if you are yet to get to it – I think it is the 2nd to last episode – bad continuity as Zaroon & Kashaf have a big argument, keep an eye on her red dupatta…


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