Monday Morning Questions Post, Abhishek’s Birthday Week!

Monday Morning Question time!  The day after Abhishek’s birthday.  I celebrated by seeing Raees for the 4th time.

As always, you get to ask me anything you want about anything.  From the personal (“what is your favorite Abhishek movie?”) to the specific and factual (“What was Abhishek’s big breakthrough role?”) to the general discussion (“Is Abhishek still a top star, or is he now a character actor?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Otherwise, it’s no fun for me.

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17 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post, Abhishek’s Birthday Week!

  1. So, is Abhishek still a top star, or is he now a character actor?

    In my opinion, he can do well in a multi-starrer but I don’t think he can carry a film on his own anymore.

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    • Abhishek is in an odd position. Because in terms of news-worthiness and getting invited to the right parties and knowing the right people, he is set for life, thanks to who his parents are. But in terms of getting the plumb roles and being able to get a movie made just by waving his hand, he’s kind of missed his moment.

      Beyond his family, I think he would be set for life anyway. He made very smart career decisions. Bunty Aur Babli was a hit, and clearly a hit thanks to him, and that’s always going to be a bright spot on his resume. Sarkar and Guru both got him critical acclaim that he will have for the rest of his life. And the Dhoom series is going to keep him working and in films for eternity. So he may never rise above a certain point, but he is never going to fall below it either.

      It was also smart of him to start taking a step back and doing multi-starrers and comedy roles. He’s great at them, and it’s kind of more dignified to go that route, than to keep desperately chasing after a leading hero career that’s not going to happen, you know? I also wouldn’t be surprised if he has a late career resurgence, once he officially ages out of the leading hero roles.

      Basically, I’m thinking he will have Rishi’s career! A moment in his youth that was so big, it will never quite fade. A graceful step back into character roles and multi-starrers where he always manages to make his mark. And then, finally, a turn towards serious acting roles in his later years that make people stand up and take notice.

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      • I think there will still be leading roles for him, but they won’t be in the big blockbusters. The trend in Hindi films now toward more story driven realism will benefit him and he’s proven his credentials in that area with Yuva, Guru, and Sarkar. I see him and Saif Ali Khan as similar in the way they appeal and position themselves. If Saif’s Chef remake goes well, I think there will be more and more roles like that for actors like Abhishek, too. They should both start challenging Irfaan for his roles, too.

        And then there’s his comedy chops. He really is one of the most versatile actors (though beyond his Rani jodi…he’s never really been a strong romantic lead). I found Houseful 3 almost completely tasteless but I still really liked AB in it. The same with Happy New Year…it’s a silly and stupid and sometimes offensive film but AB saves it for me. When his career bio is finished, it won’t be Guru they talk the most about, but Bunty aur Babli, Dostana, Happy New Year, and even Bol Bachchan (one of his most underrated performances).

        Totally agree with your last paragraph, I think he will be able to age with the industry better than most. Salman, Akshay, Hrithik, and to a certain extent SRK will be fighting off the changes for as long as they can and, I predict, won’t be as truly relevant later in life. I also think you can compare AB’s possible career trajectory to his father’s too. Of, course he didn’t start at such a high peak, but I think he is making similar decisions.

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        • Oh, I like the idea of Saif and Abhishek trying to take Irrfaan roles! I had a sudden flash of Abhishek in Irrfaan’s part in Piku, he would have been perfect in that. I would love to see him do something that combines his more grounded acting style from Guru and Sarkar with his comedy timing from Housefull. I would also love to see him in more sort of dignified cameo type roles. He was so wonderful in Hum-Tum, which just a few minutes of screen time, I want him to do more parts like that.

          On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 9:53 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Exactly why I wrote that about stealing Irfaan’s roles. I could have imagined him in Piku, though it is one of my favorite Irfaan roles. AB’s comedic instincts are sometimes to go a bit broader than he needs too so I think a role like that one (low-key sarcasm and wit) could be a revelation, too.

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          • I agree, he would have been perfect in Piku!

            I haven’t seen Guru yet but from what you’ve been saying, I think I need to check it out soon. Isn’t it based on one of the Ambanis or something?

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          • Yeah, it’s very very loosely based on the founding Ambani, the current one’s father. It’s also Mani Ratnam, so just an all around very good movie. And Abhishek convincingly ages from a teenager to an old man, and creates a really unique and memorable character along the way.

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      • But is Adi Chopra going to keep him around in the Dhoom series? I remember reading rumors about how Ranveer Singh is going to be the new cop in the Dhoom series to replace Abhishek Bachchan. Even though I don’t really like Abhishek in the Dhoom series, it would actually kind of suck if they replaced him with someone else. Same with Uday Chopra even though it seems like he’s retired now.

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        • It would definitely suck! Just be such an embarrassment for him. It’s too bad he’s been edged out, he was really important even in Dhoom 2, it’s just 3 that started putting him to the side so much. But even if they replace him, I think just having Dhoom 1 and 2 on his resume and in our memories would keep his career at a certain level.

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          • Even if Adi Chopra wants to bring in Ranveer in as a new cop, I think he should really replace Uday Chopra not Abhishek. I think the fact that Aamir was playing the villain forced them to push Abhishek to the side. I was kind of disappointed that they didn’t continue the subplot of Abhishek’s wife in Dhoom 3.

            So if you got to choose a cast for Dhoom 4, who would you choose?

            I would want to have Deepika as my main villain. I don’t know the rest though.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. How would you rank Karan Johar’s films, from your most to least favorite? I re-watched K3G last night. I watched it really early on and I liked it, but I wouldn’t have called it one of my favorites. Last night I loved every epic, self-indulgent minute of it! Now I’m planning to revisit all of his movies in the near future.

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    • Hmm. First I have to remember all his films! We’re just talking films he wrote and produced, right? So:

      Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham Kal Ho Na Ho Kabhi Alveda Na Kehna My Name is Khan Student of the Year Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

      In terms of just straight personal taste, not quality:

      1. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: This is just an objectively great film, and has career best performances from all 3 leads. And career best songs from Farah Khan, and it announced a new kind of filmmaker and a new kind of film in Karan. Plus, the first time I watched it, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep all night, it’s just THAT GOOD.

      2. Kal Ho Na Ho: Again, an objectively great film. But it’s my favorite, beating out a few others, more for the associations. It came out right when I started college, so everyone was talking about it and it was one of the first Indian films I was shown. Also, Preity Woman is an all time great dance number.

      3. Student of the Year: SO FUN!!! So bubblegum, so cheerful, so silly. Any time I am feeling down or worried, I can just pop it in and feel all better.

      4. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham: My go to “intro” film for new viewers. Great songs, great story, great cast. Doesn’t quite have the “soul” of some of his other films, or the free spiritedness of SOTY, but is all around decent.

      5. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: Another objectively great film. A bit too much of a downer to be a favorite for me. But I can appreciate the craft in putting it together, and the unique things he was doing with the characters.

      6. Kabhi Alveda Na Kehna: Just does not work for me! It’s not that the infidelity plot bothers me or anything like that. It’s what he mentions in his bio as what he would want to change, make Shahrukh a little less angry, make the problems in Rani’s marriage a little more clear, and pick a tone between elaborate fantasy and real human drama and stick with it.

      And then there’s My Name is Khan, which I can’t even put on a list with the others. It’s kind of off somewhere by itself, unrelated to the other films. Uneven and mixed in tone, just like KANK. But the moments that work, really really work. And the message was so brave, I sort of don’t want to throw it in with the others.

      On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 1:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think my list would look very similar. I’d probably move Student of the Year down in front of KANK. SOTY is one I’m really eager to revisit, though, as I was in a foul mood the night we watched it and kind of felt forced into it. I’ll have to see if my preference changes after I watch them all again. I’m fairly certain that Kuch Kuch Hota Hai will always be at the top of my list. It is the perfect Hindi film!

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        • SOTY is such fluff, but the only kind of clever things involve the meta jokes and commentary. So I bet you would enjoy it a lot more, just because you know so much more now than you probably did when you first saw it. Sholay is in there, and Deewar, and Dostana (the new one). And the Radha song is really kind of radical from a theological perspective. Not to mention the way they thread the needle on the gay stuff so it is almost offensive, but not quite. And of course seeing Sid and Varun and Alia in their very first film.

          On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 2:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m utterly ashamed to admit that I haven’t seen Sholay yet. I should probably watch that before I revisit Student of the Year, eh?

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          • Not the worst thing to put off seeing Sholay. If you will enjoy SOTY little more with more background and familiarity, you will enjoy Sholay a lot more!

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      • I think my list is slightly more shaken up than your’s 🙂

        1. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: This was the movie my mom would put on tv to get me to eat my food everyday, and I still love it to this day. I don’t think there needs to be any better reason for KKHH to top the list 🙂

        2. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna: I look at this movie as a story of two broken people who find something special when they are together. I loved Shahrukh as a bitter man who could never achieve his dreams! I feel like the relationship between Rani and Abhishek is similar to the relationship between Anushka and Ranbir in ADHM. The only difference is that Rani ended up marrying Abhishek and further breaking his heart. The soundtrack by SEL is one of my favorites!

        3. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham: Though I think that the second half with the focus on Hrithik and Kareena is boring, the first half more than makes up for it. Rahul and Anjali are goals.

        4. Kal Ho Naa Ho: I loved this the first time I saw it but didn’t like it as much the second time. I do love Preity, Shahrukh, and Saif though! Plus the songs are great! Do you think the rumors that Karan ghost-directed this movie are true?

        5. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: I really liked the themes that Karan was trying to show. Though Ranbir was great, Anushka was the heart and soul of the film.

        6. Student of the Year: Enjoyed it just because of Varun and Alia. Okay, I’ll admit that Sidharth looked great in SOTY. Actually before watching SOTY, I was Sidharth fan (for like a week) because he looked better but after watching the movie I fell in love with Varun. Plus I watched Humpty Sharma right afterwards so 🙂

        7. My Name is Khan: I only watched this once so I don’t remember much of this movie. I did like the movie until Kajol’s son died though. Plus, Tere Naina is a great song!

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