Monday Morning Questions Post, Saint Patrick’s Day Edition!

Happy Monday!  Time for questions!  No big movie coming out this week (unless I have forgotten something), so all we have to talk about is an Irish holiday.

As always, this is the place to ask your questions about anything at all, from the personal (“What is your favorite Irish reference in Indian film?”) to the factual (“Are there any Indian films with Irish scenes?”) to the general discussion topic (“Why aren’t there more Indian films with Irish scenes?”).

 

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first, otherwise it is no fun for me!  But once I answer, anyone else can feel free to jump in and join the discussion.

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45 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post, Saint Patrick’s Day Edition!

  1. Since legend says St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland, I’ll ask a snake question. Are there any / many Indian movies in which snakes play a pivotal role? And if not, why not? There are plenty of snakes around.

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    • There is a genre of movie called “Nagin Films”. Most of them are based on the folklore that male snakes have diamonds and female snakes have the ability to turn into beautiful women. So, the plot might be, a man kills a snake for his diamonds, and that snakes mate/mother/sister/whoever turns into a beautiful woman and comes looking for revenge.

      Most of these movies are kind of b-level. Either poorly made special effects fantasy kind of movies, or more sort of soft-porn. The most successful and critically acclaimed and respectable one, the real “classic” of the snake genre, is Nagina with Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor. Sridevi plays a snake whose mate dies after biting Rishi Kapoor when he is a little boy. She waits for Rishi to grow up, planning to kill him. But when she meets young-man Rishi, she realizes that her mate’s soul ended up going into Rishi’s body, and she falls in love with him.

      It sounds silly, but it turns into this interesting parable about social judgments and the ability of women to change. Sridevi has this bad past (as a snake), but she sincerely loves her new husband and wishes him no harm. But her new mother-in-law doesn’t trust her because of her past. And evil Priest Amrish Puri, who seems so trustworthy and wise, is the real danger, because he is still looking for the diamonds Sridevi’s snake-husband hid, and is willing to destroy Rishi, Sridevi, and anyone else who stands in his way.

      But most Nagin movies aren’t like that, they are more silly like Aamir Khan’s Tum Mere Ho, or Malaika Sherawat’s recent Hissssss.

      There is also a slightly religious component to how snakes are treated. Snakes are one of the symbols of Shiva, at certain times or places it is considered auspicious to put out a bowl of milk for a snake to drink from. Occasionally you will see our good religious heroine putting out a bowl like that at a temple. And, occasionally, the end of the film will have a snake protecting or defending the hero or heroine in a Shiva temple or after they pray to Shiva.

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      • If you observe closely, Nagina was a love story rather than a snake story. All snake mythology only served as a background. It was not about snakes

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  2. Have you seen any of following movies?

    Angrej
    Lucky di Unluckly story
    Logan
    Captain America: Civil War
    Shaheed e Mohabbat Boota Singh

    If yes, what are your reviews of them

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    • I haven’t seen any of them yet.

      I think you recommended Angrej to me before on another post, it sounds interesting, I am definitely planning to see it at some point.

      Logan and Captain America: Civil War, I’ve heard good things about both of them (especially Logan) and I am sure I will see them at some point.

      I haven’t heard of Lucky Di Unluckly Story or Shaheed E Mohabbat Boota Singh, can you tell me more about them?

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      • As a movie goer, I would suggest you to watch Logan and Civil war. Both of them are superawesome. Most enjoyable movies in last 2-3 years. I wore team Iron Man shirt. I was about to see it with my friends but i was in different state. But we did go on same day and communicated on whatsapp.You should watch them ASAP. And I think that watching Logan on DVD will be an insult to wolverine character
        Yeah, I don’t like Rom com and I am not a fan of Varun Dhawan.I despise both of them.

        Lucky Di unlucky story is a comedy movie starring Gippy Grewal, jaswinder Bhalla, Binnu Dhillon and Gurpreet Ghuggi. It also marks debut of Jackie Shroff in Punjabi cinema, You would like it, if you like comedy movies. It is a good enjoyable movie. It opened with Aashiqui 2 but got more shows than Aashiqui 2 in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.

        Shaheed e Mohabbat Boota Singh is based on real life love story of Boota Singh and zainab during partition. It is a great movie. It was “loosely” adapted for Gadar. I am using term Loosely very generously. It is not an action movie. It is a tragic love story. If you like typical Bollywood style love story, then this movie is not for you. It stars Punjabi legend Gurdas Maan

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  3. I am a big fan of Alia Bhatt. I would have watched Badrinath, if not for Logan( I am a bigger fan of Hugh Jackman). My friend did say that Badrinath is not worth spending money in Theatre I think that she is best actress right now. She is perhaps on par with Jennifer Lawrence. Do you think that she will become biggest star of Bollywood?
    And
    Hypothetically, If she ventures in Hollywood. Can she be successful over there?

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    • I would agree that Badrinath is not worth spending money on. Unless you enjoy rom-coms, and are a fan of Varun Dhawan as well as Alia Bhatt. If the only thing that appeals to you about the film is Alia, than it is probably not worth it for you. I enjoyed it because I like rom-coms, and I am a fan of Varun and Alia equally so I could enjoy the half that focused on Varun as well as the half that focused on Alia. But I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise.

      I think Alia could become the biggest star. She’s got a long way to go still, and she has some weaknesses she could work on. For instance, her Hindi doesn’t have the clarity and perfect pronunciation that it could, and her dancing has improved a lot, but still isn’t quite as good as it could be. And she still looks so young. which makes her hard to believe in certain parts. But those are all small things, if she works on her dancing and dialogue (which I think she already is doing, just comparing Humpty with Badrinath you can see the difference) and grows up into her face a little, in 3-4 years she could definitely be the top heroine.

      I suppose she could be successful in Hollywood, but she might be hard to place considering Hollywood’s current prejudices. She looks too young for the sort of regular-modern-woman type parts that Priyanka and Frieda Pinto sometimes take. In Hollywood, it seems like most of the big “heroine” type parts are characters between 30-35 and I just don’t see Alia being able to play that yet. And I can’t see her being believable in some “ethnic” innocent young Indian woman role, she’s too modern and cosmopolitan for that. However, again, give her 3-4 years, if she ages into her face and manner and becomes more believable playing mature women, she certainly has the skills to make it anywhere.

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      • If Alia is anything like her sister Pooja, she’ll retain her youthful looks for the better part of the next decade.Then she’ll drastically age overnight.

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        • Chaahat was such a strange experience! Because Pooja was wonderful in the role and all that. But her face was kind of in this odd in between point between being fully grown up, and looking about 12.

          Poor Shahid Kapoor had the same problem. Jab We Met and Vivah he was almost grown up looking finally, at age 30. And then BAM! Kaminey comes out, and suddenly he looks like this hard drinking bad guy. Probably saved his career, because I don’t know how many more fresh-faced young hero roles he could do.

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      • to be frank. I am dont care about dancing skills. It is ironic that I liked only one movie of Alia Bhatt( Udta Punjab). SHe was awesome in that movie. She has shown more skils than Aishwarya rai in her entire career. I would prefer her in more action oriented roles.
        Chinese actors are able to get roles of modern people.I cant see why she cant do what chinese actors do. Also. Irfan Khan has played roles where his ethencity didn’t matter I think she will get some offers from Hollywood like Priyanka did in about 5 years.
        If Marvel think of inculding kamala Khan in MCU, then she will be perfect for it
        Few days ago, I wrote a fanfiction for myself, where Alia is a superheroine and she then beats DC and Marvel Superheriones. It was inspired from Squirrel girl beats MArvel universe.
        I agree with your last line that she has skills to succeed anywhere

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          • I liked Alia Bhatt in that movie but I didn’t like that movie. May be because I was able to connect to Udta Punjab in better way.

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  4. What is your biggest disappointment of movie? Means the movie which you wanted to see badly but turned out to be utter disappointment. I went to see Batman Vs Superman. I was waiting for this movie since the day it was announced. But it was complete dud. Have you experienced this?

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    • I know I have, but I am trying to remember when exactly. On the American superhero scale, certainly the third X-men movie was a huge disappointment.

      But more recently, hmm. Dilwale, a little bit. I didn’t have super high expectations, I knew it would be a silly Rohit Shetty movie. But I was disappointed by how uneven it was, and how few SRKajol scenes there were compared to the “filler” scenes. Speaking of Shahrukh movies, Happy New Year was also a disappointment. But not a huge one, just because the trailers already kind of showed that this was not going to be another Om Shanti Om or Main Hoon Na, so my expectations were low going in.

      I guess that’s the thing with Hindi movies, they put so much in the trailers that I already kind of know going in how excited I should be. It’s rare that I am surprised by excellence, or majorly disappointed. Small disappointments, sure, but not like major ones. Mirzya, for instance, I knew from the trailers that it was going to be a super arty movie with two new leads. There was a slight chance that it would be a “star is born!” kind of experience and the leads would surprise me. But baring that, it felt like I had already seen most of the big moments of the movie just in the trailers, and I kind of knew already that the songs would be beautiful and catchy, the leads would be attractive, and the story would be an overwrought love story. And then I saw the movie, and the songs were slightly better than I anticipated, and the acting was slightly worse, but it wasn’t a huge surprise either way.

      Bombay Velvet I guess? The first look posters and trailers were so different and exciting. I was a little worried because of how the release kept being delayed and delayed and delayed, which is never a good sign. But I still had hopes that it would be something interesting and exciting. And then it came out and it was just nightmarishly bad! Way way worse than I could ever have anticipated.

      Now, of course, I am getting nervous about Bahubaali 2. So far the posters and stuff look like it could be good, but I’m not sure. And my expectations for it are just sky high, so it would be very easy for me to be disappointed.

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      • I am not excited about Bahubali 2. I am in minority that didn’t like Bahubali. I found it to be slow and long. Basically just like Batman vs Superman
        X MEn last stand was still enjoyable movie. MY problem was the treatment of Phoenix force. I was hoping for Apocalypse or Doctor Sinister but they went with Magneto again. Best part of being a foreign fan of Hollywood movies is that i can like any American movie without any prejudice. Transporter is called a dumb action movie in USA but it is one of my Fav action movie

        You just can’t imagine my disappointment with Batman vs Superman. I would have punched Zack Synder if he was in front of me

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        • This reminds me. I was on quora and one person wrote that you said Flying Jatt is a better movie than The Dark Knight. Is it true?

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          • No, who would ever say that? I’d rather re-watch The Flying Jatt than The Dark Knight, just because The Dark Knight is so emotionally draining and dark. But The Flying Jatt I could put on in the background while folding laundry, or cleaning the house, and it would be a nice sort of background distraction. It’s also something I would feel more comfortable showing to someone else. Because The Dark Knight people will either love or hate. But The Flying Jatt, everyone will kind of enjoy. Either making fun of how silly it is, or enjoying the dances and light comedy, or more likely both.

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          • Every one loves Dark Knight. My friends have seen Flying Jatt and everyone said that this movie is abolsute garbage.It is not enjoyable Why wouldn’t you watch Dark Knight again? I have seen this movie with my mother. And she loved it. So, what if it is dark? Heath ledger played best movie villain ever. It is best Batman movie evver I feel slightly offended now.

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        • I love the Transporter movies! They are like the platonic ideal of an action movie. No time wasted on set-up or backstory, just action-action-action. Also, District B13.

          For me, my problem with the X Men: Last Stand was how they got rid of almost all the backstory from the previous films. The end of the second one kind of set up this idea of the X-Men team being re-aligned without Jean Grey. And then we get like 5 minutes of that, and suddenly everyone is off on new adventures separated from each other. I don’t know if it was a failure of imagination on the part of the writer or director, or maybe just contract disputes and scheduling issues with the actors, but it was disappointing.

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          • According to me, Superhero movies were still in nascent stage at those times. It was too nerdy for mainstream audience and not nerdy enough for nerdy audience. Golden era for SUperhero movies started with Iron Man. Batman Begins was grounded in realism. SOny tried to do same with X men. X Men has been hit and miss for me. It has great movies and absolute dud

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    • Hmm, that’s not really my area. But I like her, of course, as anyone would. The last Meryl Streep movie I watched was Kramer vs. Kramer. Which was kind of fascinating, because it was before she was “Meryl Street”, you know? It’s not even that easy to recognize her in the role, they styled her to be just “pretty blonde woman” and kind of de-accented her distinctive facial features or anything that makes her unique. She was just one of many semi-unknown actresses who ended up getting a small part in what was really a Dustin Hoffman vehicle. And her character was essentially the “villain”, completely unlikable, and very underwritten, we get almost no time given to her motivations or reasoning or backstory, or anything. That is, if you just look at what is in the script.

      And then Meryl came in and made it into something else entirely! She managed to somehow make this character deep and complicated and sympathetic, so that you just wanted to know more about her. I’ve seen her in other more recent films where she was given the lead role and all the script focus and stuff, but I kind of find her most impressive in a movie like this, where she really had to work to make the audience notice her and care about her character, and she managed it.

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      • Meryl Streep has 20 oscar nominations. She is called greatest living actress. You are right, she is able to change like Chameleon. here is her tribute video.

        When someone asks me who is next Meryl Streep? I say that there is no next MEryl Streep. There is the Meryl Streep

        Just watch in the end. Entire Hollywood faternity gives her standing ovation. Even Priyanka Chopra stands in queue to get a selfie with her. Her fan list include javed Akhtar, shahrukh Khan. She can change her looks by her expressions alone and she is also humble. She is perfect role model for women Only fools like trump won’t like her

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    • I would say she is middle-popular. In the “gets a photo spread and an interview in a magazine, but not the cover yet” range. People know her name and her face and have opinions on her. But they wouldn’t necessarily say “Oh, Priyanka’s in this issue? I must pick it up and read it!” Or at least, not most people.

      Her show has settled into a nice groove of having a solid audience of fans, enough that it could run for a few more years. The next step in an American career would be to get the lead in a big big movie. But she’s running out of time on that a little bit, America has a longer shelf life for actresses than India, but not that much longer. Baywatch was a good first step, showing she can handle acting on film and all of that. If she can manage to get another bigger role in a bigger film in the next year, and if that is a hit, then she might be able to level-up to movie-star famous. But if she crosses over to late-thirties and is still mostly known for TV, it gets really hard to move to a higher level. There’s all kinds of actors and actresses who tried to make the jump and failed (Katherine Heigl, for instance), it’s a really hard transition to make and there isn’t a lot of time to do it in. But she could easily stay as the lead on her TV show for another 4-5 years, and then even move to another TV show, and keep at this same level of popularity with no big effort.

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      • I am eager for Baywatch. I am a fan of The Rock since I was a little kid in PUnjab and watched WWF with my friends and placed bets on it. He is my childhood icon.
        I find it more than co incidence that Priyanka is cast with The Rock. Th Rock is perhaps most famous popular Hollywood actor in India. It looks like it is to cater to Indian audience

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  5. Which is your favorite villain’s lair? Mine is from Shaan.Check out the golden throne and the murals featuring lions tearing into gazelles during the Yamma,Yamma song.

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    • Hmm, I’m torn! I like the Shahrukh Don lair quite a bit, every time we watch it, my friends and I shout out “Room! Of! Wealth!” as soon as it shows up. There is just all this random stuff like samurai swords and a Scream painting, it isn’t just stacks of cash and gold.

      So it’s either that, or Mogambo’s lair. I mean, how many evil masterminds take the time to design a whole elaborate military uniform for their followers?

      Oh! No! It’s the evil lair at the end of Jaanwar! Have you seen that movie? There’s a pool in the middle of the room for no reason, a cowboy cut out, and a thrown. And, of course, strange red lighting. But my favorite bit is his evil attack dogs. Who are clearly Labrador puppies that just want to play.

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      • Have you seen Ghatak? Lair of villain in that is also awesome. It shows his evilness perfectly. Katya is only villain in Bollywood history that was able to break Hero both from inside and outside

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          • Good for you. Sunny deol is favourite actor of my entire village. He is most underrated actor in Bollywood.
            Ghatak looks like a B grade movie but it has been able to showcase emotions and character development better than many movies

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  6. I’ll bite. What are your favorite Irish-related Indian film references? I can only think of Ek Tha Tiger (parts filmed in Dublin and on a DART train!) and the green beer song in Housefull 3. I studied Irish history and literature in grad school and I’m definitely a Hibernophile. I do think my enjoyment of Irish culture is kind of related to my love of Indian culture. They both have very appealing artistic traditions that have been trivialized or stereotyped for global consumption. They both have a recent history of partition and sectarian violence (thanks to the British) that informs their present.

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    • My favorite is Ek Tha Tiger too! Last year for Saint Patrick’s Day I did a post trying to find every possible connection, I’ll probably be reposting it on the actual day, but in the meantime here is the link: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2016/03/17/happy-st-patricks-day-here-are-all-the-ireland-indian-film-connections-i-can-think-of/

      It’s mostly out of date, because Cyrus Mistry is no longer the head of Tata (and here is the link to the post on that! https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2016/10/28/tata-family-saga-in-filmi-terms/ )

      I find the similarities between Ireland and India fascinating as well. What I particularly notice in America is how the Irish news gets so widely reported thanks to our massive Irish population that has been here for so long. And how everyone has an opinion on North versus South Ireland and the IRA and all of that. In the same way everyone seems to have an opinion on Israel versus Palestine.

      But then you mention Kashmir, which is in a similar situation but has 6 times as many people living in it than Northern Ireland, and 3 times as many as Palestine, and no one has ever heard of it. It sounds like a silly way to put it, but Kashmir and all those disputed Indian territories really need better PR! At least in America. Or maybe they are lucky to have bad PR? I guess it would depend on if you think international attention makes the situation better or worse.

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  7. Some more questions

    What are your reviews of Diljit? I like him. He has worked hard for everything that he has.

    Is there any Hollywood movie that you are eager to watch?

    have you seen movie Ghatak?

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    • I like Diljit as well! I saw him in Jatt & Juliet and Sardaarji, as well as Udta Punjab. It was interesting to see how he adjusted his performance for the different kind of film. In the two Punjabi movies, he was a little broad and funny. He wasn’t broad at all in Udta, but there was still a core of something similar. A kind of sense of humor about the world. Dark humor in Udta, but it was still there. And in all 3 movies, I was impressed with how he is able to act opposite a strong female character without seeming weak. I can’t wait to see him in Phillauri!

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      • I would suggest you Punjab 1984. It is a brilliant movie and breakthrough for Diljit. He was able to portray a serious character in this movie. His performance earned him praise from Amitabh Bacchan. I am also looking forward for Phillauri.
        truth to be told, he was main reason that i watched Udta Punjab and also it showed a dark side of Punjab. I have seen these things happen
        I would also suggest you Jihne Mera Dil Luteya. It was first hit movie of both Diljit and Gippy. It is a comedy movie but Diljit is not like Fateh in this movie.

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