Monday Morning Questions Post, Day Before Rani’s Birthday Edition!

Happy Monday!  Time for questions!  About anything at all.  Including “Hey, how’s your day going?  Mine’s terrible, I hate Mondays!”

Feel free to ask something personal (“what is your favorite Rani movie?”) or specific (“How are Rani and Kajol related?”) or just a general discussion question (“what makes Rani special as an actress?”).

As always, the only rule is that you let me answer first!  Otherwise it is no fun for me.  But once I put up my answer, feel free to jump in and add to the discussion as you wish.

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86 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post, Day Before Rani’s Birthday Edition!

    • I want Rani to keep doing what she has been doing since Dil Bole Hadippa. Ignoring mainstream success and just taking roles and movies that interest her and give her a good character. Talaash and Mardaani, for instance, are so different from each other! In one of them, she was the 3rd lead behind Aamir and Kareena, and removed from most of the main plot. And in the other, she was the only name actor in the film and the driving force of everything. But both of them gave her a really unusual interesting character to play, and a character that only she really could play that well. I want her to keep choosing movies on that basis, not on if it might help make her a “top heroine” again, or set box office records. What I would really love is if she turns into the female Amitabh, Amitabh as he is in his career now. Offered a whole variety of interesting roles that don’t really fit into the standard “hero-heroine-villain” kind of boxes.

      For her legacy, it’s Piku and Dear Zindagi and NH10 and Pink and Neerja and all those other female lead films we are getting now. Rani broke down those barriers, but never really got to enjoy them. Her female lead films never got the kind of release that these newer ones are getting, and she didn’t get the same kind of critical acclaim and industry power as a result that Alia and Sonam and Anushka and Deepika are now enjoying. But she did show that an actress could have the same kind of following as an actor, people who appreciate her acting, not just her item songs and love scenes.

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      • Also loved her in Bombay Talkies for that matter. Agree with everything you said. She was in her prime when I was at an impressionable age and have been a big fan ever since. I hope she gets the projects and roles that she deserves and that she continues working because an actress of her caliber has so much to offer at each stage of her life.

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        • She is amazing in Bombay Talkies! I was just thinking about that in response to another question below asking if I thought she would ever do a rom-com with one of her 90s heroes again. I can’t see her doing a standard rom-com, but I could easily see her doing a full length film similar in tone to Bombay Talkies. About a mature woman and her marriage.

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    • I am! The trailer is so intriguing. I showed it to some friends on Friday, and they all said they wanted to come with me when I went to see it.

      I’m a little extra intrigued because of the cast/production. I am assuming if Anushka is producing and starring in it that her character is even more interesting and unusual than what we saw in the trailer. And if Diljit agreed to be in it, and Anushka wanted to cast him, there must be something really unusual about his character that required casting outside of the standard Hindi actor list.

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      • Movie is set in Punjab. To be frank, I wont be seeing this movie if not for DIljit.
        I was excited about Ghayal returns last year and I found it to be bad

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        • I was excited as well, I watched Ghayal to be ready for it and was really impressed with the original. But then my friend was sick opening night so we couldn’t see it the first day, and by the second day I was seeing the bad reviews online and decided not to even bother.

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          • I am a big SUnny deol fan. It was first Bollywood movie that i saw in theatres in years. I wanted a John Rambo and they gave a stupid and confused movie. It was horrible.
            it has been one year after that disaster and i have not seen a bolllywood movie since then. I am not even awARE of any movie other than Philauri

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  1. One of my favourite movie is Die Hard. It is a great action movie. According to you, who can play the role of John Mcclane in BOllywood remake of Die Hard?

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    • I thought about this years and years ago when I first got into Indian films. And at that time, I thought Sanjay Dutt could do it. He has that combination of tough but funny. However, now I think Sanjay is too old for the role,

      So, I guess if it were made today, hmm. Maybe Akshay? But even he might be a little too old. Not for the sequels, but for the original where he is supposed to be a young guy kind of out of his depth a little. I almost want to say Varun Dhawan, because he has that funny everyman quality, but he definitely doesn’t have the gravitas yet for the role. So he’s too young. Ranveer and Ranbir and Shahid and Imran are the right age, but they would be terrible casting. Boy, I just don’t know! Who do you think?

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      • I will certainly never cast Varun Dhawan in this role. He doesn’t look badass like Bruce Willis. Varun will ruin Die Hard for me.
        John Mcclane is an unconventional action hero. He is badass but not invincible. He gets hurt. He is wise cracking but he panics too. He just doesn’t have to be funny but also badass. Bollywood movies portray its action heroes as gods. I dont know if Bollywood will ever be able to pull a Die Hard. Will they show running on glass scence? But I think Diljit and Akshay can pull it off.

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        • Diljit would be interesting, I hadn’t thought about that. It would also keep that similar New York cop-versus LA fancy people vibe. Diljit could be flying in from Delhi to visit his estranged wife in Bombay.

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          • TRue.
            John Mcclane has to be punjabi or haryanvi. His mannerisms and style is closest to these ethnicity,
            Diljit should be of Punjab Police. I

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          • John Mcclane is not supposed to be physically in prime shape. Also see my reply and what do you think about it

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          • If they did, I’ll tell you. Sometimes it takes me a while to reply because I am on work calls, or writing a response to someone else, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t want to answer.

            On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 9:50 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Personally, I dont like Arjun Rampal. And Alan Rickman was one of the finest actor in the world. I think that he will ruin Hans Gurber role. Even Arjun Rampal will agree with it Apart from Amitabh Bacchan, no one in Bollywood can now play Hans Gruber

          Arjun Kapoor doesn’t look a John Mcclane to me. Can he portray the vulnerability of John Mcclane? Can anyone in Bollywood like to show him weak as John Mcclane? He is a good actor, no doubt
          Here are my 3 favourite secences in Die Hard

          I doubt that Arjun Kapoor will be able to match excitement of these scences

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  2. Why don’t Bollywood producers try to get rights of some forgotton media franchise like Thundercats, He Man and make a movie on them?

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      • They have not been given proper chance. He Man was produced by canon films and they completely destroyed He Man in 1987. After that, it haven’t been tested yet. There were plans in mid 2000s but they were all thwarted.

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    • That was fascinating! In terms of long takes, I am especially interested in how the takes have gotten shorter and shorter as film has gotten cheaper and cheaper. And now with digital cameras, you can easily shoot, cut, shoot, cut for infinity until you get a series of tiny 20-10-5 second takes that will work.

      I wonder if it is also a self-perpetuating cycle? Directors aren’t interested in thinking outside the box and being inventive with songs, because they see them all as boring and similar. So they hire the same choreographers who do all the other songs and hand them off to them, which just leads to more boring songs and more directors not being interested in experimenting.

      Although there is still some experimenting, Aditya Chopra did some ambitious dance sequences in Befikre (I don’t think they worked, but at least they were different). Ali Zafar’s song in Dear Zindagi was presented in a really interesting way, with the camera moving through out the space in almost one take and a lot of really interesting blocking and depth of field. Too bad because of the controversy around his casting they weren’t able to promote the song video. The title song of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was done in a totally unique way! No dancing, but a very complicated very very long close-up take right at the beginning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before. Well, except for “Roop Tera” that he mentioned from Aradhana. And the ADHM song got the internet going crazy when the teaser was released, maybe because it was so different from what people were used to seeing in song videos. And the songs from Mirzya were like nothing I’ve seen before. More like an Alvin Ailey modern dance performance than anything I’d seen onscreen. And definitely with the movement of the camera being a part of the song. Not that anyone saw them because the film was terrible besides the songs.

      But all of these experiments end up being hidden behind the catchy standard songs that are swamping the airwaves. Hopefully it is just a phase, and once we get a few years on only a few of those songs will survive and the more complicated and challenging songs will be remembered.

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      • I just went on youtube to find the ADHM song, and the youtube version that is the “official video” is all chopped up and edited down from the film version. A sign that they don’t have any confidence in the audience appreciating it! Even though the original teaser trailer version which first caused all the excitement was a lot closer to the version in the final film, than this chopped thing they are now promoting.

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    • I’ve been thinking about how and if I can add Punjabi movies to my regular roster. I just recently started making a point of reviewing one Malayalam and one Tamil or Telugu film every week on the blog. I’m already falling a little behind on that on weeks when I get busy. I could try to add a Punjabi to my regular schedule, but I think if I did it would be too much and I would end up behind on everything. Maybe if I did it every other week or something like that it wouldn’t be as over-whelming and I could manage it.

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      • Okay. I hope you try and post an article about Punjabi cinema. It is ironic that the state that has given more than half of Bollywood, its cinema started getting recongnised only now

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  3. On some quesions not your expertise, why do people hate Tom Cruise? He get criticsed everytime

    Do you find RDJ awesome?

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    • As you say, this is not my expertise, so forgive me if I make mistakes. But it seems like Tom Cruise is criticized for two separate reasons, personal and professional. Professionally, he is one of the few old-fashioned “movie stars” working today in Hollywood, and of those few, the most successful. That is, someone who has a consistent image and persona film to film. Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis do the same thing to some degree, but they aren’t as financially successful at it. Tom Cruise has blockbuster after blockbuster playing the same “Tom Cruise” role. And for some reason, people resent this and see it as not really “acting”, “cheating” somehow by always playing the same person. I disagree with this firstly because I think it is hard to play “Tom Cruise” all the time, and anyway, if the audience enjoys it, what’s the harm? And secondly, I disagree with it because he doesn’t play “Tom Cruise” all the time. He does huge successful movies playing the cocky wise-cracker. But he also does the occasional real acting role in complicated difficult films. And for some reason he doesn’t get credit for those.

      This professional criticism seems like it is also a little bit mixed in with the personal. After the Scientology stuff started hitting the news more and more, and his profiting from it, plus his marriage with Katie Holmes, he just wasn’t as beloved and it became acceptable to criticize his acting a little more. For instance, I don’t think critics would be as quick to complain about Tom Hanks doing repetitive roles, barbecue he is just so likable.

      RDJ, do you mean Robert Downey Jr.? Yes, he is amazing! What I find really interesting is the roles he took back when his addiction was out of control. Because he was so hard to work with, and insure, and his reputation was so bad, he ended up taking a bunch of small parts. And he managed to make a huge impression even in just these small roles! He isn’t just a talented actor when he is given an author-backed role, even in a small nothing part, he can find an interesting way to say a line or do a scene.

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      • I never got its scientology stuff. People in Germany protested against tom Cruise for portraying Colenel Stauffenburg in Valkyrie. But he is perfect for the role. He looked amazing as stauffenburg. Tom Cruise is a fine actor. Anyone who has seen Born on FOurth of July can attest to it. He is also best Jack Reacher
        yes, RDJ is awesome. He is superawesome. He made comic book movies cool. Came back from dead He took the role of a middle level Superhero and made him biggest movie franchise

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      • King of Punjab, I think people do respect Tom Cruise’s ability to create blockbusters, like the Mission Impossible franchise, which he also produces. He’s known for doing his own stunts, like the rock climbing, and the recent scene on the outside of an airplane. Maybe some criticism is about the repetitiveness of these roles, and the Jack Reacher films, etc., but the main source of the bad feelings about Tom Cruise has to do with his involvement in the cult of Scientology and the end of his marriage to Katie Holmes.

        Frankly, he seems a bit unhinged. It wasn’t just the Oprah couch jumping incident, although that’s the moment when I felt the previously all positive coverage of him start to turn. There were many stories how Katie Holmes had to use burner phones to escape her marriage and the Scientology minders assigned to her. This is one article about it: http://nypost.com/2012/07/01/how-katie-was-cast-to-play-tom-cruises-wife/ There is even a current US TV series called “The Arrangement” that is a thinly veiled dramatization of the Cruise/Holmes marriage. And when this video of Tom Cruise promoting Scientology came out in 2008, he looked even more unhinged and crazy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFBZ_uAbxS0. Here’s another article talking about details of the special treatment Tom Cruise gets from the Church of Scientology, essentially slave labor – http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/06/tom-katie-and-suri-a-scientology-story.html

        Tom Cruise is the most famous member of the cult of the Church of Scientology, and as more and more documentaries and information from past members comes out about the church, including Leah Remini’s series, none of it’s good for Cruise’s image.

        As Margaret pointed out, he has done some exceptional roles in other films outside the action genre, Born on the Fourth of July, Magnolia and Jerry Maguire — and he received Oscar nominations for all three. Magnolia in particular is an incredible performance (in one of my favorite Paul Thomas Anderson films.)

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        • Very well put! I was just writing my Hindi Film 101 post on Vinod Khanna and Osho and I was struck by how many similarities there were between that and Tom Cruise and Scientology. With the big difference that eventually Rajneesh, the leader, disavowed everything that was happening and purposefully broke down the community and excommunicated the worst offenders among his followers. And that Vinod Khanna eventually turned into a full time follower, instead of living the life of a movie star while enjoying the labor of other followers. Really made me see again how toxic and uncaringly harmful the Tom Cruise-Miscavige combination is.

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          • I don’t know what to say. i will have to research more on it. But no one should care about some movie star’s religion
            Tom cruise is very famous in India. I wont like him to do anything bad.
            There is a dialogue in a Punjabi movie
            Guy 1: Girl is hot like Tom Cruise
            Guy 2: Tom Cruise is a guy you jackass
            Guy 1: I meant angelina jolie

            he has a lot of fans around the world. He shouldn’t do anything that harms them in any way.
            I still think that religion should be a personal manner.

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          • You may want to read some of the links from moviemavengal’s comments. Scientology may have started as a religion and may have done it’s followers some good. But for the past 20 years at least it is fairly well-documented to have kidnapped, abused, harassed, and possibly killed many of its followers under the direction of its current leader. The criticism of Tom Cruise is less related to his religion, and more to the fact that he has been benefitting from the abuse of others, the obvious abuse that he couldn’t possibly not see. Especially as more and more former members are offering testimony as to the abuse they suffered at the hands of the church, some of it in service of Tom’s whims. There are plenty of other actors who are involved in Scientology, but there isn’t nearly as much evidence that they are benefiting from slave labor provided by the church. In fact, some other celebrities may themselves be abused by the church, only remaining in it because of blackmail based on things they have said in confession. The same could be true of Tom Cruise, but at the moment most people investigating the church and its abuses keep coming back to Tom as only benefiting and not suffering.

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          • I didn’t read movie mangal’s comment. I thought that scientology is just another religion and hypocrites and jingnostics hates it.
            After reading his comments. I will have to see it. I still like Tom Cruise though.

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        • Frankly, I don’t understand scientology. I don’t care about religion. I care only about my religion. My favourite actors are christians. Religion is his personal choice.
          From what I have read, Tom Cruise is a nice man. he helps people in need. It is not that Scientology is satanism. He shouldn’t be judged by his personal life

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  4. I was watching Bruce Willis movies this weekend. I came across the Fifth Element. I noticed that Hero and Villain don’t meet each other in the entire movie. They are not even aware of each other’s existence. Are there more movies like this?

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    • Hmm, good question! I know there are other movies where it is a kind of similar plot, the hero is focused on helping a “Damsel in distress” and doesn’t necessarily realize that she is being chased by someone, that there is a specific person who is causing the situation. But I don’t know if there are movies that go quite to the extreme of the hero and villain never being aware of each other.

      Of course, I haven’t seen ever movie in the world! Perhaps other people can suggest something.

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    • It has such a different feel from the songs I usually see! It almost reminds me of Malayalam movies, just in that it is showing a song on a lower level, with dances and choreography like you could believe people could do in real life. No elaborate chorus of 50 with coordinated outfits, or amazing dance moves from the hero and heroine who usualy aren’t professional dancers, just something I could almost believe as an actually song battle at an actual wedding.

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      • It is actually. This movie is supposed to show Punjabi culture in 1990s. I haven’t seen any Malyalam movie. It is closer to Indian wedding than bollywood songs. One of my USA friend once watched a Bollywood movie and started asking me about Indian culture. I told her that Bollywood is not Indian culture.
        There is another song. Which is quite a song battle in a marriage

        I really feel sad that good punjabi singers are not popular in India
        I am sure that you know Honey Singh but not Amrinder Gill. Amrinder gill is a better singer than even Diljit

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  5. These days Rani seems interested only in woman-centric movies and her male co-actors are not very well known.I think she’s very lucky (compared to her contemporaries) since she’s married to Adi and can pick and choose from the best scripts.Do you think we’ll ever see Rani in a normal rom-com with any of the actors she worked with in the 90s?

    It’s a suggestion.But can you do a post about domestics in Bollywood films.

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    • This is my whole theory of actress careers! The best thing is to get married around age 30-35. Because once you are married, the media takes you out of the “horse-race” concept. You no longer have to worry about stories about how this other actress got the big role instead of you, or how your newest release didn’t do well and are you on the way out? The media just leaves you alone and goes “well, she’s married now, she must just be doing roles she likes and not worrying about the competition.” Of course, Rani is in the best position since her husband is the most powerful man in the industry. But even Kareena gets to take random small roles in Udta Punjab and Bajrangi Bhaijaan just because she wanted to do the movie and no one says “oooo, Kareena is doing a multi-starrer! Her star is fading.” At least, that’s my theory.

      I would love to see Rani in a rom-com with one of her 90s co-stars. But if it happens, I don’t think it would be a “normal” one. Rani seems pretty committed to only taking interesting scripts with good roles for herself. I could see something like the rom-com version of Talaash. With something that makes it a little different, and with a great director who won’t just make it the “standard” rom-com. Like, Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah in Dil Dhadakna Do. If there was a whole movie about that couple, older empty-nesters who have lost track of each other over the years and how they find their way back to each other, I could see Rani wanting that role and it would be great to see her play it opposite someone like Shahrukh that she has all this history with. Or a movie like Pyar Main Twist, but better made, about a widow and widower who fall in love against the wishes of their children. Or something like Brief Encounter, a married woman who considers an affair before returning to her husband. Any of those would be amazing, and I could see Rani taking them up before accepting something with her as a business woman that Shahrukh has to woo and there are lots of songs and a big wedding at the end. Much though I would love to see that!

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      • The maid/gardener/chauffeur.Of course we have the occasional hero/heroine in disguise(Dharmendra as the Chauffeur,Juhi as the Nanny) but I’d like to know more about lesser known actors who made an impact in that role.

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        • Boy, that would be a bit of a challenge! There’s Durga Khote and A.K. Hangal and now sometimes Rajpal Yadav. But those are the only ones I can think of. Well, and Innocent in Malayalam films.

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          • Who can forget Kanta Bai from Kal Ho Na Ho who was planted by Saif’s parents to spy on him.Lesser known domestic help would be Anupam Kher as the butler in the Arthur remake ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’.

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  6. On another topic entirely, do you know why some of the best songs in Hindi movies are used only for the closing credits? Is it just that they film more songs than they can use? Or that they film songs that have no place in a plot that has been changed, or where parts of the film have been edited out? There are plenty of examples, but I was thinking about it after Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Its end credit song, Badri Ki Dulhania, is a hit song in India. There are other recent examples—Alizeh in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Kala Chashma in Baar Baar Dekho and one of my favorites, Hass Nache Le in Udta Punjab.

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    • I think this started with Bluffmaster. At least that’s the one I remember being the first major hit like that. Farah Khan put together this amazing remix version of one of the songs from the movie and it was released as a separate full music video (not just a song trailer type thing, but the whole music video) and the video alone became a massive hit. It didn’t fit anywhere in the film itself, but the crowds in the theater would want to see it, so they just shoved it onto the end credits.

      And now it is a “thing”, part of promoting the movie is to come up with this off the wall music video featuring the cast but having nothing else to do with the film itself. And there is no where to put it in the actual film except for the end credits. And sometimes not even there, now they are releasing songs sometimes after the film comes out like Sharaabi to keep interest and excitement up after it has been out for a week.

      I guess it is also a sign of how differently films are structured now. Back in the day when they would have random fun songs thrown into the middle without really worrying about how it affected the overall plot or meaning of the film, you could have easily thrown in something like Kala Chasma as a random dream scene, or just an unexplained song sequence. But now everyone is moving away from that film style, and trying to be more cohesive in their plots. So these fun songs that only exist to be fun end up on the cutting room floor or else stuck on the end credits.

      It’s no coincidence that these are usually the hit songs. They are supposed to be hit songs, that is their whole purpose, to be the song of the month and drive people into the movie. But they may or may not actually fit within the film itself.

      I hate this trend, by the way. Realize there is a problem with your film if people are only seeing it because of a song that isn’t even in there! And also, embrace the fact that having any songs at all is ridiculous, and don’t exclude a super over the top one just because you can’t come up with a plot justification!

      Oh, and one final reason that songs are getting cut in general (remember Premika that never made it into Dilwale even thought it would have fit within the plot and in fact filled in a plot hole?) is that filmmakers are more and more trying to get down to the western film lengths. It makes it easier for multiplexes in India that are showing local and Hollywood next to each other, if everything can fit in 2 and a half hour time slots instead of 3 hours. I don’t like the shortening trend in general, but I really don’t like that producers have decided the easiest way to get the time down is to cut a song. Leave Premika and cut some of the comedy scenes!

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      • I don’t like this trend of the end credits songs too. I feel like they just show up after the climax and ruin the feel of the movie. I don’t like how all the fun songs are always set in clubs or set in weddings or some other functions. It’s like they are creating a situation where the characters go to a wedding just so they can add another song in the movie. I wish there were more songs picturized like Locha-e-Ulfat in 2 States. Where the song is fun and they are dancing but the song is still set in the same place as the story and is still relevant to the plot.

        I don’t mind the shortening of the movies. I personally can’t sit for longer than 2hrs 30 minutes if I’m not in a movie theater. But in reality, an engaging movie can feel shorter and a slower movie can feel longer no matter the run time.

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        • Rangoon felt like I was trapped in some kind of terrible time warp where the clock had ceased to move. We got to the interval and I thought “NOOOOOO! I thought it was already 3 hours in and the whole movie would be over already!” And then on the other hand when I’m watching Bajrangi Bhaijaan, I’m thinking “NO!!! It can’t be over yet, it just started!”

          I don’t mind the even songs, but I’m curious, if you had to choose between a random club/wedding song or between an internal fantasy song, which would you rather? I feel like a good internal fantasy type song, like “Tujhe Dekho To” from DDLJ, can actually move the plot forward because it tells us about what the characters are feeling in a way we couldn’t get from dialogue.

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          • I would rather have a internal fantasy type song like Tujhe Dekho To over a club/wedding song. I don’t have a problem with wedding songs like Daingad Daingad from Humpty Sharma or even something like Badtameez Dil from YJHD but I didn’t like how it seemed like they were trying to insert Tamma Tamma somewhere in Badrinath Ki Dulhania so they created a situation where they go to a club. Honestly, they could have had a scene like in Humpty Sharma where they celebrate Humpty’s “birthday” which leads to Badri and Vaidehi’s conversation on the rooftop.

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          • Good point. Daingad Daingad didn’t “need” to be in the movie, but it felt in synch with the tone of the village scenes. Tamma Tamma didn’t match up with anything we’d seen before from these characters. I liked the idea of dancing to an Indian song while abroad, like in Queen, but now that you point it out, the execution could have been better. Even a simple change like putting it at a street fair that they could have stumbled across in a park during the day, instead of having them go out at night to a club, which we had never seen them do before and didn’t seem like something these characters would enjoy.

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          • Yes! Something like a street fair or maybe any cultural event related to Singapore would have fit into the narrative a lot better. I liked the song picturization of Tamma Tamma but it just didn’t fit with the story. I felt like the point of the song was that they have fun and get drunk which then sets Badri and Vaidehi up for their talk on the rooftop. Something like this song in Nenunnanu but set in Singapore would have been just as effective or even more.

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          • Heck, it’s Holi!!!! Have Alia surprise Varun on his last day by taking him to a Holi party, which would show that she knows he is homesick for India and she is maybe a little homesick herself. And then they can both get high on Bhang instead of getting drunk.

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        • I highly recommend re-watching it! With your finger on the fast-forward button the whole time. It’s so much more pleasurable on a re-watch when you know what are the good parts and what are the bad parts than on a first watch when you just have to suffer because you never know when SRKajol may pop up and surprise you.

          On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Haha! Well, it’s on Netflix now, so I just might try that out. SRKajol are still nice together. And I didn’t mind his two side-kicks who run the restaurant either.

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      • Same here! I wasn’t overly excited about the first trailer. The second one, though, seems to have a lot more substance. I really hope my usual theater shows this. I’ll bet watching a Mani Ratnam film on the big screen is an incredible experience!

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        • I’ve yet to be disappointed by a Mani Ratnam film. It could be just that I’ve only seen his more critically acclaimed films, but I really don’t think so. So I have faith!

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          • I haven’t liked every Mani Ratnam movie I’ve seen but I’ve always appreciated the plots and symbolism in this movies.

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        • Also, watching the second trailer again, and the first trailer a little, I wonder if it will be a romance that deals with PTSD? There are those flashes of violence and anger in him, and the little glimpses were he is captured. This is a total guess, but I would be really interested in the idea of the first half being their happy love affair with him as this golden boy pilot hero, and then how it changes after he comes back from captivity.

          And that seems like a more Mani Ratnam take on a war story, doesn’t it? Focusing on the human and the relationship part of it?

          On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 5:01 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, I think that could be how the story is. I think the last time Mani Ratnam did a war story was Kannathil Muttamithal which is based on the Sri Lankan Civil War. That was also focused on the human relationships and how war affected them.

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          • I was also thinking of Raavan, and Dil Se a little. Which dealt with violence, but in terms of the effect it has on the psyche, not in a simple kind of “vengeance and justice” way.

            On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 5:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, I think you’re right about Raavan and Dil Se too. Those were actually the two Mani Ratnam movies I least liked. But I really liked Mani Ratnam’s spin on the Ramayanam that he was trying to show, and also how the relationship in Dil Se was supposed to represent that of India and the Northeastern states.

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    • That is a great question! Thank you for asking. I do it for three reasons:

      1. Most readers know the actors better than the character names. If I am going into detail about what happened in a film or a scene, I am more confident in their ability to follow me if I use actors instead of characters.

      2. If a reader doesn’t know the actors, they should! If you are new to the industries, it is super helpful to start getting an idea of who is who and what they look like and act like and so on. I want to help that along by training you to know actors through my reviews.

      3. And then the big reason, because of the way stars work in India, often actors aren’t so much playing characters as variations on their own persona. So it’s as accurate, or even more accurate, to call the hero of DDLJ “Shahrukh” instead of “Raj”, or the older woman in ADHM “Aishwarya” instead of “Saba”.

      Very occasionally you will notice that I do actually use a character name. That is because, in this one case, I was so impressed by the performance and felt that the actor so fully gave themselves over to the role, that it is more accurate to call them by the character than by the actor. Just this once.

      On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 9:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I figured reason number three was the main reason for you doing so and that totally makes sense. But I guess it does help newbies in learning faster when using actor names. I also tend to get confused between names when there are so many different names mentioned. When I first started reading your reviews, this used to annoy me but now I don’t really care 🙂

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