Monday Morning Questions Post! March Goes Out Like a Lamb!

I always get confused, is that saying a prediction?  Like, “if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb”.  Or is it just a statement of fact, “March always comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”?  Anyway, it’s kind of true this year!  Icky weather at the start of the month complete with snowstorm.  And now kind of calm and warming up.

So, as always, this is the place to ask me anything you want about anything you want.  From the personal (“what is your favorite weather related song in Indian films?”) to the specific questions you might wonder about if you are newish to the films (“why are rain songs usually sexy?”) to the general discussion question (“what is the best weather related song in Indian film?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Because otherwise it is no fun for me.  But once I answer, feel free to jump in and make it a general discussion.

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58 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post! March Goes Out Like a Lamb!

  1. I just listened to the “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” song release and it’s pretty heavy on drums (and low male voices. What can you tell me about drums in India and Indian movies?

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  2. Is there a Bolywood movie that offended you? In a Sunny Deol movie Jo Bole so nihaal, Hero makes fun of 9/11 attacks? I didn’t like when a real life tragedy used for a psuedo patriotism dialogue

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    • A joke about 9/11 doesn’t bother me. It is a little surprising, but it doesn’t bother me. Do you know the concept of “punching up” in comedy? The idea is that if a joke is aimed at someone in power, it is not wrong. But if it is aimed at someone less powerful than you, it is wrong. A simple version of this would be in America African-American comedians can make fun of white people all they want and I, as a white person, am totally fine with that. Humor is a tool for them to fight back. But a white comedian make fun of African-American culture is very very wrong. If an Indian film, from a country that has suffered so much violence, and which suffers so much economic damage from America, feels like making a joke about 9/11, that is okay by me. What bothers me is when Indian films occasional “punch down”, delight in making fun of groups that are less powerful than mainstream Indian culture. Africans (or African-Americans), lower cast, Adivasis, servants, Hijras, that bothers me.

      The one time I have been “offended”, or at least very aware that I felt differently about something thanks to being American, was when I watched the Kamal Haasan movie Indian which dealt with the INA. I spent some time working through my feelings in that review and finally decided it was because the INA is the one situation in which American history directly conflicts with Indian history. At a point in time in which I feel that America was on the “right” side.

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      • The moment i mention was not a joke. It is what Sunny Paaji said to FBI “People came in your country, highjacked a plane and killed thousands and you were able to do nothing” It was no joke. He was insulting FBi and making fun of 9/11. He was calling FBI fools and incomeptent and uses 9/11 as an excuse
        The movie you talk about is Hindustani. INA was not the main focus of the movie. So you can relax. Don’t let a “foreign” movie make you feel less proud of your country..

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  3. According to you, what should Punjabi cinema do to compete with Bollywood? PUnjabi cinema doesn’t have money or infrastructure to make big budgeted movies. Most expensive movie was made with 13 crore budget.

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    • Any non-Hindi cinema in India has two big advantages, to my thinking. Firstly, they can make films that are more tied to the language group that they represent. There is no need to present a homogenized vision of Indian culture which will travel to all regions, a simplified “Hinglish” version of dialogue which even NRIs can understand, any of those things that the Hindi industry does to appeal nationally and globally.

      Secondly, they can be experimental! A big budget Hindi film has so many people involved and so much money, it can make the filmmakers into cowards. They don’t dare try something new, for fear of losing their investment. But with a lower budget and less pressure, you have the freedom to really be different.

      I think Punjabi in particular may have a harder time of it because there is slightly more overlap in culture and language between Punjabi cinema and Hindi cinema than some of the other industries. So it can be harder to peel away their own audience from the Hindi mass. Unlike, for instance, Tamil cinema which has a very different language.

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      • Yes, Punjabi cinema will have harder time. Best actors of Punjab get work in Bollywood where they get more money. There is no money to lure top BOllywood actors of Punjab. Punjabi people can always understand hindi.
        things are changing now. Punjabi movies get releases in Multiplexes. I can find some shows even in Mumbai. In punjab, they get shows sometimes more than Bollywood movies. I remember, some of my friends went to watch Ambarsariya after 2 weeks of its release. There was a kareena kapoor movie released on same day but they still couldn’t find tickets of Ambarsariya. They had to watch Kareena Kapoor movie.
        Love Punjab, Ardas got bigger opening than Airlift in Australia, New Zealand. Good pUnjabi movies do well in areas where there are Punjabi people
        They are experimenting now. They are trying to show Punjabi life that is not shown in Bollywood. It is good that middle class PUnjabis are shown in movies.
        There was a movie anounced last month on the life of Sikh Hero Bhai Jaita. It would have been a good step forward but it was banned before it could even start
        Here is a poster of it. lets hope one this gets made.

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  4. i don’t know, if it is your domain or not
    How will next generation see Game of Thrones? Will my daughter understand why I named her Arya?

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    • This really isn’t my domain at all. I know in general from media studies that it is impossible to measure the current market penetration of Game of Thrones. Because it on pay cable, at least in America (the original market), the official number of viewers is very very very small. However, at least in America, it is also an open secret that the show is pirated like crazy. So the official numbers only reflect a small proportion of total viewers.

      All of this makes it super hard to predict how the show will be viewed in future! Will it be forgotten once critics stop talking about it because only a small group of viewers is actually watching it live? Or, once it is available easily on demand, will the viewer numbers stabilize and it will become apparent how many are actually watching?

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      • I love Game of thrones. I watch it my mother when I visit her. I will watch with my children and tell them all about seven kingdoms, Wall, White Walkers, Battle of Black Water. Battle of Castle Black etc
        Do you watch?

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    • I could see Andaz Apna Apna doing better today. But still not necessarily a hit. As I mentioned in my review of it, it is a film that really benefits from repeat viewing. I can easily see people, critics and general audience, watching it once opening weekend in the theater and not really “getting” the comedy. Unless there is a reason for them to come back and see it a second time, I don’t see them ever coming to like it more.

      And I haven’t seen Logan yet. Although my father saw it and said it was very good.

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      • Andaz apna apna is best Bollywood movie. It is a cult classic especially amongst youth. It is worth a try. It has real comedy not some rehash of old jokes
        No offence, But you have seen Dulha Mil Gaya but not Logan? Logan is best movie of this year yet. It is super awesome. When I was watching it in theatre, I cheered for it in theatre. I thought of making a video of logan with a punjabi song which means “a group of jackal is saying that they will kill a tiger(in mocking sense). I will make this video when i could get hand on good print of Logan. Watch Logan atleast to pay respect Hugh Jackman

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  5. What are differences between Punjabi songs and Bollywood songs?
    A while ago, Gippy Grewal sang in a Bollywood movie. Although, it was in PUnjabi, but somehow it was different and sounded like Bollywood songs. I cant pin point the difference,

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    • I have no musical training or talent or ability, so I this question is far outside my realm of knowledge. All I can say is that mainstream Hindi songs, just like mainstream Hindi films, generally try to be accessible to all of India, and the NRI market. Which means some of the “rough edges” are smoothed off. In music, that might mean some auto-tuning, some sound mixing, maybe simplifying the lyrics a little, that kind of thing.

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      • Sorry for asking you wrong question. I thought it will come under your domain
        WHy you deleted my question about dance videos? Was it offenssive

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        • Oh, I didn’t see it! Did it have a lot of links? That can make things go into moderation. Any time a comment doesn’t appear, just post another comment like this and I will go looking for it. I think every regular commentator here has had a comment go lost like that at some point.

          I’d lower the security levels, but I get about a dozen true spam comments a day, so I’d like to keep the net up to catch those.

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          • In the first one, I like how it feels more like a family party than a choreographed dance routine. Old men and little kids and middle-aged woman are all joining in, it’s not just the perfect beautiful chorus boys and girls.

            The second one is really interesting in the editing, how things seem to be happening all at the same time, the dance and the song, and the conversation before or after, and the eyes meeting before or after and the fantasizing in the middle of it. Really well done to give that sense of a memory will all these bright spots are showing up together.

            And then the third one is from the same film as the second one, right? Because it used different film techniques, those flashes of black and white photos, to create the same effect of memory and how you can remember things that happened in the past all mixed up in timelines with these little sudden flashes.

            On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 9:01 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • First, Same thing I liked about first song. It is was simple and sweet. It looked like some people dance in real life. This movie was all about it. 2
            Second, I have same feeling. Start of their love story is not given in the movie. But we are able to get engaged through this song. It was also a good way of showing the fair in old Punajb. I was actually hoping for the same kind of song in Phillauri
            Third, They are from same movie. Angrej. I have suggested you this movie before. Angrej was a really god movie. In some parts of the world it was giving tough competition to Bahubali despite being made on 1% budget. It gave my mother a nostalgia feeling. It showcased Indian tradition in most realistic way.Punjabi atleast. I am not aware of rest of India’s culture

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          • I will send you some more Punjabi videos next week. It is really sad that Honey singh is more popular than Amrinder Gill (who is a good actor and awesome singer)

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  6. Why do you think the Bollywood press is so eager to tag the husband’s surname to a newly wedded Bollywood heroine who’s rather famous in her own right?It kinds of make sense when the heroines marry to an illustrious filmy family like Aiswarya Rai or Kareena Kapoor did.But why address Kajol as Kajol Devgun or Madhuri as Madhuri Nene when they’ve been known for a long time by their first names?

    And Vishal Bharadwaj must have read your posts about Shakespearean comedies.He has announced one of his own.

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    • I can give a partial answer for this question, but I think for a complete one you’d have to know more about the variations in Indian naming than I do. There’s some things about how married woman attach their husband’s names that are a little more complicated than a simple “changing their legal last name to his name” that I don’t understand. Sometimes it seems like single women just go by a first name and never use their father’s name, sometimes it seems like married women attach their husband’s entire name to theirs, so “Mary John Smith” instead of just “Mary Smith”. And all of that is beyond me, and seems to vary region by region in a way I don’t understand.

      Purely from a media studies side of things, I wonder if attaching the last name is to remind the media and public that they are married now? Which sounds like “no duh!”, but I mean in more of a “re-branding” way. “Madhuri Dixit” is a successful and popular and glamorous actress. “Madhuri Dixit Nene” is a business spokesperson and TV presenter and the lead actress in more artsy movies. In the same way, “Kajol” is a popular actress who does a whole variety of roles in a whole variety of films. “Kajol Devgun” is a semi-retired actress who only does special roles every few years, and is mainly focused on her charity work. What I find really interesting is the actresses who didn’t rebrand themselves! Hema Malini is still Hema Malini, Sridevi is still Sridevi, and so on.

      On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 9:29 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I want to commend you on your review of Ghazi Attack. I like when foriegnors praise Indian heroes. but as a matter of principle I can’t praise them unless they have praised their own heroes. Hence, I cant commend you unless you have seen and praised Hacksaw Ridge. Have you seen it?

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    • I think I might need to dispute the premise of this question? I don’t think watching a movie is a way to “praise heroes”. I haven’t seen Hacksaw Ridge, but I’ve spent my lifetime listening to my grandfathers tell their war stories. And I majored in 20th century American history in college, including multiple classes discussing WWII. I don’t think I necessarily need to see a film to learn or care more about the heroes of WWII. Instead I remember and honor those heroes every day by donating to political causes, going to protests, calling my senator and representatives, and I’ve put up multiple posts on my blog trying to raise awareness of various political issues. To my mind, doing these things is what being a patriot means, and watching a movie has nothing to do with it.

      I saw Ghazi Attack because I was interested in it as a film, being the first time Indian cinema has attempted a submarine movie. And being something a little unusual, since it was getting a pan-India release despite not having any major stars. You are correct, it isn’t my place to honor Indian military heroes. I can respect an Indian philosopher like Gandhi or Bhagat Singh whose message has universal applications, but an Indian military hero is not fighting for me and has nothing to do with my life.

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      • I disagree that “not fighting for me” should be a prerequisite for respect. I can respect Simon Bolivar’s fight for freedom in South America, but he was “not fighting for me.” And I don’t respect certain military “heros” who were “fighting for me.”

        I think it’s more complicated than that but I appreciate your openness with your struggles to sort it out.

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      • Sorry, If my comment offended in you any way. I agree that there are hundered ways to pay respect. Watching a good movie made on a war hero is one of them. I also do the things that you mentioned. Hacksaw ridge should be seen as a way to honor the heroes
        I dont necessarily agree with your point that you can’t hero other army’s soldiers. I belong to a state where you will find atleast one memorial dedicated a martyr. But my parents say that you must respect brave soldiers of every country. I was an army aspirant but couldn’t join due to handicapcy. My parents were sad when Pakistani government refused to take body of its dead soldiers in 1999 kargil war. My mother said “they are also soldiers” I respect brave soldiers of even Pakistan like karnal Sher Khan, General tajjumal Malik. I respect American war heroes like Audie Murphy. Bravery and chivalry has universal message. Yesterday, I was watching an American TV show , In it a girl refuses to take interview of a vietnam war veteran because he was a clerk and didn’t see fighting. Later, she come to know that this guy has been helping poor war veterans to get VA benefits by helping them in paperwork for 30 years. It was a good message universally applicable. I am friend with an American guy. He posts pics about USA army and I like them because it has universal messages. We exchange ideas over it. You can respect brave soldiers even of enemy nation.

        I found your article on Ghazi Attack good. But sorry, I can’t commend you on it.

        On an unrelated note
        Are you a Republican?

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        • I don’t think my politics are necessarily something I am comfortable answering a question about.

          But on the other hand, if you read the political posts I have put up in the past, it should be pretty clear that I am encouraging people to support the Democratic party, so I guess it isn’t a secret.

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          • I haven’t read your political posts. Hence, I didn’t know. Sorry for offending you.

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      • And i never said that it isn’t your place to honor Indian military heroes. I can praise American war heroes and you can praise Indian war heroes. Somethings are universal
        And Why you shy away from watching Hollywood? You watch bad Bollywood movies but not even brilliant Hollywood movies

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        • I just don’t have time to watch everything, and my professional focus is Indian film. It’s like, I don’t know, a jazz musician. They may enjoy and be able to play classical music. But their job and focus is Jazz music, so they spend more of their time on that.

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    • Well there’s an interesting question! I could try to be exotic and impressive, but really I am just like 90% of the world and my favorite episode is “The One With The Embroyos”. Which is usually thought of as the one with the game show. And, of course, my favorite part of the episode is the game show.

      On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 1:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • No, I know none. I am terrible with languages, I am lucky to be able to pronounce English correctly, let alone a foreign language. I took German in college partly because the pronunciation was so close to English.

      On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 1:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Definitely Anushka. I thought Deepika did an okay job in a kind of boring part, but I had no expectations of her future career, I thought she would disappear after a few more lessor films, maybe get married to an industrialist or something and just show up at parties every once in a while. Anushka, on the other hand, felt like she had something special and different to offer right from the start.

      Of course, Deepika has since proven me wrong, which is just one in a long list of actresses and actors that I have failed to correctly estimate from their first film. I also was sure that Parineeti would be ruling the industry by now, for instance, and that is looking less and less likely!

      On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 4:57 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I liked Anushka in all of her earlier movies but I was first really impressed with her in Dil Dhadakne Do. I didn’t think too much about Deepika until I loved her in YJHD and Chennai Express.

        By the way, how excited are you for Meri Pyaari Bindu? The first song is coming out tomorrow 🙂

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        • I liked her in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and felt like she had a unique look and energy onscreen. But then I was really impressed with her acting ability in Band Baaja Baarat, and I’ve watched her with interest ever since. I think she gets better with every movie.

          And I am trying not to get excited about Meri Pyaari Bindu at all! There is a slight chance that it will be an amazing sleeper hit (like Humpty Sharma), a good chance that it will be good and moderately interesting (like Dum Laga Ke Haisha), and also a good chance that it will end up being just kind of average and uninteresting (like Bewakoofiyan). So I am going to wait and let the reviewers and you tell me which one of those options it turns out to be.

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          • I like Parineeti but I’m not really a huge fan of her work and I feel the same about Ayushmann. The main reason that I’m interested in this movie is because Parineeti is playing a singer and I think she’s singing her songs. She’s actually a classically trained singer, and her voice is pretty nice. Overall I think Meri Pyaari Bindu will end up being in the Dum Laga Ke Haisha range. Honestly though, Parineeti needs to take Anushka’s example and sign more non-YRF movies. I feel like YRF is holding her back. Did you know that she rejected Piku in favor of a movie co-starring Saif but then that movie got shelved.

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          • Sheesh, turning down Piku is a terrible idea! Well, I could see maybe thinking that it won’t make her a big commercial star, which is certainly true. But holding out for those commercial films is a big big gamble. Because they can just disappear out from under you at a moment’s notice.

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          • It doesn’t seem like that film with Saif was much of a commercial film either. It was supposed to be directed by Dinesh Vijan who previously produced films like Cocktail and Badlapur. Apparently Parineeti is a huge fan of Saif, and I think this might have influenced her decision. But I do agree that rejecting Piku was a bad idea on her part. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/This-is-why-Dinesh-Vijans-Saif-Parineeti-starrer-is-put-on-hold/articleshow/39925911.cms

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          • Ooo, first time director. Another gamble. Boy, I wish Parineeti would let us run her career! Golmaal over Judwaa 2 and this? Terrible decisions!

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    • I’ve just completely lost track of what movies are coming up in Hollywood. The last movie I was super excited about was John Wick 2, and I didn’t even find out about it until I saw a poster at a movie theater the week before it came out.

      Actually, you just got me to take a quick peek at the upcoming films list to see what’s coming! Looks like the next thing I am super excited about is Despicable Me 3. I would be excited about Wonder Woman, but I am pessimistic just because the DC films don’t have the best track record. Ooo! Guy Ritchie doing King Arthur with Djimon Hounsou in the cast could be really really good or an epic disaster. I’ll be curious about the reviews for that one.

      On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 9:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I am excited about Wonder woman. I want it to be good. If it is not good,then DC is dead. It has to be good . It can give DC a chance to redeem. It is a good idea to build movie universe around Wonder woman. She was the best part of BAtman vs Superman.
        I am excited about Spiderman Homecoming. It looks like Spiderman will be good after 13 years. I loved Tony stark in the trailer. My ex was a big fan of Tony Stark. It was something that got me attracted to her. A girl who doesn’t like Bollywood romantic movies. Every guy dreams of it.
        I am waiting for any movie that will put Tony Stark and Stephen Strange in the same room. It wont be a clash of ideologies like Steve and Tony. But a clash of 2 sherlocks
        I also saw trailer of King Arthur. trailer looks good but we shall see
        There are other movies like The Mummy, Thor: Ragnarok( i haven’t liked any Thor movie), Black Panther, Dunkirk, Ghost in the Shell.

        Will you be reading only reviews of the movies?

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          • Okay, I thought that you will only read reviews nothing else. I also do the same for most of the movies. Unless, it is a movie that i have been waiting for a lot.
            Do you read reviews of Bollywood movies too before watching them? And, why do you praise even the worst Bollywood movies like Humshakls, Flying jatt, Dulh Mil gaya?

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          • I don’t think I exactly praise those movies. I start my Dulha Mil Gaya review by saying “it is that bad of a movie”. I don’t like to do stars or a simple “good” “bad” for my reviews, because I don’t like to simplify things like that. I discuss every film I see in depth. And during the discussion there will be some things I talk about as done well and some things I talk about as done poorly. But if you read the whole discussion, or even just the first couple paragraphs, you will get a sense of what I thought about the film as a whole and if it is something that you might enjoy even if I disliked it. Or something you might not like even though I loved it.

            In my Dulha Mil Gaya review, I talk about how it is a bad movie, but the story idea at the heart of it might have been a good movie, if it had gotten a little more money and support in production. It falls apart in execution in a million different ways, but it feels like the problem isn’t with the script, but with everything else in the film. And that made me think about how production works in Hindi film, and why it is so important for promising writers to be mentored and appreciated and their work given the time to mature.

            I haven’t written a review of Humshakels, I haven’t even seen Humshakals. I enjoyed The Flying Jatt for what it was, a movie made for children and families to watch, not for adults. But again, if you read the whole review, at the beginning I say “I don’t want to oversell it, this was not a super smart film”. But what I find interesting to discuss about it is how it attempts to put some kind of moral value in a way a child could understand onto a superhero storyline. And how it has a religious and regional specific backstory for the superhero, which is unusual.

            I think if you read my whole reviews, not just the headlines, you will see that I don’t praise bad movies. I discuss them, both the good and the bad. But I also tell you flat out at some point exactly how good this film is and if it is worth your time.

            Oh, and I used to read the reviews of Hindi movies before I saw them, but now I don’t because I know I will be writing a blog post on them and I am worried about accidentally taking someone else’s idea. Unless it is a movie that I am not even sure if I will bother to see in theaters and I want to know what the reviewers think before I make a decision. Sarkar 3, for instance, I love Sarkar, but Sarkar Raj was such a disappointment, I don’t want to go through that again if Sarkar 3 isn’t worth it.

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    • Didn’t know Shahrukh was taking August! I’m surprised he didn’t want to just wait a couple of months for Diwale, his lucky date. Maybe it’s not much of a family movie? Seems like for a Diwale release, you do best if you have a real 8-to-80 kind of movie.

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      • Yeah, they announced August 11th date when they released the first poster a while ago. By that time, Diwali was taken up by both Golmaal 4 and 2.0. Plus your’re right, I don’t think an Imtiaz Ali movie would be the kind of entertainer that people expect on Diwali.

        By the way, the first song from Meri Pyaari Bindu is out now:

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