Monday Morning Questions Post, May Day Edition!

Happy May Day!  There will be a theme post going up in a little bit.  And in addition to May Day, it is also Monday!  So, time for questions!

As always, you can ask me anything you want, from the semi-personal (“what is the first Telugu movie you ever saw?”) to the specific if you want to know anything about the films (“what are the important non-Hindi film industries in India?”) to the general discussion question type thing (“What are the weaknesses and strengths of each of the language industries in India?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Otherwise it is no fun for me.  But once I do answer, feel free to jump in with your thoughts and make this a general discussion.

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67 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post, May Day Edition!

  1. You didnt watch my videos this week.

    No problem, I am sending new videos. I hope you will watch them

    One is a trailer reaction to Lahoriye. I think you will be able to understand Lahoriye with this video. This is a movie which i think you should like
    One video is about friendship. I was missing my friends and I thought of listening to this song. basic premise of thsi song is take me money, take my car but return my friends
    2 songs are love stories that you should like.

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  2. Please watch especially Lahoriye video. It is after long time that my mother got interested to watch something in theatre after watching the trailer.

    Infact, I request everyone Moviemangel, Flimilibrarian, Angie to watch these videos and give their videos.

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      • I watched Lahoriye trailer and I like it very much. There are no subtitles, so I understood only little but I like the idea of the movie, actors, and music. I really feel like watching it when it will be on dvd.
        I’ve seen only 2 punjabi movies in my life, don’t remember the titles but what I remember is that both had gigantic holes in the plot, and I was like “what’s going on?”

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        • Okay. I think you watched bad ones. There are a lot of bad movies. Punjabi cinema is in growth phase, there will be lot of bad ones. It will take timem I suggest you to watch Carry on Jatta, Punjab 1984, Angrej, Love Punjab, Ardas. These are real gems and actually do well ion
          I know about subtitles part. Therefore, I posted reaction video so that people could understand most of it
          I really loved song Akhar of Lahoriye. It is soothing to ears. Amrinder Gill is mostly an unknown gem. Only people who listen Punjabi songs and watch Punjabi movies regularly know about him.

          I advise you to watch the music videos. These are also with good storylines. I think you would like the videos and will be able to understand without language barrier

          Thanks for watching Lahoriye trailer

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          • I like punjabi music. I was listening to it few years ago (that’s why I watched those 2 bad movies too) and I always enjoy punjabi songs in hindi movies.
            P.S Is Jatt&Juliet good movie? I know it’s not your type, but maybe you watched it and can reccomend or advise against it.

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          • Actually Jatt and Juliet is my kind of movie. It is a good comedy movie. I think you would like them.
            But i would suggest you carry on jatta. It is a funnier and superior movie. But Jatt and Juliet is also a good movie.

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          • Of the men, I think Arijit Singh. Partly because I just saw him in concert, but also because he has an interesting voice. Of the women, Neeti Mohan. She hasn’t done much, but she has a really distinctive voice. She did “Jiya Re” in Jab Tak Hain Jaan, and all the singing for Bombay Velvet.

            On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 9:33 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Actually, I forgot to add Punjabi word.
            My apologies
            Angie wrote that she likes Punjabi music.

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          • Oh sorry! I got the comment alert and didn’t see the context. I’ll let Angie answer.

            On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 9:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I have big problem with singer’s names. After so many years of watching bollywood movies I ‘m able to recognize only 2 singers: Sonu Nigam (who is my favourite) and Udit Narayan. I like Atif Aslam but if it’s not written that he is singing, I probably be like” oh it’s this voice I like so much”. The same with punjabi music. I like the rhythm, the energy, and the fact that it makse me wanna dance, but I can’t say the names of singers.

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          • okay, i understand. Names can be difficult to pronounce
            Have you seen the music videos I posted here?

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  3. I watched Punjabi trailer of Spiderman Homecoming. It looked funny. I will be watching Spiderman Homecoming in Punjabi.

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  4. Do you think that Priyanka Chopra will be able to get crowd for baywatch. It looks better than XXX 3. But it has not been promoted much in India. The Rock didnt come to India (much to my dismay) for promoting it. It doesnt look like Priyanka was hired to get Indian market or does it? Do you think that Priyanka can draw crowd just with few days of promotion solely by her.

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    • Her most recent Indian release Jai Gangaajal certainly didn’t say much for her ability to attract an Indian crowd all on her own. This is just a guess, but I suspect she was cast in Baywatch more to attract the American and American Indian audience than anything else.

      On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 6:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • That is sad. I was really hoping to see The Rock in Indian TV shows like Kapil Sharma Show. It would have been funny. He is perhaps most likely the most popular Hollywood actor in India. I thought he will be coming to promote it.

        Just like how Irfan Khan movies are not promoted in India. Jurrasic world didn’t use Irfan khan to promote in India, same with Inferno.

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  5. One suggestion, there is one upcoming movie Sarsgarhi that I would like to participate in discussion. But as I have told you, I cant commend you on its review unless you have seen and praised Hacksaw Ridge or Dunkirk due to my principles. Please watch these movies before watching Saragarhi.

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    • If you are talking about failure to meet expectations then there are many. Top of my mind I can think about Ra One, Jai Ho, Chennai express. Waterworld is actually better than these.
      Biggest insult and disappointment according to me is Dragonball evolution. A spit on face of Dragonball fans.

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    • Fitoor! Although you shouldn’t watch it.

      When you talk Waterworld and Ishtar, there are kind of two elements, right? The “so big and so bad it took down a studio” part of it, and then the “so big and so bad it’s amusing” part of it. The past 10 years, India has been cycling through studios like crazy. Saawariya and Chandni Chowk to China both took down studios (I think Columbia and Sony, but I can’t remember which is which), then Fitoor killed Disney last year. Bombay Velvet would have/should have killed Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom films, but it ended up being protected by pre-selling distribution rights (I strongly suspect Karan’s hand here, as being the only person smart enough to set up the financial protection that way). Oh, and last summer, Mohenjo Daro was pretty gruesome.

      Of those terrible movies, maybe Mohenjo Daro would be amusing if you watch it in a kind of rifftracks way. Fitoor and Bombay Velvet are both just “I want to die rather than keep watching this” terrible. Saawariya is “I want to die rather than keep watching this” terrible for me, but not for everybody. Chandni Chowk to China, I have honestly never met anyone who has seen it.

      For just general amusingly big and bad, Subhash Ghai is where its at. He hasn’t had a hit in I don’t know how long, but that hasn’t stopped his ambition. Even his “good” movies, like Taal, are pretty ridiculous. By the time you get to Kisna, it’s just laugh out loud bad.

      My Holy Grail of terrible movies is the one so bad that I haven’t been able to find a copy. But watch this trailer and tell me that it wouldn’t be perfect for a Midnight Movie kind of experience:

      On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 9:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • If my knowledge is correct, Waterworld was a financial success and had mixed reviews not overwhelmingly negative reviews. Can you elaborate how it took down studio?
        I think that movie trailer you posted was actually cancelled and never released.

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        • In America, it’s common knowledge that Waterworld was massively over-budget and critically panned. It’s kind of a joke, Ishtar and Waterworld are used as examples of massive failures. I think Waterworld might have recouped some of it’s budget on VHS, but generally it is still used as a punchline.

          On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 10:54 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That is actually strange for me. Waterworld is not top of my any list. I dont consider it as a good movie. But there have been worse movies like Dragonball evolution

            I was reading an article about some miscoceptions about the movie. One of it is that Waterwold was a failure

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          • There you are, the reason Waterworld was included on that list of misconceptions is because it was commonly regarded as a failure.

            Ra.One is actually another one that, like Waterworld, was only a “failure”, not a real failure. It broke box office records, and made tons of money from tie ins like the McDonald’s give-aways and stuff. But it fell far short of expectations, which is why it is considered a failure, even though in terms of the profit and loss bottom line, it did make a profit.

            On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 11:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I haven’t seen either, but from what I have heard, Ishtar is the better Hollywood example. It is to movies what the Edsel was to cars — the result of too much hype and hubris. My husband saw “Waterworld” and though it was just ok, but it was supposed to be EPIC! Ishtar is just a punchline, or a front-runner for Turkey of the Century.

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          • Well, just to complicate things, I did read an article recently trying to rescue Ishtar. Arguing that it is partly male chauvinism, because a woman director is more punished for perfectionism and being “difficult” than a male director who did the same.

            On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 8:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Just chiming in to say: I loved Ishtar, non-ironically. It is completely hilarious (on purpose) and while it isn’t perfect it did not deserve the critical drubbing it got. I think expectations were too high (Beatty, Hoffman, written by Elaine May) and the woman director thing wouldn’t surprise me either.

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          • What I read was that Elaine May was an infamous perfectionist, exhausting to work with. But then, in a woman that was seen as a flaw, but in a male director like Kubrick, that was supposed to be “genius!”. A lot of the Ishtar budget problems came from reshoots and changes. But again, arguably in a male director this would have been “the price of brilliance” whereas in a woman it was seen is irritating and petty and so on.

            On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 10:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. What do you have to say about the idea that Bollywood subsumes all other art forms? For eg it is held responsible for indipop dying out after the 2000s. So many promising artists who released successful albums in the 90s and 2000s, now eke out a living singing a single here and there in random Bollywood movies.

    I’m one of the brave souls who managed to watch Chandni Chowk to China.Granted it was a movie night with friends and we weren’t paying much attention to it.But Akshay Kumar’s parody of classic Bollywood dances (especially Rekha’s Salaam-e-ishq from Muqaddar ka Sikandar) was the highlight of the movie.

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      • There’s an ode to Chicago??? I had no idea! Back when it was on Netflix streaming, I watched the first 5 minutes just for the Chicago location shots, and then figured that was it for Chicago references. There’s more???

        I don’t suppose you have a time stamp for it? I really really don’t want to have to watch all gabillion hours of What’s Your Rashee? to find that particular scene.

        On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 1:11 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I don’t know if I would say “subsumes”, more “unifies”? Coming from America, where pop culture has these hard lines between music versus fashion versus TV versus film versus whatever, it’s refreshing to see the way that everyone at the very top of their field in India ends up being brought together in the film industry.

      Of course, it is frustrating when an artist can’t make that leap from independent success to the film industry and ends up being left behind, I see that. And multiple separate artistic industries might allow for easy entry points for artists. And make it easier for them to remain successful. So in that way, it’s a bad thing.

      But as someone who really really loves the films, I want them to keep having access to the very top artists in all fields, and I would hate for Indian film music in particular to be weakened because the best of the best no longer end up there.

      And now I will have to track down that Akshay scene from Chandi Chowk!

      On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 12:54 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Unfortunately I can’t find the Chicago ode (monologue?).In case you want to skip ahead, the character’s name is Nandini, her raashi is Scorpio and her song is Aa le chal.

        Here’s Akshay’s homage to classic Bollywood songs.

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        • That will make an interesting comparison with Priyanka’s “In My City” video! It was launched during the broadcast of a Chicago Bears football game, so she is wearing Chicago sports outfits, which was a very strange “worlds colliding” experience for me.

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  7. Due to Baahubali 2’s huge collections, even just the Hindi version, I’ve been noticing a lot of talk lately that Hindi Film is dying and that regional and Hollywood films are going to take over. What do you think? I have my own take on this but I want to see what you all think about it first. Here are a couple articles about the threat to Hindi films:

    http://www.indicine.com/movies/bollywood/increasing-external-threat-hindi-film-industry/

    http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/baahubali-2-the-conclusion-bahubali-2-success-shows-up-the-norths-ignorance-of-south-indian-cinema-3414172.html

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    • Well, part of this is the flawed idea that there is a long history of pan-India hits. The audience has always been divided into various areas. Now it is just getting further sub-divided by classes.

      I would also say that a big part of the issue is that the multi-national studios are moving in and are therefore competing with themselves, as it were. Why should Disney worry about making their Indian UTV productions a hit if they can just release the Hollywood film The Jungle Book in a dubbed version?

      And there’s the issues with chasing the international audience. The Hindi films get more and more watered down to appeal to that audience, and lose their ability to appeal to the general Indian audience.

      But the biggest point is that this has all happened before. The same “doom, DOOM!” articles were going around in the 80s when Amitabh’s dominance was strangling the Hindi industry, and the other industries were growing in popularity. And then the Khans came around, and the industry shifted to love stories instead of action, and it all worked out.

      And boy, now I am inspired! I think the history of multi-language films in India is going to have to be my 101 post tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I kind of agree with you, but I think the main problem is that the Hindi market itself is dividing up. There aren’t that many pan-Hindi market movies made since making a niche film can also be pretty successful. For example, one can make a Piku or a Badlapur and still make profits. Or another example of this is Karan Johar’s films. He’s always said that he calculatively tried to make blockbusters and that’s how he came up with KKHH and K3G. At this point in time, he knows that he can make a film that is more close to his heart (ADHM) and still make a lot of money so he’s stop trying to make movies that everyone will love.

        Good point about multi-national studios competing with themselves. I’ve never thought of that before.

        Do you expect the industry to shift back to action movies soon? I feel like the audience in general are getting tired of all the rom-coms that are being made. I love romance as a genre but even I feel like the industry is being dominated by the genre. I feel like the success of Baahubali might lead to a trend of more actions movies. It is time for the cycle to shift.

        You should do that, it will make an interesting post!

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        • My personal theory is that every odd-numbered mid decade is a big creative burst. 55-65, 75-85, 95-2005. And then 65-75, 85-95, and 2005-2015 are the boring hangover of the creative boom. I think we have probably already seen the films that history will say are the start of a new trend, but we don’t know which ones they are yet. Could be Dishoom, could be Bajirao, could be something else entirely.

          On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 7:23 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s really an interesting theory! Maybe we will even see the decline of the Khans now? I can’t imagine that but it’s really tough to predict the film industry.

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          • I think we are already seeing the decline of the Khans. A calculated decline. They are all taking more risky roles and older roles, stepping back from stardom. Even Salman, Sultan wasn’t exactly the young hero role he used to take.

            On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 7:30 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, the decline doesn’t seem like it will be drastic or anything. Do you think that Salman and Shahrukh will become like Aamir and start to do only 1 movie every two years in the coming future? Maybe Shahrukh will start doing more Dear Zindagi type supporting roles while coming up with his own movies every couple years.

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          • In some interviews, Shahrukh has mentioned that he wants to do one final burst of work for the next 5 years, and then switch to production. And Salman is being more bullish about SKF producing his films. Wouldn’t be surprised if they both started moving more into production side of things and less on the acting.

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          • Speaking of Dear Zindagi, it finally arrived on Netflix!

            Would you say that Ittefaq is Shahrukh’s first step to moving more into production? I don’t think he has produced a movie without starring himself before has he?

            Did you here that Salman is launching his brother-in-law?!? Arpita’s husband is going to be launched by Salman and Karan together apparently.

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          • Always Kabhi Kabhi. No one remembers that movie, but Shahrukh produced it and did an item number, but otherwise wasn’t in it.

            I think Red Chillies might have co-produced some stuff without him as well, but I’m not sure. What I am noticing more and more is that Red Chillies VFX works on EVERYTHING. Including Bahubaali! They are one of the half dozen VFX films listed at the end. so there is a chance that Shahrukh will retire as an actor, and end up being known as the head of the largest CGI company in India.

            As for Salman’s brother-in-law, I guess he has to find work somewhere? I never really got a sense that he had a “job”, beyond being Arpita’s husband. Might as well join the family firm. And I’d rather they tried to make him an actor than a director, I can suffer through bad acting better than bad directing.

            On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 9:39 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I did see the Tubelight teaser, post coming soon!

            On Thu, May 4, 2017 at 7:43 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. As someone about to enter retirement, there is something to be said about a calculated exit from center stage. I still plan to work, and am looking forward to doing some new, even risky things (fiction? art? who knows!) I am enjoying my role as sage and mentor. It’s a new and very inviting stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What Hollywood movie you would like to see to be remade in India? I would like to see Die Hard (it is culurally nuetral), Conjuring 2, Transporter, True Lies, The Rock, Taken
    One movie that I would like to see remade in Hollywood is Jeevan Mrityu. It is about a bank manager who gets wrongly implicated in a fraud and later adopts a double identity for revenge. I think this story is perfectly suitede for post recession USA. Denzel Washington will be perfect for this role

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    • I write a speculative script every Sunday on a film I would like to see remade. Most recently, I did Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and Gone With the Wind.

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        • that’s what I would find interesting, taking a story that would have to be significantly changed, so the Indian version would add something new to it.

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          • Okay,

            But According to me, if you change a lot then story loses its value. Remakes or borrowing elements is nothing new. Amitabh Bacchan took a lot from Clint Eastwood. But there are no complains because his style didn’t looks unbelivable for Indian society. There are remakes like Ghulam, Sarkar. Awara Pagal deewana that can be made without significantly changing the story.
            One has to change a lot in Gone with the wind to make it in India

            Will you be watching my videos? Atleast watch lahoriye one. First time in ages that my mother asked by herself to watch a movie

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    • Not that popular. I mean, not unpopular. I think most people probably don’t know his name, but might recognize his face. In a kind of “hey, I liked that actor in that other thing, nice to see him again!” kind of way.

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      • So he is that guy from all those movies. There are many.
        What about Dev Patel? My friends from USA are big fan of him.

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        • Dev Patel does more lead roles, but in more artsy movies. He’s stayed very British in how his career has gone, big costume dramas and serious films and stuff. Not Hollywood blockbusters. Anyway, I think most people do know his name, but he was kind of fading a little last year. And then his most recent film, Lion, was a critical darling and introduced him in a very different kind of role and sort reinvigorated his career.

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          • My friend was talking about Lion while talking about him. She assumed that I am his fan

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  10. What are the weaknesses and strengths of each of the language industries in India???
    and if u become a filmmaker(writer or director) ,which industry u will prefer to work? what will be the genre of films u wil make?

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    • Sorry, just found this comment! Along with several others from you, not sure why but they ended up in spam. But they are rescued now!

      1. I am not an expert on all the languages in India, but I can speak in general terms based on what little I know. Hindi films are the most expensive and the “glossiest”, meaning they appeal to overseas audiences. Malayalam cinema is incredibly deep and thoughtful, with a style of presenting a story that is more like a Western art film, or a novel, than a traditional “film”. Tamil cinema, I really only know the two great directors (Mani Ratnam and K Balachander), so I don’t know if it is all that good, or just they are good. Telugu has a history of visual epics going back to maya Bazaar in the 50s, and in more recent times, has also become known for action films with amazing fight scenes. And that’s it, that’s all I know.

      2. If I become a filmmaker, it would have to be Hindi films, because that’s the only genre/industry I know well enough. And I would want to make character dramas, anything that explores motivations and meaning in relationships and stuff like that. You can get into it in romances (like Jab We Met) or in action films (like Agneepath) or in family dramas (like Baghban). But that is what interests me, relationships and motivations.

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