Happy Wednesday! I’m trying something new again, giving you a question to answer, or at least a place to start discussion, along with the usual “what are you watching and thinking and reading this week?” questions.
My sister was visiting last weekend, and moviemavengal asked me in the questions post on Monday what films I sat her down and forced her to watch. Because of course I did that. My sister and I are very very close and very very similar (if you want to see how similar, check out our podcast. It’s a bit confusing, because our voices are almost identical). But she has less time to watch movies than I do. So every time I see her, it is a matter of my quickly sorting through every film I have seen since the last time and figuring out which 3-6 she absolutely MUST watch. Because she would enjoy them, because I want someone else to appreciate them, because just in general they are good things to have seen. This time it was Santosham, Nennunanu, 24, 1:Nenokaddin, and City of God.
So, that’s what I did all weekend. Oh, and I also built a bed, and started reading the Bahubali novel (but I won’t tell you about it because I am saving up all my thoughts for a real post when I am finished!).
Now, tell me, if you had/have a sister (or lifelong best friend or mother or cousin or anyone else who has almost identical taste to you but less time to watch films), what would be your films that you would stack up and force them to watch over the course of a weekend?
What a great question! I have just one brother, and we were very close when we were growing up. He is two years older and was the instigator/mastermind behind everything we did. Since 1969, he has lived farther and farther away from me — he moved north, and I moved south — but when we visit or Skype, we always have a great time. The first movie I would make him watch is Sholay, because it reminds me of all the westerns we watched as kids. Then Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India! because we both loved Doctor Strangelove and it feels like that movie. He is also a big fan of classic comedy — Abbott and Costello, the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, so we would have to see something funny. I am stuck on that one; any suggestions?
As for my watching this week, we had a busy weekend, so I still haven’t finished Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, and yet I started watching Tanu Weds Manu as well. Multitasking!
For a funny Laurel and Hardy/Abbot and Costello type thing, Andaz Apna Apna! Although it might be too much Abbot and Costello, as in, a lot of wordplay that you have to really focus on to get, especially since it is in Hindi. But if you focus (which is an odd thing to say about a comedy), it is hilarious.
Alternatively, Tere Bin Laden. Which is slightly more on the Dr. Strangelove side of things, but kind of Dr. Strangelove combined with Abbot and Costello.
Also, I love the idea of you jumping between Tanu Weds Manu and Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani!
On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 9:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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I absolutely love this question!
Only yesterday I told my younger sister (who lives in Poland) that she should watch Baahubali, because I have seen it recently and love it, and I think she will like it too. And some time ago I recommended her Ohm Shanthi Oshana. I think she would love it just like I do. The only problem is that she dosn’t like watching movies with english subtitles, so I’m seriously thinking about translate it in polish.
Than I would make her watch Kandukondain Kandukondain (in some strange way it was released in polish), and in the end, we would watch Bangalore Days, which I still haven’t seen, but I’m sure it’s great. Perfect weekend 🙂 And maybe we will really have a chance to watch some of those movies, because next week I’m going to Poland 😀
Oh wow, that does sound like the perfect weekend!
And I can confirm that they are all wonderful sister-sit-down-and-watch-this movies, because I have done that in the past with my sister with all of them! Bahubali, of course, was the biggest hit. But Ohm Shanti Oshaana almost tied with it.
Have you seen Premam yet? In my “sister you have to watch this” experience, Premam was a slightly bigger hit than Bangalore Days, although OSO was better than both of them.
On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 9:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I have seen Premam 2 months ago, and really like it (I’m still listening to Malare and Aluha Puzha) but I’m not sure my sister would like it. It’s not a traditional story, where we have begining, and the end. It starts, then one part finishes, something different begins. I appreciate it with time.
Good point. My parents I think had kind of a similar problem. It worked for my sister largely because of the “OMG I love Nivin Pauly!” hangover from Ohm Shanti Oshaana. But then I suppose there might be some crazy misguided fools in the world who AREN’T in love with Nivin Pauly, in which case Premam might be a bit of a hard sell.
On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 2:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Hello Ms. Angie, has Bahubali been released in cinemas in Poland and Italy? How is audience response?
I know that Baahubali 1 was screened on some Film Festival in Poland, and one or two copies of Baahubali 2 were shown in biggest italian cities (but only in some cinemas with very limited number of viewers) So unfortunately only indian emigrants and some people crazy for indian cinema watched it.
This is a really interesting question, because I’m going on a long trip with my sister in a couple of weeks. You, Margaret, are super lucky, because your sister has been watching Indian films with you for a long time, and she “gets” it, and has a similar taste to you.
My sister I started to watch KKHH one break, and she thought it was too silly. I’d have to maybe show her something like OK Kanmani that is a little more Western without big song numbers. This is something I’m going to have to think about what I load on my iPad that I might want to share with her one night.
Due to a family member that is gravely ill, I haven’t seen much. I saw Raabta this weekend which was a few hours of respite for me. I didn’t love it as much as you did, but I didn’t hate it either like so many reviewers delighted in giving their savage 1 star reviews. I have a video review that hopefully should be posted in the next day or so. I thought the villain was a little more complex than the Magadheera villain — initially charming and likeable. That Jim Saarbh is a looker, too, when he’s not playing a crazed terrorist. Hope we see more of him in future. I’d like to see Sushant do a romance film with Deepika. I think that would be an interesting jodi. He had good chemistry with Kriti, but Deepika is the better actress.
OK Kanmani would be good. And a great sister kind of film! Romantic and you can both swoon over the hero, but not so over the top that you are embarrassed to enjoy it with someone else. I also recommend Ohm Shanti Oshaana as a huge sister watching hit! Although that one requires slightly more awareness of Christian versus Hindu and med school in India and stuff like that.
I’m hoping you are able to take breaks at the hospital, to at least read for pleasure or watch a video or something. Being all family, all supportive, all the time can be really hard. If I were you, I would probably be sitting in the corner pretending to pay attention all the time, but secretly drifting away in my head and thinking about a list of movies to show my sister, or what showtime I can go to Tubelight.
On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 9:51 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
This is a great question! I see my sister on visits to the US a couple of times a year and we spend the whole time sitting on her sofa watching stuff and making snarky comments. So, the best movies to watch with her are those one can make snarky comments about. She did watch both Om Shanti Om and Luck by Chance with me, which is a bit ironic because those are both about the industry and one needs some background knowledge to be able to understand them. (For both, eventually I just started interjecting “that’s an in-joke” and she’d ask me to explain if she wanted or we’d just skip it when she was in-joked out). However, she did really like both of them. So, we are kind of alike in our senses of humor, but I like romantic movies and she really doesn’t. We both like historical stuff and crime/detective, so Byomkesh Bakshi is perfect! It’s a bit on the dark side too. Otherwise, something over the top to laugh at, like Do Anjaane.
I had one of those times when I just could not decide what to watch, so I did an experiment. I went to a random online number generator, generated a number and then counted down my Netflix/Eros list and watched that number film, almost without cheating. (The first one it gave me was NH10, which I want to watch some day, but not that day).
So, first one was Rocky Handsome, from Netflix. (Not really sure why I put this on my list, to be frank. I think I just put all Indian films except Pyar Ka Punchnama on my list). Anyway, this is fairly diverting, although not what you’d call a great film. One does eventually get sick of watching people get killed. It’s about a trained assassin who has to kill a bunch of people to save a little girl. John Abraham is pretty much expressionless for the whole thing so you don’t worry about his acting so much. He and his wife (Shruti Hasan, whom I’ve only seen in D-Day besides this, so to me she is Dead Flashback Significant Other) take a completely unnecessary trip to the Seychelles and make a giant big deal of the fact that they are in the Seychelles partaking of all the many activities the Seychelles have to offer in one of the more blatant instances of product placement I’ve seen. There’s a reference to Un Chien Andalou, not certain if it was intentional. John’s trainer should stop working his traps, he’s got a weird hunched-forward position. That’s about all I have to say about Rocky Handsome.
Next, the random numbers selected Happy Ending for me. I really liked this. One could make a case that the film can’t decide whether it’s a parody of a romcom or an actual romcom, but for me the film was gently making fun of the genre, while still allowing us to enjoy it in a way that we couldn’t if they were really going after it. There is a plethora of fourth-wall breaking. Saif is really digging himself a trench as the callow guy who doesn’t believe in love until the right woman comes along. I get that that’s part of the joke (I guess) but I sat there for a long time trying to think of a movie where he’s done something different. Then I went to bed. When I woke up this morning I thought, oh yeah, Kurbaan, but I still can’t think of a romance or comedy. Anyway, it is fun as it consciously ticks off the romcom tropes: meet cute, hate each other, party song, road trip, have to stay in the same hotel room, airport scene. Govinda is a highlight in the party song and all the other times he’s on screen. One misstep was Saif’s weird alter ego; couldn’t really see the point of that.
If you are looking for something to laugh at Aetraaz is really really good for that. Kareena, Priyanka, Akshay, really bad but also really really amusing. Or, if you want something a little more thriller and complex kind of thing, along with Byomkesh, I just showed my sister 1:Nenokkadine which she very much enjoyed. Although for that plot you have to accept somethings like that a pop star would also be an amazing fighter and motorcycle rider and stuff.
You probably saw this, but Rocky Handsome was a remake of a Korean movie, when I saw it in theaters, I did a little googling around, and it looks like it was almost shot for shot. So the Un Chien Andalou thing, for instance, that was just from the Korean original. And in my opinion, Shruti Haasan should stay “significant other who gets killed”, instead of “significant other who has dialogue”.
Saif’s career is fascinating! He started out as floppy haired young innocent type, and never really hit it super big. And then in Dil Chahta Hai, he did a bit of a twist on that, to be floppy haired young innocent type who grows and matures. And then he doubled down on that with Kal Ho Na Ho, and Hum-Tum is where it went from “naturally growing up over the course of the film” to “resisting growing up”. If you want to see his progression, check out Hamesha, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, and then Dil Chahta Hai. And that’s really all I have to add to the Happy Endings discussion, because I haven’t seen the movie myself!
I haven’t seen a ton of things with Saif in them, but I have seen Hum Tum and Dil Chahta Hai and Cocktail and Love Aaj Kal, and I think in all of them he’s doing that Saif thing (don’t remember Love Aaj Kal all that well). I’m thinking he’s kind of getting up there and into the demographic where resisting growing up is just kind of sad, so he might need to segue into a different type of romantic hero.
You should watch Happy Endings! It’s super fun and also romantic.
His career did this huge shift with Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Na ho, and Hum Tum. the stuff before that is like an entirely different person, it’s strange.
But you are right! I don’t think he has down a romance not in the Peter Pan mode for ages. Plenty of non-romances where he experimented, but in the romance world, it’s the same every time.
On Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 4:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I am waiting for ‘Wonder Woman’ to be released in our small town in south India.
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That’s funny, I’m in America waiting for Godha to be available.
It’s at the NIles Moviemax, but only one matinee a day.