Monday Morning Questions Post, Tubelight Week!!!!

Happy Tubelight Week!!!!!  I am less excited than I thought I would be, but I think that is just because it is too hot to be excited.  Writing all my Tubelight posts is beginning to get me excited though, thinking about all the things it reminds me of and could be related to.

Happy Monday!  This is the post where you get to ask me questions.  They can range from the personal (“What is the last movie you were really really excited about?”) to the specific and factual (“Why do movies release on Eid?”) or to the general discussion type ones (“Will Tubelight work, or will it be a disappointment?”).


The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Otherwise it is no fun for me.  And also, it works better if I kind of start off the discussion.  But once I have responded, please leap in and join the conversation if you like!


26 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post, Tubelight Week!!!!

  1. Margaret, Bahubali fever is coming to an end slowly on your blog but I don’t want to miss the analytical perspective you give. If you pick up few classic movies from major languages and do a scene-by-scene or overall summary, it would be great. To start with there is Sankarabharanam in Telugu, Roja in Tamil and Awara in Hindi.


  2. Sorry you wanted to answer first but I ended my question with suggestion. So rephrasing my question – could you do analysis of old classic movies?


    • I second this! I have watched a few, and would love to watch more. Your suggestions have been really, really helpful. But I once even tried to find all of the songs and films referenced in “Phi Milenge Chalte Chalte”, because it is fun to follow a “rabbit hole” approach to film.

      To turn this into a question: what movie or movies would be a good lead-in to “Tubelight”?


      • Well, I could think about trying a “classic film Wednesday” kind of approach, and see how it goes. Like I said, the few reviews I had put up had been pretty dead in the water for viewership. I definitely wouldn’t want to do a scene by scene, but for practical reasons. If I do a scene by scene, that means I am committed to the same film for days and days and days, and only people who have actually watched the film can understand and appreciate the posts. But if I do my usual detailed analysis both with and without spoilers, one film for one day, that means if you haven’t seen this film, you could just read the non-spoiler section, or skip it entirely, and next week there will be another film that maybe you have seen.

        For suggestions, I can give you a quick and dirty list of films that will give you the entire history of Indian film to work through:

        1. A Throw of the Dice (early classic studio era film)

        2. Hunterwali (early classic popular stunt film)

        3. Devdas PC Barua (early classic social drama film)

        4. Andaz (early Raj Kapoor film, also with Nargis and Dilip Kumar)

        5. Awara (classic Raj Kapoor, invented almost all of today’s film tropes)

        6. Pyaasa (Guru Dutt, so brilliant it will make you cry)

        7. Kaagaz Ke Phool (Guru Dutt, see above. Bonus, behind the scenes stuff about early years of film)

        8. Mughal-E-Azam (Great historical epic of Indian film, set the standard that has lasted until today)

        9. Mother India (Great socialist drama of Indian film, and great mother son drama that has set the template for today)

        10. Guide (The greatest film of Dev Anand, the last great social drama really of this era)

        11. Kashmir Ki Kali (something entirely different! The teenage romance of the 1960s is born)

        12. Teesri Manzil (Teenage romance crossed with neat mystery story)

        13. Aradhana (Rajesh Khanna arrives!!! And the teen romance comes of age to be an adult romance)

        14. Anand (Amitabh Bachchan arrives! Plus, a Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic, low-key social drama/comedy)\

        15. Seeta Aur Geeta (THE great female lead film of Indian history. Super fun comedy, and all about Hema Malini’s star power)

        16. Pakeezah (another great female lead film, the most sensitive and perfect portrayal of a Tawaif of all time)

        15. Zanjeer (Amitabh arrives some more, and so does Salim-Javed as script writers)

        16. Deewar (Greatest script in the history of Indian film, greatest Amitabh performance ever)

        17. Sholay (Most Important film in history, nothing more to say)

        18. Silsila (possibly Yash Chopra’s greatest film, the ultimate Yash Chopra drama)

        19. Lamhe and Chandni (these two always sort of go together, both of them Yash Chopra dramas featuring Sridevi in a love triangle. Both of them beautifully filmed and perfectly performed and scripted)

        18. Maine Pyar Kiya (launched Salman Khan, and brought in the romance era of films)

        19. Qayamet Se Qayamet Tak (launched Aamir Khan, and brought in the romance era of films)

        20. Agneepath, original (the final Great Amitabh film of his early era, kind of puts a period on the young Amitabh era)

        21. Hum Aapke Hain Koun (biggest hit in Indian film history, adjusted for inflation.)

        22. Main Khiladi Tu Anari (fun movie, gives you a sense of the film industry of the 90s, and of the non-romance films of the 90s, the silly comedy types)

        23. DDLJ (brought in the NRI romance, etc. etc.)

        24. Gadar (Biggest ticket seller in Indian film history, almost never talked about in film histories)

        25. Dil Chahta Hai (super important film, brought in the multiplex urbanite film era)

        And then we are into the regular post-2000s era. You’ve probably already seen all the big deal films of modern times. Dabangg, 3 Idiots, Chak De India, etc.

        Ooo, that was fun! I may have to expand this list and use it for a 101 post at some point.

        Oh, and for Tubelight in particular, thank you for asking! That is the purpose of my “Tubelight week” posts. So you should watch the stuff I talk about, for a sense of where Zhu Zhu is coming from, Needing You for a Hong Kong rom-com. For China-India, Dr. Kotnis and a video of Lata singing “Ae Mere Watan” (there are a lot). And the two Kabir Khan/Salman films if you haven’t seen them already, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Ek Tha Tiger.

        On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 7:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • I could! Currently, I am in the middle of an even more detailed than Bahubali analysis of DDLJ. But it doesn’t get as many views as my other posts, even random news item posts are more popular. And it takes a lot of work, so it is hard to make myself keep going.

      I will periodically do posts on classics, for instance the short post I put up yesterday on Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahaani, and again I get very very few views for them. If you want to read more classics posts, I have written on Sangam, Amar Akbar Anthony, Sholay, and both Agneepaths. Also a large number of Tamil classics, I went on a real K Balachandra kick for a while there, and I have written on about half of Ratnam’s films (not the terrorism trilogy yet, but almost everything else). And I did that post on Maya Bazaar a couple weeks ago for Telugu. But again, no views!!! I put a lot of work into these kinds of posts, because the films’ demand it, you know? And then I have to skip posts in the days around it to make time to write on them, and my views go way down for the week. So I only let myself post on classics now as a kind of indulgence, it isn’t good blogging practice and my readers in general aren’t interested.

      What does get slightly more views is when I do the Bahubali style scene by scene for new movies, ones just released in theaters. I don’t do it for every new movie, but if it is a major release, or if it feels deserving of it to me, I will. I think the last one I did it for was Raees, which was fascinating on a scene by scene level. I didn’t bother with Dangal (the directing just wasn’t interesting enough and the message wasn’t complex enough to warrant it), but I did for ADHM, Dear Zindagi, Sultan, and others I am sure I am forgetting. I probably will do the same for Tubelight, unless it is just gosh awful or super boring.

      Anyway, yes I could do an analysis of old classic movies, to answer your question, but no one would read or comment on them! That’s why I took a year long break in the middle of my DDLJ posts, it just wasn’t worth it, I am only coming back now because I am a completist and enough readers nagged me about it.


        • Great question! Spoiler posts for new movies. It’s depressing, but those are by far the most popular. And they continue to be popular for months and months, there is a little burst right after the film comes out, and then another burst a couple months later when it shows up on TV, and so on and so on. That’s why I’ve started putting the whole plot in a paragraph at the top of the review to save people time if that is all they want.

          But of course I also want to add something to the conversation, so I don’t just put in spoilers, I will go into depth about what the characters mean and why the ending was like that and so on. I know 90% of the readers for those posts just read the first two paragraphs to decide if they want to watch the movie, but at least the remaining 10% will be given something to think about along with the plot. I also try to stop people from spoiling themselves if it will effect the enjoyment of the film, I start the review with a clear message of either “DON’T READ ON!!!! The movie deserves to be watched on its on without knowing the plot” or “Do read on! Knowing the plot in advance has no effect on your enjoyment of the film, read this and then go see it anyway” or “This is a terrible movie, just read this review and skip it in theaters”.

          After spoiler reviews, Malayalam reviews tend to do well since no one else online is really writing about them. Again, newer films do better then classics (unless it is something like Spadikam, where it is still super popular). And then news items, especially those about Shahrukh Khan. Everything else, Hindi 101, Tamil/Telugu, TGIF, etc., has a sort of range, sometimes for whatever reason I will hit a nerve and get a large number of views, sometimes for whatever reason no one will be interested and I will get like 20 views total. The lowest views I get are for classic film reviews, no one is interested in old Hindi. Even Sholay, which I did in response to a special request, got almost no visitors.

          If you want to know more, I did a whole post analyzing traffic, and another post listing things I was proud of which got almost no views, as part of my blog anniversary series last November:


          • Oh, and if you want me to write more about something, then the best way to make sure I do, is to comment, and comment a lot, on those posts. First, it encourages me to feel like someone cares, like there is a purpose to my writing these things (Hindi Film 101s, most of the time, are kind of sucky for viewership, but they get comments and I know the few people who do read them really enjoy them and like them, so I keep going).

            You should also try tweeting or re-posting them to forums where they might be appreciated. That is why my Malayalam reviews do so well, back when I did my first few, they got reposted and passed around to forums, and now I have a fair number of Malayalam readers who know about me. If you want more posts on classic films, for instance, and you know another area of The Internet where people like classic Indian films, send them my way.


  3. What Indian and Pakistani tv shows (soaps, etc) can you recommend? Available with subtitles of course. I’ve only seen Humsafar, so far and I have the other two Pakistani soaps on Netflix on my to be watched list. But I just discovered Bhaage Re Mann on Netflix. It’s a Hindi soap about a 39 year old independent woman who comes home for her niece’s wedding after running away from her own wedding 20 years before. It’s pretty fun and I’m only about 8 episodes in and there are 50.


    • I’ve only seen Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai. I highly highly highly recommend ZGH if you haven’t seen it yet, also on Netflix. For Indian TV shows, there isn’t much that I know of that is “good”. The two longest running and most influential soaps of the modern era are Ghar Ghar Ki Kahaani and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. But they are terrible, don’t watch them. I mean, addictive and questioning of gender power structures and all that like all soap operas are. But also really really boring to watch straight through instead of episode by episode day by day.

      Oh, and the Ramayana is of course the classic of Indian television, not just a religious show, but a well-made and well-acted and addictive show.

      On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 8:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. Some big releases from malayalam this Eid season. TIYAAN(Prithviraj-Indrajith combo,big budget film),THONDIMUTHALUM DRIKSAKSHIYUM(starring Fahadh, i’m not sure if this gets a U.S. release).But don’t miss TIYAAN!


    • Ooo, that does sound exciting! I’ll be seeing Tubelight on Eid, of course, but maybe in the next week I will be able to see some Malayalam offerings, whatever makes its way to my theaters.


    • my expectations are sky high for ‘ thondi muthalum driksakshiyum’. fahad+dileesh pothan team again after ‘maheshinte prathikaram’ which is my personal favourite movie ever


  5. Now that I think back, Swaragini is good especially for the chemistry between the lead pair and the bond between two sisters Swara and Ragini.It started out just like any other show and then -after an unexpected twist in the middle- went on to become a favorite.It has all the favorite TV tropes -a bad boy redeemed, an unexpected character turns negative and touches of Shakespearan drama.

    As for my question, do you think Shraddha can pull off the Godmother successfully in Haseena?


    • I have little to no faith in Shraddha. Which is maybe unfair, but so far she hasn’t super impressed me. I think she has a nice sort of innocent face and innocent vibe, she was good in ABCD2. But even in Aashiqui 2, her big break movie, I felt like Aditya was doing slightly more with his character than she was with hers.

      On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 11:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • My goodness Eid is busy! Someone else just gold me that there are like 3 Malayalam films coming out.

      Although, considering my conflicted feelings about Allu (mostly hair related), I probably won’t be willing to shell out the $20-$40 to see this opening night, so Eid weekend will be Tubelight and maybe Malayalam, and Allu can wait a week.

      On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 11:20 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Yeah, I haven’t loved any of the promos from DJ other than this one. I don’t think the opening weekend prices will be more than $20; I’m guessing around the range of $18-20. My family will probably end up going on opening weekend since my dad’s a fan of Allu Arjun so I’ll let you know how it is. The prices should drop to at least $15-16 for the second weekend.


        • $15-$16 is still pretty steep for me. Well, at least Tubelight week, when if it is good, I will be seeing it at least 3 times and there’s $30 down the drain.


          • Well, then let’s hope that the movie is good enough that it runs for a couple more weeks with even lower prices 🙂


    • I have my next batch of screenshots pulled, I just need to write the text. Hopefully this Thursday.

      On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 5:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Classics Friday: An Experiment! That Will Start With Pyaasa | dontcallitbollywood

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