Wednesday Watching Post! What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking the Last Week of June?

Happy Wednesday!  Half way through the week, woot-woot!  I am so excited about next week, when I get a random day off in the middle of the week (4th of July).

I’ll go first!  I am in an old-fashioned Kajol mood, I got Gupt from the library and I am watching Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha on The Internet.  I am sure I will be putting a post up about them at some point.

I have almost finished Rise of Sivagami (woot-woot!).  If you are someone who liked the book, you probably won’t like my post on it.  If you are someone who likes my very very rare posts where I rip something to shreds, you will like it.

And I am thinking about how wonderful it will be to have the 4th of July off, because I can use it to FINALLY finish unpacking.  I am so close, I just need about 4 hours of steady labor to get everything to a stable point, but I have not been able to find those 4 hours what with blogging and church and everything else.

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49 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post! What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking the Last Week of June?

  1. I’m still on a hangover from Friends so I’ve been watching fanvids on youtube. Here are a couple of Monica and Chandler Fanvids that I really liked.

    Here’s a more fun one 🙂

    Other than that I’ve seen DJ which was a standard Telugu masala but not Allu Arjun’s best. It was a fun watch though. I also saw Pelli Choopulu for the third time and I keep enjoying it more each time I watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, now you are making me want to do another Friends rewatch! Now that it’s all on Netflix, so I don’t have to dig out my DVDs (yes, I gave in and bought the whole thing on DVD after years of rentals), it’s much more tempting.

      Have you mentioned Pelli Choopulu to me before? Looks like it is old enough to be streaming, I may have to check it out. although it is also fun to see a film in a theater, so I will see if I feel spontaneously up for DJ this weekend.

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      • Margaret, can you tell me how to share youtube content in the ‘comments’ section(with the visuals,just like Niki did above)?

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        • I think if you go down a line and past the video link from youtube and then go down another line, so it is isolated, it should post. It may not look like that while you are writing it, but after it is posted, it will.

          The other thing is, if you put in links, it may get caught for moderation in the spam filter. Just put up another comment letting me know you think something is stuck in Spam, if you don’t see it right away, and I will go rescue it.

          Good luck!

          On Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 8:05 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you. It would be great to refer to visual content when I’m writing a comment. So I’ll try it soon.

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      • Do it! It will be fun!!!

        I think Angie mentioned watching it recently and I’m sure a couple of other people mentioned it on the blog too. I haven’t seen a full hd version of the movie with subtitles online yet, but I’m sure it’s out there somewhere because it’s almost a year since the movie came out.

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  2. I recommended four Indian films to someone to introduce them to Indian cinema. But now I’ve got to go and discuss them with them, and I realized that I haven’t watched two of the four films, so need to do so ASAP. So I’ve been watching the Tamil film “I” — I didn’t watch it when it released because of the violence, and the deliberate (but necessary) ugly/ghastly visuals, for which I have no tolerance. So watching on youtube on my laptop (the smallest screen size I can access) seemed to be the way to go. The first half was fine, but I’m having a hard time getting through the second half, when all the darkness and violence starts. I can barely manage ten minutes at a time. And after I finish this, I need to watch Omkara. Oh joy!

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    • “I” is another Shankar movie, right? My biggest connection with it is that it came out around the time I saw Rahman in concert. And he made us suffer through a lot of his new songs from it, while we all wanted to hear Roja and the old classics.

      Omkara is brilliant but, you know, Othello. Not a happy one.

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      • Yes, ,”I” is the Shankar movie, starring Vikram. Both brilliant, bur as I said, dark. Yes, I know Omkara is Othello (that’s why I recommended it, so the person could start with a familiar story and see how it gets the Indian treatment).

        This doesn’t relate to this week, but, many years ago, we had moved to a city with a large Indian population, with a huge Indian video rental store in many languages, so I used it to get caught up on about 30 years worth of Telugu movies. Anyway — one night, after a rather trying week, I just wanted to watch something and veg out, so I popped in the ANR version of Devadasu (I guess I had watched some of it before), so I started with Devadasu traveling to see Paru toward the end, and all that follows. As it was winding down, I kept asking myself, why on earth I thought watching this film would cheer me up. 😦

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        • I get this strange urge to watch My Name is Khan about once a year. Which is a terrible idea, and then I am depressed for days, but somehow I can’t stop myself. Although this year it’s not fiction any more, so I probably won’t need to watch it.

          On Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 8:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I’m back from conferencing! I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to get in touch but I was so over-scheduled with going between the Hilton and McCormick Place and seeing old colleagues! Next time I’m in Chicago I’ll try again and hopefully you will get in touch if you’re ever in my city!

    One highlight of my trip was getting to meet Sonali Dev at the Exhibit Hall at ALA. She was signing A Change of Heart and I had just finished it. I got a new free copy anyway and she even gave me a heads up that they were giving away ARC’s of her newest at her publisher’s booth and I got one! Also got a book signed by Julia Quinn, but I think she was cranky because she was stuck in the RWA booth way over in the corner and there was no line at all.

    Still waiting for Phillauri and Half Girlfriend to come out on DVD, but watched most of Hindi Medium last night. It’s very well-written and the acting is good!

    I’m also kind of glad that Tubelight has been a bomb since nothing about it really appealed to me but I would have felt compelled to watch it if it was a hit and because Kabir Khan directed it. I guess we can write it off like we did Phantom, too.

    The Mubarakhan trailer looks really fun and it may be the first Bazmee film I’ll like. I think it’s based soley on my love for Arjun Kapoor and the comical Anil Kapoor persona. And Badshaho also looked pretty cool. I was worried that I would have to give up on Ajay Devgn and even though he looks puffy (Botox?) in the trailer…it could be good, especially judging from some of the dreamy visuals from songs(?) and the action sequences.

    The Jab Hari Met Sejal mini-trailers are making me nervous that SRK character will be too sleazy, but I still think he’ll pull it off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Julia Quinn’s writing, but something about her author bio has always made me feel like I might not like her in person. So, this story is not helping!

      If you have einthusan, Phillauri and Meri Pyari Bindu are up now. I am still not terribly interested in Meri Pyari Bindu, moviemavengal liked it, but her review made it sound like it has an open ending and I HATE open endings! I want marriage and babies and absolute clarity on what happens next.

      I’m probably going to see Mubarakan and Baadshaho in theaters, just because I see everything of that particular level. But I’m still not exactly excited about it. Although I am also not-not excited. But neither of them is making me think “Film of the year! Will blow me away!”

      I am trying to hold on to hope with the JHMS trailers. I am okay with a sleazy Shahrukh so long as the film knows he is sleazy, you know? If they try to sell us on “oh, isn’t he cool, and isn’t she stuck up and boring”, I’m done. But so far, the trailers seem to be just on the edge of “We like this character, but we know he has flaws”. So now my new worry is that she is too flawless. Especially after Tamasha, where Dips just existed to make Ranbir feel good about himself.

      On Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 8:09 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah, Sonali Dev was delightful but Julia Quinn not so much. She saw “Rare Books” on my badge and was like snarkily saying that her book wasn’t that “rare.” And the RWA people staffing the booth seemed really detached, too, like maybe she was a difficult client. After the first few Bridgertons I think she started really churning her books out and they became more juvenile sometimes. Also met Veronica Roth and got a signed hc of her new sci-fi series. And also attended a graphic novel author talk for Marjorie Liu’s Monstress and it was really good!

        I’ll look for Phillauri on einthusan, but I’m confused about how that works. It has subtitles, right? I think you’ll like Meri Pyaari Bindu. It was really great up until the ending which wasn’t necessarily open just not traditional HEA. It still worked overall for me and Khurana is steadily becoming one of my favorite *actors.*

        Imtiaz Ali has got a writing women problem, maybe? Except for Alia’s character in Highway, he hasn’t really excelled at creating realistic female characters…they are usually manic pixie dream girls or plot devices for the male character development. But at what point do we forgive a male writer/director for just writing how he perceives things from the male perspective? Plus, he usually is trying to reach for a more universally human thematic place, so I usually cut him some slack. JHMS seems pretty light in tone to me so far and maybe that’s what he needed after Tamasha.

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        • Moviemavengal re-tweets Sonali Dev sometimes, and she has always seemed delightful!

          Einthusan seems to be Napster-esque, but maybe with legal rights? They certainly claim to be legal and all, but then they also indicate that we are streaming the video thanks to someone in Toronto who has the DVD or something. In terms of subtitles, it seems to be a matter of which version they get. I think they always try for the subtitle version, but if they can’t get it, they will throw up a non-subtitled instead. And then replace with the subtitled one when they get it. I have noticed that their subtitles versus not subtitles seem to follow the same rules as DVDs, so Telugu is the least likely to have subtitles and Hindi is the most. Anyway, there is a little flag indicating whether or not this film has subtitles before you even click on it, so no nasty surprises.

          Now I am thinking about Imtiaz’s women. I think he is always weighted towards the male character, but like you say, that’s kind of all right if the male character is our protagonist. Except for a few films where the female characters really don’t seem to exist except for the changes they bring in the male characters. The personal development version of “fridging” them. Socha Na Tha, Love Aaj Kal, Jab We Met, it was mostly the heroes story, but the heroine felt like she was there, like I could care about her too. Tamasha and, from what I have heard, Rockstar, she really only existed as a foil for the hero. Maybe I am fooling myself, but I kind of have more hope for JHMS because Shahrukh is there. It seems like he has a good handle on the kind of romance his fans like, and part of that is having a strong female character to match him. Like, Deepika’s character in Chennai Express was much stronger than the standard Rohit Shetty heroine.

          On Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 9:19 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I, too, am obsessing over what we know and what we don’t about JHMS. Rumor has it we’ll get another (Punjabi) song next week and a couple more mini trails (BTW, don’t you just love how the term “trail” has been used not only by the makers of the film but the press as well? As if it is an actual thing? I just get a kick out of that!). So maybe they will tell us a little more, or confuse us further.

            In addition to the trails, I’ve been focused in an unhealthy way on the song, “Radha” because I think something is going on around that happy, peppy, cute little number that is not so very nice.

            If you focus just on Anushka in the intro (I know, so hard not to just stare at him, but try it at least once), she is not a happy girl. Something happened, or was said, just before Shah Rukh starts talking about Punjabi singers and tractors. He’s changing the subject from whatever came before. But Anushka looks stunned, shocked, upset the whole little speech. And if you look closely, her eyes widen when he starts to sing. Like a WTF moment for her.

            She gets caught up in the happy song and then, when it ends, he slams her. Calling her “sister type” and asking her to make it hotter.

            Granted, it isn’t much to go on, but I think he’s really a sleaze. Not nice. Not just a womanizer, as he has been described even before the trails came out, but simply mean and, well, not nice.

            If that’s true–and I for one hope it is–my biggest concern is that he is somehow “reformed” by her and that would disappoint me. I either want him to stay a mean guy or, if he changes and becomes a better man, that it comes from someplace in him and not from her.

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          • I had the same feeling about the Radha song! In fact, I was really surprised once I got subtitles, because I was thinking the dialogue would be a lot more upsetting based on their expressions and reactions.

            I am really hoping it is more of a rough kind of love story, not a straight forward easy one. I want them to seem like two people who absolutely do not have anything in common. And then for us to be surprised by the end with how perfectly they fit together.

            I’m wondering if maybe the Radha song is more like “Aati Kya Khandala”. Have you seen Ghulam yet? Out of context, “Aati Kya” seems really strange and inappropriate, Aamir doing this massive gross come on out of nowhere. But in context, we know that Rani has just had a super upsetting scene with her family, so Aamir is dramatically changing the subject to get her out of herself. Maybe that’s what is happening here? Anushka is super upset, possibly about something related to Shahrukh, possibly not. And he dramatically changes the subject out of nowhere to distract her. And then his insult at the end is the same thing, kind of shocking her to keep her from thinking too much.

            This is just spitballing, but I could really like a movie where Anushka is a demanding client and Shahrukh is kind of frustrated with her to the point of anger, but then something bad happens and in spite of himself Shahrukh ends up trying to cheer her up/make things better. And once she is upset enough to soften, and he cares enough to open up, they start to get close.

            And then, of course, there will be another misunderstanding and a rush to the airport, because that’s how these things work.

            On Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Filmilibrarian, you were in Chicago! I would have met up with you, too.

      I have met Julia Quinn at the RT (Romantic Times) convention a couple of times, and got her latest book at the one last month. She has been very entertaining at panels I’ve attended. If she was stuck in a corner, I can picture her being peeved, though. I enjoyed her newest book.

      Sonali Dev is a delight. She happens to live in my town, and I’ve tried to attend all her book launches at our local independent book stores. She did a Bollywood panel with some other South Asian authors at the RT conference last month that was one of the best of the whole conference. She handed out purses from India to all the attendees! She gave me the ARC of her book that’s due out this fall, A Distant Heart, which is for the first time set completely in India. I’m in the middle of reading it, and I’m devouring it. It’s the story of Kimi and Rahul (a HOT Mumbai policeman) who were characters in the previous book, A Change of Heart.

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      • I would love to meet you both in person someday! Let’s try to make it happen. I was in Chicago from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon after a very tiring three day conference in Iowa City, too. I had a few business meetings and then had scheduled dinners every night with old friends and colleagues. Next time ALA is in Chicago is summer 2020:) But if either of you are ever in Philly…and someday I’d like to make it to a RT convention, too.

        I can’t wait to read the ARC of A Distant Heart I scored, too. I really liked A Change of Heart. This one should be just as good!

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  4. Your speculation is much more evolved than mine! I hadn’t gotten as far. You may be right about what could be upsetting Anushka, but that moment has the feel of something between the two of them that just happened. We will have to wait and see, I guess.

    On a related topic, do you or anyone else here know where I can find a translation of the song lyrics? My usual go-to sites (Lyricsmint, bollymeaning, etc.) have the lyrics with translations but only of the shorter version in the video. The whole song–on savvn and itunes–is almost 4 minutes long and (obviously) has additional lyrics.

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    • No idea for song lyrics. I did read something a few years back about how song lyrics are hard to find online in general. There’s something odd about music copyrights which makes it harder to do than other content.

      For Indian film in general, it seems like good song lyric translations just aren’t a priority. The idea seems to be “people just like the sound of it, they don’t care about the meaning”. So frustrating!

      On Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I”ve been MIA here for a bit because of a death of a very elderly relative. (My husband’s grandmother was 96 and lived a full rich life.) So, catching up from the last couple of weeks of watching.

    My 16 year old son asked to see “a crazy action Bollywood film” and I showed him and his girlfriend Dabangg. They LOVED it. That first zany action scene where Salman breaks into dances with the ringtone grabbed them right away. My son was very taken with Salman and said “He is so cool!” I had to explain to them some of the more subtle cultural issues like dowry, untouchables and Brahmin caste.

    Last week I watched Allu Arjun’s Arya and Arya 2 in preparation for his new film DJ. Video review of both plus a little extra commentary about them here: https://moviemavengal.com/2017/06/23/i-watched-both-of-allu-arjuns-films-arya-and-arya-2-to-get-ready-for-dj/

    You don’t need to watch Arya before seeing Arya 2, which is the superior film. It’s just a delight in how it takes the usual Telugu film tropes and turns them on their head.

    I saw DJ this weekend and it’s very enjoyable, if not quite as good as Arya 2. Video review here with clips of my favorite dance numbers: https://moviemavengal.com/2017/06/27/spoiler-free-review-of-the-very-entertaining-dj-with-allu-arjun/

    I saw the travesty that is Tubelight before I was able to see DJ because of the way the screening times worked out for me. Margaret warned me, but I felt like I had to see it to review it for Bollyfools. Ugh. It was SO disappointing!! I can’t believe this is the same team that made Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Stay very far away from this film, and don’t spend your money. Having just seen Dabangg again recently, it made the misfire of this film even more apparent.

    I’m going to be going on a two week trip out of the country starting this weekend, and I’m starting to think about which movies I want to bring with me on my iPad. Dhanush’s VIP 1, is on GooglePlay, so I’m downloading that one in advance of VIP2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of his movies besides Raajhanaa.

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      • Day now gone…. I just started watching and I’m loving the differences in the subtitles just in the first song. It’s worth it watching it in this different language just to get new shades of meaning and poetry!

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    • Love how your son and his girlfriend are really enjoying the movies you pick for them! Singham next? Or at least Dabangg 2?

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      • My son is away at camp for 8 weeks for the summer. But when he returns, I was also thinking Singham! You read my mind. I haven’t showed him an SRK film yet — because it would kill me if he made fun of it too much. I have to think about which one would be best to introduce to him.

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        • I’ve had good luck with Don as a “first SRK” film. For the ladies, it is just about the sexiest he has ever been. And for the gentlemen (at least, gentlemen who aren’t attracted to men), it is a great plot and super interesting visuals.

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      • I don’t know if I never noticed it before, or if it really is unique to Malayalam films, but it is very cool how cinematographers and directors change positions. I’m not aware of “cinematographer” as such an important position in Hindi films, it’s a very big deal in American films, but so big that you would never be able to switch to directing. Or, if you did switch, you couldn’t come back. They are too different disciplines entirely.

        I wonder if the way it works in these industries is more like “first assistant director”? Or at least a partnership with the director. Making you better able to easily shift to directing your own film, and less humiliating to shift back to being “just” a cinematographer.

        On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Still not opening here! My local theater just released their weekend schedule, I think there might be nothing new at all, just holding over Tubelight and DJ (I bet they had to commit to two weeks for both of those and now they are stuck), plus a few random showtimes for movies that are even older.

      I suppose we might get it next week, but by then it will have to maneuver for space with Mom (which I am very excited about!).

      On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Getting really great reviews for its realistic humour and acting (the film had several real life police officers acting as police officers in this movie)

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      • I was wondering how could all these debutant actors be so perfect in acting..good strategy by director to use real life police men for the role.
        another pothettan brilliance 🙂

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    • I do love Action Hero Biju! Although that’s partly because of my Nivin obsession. Hopefully I can see this in theaters whenever it comes here.

      On Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 4:36 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I was wondering how could all these debutant actors be so perfect in acting..good strategy by director to use real life police men for the role.
    another pothettan brilliance 🙂

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  7. just watched thondmiuthalum driksakshiyum and it is awesome film. filmmaking at its best.
    a small but strange plot,interesting characters and BRILLIANT performance from all actors. fahad fazil was unbelievable in some scenes in second half. again proved he is miles ahead of his contemporary young stars. its not a feel good film like maheshinte prathikaram and is devoid of typical entertainer elements for commercial films.very realistic and subtle.so not everyone will like it and may not become a big hit like maheshinte prathikaram. for me its the best film of the year so far

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