Wednesday Watching Post, With a Question For You!

Happy Wednesday!  Time to talk about what all we have been reading and watching and thinking this week.  Oh, and I have a fun question for us to discuss too!

I’ll start!  Since there is the random holiday this week in America, I have taken advantage of it by working flat out and getting my apartment together for once and all.  Which means, I can’t watch anything I really have to concentrate on.  So, Friends!  I am already up to season 3.  Oh, and also a not-very-good Korean miniseries My Little Baby.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to be one of those people who abandons India for Korea, it was fine for background while packing but it didn’t change my life.

For reading, I finished the Bahubali book! Yaaaaaaay!  And now I get to write a post just eviscerating it (and also spoiling it so you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to).

Now, for thinking, Spandana issued a challenge on the Monday Morning post.  The new Academy members list just came out and there were a smattering of Indian actors on it.  But what Spandana pointed out is that the list had to give one or two roles that justified their inclusion in the membership.  So, Spandana asked, “if anyone had to pick 1 iconic film of all the major actors and actresses that truly defined them, what would they be? And why?”

I’ll start, but just with 5 actors, and then you can feel free to add on other actors in the comments, or disagree with my suggestions, or whatever you want:

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.  I think this might be the part which best took advantage of her in her entire career.  Beautiful, poised, confident, everything.

Salman Khan: A tricky one!  Because he keeps reinventing himself.  I think Bajrangi Bhaijaan would be the best.  Because it brings together that sweetness from his earlier films, plus the action scenes and bigger concepts of his later films.

Amitabh: I’m cheating and doing two films.  Because, it’s Amitabh!  He’s special.  Deewar and Piku.  Amitabh as the young powerful supernova star, and Amitabh as the practiced brilliant older actor.

Jaya Bachchan: Heck, if Amitabh gets two, Jaya gets two!  Guddi and Kal Ho Na Ho.  As I said in my fanfic post for her birthday, she really needs more great roles now, as an older woman.  But Kal Ho Na Ho was still pretty great, a lot more than the usual “mother” part.

Ranbir Kapoor: Wake Up, Sid.  It’s still his best role, I think.  And I can’t wait for him to work with Ayan Mukherjee again, because Ayan really “gets” him.

Okay, that’s enough to get you started, take it away in the comments!

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180 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post, With a Question For You!

  1. I don’t have an answer to your question, but I’ve been looking for a place to vent after reading this a couple of hours ago. As if the non-take-off of Armaan Jain’s career was not enough, now we get another — Aadar Jain. I don’t know if he’s a brother of Armaan (probably), but what gets me is, they are using the exact same strategy of “Don’t look at my name, I’m really a Kapoor!” that worked so well for Armaan. (grimace). Aaargh! Why? And he’s being “introduced” by Ranbir Kapoor, just like Armaan was.

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    • YES! I remember when this was first announced, like 8 months ago. He was supposed to be launched by Yash Raj, which gave me some vague hope because they seem to have a real machine system for churning out new stars. I think I read that he had already done the whole assistant director training thing, wasn’t just handed a launch. I was hoping he would be more of a Yash Raj star then the same stupid “I’m really a Kapoor!” thing.

      But no, not if Ranbir is involved. Than it sounds like he wasn’t picked out by the Yash Raj talent scouts, but rather they just picked him along with the kids they actually were interested in so Ranbir would be involved.

      This whole thing strangely makes me respect Ranveer Singh. I know he isn’t a blood relative, or even that close, to the Boney-Anil Kapoors. But he still could have used that a little to promote his launch, and instead it’s just sort of a background detail you only find out after you read a bunch of interviews and really learn about him. Although he had the alternative narrative of “an outsider!” which isn’t strictly that true either.

      On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 7:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, Adaar is a YRF launch, along with his heroine Anya Singh, who’s being introduced by Anoushka Sharma (since both are “outsiders” from a modeling background).

        Ranveer Singh didn’t really have to bother about the Kapoor family connection because his father has a lot more money than any of the Kapoors. Supposedly his father invested a good part of the money to make his first film.

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        • I saw photos of those Aadar and Anya and I couldn’t hate it more. I can’t jugde this pair, because I don’t know them, and don’t know if they are talented and deserve all this buzz, but I can judge YRF for this campain. In my opinion they couldn’t make it worse. The boy’s face is almost covered by his grandfather photo, so for me it’s clear message – Who cares about him, we took him only because he is Raj Kapoor’s grandson. And the girl’s first public photos are almost all in painties.
          Terrible, terrible ad.

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          • I also judge Yash Raj! For the whole idea of the campaign. I don’t care about these people as people. Sell me their work, not their personalities.

            Ranveer and Anushka, Parineeti and Arjun, even whats-her-face from Dum Lage Ke Haisha, they let the movie speak for itself. Show me that you have something special onscreen, before you expect me to care about you off screen. This just feels like celebrity for the sake of celebrity.

            On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 1:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • True! What they did is make me dislike those two even before I could watch them on screen. So he is form Kapoor family, and she has “sunshine” inside, but who cares?

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          • Yes! Give me something real.

            On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 1:37 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I think that who had this idea haven’t spend more than 2 minutes thinking about it. Theye went like: we have a girl so we will use sexy for her, and he is from famous family so kapoor will be the word. Then they made it even worse by adding quotes like from 13 years old girl’s diary, and bad photos. I think we have spent more time thinking about how bad it is then they inventing this.

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  2. I’ll jump straight to my list first:

    Aishwarya – Hum Dil De chuke sanam (I was in school and Ash was just the most perfect Miss Perfect role model like ever!)
    Salman – Saajan (even though I was a kid when this came out but my not much older uncles and aunts used to play the OST all day. I watched it over many years and only understood the film when I was in college)
    Amitabh Bachchan – Anand (“Baatein karo mujhse!” gives me the chills even today!)
    Ranbir Kapoor – Rocket Singh (the first time I watched it was in a theatre and I was like dude, this guy can act!!

    Current read: Rise of Sivagami. I’m just 41 pages in so far.

    Currently watching: watched Mirchi again for the 5th time today.

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    • All of Mirchi, or just the second half? I have started just skipping to the second half, better heroine and (more importantly) better costuming!

      I’ll be putting up my RoS post sometime in the next few days, which should be just about right for you to decide if you want to continue reading the book or just read my spoilers version.

      Pre-ADHM, HDDCS was my favorite Aish role. Mostly because of how perfectly she played off of Ajay, he was such a grounded practical person and she was so not, and somehow the two of them together equaled one normal character. Plus, like you say, it’s perfect for her pretty-pretty perfection kind of looks.

      Saajan was on my reject list! If I had given in and done a Salman list for every Salman era, instead of trying to pick just one, I probably would have done, Maine Pyar Kiya, Saajan, Tere Naam, Dabangg, then Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

      Very cool to pick Anand! Since it was the first movie that made people sit up and take notice about something special with this guy. Although his hair still hadn’t been quite figured out, so I put Deewar a little above it.

      Rocket Singh is another great Ranbir one. I wish he did more roles like Rocket, instead of seeming to have chosen to do a series of pale imitations of Wake Up Sid. Obviously there is no hope for a good performance in Jagga Jasoos, but maybe his movie after that (I think the one with Alia?) will have something decent for him to do.

      On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 9:17 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think Ranbir has fallen prey to the commercial failure fear that’s plagued almost every rising star. I hated how SRK disowned Paheli just because it wasn’t a commercial success.

        Mirchi, oh god, it’s so cute! It’s Looe the romcom you don’t mind playing in the background while you wrap up work and you can pay attention when it gets to the good parts. The Hindi version is heavily chopped off I hear. It doesn’t have the good Pranushka song either. 😔

        I absolutely love Prabhas in it. Had I watched this before Bahubali I would have probably not walked out of BB1!! Me and mom are doing a Prabhas marathon these days. Got just 3-4 films left that we haven’t watched. I couldn’t sit through Darling though. At all.

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        • I haven’t done that many Prabhas films myself. Love Bujjigadu, love Mirchi, also saw Billu (because it was easy to get) which was terrible. And Mr. Perfect, which was cute but not the best. Haven’t seen Darling, you are not making me enthusiastic for it.

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          • I liked Varsham, Chatrapati, Raghavendra, Rebel, Ek Niranjan. They all seem to have offbeat stories and somehow they make sense once you accept that the team (Brahmanandam, Subbaraju, Prakash Raj, etc) would be featured even if they aren’t really required in the film. At any rate, I’ve liked his films slightly better than the average south indian fare which usually has a hero whose cult you need to believe in to accept that he’d be the protagonist. I was watching Janta Garage the other day and I couldn’t sit through it. Even though I felt the actors were good, their roles were just so flat! Anyway, my mom is a fan of his action now plus we can fast forward through the songs which are usually the most painful parts of the films. Apart from his wardrobe!! 😁

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          • Oh right, I saw Varsham and Chatrapati too! Haven’t seen Rebel for some reason, but just took a quick look at the plot description, looks very fun.

            I wonder if the reason his films seem a little more fun is because, pre-Bahubali, he was perfectly balanced as a big enough star to require a big budget and a good film, but a small enough star that they still put in some effort in giving us a reason to watch the movie.

            If so, Saaho is going to be the deciding factor, if they will just coast on his stardom from now on, or actually try to do something interesting.

            On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 11:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Like I said, I couldn’t sit through Darling. Lol. Mom and I love Kivanc Tatlitug in Kuzey Guney and Prabhas’ facial acting and hand gestures so remind us of Kivanc in this series.

            I have no stomach for films without a plot and when the acting is super terrible. Thankfully, apart from Darling, I haven’t watched anything where Prabhas and his leading have been unbearable. The plots are cohesive and apart from Chakram (where the characterization made more sense than the story) the stories were good enough for small budget movies with a legacy actor.

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          • Okay, so that means Rebel is not-terrible! I should see if I can dig up a copy.

            Although I swore that I would start doing more Tamil instead of Telugu on Tuesdays and I already blew it this week. So I should try to hold off on Rebel at least until week after next.

            On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 12:40 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Between Rebel and Billa, I’d watch Rebel again. I was literally heartbroken by Billa. I was like “omg, aise din bhi dekhein hain in actors ne!!” Whoever did their costumes in Billa needs to be shot. His jackets were two sizes too small and his trousers were a size too big! I don’t even know what they wanted Anushka to look like!!

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          • @Asmita

            I’m surprised you liked Rebel. I would say that it’s the worst out of all Prabhas movies. Way too over the top, especially Krishnam Raju’s character :/

            I’d rather watch Ek Niranjan or Darling which were actually fun movies. I liked Darling though it is a bit silly.

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          • Well I watched Rebel and Billa the same afternoon so maybe that’s why I liked Rebel!! 😁

            And my list of absolutely terrible, totally unwatchable Prabhas films now includes Yogi and Munna. Yogi is just so, so very terrible!! Munna, well, it was a good story. It was just terribly directed and poorly edited. You’d think Peter Hein choreographing the action would be something but it just isn’t!! And dahell happened with his hair in this film?!

            I’m trying to convince mom to take a break from Prabhas and maybe watch Sarrainodu tonight.

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          • I am so glad I have you to save me from these things! Rebel is on my list, all the others are now off it!

            On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 4:20 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I haven’t seen Munna so I can’t comment on it though I did hate Illeana’s dubbing when I tried to watch it. Yogi on the other hand is a movie that I remember to be too violent and too sad. I wouldn’t watch it again.

          Sarrainodu’s not that great though I did like it a little better on the second watch.

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          • I had such high hopes for Sarrainodu. It was very disappointing. The action was amazing but I guess I kept comparing Allu Arjun’s facial acting to Rana and Prabhas. The man’s eyed just don’t move! The MLA chick track turned so sexist it was unbearable. The story was good, the treatment sadly wasn’t.

            Yogi was like dafaq after dafaq for me. Lol

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    • I just do. Like some people like chocolate ice cream.

      I watch all major releases multiple times (unless they are just plain terrible like Tubelight). Any Shahrukh film is always a major release, so I watch it 4 times because I want to fully understand it and be able to analyze it in detail. Besides like Shahrukh better than other stars. I also watched Dangal 3 times, and Sultan, and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

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  3. I can’t answer your question, because I have not yet watched enough movies. I did love Piku, though! I have also been away on a remote New England island with weak internet, so have not watched many movies in the last two weeks. I did watch Oh My God (hilarious!!!!), started the TV series on the Buddha and watched the first half of Asoka. (I am one of the rare people who actually like Asoka, bad hair and all.) I have been reading more to compensate (I “read” audiobooks as well as ebooks and print, so I loaded up my phone and my Kindle before my trip.) In the last week and a half I have read:

    Jaya (Devdutt Pattanaik’s retelling of the Mahabharata)
    Two lectures in the Great Courses series on Hindusim
    Bird by Bird (Annie Lamott’s super book about writing)
    A Thread of Grace (Mary Doria Russell’s novel about the end of WWII in Italy.)

    Whew! And I am about to re-load for another week away at the same place.

    And at the end of the month I will be in CHICAGO!

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    • I thought you would be in Chicago at the end of the month! We need to coordinate.

      So glad you read Jaya, I know Devdutt has no academic credentials and so on, but I find his way of conveying stories that are essential oral traditions in a written form really well done.

      Also, love Anne Lamott, feel like I grew up with her because my parents had an Anne Lamott shelf on their bookshelf.

      How were the Great Courses lectures? I have found Hinduism information very hit and miss in academia, I really wish I had been able to take a formal Hinduism seminar at some point, but it was never offered at the schools I attended. So I have just had to learn through asking friends questions and Amar Chitra Katha and other sources like that.

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        • Okay, I may need to move Ramesh Menon up on my list. I was going to do Anu Agarwal’s autobiography next, but this looks more interesting!

          And glad to hear I’m not the only one who likes Devdutt!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I can’t say enough good things about Ramesh Menon’s Mahabharata.But he has written two versions.One is a verse by verse translation which is frankly quite boring and split into multiple books.Make sure that you get Mahabharata:A Modern Rendering.Which is available in two part.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh man, my reading list is getting longer and longer!

            On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 9:06 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Finally watched Badrinath ki dulhania and 10 minutes of Kaabil.The former was great fun but the ‘message’ was so heavyhanded.And I was miffed with the cavalier way Varun’s near-rape scene was handled.I really wish Hrithik would say no to Daddy’s films.He really is too old to pull off the “young earnest” look.I know that Salman could do it in Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Aiswarya could do it at the drop of a hat.But not Hrithik, at least not any more.

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    • So true. Hrithik could barely play young and earnest when he was young and earnest and I say this as a big fan! He needs more roles that are either serious and dark (Jodhaa Akbar and Agneepath) or fun and sexy (Dhoom 2 and Bang Bang). He can’t really do much in-between those polar opposites.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kaabil looked like a total disaster. Even now that I can see it for “free” on Netflix, I still don’t want to, and from what you say, it sounds like that was a wise decision.

      Agree with Badrinath, the message was much better in Humpty where it felt more like the whole conflict between arranged/love marriages arose naturally from the characters, whereas with this it felt like the starting point was “dowry is a real problem, we should make a movie about that.” However, and this is a small thing, I never got a sense from Varun of “near rape” of Alia. Near killing, sure, which is also bad. But bad in a slightly different way.

      On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 11:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I was referring to the incident where Varun was harassed by some locals.I know that it was supposed to open Varun’s eyes and make him more sensitive to the harassment Alia and a million other women face daily.But the over the top comedy and BMG was out of place.

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  5. Just read a great paranormal YA first in trilogy called The Falconer by Elizabeth May and I’m telling everyone I know to try it! It’s the now typical teen girl must use her newfound powers to save the world trope but it really worked for me, partly because it’s set in 19th century Edinburgh and I fell in love with the city when I visited last summer. Also combo of fae and steampunk in the world building.

    Also started reading Devi’s The Queen of Jhansi and I’m really enjoying this post-colonial narrative (nationalist and feminist) history published shortly ever independence in 1956.

    Last four Indian films watched:
    Hindi Medium-very good, but didn’t hit it out of the park…though always nice to see Deepak Dobriyal in a good role

    Anaarkali of Aarah-loved it and could be my favorite film of this year so far…Swara Bhaskar is amazing in it

    Phillauri-was so looking forward to this and was not disappointed, it was touching and light and magical! Anushka Sharma can do no wrong and Diljit Dosanjh has really got a strong screen presence…I don’t think I can bring myself to watch Super Singh and I’ve had strong positive and negative reactions to his various Punjabi roles, but so far his Hindi film roles (all two of them) have been a revelation

    Leader (Telugu, 2010)-since I won’t be able to see Baahubali 2 until it comes out on DVD and after enjoying Rana in Baby and The Ghazi Attack, I tried this one. Decent time pass with a solid debut performance in a sometimes boring political drama. I think he still makes up for some wooden acting with his physical presence and beauty, but I’ll keep an open mind for him in the rest of Baahubali and other projects. One of the reasons I’m consistently let-down by Telugu and Tamil films are their treatment of female characters. Both female characters in this one were silly and/or easily manipulated by the male characters and I found it frustrating! At least I know that Baahubali will have a strong central woman character.

    Non-Indian viewing…loved the Netflix British comedy Lovesick and binge-watched

    This will be the longest post ever…some of my answers to today’s discussion question…

    Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – Devdas
    Salman Khan – Dabangg
    SRK – DDLJ
    Aamir Khan – Dil Chahta Hai
    Hrithik Roshan – as much as I hate it…Koi Mil Gaya
    Akshay Kumar – Patiala House but probably actually a Khaledi film or Namastey London
    Abhishek Bachchan – Guru
    Rani Mukherjee – Black
    Amitabh Bachchan – Agneepath
    Kajol – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
    Preity Zinta – Veer Zara
    Priyanka Chopra – Dostana

    I’m not doing any younger actors because they aren’t iconic yet:)

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    • Forgot a couple…
      Saif Ali Khan – Omkara
      Ajay Devgn – Golmaal because that terrible series should follow him wherever he goes;)

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      • For me:

        Saif Ali Khan-Dil Chahta Hai or Kal Ho Na Ho. I keep waiting for him to do a role that lives up to those in terms of iconic and reinventing. Even Omkara, I loved his performance, but it felt more like a one-off, like he had a really challenging script and character. But DCH and KHNH, he could have just sleepwalked through those roles and he didn’t, he made them brilliant. You know?

        Ajay Devgn- Aw, so mean! If you really want to be mean, Ishq. Stupidest he has ever looked onscreen. Or Taarzan: The Wonder Car. Where he plays a car.

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    • I just looked up the Jhansi book. Sounds really interesting, will probably not get on my reading list for another year (I still have to work through all the books from India I just got!). However, looks like Spivak did the translation? Is that correct? Spivak of “Can the Subaltern Speak?”? I had to read her in a seminar, and she made my head hurt.

      Anadkali of Aarah is available streaming, I have been debating watching it. It looked a little less light and fluffy than I wanted. Is it light and fluffy or is it more Parched/Angry Indian Goddesses?

      So glad you saw and liked Phillauri! I really liked it too, obviously it wasn’t a brilliant perfect Great Movie, but for the simple little story it wanted to be, it was done really really well. And Diljit was, of course, wonderful. I’ve heard he has done some more dramatic roles in Punjabi films which might give more of the Diljit we know from Hindi instead of the comic type. But the dramatic films sound SAD! So I am avoiding them.

      Well, now I won’t bother with Leader. At least, not for itself, I might still check it out just to see how Rana has developed. Also, B2 on einthusan! in Tamil. Last time I checked. As for the Tamil-Telugu female problem, yes agree but not always. If you are ever curious to expand into those films, I would be happy to give you a starter list of “strong female character” options, and I am sure other commentators could quickly expand on it. If you have a Bahubali hangover, Prabhas’ Mirchi and Varsham are good options. They aren’t the greatest female characters ever, it is still definitely a male star lead film, but they aren’t distractingly horrible, if that makes sense. And for Tamil, check out VIP (just watched it for the first time myself!) and anything by Mani Ratnam, obviously. Oh, and the women in Kabali are AMAZING.

      I haven’t checked out Lovesick, although I had it recommended to me as far back as when it was still called “Scotal Recall” (ick!). I think it’s one of those things I just have to have recommended to me about 20 more times and then I will finally give in.

      For your star answers, LOVE THEM!

      Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – Devdas

      I like how all the Aish suggestions have been kind of practiced beautiful princess performances. 3 very different movies, but it seems like we are all agreeing on what we see as the “typical” Aish. No one has said Guru, for instance, which I think is a great performance from her but just doesn’t feel Aish-y.

      Salman Khan – Dabangg

      One of my rejected options! I might disagree slightly just because I feel like he is moving away from this now, more towards a kind of character part thing. Although Ek Tha Tiger is about to come out, which looks very Dabangg-y!

      SRK – DDLJ

      Yes, absolutely. Or not? I just don’t know! Notice I didn’t try to answer for Shahrukh in my own response. He is very good at reinventing himself. DDLJ Shahrukh doesn’t have a lot in common with, say, Raees Shahrukh or Fan Shahrukh. Although it is a surprisingly complicated and layered performance, so it does include elements of all his later roles. Okay, maybe this works.

      Aamir Khan – Dil Chahta Hai

      YES!!! Yes yes yes yes yes!!!! I have long thought that this is his greatest performance. And then he has shied away from it in the years since. I might also consider Rang De Basanti, or Ghulam, or maybe Talaash. But definitely not 3 Idiots, Dangal, PK, Dhoom 3, any of his biggest recent hits. They just aren’t the Aamir that is the best Aamir, or the most representative Aamir.

      Hrithik Roshan – as much as I hate it…Koi Mil Gaya

      Yeah. Or Bang Bang. I do love Bang Bang. But that’s more representing just what he is now, whereas Koi Mil Gaya really has it all (dancing, action, dopey acting)

      Akshay Kumar – Patiala House but probably actually a Khaledi film or Namastey London

      Another Patiala House lover! He is just freaking brilliant in that movie. If The World won’t let us pick Patiala House, I might go for Main Khiladi Tu Anari. Oh!!!! TASHAN!!!!

      Abhishek Bachchan – Guru

      Or Bunty Aur Babli. I find him at his best in comedy, or in serious drama. When he tries to mix the two, things go wrong.

      Rani Mukherjee – Black

      I don’t think Black, but I don’t know what I would offer instead. Maybe No One Killed Jessica? Maybe Hum-Tum? Maybe Chalte Chalte?

      Amitabh Bachchan – Agneepath

      Interesting! Straddling the older and younger Amitabh. Very clever!

      Kajol – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

      YES!!!! I was going to make that one of my picks, but then it ended up being 6 instead of 5 so I dropped her. She is the heart and soul of that movie, and it is the perfect role for her.

      Preity Zinta – Veer Zara

      Jhoom Barabar Jhoom! I know no one loves it as much as me, but the perky confident modern heroine role is just ideal Preity.

      Priyanka Chopra – Dostana

      Yeah, agree. Not her best performance or most interesting character, but most “Priyanka” kind of role.

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      • The Jhansi book is translated by Sagaree and Mandira Sengupta and it’s fine. What’s interesting is the blend of sources (the folkloric, oral histories and the English archival records) and where the author goes with them and how she inserts her arguments.

        Anaarkali of Aarah is more of the same category as Parched/Angry Indian Goddesses and you know I like a good scrappy feminist tale! It does have a somewhat uplifting(?) ending.

        Re: Phillauri love…much of my love for this film may be rooted in how hot Diljit looks in it…full disclosure! I’ve also contemplated watching the Lion of Punjab film but otherwise I don’t think I’ve really liked much except Sardaarji and Ambarsariya (I think you’d like the latter if you haven’t seen it…it’s fun and it lets Dosanjh be silly and cool)

        I definitely am a novice when it comes to Tamil and Telugu films…I’ll admit that Mani Ratnam films are outliers and there must be many exceptions.

        Re: star’s iconic films
        It would be interesting to see what the actors themselves would choose.
        Akshay-I do love Patiala House and it’s definitely his best performance, but I think you’re right that Tashan would be more representative of his body of work and it’s also so underrated

        I think your’re right that Bunty aur Babli is the better choice for Abhishek because it has the comedy…Guru or Yuva would be his Oscar crowd choice

        Black may be too much of an outlier for Rani, you’re right? I like Hum Tum next or honestly for me, her role in Saawariya is my favorite

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        • Okay, I won’t rush out to see Anarkali then. My reaction to a scrappy feminist tale tends to be more of a “No! Too real too real!” feeling.

          I’m still puzzled about Rani myself! I’m tempted to say Dil Bole Hadippa, but the rest of the movie doesn’t really live up to her central performance,

          On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 1:34 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Just did more digging on the Jhansi book. The author was a communist (duh!) and was married to the founder of the Indian People’s Theater Association. Which is a really big deal in early film history, a lot of the early greats in Hindi film came out of it, KA Abbas being the most famous. So that’s neat, her whole ideal of telling history through personal stories would be ideologically connected with Awara and other early film classics.

      On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 11:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Cool. You got further than I did in researching the author’s context. I think I noticed that she had written fiction, too, and that definitely influences her storytelling here. Also, she clearly has a bias toward her own Bengali culture and describes them in this work as the most educated, faultless, etc…so there’s that, too.

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  6. You can delete this comment if you want.
    I’m someone who perks up at the mention of their name. So much so that I have an involuntary response even if someone is referring the other Spandana in my office. Narcissist much? May be. However it was a bit jarring to see my name thrice in the same paragraph in almost back to back sentences. I thought you might not be sure about what pronoun to use for me. If so, I appreciate the sensitivity. FYI I’m a girl 🙂

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    • Congrats on your shoutout! I always assume my commentators are girls, and then I think “No! I am just pre-judging people because I think all verbally clever Indian movie fans are women.” So then I just don’t know.

      Oh, but in this case it was half avoiding a pronoun mishap and half making sure your attribution was clear. I still have that grad school student in me making sure I don’t accidentally take credit in any way for someone else’s idea.

      On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 11:51 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • “all verbally clever Indian movie fans are women” – Of course we are 😉
        “It was half avoiding a pronoun mishap and half making sure your attribution was clear.” Thanks and Thanks.

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  7. Yay, you picked up my idea.
    Here are my picks. I kinda narrowed down my picks to movies where actor/ their character drives it or stands out.
    – Aishwarya – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. This was the movie that put her on the map. In a way she carried the entire film. ADHM might have been her finest,but it is still not HER movie.
    – Amitabh – I’ve dropped Anand for having an excellent co-lead in Rajesh Khanna. Sholay is Dharmendra’s, Hema’s, Sanjeev’s and Amjad’s as much as it is his. It is one heck of an ensemble. In spite of being an ensemble Deewar is his, but for some reason I’m partial towards Zanjeer. No one does angry anti-hero better than Amitabh, of course, I guess I find the sincerity in his Zanjeer role refreshing.
    – Jaya – Guddi, of course.
    – Ranbir – Ye Jawani Hai Deewani was his biggest blockbuster, so I briefly considered it. But I personally couldn’t stand the movie. So I’ll go with his biggest critical success – Wake up Sid.
    – SRK – As massive as DDLJ was, I’ll go with the movie that make SRK himself proud – Swades.
    – Aamir Khan – I’m not the first one to say this, but Aamir’s work can clearly be defined as pre and –
    post Lagaan.
    – Hrithik Roshan – Well, yeah, Koi Mil Gaya, I guess…
    – Preity – Kal Ho Na Ho.
    – Priyanka – As abysmal as it was, Fashion was the high point in her career.
    – Saif Ali Khan – I’m torn between Hum Tum and Omkara. Hum Tum was his biggest solo success after years of supporting roles, where as Omkara was his best performance.
    – Ajay Devgn – In spite of being less popular, Ganga jal.

    – Sharmila Tagore – Aradhana
    – Dev Anand – Guide
    – Karishma – Raja Hindustani
    – Kareena – Jab We Met
    – Dimple – Bobby
    – Rishi – Karz, may be
    – Anil Kapoor – Mr. India
    – Sri Devi – Chandini
    – Hema – Seeta Aur Geeta
    – Manisha – Khamoshi
    – Nana Patekar – Parinda
    – Juhi – Darr
    – Madhuri – Wow this is a hard one. I’ll go with Hum Aapke Hai Kaun.
    – Deepika – Piku
    – Kangana – Queen
    – Anushka – Band Baaja Baaraat
    – Sonam – Neerja, obviously.
    – Alia – I thought about this for a while, I landed on Udta Punjab. In spite of being an ensemble, Alia shined like no body else.

    I’ll agree with Film librarian on Abhishek (Guru), Rani (Black) and Kajol (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai). Akshay with his consistent hits, it was so hard to pick one among them. So I gave up.

    I’ll keep adding more.

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    • And now you are unspammed! Sorry, don’t know why this got caught in moderation.

      Totally get your point about a movie being “hers” or “his” in a certain way.

      Aishwarya-HDDCS, excellent point! I hadn’t thought about it before, but Aish is really our central character, the two men moving in and out of focus in the first and second half, but Aish staying straight through.

      Amitabh-Yes! This is my issue with Sholay and Anand. But not with Deewar, or Trishul. Those may have technically been multistarrers, but you don’t even remember anyone else besides Amitabh when they are over. I have a soft spot for Zanjeer too, mostly because the Jaya-Amitabh love is so bright that it’s almost embarrassing, like we are watching them in real life.

      Jaya-of course

      Ranbir-Another Wake Up Sid vote! It really is the perfect role for him.

      SRK-I am torn with Swades. On the one hand, I think it is something that will give you a really good impression of him. But on the other hand, I don’t know how representative it is.

      Aamir-Ech, Lagaan. It’s just trying so hard! It bothers me. But then, on the other hand, trying super super hard has kind of become Aamir’s thing, so maybe it is represetantive.

      Hrithik-I’m torn now between Koi Mil GAya and Lakshya. I think Lakshya is the best of him (so is Agneepath and Jodha-Abkar, but no dancing), but it’s not as represetantive of what he usually is and does onscreen as KMG

      Preity-Yep, her best role.

      Priyanka-Is that a backdoor Priyanka slam? Because I am always here for those!

      Saif Ali Khan-I kind of want to say Kal Ho Na Ho. He wasn’t the lead, but on multiple rewatches I have found him more and more the heart and soul of the film. But maybe that is just me.

      Ajay Devgn-Haven’t seen Gaangajal. But I was thinking of something like that, action but with thought behind it (not just Singham)

      Sharmila-Absolutely. Rajesh became a star from it, but the movie is really hers

      Dev Anand-Yes, just head and shoulders above his other work, while still representing the best of it.

      Karishma-I kind of want to say Biwi No. 1? It’s just a role I don’t see any other actress being able to pull off.

      Kareena-Another Jab We Met fan!

      Dimple-Dil Chahta Hai! And Bobby. Both amazing unique roles that only Dimple could play.

      Rishi-Chandni. It’s Sridevi’s movie, but only Rishi could play that role.

      Anil Kapoor-Ram-Lakhan! I like the little bad boy vibe he has sometimes

      Sridevi-Going with Lamhe. Lamhe and English/Vinglish

      Hema-Yes, 100%. Although she is the one actor I might be willing to consider for Sholay. Her character is just so distinctive in that.

      Manisha-For me, 1942: A Love Story. She is just luminious in that, with a special Manisha kind of fragility.

      Nana Patekar-Too many options!

      Juhi-HAve you seen Jhaankar Beats? I don’t know how representative it is of her career as a whole, and it is an ensemble piece, but she is also the biggest name in the cast and just lights up the screen

      Madhuri-Tezaab! I would go old school

      Deepika-Chennai Express. I know it’s a “Shahrukh Khan movie”, but the way she took a simple heroine character and added layers is amazing. It wouldn’t work without her. Plus, it lets her show off dancing, drama, romance, and comedy.

      Kangana-Queen, absolutely

      Anushka-Or maybe Ae Dil Hai Mushkil?

      Sonam-Or Khoobsurat. I suppose it depends on what else she does in her career. Khoobsurat was another movie that was entirely “hers”, but it was a lot lighter and fluffier. If she keeps doing that stuff, Neerja might be too much of an outlier.

      Alia-Agree about Udta. But I think I might go with Dear Zindagi. That movie is built entirely around her, and gives her plenty of opportunities to show off.

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  8. Amitabh Bachchan: God i can’t think of one movie there are like dozens but if you ask me the one movie i hate of his it would definitely be Boom.They could’ve taken Nishabd somewhere else good but they took it nowhere.
    Jaya Bachchan: yes Guddi and Kal ho naa ho..definitely.
    Shah Rukh Khan :My Name is Khan loved it , i loved Rab ne Bana de jodi so much…but i think i loved the story more..except for that part of the story where she couldn’t recognize her own husband..i mean seriously
    Kajol : Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham without a doubt ..loved her role in that..
    Aishwarya Rai :Jodha Akbar
    Ranbir Kapoor: Wake up Sid without a doubt..
    Rishi Kapoor : Any Villain role he takes up because you know he will be awesome..loved him in Aurangzeb..he was the only good actor for me in that movie..
    Kareena Kapoor: 3 idiots..oh i have to mention Kurbaan
    Aamir Khan : Dangal ..he doesn’t mind taking a back seat..love that approach in an actor
    Salman Khan: Bajrangi Bhaijaan..loved that movie..you know i am still searching for that Hanuman Chalisa song which was played in between the scenes..
    Hrithik roshan : Jodha Akbar
    Priyanka Chopra : Baajirao Mastani ..loved her role in it..

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    • Amitabh: You know, I don’t think I’ve seem a bad Amitabh movie! Not that they don’t exist, just that I have somehow managed to avoid them. No Boom, no Nishabd, no RGV ki Aag. The closest I have come was Khuda Gawah, and that was more “bad” in an over the top entertaining way.

      Jaya: Yes! But how sad is it that the best role she’s gotten in her later years is still like 4th billing? She needs another Guddi type role! Where she is the star and everything else comes second.

      SRK: I was tempted to do My Name is Khan, because I think it most clearly evokes who he is as a person. But I don’t know if it works for who he is as a movie star as well as other options.

      Kajol: I love her in K3G too! And every moment she is on screen is good. Only, there are so few moments! I might lean towards K2H2, just because she is truly the lead there not just one of 6.

      Aish: Another pick for a fairy tale princess style Aish role! Definitely very clear branding for her.

      Ranbir: Yep! The sad thing is, that was years ago and he still hasn’t really progressed beyond it.

      Rishi: I thought Aurangzeb was filled with good actors, but there was nothing for them to do. Very frustrating! However, totally agree that Rishi is an amazing villain. I might go for Agneepath.

      Kareena: Jab We Met for me. Or, Dev. It’s kind of a forgotten film now, but her performance in it is brilliant, and it was early in her career when we didn’t know everything she could do.

      Aamir: Okay, I can see that argument for Dangal.

      Hithik: Good choice! I think it and Agneepath are probably his greatest performances. But no dancing! I don’t know if it can be a representative Hrithik role with no dancing.

      Priyanka: I don’t know, she just feels so modern to me. It was a great role, but it doesn’t feel representative.

      On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 1:52 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Amitabh : oh i watched Boom and Nishabd because i wanted to know how bad it is..oh and totally forgot about Aag..if you can’t do justice to the classics don’t touch them..that is always what i believe.

        Jaya :you are right she is good actress but she gets such..i can’t say terrible roles but she doesn’t get roles according to her caliber…also i don’t think she likes to stay in the- background- kind-of-a-mother roles either which is a good thing .

        Shah Rukh Khan: true but this is one role where he is not a Rahul or a chocolate boy..even though there are other movies but here srk-kajol jodi they were just perfect in this movie.
        Ranbir: Yes it is sad..don’t worry he wont be alone if arjun kapoor continues to sign stupid movies he will join him soon..believe me i saw Half girlfriend..no intention to watch Mubaarakaan..

        Rishi : he was really good in Agneepath..but i don’t know i just did not like it
        Kareena: oh i forgot about Dev..such an old movie..a time when Fardeen khan was considered as a hero..Jab We Met is my favourite movie no doubt..but she acts a little less bubbly in 3 Idiots and you can actually see her act in the movie.. love the scenes where Aamir khan tells her “don’t marry that donkey” 😀 😀

        Hrithik Roshan : He always dances in his movie whether he is a blind man or something else..Agneepath i did like everyone’s performance..it is just that it is a remake of the old one which had Amitabh Bachchan in it..don’t tell me to choose..

        Priyanka: oh no doubt she does look too modern but here she is good…(you should see Gunday where she plays a cop..there is a scene in the end where she gets out of the police jeep..she walks more like a super model than a cop)..trust me she is good in Bajirao Mastani..especially the scene where she tells her husband do not enter her room again..best scene for me in the movie..and i don’t know i just loved every bit of that movie..also if not her who could do justice to that role..perfect casting.

        Kajol : for me k3g is one of my favourite kajol movies..actually i don’t think i hate any movie she is in..

        Aish : Jodha Akbar is the only movie for me where i can say i liked Aishwarya..i don’t know i just don’t think she is that great of an actress..beautiful no doubt but acting not so much…she was ok in Guru..actually better than Abhishek Bachchan.

        Rani Mukherjee :oh i forgot her..love every movie of hers..except Hum Tum..my god what was that..

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  9. For watching: my adapter broke around 2/3 of the way through Raees, but I finally finished it several days and the purchase of another adapter later, which heightened the feeling that the end does not fit with the beginning,as you wrote about in your post. I wanted SRK and Nawaz to unite against Musa when they find that he is sending bomb supplies, only undercover so we don’t find out until the very end when the two men walk into the sunset together and SRK breaks ties with the corrupt politician and becomes a good politician. And Nawaz and Shahrukh live next to each other at the housing development and Nawaz comes over for dinner and plays with the baby. (I guess that’s going a bit far).

    Such an interesting question on a day when I have to immediately start thinking about linguistics again! But I had a thought or two:

    Amitabh: I did not like Anand, but I liked Amitabh in it and I loved his hair! However, not a super typical performance in that one. Why not Sholay? And Piku also if he gets two, which I support.

    Jaya: Gotta be Abhiman. If you only know her as a mom watching her flit amongst the temples in her simple cotton sari is a revelation.

    Aish: Rituparno Ghosh was a guy who could get a really nice performance out of her. I’ve never been a big fan of her acting, but I liked her in the two films she made with him, Chokher Bali and Raincoat. In Chokher Bali she was dubbed into Bengali, so I’m going to go with Raincoat, which is a Hindi film. It’s also not super typical, but not untypical in the way that, say, Jazbaa was. It’s what happens when the pretty princess has a tragic life. Aish holds off on the winkling and twinkling but you can still see the princess she used to be.

    Ranbir: Agree with everyone who said Wake Up Sid, although I also love Rocket Singh.

    SRK: I don’t know! My first thought was Swades, but I have no reason for this.

    Aamir: Dil Chahta Hai

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    • I haven’t watched Raees straight through since it was in theaters, glad to hear that my initial impression holds up, the ending doesn’t work.

      Amitabh: But Sholay is so big! I don’t know, it feels like maybe the only Amitabh movie where it was more about the movie than about him. I’m still leaning Deewar.

      Jaya: Ooo, good choice! She’s got such a range of emotions to play in that film, it really shows her off.

      Aish: Still haven’t seen Raincoat. But you make a good point, the Pretty Princess but with layers to it.

      Ranbir: And once again, he still hasn’t topped a movie he made years ago right at the beginning of his career! Not a good sign Ranbir.

      SRK: See? He’s really hard! Swades is tempting because it’s a really good performance, but then it doesn’t have some of the other SRK-y things.

      Aamir: I am so happy that all of us still think of him from Dil Chahta Hai! It’s not just me!

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      • About Ranbir: Yeah. What happened to him? Did he get too comfortable in the feckless young man role until everyone got bored?

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        • Even in Bombay Velvet, which was sold as a gangster type role, it turned into a wishy-washy young man thing again.

          I’d love to see him in a real gangster part, no inner pain or anything like that, but a straight up action film. Just to see if he could do it. Everyone says “oh, he’s such a great actor!” but really he can just do one thing really really well.

          On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 3:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Have you seen Rajneeti? But I guess he’s wishy-washy young man in that also, just a much darker one (been a while since I saw it). Yeah, Ranbir in an action film would be cool.

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          • Haven’t seen Raajneeti, Ranbir in a slightly darker role and Ajay as Karna would be the two reasons I want to check it out.

            On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 12:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. Hmm.

    I would go for

    Srk – Chak de India
    Ranbir – Barfi
    Amitabh Bhacchan – Piku or Paa
    Salman Khan – Tere Naam
    Aamir Khan – Dangal
    Akshay Kumar – Airlift
    Aishwarya Rai – Guru or Iruvar
    Deepika Padukone – Peeku
    Vidya Balan – Dirty Picture
    Priyanka Chopra – Barfi
    Sonam Kapoor – Neerja
    Mohanlal – Vanaprastham or Kireedam or iruvar or thanmathra ( oh so many for mohanlal cant decide)
    Mammootty – Paleri Manikyam or vidheyan
    Prithviraj – Celluloid or Mumbai Police
    Nivin Pauly – Premam or 1983
    DULQUER – Kali or Kammattipadam
    Jayasuriya – Su Su Sudhi Vaathmeekam
    Fahadh Faasil – North 24 Kaatham
    Parvathy – Take Off
    Revathy – Killukkam
    Manju Warrier – Pathram
    Rajinikanth – Padiyappa
    Kamal Haasan – Hey Ram or Abhay
    Vikram – Anniyan

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    • Love this list! The only one I would disagree with is Rajnikanth. I would say Kabali. Not just because I love the movie, but because it let him act, and also picked up on his public persona.

      On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 10:15 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • the problem with kabali for me was I didnt enjoy the movie at all ( felt too long and boring). Therefore didnt think much of his acting. While in Padiyappa he was good and I loved him in it.

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  11. booked tickets for Tiyaan tomorrow. almost completed watching Psych (watching season 8 now, loved it). Would you like to recommend me some really good TV series? ( Favourites of mine are friends, person of interest, game of thrones, castle, psych,house of cards)

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    • If you like Psych, you would probably also like Monk, they are very similar. Hmm let’s see. New Girl is another one you would probably like. How I Met Your Mother has a terrible ending, but I bet you would like it up until the last episode (I really liked it until then). If you can get it, the Vikings TV show is amazing, like Game of Thrones but real history.

      On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 10:18 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. I’ve only gotten the chance to rewatch a couple of movies. One was M.S. Dhoni which I liked again and then I rewatched Badrinath Ki Dulhania with my mom. She liked it a lot and I think I’m slowly getting her to like Varun 🙂

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    • I liked Dhoni too, and I am very eager for my brother-in-law to see it. He doesn’t usually like Indian films, but he really loved Byomkesh, and this feels in the same family of more kind of thinky. Plus, also has Sushant Singh Rajput.

      On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 12:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. Saw Tiyan. I liked it. Very different type of movies. An intellectual Mass movie. The film is 70% in Hindi. Some concepts may be difficult to grasp. Prithviraj plays an older character than Indrajith (while in real life Indrajith is the elder brother).

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    • Interesting that it is so much in Hindi. Do you think it was going for a crossover audience, or was it just being true to the setting of the film?

      On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 3:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. Watched 1 Nenokkadine. It such a brilliant movie. Mahesh Babu was so wonderful! I really bought his vulnerability and his strength. Kriti was also good.
    But OMG, the story was so good. I couldn’t predict any of the turns. Brilliant narration! I had to watch it a couple of times again. So got friends to watch it, and watched with them, grinning at their gasps🙂.

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    • Ok, for your question:-
      Aishwarya : representative, so Jodha Akbar, otherwise favorite Josh🙂
      Salman : Bajrangi Bhaijaan (of course)
      Amitabh : Trishul (thought of Kala Patthar, but he has less of a front-and-centre role in that)
      Jaya : Kora kaagaz (Alas! I haven’t watched either Guddi or Mili!)
      Ranbir : Rocket Singh
      SRK : Kabhi haan Kabhi naa (favorite : Chak de India)
      Kajol : K3G 🙂
      Rani : Aiyya (fell in love with her after seeing this movie)
      Akshay Kumar : Baby
      Aamir : Rang de basanti (combines his ‘young and carefree’ persona, ability to work happily in a multi-starrer and penchant for displaying social issues)
      Hritik : Lakshya (Hritik at his best. It also has a wonderful dance no.!)
      Priyanka : What’s your Rashi (actually liked this film)
      Kareena : Jab we met (of course)
      Vidya Balan : Kahaani ( it was spellbinding!)

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      • Oh, all these answers are wonderful!

        Aish: really? Josh? the film as a whole or just her?

        Salman: We agree!

        Amitabh: I love Trishul! But the subtitles are terrible. I keep looking for a bluray or a remastered version that might be better than the only thing available now. It makes me nervous about recommending it to non-Hindi speakers because they will miss so much. Anyway, YES! Amitabh in that, start to finish, is pretty much the ultimate Amitabh.

        Jaya: Well, I haven’t watched Mili (looks sad!), so you aren’t alone.

        Ranbir: i think if we let him have two and picked Wake Up Sid and Rocket Singh, everyone would be happy. Interesting that no one really picked Barfi or Rockstar, the two most performance-y performances.

        SRK: Good choice!!!! It has the kind of light lover role that is most common for him, but also shows off his off-beat taste and acting talent.

        Kajol: Another K3G! She has such a small part in that, but I guess she made an impact!

        Rani: This is a brilliant idea!!!! I think I have to agree with you, this is the perfect film to choose.

        Akshay Kumar: Interesting! I feel like I need something that shows off his comedy a little though, not just his action and serious actor chops.

        Aamir: My only hesitation with Rang De is that it also shows off his worst ever hair. I’d hate for that to be the only version of Aamir people see!

        Hrithik: Excellent choice. Love the dancing, and the acting isn’t bad either.

        Priyanka: Haven’t seen it, but it does fulfill my Priyanka concept of peppy and modern

        Kareena: She is SO GOOD in this. Although it doesn’t have the glamorous Bebo we have seen in other films.

        Vidya Balan: Yes, absolutely. A much more complicated role than Dirty Picture, because it had to be so kind of everyday, and yet spellbinding.

        On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 6:58 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I love Josh. The film as a whole, absolutely, but also Aish. She is so cute in it and her and Shahrukh’s scenes together are the best.
          Ranbir : OMG, Barfi HAS to be on representative Ranbir movies list! That’s one of his best performances and shows his goofy side too! But not as the only one you ever watch of him.
          Akshay Kumar : maybe Hera Pheri (or Bhagam Bhag)?
          Aamir : Dil Chahta hai then. And we won’t let them see Fanaa, ever.
          Priyanka : we kind of forget how talented she is. In this movie, she has 12 roles, and rocks every one of them. Also,7 Khoon maaf🙂. But I liked this one better.

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          • I think you may be the only person I have ever heard of who loves Josh! It’s not a hateful movie, but it’s also not one I think of particularly lovable.

            Akshay: I don’t know, I don’t want a straight comedy either. What movie has he done with action scenes, comedy, romance, and serious acting? There must be one! Oh, and he has to have good hair in it too. None of that mullet nonsense.

            Aamir: No one should ever see him in Fanaa. Have you noticed that he looked worst between wives? Maybe it was sadness, or a coincidence, but I like to think of it as Karan coming on the scene and immediately sending him to the barber and the gym and just generally getting the whole thing under control.

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    • It is SO BRILLIANT!!!!! Just jawdropping, and you have to watch it over and over again to understand it. If you search my archives, I have a review for it somewhere.

      On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 6:54 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  15. I think I’ve undertaken a Prabhas marathon! I do like his innate charm. After Mirchi, I watched Darling this morning and really enjoyed it! I do like Kajal Agarwal and it was a fun and silly romance. The costume choices were sometimes very dubious, but I think Prabhas pulls off the novelty graphic tees well overall. Next is Rebel! Thanks Margaret and Niki for the recs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bujjigaddu! Watch Bujjigaddu! And then tell me if I am crazy for loving it.

      But whatever you do, DON’T WATCH BILLU!

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    • Oh my god, I would NOT suggest watching Rebel. One of the worst Prabhas movies that I’ve seen in my life.

      I don’t really like Bujjigadu much but I do love Mr. Perfect! Kajal and Prabhas make a great pair together in Mr. Perfect. I loved them together in Darling too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • So, I’m watching Bujjigadu next instead of Rebel…but the scene from Rebel I saw I liked so I will still watch it:) Just started it and it’s…interesting? I do not get the Ranjikanth thing and never will so the first song was completely lost on me. I can’t find Mr. Perfect anywhere streaming online…I know it’s got to be out there!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Do you ever get that “What the hell did I just watch?!” feeling with a Prabhas film and then you watch another south film/typical bollywood romance and you’re like “Yeah, Prabhas film wasn’t so bad after all!”

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    • Done with my Prabhas marathon except for Eeshwar for which i couldn’t find a good dubbed version. Here’s my take:

      Raghavendra (2003): Extremely original story. You wouldn’t believe it’s the guy’s second ever film if you judged this based solely on his acting.

      Varsham (2004): There’s something so sensuous about Trisha! And Prabhas in rain! Another unusual story about ordinary people. Their chemistry on-screen hits the right marks. It seems pure and intense yet not the “slam-bam” kinds. Like a happy un-cursed Romeo and Juliet!

      Adavi Ramudu (2004): You’d think after a hit like Varsham, Prabhas would want to play a glamorous role but he makes even the innocent to the ways of the world tribal boy character work. Prabhas convinced me. Ramya’s number hit me like good. I actually googled her age in this film! She’s just 9 years older than Prabhas and I can’t help imagine a story where they’re a couple!!!

      Chakram (2005): As I watched this, I felt like this was going to be something like Bawarchi! It wasn’t. It’s an oddly relaxing film. You won’t watch it again. But you’d watch it once and you’d be not disappointed.

      Chatrapathi (2005): I think this was the first legend-making film for Prabhas. the premise for the story was really not something you’d expect but then it falls back to the angry young man curve. But Prabhas makes it work! The chatrapathi anthem is something you’d definitely remember.

      Pournami (2006): What a fun little film! I love how complex the storylines in Prabhas’ are. They don’t feel like you’re watching the same film over and over again! I loved Charmee and Trisha was so smooth! Fun Prabhas is super fun! Intense Prabhas also doesn’t feel forced!

      Yogi (2007): The introduction to the film is amazing! It gets you hooked. Then the rest of the film happens and you’re like, yes, this is a shabby film! This is the second film which has Prabhas in action with a machete type of weapon and dude, does that work for this guy!!!

      Munna (2007): The introduction of the character is very Amitabh from Deewar. But you’d never guess the plot twist! Whoever thought Prabhas’ hair needed to be straightened needs to be murdered! This is the first “stylish” character that he’s done and though the closes are good, the hair definitely isnt!

      Bujjigadu (2008): Hah! This is such a cute little film. The intro is hilarious. It feels right to see the guy in the setting. He belongs. You see why the guy has such a huge mass following. He’s the approachable, relatable star family kid whom the average guy from the mohalla can identify with! Again, a really cute story!

      Billa (2009): Prabhas’ second “stylish” role. I don’t know who thought making him wear jackets that are two sizes too small for him and trousers that belong in the 70s was a good idea! Result: he doesn’t look classy enough for Don and he doesn’t look desi enough for the guy from the mohalla. Or maybe they were aiming at making him look like he mohalla’s guy’s idea of what classy would look like! You already know the story so you’re sort of disappointed with this film. The ladies’ roles also kind of leave you wondering if it’s a bollywood vs. regional industries thing that’s making you kinda hate this film.

      Ek Niranjan (2009): Loved it! Kangana is amazing. The story is offbeat. Prabhas definitely works as guy-next-door (who can also kick ass when needed) Sonu Sood’s character is also interesting. You keep expecting familiar masala elements to pop up but they don’t.

      Darling (2010): Made me want to kill myself. Cringed really hard trying to watch it. It’s like the moment the overseas storyline begins I go like NOPE!! CANNOT!! There’s silly storylines and silly acting and then there’s THIS! This is the only Prabhas film I stopped halfway through. Hated Kajal in it. Neither Kajal nor Prabhas convinced me in their roles. Too obviously OTT! And at this point I’ve seen enough Prabhas films to have an idea of the kind of acting he’s capable of so the “NOPE” just gets louder in my head every time i try to power through it.

      Mr. Perfect (2011): Liked it so much! A definite improvement in style (meaning a step up from the mohalla guy look but it’s not a 100% improvement still) I was conflicted about his overall look. the hair doesnt work. This guy cannot do certain hairstyles. Kajal was good in it. Tapasee was really good for her small role!

      Rebel (2012): I haven’t watched enough south Indian films to know exactly how cliched this film was but I watched this soon after Billa so maybe that’s why I liked it more. The plot twists are good. It’s like watching two films in one. Tammannah is comical in her acting. I remember watching Ramya’s item number in Adavi Ramudu and then I thought of Tammannah’s role in this film and it just made me wonder if it’s the “too pretty” curse that’s hurt these actresses’ career. Like they’re so pretty, directors don’t even think of giving a role beyond eye candy.

      Mirchi (2013): the only Prabhas film after the Bahubali series that I’ve watched multiple times. I’m thinking of watching this in the original Telugu now (We watched BB1 in Telugu after having watched it in Hindi around 5 times) just to see how Prabhas’ voice acting is (Is that what it’s called? Voice acting?) Style– DUDE!! THIS is how this guy SHOULD be dressed. THIS!! Music is peppy!! Made me fall in love with Pranushka even more. Story is amazing. Give it a good actor (Ranveer Singh!!) and I’d watch its remake in Bollywood too! Prabhas with machetes is SEXY!! The action sequences are SEXY!! Tall guys doing front kicks is a weakness of mine and he does it sooooo good in this film!!

      Overall, if I have to sum up the Prabhas genre, I’d say his strengths are:
      1) Facial acting: Somehow you get the exact emotion he’s going for even in the earlier films. No wooden expressions. No flat faces in any shots. You’re never not convinced that he’s not the character in the film. He’s never “Prabhas” (and I hate this about stars like Hritik, Salman and of late SRK. They’re always playing themselves no matter what the role is. The last time SRK wasn’t SRK was in Om Shanti Om) He’s always the character in the film.

      2) Stories: If you tell someone the stories of his films, they don’t interrupt you. I don’t know how he selects films and if this is deliberate but no two films of his have a similar story-line with the exception of maybe Rebel and Mirchi which have the angry, violent son plot. He does do around one film a year so maybe it is him doing films with stories he enjoys.

      3) Raw violence: It was my mom who noticed how violent his action sequences are. Maybe I’m desensitised to it thanks to GoT and TWD but yeah, once I noticed it and compared it to the action sequences of other mass stars, it did seem gorier. It isn’t just the regular dhishoom-dhishoom, hero-can-take-on-20-guys and not get a scratch on him. It’s slashy, limbs go missing, there’s blood on the hero, his hair messes up, he looks genuinely angry and like the action required effort! There are moments when you’re kind of afraid of the hero (seems like a Tandav almost)!

      4) Rain: Thank you directors for Prabhas-in-rain moments. Thank you. LOL

      5) Style: A proper costume designer needs to volunteer to style this guy in films (and in real life too). At least in films where the character is “stylish”. Mirchi works. Big time.

      6) The actor’s own input in characterisation: Prabhas has gone on record saying he pushed the makers to do certain things in Mirchi which bloated the budget. Not sure how much of Jai’s style and character is Prabhas’ own input but knowing today that he worked so hard on Bahubali with Rajamouli where the script and direction was altered to suit the actor, one does sort of see that he may have had greater inputs viz characterisation in previous films too!

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      • My goodness this is useful! i’ve only seen like half of these and now I know what to check out next.

        Also, once again, I am the only person who loves Bujjigaddu 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hate to say it since you love it so much, but I did not like Bujjigaddu and could only get through the first hour:( Maybe it gets better but I wasn’t a fan of its manic energy and the Prabhas character was too much of a unrepentant goon and then the Ranjinikanth stuff, too, was too much. I’m not sure why I have such a block but I just don’t get the worship of that guy.

          Also, whenever I try to watch a lot of Telugu or Tamil films, I quickly figure out why they are mostly misses for me. I always find the violence more disturbing in them and the violence is not sanitized in anyway, so when it happens in a masala film alongside the comedy and romance it can really throw me off my enjoyment of other aspects of the film. Orange with Ram Charan was one of the best examples of this for me and, unfortunately, has influenced my perceptions ever since. In Mirchi it worked because the premise was that he was trying to make the families less violent and when he turns to violence halfway through it’s a great plot twist. And, of course, in the end he’s fighting the violence. And I think it got all the extra points because of how gorgeous he was in the second half and Asmita’s right, his tall lanky form kicking and wielding machetes is quite intense!

          With Darling, it felt like it could have been a Hindi rom-com from the 90s and there were some very clever moments and for some reason I really liked the four guy friends that always followed him around and his interactions with them.

          Just started Rebel and I can already tell that it’s more in my preferred action style…plus the production values are better than a Bujjigaddu type film. The opening sequence was scary and well-filmed and the Prabhas character is introduced as cool and a bit dangerous. Though I’m getting total Dhoom 2 vibes for some reason…

          So already after watching 2 and 1/2 Prabhas films, Leader with Rana, watching a couple of Mani Ratnam’s recent films, and recently revisiting Vikram’s work in Iru Mugun, I’m still going to be delving into more from the Telugu and Tamil industries. But I always have to pick the ones I try very carefully, whereas with the big Hindi film releases I always am able to enjoy them as a good time pass, possibly because I know and care more about the actors’ careers, etc…I’m not sure. With Bengali and Malayalam films, I have other concerns…like boredom! As much as I love a good character driven piece, good screenplay, and naturalistic acting in the Indian context, there are some films out there that are really slow!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Real time update on Rebel…it’s ridiculous and the Tamannah character is incredibly silly, but the overall movie is still slick enough that I will continue watching it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Rebel has know won me over with this action scene…the one pre-interval where Prabhas walks down a street dressed all in black with sunglasses and his henchmen kill everyone. It was well-filmed and choreographed, but the line where the bad guy says that he was lucky to be in the “vernacular” version of the fight instead of this “English film” version is perfection.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doesn’t he make the “local gunda” look feel sooooooo right??!! And his eyes… The expressive eyes.. And the kicks… Dear God!

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          • *Now* not know! Why do I always do that!

            PS I feel like I should be live-tweeting this movie…it’s that OTT.

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          • Do keep us posted on your South Indian watch lists. Especially the Kannada industry. I saw a trailer for Rangitharanga and I was so intrigued I downloaded it. Sadly I haven’t found subtitles for it yet so it’s sitting in my sad little “unwatched” folder. 😦

            Let me cheer myself up- Prabhas in rain with machetes kicking goons!!! 😁

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          • Asmita, re: Kannada films…do you have any recs? I saw Diganth in the Hindi film Wedding Pullav and was intrigued, but I don’t know where to start with Kannada films. I feel like it should be my next excursion into regional films.

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          • I have zero recs and I’m looking for them myself 😛

            I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction.

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          • NO! You didn’t like Bujjigaddu? You are BANISHED from my website! (not really)

            Yeah, I kind of thought you might not like it. I liked it partly for the crazy romance concept, but partly for the really clever directing stuff that reminded me of Tarentino and some of the more high concept Hong Kong films. Which is kind of an odd combination of stuff to like. Half the people I have shown/recommended it to loved it, and half it just did not work for them.

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        • Oh I loved Bujjugadu. I appreciate it more now. I’m probably gonna watch it again in between GoT episodes. And yes, your “voluntary child marriage” explanation for the film was what made me watch it in the first place. So that you for that! 🙂

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          • Re: recs about Kannada movies –

            I think even Margaret cannot start a section on Kannada movies because there aren’t many good movies worth watching. In 1960s Karntaka Film Federation banned dubbing (of other language movies into Kannada) because Kannada movies couldn’t compete with other language movies. Since the ban, their movies lost competetiveness and quality deteriorated further. In Karnata state Telugu and Tamil movies get more viewers than Kannada movies.

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          • That’s kinda sad. I follow Jaby Koay on YouTube and the trailer reviews he did looked like good films.

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      • I’ve been seeing Prabhas basically as long as I remember and honestly I still don’t really get the appeal. I still feel like most of his movies are the normal massy action entertainers. I think barring Baahubali, there’s only a handful of Prabhas movies that I really like. I would say these are Varsham, Darling, Mr. Perfect, Mirchi which are also hits. I love his action scenes, especially the wedding fight in Mirchi but I’m not really in love with his dancing or acting (though he is a pretty good actor). I can explain Pawan Kalyan or a Allu Arjun or a Mahesh Babu but I don’t know, I just don’t really get the appeal of Prabhas. Though I am starting to like him more lately. That teaser of Saaho gives me goosebumps!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The Saaho teaser looked so flat to me. Maybe it was the make-up. They covered up his eyes too much and his face looked cakey. The voice wasn’t as bass-y either. He looked tired.

          Do recommend good Allu Arjun, Pawan Kalyan and Mahesh Babu films plz. We’re going to do one of their marathons soon.

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          • To me Saaho looked overly processed/greenscreened. Like they woke him in the middle of the night, shot 30 seconds, and then spent forever in VFX getting his face and everything to look decent because they hadn’t had time to do make-up.

            On Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 10:50 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Seriously. The dialogue says he’s covered in blood but it’s not his. Like maybe cover him up with blood for that to make an impact!! Imagine him drenched in blood and wiping his face with maybe like a bruised hand. If they don’t get that right, people will of course blame the Rajamaoli curse.

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        • Sidenote: I watched the wedding fight scene from Mirchi and I suddenly understood “woman in red sari” thing men have! 😁

          Maybe you need to do a post on that Margaret!!! 😁

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        • I wasn’t expecting much from the Saaho teaser which is probably why I liked it so much. Plus I felt like it was much more creative than what I was expecting.

          I’m not really that fond of Pawan Kalyan now but I do really like the movies that he made before he became such a big mass star. I would recommend watching Tholi Prema (“First Love”, 1998) and Thammudu (“Younger Brother”, 1999) which is a remake of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. If you want to see something more recent from him, his better movies are either Gabbar Singh (2012) which is a remake of Dabbang or Attarintiki Daredi (“What is the path to Aunt’s house”, 2013) which is more of a family entertainer. Pawan Kalyan is now becoming a politician and has started his own party so he’s only acting for the sake of his fans and to make money to fund his political ambitions. Hence, the movies that’s been making the last couple of years are remakes of routine action movies with lower quality than what’s expected of a star.

          Let me start off by saying that Allu Arjun is arguably the best dancer in Telugu film. I would definitely recommend watching both Aarya (2004) and Aarya 2 (2009). My favorite Allu Arjun film is Julayi (2012) and I really enjoyed Race Gurram (2014) as well. Some of his more underrated movies are Parugu (2008) which is a love story and Vedam (I haven’t seen this one but I have only heard good things about it).

          Mahesh Babu is my favorite actor in Indian cinema. I think the best introduction to Mahesh is either Okkadu (2003) or Pokiri (2006). Both of these are action movies with strong romances, and they’ve been remade into Hindi as Tevar and Wanted respectively. If you want to see Mahesh in more of an action comedy zone, I would recommend Dookudu (2011) or Khaleja (2010). Check out Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu (2013) if you want to see Mahesh in a movie that is not an action movie.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Just chiming in to mention Srimanthadu, which is another Mahesh, by the same director as Mirchi, has a good soundtrack, and most of all, is very easily available.

            Otherwise, as always, Niki knows more than me about Telugu films!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Srimanthudu is great too, I just didn’t mention it because Margaret mentioned in her review that it wasn’t a great intro to Mahesh. But it’s one my recent favorites 🙂

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  16. I saw Ninnu Kori and I really really enjoyed it! It was a really nice, emotional love triangle between three characters. Though Nani is the star of the movie, it was Nivetha Thomas who stole the show. The third lead, Aadhi Pinnisetty, did quite well though he did have the most sympathetic character. Nani also acted well though his character has some gray-ish shades in the second half of the movie. Overall, Ninnu Kori is my second favorite Telugu movie of 2017.

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        • Ha! Duh. I can’t wait to see it. I couldn’t get to the theater here to see it. I still haven’t even seen the Telugu original of the first movie. I own the Hindi dubbed version but I’m still waiting for the Telugu DVD release. I do hope they go all out with a deluxe Bluray edition of both films.

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          • You’re missing out. The slow descent into madness once you’ve watched the Bahubali films is both delicious and agonising. Knowing the film has concluded and you won’t get more Amarendra and Sivagami and Bhallala and Devasena will eat through your heart very, very slowly. And then you’d get to the point where you’re strongly considering picking a fight with the theatre manager because your regular bollywood film now feels like something your annoying maid’s super chep dropout bhai ka fan son came up with and you feel ripped off and want a refund!! For the overpriced popcorn too!!! You hate your life and then you’re up watching old Rajamaoli interviews at 2am in telugu trying to understand his mind. And you don’t speak telugu at all!! But you understand what he says. 😁

            Liked by 1 person

          • That’s hilarious…maybe it’s best I didn’t see it in the theater:) I’m definitely experiencing a Prabhas -fever right now. He’s really got the comedic abilities, too! He’s like the best combination of Hrithik’s coolness, Salman’s “mass”iness, Abhishek’s slapstick, and Akshay’s easy charm.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Wait till you’re done with the marathon. The epithets would appear inverted. Let the man wear the Bollywood off of you. 😁

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  17. She was there to show off her waist! I don’t understand the south indian obsession with the waist and naval. What is that??!!!

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  18. I took a break from my Prabhas maration. I really liked Rebel despite it epitomizing everything I thought I disliked about Southern films! I think it’s the power of the star persona and it also shows that I’ll let a film get away with a lot as long as the production values (in this case stylish action sequences, good dancing, camerawork, and set design) are solid and polished.

    Anyway, why I’m posting yet again today…I’m addicted to Film Companion today and I’ve watched several of the FC Unfiltered interviews. The ones with Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti/Ayushman are really fun! I’ve been missing KWK lately…

    And also I just realized that I will be visiting my parents on August 4th and that means I may actually be able to see JHMS in the theater!! Their local theater is playing Ninnu Kori this weekend which is cool

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    • Hey! If you’re going to be watching Ninnu Kori, I wanted to know if you’ve seen any other films starring Nani. Eega is a good intro to him but let me know if you want any other recommendations 🙂

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      • I really want to see Ninnu Kori and I’ve put it on my list, but it’s virtually impossible for me to get to a theatre where I live. Despite living just outside a big city, I don’t have a car and the theaters that show Indian films are on the other side of the city. That’s why I’m excited to visit my parents in their city because I can to a theater easier, but I won’t be there until August.

        I’ll let you know if I ever see either of these!

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  19. And finally my last comment on this very filmi weekend where I’ve watched 3 Prabhas movies, A Death in the Gunj (which was just ok), numerous Anupama Chopra interviews, and finally my new favorite movie of all time…Ram Gopal Varma’s masterpiece Naach from 2004! Just kidding…it was WTF weird in its marriage of artsy direction and tv movie plot. I actually did really like it despite its weirdness, partly because I’m a die-hard Abhishek fan and his chemistry with the lead actress, Antara Mali, was honestly scorching hot. It’s too bad her career flared out since she’s a beautiful dancer and has a very sexy and confident presence on screen. Some of the dancing is a bit wacky to say the least. But I think this will end up being a personal cult favorite!

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    • Two things:

      If you haven’t already, check out Dus on Netflix to satisfy all your young Abhishek needs.

      Also if you haven’t already, check out Mast and Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahta Hoon to see more Antara Mala.

      On Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 11:19 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  20. After the announcement of Sui Dhaaga, I ended up watching Dum Laga Ke Haisha again. I felt that DLKH was overhyped when I first saw it but the movie keeps growing on me with every watch. It’s such a cute and endearing film!

    Since I saw DLKH, I wanted to also see Meri Pyaari Bindu which I liked a little less. It had some nice moments but it wasn’t as good as DLKH. Though I did really like Ayushmann Khurrana in it. I think he’s becoming my second favorite among the younger Hindi actors.

    I also ended up watching Spider-Man: Homecoming which I really enjoyed. It was a really fun movie! I ended up liking it more than Wonder Woman.

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    • My sister and father saw Spider-Man: Homecoming and really liked it too!

      On Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 10:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t watch superhero movies, actually I think this is my first Marvel movie. But I really liked it! I kind of feel like going back and watching some other Marvel movies.

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        • I am going to say something that makes me sound really really old: I remember back when I was a teenager and the first Spider-Man movie came out. That was my first superhero movie really, because it got such amazing reviews we couldn’t not see it. And then I loved it and it’s always been kind of “my” movie since then. Still my favorite modern American movie (classic American Singin in the Rain, Indian DDLJ)

          On Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 10:39 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The only other superhero movies that I’ve seen before this year was watching that Spider-Man trilogy as a kid. I don’t really remember those movies much but I did really like them back then.

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    • I’m really starting to like Ayushmann Khurrana, too! He was absolutely the best thing about MPB. Check out the FC Unfiltered interview online with Parineeti and him with Anupama Chopra. He seems like a pretty authentic and down to earth intellectual (in a good way). He kind of sparkles charm, too. I’ve liked his choice of roles so far though I’ve only really enjoyed DLKH and MPB. I think he knows that long term he’s going to be in a good position since the Hindi film industry is slowly but surely going away from star vechicle films and he’s comfortable with the role he’s going to play. I hope he doesn’t sell out.

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      • Yeah, I saw that before the movie came out and I was quite impressed by him. Parineeti, on the other hand, wasn’t as impressive.

        Have you seen Vicky Donor? He did pretty well in that, especially since it was his debut.

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        • Yep, I’ve seen Vicky Donor and was more excited about the idea of the film than I was the actual execution. He was fine but didn’t really thrill me at the time. Same with Nautanki Saala. Never did see the other two of his films though both weren’t as well received so probably ok to miss them?

          I know exactly what you mean with Parineeti in that interview. I think if you’re in the right mood, she can be charming. I like that she’s really honest about her motivations in losing the weight but she’s becoming far to enthralled with the idea of stardom and not as much with the craft of acting. When she talked about acting in a filmi way, I realized that she has never given a very naturalistic performance…the closest she got was in Shuddh Desi Romance. She desperately needs a movie like Highway for Alia, Lootera for Sonakshi, BBB for Anushka, or Cocktail for Deepika. She just hasn’t had the real breakthrough role yet, despite how likeable she can be in her rustic or quirky girl next door roles.

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          • I liked Vicky Donor but it wasn’t as good as Piku which I ended up watching first. I haven’t seen Nautanki Saala or any of his other films though. I think he has two more movies coming out this year, Bareilly Ki Barfi and another rom-com that’s being produced by Aanand L. Rai. But I’m more curious to see what his film with Sriram Raghavan will be like.

            I feel like Parineeti has gotten way too obsessed with her weight. She spent way too much of her time talking about her weight during the promotions of Meri Pyaari Bindu. For example, I saw one interview where she claimed that her performance in Hasee Toh Phasee would have been better if she were skinnier. That role wasn’t glamorous or anything for her body to make a difference.

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  21. I’m still on a movie-watching marathon and after watching Naach this weekend, I also watched…

    Mr. Perfect – It wasn’t as good as I expected or wanted it to be. It was a very predictable romance, but Taapsee Paanu’s role was strong. I’ve never seen Kajal Agarwal in a “tough” role. And I so prefer Prakash Raj in father/”nice” roles.

    Junglee – I really, really liked this one. I’ve only ever seen An Evening in Paris with Shammi and while I don’t think I could deal with a steady diet of his “Yahoo” thing, this was the perfect role/story for him. Saira Banu was delightful, too. I liked everything about this movie and it’s definitely up there with Seeta aur Geeta, Aradhana, and Khoobsurat as one of my favorite classic films (for me that means anything before 1990.

    Amen – Now I know what the fuss is about this director. Definitely a visionary, though you can see him consciously trying things out as he finds his own voice. This one definitely had a Wes Anderson feel to me. Fahadh Faasil was very good, but I this was my first Indrajith film and now I’m intrigued by him and look forward to seeing more of his films. Also, since I’m Catholic, I love seeing how the religion and the cultural landscape in India has meshed. That’s why I’m drawn to movies with settings like Finding Fanny, too. The Portuguese influence is also fascinating.

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    • Now that you have seen Amen, and like Indrajith, you need to check out City of God! REquires a lot more concentration than Amen, but there is a lot more “there” if you look for it. And Indrajith is the heart and soul of the film, even more than he is in Amen I think. Well, him and Prithviraj. But mostly Indrajith.

      On Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 8:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I do plan on watching City of God and Angamaly Diaries asap. Also Double Barrel which looks so clearly influence by Tarantino but could be fun.

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        • Also, the movie posters for Amen are some of the best I’ve ever seen! I think I’m going to frame one but I can’t decide which one. I think you’ve inspired me with your posts about your posters! I only have the one (Jodhaa Akbar) in my kitchen, but I need to up my game. I have no pictures hanging in my bedroom currently and lots of space, plus I still need to hang a lot of other things in my apartment, too.

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          • I’m trying to resist the urge for more posters. In one apartment years ago, I just went online and printed a bunch of images on 8.5×11 paper and put those up. Used up all my ink, but they looked great.

            My worry is, if I start doing that again, I would never be able to stop!

            On Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 8:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s exactly what I just did (at work…shhh) with the Amen posters. I can’t decide which one I like best…

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          • I’ve watched Amen, Angamaly Diaries, and Double Barrel in three consecutive days! Angamaly lived up to the hype for sure. I wonder what the chances are it will be the Oscar submission? I want the director to get more visibility worldwide, but then I worry he’ll sell out and flare out (much like a certain Kapur).

            Angamaly Diaries really is a masterful achievement. But on a much less serious note…did anyone else think that the actor playing Pepe looked like Zac Efron?!

            I can see why you weren’t as excited about Amen (and especially Fahadh). Someone referred to him as wishy-washy in your comments and I agree. Though the pure joy, humanity, magical realism, and cinematography, plus the very interesting religious aspects of the film, entranced me. It’s definitely my second favorite so far. But back to Fahadh…I just sense that he probably isn’t a fun guy to be around in real life. Plus, what’s up with the fact that his wife hasn’t done a film in a while?

            And so Double Barrel. I actually liked it, though the least of the three. Because I knew it was going to be all over the place and “whimsical” as you described it, I was able to just sit back and be amused by it (and I have to say the scenes with the two guys and Sweety won me over early). I think a major problem with it is that it, more than the other two, felt like Pellissery was imitating other films (which is kind of the point, I know). I kept trying to figure out where the Indian-ness (for lack of a better world) was? I also thought the final scenes in the graveyard were particularly affecting.

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          • I am so jealous of you re-watching Angamaly! My DVD is slowly making it’s way to me and I am trying to hold off on finding a streaming option and wait for it to arrive.

            I can see Pepe-Zac. It wasn’t super striking to me, but he did have a general “open faced very handsome young man” kind of face. I definitely appreciated that out of this whole cast of unknowns, they picked the prettiest one to be our hero.

            I’m possibly seeing Fahadh’s new film tonight, it’s supposed to be brilliant, but I am also a little worried about that wishy-washy over serious vibe. He kind of feels like Aamir, doesn’t he? Like, PK Aamir.

            Agree on the lack of “Indianness” in Double Barrel! It’s all violent and clever like Tarentino, but without the heart that I look for. Although, as I got distracted by in my review, it is Indian in the brilliant way to takes Sholay and twists it.

            CITY OF GOD!!!! Have you seen that one yet? It’s the most “straight” in terms of style, except for the why it twists time a little bit, showing us the same thing multiple times from different perspectives. But I also think it is really beautiful, has the soul that I saw in Angamaly Diaries but even more so. And rewards repeat viewing, like 20 repeat viewings, without ever going stale.

            On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 8:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I downloaded Angamaly…shh:) And it wasn’t the best quality so I can’t wait to get the DVD (which I always do when I like a film…and I very rarely don’t sadly for my budget…my criteria for owning a movie are very broad: will I rewatch it as a comfort watch, is it an “important” film, and/or is it useful in comparison with another (why I bought OK Jaanu).

            I did like the actor playing Pepe, but also really thought the guy playing Pork Varkhey was hot, too. More of the Arjun Kapoor type:)

            City of God is next but I can’t find it on Einthusan (how I watched Amen and Double Barrel). So should I watch Nayakan instead…since it’s on there? How did you find City of God?

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          • City of God is on GooglePlay! For like $3 you can own it forever and ever, in high quality. Which is what I did, and then just had it in the background on my phone or TV for like a month, because it is brilliant and makes me believe in humanity.

            But be warned, you have to play very very close attention. It’s not a movie you can tune in and out of mentally and still get the jist.

            On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 9:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  22. Finally watched Darling. I take it back. I take it all back. THIS FILM WORKS!! rather, the dubbed, chopped, singles version on YouTube by Goldmine Films works!!

    Whatever I watched earlier seems like it wasn’t even the same film. The one I watched yesterday had no songs at all. A few scenes I thought were in the earlier version were missing too and the dialogue seemed on point. It was funny and the jokes made sense. Maybe it were the useless and ill timed songs that threw me off or maybe it was the ghatiya dubbing that made the acting look idiotic.

    Christ what a difference well aligned dubbing and careful editing can make!!

    The version that I watched yesterday was sooooooo tight!! Mom, beau and I couldn’t stop ROFLing… Even the switzerland part (which I couldn’t bear the first few times in the earlier versions) seemed genuinely funny! Or maybe the really bizarre bits were chopped off for time.

    Kajal’s feet touching gag had me giggling this morning too. Prabhas… I totally see why this one resonated sooooooo much with his fans.. This might be my new favorite Prabhas film after mirchi and BB.

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    • Yay! I now have a viewing mission! I’ve been avoiding Darling after hearing such bad things about it from you and others. But maybe I try your version first and see if it is better.

      On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 12:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I swear I wasn’t on anything when I watched it yesterday. I’ll try to find out which version I watched earlier which was so yucky to compare.

        Also, we’re watching southern movies on Max at 9pm every night and I’ve noticed that they’ve used the same hindi dubbing artist for Dhanush in Maari and Allu Arjun in Race Gurram. The same artist dubs for Kivanc Tatlitug in Kuzey Guney and somehow the dubbing seems to be making all the difference. I know they re-premiered Billa on Max after Bahubali blew Prabhas up for Hindi audiences. Beau said it looked and felt fresher than he remembered. I don’t have any info to back this theory up but if they’re re-dubbing and editing South films for Hindi re-release, it’s really good news.

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      • I think of the four Prabhas films I watched last week I would rank them 1) Mirchi 2) Darling 3) Mr. Perfect 4) Rebel.

        Darling is super cute if you’re in the mood for a goofy love story. And I don’t remember the songs already, so they probably didn’t add or subtract. Worth a try for some very light entertainment.

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        • But I’d also avoid watching the dubbed version, though it does sound like it’s not bad. I always try to watch the original with subtitles (except for Baahubali which I will eventually rectify…at least the Hindi songs were also good in their own right).

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        • The best Prabhas movie other than Baahubali 1/2 has got to be Bujjigadu! Love that movie, it’s so silly and harmless and fun. He’s hilarious in it as a punch-line spouting Rajnikanth wannabe, some of the best acting I’ve seen from him in a non-Baahubali movie. Must watch in Telugu in his original voice with english subtitles. 🙂

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          • THANK YOU! I also love Bujjigaddu. But I know we are in the minority here. But it’s just so much fun!

            On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 1:34 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • @Margaret YES! Surprised we are in the minority, Bujji is just so irresistibly adorable, and Prabhas is a complete natural in it! He really ought to do more films in the comedy genre, he has excellent comic timing.

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          • He felt very Shivudu in it, all loose and happy and made you feel all loose and happy watching him.

            On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 1:58 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh, please watch Darling in the full Telugu version with English subtitles (which is on Youtube). The songs are quite good. For someone who “loves” Bujjigadu, I don’t know why you would object to Darling. As someone said above, watch it when you’re in the mood for a silly, light-hearted movie. (Caveat: I hate Bujjigadu for the violence, and really like Darling for relaxation).

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        • I haven’t even tried Darling, mostly because I heard so many comments about it being just not enjoyable from people here and even way way back when I started watching Prabhas films. But now that I am hearing all these good things, I should check it out!

          On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 1:44 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • That’s interesting that you liked a songless version so much. Not that I love the songs or anything but I never felt that they were bad.

      So I was wondering, do you tend to watch the hindi dubbed version or the original copy with subs if both are available?

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      • I’m watching the Hindi dubbed versions. Original copies I could get from YouTube but I don’t know where to get decent English/hindi subs for them. We watched bahubali 1 in telugu after we’d watched it in hindi for a few times. The difference with the original actors dubbing it was quite noticeable even if we couldn’t tell if the language was different viz dialogue. I hunted down translations for the songs in BB and I enjoy them more in telugu now that I know that the words mean.

        I was watching mirchi in telugu for comparison the other night and even that has so many extra seconds in so many scenes that weren’t there in the Hindi version. The songs sounded much better in the original language too. They’d chopped off the anushka Prabhas song from the second half in the Hindi version so it was like watching a new film almost.

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          • Do I know it now!!! I’m disappointed she might not be in Saaho!! They work so well together!!

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          • The quality is pretty good, especially if the movie is on a channel like Sri Balaji Full Movies.

            Einthusan only has english subtitles if there were subtitles available on the DVD. So those are pretty good.

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    • Asmita, I just noticed that Darling Hindi dubbed version has Telugu songs. It felt so strange to me, I mean why don’t they put effort to dub songs too? Do you get this kind of dubbed movies in your local theaters too?

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      • I don’t know which version you’re watching. The one I watched didn’t have any songs. I remembered the first song (dancing in traffic) from the mother’s rant over the kid being on the news. I watched the dubbed version available on Goldmine Films YouTube channel. The first version I watched had hindi songs, the second one had telugu songs and this one had none. 😐

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          • This is the one I watched and fell in love with. The intro is totally different for both. The one you’ve posted starts in the alley with Prabhas. The version I’ve posted starts with the flashback with the fathers!!!!

            Your link is from Goldmines Movies, mine is from Goldmines Telefilms. I don’t understand why there are two versions of the same film!!!!

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        • Yes, the version link you sent starts with BW flashback. What I wanted to know was if there is market for southern movies (Not just Bahubali) and if they get released in north Indian theaters. The different Darling versions we see in youtube may be theater, TV and youtube versions. We Telugus have only one option but you do have multiple options 🙂

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          • It depends on the marketing of the product I think. Like Saaho is already generating a huge buzz. All the small budget films doing well in North India is just well done marketing and nothing else. The PVR crowd isn’t really picky. They want a movie to go to over the weekend and they welcome offbeat films too. If south indian films edit releases for North Indian sensibilities, there’s no reason why they won’t make it big here. Look at Dhanush in Ranjhana! everyone fell in love. Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi, Nagarjun all got a loyal following but their regional films never got released in hindi. They’re still loved though and people remember being mesmerised by them. More than audiences, it’s the distributors that need to take that leap of faith. They’re the ones that need to bank on dubbed south films just like they bank on any Salman release.

            Would we like anything other than bollywood? I think the popularity of Pakistani TV actors proves that. And they made inroads with showings on a single channel, Zindagi which only featured select content. If Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Sajal Ali are getting into Bollywood it’s only because of their shows on one channel. Maybe our industry needs to rethink it’s dubbed regional release strategy

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          • I hope marketing is not starting to get overrated. Promotions can only bring in that first batch of crowd over the opening weekend that’s all. After that it’s back to actual content and if it is good then word of mouth. So yes publicity is good and necessary but not beyond a point but only as a side thing once the product is readied. Raanjhanaa was firmly a Hindi film only starring a south Indian lead actor.

            Same goes for dubbed releases even for big heroes, Vikram’s Aparajith (Anniyan) did decent BO, Rajni’s Robot did good BO both because content itself was interesting. Same cannot be said of their respective subsequent dubs and duds I and Kabali. So I feel it is too simplistic to say it is all about marketing of small budget regional films or that distributors need to have more faith. Heck even Salman has now seen shifting market reality with how Tubelight just about saved face crossing 100cr.

            Like for Saaho I already have the hunch it may be folly of Prabhas to again do what looks like another fantasy (or sci-fi for that matter) and wasn’t too enthused by the teaser either personally.

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          • That’s my hope with Tubelight. That it serves as a wake up call against both mass promotions, and wide releases. If it had been a smaller release with smaller distributor fees and no promotion budget, it probably could have turned a nice product. SKF production, so they didn’t have to pay their star which is usually the biggest budget item. But as it is, I am sure the distributors are taking a loss. Unless Salman pays them out of pocket, which sometimes happens (it’s what Shahrukh did for the Dilwale distributors).

            On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 10:54 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I must clarify I have nothing against mass promotions and wide releases, in fact India has a desperate need to drastically multiply screen count given the rich filmgoing culture (India has about 7-8k screens when China has about 40k+). It’s all about not spending too much time and money on it instead of doing that on polishing the content itself.

            And again, I don’t see how an almost objectively bad film like Tubelight can just become a nice product if only it did not have that big scale promotions. I see them as unrelated. Managing expectations is also part of the game sure, but still. No promotion is also an extreme. For instance, agreed that I’m only a casual timepass film fan but one who does take note of acclaimed films, I hadn’t even heard of Angamaly Diaries until few days ago on this blog.

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          • Not nice product, but nice profit. Promotions and wide releases cost money. Tubelight is no worse than, say, Sangdil Sanam. Which is a movie that kind of came and went and no one much remembers. Because it was released so smally, it being a bad film was no huge deal.

            On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 11:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Lol had to google that film which kind of makes your point. But not a fair comparison. That was in a different time and Salman was nowhere near as big yet. And one cannot really blame Tubelight makers given how all of his recent films worked great. There again Sultan and Bajrangi were at least watchable entertainers although hindsight is also a thing. So for Tubelight there was no way they could have anticipated this so they just followed that promotion and release template as well. One does not simply undersell or understate a Salman film really.

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          • See, it’s that “that was a different time” that I find so fascinating! It’s not a problem with Tubelight, it’s a problem with how the industry runs now. You don’t undersell a Salman film, but maybe you should. Maybe the industry is going down a bad path chasing bigger and bigger releases. It’s what the American industry has done for the past several years, and they are in terrible shape now.

            On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 11:28 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Well so if it is about where time and money is spent, of course sharper and tighter writing is what is needed which in turn means it is about time the writers are compensated better for their time which I think Hollywood has addressed well for some years now but long way to go in India and the film people are starting to highlight it as well. Audiences are starting to expect and appreciate depth, sophistication, tautness and even wanting realistic stuff and not just masala stuff only.

            Marathi director Nagraj Manjule who has made such acclaimed work as Fandry and Sairat recently said he felt Indians seemed to be a frustrated lot and that could be why they liked escaping for a while in theaters watching the heroes do stuff they can only dream of (poor guy gets rich fair skinned girl, fights evil and bad guys etc) and kind of live through them. He said about how he could never relate to any of it given his rural upbringing and so now he makes films that are rooted in the rustic reality of casteism and racism etc.

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