Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching This Week?

Welcome to your general discussion post!  Here is where you tell me how many times you have seen Jab Harry Met Sejal, what other SRK movies it inspired you to rewatch, etc. etc.  Or, how very little interest you have in Jab Harry Met Sejal and how frustrated you are that the blog has been entirely turned over to that coverage. (sorry-not-sorry, I am getting SO MANY views and comments, and anyway, I love the movie and writing about it makes me happy)

I’ll start!  Saw Jab Harry Met Sejal 4 times, which kind of killed last week.  Saturday I went over to “help” a friend move.  Only I’ve already helped her move twice, so I told her this time I would provide moral support and nothing else.  So I sat on her couch and watched the best bits of Bahubalis 1 and 2 on her big screen TV and periodically told her “keep packing!  keep packing!”  Sunday I went to church (my Dad did the service, it was cool) and then came home and resisted going to see Jab Harry Met Sejal again and instead did laundry and watched Njan.  And then Monday night I drove a million miles an hour to catch the 5:30 show of VIP 2 after work.  And last night I took a nap.

As for reading, I am almost finished with the Ramesh Menon Siva Purana, which continues to just be a ton of sex and violence.  With deep metaphorical meanings I am sure, but the surface is a lot of sex and violence.  So if you are into that, highly recommended!

(Turns out, having wild sex in a tent hanging off the side of a mountain is exactly the kind of thing Shiva would do.  Only, not with some random white lady, but only with his one true love)

And for thinking, I am thinking about maybe skipping seeing a movie this Friday?  Is that crazy?  The only thing coming out is Bareilly Ki Barfi, which I am kind of curious about, but I am also kind of curious what it would feel like to get more than 7 hours of sleep.  And if I have to skip a Friday, it should be this one, not next one.  A Gentleman, I am there first day first show if it kills me.

(Am I crazy, or could this movie provide us with some pale echo of the brilliance that is Bang Bang?)

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46 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching This Week?

  1. Ha! First time post for the Wednesday subject 🙂

    Reading: Lars Kepler (the Swedish literary couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho), Stalker…I adore thrillers (Michael Connelly, Jonathan Kellerman, Val McDermid, Minette Walters, Michael Robotham and…and…and)
    Thinking: JabHarryMetSejal…about your writing, those of others, mine…and – in between – about people I love 🙂
    Watching: nothing except people around me and the sky

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    • Welcome! Well, if you want a thematic choice to tie together your reading and your thinking, you can always re-watch Darr. Thriller and sexy SRK in Europe!

      On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 7:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Watched Barfi! for the first time in preparation for watching Jagga someday. I was surprised that it wasn’t completely the precious quirky twee film I was expecting. All three leads were really very good and PC, I have to admit, had probably her best performance yet. SPOILERS I have some questions/concerns about the actual married life of the final pairing (which because it’s not explicitly said that there’s is a non-sexual relationship) but that seems prurient, maybe?

    And then the four short films I mentioned were the highlights of the last week, too. Really thinking about rewatching Delhi-6 soon and I’m waiting impatiently for Half-Girlfriend to be released on DVD/streaming…I’m prepared not to like it much but I really want to see something new with Arjun!

    Also if you haven’t checked it out East India Comedy’s youtube channel and especially their last three interviews with Arjun Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, and Taapsee Paanu are all worth watching. They’re really funny. Especially Taapsee talking about having coconuts thrown at her midriff for her South debut.

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    • Still haven’t seen Barfi, I just can’t seem to make myself do it. Although I am increasingly curious mostly for Ileana, who has really impressed me in her recent roles. However, for the sexual relationship, I have to give a shout out to My Name is Khan which did such a good job answering that question. It wasn’t immodest in what it showed, but it did answer the question for the viewer, we knew they had a fulfilling and happy sex life. Plus, you know, little public service message that people with Aspergers can have a fulfilling and happy sex life.

      I haven’t watched Delhi-6 straight through in years, I would be really interested on how it holds up. I suspect it will hold up well. Except for the romance which I remember being lovely but a little slight, and the ending of course.

      I think another commentator mentioned the Taapsee interview, but in the context of her getting in trouble with the southern industry for seeming to make fun of the director who launched her. What I heard, second hand, is that she is handling the whole thing with a lot of dignity.

      On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 7:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I was sure I wouldn’t like Barfi for so long, but it completely deserved all of the accolades it got. And, of course on the Aspergers comment (I’ve got a friend with Aspergers who is happily married), but PC’s character seemed more than mildly autistic to the point where she wasn’t able to live by herself.

        The ending of Delhi-6 was originally not supposed to be a happy one if I recall. But are you referring to the Amitabh cameo?

        I’m not surprised that Taapsee did get in trouble with the director but a director’s trademark of throwing fruit and flowers at womens’ midriffs should be up for ridicule or at least some teasing in any industry. Sounds like faux outrage to me.

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        • Yeah, with Delhi 6, it’s the unhappy ending. The film builds and builds towards some kind of tragedy that will give a deeper meaning to all the little moments before. And then it just goes nowhere.

          On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 12:45 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Indeed, Darr would be a thrilling option…it’s simply a question of time.

    I liked Barfi (and the three leads)…I think, the time ShahRukh and Priyanka spent together to prepare and rehearse her role helped a lot.

    Well, yes, all autistique people able to have a social life can have also a sexual love life…it only differs from the one non-autistic people generally may have … 🙂

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  4. Watched Honey Bee 2 despite warnings from friends and family and lived to regret it.The songs are great and Bollywood worthy though.But the movie did raise a question which I haven’t so far seen in rom-coms where the couple have sex before marriage.The heroine wonders to her friend whether the hero is treating her badly (in Honey Bee 2 ) because she eloped with him the night before her wedding (in the prequel) despite not having a romantic relationship with him before.What she actually means is this -is he taking her for granted and treating her badly because she had sex with him? For the record he had other (daddy) issues.But for most of the two movies he refused to grow up.And the heroine had to be the only grown up in the movie.

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    • I just looked up both Honey Bees. Is it worth it for me to watch either of them? I really like Asif Ali and Bhavana, and it looks like a nice romance, but I don’t want to bother if it is a time waste.

      On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 9:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I wouldn’t describe either as must see.The first one is watchable in parts if you forget the drunken binges and tasteless jokes.Honey Bee 2 has better songs.But it is a drag all the same.I’m a sucker for sequels and if I hadn’t seen the first, I wouldn’t have bothered with the second.Bhavana gets the credit for making the traditional chatta and mundu very glamourous.(Parvati’s costume in Charlie when she runs away from home).

        Check out the songs.The first one is the night-before-the-wedding party

        I prefer the second one where the bride and groom does all the wedding shopping (individually with their respective families)

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  5. Watching: the end of the seemingly endless TV series on Buddha, followed by Amripali (1966) which was great fun, mostly because of the music and dancing. I also saw Jab Harry Met Sejal twice more, both times with procrastinix. It is so nice to have someone to see movies with! Last night we were alone in a very small theater at a multiplex, so we could talk and carry on to our hearts’ content. I also watched Jab We Met for comparison; philistine that I am, I liked JHMS better, though I thought Kareena was fabulous.
    Reading: All of your posts and comments, dear friends! Also a book I am reviewing for a journal — From Goodwill to Grunge, which is a history of secondhand style in the US. Fascinating information; it hardly felt like work.
    Thinking: I have been planning my various projects, now that my summer travel is behind me. It is time for me to get back to the book on women, fashion, and aging that has been incubating for several months while I completed the background reading. Also I want to haul out my sewing machine again and make something.

    I have seen Barfi, and found it sensitive and well-done. Pryanka did a very fine job in a demanding, different role.

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    • I need to haul out my sewing machine too. Not to make anything, but because I’ve got a stack of “machine required” repairs I need to make.

      On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 9:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Last night I watched The Black Prince and TEPK back to back. Found the first disappointing (not least because it was an English film dubbed into Punjabi), and loved the second. A very satisfying film in every way.

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  7. I’ve seen JHMS 5 times. Hoping for a 6th tomorrow. It’s just goes faster and gets better. I think the point of Barfi was that she is a whole grown up, not a child and she can have complete marriage, sex included.

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  8. I haven’t had a chance to go back and see JHMS again. Yowza. Six times!

    I saw two regional films this week and Dunkirk on IMAX. (Dunkirk was good but the convoluted timeline was confusing!)

    There was a Thursday night showing of VIP 2, and I am SO glad I saw VIP 1 before I went. Most of the characters are back from the first, and unlike most Indian sequels it is a true continuation of the story. And there is Kajol!! I loved her in this movie.

    I also saw Rana and Kajal in Nene Raju Nene Mantri (I am the King, I am the Minister). Rana and Kajal were both very good. It was like Rajneeti, Rang de Basanti and mostly Nyakan all mixed together. The ending 10 minutes left me and the audience shell shocked.

    There was a huge Indian Day celebration in my town on Sunday with a parade and a free concert by Mika Singh. I think about 25,000 people attended. It became very political because the main sponsor is a big Republican, and our Gov. Rauner gave a speech in the middle of the concert. I will never erase from my memory the awkward sight of Rauner dancing to the Boyfriend song with Mika Singh. My eyes!!

    Tonight I’m going to a special screening of the Marathi film Kaasav (Turtle) at our local mental health center (the film is about depression). The director is sister-in-law of local author Sonali Dev.

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  9. Finally saw Befikre! Generally liked it with reservations. I liked: (1) the performances, (2) the fact that they really deal with what it’s like to be an NRI family, with children who are culturally different, without making it the entire subject of the movie, instead of the foreign country just being an interesting backdrop for an entirely Indian life (3) Vaani’s cute parents and Ranveer’s cute relationship with them! (He’s Facebook friends with her mom!) (4) As you mention in your review, the thing where the characters at an earlier, happier stage of their relationship dance around the sad characters after they break up. So much more interesting than the usual heartbreak montage where we see flashbacks to things that happened only like 20 minutes before. (5) Ranveer has a nice butt. Because I’m sure we were all wondering.

    I did not like: I know this probably makes me sound like a judgemental auntie, but couldn’t they have done things that demonstrate what crazy kooky kids they are without stealing things and assaulting strangers? Slapping someone for no reason isn’t “carefree,” it’s mean. And couldn’t Vaani’s character arc have dealt less with her perceived sluttiness and more with the fact that she thinks assault and larceny are funny? Maybe a small thing but it colored my entire reaction to the movie.

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    • Well, then I am a judgemental auntie too, because I completely agree with you. I get the idea that they weren’t supposed to be the usual sad responsible kind of hero and heroine, but surely there was a way to do that without making them so unpleasant to strangers.

      Ranveer has a dancer’s butt, which is just the best.

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      • OK! Criminal mischief bad, butts good!

        This also made me disappointed in the ending. (Kind of a SPOILER): I guess they were trying to approach romantic movie tropes in a new way, which is why they did the whole runaway bride thing, but to me this also seemed selfish and mean. Anay is their friend!

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        • Continued SPOILERS:

          I also thought it was just bad writing to make the fiance suddenly “evil” and angry after he was such a refreshingly nice guy

          On Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 8:02 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. Haven’t been here for some days because I have problems with internet connection, but today I had to come and write: Margaret, don’t watch Sairat! Oh man, I finished it this week and I regret it. It’s a good movie, I loved some things (especially the fact that characters were so normal and it was like watching somebody’s life instead of a movie), but I couldn’t stand the end. Being honest I had nausea after watching the last scene. It’s not something a romance lover should watch.

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    • I thought so! I’ve been avoiding Sairat for just that reason. I am glad that it got made so people can be reminded that the “real life” stories aren’t necessarily happy and perfect. But I already know that and I don’t want to watch it!

      On Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 10:50 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes! It’s good that there are movies like Sairat, and everybody who thinks about eloping and love marriage in India should watch it.
        Other news: after Sairat I needed something happier and so I’m watching Meri Pyaari Bindu right now. Don’t know if it was good choice. I’m in the middle now and it’s so boring. Does it get better in the second half?

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        • No idea, I skipped it in theaters. I finally watched Deewat-E-Ishq myself (review going up tomorrow), and it is soooooooooooooooo fun. I fyou need something light and haven’t seen it yet, highly recommended. And I feel like I am late to the party, because people have been saying that to me for ages.

          On Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 2:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I have seen and really liked Dawat-e-ishq. So light and sweet but about real problem of dowry. And Parineeti’s clothes when she was “rich” were amazing! I don’t know how many hours I spent searching something similar online (without results 😦 )

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          • Try Utsav or eShakti. I don’t know if they ship to you, but they are good sources for Indo-Western stuff (I think that’s the best term to help track down Parineeti’s style)

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    • I didn’t like the end of Sairat because I could see it coming a mile away, and thought it too melodramatic. However, others I’ve talked to said it was very realistic, and that’s why they liked it. But I find it weird that you and Margaret don’t want to watch films because they reflect reality. Don’t you also complain when they’re not “realistic”? Or is this only for “romance” films? In any case, while Sairat may be the story of two lovers, it is hardly a romance or a love story. I guess I just don’t have this romance gene that seems to affect so many Bollywood film watchers.

      In any case, Margaret, if you already know the ending, you should watch the film anyway, because it is really well-made, and you shouldn’t watch KJo’s undoubtedly trashy remake of it.

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      • I can’t speak for Angie, but for me it is because I am too aware of this particular issue, and also much too sensitive to films. If it is too realistic, for me, and based on something that I know is an issue in the real world, it overwhelms me. I know what kinds of films and kinds of topics I can and can’t handle, and when I can’t handle them, I mean I stop sleeping for a couple weeks and start crying at random moments at work. Like, really can’t handle them.

        The plus side is, when it is a happy film, I get to be really really happy! But certain kinds of sad films, I know I just can’t watch for the sake of my mental health.

        On Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 3:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I found myself desperately hoping against hope for the happy ending, the tension was palpable. And that’s why I rate it very highly. Rarely if any romances do that. The suspenseful climax was gobsmacking and anything but melodramatic for me. Had to google if the baby’s footsteps in the closing shot had any symbolic significance (of course it did). Oh and it’s a feminist film as well if it helps anyone watch it for that reason.

        Just hope KJo cuts down the runtime and tightens up the loose bits.

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  11. It’s not that I don’t like movies which reflect reality. As Margaret, I don’t like movies which bring me down. I don’t want to feel bad and sad. I am aware of problems, I read a lot and watch a lot of documentaries, but movies are my “happy place” and I don’t want sadness there.
    And there is a difference between reality and something what makes you feel bad and soulful for days. I don’t want it in my life.

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    • I’m going to reply to both you and Margaret here, if you don’t mind. I perfectly understand not wanting to watch movies that make you feel bad or sad. It’s the same reason why I avoid many Hollywood films (e.g., 12 Years a Slave — I don’t need to see this to know slavery was bad). It’s the conflation of this sentiment with saying this is not a romance that got to me. This is what real life romance looks like, not JHMS. That is so completely fake that I just can’t watch nonsense like that. Now if you want to watch a happy romance that is also realistic, you should watch TEPK. 🙂

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  12. When I was young(er), I watched e v e r y kind of movie (and read e v e r y kind of book)…I just imbibed everything possible that would give me input about human behaviour…

    Since ten years, my focus has shifted because I my imagination knows that there is nothing, human aren’t able to do – in both directions…so I’ve become really selective (especially because I have so many other occupations – mainly with kids, which I simply adore – that satisfy me in a way that I just don’t feel the need to expand my cinematic knowledge or read a wiiiide range of books.

    Nevertheless, now that I have discovered this blog, I like to spend some time here…and even write 🙂

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    • It’s interesting how life goes through phases like that. I read a lot less fiction than I used to, I read mostly non-fiction now. I’m glad my blog is inspiring you!

      On Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 1:53 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. Weekend viewing…Lipstick Under My Burkha: enjoyed it but I’m a sucker for these feminist stories (i.e. Angry Indian Goddesses and Parched) and not those faux ones like Dangal. Konkona is the queen and, of course, Ratna was amazing, but I was really excited about the performances by the other two stars and I look forward to seeing them both in more. This is one of those films that you really want to see what happens to the characters next because it ends on an uncertain note.

    Phas Gaye Re Obama: this is actually a highly underrated social satire/black comedy. I watched it for Neha Dhupia but she was actually the weakest link (I just like her but realize there’s probably a reason she never broke through). Sanjay Mishra and Manu Rishi are hilarious.

    Andaz Apna Apna: one of those classics I’ve been meaning to check off my list. It was so much fun. The final fight sequence with Prem and Crime Master Gogo’s pelvic thrusting fighting was so out there. And all of it works because it’s so wacky. This is slapstick done right. I just wish that films like the Housefull films, which sometimes I want to like, were as committed as this one and weren’t outright offensive. None of this one seemed offensive at all…just goofy.

    And this is another reason now to mourn the fact that these guys will never do a two hero film together again. Imagine a cop buddy comedy with them like Lethal Weapon or something…it would be so good and they’re not too old for it yet!

    Also started to figure out what web series I want to try…have watched a few eps of Permanent Roommates and thought it was ok. Last night I watched all 75 minutes of the Bang Baaja Baaraat series. I do love Ali Faizal and the female lead was ok and is maybe debuting opposite Vicky Kaushal soon. Since it’s YR Films…there were lots of references to Band Baaja Baaraat and other films but this had a definite naughty comedy vibe.

    And finally I watchd several Anupama Chopra Film Companion interviews and back content from the last Mumbai film festival. I would love to have her job!

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    • Have you seen Tere Bin Laden? I haven’t seen Phas Gaye Re Obama, but my impression is that it was inspired by/imitation of Tere Bin Laden. Not like it wasn’t a great movie on it’s own, but that Tere Bin Laden came first and showed that this kind of film could work.

      And I am so glad you enjoyed Andaz Apna Apna! yes, exactly, it is just “goofy”, not sexy or gross or over the top in any way. And everyone is having so much fun with it! Unlike the Housefull series where sometimes in a strange way it feels like they are taking the comedy too seriously.

      There are constant rumors of a sequel, because everyone would like to see the team reunited, but so far none of them have panned out.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 8:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’ve seen Tere Bin Laden and I didn’t think it was connected at all story-wise. I liked Phas Gaye Re Obama better. I didn’t like Tere Bin Laden for various reasons.

        I could see a remake of AAA being super successful. And I do think you could find two current stars to do it. Though they seem to be getting more and more entrenched in their single hero/double roles films so maybe not. I would love to see Arjun and Ranveer and Parineeti and Alia try to pull it off. I’d even sub out Varun for Arjun because he’s good better at the slapstick comedy, I suppose.

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        • Speaking of Parineeti, I’m curious how she does in Golmaal 3. I still think it is a terrible career decision, to take a multstarrer film where she is going to be far behind the rest of the cast in screentime, but I am also interested to see her throw herself into a big silly comedy. I bet it will be a really good fit for her.

          On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 9:40 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Me, too! I’ve seen all of the Golmaal films in my weird Ajay Devgn phase and none of them are worth revisiting. Still Kareena Kapoor’s career didn’t suffer by the association, so maybe Parineeti sees it like that? I think she will be able to do the silly comedy very well, but I hope she goes more Ladies vs. Ricky B than Hassee Toh Phahsee (where her wackyness bordered on forced…not to mention insensitive at times). We won’t mention Kil Dil.

            I definitely don’t think it’s the best career decision either but I worry that the scripts she’s getting aren’t high quality. Meri Pyaari Bindu was good but it only barely resurrected her career and she wasn’t even the best part. Ayushman got the better reviews and continues to build on that strength. She needs a serious role that she can sink her teeth into soon. I’m looking forward to the Arjun reunion and I can’t complain when actors I like are doing rom-coms because I *live* for Bollywood rom-coms, but still…

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          • What kills me is that she was all set up for Judwaa 2, and then suddenly wasn’t. Like, the Dream Team tour was clearly promoting her and Varun as a couple, not to mention her cameo in Dishoom. At Dream Team, they even danced to a Judwaa song. And she and Varun were great together! But then she was out of Judwaa 2 and in Golmaal. Golmaal might be the bigger hit over all, but I can’t imagine it has as good a role for her.

            On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 10:40 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • You really think the Golmaal movie will do better box office than Judwaa 2? It will be close, I think. Parineeti in the Taapsee role would have been great. Looking forward to your take on the trailer for J2. I’m not too excited because it looks obnoxious with lots of low brow humor. I didn’t enjoy Main Tera Heo that much so I assume this will be more of the same. But I’m hoping that Jacqueline and Taapsee will shine through the Varun egofest anyway.

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          • Judwaa 2 post already written and scheduled for later today! It was my little treat with breakfast.

            I just looked it up and Golmaal 3 was the second highest grosser of 2010. And Main Tera Hero was only a “semi-hit”. So, if you look at everything in a vacuum, Golmaal looks like it should be a bigger film. But then Ajay and Rohit Shetty have had a bad run at the box office lately, and Varun has had a dream run since Main Tera Hero. So right now I would say the Varun-Dhawan film is the obvious winner, even if their last collaboration was only so-so and the last Golmaal was a massive hit. Not to mention Varun versus Ajay as a lead, Varun seems much more willing to let his heroine’s shine.

            And this is why Parineeti should hire us to make these management decisions for her!

            On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 11:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. Over the last month I haven’t watched many Indian movies but I think I’m back to watching 3-5 movies a week again. The Judwaa 2 trailer has brought me back from my Marvel marathon. I’ve watched the trailer multiple times since the morning and it has really grown on me.

    So earlier this week I rewatched Aagadu which is a fun action-comedy starring Mahesh and it’s kind of like a sequel to Dookudu. It wasn’t really a successful movie but I enjoyed the comedy in the movie. Plus it’s been a while since I’ve seen a Mahesh movie.

    I just watched Fidaa today and I loved it! Sai Pallavi was amazing as Bhanumathi and her Telangana slang was really good! Varun Tej was really cute and he was perfect for this role. Though the story of Fidaa was nothing new, Shekhar Kammula’s characters made the movie seem really fresh. The music in Fidaa was amazing as well! I haven’t stopped listening to Vachinde and Hey Pillagaada for the past week. Overall, I think Fidaa is my favorite Telugu film of the year after Baahubali 2. I know I said this about Ninnu Kori but I think I enjoyed Fidaa more than Ninnu Kori 🙂

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    • Wait, is Fidaa now available somehow in my home? Because I missed it in theaters and you saying it is good just makes me want to watch it more!

      On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 12:45 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I just checked the box office report, says it is still playing in 17 theaters. Which is pretty good! But also bad, because it means it won’t be coming online for me for a long time 😦

          On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 10:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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