Wednesday Watching Post, You Get to Pick My Next Posts!

I know I know, you are sick of Jab Harry Met Sejal.  Or, alternatively, you love it and are depressed that it will be ending soon.  Either way, I am sure you have opinions what I should do next with my post-JHMS life.  And here is where you get to help me decide!  Oh, and also do your usual Wednesday report on what you have been watching and reading and thinking this week.

I’ll start with my report!  Watching, nothing I haven’t written about already.  Although Dina is coming over tonight to see another Nivin movie and I am debating between Action Hero Biju and Premam.

Reading, finally finished the Ramesh Menon Shivapuram, debating whether I go back to the interminable Confessions of a Thug, or Anusual, the scandalous autobiography of Anu Aggarwal.

And thinking, thinking about dogs!  I promised myself that once I got a new apartment, and finished unpacking, I could think about a dog.  So that’s what I’m thinking about.  Seems like a hassle to have to go outside 3 times a day to walk it, but maybe that is exactly the kind of hassle that would be good for me since otherwise I am just going to work and coming home and sitting on my couch and blogging for 8 hours.

 

Now, your ideas for what I should cover next!  Which, of course, I have the right to ignore for any reason ranging from “that movie is impossible to find with subtitles” to “if I write about that, I am going to get scary angry hate comments” to “whoa, even I am not sick enough to write that fantasy!”.  Okay, that last one is unlikely.

(click the links to read examples of what I have done in the past)

 

Friday Classics, needs to be something worth talking about that a fair number of people have probably seen.  Mughal-E-Azam, Rang De Basanti, Pyaasa, like that.  Ideas?

 

Hindi Film 101: you can suggest general concept posts (like Nepotism), scandalous family histories (this all started with The Kapoors), or kind of random case study history of film stuff (Shahrukh’s filmography in chronological order).  Or some other category I haven’t thought of yet.  Anything!  Anything at all!  Hit me!

 

Scene By Scenes: Someday, in the distant future, I will finish DDLJ.  What should I do next?  Or, alternatively, what should I throw in now just for variety every once in awhile?

 

Silly Sunday Speculative: Any character you feel deserves a happy ending they didn’t get in the original film (Siddharth in Rang De Basanti)?  Any side character that deserves their own plot (Ajit in Mughal-E-Azam)?  Any film that is just a total disaster and needs to be fixed (Jab Tak Hain Jaan, looking at you!)?  Or, any classic film/book/comic strip/what have you that needs a remake (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Persuasion)?  Any actor couple that should have hot steamy love scenes together and never got that change (Arjun Rampal and Shahrukh)?  I am HERE FOR YOU!!!!!  Ask, and I will provide.

 

 

I’m excited!  I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

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92 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post, You Get to Pick My Next Posts!

  1. Watching — today – Manorama Six Feet Under. Watched A Death in the Gunj, Anarkali of Arrah this week so I’m going back to films I missed in the theatres.

    I would love to know what films you missed that were hits or cult favs (like Wasseypur)

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    • There is so much I have missed! All 3 of those you mention, for instance. Here’s a big embarrassing one, I still haven’t seen Satya. Or Vaastav. I just caught up on all the Devdases last year in one epic weekend (novel and 4 movies in 48 hours). Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Shanghai. Anything Merchant Ivory (and I really should watch Bombay Talkies at least). Original Golmaal is on my DVD shelf staring at me. Also, Junoon. Mere Naam Joker. Oh! And Umrao Jaan!

      And, as people are constantly reminding me in the comments, I really need to see Luck By Chance.

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    • Asmita, what did you think of Death in the Gunj and Anarkali of Arrah? I thought Death in the Gunj was masterfully directed by Konkona but left me a bit cold. And I loved Swara Bhaskar’s performance in Anarkali and I’m so sad more people aren’t talking about it.

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      • I didn’t fall in love with Gunj. That being said, I was totally transported to the era and the place the film was set in. The romance of that alone makes it rewatchable for me. It’s a sensitive film for a sensitive upper class civil services background audience so it’s appeal would be lost to the wider audience. It was the perfect setting for a supernatural film.

        I loved Anarkali. Again, the setting of the film was familiar to me so I enjoyed it more. I’ve actually seen a nautanki in real life and the ‘big people’ from my village do still host such events so I guess I got the nuances more.

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  2. OK, young Shashi in a Merchan Ivory film — Shakespearewallah. I have no idea how easy it is to find, but at least it doesn’t need subtitles. 🙂

    Watching: Star Trek: Beyond, which I started and enjoyed, but had to stop due to other commitments. I’m raring to get back to it.

    Reading: Just checked out a book from the library called “The Purpose of a Dog”, about a dog being reincarnated multiple times and trying to figure out its purpose in life. The premise sounded interesting, so I got it, but I’m only mentioning it here because you said you were thinking about a dog.

    Friday Classics: You would put RDB next to Mugha-E-Azam and Pyaasa? Good grief. But, if you want more suggestions for this, how about the obvious — Mother India? Sholay? Kagaz ke Phool? Pakeezah? Ram aur Shyam? Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje? Navrang? Something to fit every mood. 🙂

    Scene by Scene: If you finish DDLJ, how about the film that inspired it, as well as a host of others to follow, namely, HAHK? It actually is very rich and layered for an in-depth analysis.

    I think I’ll stop there.

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    • I think Shakespearewallah is at my library, so I really have no excuse not to watch it. And it slots right in with my whole “film history” interest.

      I think The Purpose of a Dog was recently made into a Hollywood movie, that’s my only connection with it 🙂

      Ooo, Ram Aur Shyam! That might be fun!

      HAHK could be good too, besides the film itself, there is so much to talk about in terms of what specific elements within it inspired other films and why and so on and so on.

      On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 8:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I didn’t realize you were opening the door to suggestions for general posts, but, seeing the comments after mine, it seems like you are. Anyway, here’s a thought I had after suggesting Shakespearewalla. How about doing a joint post on Shakespearewalla and Marigold (Salman Khan’s film)? Not because Marigold is some kind of classic (it isn’t), but because I think you, as a student of film, will find much to ponder and analyze. I’m suggesting this compare and contrast post for the following reasons:

        1. Both films are in English
        2. Both are directed by American directors
        3. Both have a foreign (white) heroine
        4. Both have a “behind the scenes” framework (stage play in one, film in the other) and look at the personal relationships that arise in such a setting

        You can find the “contrast” reasons yourself. 🙂

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  3. You know that feeling when there are no new films available to you (like when will Half Girlfriend be out!) and rewatching doesn’t appeal? I’m struggling to pick out my next watch. I’m all of a sudden intrigued by random Punjabi films (Gelo and Nikka Zaildar look interesting) or maybe I should watch Nil Battey Sannata since I really like Swara and as prep for Bareilly Ki Barfi.

    I did rewatch Delhi-6 this weekend in addition to all the other things I watched. There are just great moments in it amidst the sloppy directing choices.

    Also getting excited about two films that are far in the future: Farzi with Arjun Kapoor and Kriti, directed by the A Gentleman duo. Could be super fun and I like the pairing…their looks will compliment each other.

    And finally Sonam Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor are moving forward on an adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s books. Not Battle for Bittora now, but The Zoya Factor. So excited for this because it’s another one where Sonam and her sister are taking the reins to produce content clearly aimed at the female audience. Chick flicks will be the next big thing and they are leading the way. That’s actually an interesting blog post idea! What are some Hindi chick flicks? And it’s too easy to say that most romances qualify. I would say Khoobsurat and Aisha would be definites. Obviously Veere Di Wedding, if it succeeds, will be the big trendsetter for films that are lighter that focus more on female friendships over the romance.

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    • I should watch Nil Battay Sannatta too! I also really like Swara, and Bareilly Ki Barfi was delightful, so I have no excuse for avoiding it.

      Delhi 6 I think is just barely more good than bad for me. There are so many great and interesting moments, they just don’t come together quite right. But they come together good enough that I can enjoy them on their own, it’s not like the flaws of the film are so bad that they ruin the good parts, you know? And certainly that soundtrack is phenomenal.

      It’s crazy, but I already have complete faith in the Gentleman directors, and I haven’t even seen the movie yet! If they’ve already got another film lined up with a semi-big cast, it sounds like the industry has faith in them too. Which is a good sign, assuming the industry people have actually seen A Gentleman, or at least no more about it than we do.

      Chick Flicks would be an interesting post! Or more generally, female focused films. With the whole Rasa/Masala thing, the idea of a “chick flick”, something that has a single tone of pure light romance, I think is fairly new. But there used to be more big masala type films with female leads, there is a whole history of that. Which Sonam is calling back to, with insisting on being the real lead of her films, no matter what they are, Neerja or Khoobsurat.

      On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 9:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I just watched Nil Battey Sannata and it was a lovely film with a great performance by Swara Bhaskar at its core and the young actress playing her daughter is also very good (and the young boy playing one of her friends). Ratna Pathak Shah has a short part but impactful role. Lots of tearjerking scenes. Already makes me like the director and want to follow her career closely and she is definitely one to watch it sounds like after Bareilly Ki Barfi.

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  4. Nil Battey is sweet film.It’s mostly about It’s also about Swara’s relationship with her employer Ratna Pathak.The latter is lovely.Never patronizes her maid Swara and never takes the easy solution by handing over money to Swara.Rather she’s like a mentor helping Swara find the answer herself.

    Here I’m plugging Ramesh Menon’s Mahabharata :A Modern Rendering yet again.The sex is toned down and there is more character building going on.And there are no black or white.Everyone has shades of grey.

    Friday Classics: How about a post on all the twin movies which inspired remakes which in turn spawned further sequels over the years? I’m talking about Ram Aur Shaam, Sita aur Gita,Kishen kanhaiya and Chalbaaz.Or you could do a comparison between the old Golmaal and Bol Bachchan.

    Hindi film 101: How about a post on the evolution of Sari over the years? Or how the name of the heroine has changed over the years? Especially post liberalization.Or about item girls over the years.Or even about how the vamp has morphed into 1) item girl and 2) the heroine.The villain is still alive and kicking.But his girl friend has largely vacated the scene.

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    • I can’t imagine the sex being toned up from the Sivapuram! OMG, I am blushing so much while reading it. Which is partly why it is taking me so long to read, my usual reading places (bus, laundromat), I am too embarrassed to read it there. Yes yes, repressed Christian western culture and all that, but I can’t help it!

      I was thinking about doing a series! Ram Aur Shyam, Seeta Aur Geeta at the very least HAVE to be compared. Which gets to filmilibrarian’s idea of looking at chick flics/female lead films too. It’s so interesting how the gender flipped in between the two most famous versions.

      I like your Hindi Film 101 ideas! Can’t do the sari one, not qualified. All I know is that Sushmita brought in the bikini sari with Main Hoon Na, and that’s it for my fashion knowledge. Heroine name might be interesting, although I’m not sure I am qualified on that one either. Although I could maybe do something about heroine star persona changing. Nadia Wadia to Katrina Kaif, the different and same ways of performing Indian identity. Item girls over the years, well that’s just Helen! Who, come to think of it, has never gotten her own post. And absolutely deserves it! There’s also a lot of interesting stuff about the “death” of the Item Girl, going back to Sridevi and even more Madhuri who could do their own sexy dances without breaking character. And were good enough dancers to do them. No need for an item girl any more. That’s one thing I find really interesting with the Telugu films, they still have separate dancers who come in just for the super sexy numbers.

      On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 9:57 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes! Literally eons of sex! Thousands of years of sex! Incredibly explicit sex with bodily fluids flying around and stuff. The bible has all kinds of rape and incest, but it’s not quite that graphic, and certainly a lot quicker.

          On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:16 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • My “okay dude” moment was the “her newly sprouted breasts, like small lotuses”. Like, really???? You are sexualizing 13 year old Parvati for us and Shiva?

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:28 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Except 13 used to be marriageable age so that’s normal. If we think of it strictly in terms of age, the timeless (Shiva is beyond time actually) Shiva having sex with someone who’s bound by the concept of mortal time is weird in itself.

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          • that’s also what has always bothered me about vampire romances. And ghost romances and time travel romances and all those genres. and Paheli. Just seems odd to have a timeless infinitely powerful being paired with your average reader standin type of woman.

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • My way of making it work is that the ghost is really the spirit of the real husband’s love for her, and the ending is that spirit and the real husband somehow combining.

            But I have to come up with some explanation, because a super powerful ageless being choosing to spend all his time flirting with Rani Mukherjee is almost believable, but not really.

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Helen is the iconic item girl.But there’s still Bindu who should be more familiar to you as good twin Salman’s pushy would-be mother-in-law in Judwaa.There’s also Aruna Irani who later graduated to mom roles(Madhuri’s MIL in Beta).She was also Amitabh’s heroine in Bombay to Goa.Her songs in Caravan are very catchy.

            Unfortunately I can’t recommend any chick flicks since I don’t much care much for them.You might try the Malayalam film 100 degree Celsius.It’s more of a thriller rather than a chick flick.However it has a bunch of women living together in a flat who get caught up in a murder and has to get rid of the body.It’s not a must-see movie but ok.

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          • Aruni Irani is always the witch from Rajkumar to me.

            Mili was an interesting kind of chick flick from the Malayalam industry. Not exactly the same as what a “chick flick” is in other places, but still a film about a woman growing professionally and personally and not so much romantically.

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 1:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. This was a week of watching good films! Friday, as you know, I saw Bareilly Ki Barfi with Margaret and we loved it.

    Our review had a friend who is new to Hindi films text me asking if I’d be willing to see it again with her. So I’m doing that today.

    Also, Ajith Kumar’s Tamil film Vivegam is out tonight and I’m going to a late show premiere of that. Should be a wild and raucous crowd. Kartik, who’s working with me on our Pardesi channel told me I really should see his last film Vedalam (Phantom) which had the same director, Siva. It’s a total masala experience. Amazing action, and two personas of Arjit’s Ghanesh. Shruti Hassan is a nominal love interest mainly to have a couple love songs, but not the main thrust of the film. The main relationship is Ghanesh and his sister, and the second half is mostly a flashback of what brought them close together, and why he is bent on revenge in her name. I choked up in those sister flashback parts! Video review here

    Looking up Ajith on Wikipedia, I realized I had seen him as SRK’s younger brother in Ashoka but most importantly he was the dreamboat young filmmaker romancing Tabu in Kandukondain, Kandukondain. Margaret’s post inspired me to rewatch that great film last night. The music in the film is just so amazing! One of A. R. Rahman’s best soundtracks.

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    • You know the best way to get me to watch a film is to say “Shruti Haasan isn’t in it much”!

      On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 10:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Love the chick flicks idea. Especially their evolution from the serious arthouse genre to the more multiplex friendly versions.

    Also, kids’ films. I remember watching them on Doordarshan over the weekends when it was the only channel on tv. I watched Gattu a few days ago. I loved it so much. It was the first time that I watched a film because of the child star!!!!

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    • Boot Polish! I could finally watch Boot Polish.

      I’d love to look at the progression of chick flicks, just the two Khoobsurats would be really interesting. Mukherjee to Disney.

      On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Exactly! Especially pre-Amitabh, heroines like Nargis, Nutan, Madhubala, etc., they all had their own fans and following who came to see them in strong interesting parts. Even Mr. and Mrs. 55, with it’s incredibly regressive plot, has this great strong interesting role for the heroine.

          On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I was watching this old Dev Anand film the other day (I don’t remember the name) which had this girl with a job helping him get a job too. And I thought well I love how ‘normal’ a girl working in an office and doing social work in her spare time looked for that era! It was such a far cry from the 80s and 90s narrative of the heroine who keeps waiting for a husband to make her life worthwhile

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          • Well, now I am obsessed with figuring out which Dev Anand movie this is!

            But I know what you mean. It was even something to be proud of, like “look how modern and progressive and strong our Indian women are, they have jobs and ride busses and go out in the world”. Instead of “culture culture culture” and being proud of how modest and traditional they are.

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:12 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I started watching it halfway and left it halfway (I fell asleep during an ad break). The plot was something like he’s a guy from a wealthy family who leaves home because his dad was being a pain and a factory worker takes him home and feeds him and gives him a place to live. It’s just this guy and his sister living in what essentially a slum. The people of this slum are terrified of this social worker who comes in to teach them reading and writing. Dev Anand goes to an interview at a factory and he gets mistaken for a guy they were trying to land a big contract with. The social worker chick works there. Eventually she gets him a job as a stenographer there but he doesn’t know the work so she helps him out. I fell asleep somewhere around here. 😁

            I don’t know if it was intentionally made to be like something to he proud of though. It was just normal. Educated women from the upper middle class working in offices was normal in real life. The regressive mindset came after the hippies I guess.

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          • Hippies ruin everything, it’s true. (I say as the daughter of former hippies)

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • And in America, they lead to a bunch of over-involved young people who never quite got over the idea that they were the center of the universe. Not my parents, they are fine, but other peoples’ parents.

            Also, photos of my parents in college that literally gave us nightmares when we stumbled on them. Fathers are not supposed to have long hair!

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:35 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Well my dad sported super long hair and both my parents wore bell bottoms in college. Dad still objected go my brother sporting slightly longer hair and my entire family was upset that I wore trousers (and not suits) everywhere growing up

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          • My Mom had the reverse problem, she was all excited to put her little girls in practical blue jeans style play clothes. And then she ended up with two girly little girls who wanted to wear skirts and dresses all the time.

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes, Ajay does occasionally pick a good script and I think Margaret’s right that the Malayalam original concept is what made Drishyam interesting. I thought the first half was really good, but it dragged for me and I was on a plane so never really got into it. But still, a good role for a male actor.

            Love that you’ve seen Mr. Mom…as a child of the 80s it was one of those films on cable all the time here, too. That and the The Incredible Shrinking Woman with Lily Tomlin (another classic on suburban life and personal favorite). You’re right about One Fine Day and a current rewrite. The “insecurities” of the female character would be exaggerated.

            I haven’t seen all of SRK’s early films but the only example of complex masculinity I could name would be Chak De India. Only because his character has (sadly) something to prove and that part of the script is so understated and underplayed that it’s, to me, one of the most touching parts of the film. But that is the only example of a complex SRK role that isn’t related to romantic heartbreak. Maybe Raees but that’s just a one note tough guy movie.

            As recovering Hrithik fan I should take umbrage at that attack but I can’t because it’s all true:)! I’m one of his biggest critics, too, especially in his film choices. Anything his father has been involved in is complete crap and I think Koi Mil Gaya is one of his worst performances. It’s textbook “how to play a person with autism” and it’s so, so bad. Plus I’m not even a sentimental fan of ET but that’s a film you shouldn’t mess with. I think he should only do the pretty boy roles you describe because he works the best in them (Zindagi, Dhoom 2, Bang Bang, Luck By Chance). Your comments on his unIndian looks intrigue me, but I don’t think I should comment on it as a non-desi person.

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        • You’re right! After watching Guddi and Mili, I was thinking the same. That the whole concept of a female led plot is, of course, not a new one but it is interesting how it’s evolved and how these sorts of films always seem like the underdog vs. masala or action films.

          The definition of a chick flick even in the Hollywood sense is very nebulous. I think of Bridget Jones’s Diary (because it’s about her career and her friends, too…not just the romance) and bad imitations like Confessions of a Shopaholic, both book adaptations, as kind of the epitome of them but there are tons of other other ones, from the Nicholas Sparks genre to The Devil Wears Prada to Under the Tuscan Sun. Some recent Hollywood films that I think are true chick flicks would be Morning Glory, Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy P., and How To Be Single (which had a really cool ending).

          I guess Noor was a bit of an attempt at a chick flick that got bogged down in the dramatic subplot! The book and the basic plot of the film has a lot of chick flick hallmarks like the multiple potential romances, the young woman coming to grips with her career and her city, etc. More and more like this to come,

          I’m just really looking forward to some Hindi films that pass the Bechdel test, but aren’t stridently feminist like Parched or Angry Indian Goddesses, though I like those, too. I’ve got high hopes for Veere Di Wedding and I hope it doesn’t end up being still kind of traditional/regressive like Ki & Ka ultimately was. And even higher hopes for Sonam’s Anuja Chauhan’s adaptation because I love that author’s books.

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          • I would love to see Dear Zindagi without Shahrukh. Well, not totally without Shahrukh, I’m not INSANE. But a movie about the three female friends balancing work, relationships, family, and their own friendship.

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          • Yep, Dear Zindagi minus SRK and Ali with more about her best friend and a more fleshed out character for her housekeeper would be great! I like it the way it is, too, and it’s definitely in the chick flick category as is.

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          • I loved Mili and Guddi. And I kinda resent films like Parched and Angry Indian Goddesses being dubbed feminist just because the women in it seem like they’re rebelling against patriarchy. In fact, these films show indian women as they are. Not as they’re shown in Bollywood. Bollywood is not an accurate representation of Indian women. Ki & Ka I loved too mostly because it felt like a story I see all around me– women with careers supporting their husbands and boyfriends. It did make it a bit dramatic but then again that’s bollywood for you.

            At this point, I think what’s lacking are good male stories. Stories about men that aren’t a caricature of the gender’s supposed traditional role!! Funny how men are the real victims of patriarchal stereotypes in Indian films.

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          • You know who is great at compex masculinity? Diljit Dosanjh! Granted, I’ve only seen him in like 3 movies, but they were all really interesting! Especially Phillauri.

            On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 11:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Haven’t watched Phillauri (because Anushka gets annoying 10 minutes into a film). But I do like Diljit for how he portrays sardars as they are. To be honest, I don’t even know what masculinity is anymore. Someone needs to recommend me a book or something on the subject. Like I know what a strong female story is supposed to look like but I have no idea what a strong male story is supposed to look like.

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          • Watch Premam, the Malayalam original. So good! It’s the hero’s journey, but also the journey of all his fellow age mate male friends. And it’s not stupid macho posturing. Or rather, it is, in one section, and then they all outgrow that.

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          • I don’t know if you’ll be able to find these CFSI films from way back when but there was this cute little film called Triyatri. It was a coming of age film about three young boys travelling by bicycle just for fun. I was really young when I watched it and I watched it again when I was in high school and I loved how normal it made boys seem. Not sexual, not threatening, just normal.

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          • Asmita, I can totally see what you’re saying about films labeled feminist when they’re really just showing women as they really are. There aren’t very many Hollywood films that do that either (or at least successfully). I also have a soft spot for Ki & Ka. All of these films are just reflecting changing society both in India and elsewhere. In the US, we had Mr. Mom back in the 80s and it was such a big deal. And I think a movie like Ki & Ka could be made today for a Western audience that would definitely reflect the trend of men being stay-at-home dads in my generation (X) and in millenials.

            And we do need more stories of complex masculinity that subvert the whole concept of the alpha male being the only true kind of masculinity! Margaret, Diljit Dosanjh is really good at this in Phillauri and even in Udta Punjab, not so much in his Punjabi films:) Asmita, I’m so sad that you don’t like Anushka but I can see what you mean about the annoying factor (at least in her interviews where she talks way too fast and talks over people!). But Diljit in Phillauri is pretty freaking awesome and you’re missing out:)

            Premam is such a great example, too! Nivin Pauly has that great beta male vibe in a lot of his films.

            Maybe screenwriters in India are often too fast to show the opposite of the idealized strong/silent guy or confident loverboy heros (Ajay in Singham or SRK in everything) as the lost boy/coming of age character (Wake Up Sid, SSR in Shuddh Desi Romance, Imran Khan in a lot of things). There’s definite complexity to a lot of these roles, but it’s usually around a coming of age, resisting parents’ control and/or romantic tribulations that these men face. There are always exceptions to the rules and I would say Akshay in Patiala House, Shahid in Haider (Hamlet is the ultimate complex man after all), or DQ in Ustad Hotel are all much more interesting male characters than most.

            All that being said, sometimes you just need a guy like Hrithik in Bang Bang or Dhoom 2 who has no real character development at all and is simply a fantasy come to life:)

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          • First, yes! Akshay in Patiala House! That movie is such a hidden gem.

            Second, yes! Bang Bang! God I love that movie. So excited for A Gentleman tomorrow.

            On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 8:33 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Indian screenwriters are mostly looking to get paid and you can see that a lot in the masala genre that ruined the Indian film industry. We did have a very good storytelling tradition in films and then someone discovered the formula film and effed everything up.

            I’ve been thinking a lot about complex masculinity in Indian films. One example that stood out for me was definitely Ajay Devgn in Drishyam. Even with the submissive wife and daughter, he isn’t an in your face kind of alpha guy. He’s nice, normal, with a childish obsession with films, he can stand up against threats without blowing his fuse, he thinks with his head, keep his cool, protect his family without stressing them out or dictating terms to them. Total marriage material!! Hehe

            I have watched Mr. Mom and I actually love those soft family oriented Hollywood films from the 80s and 90s (Like how cute is One Fine Day!!). That may be because those were the ones our cable channels showed in the day with U/V ratings. I kept thinking that if One Fine Day was remade today, Michelle Pfeiffer’s character would be overtly sexualized or worried about being sexy and LOUD but George Clooney’s character would be exactly the same! Because that portrayal is a classic nice sexy guy! And their kids would be obnoxious. Made me wonder why wouldn’t the heroine be the same– is it because the strong independent single mom role needs to be loud and insecure?

            I don’t think I can think of SRK as an example of complex masculinity simply because his roles are basically spoofs/rehashes of his hits from the most sexist decade of Indian films.

            And Hrithik Roshan is literally the worst male lead in India ever. He’s the guy telling us to pay to see his beauty which isn’t that beautiful or perfect anyway. He’s just exploiting his unindian looks. He can’t act, he hasn’t pulled off a great film on his own apart from Koi Mil Gaya which was a film for kids.

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          • You should really watch Premam, Ajay’s masculinity I suspect came from the original Malayalam script, and there is SO MUCH interesting stuff in Malayalam films about masculinity.

            On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 12:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I really must mustn’t I? Maybe you should do an index for each language group. Like must watch films for people easing into it. I don’t trust existing listicles on the Internet recommending films.

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          • I don’t know that I am qualified to do that! I still consider myself as easing in to things outside of Hindi (I don’t consider myself even an apprentice in a film genre until I have crossed the 200 films/2 years marker).

            But Malayalam is easy, there are 3 films you absolutely HAVE to watch. And then you will spend the rest of your time looking for other movies even half as good as these 3, or at all similar to them, and slowly discovering that there just aren’t any.

            Ohm Shanti Oshana: Heroine focused, fun, romantic, colorful, dreamy hero. I watched it 4 times in 48 hours.

            Premam: Dreamy hero from that last movie, but now he is the focus, coming of age story told through his 3 love affairs/hair styles

            Bangalore Days: Brilliant movie all around, 3 protagonists each with equal importance, and one of them just happens to be a woman. Think of it kind of like Dil Chahta Hai if Saif had been a girl. Well, more of a girl 🙂

            On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 10:26 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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            Liked by 1 person

  7. I finished Meri Pyaari Bindu this week, but I don’t have much to say about it. Nothing special. Ayushman was really good but Parineeti ruined all movie. I thought she is not bad, but after this I’m not sure. She has like one facial expression all the time.

    Then I rewatched Baahubali 2 and watched beautiful little tamil movie Nila. Little because it’s only 90 minutes long and has very few actors (the main pair is on the screen almost all the time but they are so good that one can’t be bored) It’s not a happy movie, but not sad either. I absolutely loved it. I think it’s on Netflix so please watch it if you have time.

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  8. I would be interesting in two general topics, First, character actors, not by necessarily by performer but by “type”. Comic auntie, villianous in-law, sidekick, etc. we had a brief discussion about the “evil sister-in-law”, but I would like to understand more. I am getting more into the composers, music directors, and singers, so that would also be of interest!

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    • Ooo, that might be interesting! Don’t know if i have the background for either, but thent he best way to get the background is to schedule a post that will force me to learn all that background.

      On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 6:12 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • KANK is frustrating and even Karan Johar says he would love another shot at doing it right someday. SRK and Rani are too often completely unsympathetic in their portrayal and Abhishek’s character especially becomes a martyr. The scenes in 30th Street Station in Philly that sub for Grand Central always make me laugh for some reason.

      Fashion historian! Cool job!

      Liked by 1 person

      • And Preiti’s character is too unsympathetic– the ambitious career woman who neglects her home and tears down her husband. (Yet insists she loves him.) Also, Amitabh’s Skirt-chasing father is super annoying. The music, though!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The music is gorgeous…Karan knows how to pick his music directors and his costume people! Amitabh’s character is so annoying and only in the more serious scenes with Abhishek is he bareable. I need to rewatch (hatewatch that one). My Name Is Khan is my least favorite Karan Johar film but KANK is the second worst.

          Speaking of getting more and more into the music. I would second that request that more posts by Margaret on the history of music in Hindi films would be cool. And joyomama, for a current lay of the land for female playback singers I highly recommend the roundtable interview by Anupama Chopra of four singers here:

          And the music composer/director was fun, too. But made me think…wait, has there ever been a female music director for a Hindi film?!!!!

          Also Shekhar Ravjiani is HOT!

          Liked by 2 people

        • I would cut every Amitabh scene in KANK except the ones where he’s focusing on Kirron Kher, Abhishek, or Rani. That movie made me want to see Amitabh and Kirron in a “mature romance” so badly!

          I kind of like how flawed all the characters are (even Abhishek is passive aggressive and sulky). Even mean and selfish people can become better by falling in love with the right person for them. 🙂

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  9. I like the Hindi 101 posts but I think you should only do them when there is a certain reason for them. Maybe do a post about Sanjay Dutt when the Dutt Biopic comes out or something like that.

    Watch Luck By Chance!!

    It looks like Karishma is helping promote Judwaa 2! This reminds me of that time Madhuri danced with Varun and Alia for Tamma Tamma.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Guess what? We all think you should watch Luck By Chance! I think that really needs to be a new feature. Your commenters vote on movies you must watch and review within a certain time:)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, it took a year but I finally gave in and watched Daawat-E-Ishq, so there is hope!

          Anyway, tomorrow morning’s post is already written and scheduled, so that won’t change. But maybe next Friday. If I can find a copy to watch over the weekend.

          On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 4:31 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • No need, just confirmed that it is on googleplay and itunes and all those nice places. So I will bite the bullet and pay the $2.99 and stream it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yay! I think you’ll have a lot to say about it, even if you don’t love love it. It’s just got so many fun cameos and supporting roles.

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          • Well so finally. And no need to bite anything except perhaps food as you watch it, only spending time not money 🙂 unless you’ve already bought it in which case I’ll have that as credit in your bank lol

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          • Aw, you sent me money! Thank you!

            On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 10:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. Pingback: Hindi Film 101: Top-Grossing Indian Films Year By Year | dontcallitbollywood

  11. Tan Tana Tan Tan Tara’s remix is out! It looks pretty good. One thing that caught my eye was that the video song is only 1 minute 40 seconds and the last 20 seconds shows scenes from the trailer. I don’t think other video songs released recently were this short.

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  12. I almost hate to suggest this because I can’t imagine the amount of research it would take but might I suggest films that offer a look into the political climate of their time? For example, a lot of the older Tamil movies were influenced by the Dravidian movement and you can see it in the way the villains were characterized and things the hero fought for. Or Communism and Malayalam movies for example.

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    • I would love to do something like that, as you know i am fascinated by the interaction of society and film. But I am a little nervous, the very very slight bit of it that I did for Toilet and Kaminey, for instance, have already gotten me lots of nasty comments (which you lucky people didn’t see because I moderated them).

      On the other hand, those are Hindi film people, so far I haven’t gotten anyone nasty to me from southern reviews, so it might be safer there.

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    • Oh, and here’s a question for you! Why the heck was MGR shot? I read Guha’s whooooooooole book on Indian history (India After Gandhi), and all he says about it is “he was shot over the thing men often duel over”. WHAT THING???? What happened??? WHY???? I got the aftermath, that he was swept into power on a sympathy vote and so on and so forth, but what is the reason that was so scandalous Guha didn’t feel like he could put it in print?

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      • I don’t know the specifics but I gather it was something pretty stupid and probably more ego driven on both sides. M.R. Radha was a pretty famous character actor in his own right and very successful. He and MGR were a quite a few films together and didn’t really seem to have any specific enmity. As far as I know, they were meeting about a movie and the discussion got heated and there were guns. Both MGR and M.R. Radha were shot. MGR claimed M.R. Radha just shot him and then himself. M.R. Radha claimed MGR was mad about articles he’d written and shot him first. M.R. Radha was convicted and served a few years.

        There’s a speech on you tube that M.R. Radha made in Malaysia in the 70s. He basically said, MGR and I have been friends for 50 years and we argued so we shot at each other. We weren’t trying to kill each other so what’s it to the rest of you?

        The conspiracy theory I’ve heard revolves around the fact that an election was coming very soon and Congress seemed set to win. Pictures of the convalescing MGR went a long way in pulling in sympathy votes for DMK which won the election.

        Oddly enough though- and a reason I find Tamil Nadu politics so fascinating – 2 of M.R. Radha’s children were at some point or other in the AIDMK party which is the political party MGR founded when he broke away from DMK in the 70s!

        If you’re interested, the most detailed article I’ve seen on it was this two-parter:

        http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/the-day-mr-radha-shot-mgr/article12059018.ece

        http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/radha-pleaded-innocence-was-found-guilty/article4232721.ece

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      • I can’t answer your question (not authoritatively, anyway), but here’s a random thing. I was actually in Chennai (or Madras, as it was called then) when this happened. I woke up in the morning and all the papers were screaming, “MGR shot by M. R. Radha!!” and I was totally flummoxed, because, while I knew who MGR was, I didn’t know who M.R. Radha was (beyond learning from the newspapers that he was another actor). So that’s my first hand memory of the event, being confused about just what happened and why, and the tremendous public frenzy about MGR’s health status until people knew he wasn’t going to die.

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        • I might add that Anu’s statement that Radha was also shot by MGR is news to me. I do remember that he was arrested almost immediately, but I don’t remember anything about him being wounded or shot.

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    • Unfortunately, we are now in the busy season of Hindi releases, which makes it a lot harder for me to see non-Hindi in theaters (which is never that easy anyway). But, now is a good time to tell me about a movie NOT in theaters that you think I should see!

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