Sorry! I usually put this up bright and early in the morning so we can talk all day, but I was so focused on finishing off my JHMS coverage once and for all (one more discussion post to go up and then I am DONE) that I forgot. Sorry sorry!
Happy Wednesday! Here is where we talk about what we have been watching and reading and thinking this week. I’ll start.
Reading: Started Anu Aggarwal’s autobiography, and boy that woman is full of herself! She is the smartest beautifulest bestest person in the world and everyone loves her. My favorite quote so far: “Soon he would get addicted to the love of his live-Me! And then to peanut butter, which added a few unwelcome calories to his gait.” By the way, Anu never struggled with her weight because it was just not in her nature. Her beautiful perfect nature, to match her amazing appearance that causes men to fall in love with her at first sight and her shocking intelligence, and deep compassion, and talent that caused Amitabh himself to touch her feet and so on and so forth. I am loving this book, needless to say. Never want to actually have a conversation with the woman.
Watching: Not much! The JHMS scene by scenes take up sooooooooooo much time, and I have to focus while writing them so I can’t really two screen it. Trying to figure out if I can get to Arjun Reddy this week without throwing up from sleep deprivation (those last few JHMS posts were posted in real time, which means up until 2am and then awake at 6am for work). I’m still planning to watch the 2008 Suriya/Gautham Menon film this week, but there’s no way I could squeeze it in in time for Tuesday Tamil.
Thinking: Is it time to put away my summer clothes and bring out my winter clothes? Is this something you ever have to think about in other places? It’s a big deal in Chicago, because summer routinely gets up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and then winter gets down to negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit. So you have to have two entirely different wardrobes and question is when you switch them out. Today is down to around 70 degrees, chilly enough that I had to dig around for a longer sleeved shirt. But can I count on it holding or will I be cursing myself in a week when it goes back up to 80 and all I’ve got available are long sleeved shirts and jeans?
I watched Raabta, and now I’m finishing Chronic Bachelor with Mammooty. I thought it will be better. In the first 5 minutes a lot of things happened and I was very confused because all guys look the same for me. Then other hour nothing besides some boring songs and now we have a lot of kicks, men and women slapping and a girl forced to marry a man she doesn’t love just because random women said so. Can’t wait to finish it.
Reading: Catherine of Aragon:Henry’s spanish queen: a biography ( I started watching Wolf Hall to see the story from other perspective)
In Poland the weather is crazy, you never know which clothes you will need the next day so we have all wardrobe (long, short sleeves, sweaters) together. But in Italy this change of wardrobe exists and it’s one of the things I hate the most and wait till the ladt moment to do.
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The kicks are so puzzling to me in Malayalam films. It’s a fighting style I’ve never seen anywhere else, and it seems to be all they do.
I finally figured out my winter to summer switch over, I always do it Easter weekend just because I might as well do it on a random date as try to figure out the “right” time, plus it is a nice way to celebrate Easter. But I haven’t found an equivalent date for the Fall, Labor Day (this Monday) is too early and Halloween (end of October) is too late.
On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 3:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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Yes! The kicks! It look so odd, I was wondering is it comfortable or efficient, so I tried to do it, and the answer is no.
I finished the movie and can say that there is only one good thing in it-Inocent and Harishree Ashokan comedy scenes.
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Ha ha, I thought the comment link was to last week’s Wednesday post.
Watching: not much. Still have to finish the Star Trek movie.
Reading: Just started reading Bonfire of the Vanities (yeah, so I’m late to the party by a couple of decades), which grabbed me right away.
I am really, really tempted by Melanie’s rave review for Arjun Reddy, but I most probably won’t go, because it’s tomorrow night, and I have house guests coming on Friday for the weekend, and I’m not prepared for them yet. Besides, it doesn’t sound like a movie I’ll enjoy, so I’ll put it on the dvd/online list. Instead, I watched bits of a couple of interviews with Vijay Devarakonda. He comes across as a quiet, almost shy person, at least when he’s speaking in Telugu. But it’s clear he’s far more comfortable in English. Did I read right, in one of the many snippets about this movie, that the cast is all NRI/Indian American? Or am I mixing it up with some other movie. I should just look it up to see whether it’s produced by Sekhar Kammulu or not.
Margaret: the key to the wardrobe dilemma is layering, layering, layering! Try it. It works. I live in a place where the temperature can change by 30 degrees in the course of a day, so that is the mantra everyone follows.
I was just fighting about layering with my friend this morning! I have an irrational hatred for it. I do all the work of getting dressed when I get up in the morning, why keep doing it through out the day? This is also why I have 5 different winter coats, I would rather just wear a different thickness of coat then bother putting on and taking off sweaters.
Well, having rearranged the furniture in my home office for the third time since I retired in July, I have finally managed to get back to work on my research/writing. (Thank heaven! I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever settle into a routine.)
Happily, my routine involves watching movies, reading, and thinking!! I usually write in the morning, and reward myself with a movie in the afternoon. (And another one in the evening, if I have been especially good.)
Watching: Finished Swades, watched Happy New Year with a friend who needed a lift (it worked!), Dear Zindagi because I needed to see SRK in linen trousers, Don (1978) and Don (2006) with a friend who loves to analyze remakes, Good Night Good Morning because it was listed as leaving Netflix and it sounded interesting. It was a good time pass; very My Dinner With Andre, but not very Hindi. And M.S. Dhoni, The Untold Story, which I hope would help me understand cricket. It did not. I learned more from Lagaan.
Reading: I finished Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird — finally! This is easily my favorite book on writing ever. Very inspirational, and hilariously funny. I started Al Franken’s autobiography, Giant of the Senate. Humor is my drug of choice. I also continued to read stuff on women and aging, which is why I need funny things to read.
Thinking: Friendship is on my mind a lot these days. Three of my closest friends have moved away (or are about to) and I am going to my 50th high school reunion in less that a month. When you get older, making new friends is essential, because if you don’t you wake up one day all alone. So I am determined to cultivate new friendships at every opportunity.
Wardrobe advice: Whenever you switch seasons, it will be wrong, so always keep some transitional layers in reserve.
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Don I and Don II are such fascinating remakes! It feels like Don II is meant to be watched in conversation with Don I. The characters work best if you are aware of what they “used” to be and what they are now.
I’m wearing a transitional layer right now, and trying to remember how many others I kept back when I did the winter-summer switch. I think I have all my jeans (because those go year round) and 3 long sleeved shirts. So as long as it is only cold for 3 days per laundry cycle, I am fine. Or else I just start doing laundry every 3 days.
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I would Have to decide which to watch this weekend among the 4 malayalam onam releases.
1. Vellipadinte Pusthakam starring Mohanlal
2. Adam Joan Starring Prithviraj
Teaser 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYO9uZg3AKw
Teaser 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz-HkCUq948
3. Pullikaran Starra starring Mammootty
4. njandukalude nattil oridavela starring Nivin Pauly
Nivin! Watch Nivin!!!!! And then tell me how it was so I can decide once it finally makes it’s way to the US.
Hearing good reviews for Nivin, Prithviraj and Mammootty films and bad reviews for mohanlal film.
And sorry :p booked tickets for prithviraj movie since I am a bigger Prithviraj fan than Nivin Pauly (Though I like them all)
Well, right now my theater doesn’t have any of them, so I may end up just watching whatever is on offer whenever it arrives.
On Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 4:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
🙂 Here is a review of the Nivin Pauly film to excite the fans
Hearing now that Mammootty film is also not good. So that makes Nivin Pauly and Prithviraj ones the only good ones.
Fine with me, those are the two guys I like anyway!
On Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 12:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Prithviraj movie Adam Joan was above avg for me .It was mainly shot in Scotland and had lots of beautiful county sceneries. The film was dark moody emotional drama cum thriller with little bit of twists in the middle portions. It was a variety or experimental movie for malayalam audience but dont think that will apply to non Indian audience.
Great! So it is looking more and more like my natural instinct to only watch Nivin movies will be justified in this case!
On Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 11:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
From reviews I have seen you will be excited to know that
Nivin Pauly Film >> Prithviraj film>> Mohanlal Film and mammootty film
Woot-woot! Nivin for the win!!!! Hopefully it comes to Chicago.
On Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 2:14 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
My favorite wardrobe items are my collection of three quarter sleeve shirts. I hate hot weather and can’t wait to start wearing them again this fall. They transition well in those in-between months in fall and spring. I brought them to Scotland this summer as July weather there is spring weather for Chicago. I also have a couple super thin sweaters for that in between time that I can stuff in my purse if I get hot.
This has been a week of good movies for me. I saw A Gentleman on Friday and it was super fun.
I watched Mohanlal Thanmatha and am mulling my review. Great Mohanlal performance, the movie has some issues.
And then last night, the incredible Arjun Reddy. It is very much like a Malayalam film. It feels like real people. A real romance, real friendships. Some parts reminded me of the first half of Kali, where you have a hot head with anger management issues that effects his work and relationships. Vijay Deverakonda gave a raw, intense tour de force performance.
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Three quarter sleeves are the best! Fall is my favorite season and it’s finally decent weather here in Philly. Arjun Reddy looks interesting! And always up for being introduced to new actors.
i feel weird about 3 quarter sleeves now, because I am in the orthodox Jewish neighborhood and have learned that 3 quarter sleeves and knee length skirts are the expected uniform. Whenever I go out in short sleeves, I feel like a fallen woman, and whenever I go out in 3 quarter, I feel like a fake.
On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 7:12 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I finally saw ADHM last weekend before leaving for the States. I was a bit resentful of the movie because I literally got the notification that it was available on Spuul as I was watching it rented on iTunes, meaning I wasted 500 yen. But, I liked it. I’m probably the only person who liked the ending–I reeeeeaaaaalllly didn’t want them to get together after all the whining Ranbir did, and have it be another movie where the woman changes her mind because the guy whined really hard. The subtitles were a bit annoying because they substituted western cultural references for Indian one. “Lataji” becomes “Celine Dion,” which makes sense, but then Emraan Hashmi turns into Hugh Hefner?? And no subtitles for songs OR Aishwarya’s poems. Oh, and the worst was, when Ranbir briefly sings a Hindi song in a conversation and they translated as a western song on a similar subject. I mean, we can see and hear that he’s not singing that song, so. . .
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Ugh, I hate that! subtitles always try too hard, or not enough. I think I might prefer not enough.
I didn’t like teh ADHM ending, but I also didn’t hate it, for the same reason you did. I wanted that door slammed shut no matter what no backsies. I think the only other option I could come up with was some other disaster that proved he would always be there for her/she wouldn’t ask for help even in extremes, like she loses all her money or goes blind or something. And then in the end/present, we see her show up as his manager or something, clearly still just his friend.
Only Indian film watched was Brahman Naman and it was raunchy fun! I’m glad I finally watched it because I almost deleted it off my Netflix queue many times. Other highlights from this watching week were the Game of Thrones finale and a great episode of the second season of Master of None (the Tinder/first date one).
Finished reading Anne Enright’s The Green Road, an aggravating Irish novel (so many of them are too depressing or just bordering on greatness). This one had an amazing first half and a stupid second half. Planning to read S. Basu’s Victoria and Abdul history before I see the film.
Rewatching Dil Se now and planning to watch Bombay and Roja for the first time this weekend, too.
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So excited for you to watch Bombay and Roja! you really have to see Dil Se in that context to appreciate what he was doing. Here is some background reading for Bombay; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombay_riots
And there is a whole other thing about the actual making and release of Bombay, it is the first (only?) film distributed by Amitabh Bachchan’s company, Amitabh himself invited Bal Thackaray to a screening in order to get his seal of approval (supposedly his only note was that he didn’t like how his character was shown feeling regret). The censors made all sorts of cuts, including the color of the headbands worn by the extras, and even with all that, Mani Ratnam still had his house bombed after the release.
Roja was Ratnam’s first all India hit, and watch it closely for how it deals with the Tamil versus Indian identity. If you can find a Tamil version, not the Hindi dub, it will be a lot more obvious. The heroine literally does not speak the same language as anyone she has to deal with.
Dil Se is big and romantic and has the amazing songs, but it’s a little harder to see the political message he was trying to put in there. Roja isn’t quite there yet, but Bombay is big time political, about a lot more than just this one love story.
On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 7:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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Well, I’ve had a really busy week! I moved in to College Station on Saturday and the next couple of days were full of rain due to Hurricane Harvey. Classes ended up getting canceled on Monday and Tuesday so technically today was my first day of college. But the good thing about being stuck inside for the last few days is that I got to watch a lot of movies 🙂
I first watched Mister which is a Telugu comedy starring Varun Tej. This was a flop both critically and box office wise but I wanted to watch it because I really liked Varun Tej in Fidaa so I wanted to see him in another movie. Maybe it’s the mood I watched it in or something but I actually enjoyed Mister quite a bit. It was definitely not a great movie but it was fun to watch because the comedy worked for me. Plus I think I’m starting to become a fan of Varun Tej.
I then watched Ami Thumi which is a Telugu comedy that came out sometime in June. It got really good reviews and I liked the trailer but I forgot about it afterwards. The movie showed up online and I really enjoyed it! One of the funniest Telugu movies of the year. Have you seen Ashta Chamma? It’s Nani’s debut and it’s by the same director and it’s a really fun comedy as well. Here’s the trailer of Ami Thumi:
Then I ended up watching Govinda Govinda which is a RGV movie starring Nagarjuna and Sridevi. I thought it was interesting and pretty good but so far I haven’t loved any RGV film that I’ve seen. But I did like the pairing of Nagarjuna and Sridevi! Actually the only reason I watched the movie was because I saw this song randomly on youtube 🙂
I also started watching Running Shaadi but then Einthusan stopped cooperating so I’ll have to get back to that later.
Running Shaadi is SO GOOD!!!! And this is a random recommendation, but one of the funnest RGV movies I’ve seen is Daud. It’s totally ridiculous and silly, but also really fun and Sanjay and Urmila are great together.
On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Yeah! I wanted to watch it since you finally saw Luck By Chance 🙂 I will watch it eventually!
Wikipedia tells me that Daud is kind of based on Kshana Kshanam which is actually a movie that I want to see. Didn’t you see Kshana Kshanam?
I did, and I loved it. I like Daud slightly better just because Sanjay. Although, Kshana Kshanam has Sridevi, so it’s a toss up.
I liked Sridevi in the few films I’ve seen of her’s so I’ll probably go with Kshana Kshanam. What other movies of her’s are good? The only movies I can think of off the top of my head are Mr. India and English Vinglish.
Well, Army is her only film with Shahrukh, so of course that leaps to mind for me! Her two big big big films are Lamhe and Chandni, those are really MUST WATCH. Oh, and Sadhna, but I haven’t even seen that one yet, because it’s SAD.
Oh yeah! I saw Chandni! I totally forgot but I think that’s my first Sridevi film.
Lamhe is one of those movies that I planned on watching and then it was taken off of Netflix by the time I got to it
It’s worth tracking down somewhere else. Chandni is great and made the big box office, but Lamhe is the better film. And the better Sridevi performance. Double Role!
Margaret, if you say you *didn’t* like Kshana Kshanam *because* of Sridevi, let me just say that you are definitely in a very small minority. 🙂
Niki, if you are asking for Hindi recommendations of Sridevi’s films, you should probably watch Sadma, which was her first film in Hindi, and considered to be a classic (remake of her Tamil film). Judaai was her last film before she went on break, and it has her and Urmila (remake of a Telugu film). Other notable Hindi films of hers that I can think of off hand are Khuda Gawah (sp?) with Amitabh, Nagini, and Chalbaaz (remake of Seeta aur Geeta). These are all considered classics. There are also a whole slew of films with Anil Kapoor. I am more familiar with her Telugu and Tamil films.
Army is one of her worst films, made toward the end of her first innings, so it is not at all representative of her films (though actually her acting is fine in it, it’s jst that the story was too melodramatic for me). SRK only had a guest appearance in it; it was Sridevi’s show all the way.
No no, I liked it because of Sridevi, and I like Daud for Sanjay, the question is who do I like better?
Oh, thanks for clearing that up, Margaret. I was pretty shocked there for a while. 🙂
@Moimeme: I actually don’t mind whatever language the recommendations were in though I was referring to Hindi and Telugu movies. Hindi movies are tougher to find with subtitles and even then I would have to deal with Einthusan which hates me half of the time.
Looking at her filmography reminds me that I never saw Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari completely. I remember watching parts of it on TV a couple years back but I never watched it straight through. That’ll probably be next on the list.
Oh, also, welcome to college! In my experience, it’s exactly like this:
On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I don’t really remember what I mentioned the last time I posted in Wednesday Watching – it was quite a few weeks ago. But I do remember mentioning The Dirty Picture so will list from there.
Sarkar Raj (rewatch)
That Girl in Yellow Boots
Krrish 3 (rewatch)
Jab Harry Met Sejal – saw this with a friend. We both liked it, although my friend said it was a bit silly in places but she didn’t need anything deep & meaningful at that time (she had had a bad month).
Professor (with Shammi Kapoor)
Lipstick Under My Burkha
Anaarkali of Aarah
and a 3 part series on Netflix – The Most Beautiful Hands of Delhi.
The rest of the time I watched James Bond movies in order while I stitched & sewed.
Sarkar 3, how was it? How is my new love, Amit Sadh? Was he wonderful?
Did you like Raabta? I loved it, but I’m still not sure if that was just the mood I was in, or if it was a legitimately fun movie.
Also, James Bond, is Shahrukh too old for the Hindi version? And if so, who else could do it?
On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 11:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I thought Sarkar 3 was as good as the other 2. There is scope for a Sarkar 4 with Amit’s character taking over as Sarkar.
I seem to remember liking Raabta, not sure that I would say I loved it.
I think SRK would make a good James Bond – Roger Moore was well into his 50s and was still starring as James Bond.
Roger Moore stopped doing James Bond when he was 52, saying it was too physically taxing.
The trailer of Chef is out. The trailer is just OK…Saif’s acting seems a little stiff (but it could just be the botox) and as much as I like him (he is after all my favorite Khan), his voice can be really annoying. I’m still excited about the slice of life story and for all of his faults, Saif Ali Khan really does try new things all the time. And he’s willing to actually play a character, be it a villain or an OTT zombie killer, rather than fight for the silly leading man roles all the time. I can’t wait for Sacred Games, too. Such high hopes for his upcoming projects. The last few projects haven’t lived up to expectations mostly due to issues outside of his performance, ie Rangoon. I actually think the last films I really loved with him were Cocktail and Agent Vinod.
Just saw it! Post going up at some point, whenever I have a chance to type up my thoughts (an hour, two hours, sometime this afternoon, who knows!)
On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 8:19 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
On my travels – have wifi at Changi airport. The list of movies I posted in the ‘watch a movie with me’ topic was only the latest releases to the in-flight entertainment system. There were many more available to view. Anyway, I saw Freaky Ali. Nawaz Siddiqui was delightful in a lightish role and even dances. It was perfect viewing for a midnight, 8 hour flight.
Sounds like fun! The movie, not the flight.
There is a 13 hour flight ahead…groan
13 hour flight – long and boring and I suppose I could have watched 4 movies in that time but I was just too tired. I did see Hidden Figures, which I missed when it was a cinema release and it was excellent, and a rewatch of Raees because it was familiar (not too taxing on fatigue addled brain power). I did make a playlist of Pritam, Arjit Singh and others from the inflight system and listened to that for the last couple of hours.
Pritam is always good, and never too taxing on the mind.
On Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 12:29 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote: