Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Watching and Reading and Thinking Before Ittefaq?

Happy Wednesday!  Only one day left/6 hours until Shahrukh’s birthday.  And only 2 days until Ittefaq!  Oh, and I have a Shahrukh Question for you.

I’ll start!  I watched Ittefaq and will be putting up a post for Classics Friday.  I also re-watched Dawaat-E-Ishq and Pokiri this week.

For reading, looking up Dilip Kumar for last Sunday’s fanfic post got me sucked into his autobiography.  It’s fascinating!  And very nicely written, a nice peaceful poetic kind of read.

For thinking, thinking about my kitchen.  I have a new stove now (yay!), but my sink is backed up and leaking.  So I think I just have to make my peace with one appliance in my life being in a constant state of disrepair.

 

Now, your question!!!!  Last week I challenged you to come up with your own answers for my posts on Shahrukh, Best Song, Best Film, and so on.  Now, something different, I want you to rank the WORST of each!!!  Well, least favorite, because I don’t want to be mean and say anything is just plain bad.  I’ll start:

 

Least Favorite Song

“Jabra Fan” from Fan.  It was just suggested by Procrastinatrix as a Halloween song, and it really is!  Manic, slightly disturbing, just unpleasant.  Which is right for its film, but I still don’t like it!

 

Least Favorite film

Devdas.  And now you can all hate me!  But really, I just do not like it.  I wouldn’t say it was the worst film he was in, it’s very pretty and all that, I just really hate it for myself.

 

Least Favorite Co-star

Aishwarya Rai.  Feel free to hate me again!  Especially since it is her birthday today, which makes it a little extra mean.  But I feel like Shahrukh is so much about wearing his emotions on his sleeve, and her style is so not that, it is just the ultimate clash.  Makes him look too emotional, and her look like a robot.

 

Least Favorite Performance

Dil Aashna Hai.  Love the movie, he looks adorable, but he really doesn’t know how to act on camera yet.  He spends much too much time just sort of standing there and reacting.  I mean, it’s still a good performance, but it’s my least favorite of his performances.

 

Least Favorite Character

Charlie in Happy New Year.  This was just a mess!  Cool international dude, self-identified “loser”, grieving son, criminal genius, it is all mixed up together and doesn’t make any sense as a whole.

 

Okay, now you go!

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62 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Watching and Reading and Thinking Before Ittefaq?

  1. It’s really difficult for me to name “best” and “worst” when it comes to creative work; I’m better in telling my likes. However there are two movies among all those where ShahRukh had the lead, I’m the least interested in because I could’nt connect to the way the story was told: DilAshnaHai and OhDarlingYehHaiIndia.
    I agree with you that ShahRukh’s performance in DilAshnaHai was not apt to show him as the good actor he is. I think, Hema Malini as a director was simply not good, rather clueless herself; I have the feeling that latter reflects in ShahRukh’s acting.
    Dil Ashna Hai is also a song that I find boring.
    As for the co-actress that I found the least interesting, it’s Twinkle Khanna (Akshay’s wife).

    I can relate to your choice of Charlie as the least coherent character. Still I liked him. My least favourite is Vijay Agnihotri in Anjaam…he had to be a character to hate and I hated his violence.

    Contrary to you I like the Jabra Fan song because he makes feel the madness of Gaurav (and of other obsessed fans).

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    • Ah yes, and I also watched Ittefaq (and had liked the plot…and guessed right).
      My guess for the new Ittefaq would be a plotting of both the accused, a bit in the Patricia Highsmith way… unfortunately I have to wait until I get to know if my guess is right 🙂

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    • Twinkle is pretty bad. As she says herself. I have considered Oh Darling Yeh Hai India, but I decided against it because he has a couple of really great monologues.

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  2. I watched Sunday Holiday.Yes that’s actually the movie’s name and it stars Asif Ali and Aparna (that spitfire flash mob dancer from Maheshinte Prathikaram.The movie is sweet and perfect for a Sunday afternoon(pun intended) and it has a lovely twist.Sreenivasan plays an aspiring script-writer who corners director Lal Jose in his hospital room.The former narrates the movie to Lal Jose on a lazy Sunday afternoon while the latter waits for his family.

    I would dearly love Ittefaq to be a hit.But my instincts says no.There’s minimum buzz in the social media.Very few reaction videos on Youtube.It got lost in the huge splash caused by the Padmavati juggernaut.Sonakshi and Akshay are both very good actors but unfortunately neither of the three have the star power to bring in the numbers.

    Shahrukh’s least favorite character has to be anytime he veers over to the superhuman territory.So yes Charlie from Happy New Year, Don from Don 2.Just remembered Dev from Kabhi Alwida Naa Kehna.I certainly understand his frustrations and sympathise.But I couldn’t bear to watch him on-screen.Least favorite film has to be Chennai Express.Least favorite song has to be Lungi Dance.I really can’t stand Honey Singh.Repeating the same phrase ad nauseam.He really can’t hold a candle to the rap singers of the 90s Indipop scene.Least favorite co-star has to be Katrina.No chemistry 😦

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    • I would love for Ittefaq to be a hit because of the lack of buzz. That seems to have been the purposeful promotion strategy, rather than overwhelming people and making them feel like they have already seen the movie just from all the promotions they have been subjected to, let it arrive as a bit of a surprise. What would be really smart is if they got some kind of commitment from the theaters to let it play at least two weeks. It feels like a movie that could do very well based on word of mouth. that is, people saying “hey, you should check this out, it’s better than I thought it would be”.

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 8:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Oh, and for your least favorites, Dev was one I seriously considered. I also don’t like him as a person. But he was a brilliantly written and performed character. Whereas Charlie from Happy New Year, or Don in Don 2 (not in Don 1), didn’t even make sense as characters, and the performance wasn’t there to rescue them.

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 8:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Worst Film/Character for SRK – Fan…wanted to love it but it’s way too meta even for me and creepy as hell but not in the right way

    Worst Co-Star for SRK – Juhi Chawla…I know, I know…crazy! Just don’t get their chemistry at all.

    Watching this week: after somewhat enjoying Toilet, I watched Simran which was Queen 2.0 with an unsympathetic lead. It felt more like an American indie than I expected, but the plot (though based on a real life story…though I’m sure much less prettified) was stupid and there’s some pretty stereotypical casting of the bad guys that made me feel uncomfortable based on portrayals of people of African descent in Bollywood films in general.

    Watched Daddy last night and was disappointed. Though very well-done overall there seemed no real build to the ending and maybe not enough time spent demonstrating his appeal to the masses that turned him into a politician. Arjun’s performance had some glimmers of brilliance…still not giving up on my opinion that he’s an underrated actor. Farhan Akhtar was woefully miscast in a special appearance. Still a much more watchable gangster film than Sarkar 3 and much more gritty than Raees.

    Looking forward to buying a copy of Sri Rao’s Bollywood Kitchen…he was interviewed on the Bollywood is for Lovers podcast and it sounds really good.

    Reading: on the third book of the Elizabeth Hoyt Maiden Lane romance series and stalled on Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton. Need to turn up the gears on my reading goal of 50 books this year.

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    • I have never been able to get into Elizabeth Gaskall. Tried multiple times, never gotten past the first 20 pages. I feel like I should try to power through, because I had the same problem with some books that turned out to be my favorites (Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Dracula, An Old-Fashioned Girl), the old-fashioned language just took a bit to get used to. But with Gaskall, I’ve somehow not been able to spur myself on and get past that. But if you finish her and tell me it is wonderful and a must read, that might do it for me.

      Really interested in your response to Simran, since there was so much promotion over Kangana “fixing” the script. This is a hard question, but did it feel like the original basic story was good and the stuff on top of it was bad, or vice versa? Like, in Dilwale I felt like the basic story idea was great (two retired gangsters brought back together when their younger siblings fall in love), but the structure and details of the plot just failed. And then in Happy New Year I had the opposite feeling, that the clever songs and little moments were great, but the underlying plot just didn’t make sense.

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 8:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’ve read North and South and liked it but much of that was fueled by my afterglow from seeing the movie for the first time. I think I also got through most of Wives and Daughters for a book club but it was more of a slog. Mary Barton is good but depressing. It’s like North and South if it had just focused on the plight of the factory girl and her father.

        I’m not sure it’s clear where the fixes were in the script. Maybe the goofy and lighter but not too successful asides (like awkward banter with a bartender) and the wacky scenes where Praful is trying on wigs and acting silly (seen in the trailer). These scenes added to lighten the mood seemed forced and I almost think the film would have been better had they stuck with the original story and they had gone even darker. So yeah some of the details didn’t make sense.

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        • Okay, that kind of answers my Simran question. Kangana was talking about how the original script was completely dark and uncommercial and she lightened it up. So it sounds like possibly her additions were the lighter parts.

          On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. My husband has been out of town for the last week, so LOTS of movies for me!

    I dropped him at the airport Thursday morning and immediately headed to a screening of Golmaal Again, which was highly entertaining. I wish I could have seen it twice, but it got pushed out of my local theaters by all the Halloween stuff. (Which I hate.)

    So I watched Golmaal Unlimited instead, which was also light fun but not as good as Golmaal Again. The pacing was not as good, and Parineeti and Tabu’s performances were a big plus for the latest installment.

    Then I kept up my chronological rewatch of Shah Rukh Khan films with Dilwale (for me, it gets better with time). A friend who watched it with me said it was very Shakespearian, with the switches from serious to comedic. And it is a gorgeous-looking film, with some superb music. (Points deducted for Johnny Lever.) The next day I watched Fan for perhaps the 6th time. His performance continues to amaze me, especially his portrayal of Aryan, who is not at all himself, despite what the haters say.

    Then I just went looking for something different. A discussion last Monday with Margaret led me to watch two films where SRK made friendly appearances: Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (ok film with a crazy, high energy cameo) and Gaja Gamini (fascinating art film I will revisit for the music!) Then I poked around on Hotstar and found Rahenge Sada Garish Mein Taare, described as a “cineplay”, so a filmed version of a stage play? It was loosely based on the story of Guru Dutt and Geeta, and beautifully acted. I am looking for more like this.

    Then I watched the original Ittefaq — interesting, very stagey and spare, almost like an old Perry Mason episode. This makes me *very* curious to see how the 2017 version will look and feel.

    Now I am more than halfway through Dedh Ishqiya. Madhuri, looking both matronly and gorgeous, and Naseeruddin Shah doing some very, very fine acting.

    Reading: Finishing The Girl in the Spider Web for my book club meeting tonight. It’s a struggle, because the characters just are not holding my interest, except the one the author killed off early in the book.

    Thinking: It’s November 1! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins today, which means I am going back to work on a story I started a year ago.

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    • I think Netflix has a lot of “cineplays” right now. They aren’t on my Netflix list mostly, because I tried to keep it to real films. But they pop right up if you search for Indian films.

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        • That’s what I very much liked of Ittefaaq…the stage character. I have a knack for movies that either are filmed theatre plays or are similar to theatre plays or have the character of an intimate play (like JabHarryMetSejal). I will try to catch the Guru Dutt – Geeta based movie.

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          • Have you seen Talaash yet? Something about it always feels very “Stagey” to me. Although it doesn’t look stagey at all, isn’t filmed in that manner. But the intimacy of the characters and the dialogue, somehow it feels like a play. Eklavya is another one like that.

            On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 11:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. The worst movie
    Without doubt Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke, but as it wasn’t even finished, and SRK didn’t want it to be released, so I will pretend it not exist and will say : Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Please, don’t hate me, but I suffered while watching this movie, and was so disappointed with the plot and the romance and it was certainly my worst SRK experience. But I haven’t seen Dilwale, and I ditched Happy New Year in the middle.
    Least Favorite Co-star
    Easy – Katrina, but aish gets close.
    Least Favorite Performance
    Maybe Devdas. I think it’s not Shah Rukh fault. It’s just that this movie is more about dancing, singing, beautiful, beautiful costumes than Devdas tragedy, and SRK gets lost in all this tinsel.
    Least Favorite Character
    Devdas or Dev from KANK. I was trying to rewatch KANK yesterday and was astonished by Dev character (and too how many worthless scenes are in this movie, I haven’t remembered them)

    Watching las week:
    2 Penkuttikal – small movie about two girls. I’m not a fan of social movies, but watched this one because Tovino Thomas makes a cameo. He was cute and sweet as always, but one of the little girls was even better. Worth watching for her.
    Ittefaq – I like it. So different from movies I usually watch. But I’m not used to this kind of acting and it seemed more like theatre play than a movie.

    Thinking a lot about cars and driving because next week I will have the exam.

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    • I considered Jab Tak Hain Jaan!!!! But Anushka and some of the songs save it for me.

      I also considered Devdas for performance, but I think his performance in isolation is really great, it’s just everything around it that spoils it.

      I need to rewatch KANK. I remember really disliking the Dev character, but I’m not sure if that is because he was an inconsistently written/performed character, or because he was written to be unpleasant and believably portrayed as unpleasant.

      From what little I can find, Ittefaq was based on a play, and was similar to an even earlier movie before that. It’s a great story for a remake, such a simple premise that can go so many ways, and part of that feels like it is the setting, that it mostly takes place in just the one 3 room house, but there are so many things you can do with those 3 rooms.

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 9:53 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I rewatched Om Shanti Om which is just as good and as fun as the first several times I watched it. I still think there should have been one last closer scene with Om/OK cremating the remains of Shanti that were buried under the floor below the chandelier.

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  7. I’ve not watched a whole lot of SRK movies before DDLJ, but for me, even in a bad movie, there are moments where he shines. Hard to pick a worst character…But Dev from KANK comes close. Its not so much the character, but I thought SRK could have dialed down the anger in some scenes, or perhaps its the writing.

    Ash and Kat are my least favorite costars for him. Ash slightly has an edge over Kat in the Acting department. In Devdas, she has her moments. But she has this quality where it feels as though she is overwhelmed by her own beauty. She comes across as being very self-aware on camera, and I don’t even know if I’m making sense. Her “ISH” acting made me cringe, as did most of her “cute”/”naughty” expressions. SRK deserves an award just for putting up with all that! The song “Hamesha Tumko” however, is beautifully directed and acted, by both of them, more so, SRK. Perhaps in a better, mature script, they can be a good pair.

    No such hope for Kat. She might be a great person off-screen, but on screen she is vapid. Waste of celluloid space. and its criminal to pair her up with SRK. All that waste of emotion/angst in JTHJ is something I will never forgive Yash Chopra for. She should stick with Salman, who are made for each other on screen, with a sum total of 5 expressions between both of them.

    I watched Pardes yesterday, and was amazed at SRK’s restraint in the film. Such fine emoting, such passion in his eyes. I thought some moments in the film were handled beautifully by Ghai. I loved how the Arjun-Ganga friendship was formed, and later turned into something deeper, and unacknowledged until the very end. The scene where he fixes her jewelry during her engagement was one of the best scenes I’d seen during those times…SRK’s expressions in that scene was what made me fall for him, all those years ago..Even in the end, as we see SRK being hugged by Amrish Puri, all we get to see are his eyes gazing at Mahima Chowdry, and you can see all the repressed love/longing he has for her. Just beautiful…

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    • I get exactly what you are saying about Aish. Very practiced kind of expressions, I never feel like she is fully losing herself in the character. In the right part, that can work, I think her Jodha was wonderful for instance because she was playing a princess who would have been trained to be always aware of how she is presenting herself. But it is a terrible miss-match with Shahrukh, who loses himself so completely in whatever he is playing.

      I had the same reaction on my recent Pardes re-watch! There is so much that is over the top about that movie, and you can lose track of the characters at the center of it, but when I watched it just focusing on the Shahrukh-Mahima relationship, it is surprisingly deep.

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, she was surprisingly good in Jodha Akbar! and had good chemistry with Hrithik. She was beautifully subtle, and looked the part. Perhaps its the director that makes a difference. SLB is loud, and dramatic. And it shows in the performances at times, and in the costumes/sets.

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        • I feel like Aish is someone who needs very specific direction, similar to dance choreography. With Mani Ratnam, or Ashutosh Gowarikar, she can be very good. Even Karan Johar managed to pull something out of her. But with other directors, I just feel like she is flailing.

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          • Ash’s Dola re dance where she is smiling this weird big smile, with her forehead all scrunched up and trying to convey ecstasy was very weird next to Madhuri who was so natural in every step. Cannot watch that song to this day.

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  8. I watched an older Tamil filmed called Cuckoo about two people in a romance who are both blind. It was really good up until the last half hour when the melodrama got dialed up to 11. The shift in tone became too much, even for me.

    Saw Secret Superstar for a second time, taking two non-Desi friends who complained that I didn’t warn them to bring extra Kleenex. They wanted to know if Aamir is always like that in his films. LOL!!

    I saw Nivin Pauly’s Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela the first night it FINALLY came to Chicago. Review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-ue9DxN-Vc&t=1s

    I also watched Shahrukh’s first film Deewana, review up shortly for SRK’s birthday. So much Rishi to wade through before we get to SRK.

    Mohzin sent me this amazing interview from the Mumbai Film Festival with Dulquer and Rajkummar Rao, interviewed by Baradwaj Rangan. Very worth a watch:

    I’ve been reading House Girl for book club. It’s pretty good so far, present day and 1850’s stories.

    Worst Shahrukh Khan film is hands down King Uncle! Oh, man, do I despise that movie! Worst co-star maybe Kat, and my pick for worst performance would not be Devdas or KHNK — I kind of like that he’s playing someone so unlikeable. Maybe Chennai Express.

    So should I watch the original Ittefaq or do you think it’s best to go in blind?

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    • But King Uncle has Jackie! I just can’t dislike anything he is in.

      For Ittefaq, I would lean towards watching the original. Because the “twist” and the plot is so well known, I am sure they will be playing with it and referencing back to it in the remake, so watching the original will let you feel like you are in on the joke. Plus, only two hours and very well made, it’s an easy watch.

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 1:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. I’ve seen less than half of srk filmography, so take my picks with a pinch of salt.

    Song
    Lungi Dance
    When i hear this song play on the dance floor, my brain walks my body over to the bar before I have even realized it.

    Film
    K3G
    So dated, so trope-y, so saccharin.
    It’s the bollywood equivalent of a bad American country song, you know the ones where they concoct the lyrics off a checklist of must-have country words, like Truck, River, Beer, Moonlight, Girlfriend, and Ranch. And the songs are so cloyingly overproduced.

    Co star
    Katrina
    But then again, I think she’s supposed to be a “little girl lost” type in jthj, so perhaps her stunned lifeless depression is on point?
    (Btw There is a Julianne Moore WW1or2 movie where she promises God that she’ll exit her fiancee’s life if God allows the fiance to live, but i cannot remember the name of the film.)
    Aish is 2nd and not worst only because i liked their interaction in ADHM.
    Most disappointing co-star (ie where i was surprised because i thought they’d be far better together)
    Madhuri
    Bollywood has this saying about being such a good romantic actor that you can “romance a tree” and make it look believable. Well when it’s srk and madhuri, i feel like each one is romancing his/her own tree. Like each one is acting, but neither is interacting.

    Performance
    Devdas
    I don’t get his heightened soap opera style melodramatic overreacting in that film at all. I can only guess that is meant to be a tribute to the overreacting required in olden films to break past the homogenization of grainy black and white film, since Devdas is originally a film of that era.

    Character
    KKHH
    Every man’s fantasy ‘ you get to marry the hottest girl on campus as your starter wife, while your tomboy best friend goes from caterpillar to butterfly in beauty and poise, waiting unmarried for years to become the reliable wife who will take care of you in your old age. That’s the movie, but i hate the character because he seems so unaware of how he has used these 2 women to fulfill his needs, and of how destiny has allowed him to have his cake and eat it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting choices all around!

      Song; yeah, I can see that. Still makes me smile, but I think that is more because of the associations with it, I had a lot of really great trips to see Chennai Express in the theater with friends.

      Film: This is exactly why i always show K3G first to new viewers! In one movie, you check off everything you need to know about typical Indian films. Of course, makes it a bit boring for viewers who already know Indian film.

      Co-star: Agree with all yoru points. Your description of the problem between Madhuri and SRK is spot on. Oh, and the movie you are trying to remember is End of the Affair, based on a classic novel. Only, in that version, she is a married woman actually having an affair. Sinning against God, by breaking the sacrament of marriage. Thus her vow to end the relationship makes a little more sense, she assumes his injury is punishment from God for her sin, so she promises to stop the sin. Also, she doesn’t tell him why, just walks out of his life, and he spends years trying to understand what happened. And all of that makes it a lot more believable and reasonable than Kat’s random “well, I thought maybe God would be happy if I broke up with you, even though there is no real reason he wouldn’t want us to be together, and I’m going to tell you everything I am doing just to torture you with the illogic of it, and then go back on the promise anyway years later.”

      Performance: Only thing I have to add is that it’s not living up to the original, it’s all Bhansali. Every other version (and I watched them ALL) has a much much much more restrained Devdas. Restrained everything.

      Character I can see this criticism I guess, although I still love KKHH! It reminds me of all the anger (which I felt too) about the ending of How I Met Your Mother, the sitcom. Which (SPOILERS) ended up looking like he married some woman just to have kids, and then as soon as she died, went running back to his ex-girlfriend who he had been in love with all along. (SPOILERS OVER)

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 7:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Thank you for recalling End of the Affair for me. I liked the film but thought it could benefit from Bollywood’s more emotive and expressive acting style.

        Nice comparison of KKHH with HIMYM 🙂
        Similar blindsided anger from the viewer, but maybe angry at the show’s writers for HIMYM while angry at SRK’s character for rejecting Kajol for Rani.

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  10. Least Favorite Song:
    I can’t think of any songs of his that I hate. But my least favorite Shahrukh song off the top of my head would be Chammak Chalo. I liked it in the beginning but honestly I just got tired of the song and I didn’t like the video at all.

    Least Favorite Film:
    My first instinct was to say Dilwale but when I looked through, the filmography I think Pardes is probably my least favorite. I wasn’t even able to finish the movie because I was so mad at Shahrukh’s character because he was lying to the heroine about the guy that they were all trying to convince her to marry.

    Least Favorite Co-star:
    I’ve only seen Dil To Pagal Hai with them both but I don’t think that Shahrukh has good chemistry with Madhuri.

    Least Favorite Performance:
    I think I would go with Dilwale because I felt like he kinda sleepwalked throughout the movie. I think the entire cast were bogged down by such a generic plot but I felt they could have made it a little better but they didn’t put in the time/effort.

    Least Favorite Character:
    Shahrukh’s character in Dil Se was really creepy when it came to the stalking. And I hated that he still went after Manisha even when there was a perfectly good person in Preity wanting to marry him. He was just a frustrating character.

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    • Pretty sure that Shahrukh’s character in Dil Se is meant to be creepy, and that the relationship is supposed to be destructive and unhealthy. It’s a a parallel to the strained relationship India has with its outer regions(Assam, Kashmir).

      Liked by 1 person

    • But I love Chammak Challo! No, that makes sense, seems similar to the complaint some people had about Lungi Dance. There is a kind of earworm effect with these super catchy songs.

      Really interesting criticism of Pardes. On my last rewatch, I felt the same way, was really struggling through the first half. But then the second half makes it all better. Shahrukh is, essentially, punished for everything he has done. He sees the end result and is tormented by what he has done to this woman, eventually rescuing her. And Mahima calls him on it in a later scene, that she asked him straight out what kind of man her fiance was and he lied to her. Maybe next time, skip straight to the interval and go from there. If you feel like it.

      Yep, agreed! Something is just off between them. I think Reflects on Life hit the nail on the head with the idea that they are both acting at each other, not actually interacting.

      Dilwale was tempting for me too. He still brought it in a few scenes, if it was a performance from 20 years ago I would have been very impressed. But we know what he can do know, and he can do way way better than that.

      Yes! Frustrating! Dil Se only makes sense to me if the romance is read as an allegory for North India/Delhi and the attitude towards the rest of the country. The sort of “I love you and most possess you and turn you into what I want you to be” feeling.

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:03 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m sure I would have been tired with Lungi Dance too but I think the video is more fun to watch when compared to Chammak Challo. But I still have both songs on my Saavn playlists so it’s not like I hate them 🙂

        I honestly didn’t even really like Mahima Chaudary which is one of the reasons I didn’t really try to finish the movie again.

        Yeah, that’s probably what leads to their lack of chemistry.

        It was also frustrating to me because as a star Shahrukh can come up with a better product. We’ve seen it when he worked with Rohit Shetty for Chennai Express. I remember Rohit saying that he changed the script to appease Shahrukh-Kajol fans once Kajol came on board and originally the heroine had only like 4-5 scenes in the movie. I wonder how it would have turned out if they took someone like a Preity who would have fit the role but at the same time not an iconic pairing with Shahrukh that overshadows the rest of the movie.

        I agree about Dil Se!

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  11. The comment about SRK-Madhuri perfectly articulates the disenchantment I feel with this pairing. In DTPH, SRK’s obsession with the saccharine sweet Pooja(Madhuri) annoyed me to no end. She was also saddled with an unrealistic character who is so ridiculously dreamy, it gave me a headache to listen to her rants on love. It lacked any kind of spark. I so wished he ended up with Karishma’s feisty character. I felt Madhuri was acting in her own bubble, enamored with her own smile and dance. If it were Kajol instead of Madhuri, she would have brought some fire to the role, but then again, Kajol does not come across as a romantic softie/daydreamer girl. I felt SRK gave it his all. He can and would romance a tree..:-)

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that is a mystery for sure. It surprised me to read that some hated the SRK/Anu pair or their chemistry in JHMS. I guess for me, I need to like the actor/actress, and the more flawed their characters are, the more attractive they become to me. None of us are perfect, or live in a perfect world, so we connect better with less than perfect characters on screen, and automatically reject unrealistically “perfect” characters. In case of DTPH, Madhuri’s acting never really convinced me of her love for SRK’s character. She came across as an imaginary,”perfect” ,cookie cutter person from one of Rahul’s dreams.

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        • I had a similar feeling about that ‘imaginary’ person…and then I asked myself if that was the purpose of the movie to make Madhuri a flawless woman because at the beginning Rahul talks about imagining Maya…That the whole movie is only imagined in Rahul’s head as a play he could do.

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          • Oh that’s a fascinating interpretation!

            On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 2:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. I am finally recovering from a really bad cold which wasn’t serious but most unpleasant and led me to cancel class for the first time in my teaching career. So, I though Happy New Year would be a perfect choice for a day forcing fluids, and I was right. I do like Farah Khan and, even though this is the weakest of hers I’ve seen I was able to get some Farah Khanniness out of it. Also, if you have a fever and are on prescription-strength cough medicine, this movie is hilarious!

    I have to agree, though, this is probably SRK’s worst character, although I before I watched it I would have said Rahul in DTPH. HNY’s Shahrukh is way worse to his heroine, though. I didn’t really get why she loved him when she keeps catching him talking about what a stupid tart she was. Except maybe the movie thought she was a stupid tart also.

    His worst co-star is Katrina, and worst movie for me is JTHJ. I even hate Anushka in that movie, and I LOVE Anushka! The whole thing just grates on me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I enjoy the silliness of HNY, but it would be a MUCH better movie if Deepika and Sonu ended up together. Unlike Shah Rukh’s character, Sonu seems to actually like women generally, and Deepika specifically.

      I was so surprised that Farah said in an interview that Mohini is the moral center of the movie, that the point she was trying to make as the writer/director is that society’s judgment of a person is superficial and often wrong. It’s just too bad that Farah made Charlie the stand-in for “society” that has nothing but contempt for Mohini, instead of, say, some random secondary character.

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      • Totally agree with you, procrastinatrix! Despite Deepika being in love with Charlie I thought that this guy just did not deserve her. Either Farah missed to make Charlie a character that is able to learn and to mature or leave at least the possibility that Mohini takes a distance from him at the end. The way Farah did it, she weakened the point she had wanted to make such that one has no idea she ever had wanted to show Deepika as the central figure.
        I have no qualms with Charlie being an unsympathetic and rather self-centered character but she definitely messed with the love story (better there would have been none).
        Nevertheless, I like the movie for the flamboyance, the dances, the jokes, the wonderful ensemble-play and the way to dupe the villain.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think there was supposed to be some kind of self-hatred or something, like he keeps talking about how low class Dips is because he feels bad for feeling attracted to her, Sonu’s speech to Deepika kind of points in that direction. But it really really did not come through.

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 1:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      • No, not at all! It’s ridiculous but I was angry with Farah that she messed with an important part of the movie. I thought (in my anger) that she forgot to make a really good movie by focussing on ShahRukh’s body. It made sense in OmShantiOm because the idea was to inverse the gender in an item song. However, for HappyNewYear, there was – in hindsight – not really a need to make ShahRukh get an 8-pack for his Charlie-character.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think Farah, from the little one can tell from interviews,etc, is kind of a “guy’s gal”. That is, like lots of successful women in patriarchal cultures, she kind of goes about and sees the world a bit as one of the guys. This to me explains her occasional misogyny. I really can’t watch Main Hoon Na because the way they make fun of the older woman teacher is terrible. Like, how dare she try to be attractive and still have any interest in guys? Yuk! But I can forgive her because Om Shanti Om and HNY are both guaranteed to cheer me up. 🙂

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          • Well, part of the older woman teacher character is that it is also an aging beloved sexpot actress. So there is a bit of a “ha! They think she is a silly old woman, not realizing this is actually Bindu, sexy desirable woman!” That comes up in the moment when she is dancing with Boman Irani I think.

            But yes, that is exactly my impression of Farah as well. Very rough sense of humor, strong personality, not interested in deep talks about romance and relationships. It makes her an interesting kind of feminist, she is super conscientious about hiring and promoting women to work with her, but you don’t hear about her having a lot of female friendships, and she stays out of the male versus female sort of pop culture debates.

            Oh, and Bindu-sexy, check out this song!

            On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 12:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. Fun post and I’m enjoying all the responses. This week has been crazy busy at work, so I’m not reading or watching much, except eternally refreshing Twitter in the hopes of more Mueller indictments.

    Least favorite song: The one in Duplicate that is so sexual harassment-y. Sonali harassing innocent Shah Rukh and Shah Rukh harassing innocent Juhi. Yuk!

    Least favorite movie: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. In part because it is so often held out as a game-changer in a similar way to DDLJ. I loathe the story, the songs are mediocre, and the gender messages are just gross. I feel bad for both Anjalis–one who is only loved for adequately performing femininity, and one whose father is apparently unable to see women as people. Hopefully they can help each other out. Salman is clearly the better guy, all around.

    Least favorite co-star: Deepa Sahi. I like Shah Rukh’s performances in both Maya Memsaab and ODYHI, and I like what the film makers were trying to do with both films, but Deepa Sahi is just not a good actress–or her acting doesn’t work for me. Even Shah Rukh can’t save her acting for me.

    Least favorite performance: Both characters in Duplicate. I never thought Jerry Lewis was funny either. In particular the tongue thing that he does as the bad guy the whole time. That’s just weird and a bit dumb, not at all menacing.

    Least favorite character: Rahul in KKHH. Shallow and narcissistic–and not in a fun way like Don. Dull as dishwater, even the gazebo scene can’t save him.

    Thankfully there are so many films, songs, co-stars, characters, and performances to love! 🙂

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    • That Duplicate song is one of my friend’s favorite songs EVER. I think she enjoys how incredibly over the top it is. One thing I do like about it, while Shahrukh is humorously scared (although his character is always kind of childish in that way), Juhi is just sort of confused, never actually scared.

      Really surprised by how much Kuch Kuch Hota Hai non-love is coming up! Not that I can’t see where the criticisms are coming from, I just always thought of it as a universally beloved film.

      I think it worked slightly better in Maya Memsaab, because at least there it was supposed to be that she was a slightly confused and emotionally struggling older woman, while Shahrukh is all emotions and heart. So the different acting styles supported their characters.

      Well, at least he is working hard in Duplicate! It may be an odd performance, but he is trying. Unlike in some others where it feels like he is phoning it in a bit.

      And once again I am surprised by the lack of KKHH love!

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 7:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      • Good point about Maya Memsaab. I can see that.

        I like the framing of these as “least favorites” rather than “worst” because it is so subjective. Like, that song in Duplicate really makes me uncomfortable, but I enjoy Kuch To Bata (is that the stalkery one from Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani?). Maybe because his character actually has a growth arc in PBDHH. But maybe just because it’s a catchy tune and I find them irresistibly cute together most of the time. 🙂

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        • Yes! It’s strange, I feel like “best” film is a judgement you can do in some ways, but “worst” is too subjective. But that might just be the way Shahrukh’s filmography plays out, he has maybe a dozen films that are clearly objectively superior (Dil Se, Fan, Don 1, Swades, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, etc. etc.). But then everything below those dozen, objectively speaking, are kind of equal (Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani versus Don 2, it’s a toss up). It’s just a matter of taste after that.

          On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 12:14 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. I watched villain,new mohanlal film.Went with least expectations but i liked it.An above average thriller with some good performances from lead actors. It has top stars from 3 industries.Mohanlal and Manju warrier from malayalam Vishal from tamil Hansika,Rashi khanna nd srikanth from telugu.
    It was promoted as an ’emotional thriller’. The thriller part wasnt that good.its predictable and doesnt have enough spine chilling or brilliant moments.Hero who is an investigation officer finds out a lot of things by simply guessing.
    But the emotinal part was very effective thanks to the performance of mohanlal and manju.Mohanlal got an interesting character that depends on his acting skills than star power.Manju in an exteneded cameo was very effective.
    What i disliked in it was the overdoze of english and philosophical dialogues which felt pretentious and boring.Core theme of the film is ‘nobody is purely good or purely evil'(similar to vikram vedha) . Multiple dialogues meaning the samething are repeated throughout the film. I dont think the message or philosophical dialgues are very significant.What makes the film interesting and worth a watch is the performances.

    Like

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