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

Happy Wednesday! I’m home! Which means I have to go to work and do dishes and stuff, but it’s still nice to be back.  Even if I am a day behind on my posting schedule (Monday Malayalam on Tuesday again)

I’ll go first!  For reading, I finally finished the article that Anu recommended on Tamil film history while on the plane home (link: )

For thinking, thinking about how I get a 4 day weekend next week and will use it to reorganize my kitchen and finish all my Christmas presents (I’m very ambitious).

For watching, well, you already heard about all the movies I saw with my sister.  Plus I watched Niram.  And now I am debating what to see for my Telugu/Tamil film this week.


Now, tell me all about what you have been doing!



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

  1. Watching: tried watching The Limehouse Golem after it got recommended it to me by a few people. I couldn’t get past the first half. Work’s made sure I don’t have enough time to watch anything other than videos forwarded by friends. So mostly food videos and the odd beauty trend vid. Got curious about an eyebrow shaving tutorial so I might give that a try. The girl who got my threading right all this time has lost her touch and I’ve lost a significant portion of my brow!!

    Reading: work documents. I get excited about refining excel documents.

    Thinking: is the trump impeachment news for real and is that going to impact our stock market!

    Liked by 2 people

    • My friend shaves her eyebrows, like the whole thing (not sure if that is what you meant). It looks very odd when she doesn’t use make-up to put them back on again.

      I haven’t plucked/threaded/anything’d my eyebrows in years and years because I got so scared about them getting over done and then it takes forever to grow back.

      On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:26 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. Shaadi mein zaroor aana got me thinking about masala revenge movies (Hero vs heroine) from the 80s.Which led me to Begaana, which I loved in the 80s and totally forgot along with the hero Kumar Guarav.As a bonus we get a heroine (or rather love interest) Rati Agnihotri who is really shallow and greedy.Poor Kumar Gaurav sold everything he owned to satisfy his sister Deepti’s greedy husband and his sister, Rati.What makes Rati’s behaviour damning is that she was Deepti’s best friend in college before the latter married her brother.Poor KG hit rock bottom after his evil brother-in-law still wouldn’t allow him to see his sister(he sacrificed his integrity and stole money from his employer) and was contemplating suicide when Dharmendra rescues him and gives him and gives him a false identity as Gentleman Smuggler Rana.What follows is a lovely tale of revenge told Bollywood style with plenty of masala.But there’s some good acting from all the actors and philosophical wisdom from Dharmendra like “Opportunity seldom knocks twice”

    This is Kumar Gaurav crooning that the world is selfish.


    • This sounds awesome!!! Especially since I only know Rati as the “cool Mom” in all kinds of 2000s films.

      On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:29 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. Reading: your blog, mostly, and Bollywood twitter. Oh and I read your book a few weeks ago which was very helpful.

    Thinking: Mostly about work which has been all consuming with the launch of a new project and new people coming on board, which is why I’m not reading much and devouring movies.

    Watching: I was exhausted last night and wanted to watch something not too taxing that I could stop without regret when I was ready to sleep so I found Hum Aapke Hain Koun on Heera and oh man, what a delightful souffle of a movie. That opening credits song with the closeups of Salman and Madhuri, wow! They were breathtakingly beautiful. And the song about hiding the groom’s shoes, just adorable. And when I was ready to go to sleep I was able to turn it off without a problem. Perfect for a mid-week watch.


    • That’s the best part of Hum Aapke Hain Koun, it is just so easy to dip in and out of and fall asleep during. There’s really nothing just like it, but if you want something sort of like it, you should check out Hum Saath Saath Hain and Vivah (I think you already saw Maine Pyar Kiya). Oh, and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo! Which is on Netflix.

      And glad to hear that I am your primary reading this week! I highly approve, I am brilliant and everyone should read only me all the time.

      On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:40 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. I am still reading American Fire for my book club, and re-reading Margaret’s book. I already have the e-version but ordered a hard copy for a friend and it was just sitting there looking at me, so I’ve been reading sections in odd moments.

    Raess (much better the second time, and my husband loved it!0
    Dear Zindagi
    Jab Harry Met Sejal (completing my journey through all of SRK’s films, which I started on March 3!)
    Hum Saath Saath Hain (this was a re-watch, and I realize that I totally did not understand it the first time, which was when I was very new to the genre.)
    Pather Panchali (My amazing public library has the Apu trilogy online for FREE.)

    Thinking: I vacillate between serious stuff (our President, sexual harassment, nuclear annihilation, my son losing his health insurance if the GOP has their way) and trying to enjoy life, which of course means watching lots of Indian movies, ideally with friends! I offered a “Beyond Bollywood” item in our church auction: for a small nomination (a fraction of the cost of a movie) they could get “tickets” for movies and snacks at my house. I will be posting a list of movies every month, and they can choose the ones that interest them. I figure I will do a mix of classic and recent, Hindi and other languages, and movies I’ve seen and ones I haven’t. I am all excited because I have four people coming to see Jab Harry Met Sejal this weekend. Eleven people signed up to be on the list in all, and only one has seen an actual Indian movie (she saw Lagaan years ago). I figure I will do this for a year, and then switch to free movies and potluck snacks, because I will have a core group of film-loving friends.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a great idea! I’m bummed that none of my friends are interested in Bollywood so if I want to see films it has to be solo. I love that you’re creating your own watching group.

      There are a lot of Bollywood meetups in Los Angeles but it’s all young Desi people and I feel a little weird about showing up and being all hey, older American newbie here invading your space.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had the same issue with the meetups. In college I just naturally fell into a group so it didn’t feel odd, but being the only non Desi can sometimes feel like an invasion of their space.

        I got a group by just determinedly inviting every single person I met anywhere to come over and watch movies. I only had about a 10% success rate, but it worked eventually.


  5. “And now I am debating what to see for my Telugu/Tamil film this week.”
    Watch Nila, watch Nila!

    For me last week was “Dirty Dancing” fest. I found it on Amazon, and just had to watch it , and then I discovered that something called “Dirty Dancing – television movie” is there too, so I watched it either. And man, it was so bad , but so so bad. I even wrote my first ever IMDB review to warn people against this film. Yesterday I rewatched original movie to blot out the other from my memory (unfortunately without success). In the meantime I started cross-stitching some Christmas ornaments while listening to Dirty Dancing soundtrack. My poor family is so sick of listening the same songs all over again so today I tried to finish Majunu I started before my “Dirty Dancing” fever.


    • Holiday: Close to a shot for shot Dirty Dancing remake in Hindi film

      Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights: Surprisingly good sequel/”inspired by”, worth checking out!

      And you are making me feel guilty about falling behind in my Xmas prep! Last night I could have finished a Christmas present, or written my Niram review, and I opted for Niram.


      • Watched both, and I’m so happy to see that somebody else, apart my sister and me, likes Havana Nights.Sure, it’s not like the original, but it’s nice, and in comparison with this television nightmare , Havana Nights is a masterpiece.

        Don’t feel guilty about choosing Niram over presents, you made few people happy with this review.


        • But Grandpa! He’s going to come rushing out Christmas morning, rip open his presents, and go “where is my poorly made handmade gift from my Granddaughter? She wrote a blog post instead and now my Christmas is RUINED!”


          • Perfect Christmas gift for Grandpa: Majunu screening with discussion entitled: Can our perception of a movie depend on hero’s facial hair? Spoiler: In Manjunu case, the answer is yes.


          • Grandpa doesn’t like men with beards. Not classy. So a very short discussion.

            On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 4:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • I like the humour in your family 😉

            Dirty Dancing!!!! It was the first movie, I saw six times in one week in the theatre (the next would be RabNeBanaDiJodi)! And fortunately, my fdaughter loved the movie as much so we indulged in the soundtrack for months.
            Havanna Nights, we watched on DVD and liked it…but well…it wasn’t Patrick (by the way, it was because of him we watched City of Joy and genuine Indian actors!!!) 🙂 …although I did not retain the names which are now household names.


  6. Last week I also rewatched Piku and Chennai Express as part of my Deepika run and both these movies were really good. It’s especially been a while since I saw Chennai Express and I really enjoyed it again. By the way, have you ever seen Tevar?

    Last night I saw Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke again and I liked it a lot more this time. It’s a really cute and fun movie! This is one of those movies that really grows on you each time you watch it. Plus this was the perfect movie to watch because of Juhi Chawla’s birthday and Children’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw Tevar ages ago, and then immediately afterwards learned it was a remake and felt guilty for not seeing the original.

      I always find Chennai Express so enjoyable! Fun, happy, and kind of clever in its own way. And then Piku is smart in a whole different way 🙂

      You are right, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke was the perfect movie for last week! The only one that might be more appropriate is Bhootnath. But then, that’s a less good movie.


      • I was really curious about Tevar after rewatching Chennai Express. That scene in Chennai Express where Shahrukh puts a knife on Deepika’s neck and uses her to escape is straight out of Okkadu which is the original of Tevar. Even the fact that the villain falls into a pile of mud is the same. I liked how they used the same scene in Chennai Express in a slightly different way to surprise the audience. When they announced that Tevar was going to be a remake of Okkadu, I was curious to find out whether this scene was going to be in the remake. So was it?


          • Noooooo!! You’re the one who remembers everything! I was counting on you Margaret. This is a question that I’ve had for almost three years 🙂


          • Thanks to Eros, I found the equivalent scene in Tevar. They didn’t copy the scene in Okkadu because I’m sure people would have just said they copied Chennai Express. I’m glad that they thought of a new scene for the same situation but it kinda ended up being stupid when compared to the original.

            Here’s the original:

            And here’s the scene in Tevar:


  7. I made all my coworkers watch Bahubali-The Beginning, and all of them are wondering why Kattappa killed Bahubali (Muhahahaha). Because I am such an evil person, I didnt tell them Bahubali 2 released, and I am going to give them a week, before I give them the YouTube link for Bahubali 2. My entire work email inbox is filled with theories of why Kattappa killed bahubali and it is hilarious. I dont know, am I evil for doing this?!

    Reading: All your reviews of all the movies you ever watched and reviewed, and it is so fascinating! I realized you haven’t watched Barfi! Please watch it, its so goood!! Also, OChem for Dummies because I am going to fail. hehe

    Thinking: Thanksgiving and Cheesy Potatoes

    Watching: Watched Spyder with fam. My brother is in love with the villain characterization. His favorite word and answer to every reaction is SPD (Sadistic Personality Disorder). Definitely getting worried now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That was exactly the reaction of my friends when I dragged them to see Bahubali 1 in theaters! Except I was evil-er than you, because all I had for them was the end credits card that said “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion coming 2017”.

      I haven’t seen Barfi, but I have seen so many other things! Way more than I have reviewed so far. Anyway, I usually really hate Anurag Basu, so watch out, I may finally watch it and then write just a scathing horrible mean review and you won’t like me any more.

      I have once again hopped over Thanksgiving to Christmas. I had my first peppermint mocha latte yesterday, and now I am a goner. Anyway, Thanksgiving is going to be pretty lowkey for us this year, just dinner in a restaurant with me and Mom and Dad and Grandpa, so not much to get excited about besides the day off work.

      I am worried about your brother too! How old is he?


      • Jagga Jasoos was a joke. I dont blame you for hating Anurag Basu. I will always love your reviews >>>thanksgiving). I usually buy microwavable cheesy potatoes and mashed potatoes and devour it. ah yes! CHRISTMAS


  8. Watched over the last few weeks –

    A friend and I saw Secret Superstar and both liked it very much. An Indian lady who was sitting next to us (and who had gone to the cinema to see Mersal but it wouldn’t be on till early evening so she decided to see SS – mid afternoon) commented that the father was a ‘terrible man’ – mainly in relation to the domestic violence – and it happens a lot in India. She was surprised when we said it happens here too, it happens everywhere.

    Bareilly Ki Barfi – liked this too but couldn’t help thinking that Ayushman’s character had a nasty, bullying streak in him. Instead of putting his friend through all the inconvenience he could have made up a nom de plume and had no photo on the cover of his novel…

    Aashayein – found on Netflix – John Abraham discovers he has lung cancer and moves to a hospice. His fellow patients help him to see things differently.

    Mubarakan – quite enjoyed this, a little madcap, reminded me of a Ben Travers farce but I thought it was a wee bit too long (pausing it to see how long it has left to run is a giveaway sign).

    Take Off – was good. Chuckled when I saw ‘Mr George’ from Airlift appear, this time as a government official.

    Simran – am not a huge Kangana fan but liked her in this. Did we need the sexy housemaid song at the end though?

    Chef – haven’t seen the US version of this so don’t know how it compares but I liked it. Not earth shattering but we saw plenty of food and doesn’t Kerala look nice?

    Hotel Salvation – son accompanies his elderly father to Varanasi where he wants to spend the time before he dies. Sweet, gentle movie.


    • Secret Superstar: Interesting to hear that your fellow audience member went there to see Mersal! Going back to my “Mersal is insanely popular at the Australian box office!” realization.

      Bareilly Ki Barfi: I think you are the 3rd person to have that problem with it. I saw it and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan in theaters close to each other, and as a whole I like Bareilly better. Slightly stronger heroine and so on. But Ayushmann is a similar and yet slightly more likable character in Shubh, so I am very curious to see how everyone else will feel about it in comparison.

      Aashayein: I saw this pop-up on Netflix, but wasn’t planning to watch it. Sounds like it is possibly interesting, but maybe not worth my giving up one of my Classics Fridays to?

      Mubarakan: Yep, I had the same experience in the theater, found myself checking my phone about half an hour before the end. But generally very enjoyable!

      Take Off- Yes!!! I forgot to mention that in my review, that it is the same guy. I guess his experience in the 90s qualified him for government service,

      Simran-haven’t seen it, worth my seeking out?

      Chef-yeah, it’s a nice film. Saif does a good job with the role, and it makes the food look delicious.

      Hotel Salvation-I know nothing about this movie, just looked it up, i don’t think I even know anyone involved in it.


      • Aashayein – maybe a bit improbable but nice to look at John Abraham.

        Simran – I watched it because it is based on true events and it held my attention but the sexy housemaid song over the end credits was really out of place, I thought. Wikipedia classifies it as a comedy/drama but apart from some lighter moments I wouldn’t say it was comedy at all.

        Hotel Salvation – you would probably recognise the main actor, Adil Hussain –


        • I disagree about Adil Hussain being the main actor here — I think the father was the main character of the story, though the son had a strong supporting role.


      • Hotel Salvation (stupid translation,IMO) — its Hindi title is Mukti Bhavan, which gives a better idea of what it’s about, especially if you understand the Hindu concept of “mukti.” — is a wonderful film. It also won one of the National Awards in the most recent round, though I can’t remember for what. Possibly Adil Hussain for acting? Sal already pointed out that you’ve seen him before. I was impressed by his acting in English Vinglish, and was happy to see his name in the opening credits here. Then I kept waiting for him to come on screen, then forgetting about him as I was absorbed into the story. About half way through, I realized, oh, the son is Adil Hussain! He looks so different here, that I literally couldn’t recognize him, and only arrived at who he must be by a process of elimination. A great demonstration of the actor’s ability to “disappear” into his role. I recommend this film highly.


  9. Watching: I watched Bridget Jones’ Baby!! I can’t believe I missed this movie. I loved, loved, loved it. So great to see Patrick Dempsey again. And I loved Colin Firth as the awkward sorts and Rene Z was so great as always!
    It was so funny that they didn’t recognize Ed Sheeran. I actually asked my younger cousin once who/what One Direction was and will never get over the look she gave me 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are now one of many people from whom I have heard this movie is much better than they expected (the first person being moviemavengal). I really should find the time to check it out!


  10. By the way, you should watch Uyyala Jampala for Tuesday Telugu this week! It’s that really cute rural love story that was co-produced and promoted by Nagarjuna. It’s even on youtube with subtitles! Plus it’s a little less than 2 hours long 🙂


  11. It’s been pretty much worky worky work all the time here (but I got another publication in the kitty!) so haven’t been watching much. I finished Chiriyakhana (old Byomkesh Bakshi film directed by Satyajit Ray and starring Uttam Kumar) , but that’s about it. In my queue for when the work-storm is finished: the second half of C.I.D., the second 2/3 or so of Yuva, Kahaani 2, Finding Fanny, Akira, Oh My God, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (no, I’ve never seen it before), Bombay Velvet, Rangoon, Chandni Bar, Mardaari, and Love, Sex Aur Dhoka. Maybe after Christmas!


    • DON’T WATCH BOMBAY VELVET!!!! SAVE YOURSELF!!!! Make sure my sacrifice is not in vain!!!!! Really, a terrible movie of that “maybe I will get lucky and die so I don’t have to watch the last hour” ilk. Although there is one really good song sequence.


      • I know, I know, it’s just that on paper it’s my favorite movie: historical, Ranbir, Anushka. I promise I will reassess after an hour and quit watching rather than throw myself from my second storey window. And I’ll watch it first so it doesn’t follow something good.


        • You are stronger than me, once I start a film I have to finish it. Even if death begins to seem preferable. This is also how I ended up watching all of A Summer Place back when I was 12. We were hoping it would be like Gidget, but it is definitely NOT.

          On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Isl is the football (Soccer) league while Ipl is the cricket league. Kochi(or Kerala) have team in Isl while we dont have a team in IPL. Kerala team in ISL is owned by Sachin, Chiranjeevi etc with Nivin Pauly as brand ambassador while Chennai is owned by Abhishek Bachchan,, Mumbai owned by Ranbir, North east owned by John Abraham, Pune co owned by Arjun Kapoor etc


  12. Watching, well nothing as of now. Reading your blog and spending some time at the local library. Was actually working on the script of a short film about the life of a newly joined customs inspector who has been transferred to Chennai, an alien place for him. More so as he is experiencing PTSD. If it works, I will make it. Or else, scrap!

    God luck with your kitchen! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve really fallen behind on the news round-ups, haven’t I? I’m still checking the news so I don’t get too far behind, but I haven’t found the time to write about it (visiting my sister really threw off my schedule). Anyway, yes! I saw the posters! And I am very curious how this film will play. First, the original was the kind of searing real story that seems to work better in regional cinema. And second, it’s a small kind of story, just two people, which makes me hope this will be a small kind of release. I think that’s better for a launch film anyway, let the kids get their feet wet and figure out how to be, and slowly build towards a career, not just be thrown in head first right from the start.

      On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 10:35 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Sairat was good because it was simple – clothes, actors, houses all look like normal people, things you can see in any corner. I hope it will remain similar, and won’t become the next Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela.


  13. Late to the party, but oh well. In the last couple of weeks I’ve managed to get my husband to watch 2 Hindi movies with me, and my daughter watched one of them too! The first was Bahubaali 2 (finally!) and the second, that we watched as a family, was Mubarakan. Bahubaali 2 was epic, in every sense of the word, and I’m so glad we got more of Kattappa’s story. I’m sorry to say that it took me most of the way through B 2 to realize–hey, that guy played Deepika’s dad in Chennai Express! Yes, I’m a philistine.

    Mubarakan was a perfect family film. Hubby and I really enjoyed Anil and the older generation playing all the siblings and prospective in-laws, and Arjun is young enough and cute enough to keep my daughter interested, lol. So interesting which ones catch her attention–so far DDLJ, Jab We Met, and Mubarakan. I was super disappointed in the music though. I get that it was all gonna be Punjabi dance beats, but every song also had indistinguishable melodies. Bummer.

    Finally–we saw Thor: Ragnarok on Tuesday. It was awesome!!! Funny, all the characters had interesting stuff to do, and lots of 70s/80s imagery and music. I bought the soundtrack/score I loved it so much. Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo composed it. Apparently he dug out some synthesizers from back in the day to work with, and he also had a real orchestra. So, a nice mix of typical superhero movie music and really quirky synth-pop sounds.

    And–after Shah Rukh, it’s Idris Elba all the way. That man is beeeeeyutiful!


    • This is why Mubarakan was a surprise hit! It’s a family movie. Despite it’s flaws, it’s the kind of all ages friendly film that we haven’t had in a long time and the audience wanted.

      And now that you have watched Bahubali 2, I assume you will be reading through my massive archive of thousand and thousands of words written on it?

      Okay, you don’t have to do that, but at least weigh in on “Devasena-spoiled brat or awesome?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Curse that whole, “having to work and prep for Thanksgiving” thing! I’m traveling for work just after T-giving, and your Bahubali coverage will be perfect to read!

        I really need to watch both of them again. There’s just so much there, and I feel like I “get” even less of the cultural context than in the Hindi movies I usually watch.


        • Gonna brag for a second: my family is going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, bra-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!! It’s just Mom and Dad and me and Grandpa, so cooking seemed silly, and there is a really pleasant restaurant Mom and Dad found. So I am going to sleep in, watch movies, and then toddle out the door 20 minutes before meal time, and return home to no dishes or food to put away.

          Of course, also no leftovers, that’s a downer. I may make a pie just for me.

          On Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 10:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

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