Wednesday Watching Post: What Are We Reading and Thinking and Watching this Week?

Happy Wednesday!  Halfway through a very busy week at work for me (we decided to push out a big update while everything was theoretically slow over the holidays).  very excited to be distracted by chatting with all of you!

I’ll start!

Reading: finished Dilip Kumar’s autobiography!  I will put up my review either for his birthday, or if he dies (knock on wood, spit three times, etc. etc.  But he is in the hospital for pneumonia, and he is very very old, so I felt like I had to acknowledge the possibility)

 

Thinking: Thinking about everything else on my holiday to-do list.  I’m half done with my homemade gifts, I’ve got gifts for friends all done, cards are mailed, hosting a lowkey Christmas party tomorrow to give out the rest of my cards to the people I know in person, I have one thing for my sister but I need more, and nothing for my parents.  Oh, and I have to find something for my annual quilting group white elephant gift exchange on Monday.  And Saturday is my parents’ holiday chorus concert, Sunday is the church cookie sale.  Oh, and the first relatives come to town late on Friday.  The one small bright spot is that I didn’t actually volunteer to make cookies for the sale, so I just need to show up and purchase and eat cookies.  Oh shoot!  I forgot, the Monday quilting party is a potluck, I need to remember to make something for it.  Thank goodness I have eggnog and holiday music to get me through all this.

 

Watching: Last Thursday a friend came over and we rewatched Ek Tha Tiger to prepare for Tiger Zinda Hai.  We both really liked Kat and Salman together.  Otherwise, it’s been old sitcom reruns while I madly craft and attempt to finish everything.

 

So, how are you doing?  How’s your holiday to-do list coming along?  Or, alternatively, your Tiger Zinda Hai preparation?

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57 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are We Reading and Thinking and Watching this Week?

  1. While recovering from jet lag (i.e. sleeping a lot) over the weekend, I binge watched Season 3 of Broadchurch. It’s my favorite season yet. Not as gut-wrenchingly sad as Season 1, not as soapy as Season 2. I think it does a beautiful job of showing the links between raising boys and men to be isolated, lonely, aggressive, ashamed of weakness or vulnerabilty, to porn addiction, to all kinds of violence, especially violence against women. All while giving us a cracking mystery, and satisfying character development for the characters we care about from previous seasons.

    I re-watched Ae Dil Hai Mushkil on the plane home due to lack of choice. I do enjoy KJo’s beautiful “problems of rich people” movies. I find I like the movie much better if I stop watching just after Ranbir meets Fawad and finds that he and Anushka have split. Then I just imagine that she’s gone on to live a productive and happy life with a group of friends, and maybe a life-partner, who help her be a better person. Basically that’s my best happy ending for everyone–me included!

    I started Shivaay on one flight, but only got to the first scene with his daughter. Then it wasn’t available on any other legs. Frustrating. I gotta say I find Ajay a compelling presence on screen, even as a quasi-mythological Himalayan superman. I’ve only seen Drishyam (which I really enjoyed) and Singham (which I could take or leave) of his. What others should I watch? Are there any Ajay/Kajol movies which are decent?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also finished Broadchurch a few weeks ago on a binge watch! Can’t remember if we talked about it before or not. But, Vidya and Irrfan?

      I think the only semidecent Ajay-Kajol film is Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, which is on Hotstar and nowhere else. But if you want to see just good Ajay by himself, check out Hum dil De Chuke Sanam, Company, and Once Upon a Time in Mumbaii.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh yeah. Vidya and Irrfan would be so interesting in those roles!

        Hmm. I actually started Once Upon a Time in Mumbai and couldn’t get through it. It’s been a while ago, though, when I was newer in my Hindi movie watching journey.

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        • You might want to try Hum dil first, how is your Bhansali tolerance? Ajay doesn’t show up until close to the second half, but by the end of the movie he is the only character you care about.

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          • Personally, I like Hum Dil way better than any other Bhansali except Khamoshi. Bonus, one of the first films to film in Budapest! Which they call “Italy”, but change nothing about it to make it seem Italian, like everyone is speaking Hungarian and all the signs are in Hungarian and stuff. Which I guess is only a bonus if you’ve been to Budapest (my sister did a study abroad there and so found this part hilarious).

            Anyway, all of that “pretty people doing pretty fake things” is going on in Hum Dil, and then Ajay shows up and suddenly it all feels real and you just want him to be happy.

            On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 8:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Pyaar to Hona Hi Tha is my favorite Ajay/Kajol film but I like the original French Kiss so much better. My favortie Ajay Devgn movies are Chori Chori (with Rani), Omkara, Singham (Singham Returns is just ok but still worth watching), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (though any parts with Salman are torturous), Bol Bachchan, and Yuva. He has some really great performances and films and some incredibly awful.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Their Chori Chori is one of my favorite Hindi romances …not to be confused with the earlier classic (which is also good). Ajay and Rani’s Chori Chori is also based on a Hollywood film…maybe Housesitter, but it’s a pretty perfect example of those late 90s/early 2000s Hindi romances like KKHH.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s very confusing. It Happened One Night was remade as Chori Chori and Chori Chori was then remade as Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, and separately and unrelated Housesitter was remade as another film called Chori Chori, and Pretty Woman was semi-remade as Chori Chori Chupke Chupke.

            And I just thought, do you think the remakes are named “Chori” as a cheeky reference to being thieves of other plots?

            On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 11:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Raincoat is a really interesting movie, with Ajay and Aishwarya in very unusual roles for both of them. Ajay is a quiet, sensitive, and defeated middle-manager type and Aishwarya is a depressed housewife. Nice performances from both of them.

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  2. Not doing much Christmas stuff, just a couple of expat parties, then I’m heading back to the States for a couple of weeks of holiday.

    I finished Kaalia and very much enjoyed it. One of the few movies of the seventies in which the man’s clothing is wackier than the woman’s. At one point Amitabh is wearing what looks like a purple mouton bathrobe with epaulets. And I did love the scene where Amitabh shows Parveen how to wear a sari, and mimes making an omelet. This movie has it all—comedy and a sexy song and Pran and a villian’s luxurious hideout with uniformed guards.

    After that I have just started Deewar (we’ve just got through all the backstory and the little boys have just turned into Shashi and Amitabh). I’ve been meaning to watch it for a while, but the news about Shashi finally prompted me to find it online and watch.

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  3. Continuing my quest for Kumar Gaurav’s movies.Last week I managed to track down Gang (2000), one of the few KG movies available for streaming with subtitles.It chronicles the rise and fall of four friends as they climb the ladder from petty crime to serious business. Each of the characters have their own character arc.Kumar G is the idea man of ‘The Gang’ -the law school dropout who has a serious craving for recognition and respect.Ambitious but weak and greedy.

    Here’s him coming up with a plan to deal with the policeman who’s blackmailing The Gang.Doesn’t he rock the nerdy gangster chic – glasses, earrings and a mini pony tail.

    When Jackie Shroff who’s the conscience keeper of the Gang has to go to prison, KG starts his downward spiral.By the time Jackie comes out Kumar G has not only become a drug lord but also a bonafida cocaine addict.It all falls apart when he learns that his wife had given birth to a baby with birth defects.The scene where Nana Patekar calms down KG (in a drug fuelled rage )who’s convinced that someone has exchanged babies is heartbreaking.It’s not totally paranoia.Afterall the Gang has done something similar to someone else.His wife’s subsequent suicide while he’s “high as a kite” (quoting cultofkumar) is another tragedy.His rampage against drug dealers 6 months down sends his bosses into a panic..His reconciliation with Jackie while he’s still going through his withdrawal phase is masterful.Stuttered disconnected sentences, hot flashes, restlessness.He got the scene down pat.

    cultofkumar has done a better job enumerating his character’s arc.Better pics too.Check out

    https://cultofkumar.tumblr.com/search/gang

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      • Jackie and Nana are delightful.They are at loggerheads most of the time.Yet loves each other unreservedly.Jackie has modest dreams and content with being the smaller fish.Yet he’s terribly insecure and afraid that his friends would desert him if he doesn’t go along their wishes.Nana is the child of the street, cunning,amoral and desperately wants to belong.He believes that money and power are the only worthy things in life.Yet he has a Ma complex.He had earlier adopted Lata Mangeshkar as his mom before relinquishing that role to Jackie’s mom.

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      • Every GOOD actor deserves a fan site.Kumar Gaurav was adulated after Love Story.But his acting there was raw and I am not much impressed.But at the tag end of his career, in Gang his performance is brilliant he doesn’t get noticed.Irony.

        Check out baby faced KG getting seduced by saucy Lady of the Night Aruna Irani.

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  4. No new movies, no finished books, so not much to report. Just rewatching favorite Christmas movies like Hi-Life, Love Actually and Hallmark movies.

    But I just saw the trailer for Kaalakaandi and I loved it! Delhi Belly was raunchy fun and this one (by the same writer) looks to be the same. Saif Ali Khan looks spectacular in it! He’s picking interesting roles that’s for sure and I do still have high hopes for post-hero phase of his career!

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  5. Reading: News this morning of the horrific wildfires in Southern California. The 405 freeway was shut down this morning which if you know anything about LA is like Armageddon. Not directly affected so far except for the bad air quality and smell of smoke.

    Thinking: Aside from a work project that’s eating my brain, thinking about how Aamir’s fame is constructed very differently from the other Khans. He doesn’t do a lot of TV or public appearances and he’s pretty quiet on social media. He doesn’t have the same kind of passionate fan following either, there aren’t the same number of fan clubs or posts about him on social media. It’s interesting that he’s been able to do that and still do so well at the box office.

    Watching: Started Rangeela last night and really enjoying it so far. I know nothing about Urmila so I looked her up on Wiki and I’m pretty sure she’d editing her own profile, which amused me very much.

    I ordered Deewar on Amazon and I’m waiting for the DVD to arrive. And Shakespeare Wallah is on YouTube! A crappy copy but still. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrRA3YGg3Ps

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    • Every time I read about wildfires in California, in addition to feeling sympathy and so on, I have a moment of “well, that’s a West Coast thing, we in the midwest are better than that!” And then a remember that the entire city of Chicago burned down 150 years ago, so really I should just keep my mouth shut.

      Aamir in a large way has been following the track of keeping himself as a wanted quantity. He cut down the number of films released years and years ago, making every Aamir film an event. And he has done the same with interviews and public appearances. Of course, the downside is that he has a lot riding on each film/comment. In his Koffee interview before Dangal came out, he talked about how he stops sleeping for about 3-4 weeks before a film release, because he is so aware of how much it means, how he has poured years of his life into this film. And it has gone bad for him before, after Mangal Panday he really had to struggle for a while because it was his only release in a whole 3 year period and it failed horribly. And the same thing happens with his public comments, his statement about Intolerance resonated more, and got him a lot more backlash, just because it was so rare for him to make a statement.

      For Rangeela, WARNING WARNING WARNING, Jackie Shroff wears a speedo and you will never be able to unsee that. Have a comfort animal ready, perhaps some alcohol, prepare yourself for random flashbacks at intervals for the rest of your life, and so on.

      On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Reading – still Karan’s biography
    Watching – only one movie this week, but it was enough to have a new crush – Unni Mukundan (and his beard but even without beard he is super handsome). I watched Oru Murai Vanthu Parthaya and he was like personification of cuteness in it. Couldn’t take my eyes of him. And he is the second man (after Nivin) who makes lungi look sexy. Have I said that he plays a wrestler and goes shirtless often? OMG Sorry for all this fangirling but I’m in love (again 😉 )
    The movie was ok, not perfect but not bad either. It lacks fluidity in some parts but has Unni so I’ll not complain.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have been binging on Hallmark Christmas movies this week while I cybershop and make Christmas candy and such.

    The only Indian movie I saw this week was Sairat, which I caught just before it left Netflix. Oh my gosh what a great film. The first half was so filmy, and the second such a change in tone, but still so interesting. Full review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXBxhG_a0PQ
    Karan better not screw up the Hindi remake.

    I’m starting my Oscar movie watch trying to see movies that I think may be nominated. Saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri yesterday, and I have a mixed reaction. The performances are all great, but I’m not in love with the script. I like McDonagh’s In Bruges much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I watched 3 new malayalam releases and a tamil film in last month.

    Lava kusa-below average film
    A comedy thriller starring aju varghese,neeraj madhav and biju menon.story of 2 carefree young men wishing to join police and later became police informers. It has some good comedy scenes but the rest of the film is boring.Film is written by neeraj himself.

    Punyalan private ltd-average film
    Its a political satire and sequel to punyalan agarbathis but not as good as the first part.1st half is about hero’s(jayasoorya) new business plan to make drinking water from elephant urine which was interesting and funny.But in second half hero gets a chance to spent a day with state chief minister.both central and state goverenments are heavily criticized by dialogues but it got boring after a point.Felt like a collection of all the angry comments in social media.Jayasoorya was brilliant.

    Pippin chuvattile pranayam- good film
    Title means love by the water pipes. Its the story of a small island in the backwaters of kochi.As the surrounding lake water is polluted ,villagers face severe shortage of water and have to depend on a community water tap for all their needs. Film is about several issues faced by the villagers due to scarcity of water and their attempts to overcome it.plot is suitable for a doccumentary but they succesfully made it into a commercial movie with a sweet romance,beautiful songs ,good comedy, and some emotional scenes.Neeraj madhav was really good as the hero but Sudhi koppa , a supporting actor was the show stealer with brilliant performance in an emotional scene.On the downside story is predictable and film draggs a little.

    Theeran adhikaram 1(tamil)-very good
    A very intense crime thriller starring Karthi as police officer.Film is inspired from real incidents about the police operation against bawariya dacoits. Bawariya tribes are nomadic criminal tribes from northern part of India.Alienated from rest of the population and they hav been committing crimes for generations.The film is abt a particular gang known as lorry gang who work as truck drivers and deliver loads to southern parts.During their return trip they attack lonely houses along national highways murder everyone rape women and loot wealth.In a span of 10 years they killed 18 people including a tamil nadu MLA and injured a lot more.Its very scary and film talks abt the entire history of bawariya tribe.Karthi was really good as the police officer .Probably his best performance till now.
    On the down side heroine is a stereotype foolish loosu ponnu character and film has few stalking scenes at the begining.But it was really cute. As a whole its a very satisfying action thriller with some well choreographed action scenes.

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  9. I’ve been away from movies for a while since I got hooked on to Jane the Virgin. Plus I have finals coming up to study for. I did get to watch Coco which was really cute!

    I don’t know if I want to watch Tiger Zinda Hai in the theaters. I feel like Ali Abbas Zafar will make a good movie but I’m not really in the mood to convince anyone to see Salman. There’s also two Telugu releases that I’m interested in that come out that same weekend. First up, there’s Nani’s next movie co-starring Sai Pallavi called Middle Class Abbayi (“Middle Class Guy”). Here’s the teaser with subtitles to that!

    I’m also interested in seeing Hello which is Vikram Kumar’s next movie starring Akhil. I don’t really like Akhil and the trailer hasn’t gotten me really excited but I’m still curious about the movie because of Vikram Kumar. Here’s the trailer to this one:

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  10. Better start working on the Anushka Sharma wedding post.Even the mainstream news channels have started reporting that she’s marrying Virat next week in Milan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder why Italy? that’s where Rani and Adi had their secret marriage too. Anyway, I will believe it when I see the announcement! Speaking of Rani and Adi, they are the ones who taught me to never consider it a sure thing, there were soooooooooooooooooo many “it’s really gonna happen! Any day now!” rumors, and they never panned out, and then out of the blue they announced they were married.

      On Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 6:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • 5 matches??????? Now I am just made at his work ethic!!!!! I haven’t missed that much work in, like, ever.

          On Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 7:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Kohli – Anushka Marriage official confirmation. Marriage was today

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          • Okay, I really like those photos!!!! They both look great, and sooooooooooooooo happy! None of that “marriage is a serious thing, brides always look sad” nonsense.

            On Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 9:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Been working a lot/doing crafts/reading horrifying news about the country and worrying about the patterns emerging.

    Beau had Khaidi No. 150 on while I was making a light installation and I looked up at the exact moment the character swap happens. I was like “my god, this film just got watchable!”

    Half an hour later it felt like every other social message film from the industry from every other actor. It was very disappointing.

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    • Khaidi No. 150 was on my “maybe someday” list just because it was supposed to be a semi-watchable Chiranjeevi film, sounds like I can drop it off!

      On Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 8:52 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It’s not bad bad, it’s just not original enough plot and tone wise. Feels like good writers just depending on big star’s staple moves and not wanting to offend them by making the script more challenging.

        The more such films I sit through the more I awe inspiring BB looks.

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  12. Aadu second part trailer starring Jayasuriya. First part was a box office flop. But got record sale in DVD in Malayalam and became a cult ( Not a great movie but was entertaining to watch and is a spoof movie)

    Like

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