Monday Morning Questions, MLK Day!

Happy Monday!  And happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!  I am one of those sad people who do not get this day off work.  But I did celebrate yesterday by helping my Sunday school kids do service projects.  And today I get to celebrate by letting you guys ask me questions about stuff!  The funnest thing of all!

You can ask me anything from the personal (“what is your favorite movie to watch on MLK day?”) to the specific (“is Martin Luther King mentioned in any Indian film?”) to the discussion (“since Gandhi influenced King, what is the best Gandhi movie to watch on MLK day?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  The discussion just goes better that way.  But once I have answered, feel free to jump in and join the discussion.

Oh, and a question for you, really more of a direction.  Go here to pick your final favorite TGIF post (with pictures!), here to pick your final favorite FanFic (with excerpts!), and here to pick your final favorite editorial (with excerpts!).  Only like 3 people have voted so far, make your voices heard!

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33 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions, MLK Day!

  1. Oh I’m curious now – is Martin Luther King mentioned in any Indian film?

    And my other question, but maybe not for you Margaret because I remember you don’t like horrors, but is Ezra scary?

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    • I don’t think Martin Luther King is mentioned in any Indian film, but I am not sure. Certainly it is not a major plot point. I was just thinking about it because the little video on him we showed the kids on Sunday included this photo, showing how he always had Gandhi over his desk, just like in police station scenes in Indian movies:

      I saw Ezra! Moviemavengal invited me, we saw it opening day in a double bill with a silly comedy. It is not that scary. Especially if you are familiar with Judaism, because it is so different from European Judaism as to become hilarious. Review here: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/02/27/monday-malayalam-ezra-puts-a-twist-on-manichitrathazhu/

      On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 7:15 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m fearful and don’t like horrors. But Ezra has Tovino Thomas, and I want to watch all his movies so should watch this one too. I thought maybe Ezra is like Manichitrathazhu, which I avoided for years just to discover it’s not scary.

        Other question: Are you going to watch Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz? I haven’t seen so good reviews for a while and wonder if it’s really so good.

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        • I can’t, because it’s not playing near me!!!! This is what I was talking about in the post yesterday, the price of the audience staying away from all those good movies last year. The interesting little films of this year are barely getting a release, even in my massive market, they aren’t coming out. Kaalakaandi isn’t anywhere, and Mukkabaaz is only at one theater, about 2 hours away.

          Ezra has a few kind of jump scares, but is mostly sort of internal, like Manichitrathazhu.

          On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 9:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Did you ever feel that you have been too harsh with a character in a movie that you’d watched years ago -say perhaps when you were a child? Your Haathi Mere Saathi review got me thinking that I’d been a bit harsh with Tanuja.Her priority changed after marriage and she just wanted her child to be safe.I was equally judgmental about Poonam Dhillon when she gave an ultimatum to Kumar Gaurav in Naam -either they marry as per plan or they breakup now.To be fair to her, he calls off the wedding just the day before and leaves her to face guests all alone while he plans to go abroad to bail out his troublemaker brother yet again.The crux of the matter is that as she says he never considered her as important as his mom and brother.Her argument is equally valid.

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    • What an interesting question! Now I am really thinking about it. hmm. A lot of it has to do with age. For instance, when I first watched the great romances when I was in college, Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Qayamet Se Qayamat Tak and DDLJ and Bobby, I thought the heroes were so wise and perfect and wonderful. But watching them now, I am realizing “wait, they are just little children! Trying to figure out the right thing to do”. On the flipside, I am also surprised when my opinion DOESN’T change. Like, watching Kabhi Kabhi the first time, I thought Amitabh was selfish and stupid. Watching it just recently, I was ready to find a deeper meaning in his character, hidden depths of wisdom that I am just now able to appreciate and…..nope!!!! I found hidden meanings in the other characters, could understand better how Raakhee and Waheeda could both love two men, but each in their own way, how Rishi could justify flirting with a girl he didn’t love, Neetu’s identity crisis, all of that. But Amitabh was still a jerk, and Shashi was still wonderful.

      Someone who I find myself pretty consistantly re-evaluating is Rani. She has this common screen persona of uptight tough career woman type, Chalte Chalte and Saathiya and Hum Tum. And when I first watched those movies, I didn’t really like her. But now that I am older, I can see how she is putting in this balance of tough and hard on the outside because it helps her survive, and how each of those characters is different from the other.

      On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 7:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • When I first watched Steel Magnolias (the 1989 one) with my mom and aunt, they were SO ANGRY with Julia Roberts’ character for deciding to get pregnant despite her health-related risks. I was shocked. Today as a mom I understand their reaction better, but I’m still more sympathetic to her–at some level we all think we’re immortal.

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        • Yes! Seemingly just another tough career woman, but really so much more than that.

          On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 9:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. My local theatre doesn’t usually play Indian movies, only once in a while when it’s expected to be a massive blockbuster. Bajirao Mastani, Dhoom 3, PK, Dangal, and Bahubali 2 each got a dedicated screen, but I haven’t noticed any other Indian films making it to my local cinema.

    Now, randomly, they are playing this movie that I haven’t heard of:

    Agnyaathavaasi – Prince in Exile

    Who or what is this, and why is my local cinema which almost never plays Indian films running this?

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    • This is a Telugu film staring Pawan Kalyan, who is one of the two biggest stars in Telugu film presenting (the other one being Mahesh Babu). This is his first release in a while and it is a big big deal. The equivalent of Mahesh Babu’s Spyder earlier this year, or maybe even Bahubali. However, the trend in recent times has been for this huge throwback star lead films to have a massive release and then terrible box office. So I am very excited to see the figures for this film. My local Indian theater, is giving over 3 screens to it and barely playing anything else, which I think is a terrible idea.

      Something that is also slightly more common for Telugu films is for a group to rent space in a theater rather than the theater playing it themselves. So an outside group might be renting space in your local theater to exhibit this film and get any ticket profits over the rental. This makes more sense for Telugu films, because a major release like this has extravagant ticket prices. At $20 a ticket, and $200 for theater rental, you only need to sell 11 tickets to make a profit.

      On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 12:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I was going to ask about Agnyaathavaasi either. I saw people talking about it on twitter. Somebody even wrote to Moviemavengal that she has to write a good review because otherwise she will lost followers. And then after premiere some guy tweeted that this movie made more money than Baahubali. I thought that it’s not possible, but Taran Adarsh confirmed later that indeed Agnyaathavaasi has made 1,727,427 on the first day, and it was tuesday. I was all like: what is going on, and who is this guy.

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        • I’m not going to pay any attention to opening day, because Spyder similarly did amazing business at the start, and then had a record breaking fall over the next few days.

          I’m not surprised that opening day was that high, these Telugu star films go crazy with the opening day tickets and the drive to get you in opening day. But then it doesn’t always hold as time goes on. I’m eagerly awaiting the reveal of this week’s numbers!

          On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 2:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I was surprised because this movie came out of the blue. I know little about telugu industry, but I do know the biggest names like Mahesh, Nagarjuna, N.T.R Junior, Prabhas (even before Baahubali), Ravi Teja but I’ve never heard (or I don’t remember) about this Pawan Kalyan, how is it possible?

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          • I have heard of him, thanks to the lovely commentators here. I’ve seen a few of his movies too. He seems to do more sort of action films that don’t cross out of the Telugu audience as easily as the light comedies and romances. I’ve also been told that part of what makes him so popular is his fluent Telugu and accurate pronunciation and so on. Which of course has no appeal for viewers like us who can’t tell good Telugu from bad.

            On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 4:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Now I understand why I didn’t know him. I read a little about him today, and he has a russian wife!

            I shouldn’t be surprised by the dedication and , let’s say it, craziness of indian fan clubs, but I still am. Last week I was thinking about Mamootty fans (regarding Mayaanadhi boycott) and now I start reading what Pawan’s fans write in web and I’m stumped again. I have an impression that they thought: if we will be loud enough and write more then others Pawan will become number 1.
            I feel like reading a book about indian fans phenomenon now.

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          • Well, you can read my thesis! But that’s about, well, me and you. Not Pawan fans. But if you ever wanted to have your identity dissected in a kind of disturbing way as you realize that you fit (or don’t fit) within a very particular dynamic, you can read my thesis online for free (spoiler: vast majority of international non-desi Indian film fans love Shahrukh):

            http://via.library.depaul.edu/cmnt/27/

            On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 5:11 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • “I’ve also been told that part of what makes him so popular is his fluent Telugu and accurate pronunciation and so on.”
        I would say that you got this wrong Margaret because this is what Jr. NTR is actually known for. Pawan Kalyan is pretty normal when it comes to his Telugu and it’s not really considered to be anything special.

        It’s hard to figure out why Pawan Kalyan doesn’t really cross over even though he’s such a popular star. Here’s my theory. There was a period of time from 2002 to 2012 where none of Pawan Kalyan’s movies were hits. The only reason he sustained was because he was Chiranjeevi’s younger brother and the movies at the beginning of his career which led to a cult following. A lot of the movies that Pawan Kalyan makes are remakes of movies from other languages which probably also leads to less crossover. Another thing is that Pawan Kalyan has been planning on entering politics since 2014 so he has stopped caring about making movies. He’s made three movies since he announced his political intentions and all of them have flopped. He even publicly stated that the only reason he’s still making movies is so that he can make more money that he needs for politics. Probably the fact that Pawan Kalyan’s last memorable and hit movie came in 2013 is another reason of why he’s not well known outside of the Telugu audience.

        By the way, I haven’t seen Agnyaathavaasi but it was really hyped up because it was a collaboration between Trivikram and Pawan Kalyan. This is the combination that previously made a blockbuster like Attarintiki Daaredi. A lot of people were excited about Agnyaathavaasi because it was expected that Trivikram would bring back the vintage version of Pawan Kalyan. But apparently this ended up being a really bad movie, comparable to Mahesh’s Brahmotsavam in terms of how bad it was. Also it looks like Trivikram took the storyline of a french movie called Largo Winch for this movie and now the director of Largo Winch wants to take some kind of action. This is even though the producers of Agnyaathavaasi paid T-Series which had the Indian remake rights to Largo Winch. So I’m curious to see if this will develop into more or not.

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  4. Here’s a mundane question: what happened to the little bell icon that used to be up in the upper right hand corner of your blog? It showed when someone had replied or liked one of one’s comments specifically. I loved it. Where oh where has it gone???

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    • It is not just you! I am still not attracted to him. but at least now I can conceive of other people being attracted to him. Somehow he has a face that always seemed boyish, even at age 50+, but now the grey makes him all mannish.

      Have you watched Lame yet, that’s a really amazing journey! It covers 20 years, so he starts out without a mustache playing around 18, then around 38 with mustache and grew at the temples and very very distinguished looking. And of course in reality he was 35 in real life which makes it even more impressive.

      Here’s a still from the film:

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      • LOL I’m here. He is responding today to everybody who retweeted his announcement. But I’m a little confused because some people are tagged and some not. I just found in my notifications that he has sent a trailer to me too, but without my username. I’m just too stupid for twitter 😉 And , and he called me BRO just like you few months ago! 😉 But I’m not offended, he has been tweeting for hours, so can be tired.

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        • But you have that pretty profile picture! You are clearly a girl. I don’t know, I am offended on your behalf.

          On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 10:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes! I put the most feminine photo I have and use my oficial name Anna. But now that I’m thinking about it, people always call Sunil Shetty Anna, so maybe I will change it to Annie 😉

            @Alisa I’m excited too. I even asked Madhavan if this series will arrive in Italy and he answered that yes (I’m still on the cloud nine, and maybe that’s why I’m not offended today) but I have trust issues and will not be sure till I will see it in my tv.

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