Wednesday Watching Post With a Question for YOU! Also, What Are You Watching and Reading and Thinking This Week?

Happy Wednesday!  I’ve got a follow up to Monday’s question for you, and also of course we can just generally talk about what we are watching and reading and thinking.

I’ll start!

Reading: Niviblog linked in the comments to this great post from Bardwaj Rangan on Padmavat.  Mostly great because he shows the appropriate way to have a conversation and respond to Swara’s ideas in her post in a mature productive manner.  It is possible to disagree with someone and still respect their thoughts!  Bardwaj is here, and the link to the post where I reprint all of Swara and discuss why her post was intelligent and well-written is here.

Watching: New Girl is my latest “sitcom in the background while I blog” choice.  And of course I can’t watch something without recasting it.  Genelia D’Souza as Jess, Ritiesh Deshmukh as Nick, Deepika as Cece, Ranveer as Schmidt, Jim Sarbh as Winston.

Thinking: I think one of the (many) minor personality problems between me and my temporary dog is that she is a night person and I am a morning person.  So she keeps me up sooooooooooo late, and then in the morning I want to go for a walk and start our day and she is still sleeping.  I am experimenting with having our evening walk a little earlier in the evening, we will see if that helps.

 

Now, question!  On Monday I asked if you are a “I love only one person and have no interest in anything else, not even watching movies in which they do not appear” kind of fan, or a “I love only one person, but am also interested in the general industry they come from and have other lessor loves” kind of fan, or a “I love many people equally” kind of fan.

 

Here’s the flipside, are you someone who has a sudden illogical intense hatred for someone?  And if so, is it many someones or only one?  And do you ever get over it?

 

For me, it is Randeep Hooda.  And it is really completely illogical.  I find something about his screen presence very distasteful and kind of dull, and this makes me hate him.  And I don’t think I will ever get over it.

Also, Johnny Lever.  It’s less personal with him, more just that I don’t enjoy him, not that he is distasteful.

On the other hand, I used to really dislike Kareena Kapoor, but as she has matured and I have matured, I have come to really appreciate her.

How about you?

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121 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post With a Question for YOU! Also, What Are You Watching and Reading and Thinking This Week?

  1. Reading Jack Reacher books (guilty pleasure) and I can’t figure out how in the world they can pick Tom Cruise to play him. I have not seen the movie (movies?), but book Reacher is 6’6′ and 250 pounds. He’s big and smart and slow moving and a slugger. Tom Cruise???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Because of the overseas market! where they don’t read Jack Reacher. But they will pay large amounts of money for a Tom Cruise movie. Our only hope is for the market to adjust and Tom Cruise to have less power.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 7:36 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Reading: I just started the Sue Grafton series (A is for Alibi) because so many of my friends were devastated when she died. I am also almost finished with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Then I have to get back to my research reading.

    Watching: Catching up with Grace and Frankie, and watching lots of SRK music videos.

    Thinking: About what great friends I have! A couple who have watched a bunch of Indian films with me came over for dinner this weekend and brought a stack of DVDs they found at a used book store. So I am also thinking about what to watch first!

    Not shown: Guddi and a 100-song compilation DVD of SRK songs.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sue Grafton died???? Now I am upset! I read A through D several years back, and then ran out of energy and always planned to get back to them. More importantly, she is one of those authors that my whole family shared, my mother and father and my grandfather would swap the books back and forth. And she gave my Grandpa a hug! She was doing a book signing years ago in his town, he showed up towards the end, looking like an adorable old man, and she signed his book and gave him a hug.

      SRK music videos are the best. Highly recommend them for background viewing while writing, it’s how I got through college. I write faster without anything in the background, but I also get more frustrated and exhausted at the end of it.

      Those are great friends! And it’s a great random stack, some movies I am guessing you have already seen/know you will like, but also some pretty out there ones (like, “Bhoot” I wouldn’t normally picture you picking out). Good for an adventure!

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 8:50 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Do you know you passed your hatred for Randeep Hooda on me? Everytime I see him I think: “. stupid face”.
    Apart him, I don’t remember disliking somebody without a reason. I dislike a lot of people in Bollywood, but there is always a cause (like Saif and his eugenics comments or Shraddha and her bad acting).

    This week I’m only watching Breathe and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I think you should watch Breathe. It’s dark, but I don’t think as dark as Aruvi. Actors (not only the main leads, but other people too) are amazing, and script is very well written. And I think that a lot of people watch it (and will continue because it will be on amazon for some time) and maybe they will need a place to talk and comment.

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      • Stay away from My Name is Khan!!!! For many many reasons, but also the kid thing.

        On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I avoid movies with sick children and adults like the plague. I certainly wouldn’t watched Breathe if not for Madhavan. But there are not many scenes of Josh (Maddy’s son) in the first 4 episodes. Yes, he is sick, and his illness causes Maddy to become a killer. What makes this movie gripping and so intense is not the illness but what happens inside father’s head.

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    • I am so proud! I may not have managed to raise the online conversation around Indian film to a higher level, but by golly I have taught someone to think “stupid face” when they see Randeep!

      There’s a whole other category of people to dislike who have done something so gross in their personal life that you just can’t get passed it. For me it is Shiney Ahuja. It’s not a “as a moral judgement, I will not watch your movies” dislike, but a straight up “I cannot focus on anything in this film because you are onscreen, no matter how hard I try.” Also a little bit Om Puri.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 8:51 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I share your aversion to Johnny Lever, though he was wonderful in Chalte Chalte. And I have tried to like Karisma Kapoor, but just can’t. Karina is the opposite; I disliked her at first, but she has grown on me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the problem with Kareena is her most famous films are still her first ones. So everyone seems to first meet her through K3G and Asoka and Mujshe Dosti Karoge, and she is just not very good in those. And it takes a lot of Jab We Mets and Bajrangi Bhaijaans to get past those. At least, that’s how it was for me. She was firmly “Poo” from K3G in my head for years until I had finally seen enough of her later work to have that disappear from my brain. Or at least not be the first reference.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:11 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • What I’ve been told, in person not on twitter, is that he is hilarious and very quick witted if you speak Hindi. And also possibly better in stand-up than in film scenes. But in movies, without speaking Hindi, I just can’t get him. Plus he always seems to be dragged in to do a comedy bit that makes the plot grind to a halt while we wait for him to finish. So maybe it’s not Jonny himself, so much as the whole idea of “let’s stop the film in it’s tracks for 10 minutes and bring in a random comic to riff on something”.

          On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:28 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Same with Clint Eastwood. I find him strangely unpleasant as a director too, even if he isn’t onscreen. He has excellent workmanship, but somehow his films never feel like they have any sensitivity to me.

      Tom Cruise isn’t for me, but I can at least see the appeal. It’s a strange line, isn’t it? Some actors you just can’t even see it, some you can see what it is but it’s not for you, and some actors you just love. And that may be next Monday’s question! Breaking it down like that.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:15 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Clint Eastwood is wonderful in Bridges of Madison County with Meryl Streep. The film is light years better than the book which isn’t something you can say often.

        Tom Cruise isn’t my cup of tea but he is a talented actor. He shines when he’s pushed out of his comfort zone by a good, strong director.

        I know I’ve had irrational hatred of actors but I can’t think of any right at the moment. Oh wait, Kristen Stewart. I do not understand how she has a career.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can forgive Tom Cruise for a lot after seeing his brilliant character in Tropic Thunder — which I didn’t even recognize until I saw the credits. Of course, Tropic Thunder is such a brilliant combination of casting anyway. Is it a cult classic? It should be.

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  5. Confession time. I didn’t like Ajay Devgan for a long time because someone I couldn’t stand in real life was a fan.Ditto Kahani and Dr.House.This week I ran out of Kumar Gaurav films and finally turned to his dad Rajendra Kumar.Watched the latter’s Talash where he’s an ambitious clerk who wants to make tons of money.He got engaged to poor village girl Shamila 1 while he was on vacation in the mountains.No sooner was he back than he was promoted and the boss’s foreign returned daughter Sharmila 2 is introduced to him and is in hot pursuit.The film makes his dilemma genuine.Marrying Sharmila 2 wouldn’t be a sacrifice as he’s genuinely attracted to her as well.

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    • Oh that sounds fascinating! There’s also An Evening in Paris and Sharmilee which have the idea of an actress playing a double role, but it isn’t a straight “Virgin” “Vamp” kind of thing, more just two different equal flavors of womanhood.

      I can feel a paper/think piece rising in me on how the conflicting ideas of Indian female identity were being worked out through these films of the 1960s!

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I love how the movie tackles the moral dilemma of whether you are attracted to the face or the person inside.Oh yes and the movie is VERY different from ‘An Evening in Pari’s.Shammi isn’t attracted to the ‘other woman’ while Rajendra Kumar here is attracted to both.Have to appreciate him in the movie’s finale for being an all around good sport.The movie is told from his view point but Sharmila gets all the screen time and has fun playing two different characters.And Helen is the second heroine who dares to question her father when the latter denies her permission to marry.Does he object to the marriage because he’d rather she keep on earning money as a dancer?

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        • I almost forgot that part of An Evening in Paris, but yes! That was my favorite bit, that Shammi almost immediately went “yeah, you’re not the same person”. So refreshing to show he really did fall for her person not her face, and was the only one to tell the difference.

          Sharmilee makes it a bit more complicated, with her acting like the other girl just to put on a new level of confusion.

          Oh this is all making me want to see more classic 60s films!

          On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 11:25 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Ohh I hate so many people for illogical reasons! Varun Dhawan – coz I can’t stand his loud acting and his attempt to become this generation’s Govinda.
    Sonam Kapoor – she should never open her mouth.
    Salman Khan – he killed a person! And he almost controls a few people in the industry.
    Alia Bhatt – uhh just can’t stand her. I keep wondering if she could ever make it without her connections.
    Arjun Kapoor – he just CANNOT ACT!
    Kareena I don’t like because she always pouts in her pictures.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! Embrace the hatred!!!! Not even being sarcastic, I actually think it is a useful analytical tool. If you are aware of the actors you dislike and why, then you can better understand your reactions to films. So many times I read a review and think “wait, did you not like this movie or do you just not like this actor and therefore you are putting that hatred on this film?” It’s easier to be objective when you know the areas in which you are not objective and can set them aside.

      Same way you need to be aware of the actors you love so you can set that aside when looking at their films.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 10:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I agree. But there have been few films that I have liked inspite of the actors, like Neerja and Ishaqzaade. I have realized that I might like the movie, but not the above mentioned actors.

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        • Exactly! It’s healthier that way, to go in knowing you don’t like the actor which allows you to be open minded about the film itself. I feel the same way about Aish, now that Asmita is reminding me, I just cannot stand her. Except in Guru and Kuch Na Kaho, where for some reason I like her and like the film.

          On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 11:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Niviblog, your list looks almost like mine (I would only change Arjun for Saif) but in my opnion your reasons are not illogical. Salman really killed a person, Kareena and Sonam seem to be mean gossip women (Karan Johar who is Kareena friend wrote only few sentences about her in his book and all were bad! so imagine)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, the Salman reason didn’t seem illogical to me too. And most people don’t like Sonam and Kareena either. Lol about Karan and Kareena. They probably are best buddies because they both love gossiping.

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  7. Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan.

    I.Just.Can’t.Stand.Them.

    It used to be like “oh Aish is so pretty! I love her!” when I was in school but then again I think I said that for every bollywood heroine back then. Hrithik, I just never got into him. At all. AT ALL. My brother fell in love with Kaho Na Pyar Hai and Koi Mil Gaya and MPKDH etc and even Dhoom and he played them on tv every time they were on and I fought with him for the remote every time. Every time!!!

    I find them both extremely vain and pretentious. I find their eyes full of deception. If feels like every move they make in public is an act and every word they say is measured and this entire image they’ve created is a carefully curated one. And find their acting insincere and hollow. Almost like Varun Dhawan. Except I don’t hate Varun Dhawan. I pretend he doesn’t exist and I didn’t see him being vain, OTT, idiotic, classless all over the place.

    Oh and the list includes a lot of politicians and non-Indian actors but I only have Aishwarya and Hritik’s faces in front of my eyes right now and I’m getting very annoyed because of that!!! 😡

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  8. Really!!! you used to hate Kareena!! i’ve always liked her .not just acting wise but also as a person.She is less hypocrite .She has never changed always stayed the same .
    Anyway as for dislike i don’t like Ranveer Singh.I just don’t know why but every time he opens his mouth to talk he just says any rubbish that comes in his mind.
    Watch any interviews of him with the self proclaimed “elite” crowd you’l get what i’m saying(Also observe the people he is talking to for their expressions especially when he cuts them).
    Btw i agree he is a really good actor has tremendous energy and i don’t mind talkative people heck i’m the talkative one but he is just so irritating..oh as for the Monday question i’ve left my reply for there

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    • I think part of the reason I like Kareena now is that she hasn’t changed, but then I didn’t know she wouldn’t change when I first started following her, if you see what I mean. IN the early years, I thought she was just a spoiled immature brat for being that way. But she stayed htat confident and sure of what she wanted all the way through to today, which means know I have to acknowledge that she just knew herself and what she wanted and didn’t want since the beginning.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 12:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • exactly and she did what she wanted to do and not to impress anyone..you should’ve seen the some page 3 critics now and back then ..till she gave a big hit “Jab We Met” they would say she is over acting in every film(i agree she was a little too much in K3G but that is how her character was) even if she gave a descent performance..but after the movie they started praising her for her acting skills which quite frankly i found the same..

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  9. I cannot stand most of the star kids! (except for Ranbir and Abhishek I think).
    Aishwarya – what Asmita said. So fake, and pretends that nothing gets to her whereas everything does. And also I don’t like the way she dances. As a dancer myself, I find her grossly overrated. She isn’t fluid and tries too hard. Basically just hate her I think, but she is gorgeous!
    Arjun – I really want to like him, I mean he had such a hard life. Losing his mom, and all the Boney stuff but he is really condescending at times. And rambles too much in interviews. I know everyone cannot be an SRK, but really stick to the point.
    Alia – She’s just so entitled! Is really hardworking, but acts dumb when she’s not. She might not be book smart but is very very street smart.
    Sonam – entitled, jealous. I admire her just for her entre

    I actually like Kareena though she’s also a bit like Alia but she doesn’t care what folks think, and people she loves – she really loves.

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    • I am trying really hard not to give in to my hatred of Aish! Because, unlike Randeep Hooda and Johnny Lever, I can’t tell for sure if it is logical or illogical. If it’s illogical, I can make fun of myself (Randeep and his stupid face), and if it’s logical I can explain it (Johnny and his humor bit sthat don’t work). But with Aish, maybe it is both? I find myself having an unreasoning dislike for her because she comes off so so so so fake in interviews. And also I really don’t like the way she presented herself to the Western press as kind of an Indian princess. But then on the other hand, I also think maybe she isn’t a very good actress?

      I keep reading all these people saying “Arjun” and thinking they mean Arjun Rampal, and getting all defensive and angry, and then realizing they mean Arjun Kapoor. And feeling like “eh, sure, go ahead and hate him”. Which I guess is proving that Arjun Kapoor hasn’t done a very good job of charming us all! If I am more defensive about an aging male model who hasn’t been in a hit movie since I don’t know when.

      I did not much like Sonam for a long time, but either she grew up a bit, or she just learned how to present herself more accurately in interviews, but I find her much more standable know. She is out there beating the drum for women over and over again, not in the “sexy” splashy ways, but just asking for female star power to be recognized and appreciated in a boring financial way as much as male power.

      And Kareena, yes! She is difficult and mean and all of those things, but also so incredibly loyal to the few people she loves. She’s not a hypocrite, and she’s not faithless.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 1:48 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Aish has been through a lot so maybe that’s why I don’t hate her? She’s really not a good actress and she’s vain but then you hear about her breakup with Salman and the rumors about Jaya’s treatment of her and how unhappy she looks in family photos and I guess I feel sorry for her? Kind of?

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        • Interesting. I think it’s either because you are a nicer person than all of us and able to forgive people, or else because the rest of us have seen more bad Aish performances/interviews and it has hardened our hearts.

          On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 2:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • For me its definitely her interviews. I mean, her acting I guess is what it is at this point. But its in her interviews, where is she is being “herself”, she acts more. She’s so cold and the whole “I’m so middle class and normal” when she clearly isn’t.

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          • I think it’s a combination for me, her interviews and her performances are so similar. So I watch an interview and get irritated because she is so clearly putting on a performance, and I watch a performance and get irritated because she is so clearly just playing her public persona.

            That “normal” part of it is what really bugged me about her interviews in the West. Because it became “I am the typical Indian woman and speak for all Indian women”, instead of just “I am a movie star talking only for myself”. And of course that was on top of her not actually talking for herself, like saying that she never dated, never kissed on screen, and so on, just clear lies. Very frustrating.

            On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 3:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I think not so much explanation, as something that might soften your attitude towards someone. Not my attitude necessarily, I still find her irritating, but I can see how someone might think “okay, it’s really not fair to be mad at this poor woman, she has had so much stuff in her life I should be able to forgive a little bad acting”.

            On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 11:19 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Arjun Rampal is amazing. He was accused of having “wooden acting” skillset but it turns out he was just more western-film inspired which looks much more natural and awesome now that the style of filmmaking has changed to be more western-film like.

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        • Oh good, it’s not just me! Although thank goodness he isn’t trying to do roles like Pyaar Aur Ishq Mohabbat or Dil Hai Tumhaare any more, nothing more painful than watching a restrained acting trying to go big and make it look natural.

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          • There was a movie with Aishwarya and Arjun Rampal – Dil Ka Rishta or something like that.. terrible terrible acting from all sides but for some reason I’ve watched it more than once 🙂 Don’t love him but don’t hate him either.

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  10. Sorry to all the Randeep haters, but I thought he was kinda cute as the Aussie cousin in Monsoon Wedding, well maybe more his character than his face per se, he thoroughly embodied that role with an almost keanu-reeves-like presence. I always have that version of him in my mind when I see him in any movie, so I can’t ever hate him. Plus I really respect his turn in Bombay Talkies.

    For me, just like I’m not a true “fan” of anyone, I can’t say I really dislike anyone either. But I find today’s crop almost charisma-free, compared to all the stars whose movies would interest me 10-15 years ago. Which means no one really merits intense like or dislike. I don’t think I’m alone in this, I think it’s partly why the smaller movies and the actory-actors got so much more attention in 2017.

    Out of the current stars, I think I subconsciously avoid Varun Dhawan. His only movie I’ve seen is Dilwale, and that’s really the only type of movie I would want to see him in, i.e. a modem masala movie. I think I would have already seen SOTY, Badlapur, and the Ki Dulhania movies by now if someone else had been in them. Maybe his smirk, maybe his entitled cluelessness, maybe his propagation of eve teasing in some of his movies, he just feels like a regressive throwback.

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    • It does feel like the rough edges have been shaved off a bit more of the current group. Either because the edges never existed in the first place (rich kids without much trauma) or because they have gotten very good at hiding the rough edges (everyone has a stylist and a PR person and the gossip is dreadfully dull these days). Or just because movies are getting blander, you aren’t going to get something totally bonkers like Baazigar, with the crazy costumes and plot and performances that make you really remember an actor.

      I say that, and then I remember Ranveer who is totally crazy and memorable. But in a way where I don’t necessarily feel like I know him as a person, somehow all that craziness feels like it is just hiding the real person behind it, instead of revealing it.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 3:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Baazigar is 25 yrs ago. I’m talking 10-15 yrs ago, say from KHNH to JTYJN roughly. Look at who all the stars were then – 3khans saif ajay akshay hrithik john abhishek shahid kareena priyanka rani priety bipasha lara aish arjun sush amrita ayesha vidya kangana emraan mallika amisha deepika ranbir katrina and you even had konkana rahul irrfan tabu in mainstream movies.
        If you did the same for this decade, half the list would be the same as the above list, 1/4 would be arty actors or semi-arty, and only 1/4 would be genuine new “stars”, half of whom were in SOTY lol. The current batch is extremely small and only does 1 film a year, whereas ten years ago they were still making 2-4 films a year sometimes.
        Ranveer is interesting, but I feel like he did BBB -great start btw – and then followed it up with 6 years of SLB films –
        which is a really odd career path.

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        • Wow, you are right about Ranveer! That is, maybe, what I like best about Varun. He has thrown himself into as many films in as many genres as he can possibly manage. It really sets him apart from the other new crew.

          On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 7:57 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Now that it has been pointed out here so much, I’ve begun to notice Randeep really does have a very stupid face. Actually he has a very small town person face, the kinds you just can’t remember or tell apart from similar looking guys in a crowd unless the face is famous.

        I think I first really, really noticed him for his acting in Highway. He killed that role!! I was totally convinced by that character and that was basically Alia’s film.

        Funny story, for a very long time I believed the first good Hooda film I saw was Everything is Fine. I thought he was very good in it. Turns out, it wasn’t him at all. It was some dude called Rehan Engineer who did like 3 films in the 2000s.

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        • I first noticed his stupid face in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. He is very handsome, but in terms of having a rivating screen presence and a face you want to look at, he was far behind Ajay and Emraan and Kangana and even Prachi Desai. I kept getting irritated when we had to go back to watching the boring handsome police officer instead of all the other interesting people.

          On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Randeep was good in Monsoon Wedding. I liked him back then, but few years later I watched Kick, and I hated this movie enterly, and he was a part of it. In the same time, I read that Margaret don’t like his stupid face and I thought: “Yeah Randeep you deserve it for being in this ridiculous movie.”

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  11. My (possibly unreasoning or at least overblown) hatred seems to come more from the music world. Three guys are banned from anywhere I’m controlling the music. Not that anyone I know likes them anyway.

    Eminem and R. Kelly–both for their incredibly abusive pasts and lyrics. Eminem gets additional hate for his ridiculous plastic surgery. These two are pretty justified.

    But more than them I have a visceral dislike for Bob Seger. Most people on this blog probably don’t even know who that is, lol. Hate his voice, hate “Still like that old time rock and roll” (spillover hate for Tom Cruise for making everyone overplay that song for decades), hate the epic self-pitying “Here I am on the road again”, but there is one lyric in “Down on Main Street” that turned my annoyance into actual hate. He’s singing about prostitutes who are out and about on Main St, and says about one of them “unlike all the other ladies she looked so young and sweet”. Dude–maybe if guys like you didn’t enact gross violence on all the other ladies all the time, they would also look young and sweet! Just. UGH.

    So that’s my hate story. Hey, that could be a title for a movie, or even a franchise! 😉

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  12. For better or worse (probably worse) I watched the State of the Union last night. And stuck around to listen to some of the talking heads on TV afterwards. All of it disgusted me but then I found a saving grace in staying up later than I should have: TCM aired “On the Town” (the 1949 classic, with Sinatra & Gene Kelly). I was soothed! So what if I stayed up even later than I should have?

    I was also reminded why I found it so easy to love Hindi movies. I was a fan of golden age Hollywood movies from the 30’s-50’s from the time I was in high school. My dad could never sleep until I was safely home after weekend nights out (not that I lived anywhere dangerous at all, unless you call a middle class New York suburb dangerous!!) and I would often come home to find him watching a late night movie. This was before cable and satellite. I’d settle in with him and watch. Inevitably, as the music swelled and “The End” came up on the screen, he’d turn to me and say, “Well, they don’t make ’em like that anymore!” Perhaps not, but Hindi movies–with improbable plots, songs and dance–were a natural for me after loving all those old American movies.

    And who do I hate? More than I should probably. Salman because he killed a guy, although I suspect he’s sobered up a bit since then. (So maybe I don’t hate forever?) I hesitate to say this because people–especially Indians–see her as a feminist icon, but I just can’t stand Kangana. Not as an actor, that part is OK. But as a person, I suspect she is mentally unstable. That round of interviews before Rangoon (I think) really turned me off completely. Ajay Devgn mostly because I don’t like his “man’s man” persona. And am I allowed to include non-actors here? Because I am fed up with Anupama Chopra these days. She just irritates the heck out of me!

    Oh there are more I’m sure but I don’t want to go off all night!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love On the Town!!!!! Betty Garrett rules all. Also, “I Feel Like I’m Not Out of Bed Yet” goes through my head every other morning, especially in winter.

      I go back and forth on Ajay. Because on the one hand, he is so “man’s man”. But then there are other things that aren’t man’s man-y at all, like the way he is such an involved and proud co-parent, or so supportive of his wife’s career. Also, I really like Singham.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 6:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • My love of old Hollywood musicals, especially Fred Astaire films, is also why I fell in love with Indian cinema. Films like La La Land and The Greatest Showman are really rare musicals in current Hollywood — but I have an unlimited supply in Indian films!

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  13. Everyone hates the same people I do! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

    I have people I professionally hate (not as in hate them like it’s my job, as in won’t watch a movie if they’re in it). Johnny Lever is in this category. I just do not get it, and I’m perfectly willing to admit it’s because I can’t speak Hindi.

    I have people I personally hate: like the performance, wouldn’t want to hang out. I hate to admit that Kangana falls into this category, and I’ve tried to fight it but the whole Hrithik thing doesn’t help. She just comes off as too defensive and cocky in her interviews. I know a lot of people love her for that, but I just know we’d never be friends. That’s fine, though! Also Salman for all the reasons people have listed. Sonam and Kareena seem like mean girls, although Kareena at least is a plus if I’m picking a movie.

    People I hate on both fronts: Katrina. I guess she dresses well, but she’s vapid and terrible and a foreign woman getting parts for Indians, and she has yet to enhance any performance I’ve seen.

    People I hated but don’t anymore: Randeep! I don’t know what it was about him, but I also just really disliked him until I saw him in Bombay Talkies, where he was very good and brave. Also Ranveer, which I think was because I saw him in Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl and I really just wanted the “ladies” to just give him what for and ruin his life but then Anushka goes and falls in love with him and I rolled my eyes so hard they stayed that way. And then, because of this, I watched Lootera and I rooted for Sonakshi to just give him a kick in the pants but we know how that worked out. And then I realized he was the same guy I loved in BBB (early days of Indian film, too many new actors to tell apart). And then I loved him and I went back and watched LvRB and Lootera again and Lootera at least I saw with fresh eyes as a beautiful tragic story and really, I think that’s his best work. And now I like him in anything! I watched Gunday, even.

    Reading: Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Really good, fairly depressing book. Reminds you there’s another India.

    Watching: Saw Shirin Farhad ki Toh Nikil Padi after reading your review! Extremely enjoyable movie! Did not need the extended poop joke!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your professional versus personal hate concept. I may have to steal that!

      Also, so glad you saw Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikil Padi! And confirmed that it is still enjoyable. My biggest problem was the sex misunderstanding joke. But then they turned it into a nice moment, so I guess it is okay.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:34 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. It’s not that star kids from the Mumbai industry post 90s have all been graceful and humble, it’s just that this particular lot is so freaking loud. And they’re all over the media being loud together and all one remembers is the loudness from their public appearances.

    Of the SOTY trio, Alia has taken the best decisions career wise. None of her films look like she got the role because she’s a star kid. She got into films so young and her baby-faced looks probably made it harder for her to escape the daddy’s little princess/dumb rich teen image she got stuck with post the Koffee episode. She did pretty well mocking herself for that in the AIB video and I think she’s real in her real life interactions. We can see her growing up and that gives me hope. I admire her for nailing emotional roles, especially in Udta Punjab. A person with her upbringing should not be able to know how to capture those emotions at all and she did that perfectly which males me believe she’s far more sensitive and a far better actor than we realize.

    With Arjun Kapoor, apart from the fact that he chose deglam roles and played them like a rich boy, I had no complaints. In his interactions with media, he gets a little “oh my issues” and it gets annoying but then again I think we shouldn’t fault men for being emotional. And that he can talk about his private life and emotions in public makes me think he’s an open person and a brave person and this EIC episode he did showed that he’s capable of putting in the hard work and I hated him less since.

    Vaduz Dhawan, I think his problem is that he thinks he’s made it in life and he knows it all. He thinks he’s doing a great job acting when he isn’t and it’s just that his films have done well and the media have hyped him. I want him to have one big big huge flop and people criticising him. I think it would make him a better actor and a better person. Right now he’s just a cocky brat.

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    • I really want Varun to have a flop too. He needs to love a movie enough to take a risk even if it isn’t commercially viable! The closest he has come was Badlapur, but even there it was positioned as an odd art film, so it was still a “success” even if it didn’t make much money. I want something like Badrinath or Judwaa to be a flop. And him to have to come out and say “I loved this movie and I thought it would work and I am heartbroken it wasn’t a hit”.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I’ll put it this way, I feel like he put his heart and soul into Humpty and Badlapur and even SOTY in his own way, and Main Tera Hero. But then he “made” it, and it feels like he decided “okay, I worked and worked and now I made it and I am done working”. Like, that’ show careers work, you work, and then you make it, and that’s it. I want him to have a flop an realize you never actually stop working.

          On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 8:22 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I also want him to have a flop but for different reasons. I really want one of his comedies to flop, something like Judwaa 2. I think the pressure to keep his success streak is high so he ends up gravitating towards those types of comedies that he feels are safe. I would hate to see a movie like October flop since it might lead him to not sign movies that are perceived as risks.

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        • This is reminding me of me and bee stings. I’ve never been stung by a bee, and I built it up in my mind as this terrible thing and would go inside if a saw a bee and so on and so forth. And then I finally was stung by a bee, years after everyone else, and it wasn’t that bad! And I could stay outside after that and not be ruled by fear and so on.

          I think that’s what your thinking, that he needs to get that bee sting of failure so he gets it over with and realizes it wasn’t worth worrying about.

          On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 12:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’ve never been stung by a bee either. And I saw a girl on my soccer team cry so much due to a bee sting when I was in elementary school so I’ve been pretty terrified since.

            But yeah, that’s a perfect analogy to what I’m talking about.

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  15. Ohh and I just started watching Kismet Connection which I remembered after reading your previous post. It’s surprisingly a breezy watch, and I really don’t mind Vidya in this except for her styling. I also realized that I have never watched the whole movie! I’ve always seen it in parts. Shahid is really likeable in this one, and also his friend is played by Vishal Malhotra is who I loved watching growing up in Disney Channel India shows.

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    • Yeah, I kind of wish we had more movies like this today! Not good movies, but pleasant. This is why I liked Happy Bhaag Jayegi! Nice simple pleasant film. And hey, it’s getting a sequel! So it could happen!

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 11:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  16. I have had phases of hate-love-hate-love with many.Some of the actors I like initially, become off-putting for some reason in the course of time.And there are some others whom I start-off with a distate but over the years they gradually grow on me & don’t seem as terrible as they used to.

    Hated Aishwarya in the early 2000s for her fake persona.But now I have accepted that she is a terrible actress with shrilly voice but has managed a long filmi career remarkably-I don’t suppose it would have been easy falling out of favor with all the Khans-before she joined the Bachans- and still managing to get work.Also Aaradhya somehow humanized the plastic-Aishwarya for me.Aishwarya also did something no other actress in India has managed to do post-marriage-post motherhood-pulled of the role of a desirable woman,romancing a younger hero in Ae Dil Hain Mushkil.

    Had a reverse reaction to Sonam.I loved her in Saawariya for her dainty looks & innocent smile.I even loved her spoiled brat role in Aisha.But off late-maybe post her Koffee With Karan episode where she described herself as an icon-she started getting on my nerves.I still liked her in Neerja & will watch her upcoming movies.But I will avoid her off-screen appearances and interviews.

    Kangana-fell in love with her in Gangster-She was a refreshing change in her curly,waif-like,depressed-as-hell avatar.Loved her comic turn in TWM,TWM2 & Queen.And then the whole Hritik-saga & fights with so many people.Unless she redeems herself in some mind blowing-role,I cannot watch her again.But if she does that,the whole how-she-made-it-despite-everyone-out-to-get-her saga will appear alongside.So basically no Kangana for me.

    Salman & Sanjay Dutt-Criminals who deserve to be in jail.Hate them onscreen and off screen.

    I can’t care for the current crop of star kids-who are so perfect in every way that they seem like that fancy dish served in a silver platter.Just that they are so bland that they don’t deserve a second licking.Also I don’t get it when actors like Aalia Bhatt are hyped as the Meryl Streep of India after one Udta Punjab.The deglamorised,suffering heroine maybe something of a novelty in Bollywood & Aalia did give a good performance.But that does not make her the ‘best actor of her generation’. I will wait for Aalia & the others to excel in a set of diverse roles, over the years & deliver consistently before calling them even a good actor.

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    • I don’t know if I will ever be able to warm up to Aish. Just, so many bad movies! Or rather, movies that could/should have been good and then she was cast in them. It’s hard to forgive that.

      On the other hand, I have come around on Salman and Sanjay. Both on and off screen. I didn’t like them at first, didn’t see what the appeal was, and then somehow I did. Not that I am “right” or anything, just that suddenly it kind of clicked into place for me and I went “okay, yeah, I can forgive you and I will want to see your movies”.

      Did not expect for this post to bring out the Kangana dislikers, and so glad it did! I had the same feeling, she is an amazing actress, but I am sick of her “victim” public persona and strange pride in it? Or pride in something? Maybe I will come around on her again, but right now I find her kind of insufferable.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I just love the way Dulquer speaks. He is the son of the biggest superstar in Malayalam, but he’s so self effacing (I have no idea how he’s in IRL) and knows none of this is permanent. I wish Varun Dhawan also realized that – that at some point there will be a fall and it won’t be a pretty one.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh man…I just realized that the lengthy comment that I wrote prior to the video comment did not get posted..What am I doing wrong that sometimes it gets posted several times & sometimes it never gets posted?

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    • It looks like you may not be logged in to WordPress. You can post a comment by just filling in the fields and hitting “post”, but if you don’t log in, the system doesn’t realize you have posted before and makes me moderate the comment. And sometimes sends it to “Spam”. You don’t have to actually have a wordpress blog or anything, just an account with them, and then you can log in and won’t need to be moderated.

      Now, let me hunt through spam for your other comment!

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  18. I wouldn’t say I hate him but Sidharth Malhotra really annoys me. He seems to be the worst part every movie that I watch of his. Plus I hate the fact that he uses the outsider card so much. It’s been five years since he came into the industry and Karan Johar produces a majority of his movies, but there always seems to be some kind of statement by him about being an outsider in the industry before a movie release. Also a lot of people who give Varun and Alia grief end up giving Sidharth a pass just because he’s an outsider.

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    • I think Siddharth must be getting better because in the “worst part of the movie” level, I found that Jacqueline beat him in A Gentleman and Sonakshi beat him in Ittefaq. Before that though, I agree, he was always the worst part.

      On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 12:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I haven’t seen Ittefaq but I do agree that Jacqueline was the worst part of A Gentleman. But then, I feel like her character wasn’t given much depth compared to Sidharth’s

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        • True! But still an improvement over Kapoor & Sons when he had hte author backed role, and Alia still was better than him.

          On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 2:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s true.

            By the way, do you know what Shakun Batra is making next? He was supposed to make another movie with Fawad but I haven’t heard anything about that after Fawad left.

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          • I’m not seeing anything about another film. Looks like he has connections with Excel and Dharma, so he should be in a good position if he wants to make something else. There was a 4 year gap between Ek Main Aur Ek Tu and Kapoor & Sons, so maybe he just takes a long time in pre-production?

            On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 2:57 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  19. Vivek Oberoi is like nails on a chalkboard to me, and I can’t even explain why. It’s like Margaret with Randeep. Saathiya should be my total catnip kind of movie — especially because Rani — but it has Vivek!!

    I also roll my eyes at Brahmanandam, who is like the Johnny Lever of Telugu films. He is in just about EVERY film for pointless comedy uncle shtick. The plot grinds to a halt as we see co-actors like Prabhas try to not burst out laughing at his antics, and I’m just like — what the hell is so funny? It’s probably because I don’t speak Telugu, but ugh. Rarely, he has a full role and is a decent actor , but mostly he has useless cameos.

    Kriti Sanon used to be on my hate list, and I really hated her gaslighting Mahesh in 1: Nekkodine, but she has totally redeemed herself for her excellent turn in Bareilly Ki Barfi.

    I have been doing more catch up on Oscar nominated films. I saw Phantom Thread — wow those twists!! — and it has really great acting in it, plus drool worthy costumes. I, Tonya was a wacky film, but really well done. Being old enough to vividly remember that whole craziness, it was fascinating to see the other side of it all. Allison Janey as the mother with that bird on her shoulder and the fur coat! In the credits, they show side by side the real interview tapes with the actual people, and it’s quite something. Highly recommend both films.

    I binge watched Madhavan and Amit Sadh’s Breathe Amazon Prime series, the first four episodes. I thought they were releasing all 8, but the rest will be released one each week. It’s really, really good. I was pleasantly surprised that Amit Sadh’s character is a full co-lead and gets a tragic backstory giving him possibly his best role ever. Both Maddy and Amit are great in this, but Amit is truly amazing. Highly, highly recommend!

    Saw Padmaavat, and have very mixed feelings about the film. I still think it’s worth seeing in the theater for the costumes and Ghoomar song, etc., but it is overly long and sometimes flat.

    Saw a little Telugu film Napoleon that has a very quirky premise — a man walks into a police station complaining that his shadow is missing. Very clever script, and free on Youtube.

    Maanagaram is a Tamil film that’s on Amazon Prime. It’s a hyper link film set in Chennai (the title means Metropolis), and frankly, I thought it was better than Traffic. Sundeep Kishan is the only name star, and it’s a debut director. Really, really good film, and very entertaining. Highly recommend!

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    • Viviek (yes I am always going to put in the extra “i”! As a reminder of the stupidity of changing the spelling of your name!) is one that I have gone from love to hate with. I loved him in Saathiya, and in Kyun Ho Gaya Na, and then I started to hate him. Not just because of his stupid stupid personal life choices, or his increasingly desperate and repetative performances, but somehow his whole look became, like you said, nails on a chalkboard. The wispy hair, the cocky smile, somehow I went from hate to love.

      But I do still love Saathiya, always and forever!

      On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 1:19 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I remember when Vivek was “the next big thing” and almost all girls on polish bollywood forum loved him. I never knew why – he was so unappealing. Then I forgot about him. Few months ago I found him on twitter, and I started liking him because his tweets are sooo sweet and cute.

        I started Maanagaram 2 weeks ago, but I turned it off after one of the first scenes, when bad guy was proud of himself for burning one girl face with acid, and now when she became disfigured he started looking for a new “girlfriend”. It was too much for me.

        And the most important – Melanie you made my day by joining Dreamy Unni Mukundan fanclub 😀

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  20. Forgot to add that instead of watching the SOTU horror show, I went to see Anushka Shetty’s new horror thriller <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZb6a9fjaZk"Bhaagamathie. I’m not one to seek out horror films, usually, but my viewers reassured me it’s more of a thriller and isn’t that scary. It’s got some fun scare jumps, with great sound design and background score. Anushka is absolutely fantastic in it. The director waited for her to be finished with her Baahuabli commitments to make the film, and frankly I can’t think of anyone else more suited to the role. She goes “full Devasena” when she is possessed as the spirit of an ancient queen. And it has an absolutely DREAMY Unni Mukundan in it in a romantic flashback.

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  21. I’ve seen a couple of Telugu movies lately. The first one is a small rom-com love triangle called Columbus starring Sumanth Ashwin, Seerat Kapoor, and Mishti Chakraborty. It’s a fun timepass movie and the acting isn’t that great. The hero, Sumanth Ashwin, gets by with no acting skills because he’s a producer’s son. But I tend to somehow find him charming so I enjoyed this movie.

    The next movie I saw was a romantic drama called Mental Madhilo starring Sree Vishnu and Nivetha Pethuraj. This was a really good movie! I would definitely recommend that you see it. It’s a story about a guy that gets confused a lot and can’t make decisions for himself. The guy’s character can get annoying at times but I loved the character of Swetcha (played Nivetha Pethuraj). She was strong, independent, confident, etc. I felt like the hero, Aravind (Sree Vishnu), honestly didn’t deserve someone as amazing as Swetcha. Anyway, I really liked Mental Madhilo and I hope you watch it soon. Here’s the trailer with subtitles:

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    • Yaaaaay! You are back to watching and recommending movies! I assume Football season is now over? Or almost over?

      On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 11:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • This sunday is the Super Bowl and I’m getting stressed every time I think of something related to football. This is not normal for me so I’ve been back to watching movies again to not think about football.

        But you should definitely watch Mental Madhilo!

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        • This is totally normal for me! I only find sports stressful and anxiety making, not enjoyable. Which is why I avoid them as much as possible and watch movies instead. Welcome to my world!

          On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 8:41 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m only feeling so stressful because I care so much! There’s this really special feeling that you get when a team that you root for wins an important game. I wanna feel that again. Plus the Patriots are playing the Eagles who are one of the Cowboys biggest rivals. Eagles fans are definitely the worst fanbase in sports. So I would hate for them to win.

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          • See! This is what I am saying! I enjoy sports not at all, the process of watching them, but I care SO MUCH about the teams of which I am a fan! In an odd combination of disinterest and passionate emotion that leads to a total lack of joy. Even when they win, I immediately start worrying about them losing next year. This is why I only watch the games when they get into the big thing. Also, politics.

            On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 9:28 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  22. The trailer of Tholi Prema came out and it looks really good!

    Also the trailer of Awe came out as well. This is a movie that’s being produced by Nani and it looks really intriguing.

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    • Tholi Prema looks like something I would like, but Awe not really. But I found something interesting :there is organ donation form at the end of the trailer, so maybe it will be something similar to Breathe

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    • Yes I can! And I am sure other people can explain even more. This is a wonderful question and exactly the sort of thing I started these Monday posts for, it’s the kind of thing I used to ask my friends in college because you can’t exactly look it up somewhere, not when you are starting completely blind.

      In India, there is a community called “Hijra”. They are ancient, literally since time began, the very oldest texts refer to them. They are part of Hinduism, at least there is a Hinduism related ceremony for welcoming someone into the sect. Now we would call them “transexuals”, but Hijra is a much older term. Some groups in India prefer to differentiate, to clarify whether they identify as transexual or “Hijra”. Partly because, I think, “transexual” is now possible. In the past, whether you were rich or poor or in between, if you were a woman born in a man’s body, you would eventually be sent by your family, or find your own way, to join the Hijras. Now, you have the option of identifying as “transexual” and remaining within your family. Hijra’s and the whole concept of men choosing to join this community and live as women are so accepted in India that, while sodomy is still illegal and gay men are persecuted, India recently passed a law recognizing the legal status of “3rd sex” for Hijras.

      The Hijras are in an odd position of being both hated and revered. People will make fun of them and avoid them, beat them even. But they are also supposed to have a special connection to God, their prayers will be heard more than others. There are various explanations and reasons for this, my favorite relates to the story of Ram. When he was exiled, the people of his kingdom Ayodha followed him all the way to the border. And then Ram ordered “all the men and all the women” to go back to their homes. But the Hijras, being neither men nor women, did not go back and instead sat down and waited for him through all the years of his exile and were the first to greet him when he returned.

      Hijras will appear and ask for money, the assumption being that in return for giving them money and gifts they will pray for your good fortune. They particularly appear at weddings and baby showers. I’ve heard stories of them even showing up in American suburbs at those events, they’ve got a network of event planners and so on and they always always know.

      If you’ve seen Maine Pyar Kiya, there’s a great little scene that perfectly explains the whole complicated relationship of Hijras with greater society. The humorous friend of the hero comes to his village to meet him and is teased by a Hijra, that he humorously runs away from. We are supposed to laugh at his fear (because Hijras aren’t really dangerous), but also find it understandable (because of course he would be nervous). He meets Salman and tries to give him money, Salman nobly refuses it, at which point the Hijra reappears. And the humorous friend who was previously running from her, respectfully hands her the money and begs her to pray for his friend, and the Hijra accepts it and gives blessings.

      There are a few films that have plot points with Hijras. Bombay, if you are ever mentally and emotionally able to watch it (picture Rang De Basanti effect times 10) has a wonderful sequence with a Hijra who saves a little boy. And there is a movie that I cannot track down for the life of me, Tamanna, in which a wealthy Hijra adopts an abandoned baby and raises her. Oh, and Sadak has a Hijra Brothel Madam who is the villain, but a complex one, its not the same as the “evil transexual” character in American films.

      On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 5:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • My pleasure! And now that you know the magic word “Hijra”, I am sure you can find all kinds of information on the internet and other places about them. Oh, and I almost forgot, they can also be used to shame people, there’s a great classic song by Rishi Kapoor in which his character hires a troupe of Hijras to back him up as he tries to shame his girlfriend’s father:

          And, possibly my favorite, Hrithik’s tragic gangster in Agneepath has a Hijra army backing him up

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