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

Happy Wednesday!  Very happy to be almost through the week, we had a minor disaster at work which has made stress levels slightly high.  But only slightly, because I have the most lowkey office ever.

Thinking: Do I see Padman on Friday?  Or Bhaagmathie if it is still playing?

Reading: I just got my Christmas gifts from my brother-in-law!  I am very excited.

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Watching: Not much!  Thanks to my temporary dog, I am now going out in the world and talking to neighbors and making peanut butter videos and generally living an exciting life.  Oh, and also watching Murder She Wrote.  Up to season 12 now!

 

 

Oh, and bonus question suggested by Angie when talking about Lootera: What is a movie that you had a hard time finishing but ultimately felt so rewarded when you did?

I have SO MANY of these!  The most recent one I can remember is Vaaranam Aayiram.  the opening was great, and then it got so agonizing and difficult and sad and I had to keep taking breaks.  But in the end it all kind of came together so beautifully.

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

  1. I really had a hard time finishing Aruvi. I was sobbing all the way through, and had almost decided to abandon it, but I’m glad I got through it. Loved the moment when she finally gets to meet her father.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the ending didn’t cheapen the rest of the film by magically making everything better, but it also somehow managed to end on a note of hope and happiness.

      On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 6:33 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 2 people

  2. One of 2 movies I’ve seen this week perfectly fit in “hard to finish but rewarding” category – A Deaty in the Gunj. Oh my, I have been trying to finish it for 3 weeks and it’s only 107 min long. It’s beautifuly filmed, every frame looks like little painting, but it’s so slow. And the worst thing was that it brought many unpleasant memories back. But I decided to finish it and OMG the ending, or better Vikrant Massey in the ending was spectacular! Definitely worth watching. My first thought , after picking my jaw from the floor was: Why all those Varuns, Ranbirs and others won’t marry and abandon the movies to make space for this guy? So talented and handsome. And funny thing – the other movie I watched this week was Dil Dhadakne Do and Vikrant was in this one too, but I didn’t recognize him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just (finally) looked up Vikrant Massey, and now I am FASCINATED! I was picturing something a little off-beat like Jim Sarbh, but no, he is straight up leading man handsome. There really is a little group of talented TV and stage actors who have the looks and the social skills and everything else to make it in film. I should maybe do a post on that, the “shadow” stars like England’s “shadow” cabinet, the ones waiting in the wings behind the big names.

      On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 8:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I’m not seeing any news about his next film, but I am seeing A LOT of news about him in general. Which is good, it sounds like his Padmavat performance got people talking, so there is hope for a leading man role sometime soon.

          On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 11:15 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Hah, I’ve been commenting for months about Vikrant Massey. Such soulful eyes, and a variety of roles to his credit already, including
            mainstream movies . He was gonna be my pick for next week’s “actor that I really like that no one else seems to get”. Not that ppl dislike him, but that I just get that polite smile from the reader or listener whenever I mention
            him.

            Liked by 1 person

          • But think how satisfying it will be if/when he finally hits it big and you can say you spotted him years ago! Like those since-Fauji SRK fans. Or me, remembering that I spotted Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Aaja Nachle.

            On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 12:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Wait Nawazuddin Siddiqui was in Aaja Nachle? I didn’t know that!

            And I forgot to write that I watched Dil Dhadakne Do, because you all write about this movie often in various comments, and now I understand why. But there is no post dedicated to this movie. How it is possible? There is so much to talk about.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I was thinking about doing a Dil Dhadakne Do post! And then I did Bunty Aur Babli instead. It’s partly because I wrote a thing about it already on another website and I wasn’t sure if I could come up with anything new to say. But after talking about it so much, I feel like I do now. So look for something sometime in the next few weeks.

            On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 3:59 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. After watching what seemed to be a million films last week, I slowed down this week, but I saw a couple of good ones! Chalo is a delightful new Telugu Rom Com.
    The leading man is Naga Saurya, who I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, and the lead actress was Rashmika Madanna (who liked my review tweet!) from the Kannada industry, in her first Telugu . film. First time feature director Venky Kendumula, who’d been the AD on some other successful films, did a competent job giving a sweet film with a lot of laughs. Our hero has to bring together the warring Telugu and Tamil sides of a village divided by the state border right down the middle. The twist is he loves to fight so his parents have sent him to college in this town legendary for fighting hoping he’ll get it out of his system. The meet cute was unique. First thing he does reaching the college is find an underground fight club, and the heroine just LOVES watching fighting, so of course she’s his soul mate. She was pretty spunky, which I always enjoy. The ending was pretty silly but the second half is made hilarious by the entrance of Vennela Kishore (who I love in anything) as the “foreign” man her father is insisting she marry.

    I watched Godha over the weekend, and it was just delightful!! So many of the issues I had with Dangal (the girls being coerced to wrestle by their father) and Sultan (oh, now it’s Salman’s movie and not Anushka’s!) are just not there. I am now a full on Tovino Thomas fan. Anyone who’s seen the film will know the two scenes that just —- whew boy! — sealed the deal. The first encounter with her brother where he slams him down in the surprise wrestling move, and then, of course the moment he comes back to his father’s training center and whips off his shirt to prove himself. I’ll be filming my review later today.

    I also watched the fifth episode of Breathe on Amazon where Amit and Madhavan have their first encounter, and it was a great episode. I’ve come around to liking that they’ve slowed down the release of episodes to once a week now, as it amps up the aniticpation and I get a week break from the extreme tension!

    I’ve been working on revamping my Youtube channel art and editing a new animated intro which has been taking up an inordinate amount of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve gotten a couple of comments form people suggesting I update my youtube stuff, but it’s that inordinate amount of time that is stopping me. If I could slightly improve my video quality by sinking 20 hours into it, or I could write 10 blog posts in 20 hours, I would much rather (and in the long run it seems more beneficial) write 10 blog posts.

      And I am so glad you liked Godha!

      On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 11:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

    • Melanie, you are my filmi sould mate! – last week you liked bearded Unni and now Godha. I don’t know if you have read Margaret’s post about Godha, but I wrote there that I felt in love with Tovino exactly when he beat Wamiqa brother.

      And I think the same about Breathe – sure I want to know what will happen, but need some days to recover from all this tension. And I enjoy this series and all buzz so much. It’s like having new Madhavan film every week. And yes, I won’t lie – the fact that Maddy answered me 3 times in one week helps me love this experience even more.

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    • If you like Naga Shaurya then you should definitely check out his debut, Oohalu Gusagusalade. It’s a light rom-com that’s really cute! I still think that’s his best performance out of the movies of his that I’ve seen. I wanted to see Chalo but I didn’t get a chance to. Here’s the trailer to Oohalu Gusagusalade if you want to check it out:

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  4. I saw Birth, 1971, yesterday — the documentary about Denotified Tribes I mentioned earlier. I’ll be going to the panel discussion on it today. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to see that Tamil movie which also dealt with such tribes that you reviewed, which I wanted to talk about on the panel. So maybe I’ll just mention it. On Friday they will be showing a feature film also made by the same director, also somewhat about the tribes, based on a real incident. I had originally planned to go see it, too, (there’s a panel discussion after that, too, but I’m not on the panel), but after seeing its trailer, I don’t think I have the stomach for it. So I’m posting the trailer link here, to do my bit to publicize the film, in case any of you run into it somewhere. It’s called Sameer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh interesting, it looks like Seema Biswas is in Sameer. Filmed at the same time she was playing Arjun’s mother in Half-Girlfriend!

      On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 12:16 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Just checked my Twitter and apparently today is the 5th anniversary of the release of Mirchi. Prabhas are celebrating by watching the movie and sharing their memories of watching it. So maybe you (and others here) should do a watch along, too. Failing that, we can just watch it individually to unwind tonight. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have just had time to watch bits and pieces of films lately. I started Kismat Connection and Lootera on different evenings in the last week. So these are my impressions like, an hour into the first and 30 mins into the second. Wow, Ranveer is sexy when he’s not acting like Ranveer! And this is my first Sonakshi Sinha movie. 🙂

    Shahid and Vidya are cute together, but I’m not finding their characters or the plot amusing enough to draw me back and make me want to finish the film. I LOVE Juhi though, no surprise. What I wouldn’t give to see her in an I Love Lucy, or Golden Girls, or Designing Women type series. Something with bite, wit, and great physical comedy.

    I kept being distracted by how Shahid seems to be doing a Shah Rukh impression sometimes with his physicality, expressions, and line delivery. I wonder if Aziz was directing him that way, or if I was primed to see it because I love Aziz’s Shah Rukh movies so much.

    Movie that was hard to finish but I’m glad I did: No Hindi movies yet. The last movie that happened to me with was Chappie, written and directed by Neill Blomkamp. It’s a near-future dystopian story about artificial intelligence and the future of humanity. The title character, is a childlike robot acted so effectively that I couldn’t handle the tension whenever he is in danger–which is a lot in this movie. I started watching it on a plane and was crying so hard at one point that I turned it off. Then it took me months to get the guts to finish it. But I’m so glad I did. The ending is really optimistic for how dark and weird the rest of the film is, while not being out of step with the rest of the story.

    Friends from work have talked me into going to see Padmaavat on Friday. Feeling bad about giving my money to it, but I don’t often get to see Hindi movies, in theaters, with other people. And, this way I can judge for myself.

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    • I feel like Shahid relied on doing a variation of a Shahrukh impression in every movie to varying degrees straight through to Vivah. He even said in some interview that before Vivah he felt like he had to imitate what others were doing. But I also strongly suspect that you are right about Aziz! It’s really a Juhi-Shahrukh movie, isn’t it? But they were too old, so Shahid and Vidya ended up being the stars.

      I always support judging for yourself!

      On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 3:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think for me it was Baahubali 1, for some reason I had trouble getting through the first half – hadn’t seen Prabhas before, and I don’t like dubbed movies. Also the sequence with Tamanna felt strange but the last war sequence – OMG, mindblown! Still can’t get over the charriot in that sequence.

    And in Malayalam, has to be Kali. The first half was just boring, though it was the setup, I really didn’t care for it much. The second half was definitely the film for me. The car chase was very well done!

    Like

    • Kali is an interesting one. I can’t remember if it was you or someone else who commented while in the middle of it that they were planning not to finish because it was so boring. And I had to tell them to just hold on until the interval, but without giving anything away. Because part of the impact of that second half is that it is so unexpected after the first half.

      On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 3:57 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • OMG seriously!!!! i walked out of BB1 and didn’t watch it till after i’d watched 2 a few times. Also, Margaret’s explanation of the scene made it better. Sometimes I pretend THAT part of the film doesn’t exist because it makes me wanna punch tamannah, prabhas and rajamouli in the face!!!

      I loved Kali start to finish. I realize I may have a problem which made the crappy guy seem irresistible to me!

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      • Yeah I just couldn’t warm up to the son Bahubali in part 1. I realized I liked the movie only after Amarendra Bahubali showed up (probably why I liked Part 2 much more). Liked only Rana in the first half of Part 1

        Liked by 1 person

        • I loved rana throughout. I’ve watched this film probably 80 times already. It feels like a beloved romcom rerun. 😂

          These days I have the actors’ dialogue bits from the movie pop up in my wynk playlist. I love being able to connect the emotions from their own dubbing in telugu to what I remember watching on the screen in the Hindi version.

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  8. This week I went full fangirl and found Vidya’s very first movie, a Bengali film called Bhalo Theko. It is very Bengali. Very slow, very beautifully shot, no one really says what’s going on and it’s up to the viewer to figure it all out. Vidya is a young woman in a tragic family, living in a lonely haveli by the Ganges or some other impressive river. She is very good in this, despite being dubbed, so good that it seems like she’s in a different movie from some of the supporting players. One exciting (well, kind of) note: one of the non-sucky supporting players is Parambrata Chatterjee, the nerdy cop in Kahaani. So Vidya’s first and best roles were with the same guy. Watching this movie you kind of feel sorry that she tried so hard in those girlfriend roles before finding the good parts.

    Movie that it took a while to warm up to: so, so, many. I’m like halfway through Yuva right now, and I watched the first half sometime last year. The most significant I guess was Salaam e Ishq, which I watched very early in my Indian film career. Of course, it’s about six hours long to begin with, plus I couldn’t keep everyone straight. It literally took weeks to finish but it was kind of a trial by fire: after that I could handle the longest, most character-filled and complexly plotted, and most melodramatic movie coming out of Mumbai (or Kolkata. Or more recently Hyderabad). So Salaam e Ishq is not in itself that great a film, but it had lots of positive repercussions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Salaam-E-Ishq is one of those masala star cast movies where I can very much enjoy it if I watch the “Margaret edit”, but not straight through. Like half the plots I just don’t care about. But the other plots are pretty good! Also in this category, Dilwale, Aiyyaa, and many many others.

      On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 10:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Nope, I’ve been burned too many times. After Rani and Adi wedding rumors were confirmed about 20 times in 5 years, and then the actual wedding happened with no rumors at all, I don’t believe it until it actually happens. However, I do hope it happens, for lots of reasons. I want to see the clothes, I think it is a good point in their respective careers for this jump, and wedding related posts get me lots and lots of views. And also, they are cute together.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah, I think someone sent me a link to it a little bit ago. Looks so dated! Both for when Brie Larson was still doing anything for a paycheck, and when “Bollywood” was still sort of kitchy cool.

      On Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 11:36 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Had to add Shah Rukh’s BBC Hardtalk interview from Davos to the list of what I’ve watched lately. Actually I listened to the audio alone first, then watched. I preferred the audio because Zainab Badawi really gives him the stink eye a few times. I’m glad she pushed him a bit here and there–that’s what Hardtalk is known for and I’m sure he was prepared for it. I think it’s really interesting that the only two places (if I recall) that he pushes back are 1. when he says that he doesn’t make “typical Hindi movies”, and 2. when he says he should speak up for women’s rights because he is a human being, not because he is a Muslim.

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  10. I think my answer to your question would be Alaipayuthey or any other romantic drama. When watching romances for the first time, I get so tense that I end up pausing the movie for a while. I freak out when I expect conflict to happen in these movies. In the case of Alaipayuthey, I specifically remember pausing the movie during the scene where the guy’s family comes to see Shalini’s sister. I was so sure that Shalini was going to get caught when her mom was asking her to change into a sari. I stopped watching the movie and I didn’t continue until the next day.

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    • that is an excellent, and very relatable, response. I had a friend who spent much of Dear Zindagi curled up in a stress ball with her hands over her ears. It wasn’t “scary” in the bodily danger kind of way, but it was very scary waiting for Alia to get into yet another terrible emotional relationship mess!

      On Sat, Feb 10, 2018 at 7:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • This is one of the reasons I prefer watching movies in a theater. Because I don’t have the power to stop the movie and spend the next five minutes worrying about what I think is about to happen. Instead I just keep watching and usually it isn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be.

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        • Definitely been there!!!! Although that’s also part of the torture of the traditional Indian interval. Living in that stress (because they always put the interval at a stressful point) for 15 minutes before the movie starts up again.

          On Sat, Feb 10, 2018 at 7:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I love the interval! It’s time for me to get a snack and think about the movie so far and what will happen. Plus I usually try to sneak into other theaters and check out other movies 🙂

            Like

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