Monday Morning Questions Post, Aiyaary Week (Finally)!

Happy Monday!  I successfully finished my first week of heartworm treatment!  Well, not “my” first week, the dog’s first week.  But I’m the one who had to give her the pills and rub her sore legs and stuff.  And now, the second week!  In which if her heart rate goes up, she will DIE!!!! (or so the Vet impressed it upon me)  Now, distract me from my overwhelming responsibilities by asking me questions.  Oh, and answering mine, a follow up to last Monday.

You can ask me anything from the personal (“are you seeing Aiyaary this week?”) to the specific factual (“why was Aiyaary delayed?”) to the general discussion (“$800 for heartworm treatment for a dog, worth it or not worth it?”)

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first! I will give my answer as soon as I can, and then anyone else can leap in and respond.  But generally it seems to work better if I start off the discussion.

And now, a question for you!  Last Monday I asked you what actor is general popular, but you just can’t see the appeal.  Now, the reverse: what actor is general not popular or not noticed, but really really appeals to you?

For me, it is Mohnish Behl.  Oh Mohnish Behl!  I am both fond of him in a general “hey, that guy, he’s so nice” way and in a “hot hot Mohnish Behl!” kind of way.  Something about his sort of manly confidence in his own skin, his cocky smile, I just can’t resist it.

There are some other slightly lessor known heartthrobs, but I am guessing they are less uncommon.  For instance, Rahul Bose.  Does anyone not love Rahul Bose?  At least a little bit?  He commits so fully to his performances, and is also strangely vibrating with energy.

And Akshaye Khanna, who has such a great “no really, I just don’t care what you think, I want to do the most interesting performance I can for myself” kind of attitude.

Abhay Deol, another one who never really hit it big but I will watch anything he is in.

From the female side of things, I am strangely charmed by Dia Mirza.  She was legitimately good in Tehzeeb, and I really like her sort of public attitude.

Lara Dutta, another one of the ex-beauty queens.  I first noticed her in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, doing a great job in a comic role, and now I love her in her new career as the humorous older woman in wacky comedies.

Lisa Haydon.  Every since Queen, I liked her.  But after Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, I LOVE HER!!!!  Hilarious comic timing, always.


Now, how about you?  Who are your slightly off-beat favorites?

50 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post, Aiyaary Week (Finally)!

  1. Now that you mention it, I was totally in love with mohnish bahl like 6 years ago when he was in a daily soap called Kuch Toh Log Karenge. He played a doctor in his 40s who falls in love with a young intern in her 20s. He was totally swoon worthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I read about that! Because apparently it was a bit of an in joke with his casting as a doctor in Vivah. And also, that sounds like the perfect role for Mohnish’s particular swooniness.


      • Oh Mohnish has played a doctor in lots of TV soaps. And yes, he was perfect in this one, but he unfortunately quit the show in the middle apparently because he was not comfortable filming romantic scenes with his young co actress…sigh! You would think he would know that he would be sharing screen space with her before signing up for it.


        • This is so wholesome though! What a great guy! I mean, yeah, he should have thought of it before, and it does kind of seem like it’s an excuse–maybe they didn’t get along or something, but most actors of that generation act like it’s completely expected that they would be romancing much younger women.


  2. Question for you: There’s a lot of discussion about South Asian actors “crossing over” to Hollywood — is it a sell-out; is it good; is it bad; is it irrelevant; etc.etc.

    Do you think there will every be a time when the reverse is a thing? That is, Hollywood or western actors “breaking in” to the South Asian industries?


    • I think it is simply a matter of phraseology. There have always been actors who worked in the Indian industry along with other industries, Shashi Kapoor, Om Puri, Lillette Dubey for instance. It is more a matter of the media now being more aware of both halves, the overseas work of these actors is being acknowledged within India.

      And there has already been crossover the other way. Ben Kingsley was in a movie with Amitabh, Ali Larter in a film with Salman. Only, the American press is less likely to be aware of these films so there isn’t the same kind of coverage as when an Indian actor crosses into a Hollywood film and the press covers that.

      The bigger change, I think, is overall industrial. Streaming and satellite have allowed for TV shows to have a global audience, and have made TV more and more the entertainment of choice. Indian actors are working overseas as much as they ever have (I think), and are also working in high quality television productions as much as they ever have, but the products are moving more easily between markets, making them not exactly “Western” but not fully “Indian” either.

      On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 9:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. This isn’t a question but an observation: I haven’t been to a movie in a theater in years and holy cats it’s expensive! Okay, I did order a beer which boosted the price but between ticket, beer and popcorn I think I spent $40 for me alone which is insane. It’s definitely going to limit which movies I bother seeing on a big screen (though it was delightful to focus on a movie and not be distracted by phone, cats, husband or child).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Question: why Mohnish wasn’t a really big star? I like him very much, and think he had it all:he is talented, handsome, has this screen charisma, and he has connections. So why he only played hero’s brothers or friends and not main roles?

    I have a long list of not-so-popular people I like/liked, some of them are on your list also like Mohnish, Dia or Lara. The others are-
    Shamita Shetty – I loved her in Zeher. I think she is prettier than her sister and I was really disappointed when she decided to finsih her career. I still follow her on twitter and hope she will come back to movies.
    Bobby Deol -there is something in him , I don’t know what but it makes me like him
    Emraan Hashmi when he still was only serial kisser. I always knew that he is talented and able to do good movies and years later I loved him in Hamari Adhuri Kahani, but seems that I’m the only person who adores this movie.
    Oh Lisa Haydon was fantastic in Queen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mohnish’s big break was that role in Maine Pyar Kiya (Salman suggested him), and maybe it just typecast him from the start? He was so great as the not-hero. Not necessarily the villain, but the one with the interesting face and the interesting screen presence who had more to do than just be heroic.

      And, just speculating wildly, I also wonder if it was his mother’s personality coming out in him? Nutan was always more interested in the work than the fame, and as the not-hero, Mohnish has gotten to have a much more interesting and varied career. Not to mention been able to keep his personal life personal and escape all the price of fame, while still making a nice income. At least, I like to think that, that Mohnish is happy with the kind of career he has had and wouldn’t have wanted fame if it came his way.

      I think I’ve only seem Shamita in Mohabbetein which really wasn’t the greatest role for her. But I’ve always found her face more interesting than her sisters in still photos, I think she takes the camera better.

      I never liked Bobby until I saw him in JBJ, where he was AMAZING. Similar to Lara in that movie, I want him to come back and only do comic roles.

      You are definitely the only person who liked Humari Adhuri Kahaani. I went to see it at the Indian movie theater and couldn’t remember the name and just asked for “the bad movie” and they knew exactly which one I meant.

      On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 10:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • So even you didn’t like Hamari Adhuri Kahani? I came back to indian films thanks to this movie. After few years of not watching/reading/thinking absolutely nothing about the industry I started over with Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (I hate the fact that the guy was so lazy he even didn’t bother to find a girl on his own, and send his brother. Because you know, girls are like yoghurt, you buy this or that, who cares). Then I tried with Jab Tak Hai Jaan thinking that you can’t go wrong with Yash Chopra. I hated this movie with all my heart and swore I will avoid Katrina Kaif movies at any cost. Then I started Happy New Year and it was a nightmare, I never leave movies unfinished but this one doesn’t deserve to be finished.
        When I was about to abandon Bollywood again Hamari Adhuri Kahani happened and it was perfect for me. Vidya, Emraan, Rajkumar and most important beautiful , touching story. It was something I needed, and I was shocked months later when I read that this movie was a flop and nobody likes it.


        • I don’t like any of those movies you have listed! Which perplexes me, because how can we both not-like JTHJ, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Happy New Year (okay, I enjoyed seeing it in theaters, but that was just because it was fun to watch with a crowd), and yet I don’t like Hamari Adhuri Kahaani and you do?

          On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 2:50 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • Bobby Deol was a revelation in Kareeb which doesn’t get the kind of praise it deserves!! It has a brilliant soundtrack. It’s so sweet. the entire thing is very sweet. The yellow dupatta scene/poster was such a cult classic back then.

      Emraan Hashmi, i so dismissed him as the greasy dude who somehow manages to get the hottest OSTs of the year but man oh man, I watched Awarapan and I cried for a few days after IRL!!!

      Other favs- Abhay Deol- he’s my favourite Devdas of all time– I’ll let Arjun Reddy convince me otherwise when i do watch it but so far, Abhay it is!

      Sonu Sood- He has the stupidest roles both in Bollywood and in the south but I find him just irresistible. Even when he has clothes on!


      • Really? Sonu Sood? I do appreciate how good natured he is. He was the requisite beefcake on the SLAM tour, and he had no problem just coming out and taking his shirt off, while everyone else got to talk to the audience and make jokes and dance and stuff. He knew what “talent” had brought him there, and he just went with it.

        On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 11:40 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


        Liked by 1 person

  5. The actor for me is Sidharth MalHOTra; haha. He can’t act but there is something about him that appeals to me. His Height, His Smile, Him, OVERALL!
    Ohhh! Gossip Time: Sid and Alia were dating but they just broke up. We found this out through Sonakshi in Neha’s show BFF something, where she casually commented on them breaking off, and Neha’s like, they never admitted they wer dating tsk tsk. Her Reaction was Hilarious! 👌🏽
    For actresses, it will have to be Amrita Rao. I loved her in Main Hoon Na, and Main Hoon Na was there. Maybe it was her characterization in Main Hoon Na, that appeals to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought they were dating! They looked so cozy at Shahrukh’s birthday party. And now I am sad that they have broken up, because I kind of liked Alia having her pretty boy arm candy nice supportive guy, while she was the bigger deal up and coming star.

      Amrita Rao is a good one! I liked her in Main Hoon Na, but it was Vivah where I really noticed her. A very hard character to make interesting, and she managed it.


  6. Monish Bahl, reminds me of the time Salman mentioned on KWK about how Monish complained to him about having too many movies (20 or so at a time?) and hence too much work and he just wanted a break. Eventually Monish lost out on almost all of them and that led salman to never complain about work and to always count his blessings.

    So basically it left me thinking as to how and why he lost out on those movies?

    People I like who didn’t make it big – Sushmita, Lara. I had really taken to Rinkie Khanna when she did movies 😂 even though she decided she wasn’t made for it.

    Do you have anybody who you wish did better movies? For me Saif and definitely Kareena, people half as talented as her have done far superior movies. I want alia to get out of Dharma and explore other options too. Eh.


    • Oh, that was Mohnish? I remembered the story from Salman, but I didn’t remember who it was. Huh. Maybe it was just a normal thing? He wasn’t so hungry that he always looked for work, and eventually the worked stopped coming to him.

      I liked Rinke Khanna too! I only saw her in Jhankaar Beats, but she was really good in that.

      Great question about better movies! Amit Sadh, DEFINITELY. Although that’s more about him being offered better films than making bad choices. While I feel like Saif and Kareena are just making lazy choices. Akshay would be another one. Except that he works SO MUCH, he makes a good movie every year or so, like a really good movie, it’s just mixed in with bad ones. Parineeti would be another one, although it looks like (thank goodness), she is finally listening to us and picking good things.

      On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 6:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Sorry for dragging Breathe in every conversation, but I really hope you will watch it. Amit is soooo good in it, you don’t imagine. You know how I love Madhavan, and he had a bathtub scene in last episode I watched, but still Amit managed to make me forget about that scene with his performance! If he won’t become sought after actor now, I stop watching hindi movies.


        • I just looked up Amit. He’s going to be in Gold, yet another chance to (hopefully) make his mark opposite a big name. And he is going to be in Raagdesh, which has ALL the promising young actors! Amit, and Kunal Kapoor, and Mohit Marwah!

          On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 4:03 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  7. Your take on aiyari delay. It was a perfect Republic day movie with soldiers and all. Now due to industry mess it is a sureshot flop, as ppl are no longer interested.

    Manoj bajpayee is quite distraught due to it. He said in an interview that he is working class while others are capitalist.

    I feel kind off bad for him, as he is hardworking and sincere guy, but doesn’t get his due, even in his most intense role of GOW, he got overshadowed by nawazuddin, richa etc.


    • I don’t know, I think Aiyaary might do okay. It’s definitely different from the other two big films out right now, there won’t be much overlap between the Padman, the Padmavat, and the Aiyaary audience.

      Also, somehow Aiyaary never felt like it was going to be that big. The promos just weren’t there, even before the date changes. It wasn’t talked up that much, even Karan Johar who is so 100% behind Siddharth wasn’t tweeting about it or anything. I didn’t even realize the songs had come out. I suspect that it’s one of those movies that they realize while making it that it isn’t quite gelling the way they expected, and so they never had very high expectations.

      So yes, Republic Day would have been a better release, for the long weekend if nothing else. But I think releasing without any other big film on the same day, and when there aren’t any other action/thriller films to challenge it in theaters, might work out fine. But then, what do I know! I thought for sure Padmavat was going to flop.


  8. You’ve already mentioned my two underutilized favorites: Rahul Bose and Abhay Deol. Rahul is the reason I am on this blog right now, writing a comment, instead of grading like I’m supposed to be doing, because Chameli turned my Indian film watching from “Huh, this is kind of interesting” to “Wow! I’m going to go order DVDs of everything this guy has done all the way from a DVD store in India!” Great actor and I also feel like we could have coffee. Abhay is great as well, and he really doesn’t make enough movies, and it’s very disappointing when the only movie he makes in like three years is One by Two. For female actors, I like Paoli Dam. She doesn’t appear in a lot of Hindi movies, and maybe Hate Story sort of typecast her into sexy roles, but I’ve seen her in a number of Bengali movies and she’s not Raima Sen, but she’s very enjoyable.


    • I already loved Rahul after Jhankaar Beats, but I really really loved him after suffering through Midnight’s Children. Which was just a disaster of a movie, and Rahul was the only entertaining part of it.

      On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 10:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  9. People I like that others don’t: Parineeti – I loved her in Ishaqzaade and Ladies. I feel like she gets a lot of hate these days for her weight loss comments, but that is totally understandable. She is in an industry where everyone is obsessed with their looks – so that’s natural. She’s also not very competitive unlike Alia and co
    Amritha Puri – she was lovely in Ayesha/Aisha? and Kai poche. never saw in her anything after that though.


    • Good news, Amrita Puri looks like her career is finally starting up again. She was in a TV show for the last couple years, and now she’s got 4 major films rumored to be coming up in the next few years. Starting with a cameo in Zero as “herself”.

      On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 2:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  10. Sidharth Narayanan-the one who was in Rang De Basanti/Aayutha Ezhuthu/Bommarilu. He is cute as a button, articulate & comes off as super intelligent in his interviews. He recently produced(co-written & acted)a horror movie(House Next Door) which seems to have done well. Among ladies, Sushmita Sen-she has such a rocking personality. Really loved SRK & her chemistry in Main Hoon Na. Why doesn’t she do more movies.

    Question for you-I was reading your post on Padman/Padmaavat screen count & some of it went over my head. Can you explain what are the metrics you use to analyse box office performance-in different weeks & what shows a healthy performance.


    • I was thinking about Siddharth too! But I wasn’t sure what kind of career he had in Tamil. Is he a big thing, or more sort of a “oh yeah him” thing?

      For box office, here is my very long post that explains why I look at per screen numbers and global numbers primarily:

      But quick and dirty, $4,000-$6,000 per screen is a healthy opening for a major film (Khan, Akshay, something heavily promoted like Jagga Jasoos or Padmavat). $3,000-$5,000 is good for a smaller film (Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, like that). The second week should be about 2/3rds of the opening week to show that there isn’t bad word of mouth and it’s a decent hit. And then the 3rd week 2/3rds again. Anything over $6,000 per screen is a massive massive hit. Anything under $3,000 is a flop. And a drop of more than 50% in the second week shows there is something weird happening. A rise in the second week per screen is almost unheard of and means the film is shockingly good (in my memory, I think only Neerja and Bareilly Ki Barfi did that)


      • Siddharth is still the ‘Boys’ boy in Tamil. He has been trying to shed the boy-next-door/romantic roles forever but people just can’t see him as grown-up man. Side note-he took a very active role in the volunteer works during the Chennai flooding of 2015-when most Tamil stars had restricted themselves to tweeting. Why do people who seem really intelligent & with great personalities(Abhay Deol, Sushmita Sen, Madhavan, Sidharth, Arvind Swamy, Illeana, Lisa Haydon etc) never seem to make it big? Too clever for films?


        • I think too clever, and also not ambitious/focused enough. Like, I feel like the really really top people are also super smart. But they were focused and ambitious enough that they were willing to play the long game and do a bunch of boring tedious ground work while their plans worked out. I feel the same way about people who are able to make money. Like, I know they are smart, but no smarter than me. Only, I get really bored when I am doing something dull just in order to save/make money (like, clipping coupons) so I don’t do it. I feel like Siddharth, Abhay, Akshaye, all those guys, if they’d had that drive and gotten the high from fame that Shahrukh, Aamir, Karan, and the ones who really made it have, they could have powered through the boredom and tedium of building up a stardom to the point where you can actually use your brain again.

          On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 8:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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