Monday Morning Questions: I’m Still On Vacation! But That Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Want to Hear From You

Happy Monday!  I’m still on vacation!  Plan for today: pedicure.  That’s it.  That’s the whole plan.  Well, and also lunch.  The key to a good vacation, is not to overbook.

As always, you can ask me anything from the personal (“what movies, if any, have you watched on vacation?”) to the specific and factual (“where do movie stars go for vacation?”) to the general discussion (“what is the best movie about vacations to watch?”)

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Even today, when I may be a bit slow.  The discussion is just better that way.  But once I answer, feel free to leap in and join the discussion.

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56 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: I’m Still On Vacation! But That Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Want to Hear From You

  1. Why did you pick a vacation like this — going, apparently, to a place you knew nothing about (when the stores would be open), an obscure place with not much to do and hard to get to? If the idea was to just vegetate, why are you bothering with this blog while you’re away? (And be thankful you at least seem to have uninterrupted access to the internet).

    Finally, I have one thing I want to post about Sridevi, about one of her films. It’s not really about any of the events of the past week, so none of your multiple posts seem to be the appropriate place, even your final “summing up” post. So, can you point me in the right direction?

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    • I’ve got a lot going on in my life besides this blog, that’s what I wanted to get away from and get some perspective and time to myself and recharge my batteries. If I were rich, I would have gone to a fancy resort town, but I’m not, so the best I can do is a pleasant small town with cheap room rates. And I can’t live without internet, so I made sure to go somewhere with good wi-fi.

      For Sridevi, if it is about one of her films, I guess her film index would be the best place?

      On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 7:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Thanks for replying to my cheeky query. 🙂 I hope you’re able to sort things out.

        For Sridevi, it doesn’t fit into any of your existing film reviews. I guess maybe I will put it into that final “summary” post.

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    • I love taking vacations with my sister, we do one at least once a year (last year was a “staycation” because I had just moved, I took two days off work and we hung out in my new apartment). I’ve also taken a couple of trips just me and my Mom, which are also wonderful. But it’s hard to coordinate a random weekend in February/March with anyone else, so I took a leap and tried traveling alone last year. And turns out, I love it! Not a big seeing the sights kind of vacation, but if it is just an eating cheesecake in bed and going for long walks vacation, that I can do with no one else.

      On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 9:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’ve taken vacations by myself and enjoyed them very much, even more so than going with other people (because they always involved sacrificing my interests or schedule preferences). While it’s nice and fun to vacation with people you like, the idea of not being able to do anything by oneself is extremely limiting.

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          • Yep! Just happened to me, a nice older gentleman told me his life story while I was sitting on a bench reading. What I really love about that is how much more fun it makes the solo time. Kind of like that happiness of coming home from a party, I enjoy talking with them, and it makes me enjoy retreating to my lovely room that much more as well.

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      • Good for you! I love time alone. In my day to day life I’m almost NEVER by myself–even alone in a room with doors closed, if there are others in the house, it’s not really the same.

        So–when I travel for work, several times a year, I try to stick to having one 24 hr period which is just for me. I can stay in my hotel room (yay, cheesecake in bed! or in my case, cheeseburger, fries, and wine!), sleep, read, take a walk, or just be. It’s heaven.

        And those alone times help me appreciate being back with my people and doggie again afterward.

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        • It’s strange for me, because I live alone, so I could technically have all this alone time at home. But it feels like there is always something demanding my attention, a phone call or an email or something else that I have to handle, or even just the dirty dishes in the sink shouting at me to wash them. It’s a completely different experience being alone in a hotel.

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          • A change is as good as a rest. I also love eating out, but only at places where you get waited on. Terribly bougie I’m sure. Just nice that someone else is taking care of all the logistics and clean up. 🙂

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        • The first paragraph sounds very familiar to me as I live in a house with five people (two adults and three kids).

          So, from time to time, I take a family-leave and spend some days all alone in a rented apartment in a small city near Geneva with an absolutly gorgeous view to the lake and the Alpes (Mont Blanc etc). I prefer this to a hotel because I’m bound by nothing at all, not even by eating-hours 🙂

          I like the idea of small budget with just the comfort one personally needs and can relate to the inconveniences you met still enjoying your choice, Margaret. Wish you that you get home with a fine push of positive energy 🙂

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          • I’m feeling a bit like someone whose been in enforced bed rest. I didn’t let myself do anything productive, besides a few blog posts and answering a few emails. And now I am desperate to get home and pick up my busy busy life again. I’ve got a 2 hour church meeting tomorrow night, after what will no doubt be a crazy day at work as I deal with all the stuff that was put off until I get back, and I am kind of looking forward to it!

            On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 3:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I have a new sexy grumpy Shah Rukh video to share. So I guess my question is, do you find this as enjoyable as I do?

    Damn, this video is like ambrosia to me. Arnab is such a petty, small person–look at him fidgeting ostentatiously while Shah Rukh speaks, looking at his phones (!), even making noises with his mike. Ugh. Then he takes a dig at Shah Rukh and tells him “don’t react to that”–an order which Shah Rukh ignores of course.

    Shah Rukh’s expressions and body language through the 2nd half of the video are just amazing. I especially like it when someone on the other side of him says that news people perhaps don’t stick their necks out enough for controversial movies, and Shah Rukh defends news people, including Arnab who has been acting like a man-baby throughout.

    And by the way, Arnab is an idiot–comparing stories to toothpaste. Of course there are a million ways to tell the same story.

    This video takes me right into my ultimate Shah Rukh fantasy. I would relish the chance to have a private (as in, like a few people sitting around drinking and talking) conversation with Shah Rukh around liberal vs radical politics/feminism–basically talking about human nature. Concluding with some kind of word-related board game–Scrabble, Taboo, Balderdash, Pictionary. Only because if it were a trivia game he’d beat me hands down. 🙂

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    • That is a great video! Shahrukh is so visibly disgusted it feels like it must be on purpose. As in, he must be playing it up a bit and aware that the cameras are catching his reaction. And I do enjoy it! although I also feel a bit irritated since it means I had to watch Arnab.

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      • Yes, I feel like Shah Rukh is very aware how much he’s letting his irritation show. It’s good to be the king sometimes (or one of the kings anyway). I hear you about Arnab. After watching this video again before sending it to you, I watched the “making” of various Shah Rukh and Shahid songs to remove all traces of that sad person.

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          • Is there a history of Shahrukh and Arnab insulting each other with body language? Because if so, totally makes sense! You don’t want to do a split screen so we can see SRK’s reaction, because that would be obvious, but having them sit close enough so we can see how the other reacts makes it seem natural.

            On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 2:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Have you seen the movie Table No.21? Its about two couple who go on a vacation to Fiji. They get an offer to to play a game for a prize money of Rs 21 crore. At first the game seems easy but then they are obliged to perform all kinds of horrific tasks for their survival. Its a must must watch suspense thriller and there is an shocking twist at the end with an heartening message I recommend it for a different genre of film that keeps you engaged throughout! Plus this song is amazing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGEGEeANyO8

    Traler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsC1MI9NvSs

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    • Thank you!

      And this week, March 9th, the only movie that looks really exciting (to me) is 3 Storeys, the art film with Sharmin Joshi and a million other actors in it.

      But next week is Raid, which is super exciting! and then the week after that is Hichki, which is also exciting, and then Baaghi 2, and then Blackmail, and then October, and on and on through the spring. It’s an exciting time!

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          • Yes, I thought it can be delayed/never arrive in America . The girl in almost unknown and Tovino, altrought he looks even sexier then usuall, is not Mohanlal’s son to have countless screens overseas. But it’s supposed to be released in tamil too, so who knows? I really hope it’s a good movie.

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          • Ooo, Tamil is a good sign! Those movies arrive here on time for some unknown reason.

            On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 4:23 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Hmm. I feel like right now they spend more time in London and Dubai than anywhere else, partly because they are working vacations.

      It used to be that location shoots were vacations too. the wife and kids would come along and play with each other in Shimla or Kashmir or where ever else filming was happening. But now you might do location shooting in London or Dubai, and also do a show and a wedding and a personal appearance.

      But maybe I am missing something! I am sure someone else will correct me if there is a specific location everyone goes to.

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  4. I hope you are enjoying your vacation so far. Did you watch the academy awards? What are your thoughts and opinions on the awards, the speeches, the clothes, and the show itself?

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    • I did not watch. For 20 years it was a deeply important event for my family, my Dad and sister and I always watched together start to finish (sometimes “together” meant a 3 hour phone call, but still together!) and then a couple years back we just quit cold turkey. Kind of feels like an all or nothing thing, I can’t just watch a little bit by myself, either we do the whole tradition, or we don’t do anything.

      However, I did hear that Sridevi and Shashi made the cut for the “in Memorium”! Not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, Shashi really was an international star, he deserved a place just for his Merchant Ivory films, even if he had no mainstream Hindi career. But then on the other hand, Sridevi was definitely NOT an international star, but was also a much much bigger star overall than Shashi. Strangest part, Sridevi died in 2018, and there’s supposed to be a rule that they only do the previous years deaths. I remember when Roy Scheider died, they didn’t include him because it was in February and that was the explanation. Felt like someone fudged the rules just because it had just happened and was so emotional. But that means there’s an assumption that people who know the rule won’t be aware of who when Sridevi died, and the people who know when she died won’t be aware of the rule. Which is probably true, but also feels vaguely insulting somehow?

      On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 10:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Also usually foreign industry top actors involved in foreign film submissions get acknowledged here. And English Vinglish was India’s submission that year.

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      • Ok, well have read who the winners were, and have any opinions in those?

        Per your Merchant Ivory comment, James Ivory won best adapted screenplay for Call Me By Your Name. He acknowledged his partners Ismael Merchant and Ruth Prabhuwallah(sp?) In his acceptance speech. It was a touching moment. I remember that A Room With A View was my favorite film for many years. A comedy disguised as a romantic period film. And the rare western male nudity..2 men, no less.

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        • This is one of those rare years when I didn’t really care about the winners, because all of the nominees were just so good. And it looks like the opening of academy membership to more not-old-white-men had an immediate and promising effect.

          I did a video/post on box office a few weeks back talking about Aamir’s dominance of the Chinese box office and how that might be good for Hollywood. That is, Hollywood had been going increasingly stupid big budget pictures partly chasing the Chinese market, and if the more natural fit of Indian films in China takes that market, than Hollywood might go back to smaller more thought provoking films. Which this years Oscars and box office in general seems to be supporting! Smaller interesting films are increasingly doing well, and being noticed for doing well. And the Oscars recognized them instead of the usual boring “prestife” dramas.

          On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 5:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Me too! Kind of odd to announce you might haver a rare disease but tests aren’t finished yet. And the phrasing is odd too, that it was a search for rare stories which lead to it.

      I have a very small part of me wondering if it is publicity, just because of the odd wording and specifying ten days. But very small, because irrfan isn’t the type to play those games. But then, he also isn’t the type to announce he might have a disease stay tuned, so ther whole thing is strange.

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  5. I read this article about Sridevi’s last days:
    http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/news/bollywood/exclusive-boney-kapoor-gives-detailed-account-komal-nahta-surprise-sridevi-turned-tragic-night/

    And one thing particularly surprised/shocked me: that Jhanvi wanted his dad go to Dubai because “she was scared, her mom, not used to being alone, would misplace her passport or some important document if she was alone”. I didn’t know Sridevi personally, maybe she was forgetful, but c’mon she was an adult, an actress, somebody who traveled a lot in her life .

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      • Yes, there was also a comment in the article (thanks for the link Angie!) that Sridevi had never traveled internationally alone. Which actually seems reasonable to me. Her parents seem to have taken the opposite tack from many stage parents, becoming overly protective instead of underly protective. They were always with her until marriage, at which point Boney was always with her. At least, that’s one version I have heard which this story seems to support. Not necessarily a bad thing, there are endless dangers to a young woman on a film set that she would need to have been protected from. But it would have the side effect of making her peculiarly inexperienced in some parts of “regular” life.

        I could believe her being a woman with an odd mix of experience and inexperience. A brilliant actress in her element on a film set, but perhaps less experienced than a regular person might be with the regular parts of life, I could believe that her daughters had surpassed her in some areas of life experience as teenagers. Which, yes, would be a somewhat difficult dynamic.

        On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 4:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Your take on hypocrite karan johar.
    On one hand he is judging a show India’s next superstar with rohit shetty, whose tagine is no family, no connections.

    And on the other hand he is a star kid launching facilitator. Isn’t it unfair to those talented contestants.

    Secondly do you think janhavi would have a peaceful debut as all wouldn’t bug her abt her privilege as her mom is no more, or would it put more pressure on her being sridevis daughter?

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    • I don’t think a reality show is necessarily going to actually launch India’s next superstar, I am sure any contestants are going into it with eyes wide open.

      As for Karan Johar, it sounds like you have made up your mind already that he only launches star children and is a hypocrite. I would dispute that. He is deeply loyal to those he works with, in front of and behind the camera. Some of them were born into the industry, some of them were not. But somehow Karan has been identified more than any other producer/director as only launching star children. Just for contrast, consider Farhan Akhtar, who almost always produces films starring himself, and/or directed by himself or his sister. Or starring his stepmother, or written by his father. And yet somehow he escapes these accusations.

      Poor Janhvi was always going to have a very difficult debut, being Sridevi’s daughter, in a remake of a beloved non-Hindi film, so many things. I think there will now be a different kind of pressure on her, the audience will be more forgiving and ready to embrace her, but that kind of love can create a new kind of pressure

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      • I was just talking about double side of kjo.
        There was no need to bring excel entertainment into it.
        Farhan/ritesh have always mentored smaller movies like fukrey etc. Which have had the highest percentage returns for the year.

        As for the reality show, they had announced in the 1st episode that the winners would be launched in a movie by rohit and karan.

        I find it hard that they will announce such a tall claim.

        Even if its a small indie movie, they will say we fulfilled our promise.

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        • I can’t talk about Karan, or anyone, in isolation. The industry is a massive thing, you have to look at people in context. Excel, and most other studios, have a tendency to work with the same people over and over again. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is there. And somehow with Karan, perhaps because he is more honest and open about his preferences for certain collaborators than others, it has been turned into something bad.

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          • But kjo is possibly rd biggest person in industry behind amitabh, srk.

            He is expected to be judged at a higher level.

            I am just saying on the 1 hand he is mentoring and sowing false hopes to a bunch of talented ppl and on the other hand launching ppl just because of their connections.

            What have janvi/Shahid’s brother, said’s daughter done in life to get this chance.

            The whole nepotism debate is about the easier chance these star kids get for their launch which others don’t get.

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  7. As we are on topic of Iran, why isn’t he considered an international star in India by mainstream media /bloggers like you?

    He might not be a mainstream star like priyanka /deepika but he has done more work and is recognised more in Hollywood.

    Whenever priyanka does something small she is lauded as if its a big thing, but irrfan was criticised for length of his roles even if his role in spider man /jurassic Park was more than priyanka in her flop movie?

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    • I can’t answer for anyone else, my main focus is mainstream Hindi films, and also Tamil and Malayalam. When Irrfan is in a mainstream Hindi film, I talk about him. I don’t talk about Hollywood films at all ever. Which also means I have barely mentioned Priyanka, probably given her less coverage than Irrfan, because she hasn’t done anything mainstream or been involved in anything mainstream in India in years.

      At a guess, I would say because Priyanka has a better PR team than Irrfan? Or, in a larger sense, Priyanka cares more about fame and being known while Irrfan just cares about doing good interesting work?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes I understand about pr.
    But why is she given global star awards at all award shows and irrfan barely recognised?

    And as I am new to your blog, I may be wrong in tagging you for the same.

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    • It depends on the awards shows, but most of them seem to respond more to PR pressure of some kind (even if it is just a concern with giving the award to someone the TV audience will like so as to drive up the ratings for the show), so I imagine the same answers would still apply.

      Liked by 1 person

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