Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching on Aamir’s Birthday?

HAPPY AAMIR DAY!!!!!  It’s not a holiday in my religion (SRKian), but I feel I can still join in the celebrations even if I don’t fully Believe.

So, are we all reading and thinking and watching this week?  I’ll start!

Reading: I just got my friend’s login for her college library, so I can bury myself in journal articles on film, I’m pumped!

Thinking: The baby last night was SO CUTE!!!!  But also seemed to be a lot of work.  Mostly cried, then slept, then cried again.  My tiny temporary dog is wearing me out and kind of irritating me, so probably I shouldn’t upgrade to a baby.  Although I would totally take their dog, their dog is just like my dog, but better.

Watching: Well, I had to rewatch Sita Sings the Blues after I mentioned it in the comments.  And I did my marathon 3 movies in theaters weekend.  And that kind of killed my watching time for the week.

 

Now, question for you!

First, for the birthday boy:

Favorite Aamir movie and why

I can’t decide!  3 way tie

Talaash.  Because it doesn’t feel like an “Aamir” movie, it feels like a very very good movie that needed a very very good actor at the center of it, and Aamir stepped up and was that actor.

Ghulam: I don’t know why this movie isn’t talked about more, it’s a wonderful young Aamir performance and kind of a beautiful message, loyalties and the greater good and achieving all you can and facing your fears, and finding love in unexpected places.

Rang De Basanti:  Well, it’s Rang De Basanti!  How could I not love it?

 

And second, NOT for the birthday boy:

What movie star would you like to have the power to control/fix their life?

Rajkummar Rao.  He could be the next big thing!  If he just made the right moves.  I want him to seek out a major Yash Raj film, I want to get him in Karan’s next big family romance, I want him to go to parties and every single awards show until everyone in India knows his name.  And I want him to give super charming interviews and make cute little viral videos until everyone in India falls in love with him.  And then he can go back to his interesting artsy roles, but in movies with much much bigger budgets.  And it would all start with a Big Big Wedding, to which he could invite all the power plays in the industry and butter them up, and get his name and photo in every outlet in India.  Oh, and I guess also get married to his nice girlfriend, but it’s the career boost that’s more important.

 

Alternatively, Salman Khan!  I want him to take a full 6 months off.  Just spend time with his family, sit around at home, follow his doctor’s advice, and of course have deep intensive therapy sessions several times a day.  And then he would come out of it rested and healthy and having worked through his various unhappy issues, and ready to take smaller interesting mature roles once a year instead of killing himself working crazy hours on way too many movies at once.

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100 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching on Aamir’s Birthday?

  1. Reading and watching this week…nope…except reading to the kids and watching old Disney movies with them…my family of five has four down with influenza 😉
    Thinking: definitely not about Aamir 😉 (I liked Talaash and Dil Chahta Hai the most of all the movies I watched with him) – for me, Aamir is as good as an actor as many other actors I got to know throughout the years…I rarely get the feeling that he genuinely feels what he acts. Basically, I think that is something ‘normal’ … either one connects to an actor (or artist) or one doesn’t.

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    • Oh dear, I hope it isn’t the really bad flu that has been going around where I am! It’s like regular flu (fever, stuffed head, tired) but slightly worse, and lasts a lot longer. Fingers crossed it is more the normal variety and you will all be healthy within days.

      And I agree, there are some actors you connect with and some you just don’t. And the way Indian films are structured so strongly around the stars, if you don’t have that connection it can be hard to enjoy watching their movies, because all those star entries and big lines and so on just don’t work.

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 6:25 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Totally agree with your assessment/feelings about Aamir. I’ve never got why everyone likes him so much. I thought he was good in Talaash, Dil Chachta Hai, and Dangal, but I actively hate his performances in PK, Dhoom 3, Ghajini, and even Rang de Basanti to some extent. Some of his early stuff like Andaz Apna Apna I can tolerate because he was pretty non-descript in the way that most actors are in their early films.

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  2. Favourite Aamir film :dil chahta hain.
    Every teenage Indians dream movie.
    And lagaan:marriage if movie and cricket.

    Control/fix irrfan due to his immense talent which was never appreciated

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  3. Reading: Finally discovered a cache of Agatha Christies and Rex Stouts at my library that I could never find on the shelves before, and am reveling in an absolute orgy of re-reading, and some new reading, too, in the case of Rex Stout, which was an unexpected pleasure.

    Watching: Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari on Youtube

    Thinking: About the books — the Christies definitely stand up better over time and re-reading than the Stouts. I think this is partly because I started with the Rex Stout books that I hadn’t read before, so the characters of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin are not quite the same way they are in later books (though I did read some early books before which were consistent with the later ones). Also, the exposition of the mystery is a little less polished. In a way it’s interesting to see how an author slowly worked his way to the winning formula, but as a reader it’s a bit disappointing.

    About the film: JVAS is not as good as Khana Kshanam. I really regret that the film is not high quality visually, that is, the transfer is not high quality. Sridevi is so freaking gorgeous that I can only imagine what the impact would have been on the big screen, and with better visual quality. It’s a bit like I feel about some early Salman films, which were clearly made by small time producers, and hence aren’t all that great technically. But even with all those limitations, he was so “freaking gorgeous” that I wish I could have seen him with proper focus of the camera and better lighting. With Sridevi that’s not the issue, it’s clear that the original had spectacular visuals, it’s just that the transfer is not so great.

    More importantly, though, because I am watching JVAS, Youtube keeps throwing up other Sridevi films at me as suggestions, so I’m seeing pictures of all those films where she is heroine to heroes with whom she acted as their daughter earlier, as a child actress. So that started me thinking about Aamir and his (strongly) rumored affair with Fatima, his co-star from Dangal. At first people thought the rumors were a PR exercise, undertaken to erase the father-daughter vibe from the public’s mind before Thugs of Hindostan releases, and get them in a proper frame of mind to accept these two as a romantic pair. So I am thinking, how come that was never a problem for Sridevi? And also, how did those heroes handle it, when in one film they are the loving dad to this girl, and, a few years later, they are now supposed to be passionately in love with her? How do they make that shift mentally to make it convincing, especially since she was still young enough to be their daughter?

    And that brings me to your question on Aamir. I don’t really have a “favorite” film of his that I like for him. In fact, he seems to be the least important part of the film, unlike with other actors. That is, if I like the film, I like it as a film, not for Aamir. In fact the film of his I like the most is Taare Zameen Par, and I think that he actually ruined the film by acting in it (as well as taking over the directing). It may be heresy to you, but I don’t like RDB. I liked Ghulam well enough (you do know it’s a remake of On the Waterfront, right?), but the actor who really impressed me in that was the guy who played Aamir’s brother. As Claudia said above, I don’t think Aamir really believes what he is portraying, and that’s why I find his acting “studied”, not convincing. His best performance (of the films that I saw) was in DCH, I think.

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    • Yaaaaay Rex Stout! My grandfather and mother started reading them together when my mother was a little girl and they were still being published. By the time I was old enough to read them, we had the family library, every single book in chronological order purchased when it first came out. Thank goodness, because they are surprisingly hard to find! They almost never show up at used bookstores, and libraries tend to have just some of the series not all of them. Our family policy is to buy them any time we see them anywhere (because the original copies are now beginning to fall apart and we need replacements). And having read every single book, I can tell you that you are absolutely right some of them are just not as good. He used to set aside a week and write a book a year and then be done. And some years he was inspired and the books worked really well, and some years they are just bleh. The first one is definitely the worst one, the characters aren’t the same at all as what they later became. I think Some Buried Ceaser (Lily Rowan’s first appearance) is the one where he really starts to have everything figured out. But then they get bad again in the late late books, A Family Affair I essentially pretend was never even written, it just makes no sense.

      With Sridevi, I wonder if it was because she was so professional and so private onset? That is, it would be easy to relate to her as just her character because you never really got to see the real person? And also of course because she was such a spectacular actress it would be easy to forget the real person and only relate to her as the character she is playing.

      The Aamir thing reminds me of Greer Garson and Mrs. Miniver. She got a lot of grief for playing this middle-aged woman (even though it was a spectacular role), and then turned it all on its head when she started a relationship with the actor who played her son!

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 7:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well, didn’t Florence Henderson have an affair with her on-screen son, and it became a huge scandal when it finally came to the public’s knowledge years later? Are you saying Greer Garson’s affair made the public think of her as “young” again, even though she was playing a middle-aged character?

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        • Yep! It was the right kind of scandal, not super shocking but just juicy enough for her to stay young in the public mind instead of being typecast in mother roles from then on.

          On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 7:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I also thought A Family Affair was a very unfitting end to the series. Also that book where Nero Wolfe goes tramping all over the mountains of Monte Negro. 🙂

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        • Black Mountain has grown on me over the years, but it’s definitely an odd fit in the series.

          On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 8:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. As for your second question, about ten years ago I was seriously concentrating on fixing Salman’s career and life. He started it, by doing all these interviews where he kept saying that he wants to do “meaningful” roles and films, and that he was open to scripts from anyone. So I really did start developing very “meaningful” scripts for him, and figuring out how to get them to him, and needless to say, that all never panned out. But, after some years, I realized that his idea of “meaningful” and mine are very different. 🙂 Also that, despite what it looks like to outsiders, he’s in full control of his life, and he likes it just the way it is. So who am I to interfere?

    Nowadays I don’t even get involved in the lives of people who are actually in my life and in my face, so to speak, because I’ve realized the futility of thinking you can influence or direct anyone. You just have to let them live their lives the way they see fit, and make their mistakes, from which they may or may not learn anything.

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  5. Reading: Haha! you guessed it, Organic Chemistry for Dummies.
    Thinking: I was unresponsive in the morning yesterday and was rushed to urgent care. I am an anemic and my hemoglobin level was 5. Had a blood transfusion; basically all the works and recovering in my hospital bed. Thinking about if my dad ignored me for another 6 hours, i would most probably be dead and pale. I am so glad papa dearest checked on me at 5am, and here I am :).
    Watching: omg! Matt Damon is so cute. watched Good Will Hunting and The Martian. He is so handsome, adorable and funny. Apparently he has a “fake” feud with Jimmy Kimmel, the late night host, and all the videos are hilarious!! Papa finally got hotstar!! What do you recommend?! I will be here, at the hospital, for another week. I finished Season 5 of Koffee with Karan.

    Favorite Aamir Movie: 3 idiots, Talaash and Taare Zammer Par. He is so good in his choices and it is so hard to pinpoint a list, so these are my top 3 xD
    Movie Star to have the power to Control: Nivin Pauly!!!! I would advice him to lose weight and do more comedy movies!! AND Prabhas, like GET MARRIED TO ANUSHKA! Also, throw Shraaddha from Saaho and Pooja Hedge from your next next movie. Seriously, why is he enlisting herioines nobody likes/interested to do movies with him. Prabhas20 is a romantic movie and POOJA!!! Yup, that man needs me in his life to beat some sense into him. haha

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    • I am so glad you are here too!!!!!! Take care of yourself, we need you in the world.

      Hmmm Hotstar. Their best library is actually of Malayalam films, which of course you have already seen, so that’s nothing new for you. I love A Gentleman, if you haven’t watched it yet. And they just got Nivin Pauly’s second newest film (the one before Hey Jude) if you want more proof that he needs to lose weight and haven’t already watched it. Oh, and Golmaal Again is just silly fun. I am sure other people will have other ideas.

      I like your Prabhas suggestions! Really, good heroines are necessary for his career at this point, he has all these new female fans who mostly like him because of his excellent relationship/partnership with Anushka and Tamannah, heroines who are at his equal level in acting ability, Without that, we just won’t respond as well to his next movies.

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      • Prabhas is completely blowing his entry into Hindi films by picking these weak heroines who have no clout with the Hindi audiences. It’s only going to downgrade whatever status he managed to achieve with Bahubali. I wonder if he had troubling getting any of the A-list heroines because they still think he is a “regional actor” and so beneath their notice?

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        • I assume any of the really top Hindi heroines wouldn’t want to play second fiddle to his Hindi launch, knowing the movie would be all about him. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t cast someone who could act opposite him, Kriti Sonam would be great or Sonakshi Sinha. I wonder also what this tells us about the heroine role in the movies? If it is so bad that just reading the script immediately turned off all but the worst options?

          On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 8:09 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Get better soon!! I also second the recommendation of A Gentleman on Hotstar. Even if you’ve seen it, it’s a nice one to rewatch. Phillauri is also on Hotstar, and it’s very cute. 24 Was really good too.

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  6. Speaking of Rajkumar Rao, I just saw the Omerta trailer, which launched overnight on YT. Another Hansel Mehta R Rao movie, this time about a significant player in 4 major terror events, including Daniel Pearl and 26 11. Looks like a high quality effort.

    I found a few ladies who, like me, want to see Pari but are too scared to see it alone, so we’ll go to the theatre to see it tonight.

    I’m really looking forward to October. Given the high quality of Piku and its successful run, I have high hopes for this one (same writer). And the love story looks very unBolly-like. I hope it doesn’t have a typically melodramatic ending. I’m looking at you, ADHM.

    Thinking – really very sad for us all that Stephen Hawking is no more. His proof and equation on the entropy of a black hole is one of the most elegant tie-togethers post-Einstein. And such a spokesperson for physics literally without having a voice. He really leaves a void – a black hole, as it were – behind in our world. Not enough science heroes, or rather, not enough scientists raised to celebrity status. We need a little more scientist worship and a little less entertainer worship imo.

    Favorite Aamir movies, among those I have seen.
    RDB & DCH.
    In fact these are arguably my favorite 2 Hindi movies, period.

    RDB – innovative storytelling, at least for an Indian film, though Jesus of Montreal is a similar narrative. Plus RDB -> Jessica Lal -> Nirbhaya. I thought this movie would leave a huge impact on Bollywood filmmaking. Instead, it really didn’t and remains a one-off, but it left a huge impact on the Indian psyche, propelling social awareness and change.

    DCH – innovative use of modern cinematic styling and tropes to retell the oft told story of 3 brothers or 3 male friends – representing the id, the ego, and the super ego. Sensitive and realistic portrayal of older woman younger man relationship. A heroine with her own character arc in a 3-brothers tale. Not only a coming of age movie, but also a love letter to the coming of age genre. Unlike RDB, DCH left an indelible mark on Bollywood filmmaking and storytelling. Many Indians age 35-55 might divide Bollywood into two eras = Bollywood pre DCH, and Bollywood post DCH.

    BOTH movies really suck you into their worlds, making you wish to be one of the characters or be a part of their crew, even decades after watching the films. A part of them has stayed with me, and a part of me remains with them, like I left a part of me behind in those theaters, never wanting to leave.

    Whose careers I’d like to manage or fix –
    Vikrant Massey – help him with choices that get him to full blown star status. Then he can do a movie like October and have it be considered mainstream and not just an art movie. We need looks and talent like him.
    Aditya Roy Kapoor – the camera loves this guy, he has a reasonable amount of talent, especially for playing certain types of characters. Sid Malhotra basically stole ARK’s career out from under him, as the resident matinee idol in training. But SM is not ascending as fast as he should have, so there is still an opening for ARK to take that mantle back.
    Riccha Chadda and Hums Quereshi – IRL they are both probably exactly where they want to be careerwise, yet I feel they camera loves then both and both have so much talent, that they both should be full blown stars by now. I’d love to help them get there, and their presence would only elevate Bollywood cinema.

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    • Looking forward to your reaction to Pari! There is so much there, I am eager for more people to discuss it with me.

      I somehow hadn’t realized how many times Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao had worked together. Really interesting that they have such a close artistic collaboration. But, of course, if I were in charge of Rajkummar’s career/life, I would either make him drop Hansal Mehta or push Mehta to make more commercial films.

      Same for October! If it ends with the heroine waking up from the coma and truly not knowing who Varun is, that would be so satisfying. I mean, melancholy, but artistically satisfying.

      Agree about RDB and DCH, it’s hard to convey how meaningful they were unless you were there when they came out. I just barely caught that time, DCH came out right when I started college and everyone I knew was buzzing about it, and I was able to see it at the right time and then appreciate how many other films that came after were similar. And RDB, I didn’t see it in theaters, but everyone I knew did, I was well into the Indian film world by that point, and I remember the Jessica Lal case right after, and how there was this kind of new energy around the film.

      Yes! I don’t know Vikrant Massay, but I know Rajkummar Rao and so many other actors who are right on the edge of commercial success and seem to be turning away from it. It’s not just that they aren’t offered the right films, it feels like they aren’t “leaning in” and trying for those films, really blasting through to the other side and forcing success to come to them. And I want it not just for those actors, but for the film industry as a whole, it seems like the talented actors just aren’t reaching for stardom right now and we need better stars.

      Really interesting thought about SM taking ARK’s spot in the industry. I think you are right, and I think it goes both ways. SM should not have been a casual rom-com star, he does much better in action roles. He should have left that for ARK.

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 8:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Reading: finished a Japanese novella by Takashi Haraide for a work book club. Pleasant but not my cup of tea. About to start reading Adichie’s Americanah and Meredith Duran’s Lady’s Code of Misconduct.

    Watching: still savoring the last few episodes of Call My Agent, the completely addictive French show on Netflix, March Madness begins with the college basketball tournament and my favorite team just barely made it in and I will be watching those games starting this week, and the political news (MSNBC, why can’t I quit you?). I got no sleep last night following the results of the PA-18 special election!

    Thinking: about how excited I am about two new movie announcements. DQ and Sonam in the Zoya Factor adaptation and out of left field the Panipat announcement. I fee like I had heard something about Arjun Kapoor playing a historical figure but it didn’t seem real. I’m praying that this will not be another Mohenjo Daro debacle. I actually think Arjun could pull this off and Kriti will be gorgeous in the costumes (that’s sexist, I know…I also hope she gets a really meaty, serious role to play and not just the love interest!). I’m assuming Sanjay Dutt will be the antagonist? That works for me, too, since I only see him as a negative force in movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your reading life is so much more interesting than mine.

      I’m excited about the upcoming movies too!!!! The Zoya Factor looks like it might be the light rom-com with substantive working female characters that I wanted from Noor and didn’t get. And I have the same feeling about Panipat! I remember the announcement but I didn’t believe it. Strangely, after Raabta and Bareilly Ki Barfi, I am finding myself more excited about Kriti Sonam than anyone else in the cast. She is perfect for the strong historical figure, hopefully the heroine is more Jodha in Jodha-Akbar than whatever Pooja Hegde was in Mohenjo Daro.

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 8:53 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m most excited about Arjun’s casting, of course. I really am becoming an obnoxious fan-girl and part of my love for him is built on the fact that most people don’t like him and think he’s a terrible actor (a valid argument unfortunately) and I’m just obstinate after loving his debut and his double role in Aurangzeb so much. Plus I like how he has a very relaxed and alternatively business-like approach to his career (it does pay to be a star kid even with all of the sadness in his personal life right now).

        And I’m also super excited about Kriti’s career so far. Yep, also hoping for a Jodha role for her but I feel like the director only lucked into that good performance/role because of the chemistry between Hrithik and Aishwarya and her performance (one of her best). Generally, I have found all of his female characters problematic in relation to their heroes, which isn’t distinct to Gowarikar, but doesn’t give me high hopes. I also hope the Vishal Bhardwaj movie with Kriti and Vaani happens (what a weird combo!).

        Liked by 1 person

        • I forgot, Gowariker also did Swades! Which has one of the best heroine roles EVER. Not a lot of screentime, but such an impact. Right down to the end of their romance which isn’t even bittersweet, it is just straightforward, she clearly isn’t going to give up her life for him. So that gives me hope.

          Agree about Arjun. His biggest problem feels like it is himself. If he really buckled down and made a consistent effort, he could have a nice little career similar to his uncle’s. Which makes me wonder if perhaps his personal difficulties right now will end up changing his career as they change himself.

          On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:06 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s my hope for Arjun. As he continues to mature he’ll probably make better choices. He’s already had to take on responsibility for his sister in some ways (which is sweet if not unnecessary…more they needed each other after their mother’s death). On a purely superficial note, I hope the Panipat role requires him to work out a lot in preparation because I love the teddy bear look, but I also think he’s a bit more sexy when he’s fitter. And there better be a shirtless scene in this movie:)

            I barely remember Swades…I was bored out of my mind watching it. I’ll take your word for it that the director has at least one good female role. And when I watched Gori Tere Pyaar Mein I couldn’t stop thinking someone watched Swades and decided to do a millenial version of it.

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          • Ugh, Gori Tere Pyar Main was so terrible! You might want to give Swades another try. It’s a slow build and you have to be sort of in the right mood for it, but the love story is kind of unique.

            On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:27 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Why don’t we have more heroines like Gita in Hindi films. Bareilly Ki Barfi, Queen and all came years after Swadesh. I want SRK to do Swadesh-like romance along with doing something important.

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          • If Gori Tere Pyaar Mein had just been about an hour shorter, it would have been a fun film, I think.

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          • Ashutosh Gowarikar also directed What’s Your Rashee, and you can’t call that a forgettable heroine’s role! 🙂

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    • Strange that Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and DCH were both young coming of age stories, and Aamir was in both of them 10 years apart! Although, he was also playing very different characters between the two.

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 8:54 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I’d also like to fix Aditya Roy Kapur’s film career somehow. I agree with the comment above, the camera loves him and he should be a bigger star. I think he should actually go in the direction of Ayushmaan Khurana roles or Rajkumar Rao roles, more naturalistic, hipster/emo/everyman roles. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a Ranveer Singh or even an Arjun Kapoor, but he should be getting better roles to work with.

    I’d also like to fix Parineeti’s career somehow. While I’m excited about her reunions with Arjun, she needs to get out of the rom-com carousel and land a role like Kangana in Queen or Vidya in Bobby Jassos or Alia in Udta Punjab, or Sonam in Neerja. We really need to see a test of her dramatic skills and her ability to headline a film…there really hasn’t been one yet. I’m actually starting to get the feeling there may not be as much talent there as I’ve always thought:(

    Oh and I want Vikrant Massey to stay in the lane he’s already in. He’ll never be a big glossy leading man…he just needs to keep working in the indie realm and dabbling in mainstream films just like Rajkumar Rao.

    Vicky Kaushal and Saqib Saleem do have the ability to break out into the leading man roles and give the Ranbir/Ranveer/Arjun/Ayushmaan’s a run for their money.

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  9. Fav Aamir movie-QSQT always-I just love the Raj-Such a caring, sensitive, man-boy who cannot help falling in love & getting into a situation he so wants to avoid. And Aamir is so fresh yet his portrayal rings so sincere.
    I also love his no-holds, goof ball act in Andaz Apna Apna. That movie is such a fun fest. Dil Hain Ki Maanta Nahi & Rangeela-it’s so adorable when he tries to be the cocky one & charm the socks off the girl.
    I like RDB for the movie that it is, not so much for Aamir. I like to co-sign on the comment that Aamir’s movies are great & he’s part of the movie rather than standing out.

    I would like to control Mammooty. He’s in a highly influential position in politics & films & I want to use some of that. I will start with disbanding his fans association with immediate effect. I would then make him do an interview with a woman journalist where he will condemn all misogynistic portrayals in films & also discourage the fan clubs formation & hyping the boxoffice numbersHe will follow that up with wrapping up all his vanity projects & wait for a good script to come around. Meanwhile his production house will take up the distribution(one phone call from him to the theatre owners association)of the critically acclaimed films which are struggling to get to theatres. He will talk to the cultural minister and ensure that the subsidies due for struggling/newbie filmmakers & pension for retired actors are made available without fuss. He will also talk to his son & get some ideas on getting good directors & scripts for himself. I will also ensure he does not hog the centrestage in all film promotions & let others talk. He will stay away from creating politicians out of actors. He will also post occasional selfies with his grand kids & wife & generally act his age-literally & otherwise.
    Reading-Baalarama with the little guys & Asmita’s fan fic.
    Watched Pelli Chooplu. Arjun Reddy minus all the anger, sex & still hot.Mockingjay movies-had watched the first two movies long back. So thought of finishing it off. Awful movies. I hate Katniss & by extension a little bit of Jennifer Lawrence.
    Thinking-what’s wrong with Prabhas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really hope you never get mixed up and accidentally read Asmita’s fanfic to the little guys. That would probably scar them for life.

      I love your Mammootty plan! It would be so satisfying. And such a good use of all that power he has amassed over the years. Plus it would set an example for similar stars in other industries.

      QSQT is such a remarkable performance, so heartfelt and open and just in his second movie.

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:51 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. I would like to be Shradha Kapoor and Katrina Kaif manager, just to convince them to marry and leave acting forever. Yes, I’m mean, but imagine how beautiful some movies would be without those two.

    I have busy filmi week – I watched 5 movies.
    First Prem Aggan and I LOVED every minute of this. Really, it’s so amusing. There aren’t any not funny scenes. And what surprised me, even with all that bad acting and bad dialogues, I liked the love story. And Fardeen was so handsome (I know, I alredy said that last week), even the villain call him: “greek god face, indian values”

    Qarib Qarib Singlle – I like it. Finally an adult romance, and I found myself in many things the protagonist does. But I think it would be better with other actor. Don’t get me wrong, I love Irrfan, and he was very good, as usuall, but I wish somebody else played it. I want more chemistry.
    Please watxch it Margeret and tell me if I’m right.

    And then I watched 3 malayalam movies in 3 days:
    Arikil Oraal – with Nivin and Indrajith. The idea wasn’t bad but execution terrible. It’s only 1 hour 47 minutes long, but the dialogues were written only for 30 minutes, and all the rest is bad background music. All the time, I’m not kiding. We see people talking, but we don’t know what they are saying because background music. Waste of time

    Nee-Na, Meenakshy reccomended Monday, another very good idea, but too long and too slow

    ABCD – as a part of my Tovino journey. I was expecting the worst, but it wasn’t that bad. Ok movie

    Thinking: about malayalam, because I feel I don’t have any progress. For every new word I learn , I discover there are other 5 or more to say the same thing. And plural forms are evil 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like I can skip all your Malayalam film options and just watch the Hindi. Which is good, because the way you feel about learning Malayalam is the way I feel about learning Malayalam cinema. I just barely feel like I have a grasp on it, and then I watch a different movie and suddenly discover there is a whole different actor/director out there who I have never heard of and is super important.

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m sure you would find many interesting things in Nee Na, but yes, skip malayalam and watch Qarib Qarib and Prem Aggan instead 🙂

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    • I’m worried about having that same reaction to Qarib Qarib Single, too. I really like the idea, but Irrfan Khan has never really worked for me as a romantic lead, except for in Piku because it was so subtle and not the point of the film. I love Parvathy, too.

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      • I found him surprisingly touching and romantic in Aaje Nachle. Maybe because it was so important to the character, to play this lowkey love story with his wife as the only redeeming feature of his personality, and then his only big speech in the film being about his love for her.

        On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes, that was a nice role for him, too, although it always threw me because I saw him in that Life is a Metro role opposite Konkona around the same time and it just threw me (and that’s a romantic pairing that didn’t work for me at all). He was good opposite Divya and they should be cast opposite each other again (have they already?).

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          • Looks like he and Divya might have both been in Hisssss? I’m certainly not going to watch it to confirm. And they are both going to be in Blackmail.

            On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t mind Irrfan in romantic roles, it’s more that his face doesn’t suit those happy-go-lucky characters. I loved him in The Lunchbox, and in Piku too, but I wasn’t convinced when I saw him in Hindi Medium (too smiley) and in Qarib Qarib too. But I think the movie is worth watching.I enjoyed it.

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      • I think you may have a less aggressive reaction to her since you are an Aamir fan and she was used pretty perfectly in their one film together so far. Us Shahrukh fans carry a burning anger over how she ruined JTHJ. I’ll check back in with you after Thugs releases, depending on how she does in there 🙂

        On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:09 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Heck yeah they dated! I think it might have been his longest, or second longest, romantic relationship. They started dating when she was (officially) 19. She had just arrived in Bombay as a model, didn’t speak the language or know anyone. His family took her under their wing, she did one terrible movie (“Boom”, now on Netflix) and then Salman gave her a role in one of his movies, a Cactus Flower remake with her playing the Goldie Hawn role, which was perfect for her. And then she did a string of movies with Akshay and some others beginning to get noticed, and at some point in there she and Salman broke up, and she started dating Ranbir. All of this is fairly unclear, it is widely speculated that she started dating Ranbir before he had broken up with Deepika, and possibly (although less likely) before she had ended things with Salman. And then she dated Ranbir for years, they moved in together, it was really serious, and all along Salman was a supportive constant presence in her life, she spent her birthday with his family every year, was and still is considered part of their family forever. And then she and Ranbir had a messy break up, as they were planning their wedding, and Salman picked her up and helped her out again.

            It’s one of my favorite things about Salman, what a great ex he was for Kat. And for all his other girlfriends too (except Aish). While she was dating Ranbir, there was a minor “scandal” when a bikini photo of her on vacation with him came out. And Salman was quicker to speak up in her defense than Ranbir.

            Oh, and for JTHJ, the problem is that it is a love triangle and Shahrukh is sooooooooooooooo much better with Anushka than Kat it totally unbalances the movie.

            On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:16 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, rumor has it that just recently Salman put his foot down to make sure Kat was in the Tiger sequel, which was a saving grace for her career after her string of flops. That’s the kind of thing he does, if he cares about someone he will take care of them forever and never hold a grudge. Well, almost never. Those rare times he does, he never forgives.

            On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:33 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • To be fair, don’t you think Katrina’s character, as well as the whole story of JTHJ, as pretty stupid? I don’t know if anyone could have made it work.

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          • Oh yeah, it’s mostly the script’s fault. But Anushka somehow managed to overcome her fairly empty character and bring some interest into it. A better actress could have dredged up some sort of something in Kat’s character. If the film had to be made, and if it had to be made with that weak script, they could have at least tried to cast a really strong actress in the lead role to make up for it. But you are right, she was just the last bad choice in a series of bad choices.

            I don’t actually mind Kat, I just want producers/directors to stop casting her in roles she is not suited for. Dhoom 3 was a great part for her, so were both Tigers. Even Jagga Jasoos and Baar Baar Dekho, I thought she was good in. But she shouldn’t have been in Fitoor or Jab Tak Hain Jaan or (based on what little we already know about the movies) either Thugs or Zero.

            On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Margaret, my reply to your reply disappeared. 😦 I have no idea what happened to it, or if even this will appear. Let us see.

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          • Huh! I just checked spam, pending, and trash, and I’ve got nothing there. No idea where it might have gone.

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      • Yes! That was one of my big take aways from ABCD, I barely noticed Tovino in it but he did a competent job, and he kept doing small parts like that and working on his career and by the time he got to Godha and his other star roles, he had oodles of experience on camera. Versus Dulquer who was shoved into star roles right from the start before he was really ready and had to learn as he went. I think Dulquer is an equally good actor to Tovino NOW, but he shouldn’t have been given the lead roles in his earlier films so soon.

        On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:28 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Favorite Aamir films are similar to yours, Talaash and Rang De Basanti. It’s interesting how people are saying that Aamir’s movies are great and he’s part of the movie rather than standing out–it’s true but I think that puts him in a good light. He’s willing to step back and let other shine even though he’s the big star. I also think he’s better when he has strong actors to work with, otherwise he gets hammy and over the top.

    My twitter timeline is full of Chinese fans posing for selfies where they make an A with their fingers. His Chinese fandom fascinates me.

    I don’t have an actor I’d like to fix but I do wonder what happened to Imran Khan’s career. I really liked him in Delhi Belly but it seems like he’s stopped making films. Was that voluntary or did he just crap out?

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      • I have a friend from China who said that her parents were talking about it, had no connection to Indian film or anything, just said there was “some wrestling movie” that was really good and everyone was seeing.

        I did a post on the Chinese box office shift in general, but not focused on Aamir. It’s a good thought.

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  12. Watching: A Wrinkle in Time. A movie that connects so powerfully on a personal level, and is also a well-made movie, is rare. I started crying from the first crash of thunder in Meg’s attic bedroom, and didn’t stop til the lovely Sade song during the end credits calmed me down–mostly gentle tears but there were a couple of points where I restrained sobs. My husband and 13 year old daughter went to see it with me. Neither have a deep connection to the book, and they both enjoyed it, and found it entertaining and uplifting. My daughter is still teasing me about sniffing loudly at a quiet point in the movie.

    None of the things I was worried about in a movie adaptation happened, most of the important plot points and memorable quotes from the book were there. Ava and her team get the tone and the meaning of the story right, and they get the characters. Every single actor brought something unpredictable, yet spot on to their character. The look of the 3 Mrs. W’s and of the planets they visit are amazing, but didn’t distract from the story for me. Storm Reid has a bright future. Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who was stunning and is the closest to her character from the book. Ava has updated it beautifully for today. For example, when the Mrs. W’s are showing the kids how the Darkness effects life on Earth, they see the girl who bullies Meg at school weighing herself and crying next to a mirror with her checklist of all the things she must not eat. Very moving.

    Two of my favorite episodes from the book got left out. I understand why Ava made the changes though, to keep things moving. One is when the little boy who bounces his ball out of rhythm on Camazotz gets hauled into Central Central Intelligence for re-conditioning. That scared me so much as a kid! Second is the whole episode with Aunt Beast on Ixchel. Aunt Beast is my favorite character, so I was disappointed, but a sightless, speechless, creature who is incredibly soft and smells wonderful would be tough to convey on film. Ava still manages to capture the messages from that episode–that it’s ok to be angry at parents because they are only human, and that there is never an end to struggle in life–nothing and no-one can magically solve all of one’s problems. Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which are both a bit different from the book, but I can see why Ava felt the need to change them a bit by way of spoonfeeding the audience re: Meg’s character arc. Finally, the Happy Medium is totally different and in my opinion improves on the book. I almost never say that!

    One change that did bother me about the film is that Ava took out explicit references to Jesus. L’Engle was Christian but A Wrinkle in Time isn’t–it’s definitely spiritual, but not Christian. In the book Jesus is quoted along with Earth’s other spiritual “lights”–so it would have been fine to keep a quote from Jesus in the movie in a similar way. One biblical quote shows up in writing on one of Mrs. Who’s costumes, but otherwise no religious figures are quoted except for Buddha.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/sites/default/files/styles/gallery/public/media/2016/11/10/030818AWrinkleInTime3.jpg?itok=9gS8enW2

    Reading: this blog, and job postings. The project I’m currently on goes away at end of May–the turmoil in the US gov’t is not helping because my field is mostly government funded. Urgh.

    Thinking: I’m sad at the way that the reception of Black Panther and Wrinkle in Time have been so tainted by the violent racism and misogyny still so inherent in our culture. I’m happy that when watching Hindi films I’m looking from a more child-like perspective. I know the broad strokes of social and political issues in India, but don’t have the engagement in the tedious day to day that feels so exhausting, and that I bring to American media consumption.

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    • You are making me want to reread A Wrinkle in Time! For once I might be able to do the whole series straight through. My grandmother died a couple years ago and I grabbed up her copies of all the books, because it is hard to get all of them simultaneously from the library and I only owned the first one.

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I’m happy that when watching Hindi films I’m looking from a more child-like perspective. I know the broad strokes of social and political issues in India, but don’t have the engagement in the tedious day to day that feels so exhausting, and that I bring to American media consumption.

      THIS. So much this.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh and re; your questions. I’ve like Aamir ok in the few movies I’ve seen, but haven’t seen enough to have a favorite. No one’s life or career I’d like to fix or control–but if I had money and power in the Hindi industry I’d do my very best to get more pairings and ensembles of actors and actresses 40 and above with each other. Either in films or in interesting web series type things. Can you imagine a Hindi version of Bloodline or any other family gothic type story. It would be so good! Or a long running murder mystery series like Midsomer Murders where every single actor/actress over a certain age turns up once in a while–often as multiple characters in different episodes.

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      • CID! It’s India’s Midsommer Murders and it already exists. I don’t even know how long it has been running, and major stars routinely make appearances (for instance, Ajay when he was promoting Singham).

        On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:44 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I don’t know who he is! And according to his filmography, I have seen a ton of his movies. And yet I look at the photo, and nothing strikes a bell. Very odd.

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 7:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. Fav Aamir movie: I’m not very invested in his movies, so I’ll watch it only if hte reviews are good. That said, most of them except for Dhoom 3 were really good! Dhoom 3 was so bad I couldnt sit past Kamli. Fav movie is 3 Idiots, I can re-watch that n number of times. But more Raju Hirani than Aamir I think.

    Careers I’d like to fix: Like some folks mentioned – Aditya Roy Kapur – he is sooo gorgeous and a good enough actor why is he so lazy?? Needs to be more hardworking, and just work more. Also, Parineeti – she needs to do more off the beaten path movies. But her association with YRF really restricts here. Yrf itself is mostly making rubbish these days so what can one expect. But she should’ve gone the route that Kriti is going. Also want her to marry Arjun Kappor!

    Btw so excited/nervous for Zoya Factor – my favorite book off late. So funny but a nervous about what Sonam might do with it. Her persona really doesn’t gel with Zoya’s. She is defintely a Jinni from Battle for Bittora but not Zoya .

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    • Heck, we can combine this! There were other comments about fixing Arjun’s career, and getting Parineeti to do more arty films. So, what if Parineeti marries Arjun, which inspires her to shift career levels and start doing more interesting art roles instead of trying to be a major star, and Arjun is worried about supporting his family so he works more and more. And meanwhile Aditya Roy Kapoor, always secretly in love with Parineeti, tries to run from his broken heart by throwing himself into his work. And BAM! All three stars have their careers and lives FIXED!

      On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 8:23 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. Watching:ugh, nothing. Combination of a heavy work schedule and conking out at nine each night from jet lag.

    Thinking: I think the eruption of Shinmoedake aka the “James Bond Volcano “ (because it played a villain’s lair in one of the movies) has actually made it into the US media. I don’t live close enough to get hit by volcanic rocks, but I’m close enough to breathe a lot of volcanic ash, which is causing me to have symptoms akin to hay fever, only from hell: coughing, sneezing, headaches, and swollen glands.

    Favorite Aamir movie: I am in the “hated RDB” camp, so I’d have to say Talaash, until the last ten minutes. My favorite movie that Aamir is in is Dhobi Ghat, but that’s not really an Aamir movie.

    Person whose life I would like to control: Every time I look at someone’s career trajectory, I just think how hard it must be to choose good movies and the right kind of movies. That said, I’d like to take Sonakshi in hand. She seems to choose a lot of girlfriend roles, and then when she wants to get classier she goes for badass roles like Akira and Noor. I’d like to see her expand her range and play against type.

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    • I’m with you on Sonakshi! She was on such an interesting track at the beginning, Dabangg and then a lot of strong action heroine roles (not just waiting for the hero to rescue her, but part of the plot) with Lootera thrown in the mix. But now she seems to just play it safe. Although to be fair Akira and Noor were both box office disaster, but were interesting choices. So maybe she just got scared away.

      On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 5:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Dhobi Ghat was also an Aamir movie I liked because it really wasn’t all about him and I like a hit of indie/art house in my Indian films every once in a while.

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  15. Coming late to the party.

    Favorite Aamir roles have to be Lagaan which was my first Indian film ever. I was absolutely entranced with it. And also he was my second film because I watched Dil Chatha Hai next. But I love some of his older roles – QTQS and especially Raja Hindustani.

    I would love to fix Aditya Roy Kapoor’s career, too. I love him, and wish he’d gotten some of the roles that have gone to Sid. That was an interesting observation. Just imagine how much better he would have been in Kapoor and Sons.

    Lately I’ve seen Mayaanadhi which was SO GOOD, and Carbon which was Meh.

    I watched the Sci-fi film Annihilation which pretty much blew my mind. Same director as Ex Machina. My husband and I couldn’t stop discussing Annihilation. So many interesting female characters in the film, and stunning visuals. Lots of interesting themes in the film as well.

    I watched a couple of older films over the weekend, Vijay’s Kushi which was just okay, and I wouldn’t recommend.

    Margaret, I saw 100% Love with Naga Chaitanya and Tamannaah and would highly recommend it. It’s super cute, and on Einthusan. Fun to see both of them in an earlier role, and they have great chemistry together. Plus at one point in the film, their uncle stops their bickering by pointing to them and saying “You are Shahrukh. And you are Kajol.” And thus those become their pet names for each other for the rest of the film, with lots of fun DDLJ references and lines. Sukumar was the director — same guy who gave us Arya, Arya 2 and 1:Nenokkidine.
    Video Review of 100 Percent Love

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    • I think I started 100% love at some point and then got distracted and never finished it. But with your recommendation, I may go back and finally finish it!

      Really interesting thought, ARK in Kapoor & Sons. You are right, that would have been perfect. He would have really felt like a black sheep of the family, a little rougher and slower and more internal than all the rest of them. And it would have been a clearer contrast of romantic choices for Alia, we could see why she might overlook the untidy damaged looking guy until she really got to know him and love him, versus Fawad with his perfectly put together feeling.

      On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 3:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well that’s very exciting! Hopefully it means the movie will actually open in America at the same time as India.

        Question, Aami is playing here (finally!) but it would mean my giving up sleep and turning my life upside down if I were to go see it at the few showtimes available. Is it good enough to be worth that? Or should I stay home and watching something streaming instead and get more than 4 hours of sleep?

        On Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 4:36 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  16. Hi Margaret, I’m not sure where else to put this, but there is now an official statement from Irfan Khan about his illness. He has been diagnosed with a neuro-endocrine tumor and is going abroad for treatment.

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    • This is the perfect place to put it, thank you, the Weds. post is the catchall place.

      And that diagnosis, from the little I know, doesn’t sound necessarily fatal but it does sound hard to treat and hard to live with. So I am glad it isn’t a terrible disease, but sorry that it sounds like something he will have to focus on for a while which means he won’t be acting.

      On Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 8:17 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  17. Watched – not a whole lot apart from catching up on some stuff I had recorded from our cable service. On Netflix – another couple of episodes of Powder and then last night I came across a doco series ‘Wild Wild Country’ about Baghwan Shree Rajneesh’s commune in Oregon in the 80s – the one where Vinod Khanna spent 5 years. Fascinating. I remember it being in the news at the time but, not living in the US, we didn’t get all the details. Never knew they took control of the small local town etc… and the massive construction program that was undertaken. So much has happened so far and I’m only at the end of the 3rd episode.

    Reading – just finished the latest Kay Hunter (detective series) by Rachel Amphlett. Have the latest by Juggi Bhasin to start and I’m waiting for my copy of Bollywood: The Films! The Songs! The Stars! (forward by Amitabh Bachchan) to arrive.

    Favourite Aamir movies (belated Happy Birthday, Aamir) – Talaash, 3 Idiots, Dil Chahta Hai, Dangal.

    Taking control – I would like to get SRK to quit smoking (if he hasn’t done so already). Career-wise would like to see Varun Dhawan take on meatier roles – he’s had too many happy-go-lucky, slightly dim younger brother who gets bailed out by older brother roles. He was so good in Badlapur and it looks as though October will be more challenging.

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    • You are the second person to tell me about the Osho doc in the past 4 hours! What’s really weird is, last time I checked, Netflix also had a Osho propoganda video available for streaming. Do the two departments just not talk to each other?

      Like

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