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

Happy Wednesday!!!!  I have such good news this week, which I will share with you later in the post, but it has made me all energized and happy!

This is our catch-up post!  Where you can talk about movies you are watching, post links to interesting articles you have read, and just generally let us know what is happening in your lives.  And you can keep coming back here whenever you want through the next week if you have something cool to share.

Now, for me!

Reading: Not much!  Although now that I know Sanjay’s new bio is a) something Sanjay is suing to keep out of print and b) written by the same guy who wrote the Rekha bio that I loved, that is all I want to read ever.

 

Watching: I’m going back around to the start of Midsommer Murders.  It’s getting almost sort of springlike here, and escaping to the English countryside with the tweeting birds and flowering plants and murdering murderers just feels right.

 

Thinking: I AM GETTING RID OF DOG!!!!!  BWA-HA-HA-HA!  Don’t worry, I’m not killing her or dumping her by the side of the road or anything.  I sent an email to the shelter saying she really needs a change, living in a temporary situation in an apartment is just not good.  Which is true, she either needs to be in a house with a full time parent, or she desperately needs a dogwalker at least a couple days a week while I am gone, and obedience classes to learn good doggie manners, and so on.  And the shelter didn’t say “Margaret, you are a horrible irresponsible person who should hang your head in shame and think about what you have done”, they said “sure, of course, just drop her off on Thursday”.  So, YAAAAY!

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(Here she is, busily destroying my apartment.  Which is the only way I can keep her quiet long enough for me to work on the computer, so I don’t care)

And then I immediately went online and found another even more difficult dog and arranged to go out and meet her on Saturday.  So I may be dogless for 36 hours before being re-dogged.  Or, I will hate this dog at first sight like I did Dog, and just have a nice drive in the countryside.

 

Now, discussion question!

Sort of related to Sunday’s post where I wrote sequels for Rani’s movies:

What movie do you want a straight up sequel to?  Not a franchise like the Golmaals, not a remake like Aashiqui 2, not an epilogue that gives them a better ending like most of my fanfic, but a whole new film with a new plot building on the characters and plot from the first one?

 

For myself, besides the obvious Don 3 (FARHAN!  STOP PLAYING VIDEO GAMES AND GO TO WORK!!!!), a couple of others come to mind.  First one, Dishoom!  I loved the chemistry between Varun and John, and it’s a cop partner movie so a sequel is easy.

Another one, Happy New Year!  Which, okay, wasn’t a good movie.  But the cast was great!  And the idea of these oddballs pulling of a heist was great.  I want a sequel that has everyone getting back together for another scheme.  And no Shahrukh this time, just Boman and Sonu and Abhishek and Naseerji’s kid.

Oh oh!  Bajrangi Bhaijaan!  Salman’s character was so rich, and Kareena barely got explored, plus her father and the rest of the family, there is a lot there.  I want to spend more time with Salman in that role no matter what he is doing.

One final one, Hum Aapke Hain Koun!  Why not?  Everyone can play the same roles as before, and it can be the romance of Monish Behl’s son and his cousin-brother Madhuri and Salman’s son.  Maybe the twist is this time there is a bride swap and it actually happens?  Maybe the older brother dies shortly after the wedding and the younger brother marries the widow but it all works out?  Or the bride elopes on her wedding day to the older brother, and her younger sister has to suddenly step in?  Mostly though I just want to see Mature Madhuri flirting with Mature Salman.

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

  1. For sequels, I like your Dishoom idea! I didn’t love love it but an evolving buddy cop comedy has a lot of potential. I’d also like to see a sequel to Detective Byomkesh with SSR or a sequel to Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu where they end up together after a few years. I also wouldn’t mind revisiting the characters in Angamaly Diaries.

    Reading: romance, YA time travel and a literary fiction novel

    Watching: totally obsessed with the One Day at a Tine reboot on Netflix! It’s so so good and it’s political and heartwarming and hilarious, plus the new Schneider is so sexy

    Also randomly watched Icarus, the Oscar winning doping doc, and the WW 2 romance drama Suite Francaise.

    And Padmaavat is on Amazon! I can’t wait to finally watch it this Friday night. I’m saving it as a treat when I get thru this long week.

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    • I tried One Day at a Time a year or so ago, and never got past the first few episodes. Which, of course, are always the worst episodes (lot’s of “Hello, my mother who lives with us” kind of character establishment). And then one of my many many social justice email lists sent me a message last week saying I should absolutely definitely watch it, which just made me not want to watch it even more. But, it’s good? After the first couple of rough episodes?

      I forgot about Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! That’s the one I really want, and it was supposed to happen at one point, but I haven’t heard anything else about it for a while.

      I can’t wait for you to watch Padmavat too! And then you can read and comment on my reviews, fun!

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 7:22 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ha, that is exactly how I felt about One Day at a Time! Maybe because I watched the original when I was little, but the reboot seemed to have a Norman Lear-y quality where each character makes an entrance and gets her own little speech in which her quirks are shown, and then we move on. But, I also have only seen the first one and everyone I know likes it, so maybe I should give it another go.

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        • I had the same reaction to the first episode. I knew it was going to be hard to get past the laugh track and the sometimes very stagey scenes, but after a few episodes I was truly hooked. I think it was the 3rd one where they deal with the family’s faith and generational differences that really got me (I literally sobbed at one scene). I’m not really a cryer at films/tvs but this show is the first sitcom that has made me cry multiple times. It’s a little after-school special in the way it deals with political and social issues, but it’s done with such warmth and goodwill (not to mention great acting, especially Rita Moreno and the breakout performance of Justina Machado).

          Also have to mention again that Schneider is not creepy in the new version and he’s hot and shirtless quite often.

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    • Yes, Padmaavat is on italian Prime too, and now I have a dillema because I didn’t want to watch it, but at the same time I’m so curious.

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      • I’m torn because despite all of the concerns I have going into it that I actually might like it a lot and then feel guilty!

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        • I was surprised when I watched it by how well-made it is as a movie. It’s probably Bhansali’s best script in years, there are no blind alleys or plot holes, it moves steadily forward telling the story he wants to tell. And Shahid and Ranveer are brilliant characters, perfect as the alternating representations of order and disorder in the world. If only it weren’t so incredibly Racist/Islamophobic!

          On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 8:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I haven’t watched Padmavat (I’m allergic to Bhansali), but what exactly do you find “Islamophobic” about it? Khilji was a real historical person whose many atrocities are well documented, by his own historians. Are you objecting to his being shown eating raw meat or some such, which some people online objected to?

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          • Yes, there were many creative choices along the way which present Khilji as not just a bad man, but almost a member of another species. And not just him either, his uncle was presented in the same way. So it wasn’t only Khilji who was like that, it was the whole community. If you list each example individually, they don’t seem like anything, but the cumulative effect is disturbing. It’s very much “Muslim=Bad, Hindu=Good” rather than “Rajput=Good, Khilji=Bad”.

            On the whole though, I found it a much better movie than Bajirao or Ram-Leela. Khilji’s character, outside of the ridiculousness, is very well done, and Ranveer and Shahid’s performances are amazing. Deepika’s didn’t actually impress me as much, but then Bhansali never knows what to do with heroines. And besides the never-ending Jauhar sequence, Bhansali didn’t get all up in his own head with the visuals, he kept it character focused for the most part.

            On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. What movie would I want a sequel to? Hmmm. I loved Mr. and Mrs. Iyer and every once in a while the rumor goes around that there’s going to be a sequel, but I think the ending is perfect and I don’t really want one. Maybe an actual sequel to Kahaani instead of the one we got? Back in Kolkata Vidya and Parambrata work on another mystery, maybe.

    So I saw Jab Harry Met Sejal and I really did not like it, although I tried. It just reminds me of all the stuff I hated in JTHJ: Anushka is kind of a MPDG, she does a series of bratty and foolish things that put them both in danger, she has to scream for Shahrukh to rescue her, he falls in love with her despite the fact that she is an exhausting fruitcake, she alone can save his tortured soul. With bonus whining to be told she’s sexier than an Eastern European prostitute. I will read your review, however, and see if there is something I missed.

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    • JHMS is a really tricky movie. You know what it’s like? Sufi music. I showed Kwaja Mere Kwaja at church this Sunday, and I realized about halfway through that it is an incredibly repetitive song, and song sequence, and if you aren’t into it, you are just going to start noticing the odd costumes and wigs and get bored and distracted. But if you are into it, the more the music plays and plays, the deeper you get into that same simple refrain and you start to feel the difference verse by verse and it kind of hypnotizes you.

      The same with JHMS. On my first watch, I thought it was a fine movie with a brilliant Shahrukh performance, but a little familiar and trite and all those things you pointed out. And then I went back to see it a second time, partly because my friends wanted to watch it, and I got deeper and deeper into it. Yes, it is simple and familiar and so on. But it’s also not. At least, for some people it isn’t. It isn’t going to work for everyone, but there is something more there if you are willing to really dig for it.

      For your other thing, yes a sequel to Kahaani would be wonderful! Except I think it would have to continue the very personal story of the first one. Perhaps Vidya is being hunted for revenge by the mother/wife/sister of the man she killed? And the one honest cop figures it out and then has to trace her so he can warn her, and spins his own “Kahaani” to find her?

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 8:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah, I like the idea of a story in which Vidya is personally threatened. A sequel would have to have a really good villain, though, and it would be hard to top Bob Biswas.

        Congrats on getting rid of the dog, btw! Hope the next dog is the Dog of Destiny for you!

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        • Next Dog, tragically, is not Dog of Destiny. I got a notice yesterday that she was already adopted by someone else, so it is back to the drawing board for me.

          On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 1:17 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. All the great romances of the 90s.

    DDLJ. And the story picks up exactly where they left it but we learn about it through a photo album style opening montage. So Simran gets on the train and she and Raj get off at the next major station where they get married in a mandir. The family joins them later with her documents and they travelled to the UK and everything goes as it should have. They have two kids, the older boy and a girl born a couple of years later. both are nice and well educated with grandparents that spoil them and also give them sanskaar and whatnot. Choti is a veteran doctor who never got married and travelled the world with Doctors without Borders. The boy travels to Japan for his gap year and falls hard for this Nigerian girl he meets at a common friends’ party. He follows her around Japan and on her last night in the country he makes the most romantic proposal. She cries and tells him that she’s already married and embroiled in a bitter custody battle with a husband who’s also refusing to give her a divorce. The boy is heartbroken and returns to London but he can’t shake that feeling off. His sister, the one who takes after their father, has meanwhile just flunked again and is all set to repeat her last year in the posh boarding school. And they’re getting secretly drunk in the middle of their parents’ 20th wedding anniversary where everyone’s talking about how crazy it was for the 100th time, when the boy tells his sister about the Nigerian girl. He’s all caught up in the seriousness of the situation and she’s already looking for air tickets. She gets her brother to lie to the family saying he promised her a trip to Africa for her birthday. So they go there. The girl is the daughter of a bureaucrat who was marred off to a politician’s son and it was an unhappy marriage. The dude was looking to contest an election when the news of her having filed for divorce broke and that’s why he’s making her life hell. The brother sister duo manage to convince her to give the relationship a chance. But a paparazzo takes a picture of them kissing and the bad dude has the brother locked up in jail over drug smuggling charges. And that’s how the family gets to know of this entire affair. They come to Nigeria and the sister is getting an earful for what’s happened. Just then the girlfriend shows up and the sister answers the hotel room door. She hands her a bunch of cash saying she sold off the apartment she had bought to live in after the divorce but now that there’s no chance of the judge ever ruling in her favor (because of the alleged adultery) and that this cash should be used to bail out the boy and she gives her some jewelry that can be sold for flight tickets. She says she never knew she could be loved for being herself and not just a suitable society wife material. She says she will never forget the boy. Just as she is about to leave, the family bursts out of the attached room and declares that they’re 100% behind the pairing. And at this juncture, SRK declares that he’d actually been working towards getting a law degree secretly for the past several years and he even got his license and it was supposed to be revealed to everyone during diwali holidays in India. So he says he’s going to handle the girl’s divorce case and make sure that in the end dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge (with her kids)

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    • The “I’ve secretly become a lawyer!” reveal is so ridiculously Masala that it warms the cockles of my heart. To follow it up, can we find out that Kajol has secretly been taking self-defense and gun classes and is now an action hero and read to fight off an army of goons to rescue her daughter-in-law?

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:16 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Oh yeah, way better. The family is surrounded by goons, Shahrukh is all “get behind me, I will protect you!” and then Kajol shoves him aside and beats everyone up while they all watch stunned. And then she goes “what, I told you I was taking Krav Maga classes for the past 10 years!”, and the family looks at each other and then says “but, we thought that was a kind of knitting!”

          On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • 😂 I was thinking more like Kajol being kajol and telling them about it in the living room and SRK has his head in a rugby game and he mumbles “good job baby” and the kids are into their coloring books and gameboys and they’re like “great, mum!”

            When she beats up the goons, they’re like “where’d that come from?!!” and she’s like well I’ve only been telling you about it for years” and they’re like “when??”

            And there’s an entire montage of her telling them about her progress over the years and them actively not listening. There can even be a sequence where she shows off a high kick to retrieve something off a top shelf in the kitchen and they give the same reaction. And then they’re all like “oooh”

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          • Oh yes! You are right, that is much better. Oh oh! What if it is her son’s video game? She’s home alone all day while they are at work/school, gets bored, picks up his video game, finds an area for “teach yourself Kung Fu”, starts playing with it, then switches to the “marksmanship” level, gets expert with weapons, and so on and so on. While waiting for the pressure cooker to whistle and in between loads of laundry. Because homemakers have a lot of downtime.

            We could even see her working out her frustration, her daughter spills all over her clean floor, her son drops dirty laundry on the floor, she is furious, but forces a smile, and then attacks the video game as soon as they are out of the house.

            On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That would be soo every 90s indian mom!! 😂

            Although, imagine if she was in it with her Europe trip pals and these girls have all kinds of fun while their lazy husbands and British born children not take note!

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          • Maybe she starts with the video games by herself, and then we see in a montage her inviting over her friends, and it turning into a thing, as soon as their kids and husbands are out the door, the go over to Kajol’s house, move back the furniture, and have massive competitions. Like Fight Club, but for Indian Aunties. They could have a target range hidden in the basement laundry room and use the rice bags as punching bags.

            Oh oh! End of the movie! Big Punjabi wedding back in London, interrupted by armed goons, suddenly all the Aunties in the audience stand up and tie up their saris and fight off the bad guys, while their husbands and kids whimper and shake and hide under the tables.

            On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 10:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s too much masala. You’ve watched Absolutely Fabulous, right?! I’m envisioning that kinda life for her and her friends. She isn’t the Kajol from K3G. This is progressive Simran who ran away from her wedding and wore a backless gown on her Europe trip. She’s so going to be more Absolutely Fabulous than K3G.

            In the flashback, there can even be a scene where a young indian dude runs off with her bag outside a pub and these three ladies run after him with drinks in hand and high heels and when they emerge from the lane after having beaten the guy up and given him a lecture on sanskaars, they make him pay for drinks at that same pub (they have a running tab there!)

            She so won’t be a housewife. She’d be the London based wife of the rich Indian dude.

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  4. Reading: “New of the World” for my book group. It is fabulous, with well-drawn main characters and enough actual history to make me feel edified as well and entertained. Also “Lincoln in the Bardo”, which is very, very strange, but beautifully written so I am sticking with it until it just gets too strange for me.

    Watching: Not much, sad to say. Ru Paul’s Drag Race is about it. I did watch Guru a couple of weeks ago, which I LOVED. But no movies since.

    Thinking about: Hate. Hate and fear. Hate and fear and politics and how to push back against what seems to be a global effort by powerful greedy people to make the rest of us hate and fear each other so they can stay in power and get even richers. Grrrrrrr.

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    • So glad you watched Guru! I really love that movie. I watch it as more of a romance than a biopic, and I think that’s actually kind of valid with Ratnam’s intention. He wanted to show that the “great man” was ultimately human, and needed a partner in order to be able to achieve all he did, and that ultimately that partnership was the most important thing. Madhavan wouldn’t have been the noble honest reporter he was without Vidya, and Mithun needed Vidya too, to soften his life as the crusading newspaper editor. And Abhishek was nothing without Aishwarya, which is the final message of the film, that Aishwarya had a majority stake in the company all along, she was the true founder of their fortune.

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 10:25 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Would love a sequel to Byomkesh Bakshi with SSR! Maybe a sequel to Dilwale with Shah Rukh and Kajol as out an out gangsters again. Kajol made a much better gangster than I ever would have suspected. Just make it a full out, stupid but fun Shetty action vehicle, with good songs.

    I binge watched (as in, stayed up most of the night) watching Wild Wild Country on Netflix. A documentary about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBLS_OM6Puk

    Is this the same guru that the one Kapoor followed for a while? It’s also an interesting documentary because

    Padmavaat on Netflix, huh? Well, I’ll have to get my fam in Ohio to watch the songs (except for the stupid Ranveer one), and the awesome Shahid/Ranveer sword fight at the end. Best choreographed sword fight I’ve seen in ages! Good Easter-time viewing!

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  6. Reading: Nothing because my mother was in town and we spent a lot of time at the beach and eating and drinking and it was so much fun.

    Watching: Grace and Frankie on Netflix because my mom wanted to see it. Didn’t think I’d be into it but it was pretty funny and the four leads (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) are terrific.

    Thinking: Mulling which movie I’m seeing next. Piku, Secret Superstar, or Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar? Also looking forward to hearing how my podcast episode turned out (will be posted by the end of the week)

    Congratulations on off-loading the dog! And good luck in finding your forever pooch.

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    • Piku Piku! Maybe. Post Mom visit, are you more in a mood for a film that explores the stresses of the parent child relationship? Or one that explores it’s beauty and power? If the first, Piku. If the second, Secret Superstar.

      Also, I have watched all 3 seasons of Grace and Frankie voluntarily, and I am a little embarrassed since I am SO not the target market, but then on the other hand, it is a surprisingly good show which deals with issues that you don’t see in any other pop culture.

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 10:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Hello! Hello! Hello! It is the Wednesday before the Holy Weekend and SPRING BREAK!! I have an OChem midterm tonight and a Calc midterm tomorrow.

    Reading: My OChem and Calc Textbook

    Thinking: Another 8 weeks for summer!!!

    Watching: I saw Bhaagmathie!!! It was so goood!! Majority were Mallu Actors. You should def. check it out!! On Spring Break, I am planning to watch Movies! Movies!! Movies!!! On Hotstar and Netflix!

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  8. Watching: I saw Meri Pyaari Bindu, OMG its official – I’m in love with Ayushmann. Really what a heartfelt performance! I feel the movie didn’t do well because it came after ADHM so people were really fed up with unrequited love/first love. But I loved Ayushmann’s performance was a notch above Ranbir’s as well. Parineeti was ok, not a very convincing Tamilian she should’ve worked on that a bit more.

    Listening – am listening to Take 2 on Saavn by Anupama and Rajeev and I love it! It’s theme based so they talk about a particular thing through the podcast. So far I’ve listened to Aamir, Karan and Farah Khan and its been lovely. Aamir apparently has trial shows for all his movies and they tweak the movie with all the feedback they get. And he actually listens, I picked up a few things to learn to be a better listener too! Hope they come back with a season 2.

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    • I am so curious to see Ayushman’s thriller movie filming now, because he is amazing in everything I’ve seen him so far, but it is also a very restricted range, the lowkey everyman romance. I want to see if he is as wonderful as he seems, or if that is truly all he can do.

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 12:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. I would love to see Newton sequel. The movie was great, and the title character was too interesting for such short (not even 2 hours) movie. So I want the second part to see if Newton will ever marry, and how his life will proceed now when he was promoted. And what will happen to Pankaj Tripathi? I want to know 🙂 (btw I miss Pankaj, I must watch him in something soon)

    I managed finish only one movie last week – marathi Tula Kalnnaar Nahi. Romantic film about married couple on the verge of divorce. Subodh Bhave (Rani’s fiancé form Aiyyaa) plays the husband and I watched it mostly for him, but it was sooooo boring. Not recommended.

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    • You are so adventerous. I haven’t even seen Newton yet, and you are watching Marathi films.

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 2:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I really thought the movie will be better and more romantic. And it was like: oh yeah they can’t stand each other, and so what? I didn’t care if they divorce ot not.

        This week I watched half Marigold and half Andaz Apna Apna too. AAA is so hilarious, And while cross-stitching, when I can’t watch subtituled movies, polish series from 70′ based on my favourite polish book “The doll”. I read the book when I was 16 or 17 and now I was amazed how many things I didn’t get back then. Wonderful. And after that my fav stupid show 90 Day Fiancé.

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  10. Reading – The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

    Watching – I saw Hichki on its first day. I really liked it despite it being a little predictable. A re-watch of Secret Superstar on Netlfix (video quality wasn’t great though). And over the last few weeks watched Qarib Qarib Singlle (liked) and Shaurya (has Kay Kay Menon ever had a ‘nice’ guy role?). Also watching Mahi Way – a series on Netflix – and am enjoying that.

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    • Key Key Menon nice guy-Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Limited! He just wants to be the husband his wife wants him to be.

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 5:52 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I had forgotten he was in that and I think he was sort of OK in Shahid but every other role I’ve seen him in has been treacherous, cunning, scheming or just plain nasty, lol.

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        • He’s really good at it though! There was some movie I was watching recently where it really felt like the villain should be played by Kay Kay, because he has made those kind of roles so much his own.

          On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 7:35 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Kay Kay was in Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, as not quite a romantic lead but one part of a love triangle. The other parts are Chitrangada Singh (yay!) and Shiney Ahuja (ick!), and you’re supposed to be on Shiney’s side, but Kay Kay isn’t evil or anything.

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  11. And I hope little dog finds some nice people to give her a furever home.

    My little old lady dog hasn’t been happy this week, although she is perkier now. These things always happen on the weekend out of vet opening hours – noticed on Saturday she had a blocked & swollen anal gland which then burst overnight. Such fun. She was not a happy gal. Anyway after a visit to the doggie doctor on Monday and a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories she and her bum are on the mend.

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    • See, that’s the kind of thing that tells me this is not my furever dog. If I had to take her to the vet for a blocked anal gland, I would, out of a sense of obligation, but I would resent it. I want a dog that I care about so much, I am just happy she is feeling better, not thinking about how inconvenient it is for me.

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 6:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. Tried watching Secret Superstar and wasn’t able to get into it. It kind of feels like an afterschool special. A well-made afterschool special. But still. I will say the woman who plays the mom is great.

    Then I put on Piku and after 20 minutes paused it because I realized it’s fantastic and I want to give it my full attention when I’m less tired. Dips & Amitabh play off each other really well!

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    • Piku is really really amazing. One of the best films I’ve seen on parent-child relationships from any industry. Also, a nice match with today’s post on the stages of life!

      On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. Congratulations on the DOG! But why do you have to take in another dog in 36 hours? Can’t you go dogless little longer ?

    Reading-My Kindle is loaded with 5 Rex Stout books & I started on Golden Spiders. Getting a very P G Woodehouse feel from first chapter.
    Oh also read the below post by Bharadwaj Rangan. I have posted your link in the twitter timeline. Hopefully you should get some new readers!
    http://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-a-film-critics-open-letter-to-director-ram-baradwaj-rangan/

    Watching-After GoT, hubby & I couldn’t find anything worthwhile to watch. After few bad starts,we finally landed a series called Person of Interest. It’s so freaking awesome that we are like kids in candy store. We have covered 12 episodes in 4 days & waking up groggy every morning & promising not to binge watch again tonight. And the lead-Lord Almighty!! Imagine James Bond minus the flirting & ladies. He’s the funny, super sexy, ex spy who also genuinely wants to save people & with great human touch. His eyes & voice is so captivating that I googled the actor & found out that he’s JESUS CHRIST from Passion of the Christ. And then it all made sense. If Jesus Christ(with all his inherent kindness, love & humanity)cleaned up & wore a suit , you get a pretty amazing sexy saviour. Maybe that’s why the women in his cases are attracted to him but he treats them very affectionately & never goes into flirtation territory.

    About the show itself-it starts of as a procedural where an AI predicts people who are going to get into trouble by giving out their SSN. The creator of the machine(nerdy boss of the hero-another wonderful actor) & the hero try to avert the event. It started off as the procedural, one SSN an episode types. But each of the cases are presented so well, touching on topics that questions faith, morality,mortality, humanity, right & wring etc. There’s also the bigger story around spying, data mining, advent of AI in human interactions and so on.
    Friday we are having a Padmaavat & Pizza night with neighbours. Some of them who had paid around 3k INR to watch it in theatre are protesting but have also recommended keeping coffee ready to stay awake during the movie😂

    Thinking-DOG! Well there’s you with your DOG, then I saw Boss Baby last week with my son -which was about puppies overthrowing babies in the race for love. Then a neighbor’s 9 year old dog died. There has been non-stop pouring of condolences messages for the dog in the community group & i got a little creeped out that a dog is being spoken of like a human. I know, I know that for dog lovers, dog is equivalent to a family member & it got me thinking that what I saw in the movie is not an unrealistic, kids theme.

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    • No dog after all 😦 I wanted to see her right away because I’ve been burned before with losing out on a good dog because I was slow. And the same thing happened this time, I got a notice yesterday that she was already adopted.

      Thanks for the link! I have no idea how twitter works or what you did, but hopefully it is good! I also skimmed the article and I think Bhardwaj might be drastically over estimating the pay given to critics who write for western art publications 🙂 He’s right that it is hard to have a true critical look at a film in one quick screening. But there are two different kinds of reviews, one being the one screening kind of review which picks up a few deeper points and gives an overall sense of the film (a skill a critic should learn to develop, getting a quick accurate read on a movie). And the other being the intensely in depth one that takes months to prepare. And both of them are difficult as the media shifts, there are so few dedicated film critics now (since everyone is just picking up shared reviews from the internet), and academic film studies is dying along with all other academic humanities. Maybe first find a way to get people paid for their skills, and then suggest how they might be used.

      Your love for Person of Interest is exactly what I have heard about the show! It was promoted as just a standard procedural, but then I started hearing buzz about how it wasn’t a standard procedural, and in fact was a lot deeper and richer than it appeared at first glance. Oh, and my favorite Jim Caveizel movie is Frequency, not the best movie, but kind of interesting and odd. And he was also in The Count of Monte Cristo!

      I would get creeped out by that too! I want a dog, and I like dogs, but I’ve never had that “as important as humans” feeling. I’m running into it at the shelters I visit, people are talking about raising thousands of dollars to cover vet bills for rare diseases and on and on, and I’m just thinking “really? For a dog?”

      On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 5:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Not necessarily to get stars interested, but just to get interest in general I think. Any time you attach a star’s name to something, it gets attention. So maybe Aamir won’t do this project, but someone out there is going to read this article, or see that people are buzzing about this project, and approach the writer and offer to help produce or something. Every project always starts out as rumored to be starring one of the Khans, or at least a Ranbir or a Ranveer. And then it ends up with someone else entirely attached to the film. Even Padmavat started out with rumors of Shahrukh and/or Salman being involved. I guess maybe one of the lessor stars (or their managers) might read this and think “well, I know Aamir being involved is an obvious lie, but the script is getting some traction now, maybe I reach out and see if I could star in this thing”.

      On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 12:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. Reading: Bollywood Kitchen by Sri Rao, an Indian-American (not an NRI) from Mechanicsburg PA, who wrote Baar Baar Dehko, The front cover blurb says “Home Cooked Indian Meals paired with unforgettable Bollywood Films”. The very first offering is Bollywood Popcorn a spicy Masala dusted popcorn. But the first movie/recipe pairing is Devdas with Keema, Naan crisps, and rajma. Beautiful photos throughout the book. Many recipes based on his mom’s cooking.

    Watching: a variety of films over the last week, a Gujarati – Shubh Aarambh; a Marathi – Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai 2; Hindi films: Secret Superstar, Deewana, Welcome 2 Karachi; Judwaa 2; Boom; and Martyrs of Marriage, a documentary on misuse of IPC 498A – the anti dowry law. Re-watched A Gentleman and my standby JHMS.

    Thinking: when is spring ever going to come to the Northeast? Will I really be able to cook one of the pairings in the Bollywood Kitchen? When will I get time to watch Padmaavati over this holiday weekend? Guess I will just have to make time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have given up on waiting for spring to come, and I am just going to make it come. Through my usual method, taking out all my summer clothes and putting away all my winter ones. Even if it is still 35 degrees out, I will be wearing pink and yellow and red this weekend and that will make spring arrive.

      I can’t remember, have you watched Daawat-E-Ishq? That would be a good pairing with the Martyrs of Marriage documentary.

      On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 3:54 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Just checked out Daawat-E-Ishq. I am not good with Indian Cinema film names which is why I have a spreadsheet for them. I have seen Daawat-E-Ishq. I’m not a big fan of Parineeti Chopra; I think her weirdo faces trying to pass as something like tardive dykinesia turned me off.
        But, I did like Aditya Roy Kapur and the versatile Anupam Kher.
        This movie does not come close to the what took place in the Documentary. The total destruction of a man’s character without his ability to really defend himself was shocking as was the male suicides caused by the humiliating alleged charges of DV and sexual abuse.

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        • I’m kind of glad it is nothing like the documentary, I like keeping it as a light silly farce film instead of as something related to real life issues.

          On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 8:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  15. Couldn’t wait until the weekend and watched Padmaavat. Well, it had its moments, I’ll give it that. It’s definitely sad that the most “engaging” character was also the most problematic. Ranveer Singh’s performance was a powerhouse performance that I don’t think Shahid and Deepika could match at all, though Aditi Rao Hydari was great with what she got to work with. (And don’t get me started on Bhansali’s use of glycerin tears for Deepika’s eyes. She constantly looks like she’s in pain and needs to blink and it’s distracting to the viewer and takes away from her actual natural beauty).

    There are several technical moments of visual impact that Bhansali really does rock. I especially liked the signature “embroidery” scene with the other Rajput queen when the king returns and the sequence where Padmaavati and Mehrunissa meet for the first time (the backdrops, the clothes, the solidarity). I may have liked Mehrunissa’s costumes the best. The sound mixing during the final sword fight was some of the best I’ve ever heard in an Indian film and the choreography of the fight was also stellar (procrastinatrix, you’re right!). The plotting was tight, but the dialogues were so boring. Jim Sarbh’s character was completely unsympathetic and I was hoping for just a tiny bit of nuance there. The songs were too short, but the background film score and the main theme was quite lovely. The CGI of the ostrich and other sequences really was bad (though it was a good entrance for Khilji).

    But, overall, I’m thinking Bhansali really has lost the thread. I *loved* Ram Leela and was stunned by the visuals, the earthiness, and the pure emotion of that film. Maybe it was the novelty of the Ranveer/Deepika pairing or the source material. I think Bhansali is trying to explore themes of desire and sacrifice in Padmaavati and I get what he’s trying to do. I would even say that I would say this film is more feminist than it is anti-feminist (sorry, Swara Bhaskar!). But still these last two (Bajirao and Padmaavat) have both left me cold in the end. And they feel like the same movies…stupid royals making bad decisions based on honor and/or lust. But the big difference in the second two of this trilogy is that these characters have much more agency than they pretend to have. Not so much in the Romeo and Juliet story and so the viewer can sympathize with these young lovers who are not in control of their own destinies, but these Bhansali royals are just not as sympathetic.

    So worth watching, but disappointing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I found Ranveer magnetic, but ended up coming away more impressed with Shahid. He had the more difficult role, a tragically noble man. But he managed to imply a sense of humor, of anger, of all kinds of normal human emotions within the nobility. I really loved his scenes with Ranveer, felt like the movie came alive during them.

      But Dips did nothing for me. I agree, she was earthy and different in Ram-Leela, but in both Bajirao and this she felt like more like a romantic ideal than a person, the same way Aish felt in HDDCS and Devdas.

      On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 9:32 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’ll have to reflect more on Shahid’s performance. As written his character is definitely much more fully rounded a character than the maniacal Khalji, bu,t as much as I love Shahid, I don’t know if his performance lived up to my expectations. He seemed pretty humorless, self-righteous, and stubborn and not in a good way. We can disagree, of course, but maybe I need to watch it all again in a few months and see how I like it. His hair and makeup was also a huge distraction and took away from the expressiveness of his face (just like those stupid watery eyes on Deepika).

        I also think that inevitably all of the drama around the film itself and the many reviews/spoilers I read negatively affected my enjoyment of the film. If I were watching this out of context and it was one of the first Indian films I had ever seen, I think I would have really enjoyed it and been even more wowed by the film’s grand scale (though I hope I still would have found certain elements problematic). Thankfully, Jodha Akhbar was my intro to Indian film instead of this historical epic because that film had a much better message.

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        • Yeah, I think what impressed me with Shahid is that he was able to convey a character despite the make-up and look and everything else that was kind of forcing him into a box. While Ranveer leaned into his crazy setting.

          On Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 8:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I’m chuckling thinking about how many movies “stupid royals making bad decisions” could describe. Lion in Winter springs to mind, and it definitely fits Bajirao and Padmaavat.

      Over Easter I had my folks in Ohio watch Ghoomar and the swordfight. The choreography is just as stunning as I remembered. Great point about the sound mixing–that’s just the kind of film-making detail I’m not good at picking out. But when someone calls it out, I think–yes! the sound works so beautifully to increase the impact of that scene.

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  16. I would love to see a Dishoom sequel but only if Parineeti joins the cast as Varun’s fiance. Maybe they move the plot to India and they deal with how Varun’s character is preparing to get married. Also his adjustment to (moving? to) India since they mention that he grew up in Abu Dhabi. I can’t think of anything to do with John’s character. I would like Jacqueline to be back too and maybe she can start working for the police and help catch criminals?

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    • I’d love to see the dynamic reversed, John as the local with the connections and Varun as the outsider with the high powered assignment. Maybe John has been fired and Varun arrives on special assignment and gets John reinstated to help him, so suddenly Varun is the one in control and John is just driving him around.

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