Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want To Talk About the Week of October in April?

Happy Monday!  Time for questions to distract me from a very hectic weekend!  And, more importantly, to distract me from possibly not having time to write a new blog post today, at least not for a while.  Although I can respond to comments.  So, you get to provide your own content!  Fun fun fun!

As always, you can ask me anything you want, from the personal (“what is your favorite destressing movie?”) to the specific and factual (“what Indian films deal with stress?”) to the general discussion (“what is a good movie to watch to destress and why?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  The discussion just goes better that way.  But once I answer, feel free to jump in with your own thoughts.

 

Now, question for you:

What is the one song you watch when you want to feel happier and less stressed immediately?

For me, SO MANY.  But this is the first that comes to mind at the moment, it’s just so happy!

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50 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want To Talk About the Week of October in April?

  1. What films are you most excited about for the 2018 releases? I know Zero is a given:)

    I’m still catching up with some of last year’s releases (Tiger Zinda Hai is now on amazon prime!) and getting focused on staying on top of new releases. For me, I’m most excited about Baazaar (probably won’t be a hit but I’m really hoping for Saif’s sake it is so it doesn’t hurt the prospects of Sacred Games), Raazi, Veere Di Wedding, Karwan, Soorma, Sandeep Auk Pinky Faraar and Namastey England (two films with Arjun and Parineeti…one of my favorite jodis!), Drive, Sui Dhaga, the Anil & Sonam Kapoor film, the Ajay & Tabu film (please let it be a good romance), Thugs of Hindustan, and Simmmmmba!

    Thinking about the great box office so far for Hindi films and looking forward to the rest of the expected releases this year…there are so many more films this year that I’m super excited about than last year which had some really cool story-driven films but seemed like a lackluster year overall. Padmaavat opening this year helps get the year off to a strong start, but I feel like after the success of Sonu Ki Sweety, Raid, Pari, and Bhaagi 2 there’s something in the air this year. It’s kind of cool.

    There just seems to be a really interesting mix of films this year…continued story-driven film focus, some much anticipated films like Veere Di Wedding & Thugs & Zero, but lots of stars doing interesting things like Ranbir in Sanju, Varun in a “serious” role, some industry crossover stars making interesting movies (DQ and Diljit), some star kid debuts, even some B-list films I’m excited about (like High Jack with Sumeet Vyas), this year in Bollywood has everything!

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    • Not most excited for Zero, actually, which kind of supports what you are saying about the interesting mix this year. I’m least interested in the big star blockbusters, more intrigued by the little odd films. From the academic/critical side, I am most interested in Veere Di Wedding (all female multistarrer, very different!) and Sanju (first big industry biopic). From the “can’t wait to see it in theaters” side of things, it’s the two Zora/Reema films, I can’t wait to see Gold and Gully Boy. Really interested in both ideas, and huge faith in the directors and cast to pull them off well.

      I think you are right about 2018, and I think it is the benefit of 2017. You need a year where everything fails before people are willing to really experiment in order to find something new that will hit.

      On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 9:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m most excited about Gully Boy, too, but it looks like an early 2019 release. Gold interests me only because of Reema, but I think I’m going to be a little bored like I was throughout most of MS Dhoni. Hopefully the political and social backdrop will lift it up like the context did in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

        Plus, I think after the limited success of Breathe and Inside Edge, the release of Sacred Games, the first major Indian limited series release on Netflix, could make big waves in the industry and the industry’s profile abroad. It’s interesting, though, how the Sacred Games project really is completely disconnected from the traditional Indian and Pakistani serial tv and much more associated with the film industry’s movers and shakers. Makes sense with the producers, directors, and stars behind these three pathbreakers. There is definitely a “prestige television” thing happening in India now, too. And then there’s the rich experimentation in the web series zone, too. So much to watch!

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        • I have high hopes for Gold, partly because of Reema and also because of Akshay. Akshay really can act, when he chooses too, and it feels like he saves up all his acting energy by not bothering for a whole string of films before letting it burst forth. Based on how terrible his performances in his last several films have been (everything since Airlift), I am hoping for a really spectacular performance to burst out here.

          I’m partly tongue in cheek, but also a little serious, he definitely has an idea of small profitable films with solid but unimaginative lead performances from him, and then giving himself the luxury of a risky film that he pours his heart and soul into very very rarely.

          Really interesting observation about the divide in the limited series space. It seems to be following a similar pattern to American TV, where reviewers and “serious” TV watchers, and the big movie stars and so on, all focus on the limited cable series. But the actual vast majority of the audience is watching The Big Bang Theory and NCIS and no one from those shows (behind or in front of the camera) ever seems to make it over to the cable shows, and vice versa. Like one half of the TV audience and creative workers is invisible to the other half.

          On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 9:50 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I think I should put up a post? I wasn’t going to, because it’s just the one trailer and I usually like to cluster them. But it seems like everyone has things to say, so a discussion space would be good.

            On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 9:09 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Apropos of nothing except suggested movies from Youtube — weren’t you asking last week or the week before for recommendations on movies dealing with the ups and downs of marriage, or at least the initial adjustment period? Anyway, thanks to youtube, I can suggest a Telugu movie to you that I actually saw some time ago. It is “Pellaina Kottalo” (“Newly Married”) starring Jagapathi Babu (if you don’t know him, he’s a very good actor of the older generation — contemporary of Nagarjuna and Venkatesh) and Priyamani (whom you saw in Yamadonga), another very good actress. I thought it was an interesting and semi-realistic film about the pitfalls one can fall into in the early days of marriage. It still has cinematic aspects, however, and is by no means an “art” film.

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  3. What’s your opinion about heroines starting their career early? On one hand you get more years as an actress’s career graph is distressingly short compared to an actor’s. But on the other hand won’t College at least give you some life experiences which you could bring to polish your on-screen characters?

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    • What an interesting question! I think part of it also relates back to the type of roles offered to heroines. On the one hand, college and acting training would make you are more sophisticated superior actress. On the other hand, the roles like the heroine of Om Shanti Oshaana really work wonderfully with this very natural instinctive style that you can get when the actress is very young and playing a very young character.

      Maybe the problem is that a “natural” actress playing herself and a very experienced actress doing her job so well that it appears to be natural are both good, but an actress who is too experienced to be “natural” and not experienced enough to fake “natural” is the worst possible option. So these teenage actresses are brilliant and perfect in their first few roles, and then there is this messy awkward period when they have learned too much and yet also not enough. And too often they get dumped from the industry at that point instead of being allowed to blossom. I’m thinking of, for instance, Anushka and Deepika. The both were great in their launch films, fresh and perfect. And then there were some awkward odd roles. But they managed to survive that and come out the other end just enormously talented. Or Alia, who made the wise decision to take almost 2 years working with Imtiaz on Highway, and have that be her “training” period, get all the awkward growing pains out.

      So if the roles being offered heroines tend to be these teenage village belle innocent types, I can see why producers would rather hire an inexperienced teenager who will do it perfectly without trying, versus a 25 year old who isn’t really skilled enough to play younger, or a 30 year old actress who has the skills but is expensive and doesn’t look young enough.

      Or, like you said, the best solution might be to find a 25 year old who has all the experience from acting outside of the film industry, but that still means taking a risk on an untried actress without even the security of “well, at least she is the right age for the role”. I think that’s what happened with Vidya Balan, she had been on TV since she was a teenager, and in non-Hindi industries, but her first Hindi role was at age 28. And then she struggled for years to find another role that would work for her age and experience. Because you can’t start hiring 25 year olds with years of training until you have roles in the films for 25 year olds to play.

      On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 1:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I do have destressing songs but now I don’t remember even one. Oh, maybe Dheere Jalna.

    Question: what is your favorite destressing movie?

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    • Right now, probably City of God. Or Jab Harry Met Sejal. I like things that I have seen before (so no stress on how it all ends), but are so layered that I can find something to catch my attention every time. In the non-movie realm, it’s usually sitcoms, for the same reason. I know it will turn out okay (because sitcoms always reset at the end of the episode), but if they are well-written, they have enough hidden jokes to keep me interested even on watch 3 and 4.

      And Dheere Jalna is a good one, so happy and sunny and also repetitive and soothing.

      On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 2:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • My distressing movie is Mehbooba (the one with Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Dutt) – bad, over-the top with twists that always make me feel good. Oh and now when I’m thinking about it, it’s been a while since I watched a movie with a lot of twists, and it’s my second favourite indian genre. What do you recommend?

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        • Ittefaq, if you haven’t seen it. Oh, and Gupt from the 90s (90s twists were the best!). And the Race movies if you haven’t watched them, now’s a good time anyway with Race 3 coming.

          And I was going to link you to my favorite Mehbooba slashfic fanvid, but it has been pulled down! This is a tragedy!

          On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 4:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. My cheer-me-up song:

    I just saw The Lunchbox and loved it! So did my 10 year old son weirdly enough, He had a lot of questions about the relationships and how sad and angry everyone was and he was so bothered by the ending he’s been demanding a Lunchbox 2. Oh, and he was super excited by the street kids singing Pardesi on the train.

    So my question: in The Lunchbox, Irrfan’s character is Christian. Is that significant to the story?

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    • I have to confess, I still haven’t seen The Lunchbox. I just did a quick wiki read, and it looks like his name indicates him as a Goan/Portuguese Christian. While hers and her husband’s indicate they are Hindu. The Christian part would make him part of a specific minority community, maybe adding to his isolation? And also possibly adding to the difficulty of the couple getting together?

      But again, I haven’t seen the film, there could be a lot more I am missing.

      And I love that your “cheer-up” song is a song that Shahrukh’s character in the movie sings to cheer-up his wife. Similar to this:

      On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 2:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • You haven’t seen The Lunchbox???? You’re going to have to bite the bullet and watch it. Spoiler alert: No songs and no car chases.

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        • And an open ending! I HATE open endings! I want all movies to end with a wedding and a baby. And then a happy family photo.

          On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 9:17 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • For what it’s worth, I saw The Lunchbox, and while I acknowledge that it is very well made at a technical level, I didn’t like it. I just had a conversation about it last week with someone, who said I was the only one who didn’t like it, and I said it was because it was inauthentic. The script was developed at Sundance, and you can see that it is a very obvious Syd Field type of script — to me that was formulaic.

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        • If you are ever in the mood for something dark and rich, you should check out Fan. He literally plays himself, and also his crazy opposite, and both characters end up being deconstructed.

          I also have a softspot for his Billa, with Irrfan Khan, in which again he plays himself, as a sort of opaque remote inhuman person.

          Oh oh! Duh! The one you should really check out is Om Shanti Om! Now that it’s on Netflix. Forget Shahrukh, the whole film is just gloriously fun and silly.

          On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 11:16 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Om Shanti Om is just filled with Easter Eggs. It’s very enjoyable film even without that, but it’s a very enjoyable film on rewatches because you can find an inside reference about every 5 minutes.

            On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 11:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Saw Zachariyude Garbanikal, your Mallu Movie Last Monday. Omg. I am so depressed! I honestly cannot point a figure to what annoys/bothers/depresses me. It’s a fine piece of film but I am lowkey so annoyed.

    Have you ever felt this way after seeing a film? Aside from the misogyny, like the overall theme.
    Man. That movie will honestly never leave me

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    • I know what you mean. A film is a glimpse into the creator’s view of the world, and some of them just have a really dark view of everything.

      I feel kind of the same after watching Hollywood movies written by Charlie Kaufman.

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  7. There’s only three more days left for October and I’m still not excited about it. This is a really weird feeling.

    My song to feel happier changes all the time. But this is my current favorite for like a few weeks now 🙂

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      • Yup! It’s such a cute movie! The story isn’t anything new or anything but the entire movie is filled with cute moments. Plus Varun Tej and Raashi Khanna have really good chemistry together. It still hasn’t shown up on any streaming sites but I’ll let you know when it does.

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    • Agree! I wouldn’t watch it either. But I am also really really interested that it is on Italien TV.

      On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 2:55 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It’s on the channel which like to show movies about plane accidents and stuff, but strangely Neerja (or Pan Am 73 Flight, how they named it) is shown under very odd “Girl Power” category. Other movies in this category: Hanna (with Saoirse Ronan as 16 y/o killer), The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Jailbird (about a woman in prison), G.I Jane and Irina Palm. I read this list and WTF, I’m sure a man invented this. The only thing those movies have in common is female protagonist, and nothing else.

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        • I love Hanna SO MUCH! Except it’s also way too painful to watch a second time. Not because of the action scenes and so on, but because of the heartbreak of growing up and realizing your father isn’t perfect.

          On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 4:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Huh. what’s up with the strange CGI effect on his face in a few shots?

      On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 7:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • The only reasonable explanation I can come up with is that it is a body double and they are trying to insert his face on someone else’s body.

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          • Yes, but I can’t think of any other explanation. It doesn’t seem like his face is old enough to need it just to look young, and the rest of the scene doesn’t seem CGI, just the face. The only other possibility would be that something happens outside of the bits of the trailer we see, something that requires CGI to do the whole scene but we are only seeing the face now.

            On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 7:55 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • The Friday reviews are written right away, while it’s fresh in my mind and while people are looking for reviews for the new movies. So, usually the short No Spoiler as soon as I get home, and the longer SPOILER review first thing the next morning. The other reviews, whenever I feel like it. I usually watch the Monday and Tuesday movies over the weekend, sometimes I’ll watch them both and write the reviews on Saturday, sometimes I’ll watch the movies on Saturday and not write the reviews until Monday and Tuesday evening. And then the Friday classics I write any old time, since they are movies I’ve already seen.

      On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 7:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • So are there any times when you can’t write anything about a movie? Even if you like the movie, you aren’t able to come up with things to write about.

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        • yeah. And then I usually take a break and come back to it. I can always drag out something to say, but sometimes it is like pulling teeth and sometimes it just flows. The Friday night reviews are the hardest, I’m just so TIRED at the end of the night.

          On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 8:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Mood lifting songs

    Om Shanti Om – entire soundtrack

    Jism – entire soundtrack

    Guru – entire soundtrack

    Ten years ago I would have said “anything by Atif Aslam”

    Five years ago, anything by Shreya Goshal

    Currently, anything by Jasleen Royal.

    Love all 3 of their voices. Thank goodness for Pandora and YouTube and Saavn.

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    • Thank you! I thought I was the only one who remembered Jism! If you had also said Murder, I would know we really were the same person.

      Speaking of, I also really love Jasleen Royal. Neeti Mohan is my other fave.

      On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 3:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ok I need to check out the Murder songs again and see.

        As for purely “watching” a song, the visuals here simply transport me, send me into meditative space, I can feel my blood pressure relax. Udita is uniquely bewitching (looks like Bjork) , and I want to wear her flowing robes everyday 🙂

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        • The Murder visuals aren’t great, but the sound of the songs is addictive.

          On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 3:23 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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