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

Happy Wednesday!  Half way through the week, I had a friend over and stayed up way way too late last night, especially since Dog is still adjusting to her new home and keeping me up all night.  But whatever, it’s almost the weekend, I’ll be fine.

I’ll start!

Reading: Nothing!  I haven’t been riding the bus to work much, which is my usual reading time, and when I am home I am blogging or watching something.  I am trying to psych myself up to go back to Memoirs of a Thug, about about a quarter through, and at the rate I am going, if I want to finish my the time the movie comes out I really need to get back to it.

Watching: Last night we watched Dil Hai Tumhaare because this is my one friend who loves bad 90s movies.  Well, 90s movies.  That’s when she first got into the films, so it is nostalgic for her.

Thinking: I need a new challenge!  I’ve got my dog now, so that project is over.  My life is just a series of challenges, I finished grad school and then I learned how to drive and then I wrote a book and then I started a blog and then I got a new apartment and then I got a dog.  Now what?

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(I also got a dog bed.  It doesn’t fit her personality, but it fits my bedroom decor)

 

Now, a question for you!  Miss Braganza asked me on Monday what are the movies I plan to watch some day but they are just so overwhelming that I keep putting them off.  For her it was the Apu Trilogy and Mother IndiaSo, what are your “Someday when I am ready” movies?

For me, there are SO MANY.  Most of them Hindi, just because I don’t even know enough to have “someday” movies in the other languages.  Ganga Jumna and Naya Daur, Dilip’s two classics.  Chaudvin Ka Chand, the only Guru Dutt classic I still haven’t seen.  Gangs of Wasseypur.  Anything Merchant-Ivory and Shashi Kapoor.  The original Umrao Jaan.  SO MANY!!!!

And they all have different reasons I haven’t watched them yet.  Ganga Jumna and Naya Daur are because I am worried I will find them slow, so I want to be sure I am in the mood to focus and pay attention until they win me over.  Chaudvin Ka Chand, I just can’t take Guru depressing me any more.  Gangs of Wasseypur, so LOOOOOOONG!  Merchant-Ivory and Shashi, I am worried I won’t love him any more when I see his artsy grey character types.  And yet I know these are all brilliant important movies and I can’t fully understand or enjoy the Hindi industry until I understand and enjoy these films.

 

What are your “someday” films?

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

    • I’ve seen both and watched the older one recently. The older one is definitely better and it’s an easy watch actually. The music, sets, and dancing are all lovely.

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  1. I would love to see 50s-60s classics like mother India, ram Teri ganga Meli guide etc.
    But not able to do so. I feel the technology would be too outdated etc. But will see one fine day

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  2. How about writing new book as your new challenge?

    I remember two “someday when I’ll be ready” movies:
    1) Aruvi, because I know it will be sad sad
    2) Angamaly Diaries, because I know I must focus while watching, and usually I watch movies teared in smaller parts durning days

    Last week watching – started Tumhari Sulu and kannada film Simple Agi Ondh Love Story, which was supposed to be cute, simple, feel good movie, but I have seen half and it’s booooooring.
    Reading – started Rainer Maria Rilke’s letters to wife.

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    • Simple As Ondh Love Story is a very dialogue heavy movie, which would have got lost in translation. It has a lot of wordplay and puns which only a native Kannada speaker would be able to understand, hence maybe you didn’t enjoy it.

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      • You’re right, I noticed that when they talk (and they talk all the time, there is no action at all), they use idioms and proverbs and stuff, and many of them translated in english don’t have much sense. And then add the fact, I’m not english native, so it’s even worse.I don’t know if I should continue : /

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  3. My “someday” movie was K. L. Saigal’s Devdas. I couldn’t watch it before because I could never get a hold of it (it’s from the 1940’s). But now I’ve found it on the Induna site and just need to find enough other things to make the shipping charges worthwhile.

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  4. I really don’t have any someday movies because I jump around the decades and tend to watch the ones that are considered the classics first but it has taken me a long time to watch certain movies like Andaz Apna Apna because I knew I had to be in the perfect mood. So when I watched that one, I liked it because I was in the mood for a goofy comedy.

    I do keep putting off Aruvi like a commenter above. I’m fascinated by the premise and I think I’m going to love it but I want to pay close attention.

    Also I’ve put off watching Sairat and Ankhon Dekh for a long time even though I know I’ll probably like them.

    Watching: Girls Trip and The Last O.G. (Tiffany Haddish is a special comedic talent!), Qarib Qarib Single – absolutely no heat in the lead couple’s chemistry but a believable love story nonetheless which proves you don’t necessarily need a lot of sexiness to have a mature love story…and Neha Dhupia cannot be in enough movies…she’s not a great actress but she’s always an interesting presence on screen, and USA’s Suits, finally my fav ship “Darvey” seems to be happening!

    Reading: finished Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – a tour de force about race and immigration and a vivid portrait of white privilege (she sets part of her story in the suburbs outside Philly where I live and it’s pretty spot on), reading a Lisa Kleypas historical romance

    Doing: going to see Penn Masala at Penn this Saturday night

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    • I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!! Seeing Penn Masala Live is one of the dreams of my life!!!!!! They are my favorite band/chorus/music collective EVER. Okay, them and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Who ALSO never perform in Chicago.

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 8:44 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Sad report on the Penn Masala concert: I was actually disappointed. There are definitely some good singers among the current lineup but their sound was awful (and I think there was an audio visual issue in one song) and I had forgotten how bad the acoustics were in the venue they were in. Plus former members of the group were obnoxiously gathered at the front by the stage and screaming throughout the songs so it was even harder to hear (not just two or three guys…we’re talking over thirty people waving light sticks and screaming and jumping right in front of seated people causing a major distraction). This wasn’t just the usual desi audience exuberance…this was clearly a group of entitled and intoxicated Penn grads doing their thing and not caring about the rest of the audience. The highlight was actually a dance troupe from Villanova in between sets. So, yeah, probably not going to go to another show when they perform at Penn. Maybe they are better in a more formal setting.

        I must be getting old but back in the day when I used to see them when I was a student there was a lot more focus on the music and doing a professional show. But then again, they didn’t have alums of the group yet to be their hype men!

        I do bet that if they were visiting Chicago as guest performers at another university or show that they would be a lot more “together.” I just expected more from one of the best a capella groups in the country.

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        • Being a Penn Masala Trufan, but never having seen them live, I’ve been impressed by the consistency of the high level of their new recordings, and new music videos and so on. So I am going to be an optimist and go with your idea that it was just the venue and the crowd. Hopefully the come to Chicago, or somewhere else I can see them live, and I’ll be able to report back. But I will also be happy with my perfect beautiful recordings that don’t have any messy real world complications to give them flaws.

          On Sat, Apr 21, 2018 at 9:59 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • For your sake, I hope that’s the case! I listened to some of my favorite songs of theirs on my iPod on the train home to immediately wash the bad taste out of my mouth. Their recordings are consistently really high quality so there will always be that!

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          • To cheer us both up, here’s a newish video of my other favorite Penn a capella group from back in the day, Off the Beat…seeing them do Tori Amos songs blew my mind back then and turned me on to a capella music in the first place. And check out this cutie pie, Rohan Wagahni, as the lead singer in this one…

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          • Is it just me, or does he look a lot like Rahul Khanna?

            On Sat, Apr 21, 2018 at 10:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yep, he does look kind of like Rahul Khanna and he has that effortless sexiness, too! I think I might need to buy the album with all of his solos…I really like his voice!

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      • I’ll let you both know how it is! I saw them back in the late 1990s when I was an undergrad there so it will be appropriate that I see them again in my 20th reunion year! I’ve been meaning to go see them since I moved back to Philly but kept missing their spring concert.

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  5. Reading: My Antonia (book club) and On Tyranny (for a “defending democracy” working group at church. Also continuing to read research articles.

    Watching; Re-watching OK Kanmani and FINALLY watched Black Panther. (SO GOOD!!!) I also watched Come Sunday, the biopic about Bishop Carleton Pearson’s “conversion” to Universalism. It’s well done, but probably a bit heady/talking for most people.

    Thinking: I am getting ready for a short trip to Canada to visit my brother and his family. It’s a real treat, because we were very close as kids and he lives so far away!

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  6. I have been avoiding Utda Punjab, Pink, Neerja — I know they are “good” movies, but life these days is so stressful I just don’t need any more. I will also never watch Hey Ram, Earth, or Water again. Amazing performances, but too sad/disturbing.

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    • I’ve seen UP, Pink, and Neerja, but they are all one time watches for me, I can’t go through that again. And I still haven’t seen Earth or Water. Hey Ram I had to take a break in the middle.

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 9:44 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Some-day movies: Vikram-Vedha, I started watching this, but was put off by the initial violence. Want to go back to it.
    Watching: I watched a little bit of the Rana Duggubatti movie Nenu Raja nenu Mantri – not a great movie and was quite baffled when Catherine Tresa showed up and then I didn’t complete it.
    Qarib Qarib Single – Parvathy is terrific, she completely stole the show from Irrfan Khan. I wish they cast someone else as the male lead though – cos I think he can do this in his sleep now. The ending wasn’t good, and her Saree was so bad. I think the Saree really ruined the ending for me (don’t judge me!)

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    • You are not the first person to mention that sari! Angie brought it up on my “sari” post as an example of one of the worst she had ever seen.

      I wonder how Parvathy would have done in that movie opposite Ayushmann? Or Rajkummar Rao?

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 12:52 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ya! Rajkummar Rao or Ayushmann would’ve been great. And her dubbing was so so good! She’s really an amazing talent, hope Malayalam gives her more to do.

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      • Yes, I had exactly the same feelings after seeing QQS Priya! – Parvathy was terrific, Irrfan, not bad, but I wish someone else was cast as the hero. And this sari – it was the most important piece in the climax, and it was terrible. I can’t understand how it’s possible if all other Parvathy’s clothes were great? The only reason I can think is that the costume designer was sick, or fired and some random guy chose this sari. Or maybe it was on purpose – she was always in control, and impeccable, but in the end, she was like: yeah, I look bad in this sari, but I like it so I will wear it, and it’s nobody’s business 😉

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      • Now I know what was bothering me about it. I wasn’t imagining it, the sari was weird! I also did want another person cast in Irrfan’s role. I’ve only ever liked him in The Lunchbox and Piku in a romantic role.

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  8. The dog looks so happy and cute!

    For me it’s Pyaasa and Mother India – and the original Deewar. Been on my list forever, and it’s never quite the right moment.

    I am getting ready for the new Mahesh Babu movie tomorrow, Bharat Ane Nenu. I rewatched Athadu (love it so much!) and 1: Nenokkadine in preparation. Nenokkadine was interesting to watch again now that you know the ending.

    Last weekend I saw October, which I loved, Mercury which was okay, and Krishnarjuna Yuddham which was a double role, and half good.half disappointing.

    I am MOST excited about the trailer for Mahanati, and upcoming Telugu and Tamil film about the legendary actress Savitri. It has EVERYBODY in it. Keerthy Suresh plays Savitri, Dulquer Salman her husband Gemini Ganeshan (father of Rekha!), Samantha Prabu is in it. Vijay Deverakonda (!!!), Naga Chaitanya playing his grandfather and on and on. It’s going to be epic = out May 9:

    All my commenters told me to watch Savitri (and every big star of 1957) in her film Maya Bazar which I found on Eiinthusan with subs, so I will be trying to see that before Mahanati

    I’m reading Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer which I’m really enjoying.

    Margaret, I think maybe a new book would be a good challenge. Or learning film editing so you could do HIndi 101 videos or something similar.

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    • Devil’s Cub is my favorite Heyer! Tied with The Masqueraders.

      Maya Bazaar is amazing, it’s also a great film to watch to appreciate the tradition of special effects that Bahubali came from.

      I’d love to write another book, of course first I have to find someone willing to publish it…..

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 3:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • No sci-fi, only fantasy. Which is always put in the same section as Sci-fi and that doesn’t make sense to me, but in my mind they are very different.

          On Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 2:22 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. How about writing a script (or “story”)? I’m sure there are hundreds of banners who would jump at the chance to back a story out of the dontcallitbollywood shop.

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  10. I’ve thought of so many other bucket list movies since I first asked you on Monday. It’s a wonder I ever watch anything. I put off Saat Khoon Maaf and Maqbool for so long they took them off the Eros site and I’ll have to either buy from Induna or wait until they come back and start putting them off again. Omkara is still on Eros but I’m still putting it off. (I may have a bit of a Vishal Bardwaj problem). For some reason I also put off Dev D. forever and now I can’t find it streaming. I think because it’s Anurag and his movies can be fairly unpleasant, and also because it’s Devdas and you have to be in the right mood.

    So, not watching Omkara but I am watching Dishoom for whatever reason. This movie is so dumb and I can’t decide it it’s fun enough to keep watching for Akshay and Akshaye and whoever else is going to have a cameo. Although the whole John in a tank top thing is tipping the scale toward watching more. I’m about one hour in.

    Still watching the Bengali suspense show and found that my Bengali teacher is watching the same show, which is good because even with the subtitles it’s impenetrable if you don’t get certain customs. (Like, they all call each other by kinship terms, which the subtitles leave in Bengali, and then I can’t figure out how everyone is related to each other because I still don’t know all the kinship terms). In fact, a big part of our lesson last week was dishing about the show.

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    • I kind of love Dishoom. It’s soooooooooooooooooo dumb, but John and Varun have great comic chemistry, and there’s a dog, and Jackie is fun too, and Akshaye of course makes everything better.

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 11:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Shoot, I was just about to leave for lunch but I have to answer this right away because it is a BIG BIG THING and other people will want to weigh in on it.

      Priyanka was a beauty queen actress, got her start because she won Femina Miss India and people were excited about her. Her first few roles weren’t great, but she slowly built up a decent filmography, and was also in a ton of ad campaigns and did public appearances and awards shows and stuff that made her not just an “actress” but a “celebrity”.

      Now, the tricky bit! 5 years ago, she and Shahrukh were promoting Don 2. They had previously acted together in Don 1 and done public appearances together and stuff and had a pleasant chemistry. Somehow, while promoting Don 2, consistent rumors started spreading that they were having an affair. Shahrukh had NEVER had an affair rumor about him before, but Priyanka had, supposedly Twinkle forbade Akshay from working with her again because of similar issues. Whether or not the rumors were true, they were certainly strong and Priyanka wasn’t doing much to squash them. Karan got mad at her, things were stressed in general in the film community. Plus also she was beginning to age out a little bit of the standard “heroine” roles. It was a good time to leave town and start fresh overseas.

      One thing we have talked about here before, if you are looking for it, a lot of Priyanka’s public appearances and behavior to this day seems to revolve around the rumored SRK affair. On a much lower level, it feels a bit like Rekha and Amitabh, Priyanka has built a persona in India as “Shahrukh’s lover”. A much much lower level, she is many other things as well, but that is part of it.

      Anyway, Quantico is dying (or dead? I can’t keep track), the anger of the affair rumors finally seems to be dying down (doesn’t feel to me like anger of an affair, just anger over talking about an affair, if you see the difference?), good time for Priyanka to come home again.

      Or, the alternative big big picture version which goes back to my “three phases of actress’ career” post, Indian film is a great place to start out as an actress, and a great place to be a sort of “Actress emeritus”, but a terrible place for the middle part of your career. Once Priyanka got too old for ingenue parts, she went to American TV and got a great role for where she was at, and once that ended, she can come back to Hindi film and take those few choice parts that are offered to more senior actresses.

      On Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 12:30 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Last I saw was that Quantico ratings were falling, and certainly her Hollywood career hasn’t taken off. Maybe she is trying to build/maintain connections planning for a future back in India? She’s been keeping her feet in both industries a little bit, skipping some major awards shows and stuff, but still showing up for a public appearance here and there and of course she has a production studio in India as well (mostly producing non-Hindi films in the smaller language markets, a good business plan).

          The comparison would be Aish who just left completely for the few years that she was trying to break into Hollywood and then had to struggle a bit to get her way back into the industry after being so totally out of the loop.

          On Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 1:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Priyanka was Miss World, not just Miss Universe. I don’t buy the argument that she had to leave India becos of rumours with SRK. She has been in two seasons of KwK(last season she appeared all by herself after during the Hollywood stint). She had been planning the Hollywood foray for sometime by doing a music video with Pitbull and doing some major lobbying. You don’t land the lead role in an ABC drama without doing significant ground work. Around the same time she also did Bajirao Mastani & was well appreciated for it. She was also producing some Marathi movies. I don’t know how her Hollywood career is progressing but to me she seems a very smart lady who is good at multitasking & be part of both industries. In India, mAybe she’s too expensive to be cast by big heroes(whose remuneration makes up for more than half the budget for the movie). Also she’s past the phase where she can be mere eye candy. She may have to produce movies for herself or make sacrifices in terms of money, time for a great role in a smaller film. But to project her career decisions as all about SRK is kinda reducing all her efforts so far from being an outsider to a leading lady in her own right.

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