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

Happy Wednesday!  I have a loooooooooong day today, church meeting tonight and got up early to go to the bank before work, so give me energy with cheering conversation!

I’ll start!

Reading: The new Sanjay Dutt biography, which is addictive and a super easy read, I started it yesterday and I’m already half done.  I’ll probably be all done by tonight.  Highly recommend it, and yes you can buy it in Amazon.

Thinking: I sent an email to the funky storefront language school down the street from me asking about Hindi classes, haven’t heard back yet.  Do I just, like, knock on the door and talk to people?  Like this is olden times?

Watching: My new co-worker lent me a very weird Pakistani film, Bol, and in return said I could lend her “anything”.  Which is a lot of pressure!  I think I will bring in a selection of DVDs and let her pick.

 

Now, question for you!  Actually multiple questions, in honor of Anushka’s birthday yesterday:

What is your favorite Anushka movie/performance?

Oh this is hard!  Out of all her movies, I think I love Patiala House the most. Yes, even more than Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (don’t hate me!).  But it’s not a great role/performance for her.  For that, I think Ae Dil Hai Mushkil?  An unapologetically difficult woman.

 

What co-star do you want to see her with again?

Parambrata Chatterjee from Pari.  Really interesting vibe between them, him feeling softer than most male actors, and her feeling harder than most female.

 

What actor do you want her to work with that she hasn’t worked with before?

Dips!  They’ve been dancing around each other their whole careers, both launched by Shahrukh, both co-starring with Ranbir and Ranveer and Imran Khan and Shahrukh again, but never going head to head.  I want to see them in a female lead film playing rivals, Aaina or Silsila style.

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

    • I love that movie! Partly because the songs are great, but it also has a really original and good take on the immigrant experience. And some weak points, but the good points are sooooooo good.

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  1. Watching Desi Boys while taking a break from studying. I can ogle at John Abraham and I don’t even mind his terrible acting skills. And why isn’t Chitrangada Singh not getting movies?
    Coming to your question, my favourite Anushka performance is Band Baaja Baraat. My favourite scene is when Ranveer is relieved that she didn’t take him that seriously as well, and that it was a mistake. Which brings me to your second question, I want to see her with Ranveer again. Ricky Behl wasn’t so great, and they didn’t have much time in Dil Dhadakne Do.
    I want to see her in a movie with Ayushmann in a movie which is set in a small north indian town. They both have a very Punjabi/North Indian vibe.

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    • Agree about wanting to see her with Ranveer again. I want a movie where they are working together the whole time, the best parts of Band Baaja Baaraat were the early bits when they were becoming friends and learning to appreciate each others’ strengths and balancing each other. Dil Dhadakne Do, there was this immediate “and now we are in love!” which didn’t really allow for a slow getting to know each other period, and Ladies versus Ricky Behl they are enemies. Just off the top of my head, something like Ranveer and Anushka being reporters who are assigned to work together and hate each other. Oh oh! Competing radio hosts! He is all about energy and over the top stunts, she is all about serious interviews, and then they end up having to share a time slot and he helps her get her serious news stories out by using a sprinkling of stunts, and she helps him learn to really care about something besides ratings. I would watch that movie!

      And yes, an Ayushmann movie would be great. Something like Tanu Weds Manu but softer might be fun with them, he is a sweet guy who just wants to get married, and a girl who wanted to do something more with her life, and the two of them working it all out over the time of their engagement.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ranveer and Anushka Don’t seem like a very mushy couple, so a film with them competing would be fun. The Ayushmann movie would be great too, because Anushka would be really feisty against a soft Ayushmann just like Maddy and Kangana.
        Question – Can Anushka play a soft and subdued character like Rani? I don’t feel she has much range. In most of her films she’s a feisty woman.

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        • She was very soft in Phillauri. Strong, but soft-spoken and quiet. And I have hope for something similar in Sui Dhaagi. I don’t want her to be lounging around waiting for the hero to do something, but she can be less of the outspoken modern woman type. Oh, and Pari was very different! A completely helpless type.

          On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 11:40 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Pari is so unlike her usual role, that I feel like it must have been part of the reason she decided to produce it, knowing that no outside producer would ever offer her a part like this since it isn’t what she is known for.

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  2. I rewatched Love Breakups zindagi recently. Why do I like this movie so much? 🙈 please tell me I’m not the only one!
    I watched secret superstar which was nice. Though I couldn’t sit through the scenes of abuse without feeling horrified. The school crush was the cutest depiction of it onscreen.
    Dishoom- which is didn’t expect much from so wasn’t unhappy with. Also Varun & Parineeti need to do a movie together.
    Bhadshaoon – Rolling my eyes to infinity.

    Reading old reader’s digest articles 😂

    About Anushka. I already answered in her Birthday post. I love Band Baaja Baraat, among my most fav movies in the past few years. Anushka Ranveer have chemistry. The solemia(?) song from Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is proof. It’s my fav character too. In terms of complexity ADHM. My least fav char of hers is in JTHJ.
    I want a fun movie with Anushka & Katrina as buddies. What a riot they were on KWK.
    I want to see her opposite karthik Aryan coz he’s a cutie.

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    • I haven’t even seen Love Breakups Zindagi, but I also kind of love it just from the songs and trailers I’ve seen. It looks like such a nice “good happy people going through minor problems and then coming out the other end” sort of romance.

      I loved the school crush, because it was sincere, but also age appropriate. They weren’t running off to get married or even talking about “true love”, they just kind of felt sparkly together.

      I love Dishoom, because it never tried to sell itself as anything more than it was. You knew what to expect and it delivered. And yes to Varun and Parineeti! They have such natural chemistry, I can’t believe they haven’t been cast together yet.

      And you got me to image search Kartik Aryan, he is a cutie!

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I also love Love Breakups Zindagi! You aren’t alone! For me, the love story just seems really realistic: you feel like you understand why they fall in love, besides “well, she’s pretty and so am I.” There are other movies that do this, but this really feels like you are watching regular people fall in love. And I quite like the scene where they are playing Taboo, and you can see how they’re on the same wavelength. Not a classic of Indian cinema, but a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

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  3. Oh, I have seen Bol! It was one of those films that leave your depressed and pensive for days. Will you write the review?

    I managed to finish only “Run” this week, and it was quite disappointing. The first half was good, but the second has no sense at all. And the ending – when the girl’s evil brother comes from “I will cut Maddy in pieces” to “I’m so happy they will marry” in like 30 seconds. Ridiculous, but at least I can check off another movie with Madhavan.
    Now watching Mukkabaaz and OMG Jimmy Shergill is so scary in it.
    Reading: working on my malayalam reading lyrics everyday

    Favourite Anushka’s movie: Rab ne bana di jodi but I think I like her role in Dil Dhadakne Do more.
    What co-star do you want to see her with again? Not original but SRK, I love their chemistry
    New co-star? I like you idea with Dips, and I would add Kunal Kapoor.

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    • I’m considering reviewing it. I kind of like sometimes just watching movies and sticking them in my brain bank without reviewing them right away, Bol might be one of those that I just want to have in my head for a while.

      Now that you have watched the Maddy Run, you can watch the Abhi Run! Or, you can watch Priyamanu Thozhi in your continuing Maddy quest, either way.

      I love Anushka’s character in DDD, so original to have a woman who really loves her job, and is also able to fall in love, but I wish we got more of her instead of the tiny bit we did.

      Kunal Kapoor should be added to everything.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:47 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Reading: Maidanam by Chalam. I am reading the Telugu version, but proper English translations are available, and surely recommended.
    Thinking: Nothing much
    Watching: Watched both Rangasthalam and Bharat Ane Nenu recently. Not decided anything about the Infinity War.

    Favourite performance: ADHM, and Band Baaja Baaraat
    Co-star I would like to see again: Ranveer Singh. Their pairing is so energetic and lively for me!
    New co-star: I am mostly clueless here.

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    • Glad to see her ADHM role getting some love. Maybe I was missing something, but it felt like when that movie first came out, the focus was all on the return of Aish, and Ranbir’s central performance, and a little bit on Karan doing something so different. Anushka got a bit lost in the shuffle.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 9:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • @Subhash — Very rare to find anyone reading Chalam these days. 🙂 I’ll be interested to hear what you think of Maidanam when you finish it. I read it first as a teenager, and even then felt it had some inconsistencies. As a middle aged adult, I think it one of his weaker novels; but it’s fair to add that I now think many of his novels that I admired in younger days are weak, in a structural sense. Have you seen the film “Grahanam”, based on his short story “Dosha Gunam”?

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      • Maidanam was recommended to me by my friend; she likes Chalam’s works a lot. I am halfway through, and it is certainly interesting. It is prickly at times, but I might get a fair idea only after reading it completely.

        Coming to Grahanam, yes I saw it. As a story, Dosha Gunam was good, but Grahanam made me realise the depth of the situations those characters were facing. Partly because, I didn’t knew how to visualise those characters in mind. There were no reference points for that.

        Margaret, if you are interested in watching that film, or if anyone else is interested in watching it, or anyone wishes to revisit it, here is the link:

        (Black and white, 92 minutes long, with subtitles)

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  5. Reading: Resumes because I’m interviewing candidates this week.

    Watching: Still inching my way through Munna Bhai MBBS which is sad because it’s very funny but I’m too busy to polish it off in one go.

    Thinking: Many boring things having to do with the minutiae of my life.

    Have you seen this yet? What do you think? It’s mild by western standards but I think it must be scandalous by Bolly standards, but correct me if I’m wrong.

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    • Munna Bhai is a good one to do inch by inch, it’s very episodic. Have you gotten to the Japanese tourist joke yet? I think that might be my favorite, it’s the edgiest part of the film, but it earns the edge for me. Also, Circuit! We haven’t talked about him yet! Poor Arshad Warsi will always be that character before anything else in his career, a punishment for doing such an amazing job.

      Oh, and post on the Badshah song just went up. It’s not that scandalous, Badshah/Yo Yo videos are always kind of like this. Maybe slightly more scandalous for having the women involved. I also found it kind of dull?

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 9:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Circuit is great! I was wondering if he’d done anything else that was notable. Actually all of the supporting hoodlums are very funny. Haven’t gotten to the Japanese bit yet. The only needle scratch is Boman Irani, he’s always so cartoonish and puts me right off. I can’t even enjoy hating him.

        The Badshah song really is dull but the gender flip is interesting to me just because I haven’t seen it before. Also, they are lipsynching to a man’s voice.

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        • I think this was one of Boman’s first roles. His actual first role is in Main Hoon Na, he started acting around 40 years old I think, and was really remarkable right from the start. He’s just gotten better since then.

          Circuit/Arshad Warsi had done a bunch of interesting sort of off-beat films before, but never anything super super memorable before this. And now of course he is type-cast. And I am sure you saw that Sanjay’s real life father Sunil is playing his father in the film.

          On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 12:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. i love Anushka in Band Baaja Baaraat! I could probably never watch it again, but I really admire her in NH-10, and the moxie it took to get that movie made with her new production company.

    I saw Avengers this weekend, and Kammara Sambhavam with Margaret. Reviews of both on my Youtube channel, Avengers with my son Josh!

    Last night I watched Vaaranam Aayiram, and oh my gosh Surya was amazing, especially how perfect he was as the gawky teen. It was quite the acting performance doing the father and the son, and so many stages of life in one film. Midway through, I realized this was the film where Gautham Menon commented on Margaret’s review, and his comments are even more amazing now that I’ve seen the film. Like Margaret, I was taken out of the Oklahoma parts a bit. When they mentioned the girlfriend was going to Oklahoma, I was thinking “That’s pretty random -wait -ooooh”

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    • I need to just buy Vaaranam. I keep thinking about it and wanting to rewatch it, but it was super hard to find it available streaming, I don’t even know if I could track it down again. I need the DVD.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 9:35 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I’m glad you’re enjoying the Sanju biography. I admit I skimmed through all the bits with Kumar Gaurav first and pretty much postponed it till the Sanju teaser came out.I’m glad the writer didn’t whitewash Dutt and it was unputdownable.Which has not been my experience with non-fiction.On the other hand I finished North and South which took me quite a while.My favorite characters has to be the hero’s mother and her lawyer suitor.They seem so ordinary and relatable.On the otherhand the casual racism towards the Irish(on the author’s part) took me aback.Especially since I had been reading Longing for Home series by Sarah M.Eden which is about the travails of the Irish immigrants as they make a new home in Wyoming.For a romance terrible things happen to the people involved and yet they carry on.
    As far as movies are concerned,I couldn’t finish watching Sunil Dutt’ and Waheeda’s black & white dacoit drama Mujhe jeene do (Let me live).He’s an unapologetically evil dacoit who abducts Waheeda the Muslim courtesan, before falling in love with her and marrying her.Then on the going gets tough.Their have to abandon their hideout once the police discovers it.The police themselves get new equipment like wireless and suddenly dacoits find it a lot tougher to make a living.Sunil’s best friend gets murdered by a traitor.Poor,heavily pregnant Wahida has to wander from pillar to post along with Sunil’s gang.She asks Sunil “When will the police stop chasing us,Thakur?” He replies “When your Thakur dies.” She has to find refuge at a village where they hate Sunil while he’s in jail.At this point I skimmed to the end and yes he dies.I’m surprised the movie was a hit and admire Sunil DUtt’s guts for making this the first movie from his production house.

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  8. Reading: still on the village lists

    Watching: whenever I’m working from home, I have the Pakistani reactions dude on. There’s something very calming about him. Got to watch the latest episodes of Pyar Lafzon Mein Kahan and Westworld. The former made me cry and the latter, well, I had a lot of questions and not enough time to go digging through forums for answers.

    Thinking: why is it so cold in May?

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    • Go back and watch yesterdays May Flowers post, maybe that will help warm you up.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 12:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Watching: I always start off by wanting to watch a new movie and somehow end up with something I’ve watched before. Thought about watching Golmaal Again (the latest one, cant remember what its called) and ended up watching Aisha – Ilove this movie! Totally up Sonam’s alley, and Abhay Deol is the perfect Mr Darcy. He just makes the movie so much better by being in it! Why o why is he so choosy?
    Anushka’s fav perfomance: ADHM and Band Baja Baraat – and special mention for Jiya re like I mentioned in the other post 🙂

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    • I don’t understand Abhay, I can’t decide if he is choosy or just lazy. Or maybe horrible to work with. He just had another movie come out (I think), but it like barely got a release and I haven’t heard any buzz about it. If he worked more regularly and really tried, he could have a decent following, and I don’t know why that isn’t happening.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 12:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think he’s lazy. He’d have been on the same path as Rajkumar Rao if he’d been more proactive, but he just seems very entitled.

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      • Oh, the movie about ghost! I was sure it will be great, but heard bad reviews instead. I’m so angry with Abhay, if you chose to do one movie in 3 years, at least do a good one

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        • Yes!!!! Look at Akshaye, he disappeared on us, but at least he is coming back bigger and better than ever, all emotionally restored.

          On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 1:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes!! Why come back with such a horrible movie? He was so good in ZNMD too. I think Abhay, Akshay and to a certain extend Ranbir belong to the same school where they can only work at their pace.

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          • Add on Imraan Khan too. There’s another problem with nepotism! Makes people lazy because they know their career will always be protected.

            On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 1:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. ^Contd cos I can’t reply
    Yes! Insiders are so grateful to get that chance, but these guys are just entitled. Imran’s 2 year paternity leave just left me in splits. Moms who do most of the work, have to be back in less than 4 months, and he needed 2 years lol! But Aamir needs to stop making him happen!
    Only Varun and to a certain extend Arjun are smart about this.

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    • Arjun I feel has had a good balance so far. He’s using the luxury of his family to take it a little easy and take risks, like the Ki & Ka role. But he’s also working steadily. Although he was beginning to slip into laziness I felt, but the new Ashutosh Gowariker movie sounds like a lot of work, taking that on tells me he is serious.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 1:34 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ya I also feel that Arjun knows he isn’t in the same pool as Ranbir, Alia et al and he’ll have to work doubly hard. Only if he focused a little more on fitness.

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        • We had a discussion about this a while back when his next film was announced. The hope is, if he is playing a military hero of the past with hand to hand combat, he will HAVE to slim down a little, it’s the only way the role will be believable.

          On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 3:57 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Watching: Infinity War! Sucharita Tyagi (I love her “not reviews” even though I only understand part of what she says–the bits in English and some Hindi by context) she mentions the fact that it was released in 4 languages simultaneously in India, as I think you commented the other day. Have been watching abbreviated versions of Shah Rukh movies on Netflix in spare moments–Main Hoon Na and Swades this week.

    Reading: Political Twitter and blogs. When will 45 and the gang go away?

    Thinking: my job has gotten extended by 3 months at least (til Fall), which I’m mostly glad and relieved about, but also have a creeping feeling that I should be more actively searching for the next right thing. Ugh.

    I made some suggestions for new co-actors I’d like to see Anushka with in her birthday thread. I’m always up to see her and Shah Rukh or her and Ranbir again. I need to see Band Baaja Baaraat so I can see her and Ranveer more–liked them in DDD, but wasn’t blown away. My favorite performance of hers is Sejal in JHMS. Not even close. But I haven’t seen lots of her films yet. Her performance in ADHM was really good, but the whole movie is just destroyed by the disease of the week ending. Visions of her in that awful skin cap…cringeworthy!

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    • BBB is so good! There’s a bit I really don’t like, but opinions can vary on that, and the rest of the plot is perfect. Ranveer is just the right kind of rough around the edges charming guy who is inspired to focus and work for something by Anushka, and Anushka is just the right kind of organized practiced girl who needs a guy to shake her up a bit. Plus, it’s got a big sense of place, you really feel like you’ve spent 3 hours in Delhi by the end of it.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 2:35 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. Yay, I have a four-day weekend! Time to catch up on movies!
    Thinking: should I put turmeric in the deviled eggs I’m making for the party tonight? I want to use chipotle chili and I’m not sure it will go together.

    Reading: not linguistics!

    Watching: saw Ittefaq last week and looooved it! I did not see the end coming at all. I did not think Sid sucked in it—I don’t want to put a spoiler here but you know he has to do a sort of Kevin Spacy thing and I thought he managed. I hope this will be a new phase for Akshaye’s career. (But who knows. He and his brother seem to march to their own drummers). Also saw a Bengali movie called Hemlock Society with Parambrata. It’s a quirky comedy about suicide—usually called a dark comedy but aside from a few jokes it’s got a big squishy heart. It has cameos from Soumitra Chatterjee and Sabyasachi Chakraborty and a bunch of other people who are familiar by sight.

    Anushka— I think BBB is my favorite performance. Maybe because I just watched him last night, but I love the idea of Parambrata and Anushka together again. Maybe a love triangle between her and him and Ranveer, with Ranveer being strong and energetic and Parambrata more soft and sensitive. (Ooh, or they could both play against type? Ranveer doing the Lootera thing again?)

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    • So glad you liked Ittefaq! It is so well put together, every piece just slides into place. And I get what you mean about Sidharth, it’s hard to tell if it is perfect casting and he is just playing himself, or if it is a brilliant performance. But his final scene makes me lean a little towards brilliant performance.

      How about for Anushka’s love triangle with Ranveer and Parambrata, they are both pretending to play against type? Ranveer is a naturally exuberant out going ladies man who pretends to be sensitive and scholarly and Parambrata is a naturally shy guy who pretends to be an out going thrill seeker. Maybe make it more complicated, Ranveer and Parambrata are friends, Ranveer was going in to the library using Parambrata’s card pretending to be a scholar when he met Anushka, he begs Parambrata to help him woo her with more scholarly stuff, and at some point Parambrata has to help him out of a tricky spot and ends up pretending to be Ranveer as part of the charade. And then complications ensue and both of them fall in love with Anushka but I’m not sure who she ends up with. Either way it will be a statement about her identity and needs as a woman.

      On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 10:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah, I may be crazy but I still have hope for Sid’s acting skills. If you had told me seven or eight years ago that I would one day watch a movie on purpose because Deepika was in it I would never have believed it, but here we are. He seems to choosing interesting roles and trying to develop himself.

        This is my problem with the Anushka -Ranveer- Parambrata triangle: who does she wind up with? I kind of like the idea of unassuming Parambrata “beating” Ranveer, but it just seems like Anushka and Ranveer are the more natural pair.

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        • I’m leaning towards Ranveer thinking that shy librarian type Anushka would want a shy librarian type romance, not realizing that she craves adventure and love comes out of difference. He doesn’t realize that she is dating him not because of the fake self, but because of the little bits of his real self that sneak out.

          And then we can give Parambrata a happy ending by suddenly revealing an Anushka identical twin at the wedding.

          I was the same with Dips, totally wrote her off, and then Chennai Express changed everything for me (I know for other people it was Cocktail, but I still haven’t seen that, so for me it was Chennai Express)

          On Thu, May 3, 2018 at 8:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Maybe also Ranveer did poorly in school and disappointed his parents and always figured he was stupid, but in the process of fooling Anushka into thinking he’s an intellectual he discovers he actually has a talent for, like, astrophysics or something. Maybe that’s too Wake Up Sid.

            I can’t remember what movie did it for Dips, with me, but I think it may have been Karthik Calling Karthik. It’s a girlfriend part and not terribly meaty, but she’s good.

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          • Well, in that case, maybe both Ranveer and Parambrata become what they are pretending to be (Parambrata always dreamed of adventure but was too much of a good boy to do anything), and Anushka ends up with Parambrata since she also craves adventure! I’m all confused now.

            On Fri, May 4, 2018 at 8:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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