Monday Morning Questions Post: What Do You Want to Ask Me The Week Before Mother’s Day?

Happy Monday!  I got iced coffee this morning, woot!  So much energy!  Which I can now expend on answering your questions.

You can ask me anything you want, from the personal (“what is the first Indian movie you saw with a mother character?”) to the specific and factual (“what is the word for ‘mother’ in Hindi?”) to the general discussion (“why are there so many mothers in Indian films?”)

Only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Because the discussion goes better that way.  Once I answer, you can feel free to join the conversation if you have something to say.

 

Oh, and I have a question for you!  Following the “worst” theme we’ve had going:

Who is the worst mother character in any movie you have seen?

I think I gotta go with a tie between the two Agneepath mothers, Zarina Wahab and Rohini Hattangadi.  Yes, eventually, it was a good idea to protect her teenage daughter from her gangster older son.  But when he was a little boy?  Couldn’t she just have forgiven him and loved him instead of throwing him out?  Also, what was up with putting all the responsibility for taking care of the family on him after his father died?  Step up woman!!!!  Put your grief aside instead of making your son think he has to earn your love by doing everything himself!  He literally has to be dying in her lap before he gets so much as a pat on the head.  That woman was COLD.

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38 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post: What Do You Want to Ask Me The Week Before Mother’s Day?

  1. She wasn’t evil, but Boman Irani’s mother (Daisy Irani) in Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi really irritated me! She was soooo selfish and mean to her son.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK, you got me going here. My memory is mostly of the remake, of Agneepath, which I see as much less muddled than the original. In the remake, at least, the mother is a moral force. When she makes her choice, her son had just unrepentently killed a policeman, even if a very corrupt and abusive one. Not by accident, either – in order to gain power. The business he goes into is selling drugs and young girls, although the movie smooths this out a tad by showing him as part of the drugs business only, freeing the girls when he gets the chance. This is a VERY BAD choice, unless it happens to resolve itself in some indeterminate future. And the mother does clearly earn a living. She is not living off her son, at least in the remake. She keeps her daughter safe from the world of prostiution and drugs. It is only when she sees his full intent come to fruition when he is dying, that it becomes clear it has all been the means to a larger end AND that his will was sufficient to successfully carry it out.

    For a really bad mother, I don’t have one thought, but there are plenty of mothers who scheme for money and position at the expense of their son’s happiness. All versions of Devdas for a start.

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    • See, what I find fascinating about Agneepath is that she is both a moral force and a bad mother. Lil’ Hrithik (in the new version) is stuck helping his mother get to the city, raising his baby sister, and left with no one else around him but prostitutes and other immoral examples. As a moral force, his mother should not forgive him for his sins. But as a mother, if she was able to take responsibility for abandoning him in this difficult time while she dealt with her own grief and gently teach him and talk with him to bring him back to her way of seeing the world, then he might never have turned so wrong as an adult.

      On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 8:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • How exactly did she abandon him before he commits murder? While she is giving birth on the street? While taking care of a newborn? Sorry, but I see no evidence for this. Yes, he does have to work when he gets to the city and they are poor. He is clearly living at home. Being fed by his mother. She is taking care of him as she is able. I see no evidence of sitting in grief. Trying to guide his moral compass in a world turned upside down. Then what does he do? Continue working at the morally upright job he has? No. Instead, refusing to be witness against a murderer and gang boss. Committing murder himself. Going to work for that gang boss. At what point do you say enough? After all, he has just gone into the business of destroying people’s lives.

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  3. One thing I loved about Dum Laga Ke Haisha was the way Bhumi’s relationship with her natal family, especially her mother, was handled. Same for Dil Dhadakne Do. What other Hindi movies deal with girls’ and women’s relationship with their mothers, before and after marriage?

    One of my favorite mother/daughter movies is Terms of Endearment. Would that plot and those characters work in a Hindi movie? Who would you cast?

    Worst mom: I haven’t even scratched the surface of Hindi movies so I don’t feel like I have a great answer for this. So I gotta draw on SRK films. What pops into my head are Mahima’s dad’s mother in Pardes and Devdas’ dad’s mother in Devdas (Bhansali version). They are a force for good in the movie, but for the whole rest of their life, they did not manage to keep their sons from turning into patriarchal monsters for whom their personal honor outweighs any consideration of their family. Should they get a pass just because they are sweet old ladies who occasionally speak up for their grandkids now? I say this from a certain perspective. Both my dad and my step-dad had parents that were really lovely as grandparents, but honestly sucked as parents, with lifelong consequences.

    Oh, and the dad’s mother in KHNH is just straight up evil until the end of the movie (through the magic of SRK to open hearts, of course). 🙂

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    • I’ve never actually seen Terms of Endearment (although I’ve seen Beaches 4 times, does that help with my female focused relationship drama cred?), but from what little I know of it, I’d love to see Dimple Kapadia play the Shirley Maclaine role, Vidya Balan play the Debra Winger part, and Saif play the jerky husband (I think it would be a great use of his kind of slimey privileged feel in some movies).

      Excellent point about the good grandparents/terrible parents balance!!!! Although, at least with Pardes and Devdas, we don’t know what their husbands were like, it’s possible that is where all the jerkiness came from and they had to be silent and enduring until they were widowed. And that KHNH grandmother deserved to be thrown out of the house and NEVER forgiven. That was also a good example of toxic parenting come down through the generations, the way she spoiled Preity’s brother seemed like a direct like to her son not being able to take responsibility for himself.

      On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 9:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Please never compare Beaches with Terms of Endearment again. 🙂

        I like your casting. In Terms of Endearment we also have the older, charming, charismatic, but seemingly amoral and untrustworthy neighbor who is Dimple’s love interest. In ToE it’s Jack Nicholson playing a retired astronaut. I wonder if Boman Irani could pull it off? It has to be someone who is earthy, charming, funny, and occasionally slimy, who can also pull off sincere connection and emotion.

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        • I’d kinda like to see Amitabh try it. He could play an aging former actor, not like Amitabh level actor but more like Raajkumar or something, popular for a while and then forgotten, still does the occasional small part on TV soap operas.

          Or, of course, Sunny Deol. Bringing in a little real life realism.

          The movie I really want to see remade is Postcards from the Edge, because Dimple-Twinkle remind me so much of Debbie-Carrie. Only, Twinkle isn’t a good enough actress to play herself (as she would be the first to admit), so maybe Vidya again there?

          On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 9:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Hmm, for postcards from the edge, what about Madhuri and Vidya? I’d love to see Madhuri let loose and play a mixed character–again, earthy and funny, loving but with a vicious streak. Plus Madhuri and Shirley both have the dancer’s sensibiilty.

            Amitabh could do that role in his sleep. Sunny could also be fun.

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          • I was going to say it would be a bit insulting to see Madhuri play Vidya’s mother, but actually I think there is about 13 years difference between the two, and the character is supposed to be a young mother, so it would just be adding 3 years to Madhuri’s age, or subtracting 3 from Vidya.

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          • That occurred to me too, but I figured if actresses can play actor’s moms when there’s only a 5 year age difference, then why not play a little older to play an actress’s mom–especially such a good actress!

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  4. Jaya Bachchan in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag gets the award for the worst onscreen mother.She gives her tacit approval for Rani to make money as a prostitute,lives off that money.And then tells her not to come for her younger sister’s wedding.That was way too nasty.And never gets called upon on her behaviour.
    What do you think about Ekta Kapoor’s decision to adapt Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham for TV? I hear that 80s heroines Padmini Kolhapure and Poonam Dhillon are being considered for Jaya’s role in the original.

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    • Both the Laaga Chunari Main Daag parents are horrible, and just kind of get away with it. All that pressure on their daughters, and no understanding of what the pressure drove them to. I’m glad both Rani and Konkona got out of that house and married wonderful upstanding understanding guys.

      I hadn’t heard about the remake, I think it’s kind of a good idea. The movie feels like a mini-series anyway, why not? And beyond the basic plot outlines, I am sure any TV version will grow into its own thing to such a degree that you can still enjoy the movie and TV show separately.

      On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 9:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • It’s still not my favorite SRK-Dabboo photo, but it’s pretty darn good.

      It’s also one that really demands high-res, so thank you Daboo!

      On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 1:54 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Not movies, but the mothers in Humsafar and Sadqay Tumhare are both irresistibly horrible. Neither series would have been as fun to watch without them, though I found the mother character in Sadqay Tumhare more interesting.

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    • Still haven’t seen Sadqay Tumhare, but I know what you mean about Humsafar! It starts out this complex show with all these characters, and then it narrows down to our “good” heroine fighting for her daughter, versus her “evil” mother-in-law fighting for her son, versus the neutral aunt who just wants her daughter to be happy. Mother versus Mother with another mother caught in the middle. And the question of being able to let go and accept what is best for your child (the way Mahira does letting Fawad into their daughter’s life), versus giving in too much to their desires (like the aunt does) versus just deciding based on your own selfish view of the world what is best (like Fawad’s evil mother does)

      On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 2:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Exactly. In Humsafar the mother started out being interesting to me because she has a whole professional life and obligations outside of her family. The twist was good too, but at the end she was just a stereotype, all the idiosyncrasies had been absorbed into the typical rich, evil soap opera mother.

        In Sadqay Tumhare the mother starts out being relentlessly bad guy, but we get texture and back story along the way that turn her into a more complex character. And Samiya Mumtaz is really compelling onscreen. I was a fan coming out of that series. (I also liked Mahira’s performance better than in Humsafar, it felt richer and deeper, you could see her growth as an actress. Even though the series itself had its flaws and really dragged in parts.) I thought Samiya was by far the best foil for Mahira, her acting was leagues ahead of the actor who played the hero love interest, and the mother-daughter scenes toward the end were intense. The energy between them drove the last act of the story at least as much as the love story.

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  6. First: thank you for Mother’s Day card. Such a pleasant surprise! You made my day 🙂

    I would give the worst mother award to all those mothers who say: I’ll commit suicide if you marry this boy! Special mention to Preity’s mum in Veer-Zaara, because she knows her daughter would be happy with SRK, but instead of help her elope she chose her spoiled husband’s ambitions. And every time I hear her saying: “I know, it’s against my religion but I’ll pray you will meet in next life” I want to throw things at her. It’s like the stupidest line ever.

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    • So glad it arrived!

      I do hate the mothers that try to play both sides, telling their kids that they support them in theory but can’t do anything, and telling their husbands that they believe in them and everything they do. oh! Another one! Jodha’s mother in J-A, who does nothing to support her against her father, or try to allay (no idea how to spell that) her fears, and then gives her the terrible “just kill yourself” advice.

      On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 2:30 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. This isn’t a question, but a plea. For anyone interested in the life or work of Savitri, please watch her movies, which are on youtube and dvd. Articles on her life may not be available in English (I haven’t checked), but there are plenty in Telugu, as well as interviews on Savitri on youtube. Please do NOT watch the movie “Mahanati”. I just tried to watch an interview with the lead actress, and it is clear that she does not speak Telugu! The interview was in English (that is, the questions were asked in Telugu, and she answered in English). That alone shows what a travesty this film will be. Saviri, along with most stars of her generation, was completely fluent in (and had the correct “native” accent) all the languages in which she acted, including Hindi. Yes, they have made up this actress in the same style as Savitri’s iconic movies, but makeup and costumes don’t substitute for actual acting talent. This actress may have been received favorably in the few films she has done so far, but she will in no way match Savitri. How do I know? Because nobody can match Savitri, including the acclaimed actresses from her generation. This “Mahanati” film is obviously crafted to maximize profits in multiple markets (hence the casting decisions), but it is an insult to the person whom they claim they want to “honor.”

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    • I’ve been planning to do some research before seeing the movie, suspecting it might be a bit off just because of casting, sounds like that was a good guess. I’ll revisit Maya Bazaar, and see what i can get from her article on wiki and what it links too, that is usually a good start.

      But ill be counting on you and other commentators to add on to a knowledge base!

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      • I can add to your knowledge base about Savitri, but not about the film, which I don’t plan to see. I think what really got me from the get go is that they have titled the film “Mahanati” — meaning “great actress”, which she certainly was. But it seems clear that the film’s focus is going to be on her “marriage” with Gemini Ganesan. To me that seems like more of a gossip driven effort than a true examination of one of the greatest actresses of all time in Telugu cinema. While her relationship with Ganesan had a profound effect on her personal life — he basically swindled her out of her money, so she was left destitute — it did not affect her acting ability, though it did impact her career. But they’re not even telling that story; they’re not approaching it as a great and accomplished woman whose career and to some extent life were destroyed by her relationship with a man. Now here I’m guessing, but both the casting and all the stills I’ve seen from the film seem to be portraying this as some epic romance. Ugh! And the casting of all non-Telugu speakers in the major roles (except Vijay Devarakonda, I guess, don’t know what role he has) is itself an insult, or else a terrible indictment of where the Telugu industry is nowadays.

        Savitri acted in only one HIndi film, costarring with Dharmendra, and he called her “the most beautiful heroine in all of Indian cinema.” This Kriti or whatever her name is doesn’t even fulfill that basic requirement. It’s like what RGV said about making a biopic about Sridevi — it can’t be done, because nobody could play her convincingly. Maybe 30 years from now, when all who knew her will also be dead, then someone will attempt it, because they would have no idea about her as a person or an actress. Sad to contemplate.

        Talking about her appearance, though, Savitri struggled with her weight for a good part of her career. Fortunately there were no directors then to force her into a “size zero” figure.” In her early films she was quite slim, but as she attained success, she also put on weight, though her face was just as beautiful as ever. What is interesting to me was that she continue to play the glamorous heroine roles (she was still young, after all), and the audience accepted her, because her acting was enough to convince them that they were watching a glamorous and sexy woman. People who criticized the “fat heroines” of South Indian cinema conveniently overlook their acting talent.

        Dear me, I seem to be in a very ranting mood today. 😦

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        • I’ll be seeing the film, following my “if I want to provide a critique, I need to watch it” policy, but I get where you are coming from. I didn’t know anything about Savitri going in, but I read an excellent bio of Rekha which was enough for me to look a little squirrelly eyed at casting Dulquer in that role, and then the trailers did not help.

          I just did a quick overview of The Internet and found an interview with Savitri’s daughter where she mentioned that she was happy with the script since it focused on her mother’s young years. So I guess that is partly what her family wanted, but I have the same feeling as you of being a little bit cheated by only seeing a story of young romantic Savitri in love, instead of mature successful actress and interesting artist Savitri.

          On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 7:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I wouldn’t be surprised if Savitri’s children looked on this as an opportunity to “legitimize” their being fathered by Ganesan (who by the way fathered Rekha while cheating on Savitri), and that’s why they are OK with the script. One of the saddest parts of Savitri’s later life is that she was repudiated even by her children toward the end, and that’s why she died alone and destitute, and an alcoholic. From a strictly cinematic point of view (leaving aside all personal feelings), her story really has all the ingredients for an epic tragedy. But I’m sure no one wants to tell that story. You know what, it’s like a classic Bette Davis film.

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          • The Rekha bio spun it as Pushpavalli helped him get his first two roles (in movies that featured her) and then once he took off she got pushed to the back, while his first wife was his “legitimate” marriage, and Savitri was the big public romance, Pushpavalli was just the older tired actress who helped him at the start and then was the person whose home he occasionally visited but their kids hardly knew him.

            Pushpavalli in some ways seemed like his best match, she also had 3 sets of kids with 3 different partners. But then, she was also above board about her relationships, and stuck around to raise her kids.

            On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 7:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The thing you need to understand about Pushpavalli, and other women like her from that era, is that she was born into what at that time was considered the “courtesan” caste. So those unfortunate women could have long term and even faithful relationships with men who might even have loved them, but the men would never marry them. So when you say Pushpavalli had kids with three different men, it’s not the same thing as Ganesan having kids with four different women. Pushpavalli had no power to ensure any man would marry her, and it’s possible that the men got involved with her (or others like her) precisely because there would be no expectation of marriage. This of course doesn’t apply to Savitri. But until some time in the 50’s, it was still legal for Hindu men to have more than one wife. So if she was smitten enough, she might have agreed to be a second wife, which was still a recognized status. Now, if I’ve got the dates wrong, and her marriage in fact was not legal, well, she wouldn’t be the first woman to make foolish romantic decisions.

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        • Well I’m not very impressed with Keerthy Suresh either, but she was kind of ok in the trailer, and she has dubbed for herself. Plus the movie Chronicles her entire life, not just the Gemini Ganesan part. A host of well known Telugu actors, including Jr NTR, Prakash Raj, Mohan Babu, Naga Chaitanya and a few others are appearing in the roles of NTR, SV Ranga Rao, Akkineni Nageshwara Rao and others, who were well known Telugu actors. I’m going to give it the benefit of doubt.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree. It is too early to dismiss the movie or the actor unless you(Moimeme) have already got a chance to preview.

            I had high hopes on Naga Ashwin due to his debut (Evade Subrahmanyam) – I don’t think this movie is a cheap publicity stunt – none in the industry would dare do that on the legend.

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  8. I know you don’t like to do fashion posts, but I think you’ll need to do a #sonamkishaadi post at least to talk about who attended and who wore what. It’s interesting that the mehendi ceremony thing was “festive Indian – shades of white” and that Arjun and Boney did not wear all white outfits. Jhanvi and Khushi did but I was wondering if it just seemed a little too close to Sridevi’s funeral to be wearing all white. I mean everyone looked gorgeous in their shiny cream, gold, and white outfits but it just seemed odd seeing it.

    Also, you should comment on Priyanka and Deepika at the Met Gala, too:) Priyanka slayed it…perfection (and I am usually not her biggest fan, but she’s been 2 for 2 at the Met Gala. Deepika was pretty but did not dress according to the theme and she really just needs a better team around her I think (a better agent and a better stylist for sure). Or she needs to give up on the Hollywood thing and own her Bollywood queen status more.

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    • I’ll avoid the Met Gala, but I am planning to deal with Sonam once real photos come out, right now all I am seeing are blurry instagram type things. I’ll wait until tomorrow and get decent photos.

      On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 9:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The wedding photos will be out shortly, but there were some decent posed shots of Sonam and a couple of cute candids. I liked the one of Karan and Rani and the one of Sonam and her siblings. Katrina looked the best I’ve seen her in a while, too.

        You at least need to just search twitter for Priyanka and Deepika’s looks to see for yourself even if you don’t mention them in a post. The Priyanka look is so sophisticated and cool.

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