Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of Parmanu?

Hello All!  It’s Monday and I am crawling back to work after spending yesterday in bed, and not sure if I want to be here.  Distract me by asking questions!

The questions can be anything from the personal (“what do you watch when spending the day in bed?”) to the specific and factual (“what are Indian beds like and how do they differ from other beds?”) to the general discussion (“what is the best movie to watch while spending the day in bed?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Once I do, you can jump in and join the conversation, but it just generally goes better if I start it off.

 

Now, question for you!  I’m not feeling imaginative today, so I will just still from my fanfic posts yesterday:

What fairy tales do you want to see made into movies?

I already gave my answer in my fanfics yesterday, 12 Dancing Princesses because it is an interesting feminist mature story, and East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon because it is both an arranged marriage love story, and a story where the heroine gets to rescue the hero instead of the other way around.

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31 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of Parmanu?

    • I grew up in the 90s, so of course I have warm feelings for the 90s Disney films, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King. I also really like 101 Dalmations.

      For why there is no good animation in India, I haven’t really thought about it so I don’t have a super good answer. But my first thought is that animation takes years and years of patient labor and time-consuming work done by literally hundreds of people. Which means a massive upfront investment with an uncertain pay off. Now computer animation has made this considerably easier, and it seems like Indian film is trying animation again. Maybe that’s why, because the time involved in making a film has shortened so much, and so has the manpower requirements.

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  1. Which Indian fairy tale would you want to be made into a movie? I would love to see someone bring to the silverscreen ,the tale of how Uloopi the snake wife of Arjuna, helped him escape the curse of Ganga with the help of his son from another wife.

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    • I just looked this up, and I want to see it brought to screen too! It’s partly the story that I was missing from Mahanati, showing Ulupi as caring for her husband, but not necessarily wanting or needing him around all the time, or particularly caring that he has other wives and other children with other women. And being more knowledgable and wiser than everyone else around, which is cool.

      I can even see how you could modernize it so easily, make it something like an honest cop threatened by the gangster he put away, and the nice prostitute he had an affair with when he was separated from his wife tracks down his estranged son and becomes a mother figure and a mentor for him and encourages him to take the job of assassinating the honest cop (without knowing it is his father), but then at the end reveals that she was just doing all of this to both save her old lover from the gang that wants to kill him by faking his death and freeing him to start life anew, and to reunite father and son because she feels guilty for having caused the rift in the first place when the son found out about their affair. And then she can happily go back to living her own life, never really wanting the hero cop for herself, just having a warm feeling about their time together.

      Oh! And I have the perfect cast! Madhuri as the Ulupi character, Juhi as Draupadi/Chitrangada the wife who forgave her husband even if their son didn’t, and Shahrukh as Hero Cop, Arjun Kapoor as the son.

      Or, in Malayalam, Shobhana as Ulupi, Revathy as Draupadi/Chitrangada, and Mohanlal as the hero. And Nivin as the son, because I don’t like Mohanlal’s son.

      On Mon, May 21, 2018 at 8:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Hi I wanted to know an expert opinion on cannes.
    What’s the importance of it and why are sonam/Aishwarya so over hyped.

    Nawazuddin has a movie every year but he is not celebrated much. Can you please throw a light on it.

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    • Cannes is primarily a business expo, just like any other business. The whole world comes there to try to sell the rights for their films to a whole world of distributors. There is a lot of press over the award winners, and the films that show in competition, but there is also a whole pavilion of films out of competition just trying to sell themselves.

      The beautiful women on the Cannes red carpet are part of hyping the whole festival. Aishwarya first started coming when Devdas played in competition (a big deal, but not a huge deal, hundreds and hundreds of films play in competition) and because she already had some international notice, she was photographed on the red carpet. After that L’Oreal started sponsoring her, and I think she was on the Jury one year, so she sort of has a reason to be there. But mostly she is window dressing and getting the name of the brand she is sponsoring out there. Sonam is there purely because of L’Oreal, and also because she is amazing at picking and wearing clothes that will get her noticed, which is a real skill that is very valuable to brands who want to be noticed.

      As for Nawazuddin not being celebrated, he isn’t a pretty fashion plate, so he’s never really going to get the same coverage as the actresses. There are loads of Nawazuddin equivalents at Cannes, talented character actors male and female. But the coverage comes when you make a splashy appearance that gets you fashion coverage, or when you give a series of interesting in depth interviews. Ranveer, for instance, would probably do very well at Cannes because he knows how to promote himself to be noticed.

      In terms of the Indian press, there seems to be too little coverage of what actually matters at Cannes, the deals made to distribute films rather than just reporting on reporting, that “Sonam made a big splash in Cannes” is less important than “French based distributor bought the rights to Nawazuddin’s new film opening up a new market” or whatever is happening with him. It all depends on what your goal is in going, is it to sell your film or to sell yourself? Or both?

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      • Ohk in this atmosphere of me too aren’t these actors just endorsing the same.

        There was no need for deepika sonam etc over there. Neither were they going to get a movie.
        Just going der to look pretty is the biggest anti feminist argument according to me. It’s like saying we are here bcoz we have pretty face and pr not talent.
        Der is greater chance of a vicky kaushal /shweta tripathi getting a small crossover role Dan dis pr time pass

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        • Cannes has massive gender issues that have been boiling under the surface for years, there is a concerted effort to address them including a coordinated protest by women on the red carpet this year. And part of that problem producers and others bringing in pretty women as window dressing, essentially, for the red carpet. Sonam and others did not create the system, they are just part of it.

          And there is also the question of intersectionality, the Indian actresses may be there for questionable gender reasons, but they are also increasing visibility of Indian faces in the mainstream, which is a big deal in terms of race and ethnicity. Although on the other hand, it is also easier for beautiful female bodies to cross over than for male bodies, because of how they are objectified. Really, there are no easy answers here, it is the kind of thing that has so many layers to it that i requires a very careful case by case consideration and no one situation is really like any other.

          Oh, and one other thing to consider, there are so many beautiful women at Cannes, just a pretty face is not going to get you coverage. The Indian actresses who are noticed are the ones who succeed in terms of fashion. Which is a different kind of talent, being able to pick out the right clothes and wear it correctly. So they aren’t untalented at all, if they were they would be ignored and without coverage just like, for instance, Mallika Sherewat who has been going for years and is never noticed outside of the Indian press.

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          • As a 19 year old teen seeing the world, interacting with females having their own struggles and working together we feel that all this pr showoff is just waste of time, money and effort.
            It does not help them bag movies, endorsement etc. Just some media bytes, which is fickle.
            The same anupama chopra etc. Ask Kareena about taimur etc and den cry nepotism when they are launched.

            Also bollywood is quite hypocrite in nature.
            Beeding an industry in public eye you should come forward on issues, and form your opinions, not fear backlash and keep quite on issues.

            Already netflix/amazon prime is eating into their creampie and expected to increase more in coming times.

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  3. Aishwarya Rai just made her insta debut, and honestly I feel she doesn’t understand the medium at all. Don’t think she really wanted to hop on it, was probably a contractual thing. She acts like its a one-way street, and doesn’t follow any one. What are your thoughts?

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    • I’m terrible at social media, as you know if you ever check out my twitter account. Which makes me sympathetic with people who struggle with how to use it.

      But then, I can also see why it would be a struggle for Aish. She has always felt somewhat remote to me as a public figure. Which isn’t necessarily a criticism, just how she is. She came up in the mid-90s when it feels like most heroines kept themselves very private as a gesture of self-protection, better to go on filmsets with a relative and only communicate through intermediaries than risk leaving yourself open for harassment. And Aish in particular of course has been burned by her private life being made public against her will.

      On Mon, May 21, 2018 at 1:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • But this feels strange. Abhishek was so warm in his welcome, and so was Sonam! But Aishwarya doesn’t even respond to their comments forget following them. She’s very ice queenish and social media’s definitely not the place to be that.
        Karisma, Shilpa Shetty, Juhi, Madhuri and even the late Sridevi were so good at this, I don’t understand why Aish thinks she’s too good for this. I guess I’m not very fond of her lol 😛

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        • Is this her first social media account? Is she on twitter or anything already? It really doesn’t seem like a good fit for her, that kind of direct contact with people. I can’t even remember hearing about her having a pleasant fan interaction before, not so much as signing autographs or taking photos. Again, not a critique, that’s her right, but I just don’t see her loosening up and enjoying direct interaction.

          On Mon, May 21, 2018 at 2:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes, her first. She’s not on Twitter or any of the other ones. IG is where all the new/young ones are at, so that’s probably why she chose that. Twitter is infamous for trolling, and Facebook too impersonal or maybe passe?

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          • Each of the social media platform has a very specific use & intended set of audience though these days most are used interchangeably. For example Twitter is mainly an opinion sharing platform used very actively by those with ideas & opinions(news media, leaders, vocal celebrities etc)to share. Passive users like me can still comment or retweet from the celebrity accounts that I follow. But if you are a celebrity on Twitter, you have to tweet a line once in a while or your followers lose interest. IG is less about vocalising & more about visuals to keep the followers interested. Which serves the celebrities very well-they won’t be caught with their foot in mouth giving the wrong opinion(you know the saying even when someone beats their mother is, there are ppl to take up both sides). They still can offer a carefully curated peak to the fans, use it for promotions & brags. Plus IG has all kinds of pic enhancing toolset that’s not there in Twitter-so really it’s all about showing the best side of you on IG. Almost all international celebrities are on IG. Now FB can be about posts or pics or direct interaction via Live but it is generally considered a poorer cousin of Twitter or IG. It’s more a common man platform, less cool. FB is very popular in India, specially in Kerala. So you may find that most Malayalam celebrities have Twitter accounts but isn’t actively using them. But they are very active on FB, since that’s where majority of the fan base is. They are expected to put up birthday wishes, condolences messages, outrage posts etc-more for the public to consume than the actual intention of expressing themselves. So you will always find politically correct statements only. The younger generation celebrities like DQ is smarter and links all their social media accounts, so their diverse fan base are all intact. All of them would have a social media team to help them put out the specific picture/message they want to convey. As for Ash, I bet someone is managing her account & not doing a good job at it. Her username is so long & lame & it wasn’t verified for few days. So her not following anyone or not replying is not really her-it is her lazy social media team which is hurting her brand exactly because of the reactions that were created in you. Sorry for the long gyan😄

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    • I don’t know!!!! The best I can find is a coverage that she did dub for herself in Mahanati, which makes sense since her character has a stutter and it would make it harder to act if she wasn’t doing her own dubbing. Beyond that, no idea.

      On Mon, May 21, 2018 at 2:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. What IS the best Indian movie to watch while spending the day in bed? (Not hypothetical–I caught a bad cold in Tokyo this weekend. Oh, and could I specify a Hindi movie? I don’t have access to other languages except Bengali, which I know is not your thing).

    I’ve always loved Beauty and the Beast and I know that horse has been pounded into the ground. But, maybe with all the supernatural parts taken out? Or, gender-swapped or something?

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    • Beauty and Beast, Anushka and Sanjay: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/03/12/silly-sunday-speculative-post-beauty-and-the-beast-in-hindi-film/

      Hmm, Hindi film while sick? Can’t go wrong with Rajshri, HAHK and MPK and Vivah and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and even HSSH are all solid choices. Khoobsurat with Sonam would also be good, very simple story and bright colors. Running Shaadi, my favorite, also has a section where the heroine is sick and the hero takes care of her. Bajrangi Bhaijaan is good for clearing your sinuses (lots of crying) but ultimately making you feel good. And Jab Harry Met Sejal is good for just having on in the background while you drift in and out of consciousness.

      You’ve probably already seen all those films, but that’s my preference when I am sick, movies I have seen before so I don’t have to pay much attention.

      On Mon, May 21, 2018 at 11:40 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Late to the party here. I hate it when work makes me work. How nice to think about fairy tales. I need to re-read some of my favorites, because my memory of details is kind of hazy in some places. Some fairy tales I’d love to see turned into Hindi movies are The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Rapunzel, and the Fisherman and his Wife. Hans Christian Anderson is my favorite teller of tales. His stories are so poignant, and reflect that life is often unpredictable and unfair. There is also a theme of obsessive love leading to ruin, with realistic love that sees the other person as a person, not a magical object of desire, usually turning out all right. That’s one thing the Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen and Thumbelina are about. And I’m a sucker for the trope, in both Thumbelina and Rapunzel, of a childless couple yearning so much for a child that they magically will or wish one into being.

    For the Snow Queen I’d love to see the boy and girl from Dhanak play Kai and Gerda. Hopefully the boy has gotten a bit taller. 🙂 I love the detail in the story of the devil making a mirror that shatters when his demons are trying to fly it to heaven to mock God. A shard of the mirror gets into Kai’s eye, which helps drive his fascination with The Snow Queen and disgust with the ordinary world, including Gerda. I also love the episode with the little robber girl who at first kidnaps Gerda, but then helps her on her way to rescue Kai. Hmm, who could play the Snow Queen? Someone who is incredibly beautiful but can be coldly evil. Kriti Sanon? She’s just so tall, and I think she could act that. Who else? Who would play the devil? The little robber girl?

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    • We are opposites, I HATE Hans Christian Anderson. I want my fairy tales simple and happy. But if I had to do a Hans Christian Anderson, the Snow Queen is probably the best, it is happy in the end, and it has such strange interesting character changes.

      I’d want to modernize it and turn it into a real story, I’d probably make Kai into a young man who is happy and in love until he sees the devil do something terrible and it fractures him and makes him easy pickings for the Snow Queen. I’d want Kai to be one of our super talented young male actors with a dangerous edge, Amit Sadh or Arjun Kapoor (he’s not super talented, but he’s got that edge). I’d make Kriti the heroine, passionately in love with him and willing to go after him and save him once he turns mysteriously cold to her. And for the Snow Queen, I’d go older and Diva. Evil Juhi would be great fun, or even Dimple.

      On Fri, May 25, 2018 at 10:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I want more Hindi fantasy films–but not necessarily based on Indian mythology–and I love stories with kids right on the edge of adolescence. It goes so well with the general liminality of fairy tales.

        If we went with your version, then we’d need a cold older Diva. Dimple is too warm, and Juhi, as much as I love her, looks too masculine to me now. I hate to say it, maybe Aish would fit the bill. If the director would help her so she doesn’t mistake making faces for acting.

        Shah Rukh could be the devil. For once just an outright villain with zero (haha) shades of gray. Love the idea of Arjun and Kriti together. And Alia would make a great grown up little robber girl.

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        • I was thinking Aish too! I mean, “ice queen” describes her pretty perfectly. And the gritty reboot option almost writes itself, Arjun being a sincere hardworking son of a poor widow, falls for rich girl Kriti, he’s from the wrong side of the tracks but still sweet, Shahrukh is his mentor, a charming kindly older guy who is helping him pay for college and promising him a job and so on, and then he sees Shahrukh do something so evil that it shakes him to the core and he loses all sense of moral values, pulls away from Kriti no longer feeling like he can relate to her pure view of the world and ends up working for Shahrukh’s rival, evil ice queen Aish. But Kriti keeps looking for him and trying to bring him back from the dark side.

          On the other hand, I also really want more children’s stories, especially with happy endings, so I could see your version too. And we can keep Shahrukh as the Devil, but not Aish as the Ice Queen, I don’t think she would work with kids in a kids movie. Rekha might be interesting.

          On Fri, May 25, 2018 at 11:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Ooooh, I like how the Arjun/Kriti version is developing. Especially because for me it taps into the Kylo Ren/Rey arc from The Last Jedi, except with characters I like. (I like Rey a lot, but Kylo is just too emo for me!)

            I could really see Rekha working. The fantasy ice queen is unearthly and remote, but beguiling. And she could wear exclusively stunning white and gold sarees!

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