Monday Morning Questions Post: DIL Tweetalong Day! Starts in 3 Hours!!!!

Happy Monday!  I will be busy on twitter for 3 hours, but otherwise I am here to answer questions and chat with you all!

As always, you can ask me anything from the personal (“when did you first watch Dil?”) to the specific and factual (“what year did Dil come out?”) to the general discussion (“Dil: so bad it’s good or so good it’s good?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Even though you may have to wait a while today because I will be off having fun with some of you on twitter.  I’m still keeping this rule, because it makes the whole thing work better if I get to start the discussion.

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43 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post: DIL Tweetalong Day! Starts in 3 Hours!!!!

  1. What is your first thought when you think about Dil?

    And other about films and politics. Few days ago another Sanju poster have been unveiled, this time it was father-son photo with Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt, and OMG all people started commenting that Paresh doesn’t deserve to play Sunil, because mr Dutt was a good, honest man and Paresh is opposite. And then others added that Anupam Kher too was casted wrong and shouldn’t play Manmohan Singh. Why?

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    • Sunil was a member of the Congress party and firmly strictly secular. Manmohan Singh was also Congress. Both Paresh Rawal and Anupum Kher are part of the BJP, which leans away from being secular and towards Hindu right wing. I found the casting of Anupum strange as well since he is one of the most vocal conservatives in the industry. Paresh Rawal I hadn’t heard as many quotes and comments from, but I’m not surprised he is BJP. Back in the 50s and 60s, almost everyone in the film industry was firmly Congress and followers of the Nehru-Gandhis and secular and socialist. And then it swung around and now everyone in the industry is either for the BJP, or keeps silent.

      On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 6:26 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • You gave the expected answer, Margaret, and I don’t expect you to be an expert on Indian politics. The only relevant point is that Anupam and Paresh belong to a different political party. Are actors now to be cast based on their political preferences?

        I only want to make one correction/amendment. While you have repeated the narrative of the English language media in India that the BJP is “HIndu right wing” and not “secular”, it is worth noting that it is the only party which truly wants a secular nation, by eliminating religion based laws — different laws for people with different religions — which were introduced by Nehru and the Congress party at the time of independence, and are still strenuously defended by them to this day, on account of such laws being “secular.”

        Hope the Dil viewing is going well.

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        • I knew Paresh and Anupam are pro-BJP and Sunil and Mr. Singh Congress, but seing people reactions I thought there is something more, maybe they did or said something stupid/terrible. Like Roberto Benigni (the one who won Oscar for Life is Beautiful). He used to do tv shows taking about politics and italian constitution (which he called The most beautiful in the world). But when the party he supports tried to change the constitution (adding some very bad undemocratic stuff) he did the show to convince people how useful it will be and that it’s time to change etc. I swear if I ever meet him I will puch him in the face for that.

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          • I don’t know about Paresh, but Anupam has said things that crossed a line for some people . However, obviously that isn’t the case for everyone, and politics are a touchy subject. What I find more interesting is that there has been this switch from the movie industry being identified primarily with the Congress party to being identified with the BJP. To the point where it would be hard to cast a movie without including a BJP politician in it, and at the same time if you are doing a movie about the golden age, you will be including stars who at the time were identified with the Congress party. It just adds another layer to the biopic challenge.

            On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 2:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Why do you think “most” of the Bollywood industry is associated with BJP? Most of the prominent ones are Communists and vocally anti-Modi in particular and anti-BJP in general. (See list of prominent Bollywood people who signed anti-Modi petition before the last election, and who participated in the “award waapsi” exercise a couple of years ago. There were about 37 names. Some I can remember now are Kabir Khan, Vishal Bharadwaj, and some more I’m suddenly blanking on. Shabana Azmi and the Akhtars support the Communist party). Many are still with the Congress or other parties. E.g., the Bachchans are with the Samajwadi party. Aamir, though he doesn’t say so explicitly, supports Aam Aadmi Party (if you read his statements on various policies, they are exactly aligned with the AAM platform. SRK still supports Congress, though he doesn’t get as much face time with the Gandhis as he used to. Salman doesn’t profess any party affiliation, but supports candidates from various parties during campaigns, the common factor being that they are his friends. Still, they are all primarily associated with the Congress or one of its affiliates. The only BJP candidate he campaigned for (the first time) was Vinod Khanna. So the Bollywood crowd is like any other large group of people, they have various political affiliations, but overall I would say the majority of them are anti-BJP. You can count on your fingers the ones who openly support BJP — Hema Malini, Vinod Khanna when he was alive, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, and Ajay Devgun. Akshay Kumar is questionable since he basically supports anyone who is in power — he supported Congress previously.

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          • I forgot to say that Sanjay Dutt himself is with the Samajwadi party, while his sister Priya Dutt is with Congress and “inherited” her father’s Parliamentary seat.

            BTW, in the “old” days, there was really no alternative to the Congress, except the Communist parties. There was no other national party to choose, except for Congress, until the 1990’s. About that time was also the rise of the state based parties, who really had no national platforms, but they started contesting in national elections, and won enough seats from their respective states to play spoiler, preventing any other party from getting a parliamentary majority, and thus gaining national prominence by forming coalitions or alliances with the existing national parties (by this time, Congress or BJP), or with other state parties.

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          • Amitabh Bachan is the ambassador for Beti Bachao-Beti Padao(Save Girlchild, Teach Girlchild)program in India. He was asked to comment on the recent child rape cases where the right-wing was supporting the perpetrators & he refused to say anything. Amitabh Bachan-who has an MP for a wife, used to be best pals with Gandhis, the biggest actor in Hindi films & who has two granddaughters in his life cannot talk about the rape of a 6 year old girl.
            Actor Prakash Raj mentioned in a recent interview that Bollywood has completely stopped offering him work after he started criticising/questioning Prime Minister Modi. Southern industries do not have a problem with that & he still gets work there.
            The above two incidents tell me that Bollywood does not want to get on the wrong side of the ruling government whatever their personal leanings are. Their statements on any social issue can be twisted by media, will be trolled on internet, their films will be ‘unofficially’ banned, they will lose work & even the brands they endorse will be rated low. I can’t say I blame them for minding their livelihood & playing it safe by keeping mum.But then why take up such responsible positions as MPs, good will ambassadors etc when you know you can’t even open your mouth let alone do something about it. Just act & go home.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, and first thought with Dil is obviously the wedding scene!

      On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 6:26 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • My only objection towards casting Paresh Rawal is that they should have gone for a bigger name.Amitabh was in consideration at one time.I wonder what happened.He had worked with Sunil in Reshma aur Shera and could have brought something unique to the table.If Vinod Khanaa had been alive he’d have been a good choice too.Paresh Rawal lacks that charisma or the larger-than-life aura that those older stars had.

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        • I heard that Aamir was approached to play Sunil, but he didn’t want to play back-to-back ‘father’ roles after Dangal. Also apparently he only saw himself as Sanjay and was unwilling to take any other role in the film.
          Paresh might lack the stature to play Sunil and political leanings aside, I’m confident he’ll more than compensate with his performance.

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          • Well, Aamir would have been a very good choice in terms of the star combined with public conscience aspect, but a TERRIBLE choice in terms of height!!!!! At least Pawesh is better than that.

            And Pawesh does have some great performances in his past, he’s been doing the comic thing for a long time now but before that he was a serious National Award winning actor.

            On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 8:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Thanks for the lesson in politics, Moimeme 🙂
            Concerning the criticising of Paresh’s casting, his political affiliation is – in my eyes – a feeble argument. Actually, I’m not one to comment on the casting before having watched the movie (baring your fan-fictional movies, Margaret 😉 ) because it is the actor’s performance that imports in the end…

            Liked by 1 person

  2. `
    Question for Margaret — In Deadpool 2, like the original Deadpool, there is a scene in a taxi and the desi driver has a Indian movie song playing in the background. In Deadpool, it was Mera Joota Hai Japani. What is the song in Deadpool 2 ? (I’m pretty sure I know, does anyone else?)

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  3. Are you aware of Telugu remake of Dill which starred “Divya Bharathi” and it was her last movie?

    She was in only for 1st half; later replaced by other actress due to her unfortunate demise.

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    • Wait, did I get it right or did they actually have two separate actresses playing the same role in the same movie? How did they explain that? Does the story have some kind of a time jump?
      And what was it called in Telugu?

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      • Never mind, wiki tells me that the movie was called Tholi Muddu (First kiss)
        “Due to Divya Bharti’s sudden death on 5 April 1993, the film was completed by popular Telugu actress Rambha in Divya’s role which affected the total continuity of the film.” Duh!

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  4. Random thoughts on Dil:

    No way I would’ve gotten through the whole thing without the tweetalong and even then I fast forwarded through 2/3 of it.

    Maybe Aamir’s sexiest role? I think Madhuri is so sexy herself that her costars exude sex appeal in response. Just the kitchen scene where she rubs his chest and kisses him and then he throws her on the bed, wowzers.

    90s jeans up to the armpits are not a good look on a very tiny man.

    I’m impressed with Aamir’s ability to run in wedge heels.

    They had such good chemistry I’m surprised they never made another movie but maybe Aamir pranked her the way he did Juhi and Madhuri refused to make another film with him again.

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    • Definitely a sexy role. Although Lagaan might be able to give it a run for its money, just with the earrings and the cocky smile and the fervent devotion to service and so on. But agree about the cooking scene! And Madhuri oozing sex appeal doesn’t hurt.

      His jeans were up to the armpit, but the fit so very very well from the back.

      Aamir has had a lot of practice running in wedge heels.

      Dil was right around the time that Aamir switched to being “serious” in his film choices, and of course Madhuri was still commercial, so they were on different tracks. But I would love to see them come back together again now, when they are both playing more mature roles.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Forgive me, I know this is almost ten years old now, but I stumbled on this video this week and it made me super curious (at least Aamir seems sort of on topic?). https://youtu.be/nK3S9FKwJkc

    Questions:

    1. This seems like a significant moment to bring Aamir and SRK together presenting a united front as stars and important businessmen in the industry. What was going on with the multiplexes? What were they trying to do? Did it work?

    2. Seemed like the media was really playing up the personal rivalry, but they seem agreed on the business model. Do you think they generally are on the same page with the business, even now, even if the films they make are very different?

    3. What does Aamir say about Shah Rukh in Hindi at the very beginning?

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    • What an interesting topic to bring up! sorry I held up the discussion by taking a while to answer, I was at a barbecue with a baby 🙂 (not my baby, and we weren’t barbecuing her, but she was very cute and distracted me from blogging)

      1. The Indian producer/distributor/exhibitor relationship is complex, and the government takes a big bite out of it with taxes as well. The multiplexes, thanks to their exorbitant ticket prices compared to single screens, provide a much greater proportion of the overall profits. Multiplexes started suddenly sprouting like mushrooms in the early 2000s all over India, squeezing out single screen theaters that had been their for years and often getting government assistance to do it (lower ticket taxes, property taxes, etc.). Because the multiplexes were so diserable, they bargained for different profit share contracts with producers/distributors than what the single-screens had been getting. In 2009, the producer/distributor association decided to push back, first with a series of press conferences like this one explaining the issues they were dealing with, pointing out that they were now looking at a 35% profit share from multiplexes, versus 80% from single screens just a few years back, and more generally how the multiplexes are bad for business, the high prices driving people out of theaters and to piracy. The multiplex owners argued that they were making a huge investment in the future by building these expensive theaters and needed extra money until they got on their feet. It culminated in a two month strike by the film industry (led by Yash Raj), refusing to send out movies. And ended with the multiplexes (led by Big Cinemas) coming to the bargaining table. The agreement was a 50/50 split the first week only, and then a sliding scale after that. It was a really important moment in how films are made and released now, and (I think) part of why movies are much worse quality than they used to be. The Producers have no interest in word of mouth or returning viewing, anything after the first week is less valuable to them. So, it was a loss in the end. Single-screen theaters continue to close, audiences continue to choose streaming or other cheaper options that inflated multiplex tickets, and the film industry had turned to wide releases, international releases, and big opening weekends for profit instead of well-made films that will bring in returning viewers.

      2. I’ve never bought into the Aamir and Shahrukh “rivalry”. Generally speaking, the media likes to play up these personal issues, but everyone in the Hindi film industry seems to have an attitude of keeping fights “in house”. Salman and Shahrukh had a much hotter feud, and while they were never speaking to each other or even in the same room together, they still agreed on industry issues and supported the industry as a whole. Their personal problems were not going to be shared to the media. In fact, that seems to be the one truly unforgiveable thing you can do, to actually share something with the press will get you ostracized for the rest of your career. Aamir and Shahrukh, to me, just seem to have different personalities. They are friendly, but not necessarily friends. And they are competitive, like you would have to be to be at the top of your profession as they are. But they can have a pleasant conversation and agree on things. And in terms of major industrial issues like this, they would always line up together. I am also sure that putting them together to lead this press conference was a calculated decision, aware that the media would make it into a big thing and give the group the publicity they wanted. And in terms of business, they are making different movies and doing different things, but at a basic level, they agree on the future they want for the film industry and, I suspect, for the country as a whole as well. They are both trying to push the limits of the global market, they are both working on building up a sustainable future, they are both launching new stars, dabbling in television, going to world forums, and so on and so forth. Most of all, they are both, along with Salman, aware of their position and responsiblities. All 3 of them, Shahrukh and Salman and Aamir have made comments in interviews about stuff they have agreed on together. As in, they have “top star” unofficial meetings, and agree on basic stuff like “we will all say the other two are better actors if we are asked”.

      3. Right at the very beginning? All I got was something abotu boxing gloves.

      On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 4:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • That is fascinating and applicable to Hollywood too (the bit about wide releases instead of good movies that do a slow burn). The Star Wars franchise, for example, has been damaged by Disney pumping out too many movies of questionable quality and Solo’s box office is the result.

        The relationships between the three big stars, didn’t Aamir make a nasty crack about his dog being named Shahrukh? What was that about? And regardless of past beefs it was absolutely endearing to see Shahrukh and Salman singing together at Sonam’s wedding.

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        • Yeah, Aamir and Shahrukh snipe at each other a little, and the media plays it up. that’s part of the reason I don’t buy into a real “feud” between them, if it was serious they wouldn’t be sniping. For instance, on one of Shahrukh’s Koffee appearances, he was asked “what would you say to fans of Aamir Khan?” and replied “find a hero you can look up to” which is a pretty good crack on his height. When asked about fans of Salman (this was at the height of their falling out), he said he would say “God bless you”. I think Aamir and Shahrukh both enjoy playing the game for the public, but there’s nothing really between them. They never got close enough to really hate each other.

          But Salman is super close to both of them. He and Aamir have known each other since childhood and had their ups and downs, but have remained friends. And Salman and his whole family were some of the first friends Shahrukh and Gauri made in Bombay. Aamir had a coolness with Salman for a while, frustrated with his unprofessional behavior on set, but nothing more than that, I think partly because Aamir just doesn’t tend to run hot. Salman and Shahrukh had a bone deep heartbreaking angry fall out of the kind you only have with a really close friend, and it’s not really clear why. And now are tentatively back together.

          But even when they were apart, they were straight up asked about the other one and both responded that it was their personal issue, they respect the other as an actor and a person, and so on and so forth.

          But then the problem is the second layer of personal/professional. Shahrukh could wish Salman well in his professional life and respect him as an actor, but it would still burn on a personal level when his best friends chose to work with Salman, and Salman had the same issue. It wasn’t that they didn’t want the other to work at all, or wanted to force everyone to pick sides, it was just their very special close friends who really burned when they seemed to pick one over ht eothe r

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          • Also saw a Koffey with Karen where Kiran ranked 5 actors by acting ability and Shah Rukh and Salman were at the bottom. Sniping as you say.

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      • Interesting history, thank you! Agreed with Alisa, everything is frontloaded now, but it’s fascinating how different local conditions in different countries can lead to the same result.

        It makes total sense to me that SRK and Aamir would align on the business, probably more than on a personal level. It’s powerful seeing them speak together in that role.

        I’ve been thinking about how different their sensibilities are in terms of how they approach projects. Aamir talks a lot about scripts, falling in love with the way something is written and wanting to bring it to the screen. That’s a director or producer eye, where he fits as an actor seems like a secondary consideration. Whereas Shah Rukh seems to think primarily as an actor, whether it’s a role he would find interesting and what the director wants to do with him. There are pros and cons to both ways. Aamir’s movies are well constructed and hold together nicely from beginning to end, but can also linger and lag in ways that feel self indulgent. Shah Rukh’s movies tend to high concept and exciting but suffer from plot holes and inconsistenties.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Interesting point about Aamir as director versus Shahrukh as actor. I agree with you, and I would add that they also both have a third component, that of producer/studio owner. They fall in love with a script, or a role. And then once they commit, they role up their sleeves and try to figure out the best way to release it for the over all health of the film and industry, if it is a small release film or a big release, what is the best corporate partner, marketing strategy, etc. And in that way, they are the same. They both see their movies as part of a larger whole.

          On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 10:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

  6. What do you think about the casting for Dutt? the whole ensemble?

    Once the poster of Paresh Rawal n Ranbir came out, I’d also gotten very disappointed about the casting. Not because of Paresh’s political leanings. I don’t think actors need to be cast based on their personal/political ideologies. But cos:
    1. He doesn’t look anythign like Sunit Dutt. He also doesn’t look as tall as Sunit Dutt was but wiki tells me he’s 6′. Ranbir and Sanjay are both around 6′ (always thought Sanjay was taller).
    2. If Manisha is playing Nargis, then they should’ve gotten someone from her generation(time) to play Sunit Dutt. Manisha-Paresh are such a weird pairing, especially when they’re playing Suni Dutt-Nargis which is a part of cinema folklore.

    They’ve also released a poster for Anushka and Raju Hirani wants us to guess, I’m drawing a blank.

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    • I hadn’t even thought about Paresh and Manisha acting opposite each other, I was just distracted by how perfect the Manisha casting was. You’re right, Jackie or Anil would have been good opposite her, and also an interesting option for Sunil in general. Of course, Paresh could still surprise us, he is a brilliant actor even if he has been doing comedies for the past however many years.

      For Anushka, I don’t know but I hope it is Richa. I’ve been worried that she doesn’t seem to have a character in the film yet just based on the cast list, and Anushka would be an interesting choice.

      On Tue, May 29, 2018 at 1:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Doesn’t that really really feel like one of those fake relationships? Like their PR teams put it together for their mutual benefit? Of course, I also thought Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were a publicist relationship, and they’ve been married for ages now, so you really shouldn’t go by me.

      On Tue, May 29, 2018 at 7:23 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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