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

Happy Wednesday!  This is a looooooooooong week for me.  And I’ve got a church meeting tonight.  Which I will probably end up skipping because loooooooong week!

I’ll start!

Reading: All the coverage of the Arbaaz Khan betting scandal.  Can someone explain it to me?

Watching: Kimmy Schmidt season 4 part 1!  Yaaaaay!  I wish they had released it as the same time as part 2, I don’t understand this split, but oh well.

Thinking: I’m going on a tiny trip this weekend and I opted for cheap late tickets, and now I am wondering if that was a mistake, landing right before midnight with still an hour to go before I get to the hotel.  But on the other hand, once I reach the hotel I can just sleep and sleep, so that seems nice.

 

And discussion question for us!

Randomly came up in discussion on Monday that Hrithik should be doing some sexier roles before his looks fade, and possibly also Rani.  So there is an obvious question:

What actor should be/could be playing sexier than they have been?

I have such a long list for this!  I want Rajkummar Rao to do a straight up romance with steamy scenes and everything.  I also want Bhumi Padnekar to play a sexy femme fatale type, I don’t know why she keeps being pushed in the “every girl average looks” kind of roles, she is freaking GORGEOUS.  And I want Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak to co-star in a middle-aged love story complete with sexy scenes.

 

And of course the converse:

What actor should be/could be playing less sexy than they have been?

Emraan, I always want him to do more serious roles.  Shahrukh too (don’t hate me), I want him to play straight up adult character parts with the sexiness downplayed.  And Vidya, I love how she integrates her body into her roles, but I want her to try a saintly asexual mother type just to stretch herself.

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

  1. I really don’t get the fuss about the Arbazz Khan scandal.It’s IPL and you kind of expect it by now.So what’s new? Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi are doing a film together.So you just might get your wish.I’d love Hrithik to do a historical again with Ashutosh Gowariker.The latter knows how to present Hrithik at his sexiest best.

    This week I watched Sunil Dutt’s Bhai-Bhai the one and only movie in which he played a double role.Sunil 1 in Bombay is a man of 3 Ps – poor,poet and principled.Even his rich girlfriend Asha Parekh’s father isn’t terribly worried about him.Sunil 2 who has followed him to Bombay is hot tempered,proud and very touchy.He gets inspired by a pulp novel (which is incidentally written by Sunil 1 in a moment of desperation to earn some money) about an imaginary dacoit and turns to a life of crime.The moment of crisis arrives when Sunil 2 impersonates Sunil 1 to rob Asha’s house.Oh yes, there’s Pran, the scarf sniffer who’s Sunil 2’s fence and partner.Really the movie is worth only for Mumtaz’s wonderful dance while Sunil wisely keeps to the sidelines.Don’t you just love Mumtaz as a can-can dancer

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    • I would have had faith in Ashutosh and Hrithik, only Mohenjo Daro made him look so baaaaaaaaaaaaad, Highlights in the hair, playing way too young, it was just all wrong. But Jodha-Akbar was perfection, a sweet romance with building sexual tension and great costumes.

      Thank goodness Rajkumar Rao and Bhumi are costarring, I just saw the Stree poster release which reminded me that he and Shraddha are also co-starring, WHYYYYY???? But him and Bhumi makes up for that.

      You are having so much fun with your Sunil Dutt journey! It makes me jealous. I wish I could go back and start a slow tread through a filmography. Maybe I just throw Monday Malayalam out the window entirely and do that instead.

      On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 8:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • By all means make Monday Malayalam a monthly event.It would be worth it if you’d watch something which appeals to you rather than wading through mediocre movies.As for Hrithik in Mohenjadaro, if he was playing a widower who lost his family or something instead of trying to bamboozle the audience that he’s a fresh kid from the farm, he’d have fared better.And no one knows anything about Mohenjadaro.If you must do a historical, do it on someone who’s well known.

        As I go through Sunil Dutt’s filmography it’s obvious that his characters were more ‘real’ and ‘conflicted’ in the late 50s and early 60s.They were more ruthless,more focused on survival.They wrestled with moral dilemmas and had layers.Compare it with Bhai-bhai in 1970 which is pure masala.I wonder whether poet’s Sunil’s anguish about having to write a pulpy mediocre dacoit-drama is a reflection of Sunil himself (or perhaps the writer) who feels that he’s sold his art/soul and settled for money/fame.Sunil’s first dacoit drama Mujhe jeene do is a work of art.But he played a docoit in as many as 20 films later -films which are mostly mediocre and having little merit or depth.His mantle was later taken up by his protegee Vinod Khanna.

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        • I didn’t know Vinod was a protegee of Sunil!!! Interesting that the kids don’t seem to have done much together. Although I think Akshaye was one of those who visited Sanjay before he went to jail, but then everyone did.

          You are tempting me with Malayalam going down to once a month. It’s the most time consuming feature, because I have to really watch those movies, I can’t be doing something else at the same time. Which is also true for at least half the Tamil/Telugu ones I review, but then the other half I have the freedom to do dishes or fold laundry at the same time. And Hindi I don’t have to watch at all, it’s usually just from memory. I’d so love to take a break and watch some classic Hindi films I have missed, or read instead of watching movies all the time. Alternative option of course would be to just win the lotto so I don’t have to work and magically gain 40 hours a week.

          On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 10:03 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Or you could become an insomniac (like me) and catch up with your movie list.Sunil Dutt introduced Vinod Khanna, Leena Chandavarkar (Kishore Kumar’s wife), Ranjeet and Shakti Kapoor.He made a movie for his younger brother Som (on Nargis’s insistance).But he didn’t take while Vinod and Leena did.

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  2. Reading: finished Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Exit West by Moshin Hamid (so beautiful and so brutal), fun reading now Lucy Parker’s Pretty Face (contemp rom set in West End theater where they are doing a play about the Tudor queens) and strangely enough picked up YA historical fantasy My Lady Jane by three authors that is a fun retelling of Lady Jane Grey’s story

    Watching: finally watched a couple of HIndi films and getting into trying to catch up with 2018 releases
    Raid: really, really liked it and realized why when I saw that it was by the same writer as D-Day and Kahaani (as Margaret points out in her review) and now the same director is working with Arjun Kapoor in a similar kind of real life hero story/thriller…so excited! Anyway, these are the roles that I want to see Ajay Devgn doing…it was interesting how he still played it a bit like Singham but it worked. The style of the film was subtle but effective…the scene with the gold falling from the ceiling will definitely be one of my all time favs. I do wish that instead of the unnecessary songs with Ileana (who did well with a simple role) they could have fleshed out the female tax officer’s character more and given her an arc. Only quibble. And Ajay looks so good in those fitted shirts and pants…but definitely not like a civil servant.

    Hichki: nice, not exciting really…liked it as much as I liked Hindi Medium or Dangerous Minds. Not really on the same level as Dead Poets Society though it references it. Rani is delightful and warm (and an acting powerhouse in scenes like the family dinner at the restaurant), but there was still something missing in her performance for me. It felt just a little forced and like she was a little annoyed that she is now relegated to roles like this.

    Tried to watch Gurgaon and couldn’t get past the pretentious first twenty minutes. I was so hoping this would be a cool noir film, especially because I really like Pankaj Tripathi now and Akshay Oberoi fascinates me because I don’t know why he hasn’t taken off yet (he’s really quite pretty but he overdoes the menacing spoiled boy thing in this and it becomes laughable)

    “What actor should be/could be playing sexier than they have been?”

    Definitely Hrithik. When you think about it, he hardly has ever truly used his sex appeal except in very campy ways (Dhoom 2 and Bang Bang). Jodhaa Akbar and maybe Kites are exceptions, I suppose. Would just love to see him in a serious romantic thriller.

    Bhumi is definitely capable of doing the sexy thing but casting directors are stupid and will always think of her as the plump, matronly type because of her debut role and won’t know what to do with her…she is the Minnie Driver of Bollywood.

    Strange to say this, because I’m not a big fan, but Aamir Khan? He was kind of hot in Dhobi Ghaat and in Talaash, when he acts in a more realistic way he can be very cool. Thugs will almost definitely be an over the top role, but would love to see him in serious “normal” mature romance.

    “What actor should be/could be playing less sexy than they have been?”

    Definitely SRK and Salman. They could both develop into such interesting character actors and they need to give up playing young hero types. And Ajay should probably tone it down a bit. I’m not really complaining but he walks a fine line between gross in Shivaay and cool in Raid. Akshay seems to find the best balance in his performances…though he has a natural sexiness that works with his everyday kind of characters (Patiala House and Namastey London, for instance).

    Not sure about the Vidya thing. I think she wasn’t sexy at all in Tumhari Sulu but the fact that she got a kick out of and found some freedom in the fact that others found her voice so sexy was the point of it. I always find her most compelling when she’s not trying to be sexy in films like Kahaani and Guru and Salaam-E-Ishq.

    Jacqueline Fernandez. I do like how naturally comedic she is, but I’m interested to see her in more serious roles like in Brothers.

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    • I’m so glad you saw and liked Raid! Ajay was perfect in the role, just enough swagger to make us whistle for the hero, without going so over the top that it becomes unbelievable. And speaking of sexy, he was so much sexier in this, flirting with Ileana in their little apartment, than in all the shirtless mountain man scenes in Shivaay. And agree about the female tax agent. Although part of that was the actress being so good and rising above the part, so maybe they needed to rewrite the part once they saw how good she was, but by then it was too late. I really hope that actress does more though, and I am glad they at least gave her a prominent part in the poster and the trailer. She reminded me of early Divya Dutta or Sheeba Chhada roles, only a few lines but you really sit up and take notice.

      Interesting thought with something missing from Rani in Hichki. Maybe it’s that she never really seemed to emotionally connect with the role? She had the few breakdown scenes and the family dinner and so on, but I never got that raw emotion from her that I felt in Talaash, for instance. Perhaps she was holding back because the movie was meant to be light and easy instead of intense, but I missed her intensity.

      The sexiest Hrithik scene ever, the “ripen” scene in Koi Mil Gaya. And that almost felt unintentional. And on the other side, the fragility and openness that Zoya brought out from him in his romance with Katrina in ZNMD, I’d love to see that combined with raw sexiness in something. Maybe a Sunday writing prompt? How to make Hrithik sexy?

      Poor Bhumi, that initial launch was because of a brilliant outside the box casting director who saw her, and imagined her several pounds heavier and living in a small town instead of a gorgeous aspiring actress in Bombay. But now all the other casting directors are blind to the gorgeous modern woman in front of them and keep shoving her back in that box. I really want her to play, say, a sexy dance hall dancer with a tragic secret.

      Agree about Aamir. He almost seems afraid to be sexy, like he has to play everything big and impressive and character actor style now. Having just rewatched Dil, he has effortless chemistry with actresses and can turn that on a dime into something sexy instead of funny. The love song from Lagaan, the Holi song in Mangal Panday, even the flashback song in Talaash. And of course everything Ghulam. But lately he is moving away from that. I’d write him a mature love story, but I already did that and it is still my favorite (him and Rani as dissatisfied middle-class neighbors who start an affair).

      Akshay is definitely a man who gets the “comfortable maturity is the sexiest of all” concept. Often onscreen, and always in real life. Akshay with grey at his temples in a suit is so much hotter than his contemporaries running around without shirts trying to be younger than they are. I’m super looking forward to Gold partly because, once again, Akshay will be playing his real age, as a vital dynamic mature man.

      Thank you for reminding me about Jacqueline! She was really really good in Brothers, but it didn’t seem to lead to any more roles like that. Or maybe she doesn’t want roles like that. But I wish she would try, I think she could be really interesting in a part like, oh, the fiancee in Pari.

      On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 8:35 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I really enjoy Hrithik but he’s always so “on” if you know what I mean. He’d have to work with a director he really trusts who will push him out of his comfort zone and force him to have real emotions on screen. Jodha Akbar is for sure his sexiest role.

        I also favor Aamir in a mature romance (ahem). Dil reminded me of how sexy he can be and it’s too bad that quality is missing from his more recent roles. I think he’d kill in a low-key romance with wry comedic elements, costarring Rani or Madhuri, and I’m sad that will likely never happen. Please link me to the neighbors having an affair fic as that is definitely relevant to my interests 🙂

        I agree that Silver Fox Akshay is the best Akshay and so is Silver Fox Anil, who I’d also love to see in a mature rom com with Sridevi which even more sadly will definitely never happen.

        I also favor SRK playing less sexy roles or maybe just sexy in a different way. I thought he was sexy as Suri in RNBDJ, not the Raj parts but the geeky parts. But I have a serious thing for smart, sweet, geeky guys so your mileage may vary.

        Salman doesn’t really play sexy anymore, does he? Except with Kat and I like how he does it, how he’s sweetly smitten with her on screen.

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        • Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is not a movie I like much, but it definitely gets Hrithik out of his zone. Same director as Luck By Chance, and she has the same ability to pull him into some reflective deep waters (pun! One of his most emotional scenes is while scuba diving) that she showed in LBC.

          Aamir and Rani mature romance fanfic. It’s not very long, but you can fill in the gaps with your mind: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/03/26/silly-sunday-speculative-post-rani-week-edition-what-would-my-ideal-rani-comeback-film-look-like/

          Silver fox Anil in DDD is amazing, it’s like upside down world Anil, instead of being very nice and funny and kind and likable but not sexy, he is crazy sexy but not nice or funny or kind or likable at all.

          Swades is another great one for geeky Shahrukh, if you ever get around to it. And Chak De in its own way, a sports geeky type. But they are both pretty long movies, so you can put them on your “someday” list instead of rushing around to watch them ASAP. Instead, check out the deleted scene from K3G with boring middle-aged SRK being seduced by his wife Kajol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYiHZMFUIyY&t=106s

          Yeah, there is something special about Salman with Kat onscreen. Sometimes it is there with Sonakshi too, but not often. Hopefully Dabangg 3 brings back more of that sweet Salman again.

          On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 10:25 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • SRK in Chak De India is peak sexiness for me. The unintentional(?) tension with the one player on the team is supreme.

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          • It’s the perfect sexy-because-he-is-more-than-that role. I don’t think Shahrukh, or the character, was ever thinking about being sexy, or romance, or anything else. But that just made him all the sexier.

            On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 10:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh and when I’m thinking Salman is doing the sexy thing, I mean all of the shirtless hero posturing. His chemistry with Katrina is one of the few times I can tolerate him as a romantic lead. Now that I think of it, he has always been the sweet and goofy romantic league and has rarely done a true sexy role (maybe Race 3 will actually be more like that).

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          • He was definitely kind of accidentally sexy in Hum Aapke Hain Koun. Well, not exactly accidentally sexy, but it felt like they sat down planning to make a sweet romance with him and Madhuri and the sexiness ended up being sort of incidental to that, instead of the straight up plan.

            On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • But not with Shahrukh, for some strange reason. Magnetic forces canceling themselves out or something.

            On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Exactly, the actress (Gayathri Iyer) who played the assistant n Raid was bringing something more to the role…looks like she’s only 23 and has some experience in the South. Could be one to watch for sure.

    I don’t remember the “ripen” scene in Koi Mil Gaya with Hrithik?! I’ve tried to flush that film from my memory because I hate it and Krrish with the heat of a thousand suns (though at the time in the first months of my Hrithik fandom I did like them enough, I suppose). Now in comparison with the rest of his work and his potential they are crap performances…OK, rant over:) ZNMD does show a sexy side of him when he’s vulnerable for sure…more like that would be good, too. I also have to admit that I always like a emotionally wounded, brooding Hrithik (Muhje Dosti Karoge or Agneepath). I think the sexiest moments for Hrithik on screen were the sword practice and fight scenes in Jodhaa Akbar, the Russian Roulette scene in Dhoom 2, his flirting with Kareena in K3G, and some scenes in Agneepath where he’s plotting against the villain. But there’s really not much to choose from in his filmography. I don’t usually read fan fic but I might read that Sunday post!

    I still need to watch a lot of Aamir’s filmography I must admit. So his most romantic and sexy role is in Ghulam? I do like the idea of him and Rani paired in a future film.

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    • One hour and 46 minutes in, MUST WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fouEi7eVnc4

      I forgot about Mujshe Dosti Karoge Hrithik! The burning with anger and jealousy side of him is (shamefully) very attractive. Also unhealthy and insane and all of that, but very attractive.

      Ghulam is a remake of On the Waterfront, Rani is the poor unhappy little rich girl and Aamir is the tough aspiring boxer and mob enforcer. But their chemistry is off the charts. It was Rani’s first role, she is adorably young and chubby but already has something special. Also, great soundtrack.

      On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 9:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh, god, that “ripen” scene does not do it for me at all, sorry:) In a film where he wasn’t playing developmentally delayed but an immature young man, maybe it would? He’s doing a version of the thing I call “thunder face” where he shakes his head in a weird way to display deep emotion, usually anger. It works in MDK, but not here.

        I think rewatching this scene, I realize why I dislike Hrithik in these kind of roles (Guzaarish, too, at times though I still like that overall film). His interpretations of people who are differently abled too often come across as oblivious (and even malicious) caricatures if taken out of context. It’s problematic and that’s a problem. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man wasn’t subtle but he still was able to convey that these mannerisms were realistic. Maybe it’s just the two different styles of acting in the melodramatic tradition and the realistic tradition (which I can normally appreciate on both levels), in KMG it just comes across as embarrassing. I remember the first time I saw it I had the same reaction, but I pushed it aside because I was still trying to figure out the Hindi style of acting and I was still entranced by Hrithik’s screen presence in other ways.

        Also, I realize how much I miss Preity Zinta in any film!

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    • The problem with sexy Aamir is he’s most often sexy in really cheesy 90s films. So fair warning on that. But I think his straight up sexiest roles are Gulham, Dil with Madhuri and Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin with Pooja Bhatt (whom he was having an affair with in real life), . He’s also got flashes of sexy in Fanaa (though he isn’t looking so good in that film for some reason) and Talaash (but it’s mostly griefy and sad otherwise). He also had good chemistry with Manisha Koirala in Akele Hum Akele Tum and Munn.

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      • I guess as a Rani fan I really should see that one! Haven’t seen Dil or Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin either. Really disliked Fanaa for various reasons but I do like Aamir in Talaash for sure. I liked him in Paramapara but that was a pretty basic romantic subplot. (I really need to get back to my Saif filmography chronological viewing sometime soon).
        Alisa, sounds like you have the same thing for Aamir that I had for Hrithik in the early days of my Bollywood fandom (you’re flying through his filmography!).

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        • Isn’t Aamir sexiest in Sarfarosh? Just the thumbnail of that song with Sonali in the rain is steamy enough.
          Hrithik and Kat were amazing in ZNMD. Hrithik (just like movie itself) grew on me with each watch. No other role seem to fit Kat like this one.
          A caveat if you’re planning to watch Ghulam for Rani. Apparently the makers found her voice too odd and dubbed over it.

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          • This is shallow, but I have a hard time with Aamir in Sarfarosh just because of the boxy button shirt look. Slightly better costuming would have put it over the top, for sure. I love that shy-but-confident smile thing he has going every time he looks at Sonali.

            On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:36 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh, it is a good one!!!! With a slightly confusing flashback in the middle, so be sure to focus slightly harder there so you can track where it starts and where it ends or else nothing will make sense.

            On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:57 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Boo, on dubbing Rani’s voice…it’s iconic now and they should have known better then:)

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          • You should never apologize for who you find sexy! Whatever floats your boat. Hrithik was my first Bollywood crush and now it’s totally Arjun Kapoor.

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  4. Well my exams finally got over today, and im watching Rangasthalam, really liking it. Even though the film runs for 2 hrs and 53 minutes, I didn’t get bored. Ram Charan is great in this, even better than Magadheera.

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    • How’s Rangasthalam in terms of happiness? I’m seeing my sister this weekend and I am debating between that and Tholi Prema if we decide to watch a newer movie.

      On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 10:05 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I listened to it yesterday at work:) I love the conversation about Arjun Kapoor, who has long been one of my favs even before he became the badass big brother he is now (which is also pretty freakin’ swoonworthy).

        I love having conversations with desi people where I drop in my knowledge of Indian cinema and surprise them, too:) My Malayalam speaking neighbors were recently surprised when I asked for recommendations for Malayalam films. He recommended the original Drishyam. But then quickly went on to recommend lots of Aamir films (which is very typical as we’ve discussed elsewhere, I think…the phenomenon of recommending the critically acclaimed Aamir films to western audiences…or maybe he just liked Aamir…who knows!).

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    • That’s awesome!!! If he does see Kaala, have him report back to you so you can report back to us. I probably won’t be able to watch it until next week at the earliest because of ticket prices and timings.

      On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 10:35 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Reading: Don Quixote. Still wondering why I chose to read it.

    Watching: Kaala. For Rajinikanth and Nana Patekar.

    Thinking: Nani has been chosen as the host of the second season of Bigg Boss Telugu. How would he manage this show?

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    • You will have to be our Kaala correspondent, since I probably won’t see it until next week. I loved loved loved Kabali, and I am worried it will just be a pale imitation of that instead of its own thing.

      Nani is “the natural star”, right? I’ll be curious if people like him more or less after seeing him be “real” and actually natural on TV. or at least pretending to be.

      On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • You can safely watch Kaala, its no Kabali. It has many interesting scenes, you can own Rajini here unlike Kabali where we get a feeling of watching “Rajini sir”. The climax was definitely the most interesting scene of the film, but many such interesting scenes work on paper rather than the screen. You can give it a try.

        PS: Kaala has the most non heroic entry of Rajinikanth, mildly amusing too.

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          • If you feel that you might not watch it anytime soon, I can do something which you always did for films I couldn’t catch up quickly. A not so detailed plot summary in a paragraph. Do you wish for it? Or willing to wait?

            I would have done it directly, but I wish to know if you wish for it.

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          • I’d rather wait, I’d like to go in fresh so I don’t accidentally steal someone else’s ideas about the plot and so on when writing about it.

            On Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 1:50 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Took Friday off and binge-watched Season 2 of The Santa Clarita Diet. Then had a 2 hour nap. PERFECT day. However, I remain exhausted and burnt out. Would love a month long sabbatical on a desert island. A desert island conveniently stocked with convenience food and free from dangerous animals/plants.

    Was just on Twitter when SRK started an #AskSRK. I’ve never been online right when he started one since I became a fan. So that’s fun. I asked my standard Terry Pratchett/Discworld related question. There were 1.5k responses within 3 minutes of him posting, so I figure it’s kind of like entering a lottery…

    Last week I watched Gol Maal with a friend who is from Hyderabad. He’s in his early 40s, and seems to like pre-1990 movies mostly. Though he did recommend DDLJ and Swades to me when he learned I’m an SRK fan. 🙂 It was such fun watching it with him so I’m hoping we can find time to watch more classics together. It was a positive loop–me enjoying him enjoying it, and vice versa. Also it’s just so cool to watch with someone who can let you in on the little puns and situational humor that a non-Indian/non-Hindi speaker would miss.

    Sexier: Irrfan. I’m praying for more of anything from Irrfan once he is healed, God willing. But especially more sexy. Not dark sexy, not cool sexy, but earthy sexy, in aid of a good story and script. He just about killed me in The Namesake, and again in Piku.

    Less sexy: no one whom I can think of. As long as it’s sexy in aid of a good story and script. 🙂

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    • I was going to say Irrfan too! But then I thought “everyone will think I am weird, Irrfan is supposed to be intellectual and clever, not sexy”. So glad to hear I am not alone.

      On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Qarib Qarib Single attempted to make Irrfan more earthy sexy but it came off too weird sexy. I thought he was hot in Haider, is that weird? And Lunchbox, too. Piku was his most sexy because it seemed to line up best with his off-screen persona.

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          • Me too! More sexy Irrfan! Not really recommending that you watch it, but Rog attempted to make him a straight-up sexy dark romantic hero. It might have worked except the movie is distractingly weird and the heroine has the personality of a fire hydrant. But if you are predisposed to find Irrfan sexy he is sexy in this.

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          • Wait, it’s a remake of Laura???????? I don’t think I can handle that. Laura is too perfect to be touched. And no one can ever be sexier than Dana Andrews.

            On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:02 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I haven’t seen Qarib Qarib Single yet. He was hot in Haider. Haven’t seen Lunchbox yet because I’m afraid it will make me too sad!

            Miss Braganza–I have seen Rog. It would have been better if they would have hired an actual actor to play the female lead, yes. But it was fun as far as sexy dark Irrfan. Not fun enough to watch again though.

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  7. I have been scarred from watching Aiyya’s songs and hence don’t want to see Rani turn it up. Yes to Hrithik!!! Sid Mal should turn it down and yes Vidya should also turn it down, it somehow creeps into every character (save for a Kahani)

    I love seeing SRK in something like Swades, smart, intelligent and moderately sexy, would also like to see ARK and Rana turn it up 🙂

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  8. This was the week in which I got to see Dangal in the theater!! Since it’s about sports, and I’m not into sports, I was only moderately excited about this but I ended up loving it.

    I think I’ve explained before that they love Aamir here–not that most Japanese would know the name but Three Idiots was a moderate hit, then PK got a theatrical release and played up the link to Three Idiots. Three Idiots is called Kitto, Umaku Iku (“Surely, Everything will be OK”) in Japanese, so Dangal was called Dangal: Kitto, Tsuyoku Naru (“Surely, You will get Strong”) which is pretty clunky but brings out the 3 Idiots thing again, and it was featured on TV and everything.

    And the theater was, for a Japanese theater, packed. Like 30 people instead of the usual six. And they reacted like I have never seen a Japanese audience react to a movie. Usually they are completely quiet and you might hear occasional polite laughter. When Geeta loses her first match there were a few audible groans and then when she gets the 50 rupee prize there was a quiet smattering of applause, which grew until people were full-on applauding by the end. Not to mention the crying. All the way through Geeta’s fight with Aamir, all the way through the make up scene and then straight through the last 15 minutes of the movie. Afterwards the manager came in to clean and a lady grabbed her and said “That was wonderful! Get more movies like that!”

    Well, I also loved it and I’m happy I got to see it in the theater with other people. I thought one of the more remarkable things was that they really looked like they were wrestling, not just the older actresses but the little girls as well. I really enjoyed Aamir’s performance in this and the commanding way he moves his huge body around. (Pursuant to the topic upthread: I actually find large gray-haired Aamir the sexiest Aamir). Except for the whole closet thing, but even that I think makes thematic and dramatic sense, even if it doesn’t seem like a thing that would actually happen. (I don’t know how they could have made it more plausible–Aamir suddenly gets trapped under a large piece of furniture?)

    Also, a few weeks ago Moimeme mentioned about “noisy” showings of Bahubali in Japan, and they showed a clip of one before Dangal: everyone gets a glowstick! Anyway, Bahubali is coming back to the theater, not sure if it’ll be noisy but I will be there if I possibly can.

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    • Dangal was my second Bolly/Aamir movie (after my first ever Bolly/Aamir film, Raja Hindustani) and I also loved it. My husband, who is neither a sports fan or much of a movie watcher, loved it too. I agree the fight scenes are very well staged so you are learning about wrestling rules and strategy bit by bit throughout the movie so when you reach the end of the movie you can fully understand and be enthralled by the matches. Aamir’s opening fight scene was very well done too.

      Thanks for the description of the Japanese theater, it was fascinating.

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    • This sounds wonderful! I am so glad you had a good time. And I am fascinated in how it is able to cross barriers.

      and being attracted to large grey haired Aamir is INSANE. Clearly soul patch 2000 Aamir is the best Aamir.

      On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:39 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Carrying on with the romantic Aamir theme in the comments, I decided to watch him and Juhi in Love Love Love last night. It was laughably awful. Bad choice, but the thumbnail was cute and it seemed like a basic romantic comfort watch. Aamir and Juhi were fine and some of the songs were really fun, but the connecting plot was terrible and the villain was right out of central casting. I liked the step-mother and sister and wanted more of them. And the blatant plagarizing of Hollywood film scores in the background music was hilariously bad.

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    • I can’t remember what author it was, but some book I read got super snarky about Aamir’s comments on always picking a film based on the script and persuing perfection and blah blah, wanting to ask him what, exactly, appealed to him about Love Love Love?

      On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 8:58 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • That’s awesome! So it is actually one of his worst films…I was hoping that was the case because it’s really, really bad.

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        • I have to admit, I haven’t seen it yet. But my understanding is that it’s not just bad, it’s uninterestingly bad. Like, Mela Aamir produced and had a Big Idea and then turned out terrible. Ishq was a good time movie with a big name cast. But Love Love Love, from what I have heard, was an obvious lazy kind of bad.

          Also, if you want really fun Aamir bad, Tum Mere Ho is where it is at.

          On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 9:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. Also a quick note on trailers: I just watched the Sanju trailer and I might finally be a little interested in this film. Only because it looks like some interesting supporting roles for people I like (Jim Sarbh, Vicky Kaushal, Anushka, etc)…still could careless about Sanjay Dutt.

    Also, have you all seen the trailer for 5 Weddings???? I’ve always had a bit of me that wanted to defend Nargis Fakri and I’ve always wanted her to find her niche in Hindi cinema. She has good comedic potential. And this film looks so much watchable than I thought it would be, especially considering the weird, low-budget international production thing that can often go very right (Bride and Prejudice) or very wrong (Basmati Blues). And it stars Bo Derek, really? I’d love to hear how this movie came together. Anyway, the romance with Nargis and Rajkumar Rao looks very charming (thanks to Rajkumar for doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the acting department). And the dialogue in the trailer is sometimes pretty bad, but some jokes land. Still really excited about this one!

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    • Super excited for Jim Sarbh and Vicky Kaushal in Sanju. Even if it doesn’t make them popular with the audience, it is going to get them noticed among the producers and directors who matter. A connection with Hirani and VV Chopra alone is worth making an effort.

      Have not seen the5 Weddings trailer, I may have to wait until I am in a neutral location. Because I am afraid I will give into instinct and throw something at the TV when Nargis shows up, and I don’t want to damage my own television.

      On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 9:20 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It will be interesting to track the careers of Jim Sarbh, Vicky Kaushal, Vikrant Massey, and Rajkumar Rao going forward. They all started more in indies and will be walking the line between commerical and parallel cinema success.

        Please watch the 5 Weddings trailer and critique it in your next News Round-up! If you hate Nargis, you will probably hate it but you will be torn because of the charming glimpse of Rajkumar Rao (looking really hot!).

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        • This is the “Rajkumar in Uniform” movie, right? They should really change the title to just that, so far as I am concerned it is the main selling point.

          On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 9:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yep, he’s a cop and he looks amazing and I have to say I have a soft spot for romances where one of the leads is reserved and just watching the other flail around in a fish out of water situation.

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          • That is such a specific soft spot, and yet I know just what you mean. Also, you really need to watch the Telugu film Fidaa. In the first half, he comes to her village in Andra Pradesh. In the second, she comes to his family home in Dallas. Wonderful movie in many many many ways, but also has loads of scenes of one or the other flailing around while the other one watches. And then also those scenes where the “outsider” reveals a surprising useful skill that impresses the “insider” (he is from Dallas, but he still knows how to make chai! She is from India but still knows how to look beautiful in a short dress!)

            Oh, and I assume you have seen Khoobsurat?

            On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 9:44 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Of course I’ve seen Khoobsurat (both of them actually:)). Sonam and Fawad are the perfect example of this. I think this is one of my favorite rom com tropes because I loved Bridget Jones’s Diary when it first came out and saw it multipe times in the theater.

            Also Leap Year with Matthew Goode and Amy Adams, French Kiss with Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan, and finally my true sentimental favorite The Matchmaker with David O’Hara (my ultimate movie boyfriend) and Janeane Garofalo.

            Fidaa is on my list…I just saw that it’s finally online. Might watch it tonight!

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          • Also, Jab Harry Met Sejal. Oh wait, you were the person who didn’t like it. But you liked Running Shaadi, right? I would be a happy camper if Amit Sadh spent the rest of his career playing stoic sensitive supportive boyfriends.

            On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 10:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, Jab Harry Met Sejal meets the criteria for this trope and maybe that’s why I was a little bummed when it didn’t completely work for me. I didn’t hate it though…just thought it had some issues. I’ve seen Running Shaadi, too. I didn’t like it as much as you but I did really like it. My favorite rom com of last year was probably Meri Pyaari Bindu strangely enough, followed by Bareilly Ki Barfi and Running Shaadi in that order.

            This year is looking a little sparse in the traditional (and not sexist!) romantic comedy/drama department but it should pick up later. So far this year only Love Per Square Foot fits the bill. That’s crazy. Pinning all my hopes on Namestay England, Manmarziyaan, Arjun Patiala, Sui Dhaga. this 5 Weddings thing, and the holy grail would be that the Ajay and Tabu romantic comedy is a big hit!

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          • There’s also Ek Ladki Ko Deewana To Aisa Laga, the Sonam-Anil-Rajkummar film. Just based on the title, that feels rom-commy, right?

            For some reason, tragedies seem to be in this year. The big romances films I can think of are Laila Majnu and the Sairat remake. And Gully Boy which theoretically could have a romance based on Ranveer and Alia being cast opposite each other. But looks like yet another tragic romance instead of a happy.

            On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 10:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I forgot about Ek Ladki Ko Deewana To Aisa Laga. Definitely should be a rom-com.

            And, yep, too many tragedies after the epic one in Padmaavat this year. I will watch them all because I’m not opposed to a good romantic drama by any means but I’m always looking for those heartwarming happily ever afters more. Netflix is starting to churn out some interesting rom com content, plus the trailer for Destination Wedding with Keanu and Winona coming to the theaters soon blew my mind. It was the rom com I didn’t know I was waiting for!

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  11. On your recommendation, I watched Fidaa. It was exactly the kind of romantic comedy I was looking for and haven’t seen in a long time. It wasn’t perfect, the second half was a little clunky in the plot and the male lead’s acting went downhill (though I think the script let him down). He is quite tall and cute (and I like how they used his height in the romantic moments! Sai Pallavi really is special and whenever I see an actress like her working in the south, I immediately imagine her paired with the young guys in Bollywood. She would never pass the ridiculous standards of beauty that Hindi heroines seem to have to pass and that’s stupid, but wouldn’t she be wonderful in a YRF romance opposite Vicky Kaushal?

    I need more romantic comedy recommendations like Fidaa. Any other Telugu or Tamil favs that I might not have seen yet that you know of? I saw that Nithya Menon one that you recommended and liked it (Malli Malli ….) and have also seen the one with the Arjun Reddy guy and the food trucks I think?

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    • Also, how could they just leave that hottie Harshvardhan Rane hanging like that?! There’s no closure for him!

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    • Oh boy, Tamil and Telugu is not my area. I can tell you that after I enjoyed Fidaa, people here recommended Anand and Godivari by the same director, and I really liked both of them. Similar pleasant people in romantic plots, and focused on the heroine’s perspective. And I really liked MCA with Nani and Sai. It’s not totally romance, but it’s pleasant and there is romance in the beginning.

      And then there are the old-school Nagarjuna movies that made me fall in love with him (oh Nagarjuna! So mustache-y! So pleasant!). Nenunannu, Ninne Palladatha (with Tabu!), Santosham (with Gracy Singh!). Manam I really love too, it’s a 3 generations romance with reincarnation, very complicated. 10 Endrakulla which I just watched is surprisingly romantic too.

      But really, other people here will have better ideas for you than I do.

      On Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 9:58 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. Can’t wait til this week’s post to mention that I’m finally watching more Indian films again! I was in a slump due to the weird lull in new releases. Looks like October is on Amazon Prime and will watch that this week sometime.

    After Fidaa (which I liked with some reservations about the script and less than stellar acting from the hero, esp. in the second half), I watched Dil and Khalnayak as a continuation of many attempts to get more into the early 90s and 1980s classic films. I can usually only watch them through a “camp” lens.

    Still, I really liked Dil more than I expected to as a non-Aamir fan. The mom jeans and mullet really are unfortunate and Madhuri has always kind of looked older than she is (and though absolutely beautiful), she looks like she could be his mom in some scenes. I loved the scene with the broken chair for the fire for their improvised marriage ceremony and all of their running away scenes. I think I get how he could be perceived as swoonworthy and sexy in some moments in this film. I did have a major issue with the “rape” prank sequence and thought it gratuitous and gross (not too mention anti-feminist). I would hope that this kind of thing is not permissible in modern Hindi films, but I couldn’t help but think about those awful kidnapping scenes in Badrinath Ki Dulhania.

    And then I watched Khalnayak, partly because I need to see more Madhuri Dixit and had seen parts of the famous song and thought I should see the whole movie. And because I wanted to see a role that was pretty typical for Sanjay Dutt. I am totally superficial and I can’t get past how unappealing he is in the looks department. I totally get the ugly sexy thing, but he just does not do it for me. So that didn’t help my opinion of the film. I could see how his affections and his OTT villain antics would appeal to many, but I didn’t believe his redemption at the end for one second (I’m not sure we’re supposed to believe he’s reformed…and maybe that’s why there will be another one someday). The cinematography of the film was beautiful and lush. This is definitely one of those unfortunate comic uncle roles for Anupam Kher (it worked better as the comic villain parent role in Dil).

    So, I think I’d rewatch all of Dil for fun someday, but only watch the songs for Khalnayak on YouTube.

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    • Yaaaaay, more movies!!!!! Agree about the hero in Fidaa. But he is also very very tall and handsome. And has a nice sort of unassuming screen presence. Also agree about the script problems. Scene by scene I loved it, but the overall plot kind of lost its way a bit in the second half.

      So glad you saw Dil, it is such a great 90s romance, no holds barred and no mercy on the audience, everything is dramatic and over the top in the goofiest possible way. Agree about the rape scene, although it doesn’t bother me partly because it is almost goofy in its over the topness, but I can still see why it is a problem. At least in Badrinath the hero is wrong and apologizes, while in this one she is the one who apologizes.

      Khalnayak is a great choice to get a sense of Sanju from that era. Off putting and odd but also magnetic. Even if you didn’t like him in the role, I am guessing you still saw his charisma? That is, why the audience was more interested in him and Madhuri than in Madhuri and boring Jackie Shroff’s character?

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      • Definitely see the chemistry between Madhuri and Sanjay in it and if he were more appealing to me on a superficial level I think I would have been really into this movie. I like the storylines where the girl is more attracted to the bad guy than the safe choice. And Jackie Shroff doesn’t do it for me either.

        And, Angie, I totally agree! Throughout the first half, I was thinking this could be one of my all time favs because Sai Pallavi was so adorable and the fish out of water stuff works well for me when India is the setting and it’s an NRI who gets the “education.” Plus the hero is hot.

        But the second half really let me down for various reasons…clunky script and the consistent slut-shaming scene where she wears the dress and he freaks out and blames her for dropping Sue during the cheesy dance thing (omg, he could have killed her accidentally! that made me laugh!).

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        • And the second half makes no sense! They had a conflict all set up, her not wanting to move to America, but instead they veered in another direction and kind of lost focus and I don’t know what was happening with it. It felt like it pulled back on course after the road trip/love song, but everything before that was just odd and out of character.

          On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 8:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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