Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Last Week in June?

Happy Monday!  I am still grumpy about being gypped out of a good show on Saturday night (Hetal Patel, I curse your name!!!!), but I got to have coffee this morning, so that’s nice.

As always you can ask me anything from the personal (“What other shows have you seen before that were better than Dabangg Reloaded?”) to the specific and factual (“What is the next big international show tour?”) to the general discussion (“International tours: ultimately good or bad for the industry?”)

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first.  The discussion just goes better that way.  But once I answer, you can leap in and join the conversation if you like.



And now, question for you!!!!  By popular request (and also because it will be a nice distraction for me):

Which Shahrukh is your favorite Shahrukh?

Young skinny new star Shahrukh

Image result for shahrukh khan young skinny

King of the Industry bulkier 90s Shahrukh

Image result for shahrukh khan kuch kuch hota hai

Early 2000s cool haircut slimmed down Shahrukh

Image result for shahrukh main hoon na

2010s super skinny work out Shahrukh

Related image

Present day old man tired bearded SRK

Image result for shahrukh jab harry met sejal



There are no wrong answers!  Just speak your own truth.


57 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Last Week in June?

  1. Present day bearded Shahrukh, without doubt. There is no competition for me 🙂

    Question: I have never watched Jr NTR movie and I want to start. Which film y’all recommend? I want something with good dancing, music, and fewest people killed with machetes possible.


    • i really liked Yamadonga, which is another Rajamouli, kind of a lighthearted fantasy film. But I will bow to others if there is another Jr. NTR film that is an even better bet.

      I like present day bearded SRK too, but I fear that is just a function of me always liking the current version best. When he moves on to his next incarnation (silver fox SRK?) I am sure that will become my favorite.

      On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 7:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. How do you manage to spend so many hours a day writing for the DontCallItBollywood and still hold down a full-time job?


    • I’m like an OIympic athlete 🙂 Get up two hours early, answer comments and write a post, and then right after work, go home and blog until bed time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Shahrukh circa 2000 will always have a place in my heart.K3G,Chakde,Don all came out in that decade.Forget the Khans and Hrithik.Which one among the younger lot would you like to see leading a tour next?


    • I already saw Dream Team with Varun Aditya and Sid, and Varun had the biggest stage presence by far. So I could see him leading a tour. I don’t like Tiger that much onscreen, but I bet he would be phenomenal on stage. Although not very good with the audience banter part. I’ve seen Nivin live, he was terrible. And also Tovino, also terrible (both of them seemed very shy). Oh! I know! Ayushmann. He can dance a little, can sing live, and is great in interviews and unscripted interactions. I’d love to see him leading and hosting a tour, with Tiger and Varun as additional attractions.


        • I’d love to see Kriti Sonam perform live. She seems like she would be comfortable and confident on stage. And (if I had my dream tour) also Mahira Khan. Like Ayushmann, she has a VJ history which makes me think she would be good at the patter parts. Oh, and Swara Bhaskar! Definitely not shy about talking, and after seeing her dance at Sonam’s wedding, I really want to see her perform more.

          Having seen a fair number of these, it’s definitely a better show if the performers are good at live performances, no matter how famous and successful they are on film. So, I would see an Aamir Khan show for sure, but I wouldn’t have my hopes up because he isn’t great with the live performances. Aditya Roy Kapoor, despite being not that famous or popular, was surprisingly great in the Dream Team show just because he had some TV interview work in his past.

          On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 11:22 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

    • The casting alone, of this probably-not-real film (if nothing else, remember Aamir said he would only be doing Mahabharata for the next 5 years?), indicates sympathy for Sheela. Alia has such a baby face, it makes me think they are telling a story of her as a naive young woman. Maybe focusing on the years from when she first met Rajneesh to the death of her first husband.

      So, if it is a created news story (which I suspect it is), it means an assumption that the English language news readers would be titillated by the idea of a young innocent Sheela being slowly corrupted.

      I also really really don’t think a Rajneesh movie could/would ever be made, feelings are much to high on both sides (Rajneesh’s followers in India, versus the people who were abused by his practices in India). It’s as impossible as an Indira Gandhi biopic. Or Dawood Ibrahim.

      And look, just to prove me wrong all 3 of those films will now be made and be big successes.

      On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 9:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. Is that nick guy any famous so that pc can advance her career or only a PR stuff?
    I don’t follow Hollywood except marvel stuff so have no idea. But the amount of pr stuff being done in Mumbai is irking me now.
    She has a moderate successful US career not some big shot success all people know her working in Super Alist movies like irrfan.
    I like srk circa main hoo na. It had a certain cute college boy charm which is quite relatable.


    • He really isn’t that famous. But then, neither is PC. It’s a good PR stunt because they don’t have a big overlap of fans in America. Nick Jonas is primarily a music guy, and is popular among young women and gay men. PC was on a broadcast TV show, which means she would mostly be known to middle-aged and older folks (younger people don’t watch broadcast TV). That’s also part of why it feels like a PR stunt, they don’t have anything naturally in common, Nick is hanging out with the young crowd and PC is with the old crowd, how would they even meet? Except for being set up by their PR teams.

      And yeah, Irrfan is probably more known than her. Even if people don’t know his name (partly because he doesn’t play the PR game), he was in some really big big movies, so everyone will recognize his face. And he probably actually knows more people who matter than PC, having worked on films with big names both on and off screen.

      And Main Hoon Na SRK is quite charming, I agree!


        • Maybe he just always wanted a trip to India? PC’s apartment is in a really nice area, I am sure she is letting him borrow the car, it’s like an air B ‘n B, but free.

          On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 10:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • They are vacationing in Goa so a free trip and getting his name known in a country where nobody knows who he is is not bad. He’s trying to sell a flop album. Maybe he’s hoping some Indians buy it.

            The PR stunt also helps introduce Priyanka to preteens and gay men which is definitely not the Quantico audience.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ooo, Goa. Maybe that was part of the deal? They go to PC’s house for her publicity, and then she takes him to Goa so he can have a little fun on the trip.


          • Have you read irrfan’s latest message? The amount of goodwill he has received from both bollywood and Hollywood is heart warming and which can never be got by this fake pr stuff.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’m not surprised, India and American film industries seem similar in that, underneath all the gloss, there is a basic appreciation of good work and good people who care about doing well. Irrfan may never be on the cover of a film magazine, but I am sure he has proven himself over and over again to people who actually worked with him as a nice humble person who does his job well.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Every era of Shah Rukh has things to appreciate. My top favorite will always be current Shah Rukh, assuming he doesn’t get weird plastic surgery or go too crazy with fillers. My second favorite is 2002/2003 (Devdas, KHNH, Chalte Chalte) era Shah Rukh. He is at peak beauty in those years, mature but not yet getting into working out/bulking up torso/getting too skinny everywhere else territory. (Dang you, Farah!) Current Shah Rukh is still devastatingly handsome and charming, but I doubt he’ll ever be as purely aesthetically pleasing as he was in the early 2000’s.

    Questions for the last week of June–do you and your family or friends do anything in particular for July 4th? What are your favorite picnic/barbecue foods? Are you into grilling or do you find it more trouble than it’s worth?


    • I have a friend who argues for 90s SRK, which I think is MADNESS. I can see early 2000s, but 90s SRK was just ever so slightly too cuddly. Definitely some new father 15 going on there.

      We always tend to be a little last minute with the 4th. If we have the vacation home that weekend (we share it with the rest of the family, so sometimes they have it and sometimes we do), there is a little small town parade, and fireworks and maybe my Dad will grill something. When I was a kid there were a few years we did our own fireworks by putting them on an innertube in the lake, that was fun. Otherwise, it’s whatever. There’ve been a few years I got a last minute invitation to a cook out from friends (like, a text saying “hey, want to come by in a few hours, we are having a cook out” on the morning of the 4th). And there were also years that I just stayed in my air conditioned apartment and enjoyed the random day off work.

      The one thing I never do is go to the city fireworks display, the crowds are just way too big. Fireworks are fun in a small town when there aren’t many people, but I don’t want to watch them mashed up against 10,000 other folks, and then have to fight those same 10,000 on the commute home.

      On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 11:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Nothing particularly special for the 4th. Summer foods in general, we are in sweet corn country, so that’s always a treat. And brats if you get far enough out of the city to get really good ones (usually go along with sweet corn). In the city, Chicago hot dogs are irresistible. And now I kind of want one for lunch. We also have a family coleslaw recipe that is a must for all large summer events.

          On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 11:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely the Main Hoon Na SRK. Whenever I rewatch Ohm Shanthi Om, I squeal whenever the scene from Main Hoon Na comes.

    The LA Show for Dabaang was yesterday and it was at the forum, where really famous singers perform. I didnt know the Dabaang show was coming to LA till you told me; it wasn’t advertised much. I wonder how it went.

    Question: How do you manage to wake up early, even with a job? My summer job starts on Wed. and I always oversleep. What to do?!?!
    omg. ranbir mimicks sanjay really good. it looks identical. this year’s best actor is for him!!
    alia in another kJo movie. #rollseyes. in the dhadak song release, many people were saying mocking statements like, wow neoptism. how long do you think karan can keep this going? he has to change nah? has there been any newcomers since sid?

    Lust Stories #omg. Zoya’s was my fav, Karan second. I didnt like the banerjee one and the only think good about kashyap was radhika apte. Did you see the video where kashyap mansplained over zoya and karan talked for the majority of the time. Zoya is so cool ❤


    • I just saw a thing on an online forum (that linked back to my review of the Chicago show, yay!) that the LA show had the same kind of technical issues that mine did, and wasn’t sold out either. I think the same forum also mentioned that Dallas is trying to unload tickets at discounted rates just like Chicago was, I got a bunch of emails in the last week offering me half price tickets. Anyway, I’m not surprised there was no publicity of the LA show, there was no publicity of the Chicago one either and surprise surprise, not enough tickets sold. Dream Team and SLAM weren’t advertised on local TV channels or anything, but I saw posters every where and there were plenty of tweets and planted news articles. And nothing like that for this show.

      I have no special trick for waking up early, I’ve always been like that. I’d wake up all chipper in the morning even when I was baby. What killed me was the few years when I was working nights, I would be soooooooo tired by the time my shift ended around midnight. Waking up early in the morning, not a problem. Someday you will be a doctor and you can take the night shift and this won’t be a problem for you any more 🙂

      Hopefully Karan ends up mentoring Kiara Advani the way he did Sid. Maybe Vicky Kaushal too. They are both outsiders, and way more talented than Sid was, and I would love to see Karan help them become real Stars.

      Haven’t seen the video, but not at all surprised at Kashyap mansplaining. That’s how his movies always feel to me! Like he is mansplaining the way female characters SHOULD feel, even if their reactions make no sense.


  7. OK, I’m going general: are the international tours actual moneymakers or are they mostly marketing to build star profile and fanbase? Is there a scenario where they don’t rake in cash but are still considered successful? And if you’re a star who’s not very good live, what’s in a tour for you? Seems risky to make a poor showing in front of giant crowds of potential ticket buyers.

    Adding my vote to 2000s era SRK for peak beauty. Early SRK is too hyper for me. Present day SRK is only a little less beautiful and seems deeper and more seasoned. Also voting for clean-shaven SRK over bearded or mustachioed SRK.


    • Such an interesting series of questions! Thank you. The international tours are not the best way to make money. Shahrukh has straight out said that he can make more money doing a wedding than anything else, film or brand endorsement or stadium concert. I assume the same is true for everyone who does tours, if you are performing anyway, you can make way more money doing private shows at weddings, and it’s a lot less work.

      The people who make tons of money on tours are the promoters. And they have been known to “pressure” stars into being on tours, since the event promoters tend to be the Indian equivalent of “made men”. In fact, right before Shahrukh’s last tour, one of the partners in the promotion company was shot in a drive by.

      Beyond the mob pressure, there’s also the ability to connect with a different audience in a direct way. The tours really started taking off at the same time as the global box office figures, they seem to go hand in hand. Having public appearance helps people feel connected to the stars and interested in the films. And having been to a fair number of the tours, there really is something magic about the connection between the audience and the stars all in one big big room.

      If I understand the structure correctly, the stars make tour money in a combination of ways, with the promoters getting the most of it. Unless of course they manage to run the promotions themselves (which is tricky, because of the afore mentioned “made men” issue). I suspect/assume that the stars get a big big payment up front and a cut of the tickets. But the majority of the money goes to the promoters. So they aren’t losing money, no matter what.

      Because the promoters tend to control the shows, it is unlikely for a non-draw star to even get a show offer. A lot of people come through Chicago, and there is usually a pretty solid idea of what they can do. Asha Bhosle, for instance, had cheap tickets and didn’t sell out the arena, but there were also minimal effects and so on, so I am sure the overhead was a lot smaller. And they didn’t even open the whole arena, they knew it would be fewer tickets and adjusted for it. Vishal and Shekhar, they were in a funky falling down neighborhood theater that I am sure was dirt cheap to rent, only sold 3/4 of the seats but who cares because the theater rent was so low.

      As for why people might agree to be on the shows, it is the best way to make a connection with the other stars. Salman on this tour, he called on Daisy and Sonakshi and Jacqueline and Katrina who all owe him favors and this is just solidifying their relationship. They get a little better known to the audience and so on, but the big benefit is that they get in good with Salman.

      The people who are really not good live tend to just not do shows. Aamir never does, Amitabh hasn’t in years (since he got too old and tired to do a big show, I suspect), and so on.

      On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 5:50 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Are the shady promoter types on the India side or the US side? How are they connected to locals like your new nemesis Mr. Patel?


        • They are on both sides I think. That’s part of why they go after this business, the Indian mob has international connections and the shows are a good way of using them. My new nemesis, he is probably not connected. So far as I know, the Indian mob in Chicago is still Democrat (woot woot!). He seems more like a local businessman type who thought he could make it work an was just grossly incompetant. If anyone is connected on the America side, it would be Sahil Promotions, the international coordinators for the tour. I suppose I could walk into their store and just ask them, but that would probably not be a good idea 🙂

          From the very little that comes out, I have the impression that the Chicago Indian mob, at least a few years ago, was fairly powerful and connected. The 26/11 attacks, which had a strong mafia connection, were partially planned down the block from me. But how that all intertwines with stage shows, I don’t know.

          On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 8:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • Thank goodness, another vote for beard! I was sure it would be the overall winner, but I was the only one speaking up for it.


      • I always prefer bearded men over clean shaven men. So it’s pretty much any man in a beard for me! Although unlike a few others of the same age like Saif who has put on weight and is also sporting a beard currently, Shahrukh has this sexy older man vibe going.


  8. When I initially began reading your posts, I loved the title of your blog. I assumed the ‘it’ in the ‘Don’t call it Bollywood’ is the Indian films & that you were saying Indian films is not just Bollywood. But the ‘it’ really is the Hindi language films rt? What inspired you to name your book & consequently your blog with this title?


    • Shoot, I have to answer you even though I really should sleep.

      I discovered when I started grad school, or even before in my film classes in undergrad, that Indian film was considered a joke, a punchline. Teachers dismissed it with a superficial few sentences about being escapist and silly. We would spend weeks talking about, for instance, the Swedish film industry, and all of Indian film was covered in 1/4 of a class. And the word “Bollywood” was a big part of that. It immediately minimized the industry, made it into some sort of kitschy niche thing. I got sick of it, and in grad school I started telling people I was studying “Indian film” instead of “Bollywood” and it had an immediate effect. Making fun of “Bollywood” is okay, making fun of “Indian film” isn’t, it feels xenophobic. Which of course it is! But if you call it “Bollywood”, you can pretend it isn’t. And calling it “Indian film” made people ask me questions, want to learn more and take it seriously. Words really do have power, that simple change immediately redirected the conversation. And then of course I discovered I wasn’t the only person doing this, a lot of the Hindi film personalities especially do the same thing in interviews, gently switch to saying “Indian film” or “Hindi film” even if they are asked a question about “Bollywood”.

      It truly has nothing to do with Hindi versus other languages, I wasn’t even studying the other language industries until a few years ago. So now I say “Indian film” when I am talking about something like playback singers which is consistent everywhere, and “Hindi” or “Telugu” or whatever when I am being more specific. And I still never use “Bollywood”. Or “Tollywood” or “Kollywood” or any of the other variations.

      And in terms of the larger American film school culture, they don’t even know that “Bollywood” is usually considered to mean just the Hindi industry. I’ve had people tell me they’ve seen a “Bollywood” movie and it’s been anything from Punjabi to Tamil. They really don’t care. Another reason that word is toxic, it makes it a lot easier to generalize the whole culture than specifically saying “Hindi film”, which leads people to say “oh, don’t they speak Hindi everywhere in India?”

      It’s really what the tagline says “Call it Indian film and treat it with respect”. That’s all, I just don’t like the actual word “Bollywood” because it is disrespectful, no judgement on Hindi versus other languages.

      On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 11:52 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • So why not ‘call it Hindi films & treat it with respect’? Why do you need to make it easy for those who don’t care anyways by equating Indian with Hindi & thereby putting up an incorrect & stereotypical tag line for your blog? American doesn’t mean Caucasian rt?


        • See, to you “Bollywood” means Hindi films. To the people I know who are non-desi, “Bollywood” might mean all of Indian cinema. Amy Jackson, for instance, came here and was constantly called a “Bollywood” star despite having done more work in Tamil and Telugu films. Those are the ones the tagline is directed at. Baby steps, start by getting rid of Bollywood and replacing it with Indian film. And then move on to explaining the differences between the various language groups. “Indian film” is always accurate, I would much rather people switch to that, then switch to “Hindi film” and start mindlessly saying “Hindi film superstar Rajinikanth is huge in Japan” because they don’t know any better. But you can say “Both Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth are major Indian movie stars”.

          On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 2:26 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

    • Another old bearded vote, yaaaaaay!

      Do you prefer KKHH era slightly chubby SRK, or more Main Hoon Na slimmed down and mature SRK?

      On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 10:40 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  9. Anupama chopra has decided not to review Sanju or sacred games as it will be a conflict of interest she has also asked other reviewers on her platform to do the same. I don’t know what to make of it. On the one hand her husband is producer so she may be biased and influence people. On the other hand she is a professional and just has to keep personal equations aside while reviewing.


    • Just to clarify, is she also restricting anyone else on her channel from reviewing either of them? Or is it just she herself?


        • Okay, that seems odd. I agree that Anupama herself should not review films made or produced by her husband. But if she thinks her staff is incapable of reviewing in an unbiased way simply because they are trying to please her or something, than she doesn’t have enough faith in either their professionalism, or her ability to competently supervise them. And if she thinks there is no one else who works for her channel who is capable of reviewing a major film, than she needs to hire better people. There are plenty of people in similar positions who simply ask to be excused and provide a replacement. If she wants this to be a real news source and not just a personal blog (like mine) than she needs to hire more/better staff and have more faith in them instead of thinking of it as all emanating from her own personality.

          And in a larger sense, if this is something that really eats her up inside to this degree, that she would never feel comfortable with even someone she supervises reviewing her husband’s films even when they are the biggest films of the year, then she needs to find a new job.

          Not saying she has to get out of film reviewing, but maybe this sort of up to the minute “we cover everything” idea that the Film Companion has is not for her, and she needs to switch to something a little more focused and selective.


          • She is building a brand with different sections. Film companion YouTube page is a treasure of bollywood knowledge.

            She should at least allow sucharita to review.
            Her idea is that she might influence economics of the movie, but Sanju is already too high on buzz that her review would hardly impact.

            Also she didn’t do a normal interview with ranbir but a method one where he discussed method of acting etc and that also for earlier movies not Sanju,i think she is going too over board.


          • I wouldn’t worry about impacting the economics and therefore benefiting, but I would worry about her not being able to provide an open unbiased review, meaning a useless review. But that gets into the simple solution of assigning another staff person to cover it instead, and making sure they are unbiased.

            You see this all the time, even in stuff as simple as book reviews, just a disclaimer at the top like “the editor of this journal has a personal relationship with the author of this book” and then the review follows written by someone who is not the editor of the journal.

            If her concern is the film benefiting from the publicity she is giving it, I’m not even sure if that is a valid ethical concern. I’m not a journalist and don’t know their ethics, but I would be more concerned with providing honest coverage of the film, not the mere fact of coverage. If Anupama assigns somewhat else to review it, and they hate it and the review says so, that’s all I am looking for. Same with an interview with Ranbir, assign it to someone else, have that person ask probing critical questions about the film.

            This might almost benefit it more, if it is a bad film than one of the best resources to provide a bad review and warn people away will be silenced.

            That Ranbir interview sounds very strange, because ultimately the benefit is to get Ranbir’s name in the public’s mind and get them interested in watching him act. An interview in which she narrowed in on the Sanju performance but was critical of it would have been more damaging.

            You see what I mean?

            Honestly, I find the whole thing a fascinating question and may need to do an open discussion post on it to see what everyone else thinks! Thank you for bringing it up.


  10. Also sacred game on Netflix starring saif and nawaz is based on a book written by her brother, so not directly involved. But she won’t review that also.


  11. Maybe it’s her way of saying that in an industry where nepotism rules she wants to stay clear of it and don’t provide any favours due to her reputation.

    In their relationship of anupama and vidhu vinod chopra she is more hardworking and famous. She is insider as vidhu can never become.
    All his major movies are bcoz of raju Hirani and his last directorial was eklavya a flop so maybe anupama considers herself at a more influential position than her husband.


    • I have to speak up for Vinod here. His Parinda alone established him as a powerful talent and he has decades of being important in the industry. Anupama may be known now as an reviewer, but Vinod has been around for 30 years, producing and directing successful films. If you read her early stuff, she herself talks about the advantages she had as VVC’s wife.


      • Maybe true initially but now there’s nothing he is doing except putting money on raju’s movies.
        Vinod chopra has directed parinda mission kashmir 1942 love story so quite a filmography he has.
        But no recent movies. It’s as if he has retired and just putting money in others movies and helping his wife setup her platform(if yes)


        • He’s averaged producing a movie a year for the past 5 years, and directed one of them. As of right now his wife might be better known, but he really is an important figure in film.

          I only bring this up because it’s part of the conversation, VVC is busy enough that Anupama should have known a major conflict of interest was coming and planned for it better. He’s also producing the Anil/Sonam/Rajkummar Rao movie coming up, is Anupama going to ignore that one too? What about the movie after that and after that and after that? What about Qarib Qarib Singlle? That was directed by her sister, did she allow reviews of that? Or what about in 1998 when her mother was hired to write the dialogue for her husband’s film Kareeb, was that ethical?

          The whole film industry is so incestuous, why is this where she draws the line?


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