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

Happy Wednesday!  Halfway through the week and I am WIPED.  Still haven’t fully recovered from staying out soooooooooooooo late for the Salman concert (I am old).  Oh well, I don’t have to do anything tonight or tomorrow, so I’ve got loads of time to prepare mentally and physically for Sanju.

I’ll start!

Reading: Still Terry Pratchett, I’m on the one that spoofs Phantom of the Opera, which is great because I have never seen the appeal of that fantasy so the spoof is perfect for me.  Also, should I watch I?

Image result for I tamil film poster

Watching: Cycling back to the beginning of Kimmy Schmidt.  I kind of want to watch an Indian remake, just because I want to see Karan play Titus and Kalki Koechlin play Kimmy.

Thinking: I just dropped gobs of money (for me) on google analytics and I think it isn’t actually telling me anything I didn’t already know?  There’s a chance I will discover the majority of my readers are old white men, but I’m pretty sure I will just find out you are all American or Indian women either 16-26 or 55-70.  With a few women in the middle there, and a small scattering of men just to keep things interesting.  However, if I am wrong, don’t be surprised if the content suddenly shifts to “Which actress looks hottest in a bikini?????”

 

 

Now, question for you!

What is a fantasy you just can’t get into?  And please use Indian film examples, so as to keep it relevant 🙂

For me, the whole “he just needs someone to take care of him” thing.  I’m sick of taking care of people!!!!  If I am fantasizing, I don’t want to fantasize one more person who needs me.  So, Devdas, he can just straighten up and get his own self out of the gutter.  Ditto Arjun Reddy.  Even Sanjay in Saajan, get over your low self-esteem issues and then call me.  Really Sanjay in anything.  Maybe Munna Bhai is okay, he seems like a pretty solid guy.  But I don’t want any of those 90s tortured Sanjays.  And this is also of course the source of my deep dislike for the classic Ranbir Kapoor type character.  Except in Wake Up Sid, where half way through he grew up and started taking care of others.  But everything else, I am just over his tortured little boy trying to grow up thing.  And ditto for Harry in JHMS is okay.  Sure he’s tortured, but not so much that he can’t work out his own stuff instead of making me do it for him.

(NO)

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

  1. Reading: I can’t seem to get away from cozy murder mysteries. I just discovered Donna Leon and have gone through about 5 (I think she’s written over 20 so I’m good for the summer).

    Watching: Not much (other than the sunset). Travelling where access is challenging.

    Thinking: Trying not to do too much. The current news cycle is still so horrible I have to be very careful where my mind wonders. Although, your “hot in bikini” line has me once again struggling with why it’s OK to objectify men (sort of) but it’s a different dynamic when reversed.

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  2. Watching world cup football
    Reading nothing currently.
    Thinking about our discussion yesterday and how we face conflict of interest daily but ignore it as part of life

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    • That’s a good point, conflict of interest is there for everyone all the time, you just learn to live with it and recognize it in others, and try to identify and purge it within yourself as part of growing up.

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  3. I haven’t seen I yet. Even though I do really like Vikram, I’m always nervous about his films…sometimes they are way out there.

    Reading: nothing…just picking up lots of free books at library conferences…including a King Lear adaptation set in India by Preti Taneja.

    Watching: also nothing…catching up with political shows and podcasts. But now I hope to be able to focus on catching up on movies and shows the rest of the summer! Going to watch October and Blackmail soon. Can’t wait for Sacred Games…saw an interview with Saif on a talk show on the British channel ITV, They are comparing it to Narcos which is good for promoting it to a Western audience.

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    • I’m debating what to do about Sacred Games. I could plow through the whole show in a weekend, no problem, but I can’t finish the book before then. And I have a firm rule not to watch something without having read the book first. Especially if I am going to be reviewing it. I could do it, but it would involve a lot of “I wonder if it was different in the book?” thrown in.

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      • I have the same thing with reading the book first. I suppose it could be the next book I pick up after the one I’m reading now and I would have a shot at finishing it before next weekend if I read non-stop. I want to binge watch it that weekend, too!

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        • Oh oh! You read it, and then you can be my expert advisor! I can just put in a bunch of questions about the book that you can answer in the comments.

          On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 11:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s been sitting on my coffee table for a couple of weeks so it’s a possibility.

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  4. I’ll try to answer your other questions. But for the Kimmy remake in India, how about Dimple for Jaqueline and Sheeba Chadda for Lilian? And the reverend needs pull off the balance between cartoonishly evil and charisma with his whole “I’m the victim here” charade. Who better than SRK?

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    • Love it! Except I might swap Lillette Dubey for Dimple as Jacqueline.

      Shahrukh would be perfect, but if he didn’t want to do it, my next choice would be Akshaye Khanna I think. Or else Abhishek.

      On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 9:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Devdas was the worst of the lot.I’d pay a lot of money for a Devdas version where the women in his life stop pampering him and tell him a few hometruths.I really can’t stand the taming of the shrew trope.Every (spoiled or otherwise) rich heroine who doesn’t bow and scrape to the poor hero has to be “tamed” by the hero.The 90s were the worst with Madhuri in Dil,Juhi in Ishq and so many more.

    I watched Sujata this week.Early Sunil is heartbreakingly handsome and it’s so nice to have a realistic ending.I’m not talking about Sujata getting her due from her foster parents.But about Sunil’s grandmom taking herself to Kashi.Compare that with what poor Alia has to suffer in Badri ki dulhania where she has to live with Varun’s dad after all his shenanigans.

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    • The Taming of the Shrew trope isn’t my least favorite, but it’s not my most favorite either. Especially when they make the heroine truly horrible in the first half, and then forgive her in the second, like nothing she did really counted because she was just a misguided woman. At least give her the respect of making her take responsibility for her actions! If a male character had done some of that stuff, he would be the irredeemable villain.

      Speaking of redeeming characters, I love that ending of Sujata. It’s not saying that she will magically come around, and it’s also not saying they shouldn’t get married just because of that. It’s okay for families to disagree and just live with the disagreement sometimes.

      On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 9:50 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Sunil Dutt’s grandmother is not totally evil.As she says, she’s a product of her upbringing and times.I ended up feeling a little sorry for her as she left on the pilgrimage to Kashi. Sunil broke her heart when he chose Nutan over her.The romance felt a bit too sudden though.I mean we the audience had the luxury of seeing her growing up be the wonderful person she is.But they spend barely a few minutes on their first meeting before she’s packed off to the kitchen.It’s easy to see why she fell in love with him.But what about him? Sujata has another of my pet peeves, the self-sacrificing hero/heroine who veers to the doormat territory.Indian soaps are full of this species.But fortunately they pair such a heroine with a spitfire sister/cousin who marries into the same family.

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        • Someday I want a heroine who is the spitfire sister/cousin, the one protecting and supporting her prettier sweeter more doormat-y cousin.
          I liked how they handled Sunil’s grandmother. She was in the wrong, and they shouldn’t have gone along with what she wanted because it was wrong. But the film wasn’t cruel to her, and she wasn’t a cruel person, just someone who believed certain things and was not able to look past them.

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  6. Have you seen zingat song from dhadak? Why why why why????????

    Kjo just ruined a cult song. Generally I don’t like trolls but #zingatruined and memes flowing in twitter are proper and kjo deserves to be trolled for his destruction of a local classic.

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    • I haven’t seen the new one, or the original. I was planning to watch both but I ran out of time before work. Sounds like I didn’t miss anything!

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  7. Speaking of men needing taking care of, I read an article about Jennifer Kendal’s death and unfortunately it made me lose respect for Shashi. He so thoroughly fell apart after she died and let their kids down and became a burden on his entire family. It’s easy to romanticize but then you take a hard look at it and reach the conclusion he was just a weak person. Oh well, I still love Shashi the film hero! I was looking at photos of him the other day and good lord, he’s still the handsomest Hindi star ever IMO.

    100% agree with you on Ranbir’s characters and his real life character, apparently, based on his cringe inducing quotes about Alia.

    A brief suggestion for adding to your Muslim ban post: I’ve been making monthly donations to the ACLU for two years. They are not only fighting the immigration policies but also the entire spectrum of civil rights violations. They are very, very tough and very, very effective.

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    • I was thinking about the ACLU, but they have so much money now. Which is great! But I like supporting the little guys too.

      I refuse to stop loving Shashi! I almost don’t want to ask where the article was, but I think I should test my love by reading it. Where was it?

      One thing that Ae Dil Hai Mushkil did very well was show Anushka’s refusal to rescue Ranbir. She would be his friend, but she wouldn’t take responsibility for his whole life, that was on him. And Aish was even stronger about it. Ranbir was still his usual character, looking for a woman to save him, but this time he finally learned how to save himself.

      On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 10:36 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Here’s the article: https://www.hindustantimes.com/books/when-shashi-kapoor-and-jennifer-kendal-fell-apart-an-excerpt-from-his-biography/story-1MUUzz6bjHXTUAQaMQXTIK.html

        Mind you, I still swoon over Shashi no matter what. He was so good onscreen and I respect that he could’ve become a movie star but chose to be an actor. Also that he was generous with his costars and able to hold his own with Amitabh in his prime. But the Kapoor alcoholic+overeating gene got him way too early. The stories of Kunal and his brother trying to stop him from drinking broke my heart.

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        • Hey! I own that book! I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. And now I have to read Sacred Games (900 PAGES!!!!) in the next 10 days, so it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

          I still say he is the best Kapoor, but that might tell you how bad the other Kapoors are in comparison.

          On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 1:35 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I really hate to bring everything back to the Dutts.But Sunil Dutt went through a similar phase as he fell apart when Nargis died.According to Namrata, his daughter, in the book Mr and Mrs Dutt, Sunil turned to alcohol and smoking for a time and couldn’t cope with life without his wife.She had done everything for him and he simply couldn’t go on.It was in fact a talk with his youngest daughter Priya (14 years old at that time) about how Nargis had turned to a star and was watching over them which brought him some comfort.It was only when he pulled himself together and started going back to work that he could help Sanjay.

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          • I love it that you keep bringing everything back to the Dutts! It’s nice to have a different perspective.

            On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 5:21 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Least favorite trope: love at first sight. I just don’t believe in it, and in movies it feels like an easy way out of doing real character development.

    Reading: your book, actually! Needed reading distraction from the world on my commute, news on Twitter is too terrible lately. Other suggestions welcome for good reads that would help me learn more about the industry.

    Watching: my weekend movies from the library were Don 2 and Kaminey, partly to figure out if Priyanka can actually act. Loved both, but especially Kaminey. Amazing performance from Shahid, and just overall direction really really good. TV watching the new season of Queer Eye. I had doubts about a reboot but the five new guys are totally charming.

    Thinking: this summer is feeling anything but calm and relaxing so far.

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    • I prefer love at first sight to sudden-love-at-20th-sight. What I mean is the movies where the plot requires them to hate each other, and then BAM, they are in love for absolutely no reason just before interval. Like in Dilwale with Kajol and Shahrukh in their youth. Why??? But I get what you are saying, the ideal is slow-love-at-20th-sight, they are in love at the interval after slowly getting to know each other over the first half.

      Everyone should read my book, always! I know I put a bunch of reading suggestions in the back, but the only two I can think of off the top of my head are the Kapoors book, super gossipy and fun, and Ganti’s Guidebook. If you want more fun gossip the Rekha unauthorized bio is AWESOME.

      So glad you saw Kaminey, it’s one of my favorite movies, and I think it is Vishal Bhardwaj’s best movie. Everyone talks about his Shakespeare stuff, but I like Kaminey and Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola best. If you want more Priyanka-Shahid chemistry, I have a soft spot for Teri Meri Kahaani which is pretty much the exact opposite of Kaminey, very fun and light and silly and unrealistic.

      On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 6:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Okay, this is random but I remembered I have PK so I’m watching it and WHOA SANJU. I didn’t know he was in it! He really does have an endearing quality about him despite everything, doesn’t he?

        I’m enjoying the movie more than I expected. I thought I’d be lost since I know nothing about religions in India but it’s generally funny and the performances are good.

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        • This is the movie he was finishing when he went to jail! He rushed through it to get it all done before he had to go to prison. And, I think, it kinds of feels like that, like his character was supposed to have at least one more scene at some point.

          Anyway, I am glad you like it!

          On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 10:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I finished watching PK and Sanju dies in a Muslim terrorist act right before he goes off to jail on a terrorism charge????? My mind broke a little.

            The movie was okay. I liked the first half better but it got super preachy in the latter half which is the same thing that happened in 3 Idiots, so I guess it’s a trap Hirani falls into? Random observation: Hirani is the only director who can get Aamir out of his elevator shoes which I find absolutely fascinating.

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          • Hirani is also fairly short, possibly there is a connection? He makes Aamir feel comfortable because there is someone else the same height on set?

            And yes to PK turning preachy. Definitely a problem with Hirani films. He starts out kind of light and quircky and then it gets darker and darker. I like Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots best, Munna Bhai because it was the lightest, only in the last 5 minutes did we have any hint of anything serious. And 3 Idiots because it was the darkest, the sad parts were woven in right along the happy straight through. Very curious what tone he will strike in Sanju because, just looking at Sanjay’s life, the dark and light were all together, so he can’t really start light and then turn dark, not without upsetting the order of the narrative. Maybe that’s why there is the (seeming) Anushka interview structure around it? So the whole thing is a flashback and he can jump around a little, past to present, and keep things happy until he wants them to turn sad?

            On Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 9:17 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. My least favorite fantasy: related to Emily’s above, but I don’t like the part where, having fallen in love at first sight, the hero and heroine stay in love for ever and ever because if they break up they will be miserable and die. Although, I get that having that as a trope saves time establishing a relationship so we can get to the dancing. That’s one thing I like about Wake Up Sid : Ranbir and Konkona know each other, they don’t hate each other first, she breaks up with a perfectly decent and incredibly hot guy, not to be with Ranbir but just because she should, and finally their friendship turns into love. But she does kind of rescue him. But while she does her own thing, like he’s basically rescued by being around her.

    Thinking: Can we talk about the IIFA awards? Rekha danced!! I know they officially say “IIFA Awards” but isn’t that like “ATM machine”? Also Konkona looked fantastic in bright green! (Also, I’m avoiding real current events today).

    Watching: Finished watching C.I.D., the old one with Dev Anand. I liked him better in this than in Guide, although Guide is probably the better movie. His performance is a lot more natural in this one. Waheeda plays a gangster’s moll in this and while she’s fine it didn’t work for me–she radiates innocence and purity. (She’s not a negative character though, so maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be). She’s wearing ringlets for some reason, which doesn’t help.

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    • Yes! The whole “first love is the only real love” idea. Especially in the movies where it turns out he was just tricking her or vice versa. But it doesn’t matter, even if they fell in love with a fake lying version of the person, it’s still true love and they just want to be together. Bleh!!!!

      Another reason I like Hulchul, they are both fooling the other one, and it only works because they get to know each other and end up falling in love for real, not just “they kissed even if it was fake and so they are immediately forever and ever in love”. Oh, and Tashaan! Saif thinks he is in love, but then learns the truth and immediately falls out of love, like a real person would, because it wasn’t really love, it was just infatuation.

      I’ll have to see if I can pull together an IIFA post for us! It’s easy to write those, but hard to troll the internet and find all the good images.

      Dev is sooooooooooooooo handsome in CID. And I think it was Waheedaji’s first movie, or at least big break movie. So maybe that’s why they didn’t know what to do with her and made her the moll instead of the heroine?

      On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 10:58 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think it was Waheeda’s first Hindi movie, and Guru Dutt was trying her out, as it were, before putting her in Pyaasa. Where I think she is totally believable as a prostitute, so I don’t know. Dev is indeed reeeeeeeeeeeally handsome. I don’t always think so, but it works here.

        Yea, IIFA! It looks really memorable, with Rekha dancing and Boney accepting an award for Sridevi, on top of the usual nice/bad clothes.

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  10. Trope I hate-ugly ducking/tomboy dressing up as a ‘girl’ to impress the hero. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Main Hoon Na , Jo Jita Wohi Sikander(slightly better, he notices her much much later when despite the dress)are the immediate ones that I remember. A very patriarchal & superficial idea to propagate.
    Watching-just watched Mahanati. As a non-Telugu with zero idea about Savitri & her work, it was not a good watch. On one hand, it’s very obvious that a great lot of effort had gone into recreating the era & the iconic scenes. The production quality is stunning. The shadows,the grainy feel of the black & white scenes, the sepia tone of the 80s is shot so wonderfully. And Keerti’s costumes & makeup in her peak glory days is to die for. Look at those gorgeous saris!! So classy.But I cdnt connect with the story of Savitri. They didn’t tell me enough to make me see Savitri as this great actress or as a great human being. I saw a woman who threw away immense talent, neglected her children & her own well being because a guy dumped her & by generally being stupid. The movie makes out Savitri to be a very stupid lady who has no permanent interest in anything for no good reason. And one or two scenes of giving money to people can’t make you a generous person if you are not kind to your own mother & children. I am wondering if being known as a generous, God-equivalent personality a must-have for the Telugu stars? that’s pretty much what all the popular actors(Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Charan etc etc)even from current generation is known for. Somehow it’s not enough that an actor can be a talented, decent, normal human being. He/she has to be pedastalised by generosity. Keerti’s performance as the naive, young Savitri was so grating & makes Savitri look like an imbecile. Maybe that’s the other two tropes I can’t stand. The wide-eyed innocent girl whom everyone can’t help falling in love & the tragic heroine wronged by everyone despite her best intentions & efforts. That was my grouse with Raazi also.

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      • I just read yours😂😂😂Stupid DQ character who has few grey hairs to show age but looks so freshly scrubbed. Gemini Ganeshan came off as a trope-to initiate her downfall & then pooh, gone!!Also was it just me or the downfall scenes were all very darkly lit, in that I can make out the silhouette but not see Keerti’s face-scenes of her fighting with daughter & fire, her mother’s death scene. I’m wondering if they made it poorly lit cos her expressions weren’t up to the mark disguised as a symbolic ‘dark phase’ of life? Did you have a similar viewing experience? I did like her heavier phase look & performance. She can nail the confused, generally loitering look.

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        • Oh I felt the same!! that I couldn’t see their faces or lips moving in that portion. My theory was that the lip sync wasn’t right so they used shadows to cover it!

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        • Yeah, the scenes were darkly lit, and I think on purpose, because this is a very “show and tell” kinda movie. The way she clutches on to the Alcohol bottle in the scene where her house catches on fire is Soo dramatic.

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    • Maybe I should do a fanfic where she dresses like a “girl” and the hero’s response is “why did you do that? you don’t look like yourself any more”. I keep waiting for him to do that! It’s almost what happens in KKHH, at least the first time she puts on make-up, but then in the second half she is all saris and long hair anyway.

      So far as I can tell, all the stuff about Savitri abandoning her children and her mother because Dulquer dumped her was entirely made-up! So it wasn’t even like they were trying to tell her story, they looked at her story and said “nah, let’s make it better, instead of a woman who cheerfully shared her husband with other women and raised her children alone as a strong single mother, let’s make her a naive innocent who’s whole life revolves around her jerky husband. Oh, and let’s make him a jerk too instead of a guy who married a lot of women but was honest about it and generally there for his children”. And obviously they made up the whole “her forced her to take a drink and then she was an alcoholic” idea, because ALCOHOLISM DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!!!!!

      I am sure you are right about Telugu stars needing to be generous as part of the public persona. It sounds like Savatri was much more generous than the film managed to convey, but it also sounds like one of the first things people say about her, as though it’s more important than her talent or being a good mother or anything else, a star has to be generous.

      The thing that really bothered me with the naive charming innocent trope here is that it made all her success and performances just “lucky” or something. They never treated her as a serious artist who studied and trained and tried to be better and learned things and on and on. That was for Gemini to do, as a woman she just sort of intuited everything. Made me want to watch Lucky By Chance again where Konkona is so cynical about Isha Sharvani’s innocent act.

      On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 11:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh Luck by Chance is one movie that showed the struggles, manipulations that happen behind the scene so well. And everyone learns & moves on. No moping around. I was also thinking of Dirty Picture which had the similar rise to glory & epic downfall story. Silk’s struggle all throughout seemed real & they didn’t make her to be a saint or wonderful human She was always a bindaas woman. Tragic, but brave.

        I do want to read that fanfic. Hightime someone thought of subverting that particular trope.

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        • And no one in Lucky By Chance is epicly good or epicly bad! They are just people doing a job, no better or worse than any other industry.

          Maybe I should try to do a fanfic that subverts ALL the tropes mentioned here. An alcoholic who tames a “shrew” after falling in love at first sight and then she goes from tomboy to feminine until finally realizing the guy is horrible, they don’t really know each other, he never should have “tamed” her, and she looked better before.

          On Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 8:44 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. I watched Mahanati finally, and was not very impressed. I love Dulquer usually, but I really didn’t like him in this at all. He seemed very unlikeable. I had to watch Ok Kanmani for him to charm me again. Savitri came off looking naive and stupid to me. And what is the need to show her as this really generous person offering help to all and sundry. Unlike others, I actually liked Samantha and Vijay Devarakonda’s romcom like story. I didn’t like the initial portions of Keerthy. I thought she overdid the innocent small town girl act. But she was good in the later portions.

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    • I love the modern day part! much much better than the other part. Check out my review, I go on and on about how wonderful Vijay is.

      On Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 12:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. I’m really not coping with news here in the US. Not sleeping, can’t focus at work–even more than usual. Protested with the Poor People’s Campaign in DC last weekend, and will protest the immigration policy/Muslim ban in DC this weekend, but at some point it really feels like running into a wall repeatedly. Won’t stop though.

    A seriously bright spot–my fam and I went to see Hamilton at the Kennedy Center last week–was able to get relatively affordable tix the first day they opened up sales to the public. Damn it really is one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen or heard. Now entering the lottery every day to try to see it again. Just too much clever staging and little acting things that one doesn’t catch on the album to take it in in one viewing.

    Tropes: I agree with all the ones mentioned above, and related to the “first love” one, I hate the idea that there is one perfect person for everyone to fall in love with/be with forever. That’s just not how actual love, nor how people, work. One reason I just can’t with DTPH, since that’s Madhuri’s whole deal. Also hate any version of “fridging” where bad shit happens to people in stories (mostly women and children) to further the personal development of someone else (mostly men). One reason I enjoyed Anjaam–it subverts that trope wonderfully.

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    • Now you’ve got me thinking about DTPH with that “soulmate” idea. Remove Madhuri’s whole “soulmate” thing, and it’s a very good investigation of “I’m just into this guy more than that guy”. Karisma and Akshay just don’t do it for Shahrukh and Madhuri, although they are perfectly nice people. And Madhuri and Shahrukh spend a lot of time getting to know each other and experiencing things and eventually fall in love when it is “earned”, when we can feel their connection that has been slowly built.

      But then the film tries to have it both ways, say that it’s not just that Madhuri and Shahrukh spent a lot of time together and got to know each other and had things in common and fell in love, but that it was Fate and Destiny and all of that.

      KANK comes a little closer, the two marriages are doomed and Rani and Shahrukh just like each other better, but still clings to that “soulmate”. And there is Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi which is perfect with showing a couple growing together, except the title itself says they are destined! Just change the title and it is fine.

      On Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 10:00 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Haha, good point about Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’s title being kind of the opposite of the message. Though I think only divine intercession would prevent Anushka from recognizing Shah Rukh just because he doesn’t have a mustache and is wearing tight clothes with spiky hair. 🙂

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  13. Finally saw Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania.
    Not only enjoyable, but simply a well made film, great pacing and build. Certainly does not look like a freshman effort. Plus all the tropes from DDLJ that HSkD utilizes but flips. The most subtle and clever one being the bride’s father testing out humpty while humpty thinks he’s testing out the groom. So instead of the kids trying to convince the parents, it’s the parents trying to convince themselves. Imo this is truer to real life, as ddlj forces the kids to be unnaturally mature. I’m not sure how much Alia brought to her role, but Varun was born to play his role. Interesting though that none of the songs landed. Only the Saturday song was even a hit, but it endures till today.

    Rewatched Veere di Wedding on discount Tuesday with a gf who hasn’t seen it yet. While I thought the movie was amazing for presenting us 4 female friends and their lives, she thought the movie was bogus for focusing on upper class life and presenting it as though it represents all friendships. She did an audible eye roll when the veeres vacationed in Thailand, for example. Our contrast in reactions is an interesting study in intersectionality. We are women but we are also each a certain race, nationality, religion, wealth class, educational level, etc. Which of these do you identify with when you watch a movie that gives you more than one option to identify with? She’s someone who grew up in India, and her beef is that all Indian films either are about villages or about upper class. That this is Bollywood first mainstream film with 4 female leads in a close friendship – and they aren’t chasing the same man – simply held no value for her. And I’ve had this similar reaction from several other female immigrant desi friends.

    Cute aside… Watching VdW, I recognized the music and noises and sound effects that they used for many of the punchlines, but I couldn’t place it till now. Those noises are from the American ’80s cult classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I love that film! Here is the song “Oh Yeah” from FBDO… Take a listen and you will recognize certain music segments and vocal noises from VdW! It’s been over 25 years, so no copyright issues for VdW.

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    • I love comments like this, agree with me so much that they make me feel smart, plus give a little extra new idea for me to chew over.

      Yep yep with Humpty! That was the movie that made me go “whoa, Varun really has something”. And I really love the way it changes and updates the DDLJ format, without throwing it out entirely. Especially the changes to the father character, making her parents a love marriage as well over family objections, so her father’s only concern is making sure this is a good man for her to marry, nothing old-fashioned like objecting just to object. And he also isn’t stupid enough to fall for Varun’s obvious gambits, actually understands the situation and is reserving judgement. And, of course, Alia gets to speak for herself too, tell him this is what she wants and force him to at least consider Varun.

      Have you seen Badrinath? It was such a disappointment after Humpty, not because of the cast but because of the director. Humpty was perfectly constructed, and Badrinath just wasn’t as good. I guess that’s what happens when you go from a movie you spent years planning, to a movie that was thrown together last minute in order to capitalize in the popularity of the first film.

      And I love Veere too! For similar reasons, the perfectly on point female friendship is more than enough to make up for any class concerns, for me. Plus, I’ve actually seen all the Sex and the City movies (the last one because I was working at a movie theater, it’s soooooooooooo bad I would never voluntarily watch it), and Sex and the City is so much worse than this! Heck, Ki and Ka is worse. Even Dear Zindagi a little bit, selling Alia as this struggling working woman and ignoring the fact that she never seemed to actually worry about money. In this one, yes they are very very wealthy people, but they aren’t quite as unaware of the world around them as the SATC women, and it felt like the movie wasn’t as unaware either, didn’t try to sell them as “just your average girls”, but actually showed the big houses and the big checks involved.

      On Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 5:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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