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

Happy Wednesday!  I stayed out way way way too late last night watching a movie in theaters that I LOVED (reviews going up at some point today).  So, I am a bit sleep-deprived, but I am never too tired to hear from you all.  Tell me about your lives!

I’ll start!

Reading: Almost done with the Terry Pratchett witch series.  Which I’m kind of proud of, because it’s a lot of books.  But also kind of sad, because now I won’t have any more to read.  Well, of that series, my friend promised to lend me the entire run of The Watch next.

Thinking: How much longer can I avoid doing laundry?  I thought I was stuck yesterday, but then magically underwear arrived in the mail (I had ordered it last week and forgotten it), and I gained a few more days.  Next to run out might be socks at this point, but if I go to work in flip flops, I can keep pushing this to the weekend.

Watching: Wonderful movie last night, another wonderful movie on Netflix, but you will have to wait for the reviews to hear about either of them.  What I’m not going to make you wait for is the absolutely awesome new sitcom I found on Netflix, Kim’s Convenience.  Highly highly highly recommend it.  Really, you should all go watch it now.

 

 

Now, question for you!  I already asked this Monday, but I am too tired to think of something new, and anyway I don’t feel like I got enough responses.  So, I am going to make this simple:

Pick any three actresses (or actors!) and put them in one of these 3 categories:

Best Friend

Party Friend

Enemy

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85 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading, Watching, and Thinking This Week?

    • Is Bioscopewala out somewhere? I haven’t exactly been paying attention, but it feels like it wasn’t supposed to be out yet.

      Tricky question with when to sign your next film! If you do it too fast, you risk undervaluing yourself, or affecting your brand by signing something that isn’t what the people want from you. Hrithik got stuck in a bunch of lessor films because he signed them before KHNP proved to be such a big hit. But then on the other hand, if your first film is a bit of a bubble that might burst at any time and reveal there is nothing inside, then you should sign as much as possible as quickly as possible before it bursts.

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  1. Reading: Not much. Waiting for my summer class to be over to indulge 🙂
    Watching: I am so going to watch Adventures of Omanakuttan today. When the film released, Asif Ali pleaded to everyone to give the film a chance and not ignore it just because he was acting in it. Since his last films before this movie and maybe even now, aren’t doing so well, people, like I, assumed this was bad too. I was going to watch it after his Facebook post, but my local distributor pulled it off that exact weekend. So yup, and Brooklyn 99! What an amazing show :)))
    Thinking: They are remaking Arjun Reddy with Ishaan. I honestly do not think know how to feel about this. Why can’t he do original roles instead of remakes? Is Anurag Kashyap behind this, definitely seems like his type of movies. Do you know?

    UPDATE! We got 11 likes on insta on the screenshot of your box office. I am really really hoping this translated into REFERALLS!! That’s the highest amount of likes EVER! I tagged KJo in that post because he is lying to the world about DHADAK being the greatest thing on earth, like, beating SOTY. Like, pssshhhh!! It has a 3.9/10 review on IMDb.

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    • I made it a rule when I was in school that I wasn’t allowed to read for pleasure at all until the end of the semester. Which means I still have this sudden overwhelming urge to read trash every December and May and August (I did summer school too, so no fun reading in June and July)

      Adventures isn’t the greatest movie. It’s fine, but not great. However, I am very much looking forward to you reading it and commenting on the review so we can talk about it together! And so glad you are liking Brooklyn 99, I love it too.

      Are they definitely making it with Ishaan? It’s been confirmed with Shahid for months, maybe the reports are just confused because his brother was visiting on set or something? I know a lot about this because it was an interesting industry story. The director always wanted Shahid, spent months working with him on the character etc. etc., and then some other studio bought the rights out from under him and planned to make it with Arjun. The director refused to work on it if Shahid wasn’t starring because he felt like he had made a commitment to Shahid, and that was the only person he could see in the role. And the other group backed off and gave him the rights back, and now it is moving forward with Shahid. All of which makes me think a last minute switch to Ishaan is unlikely.

      And, only 1 instagram referral yesterday. But the box office post was very popular, much more popular than those posts usually are. So it is also possible people copied and pasted into a browser instead of clicked the link, and there is no way of tracking that. And thank you! your enthusiasm makes me feel so good.

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      • Oops. I definitely misread. There was a times of India article about ishaan’s chance of being on SOTY 2 was trashed by KJo after he broke up with the lead heroine.
        Arjun Reddy was mentioned in the article since she will playing Shahid’s love interest. In which they said Ishaan’s big brother, Shahid.
        So yup. So glad because Shahid can definitely pull it off. ;). The girls name is Tara Sultaria. So much incredible line up at such a debut phase.

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        • Just looked up Tara, and I can see why people are jumping on her.

          Decades of dance training, and headlined multiple India-Disney shows. But no movies. So she is going to come in with oodles of experience and training, but still be a fresh face.

          I can see why Karan wanted her for SOTY, he’s bringing in a ringer for the cast, Two star kids and one real serious professional that the film audience just hasn’t seen before.

          And I can see why they want her for Arjun Reddy. That role really demands a newcomer to make it work, someone with a fresh face and no preconceptions from the audience. And with the SOTY bump, she will be the perfect new-but-not-really. And also with all that talent and experience you wouldn’t usually get in a newcomer.

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  2. Going bowling today at the request of my son and considering the forecast for today, being in a dark air-conditioned space seems like a sound idea.

    And since I didn’t do this earlier:

    Best Friend: Twinkle. She’s not an actor but she’s acting adjacent and she’s hilarious plus you’d get to have bitchy cocktail sessions with Karan on the regular but she could manage the relationship with him because you can tell he’s high maintenance.

    Party Friend: Swara for sure. Her movie persona and real life persona don’t seem that far apart.

    Enemy: Rishi! I know he doesn’t fit the pattern of actresses I’ve established above but he’s the worst in real life

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    • Bowling: do you use bumpers or not? I had an elaborate technique based rikashaying (no idea how to spell that) off bumpers, and then I became a “grown-up” and had to bowl without bumpers and everything just ended up in the gutter.

      Swara would be a great party friend! She might also be my “top ally in wartimes” friend. You know, the one who would really go after Rishi for you on twitter so you don’t have to. Or confront Karan when he makes too many demands on your time while Twinkle is out of town.

      On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 9:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • My goodness, your family is far more skilled than my family ever was. Without bumpers, bowling jsut turned into a frustrating experience where our parents could sort of hit the pins some of the time, and we rolled gutter ball after gutter ball, which is no fun.

          Swara seems to live for battle. And she is already fighting our battles for us, putting out the well-written and well-researched angry feminist posts that get people riled up and hating her, and then I just have to sweetly post a little bitty link to her post and keep my head down. But yes, I feel like she could really destroy Karan if she wished. And then send him running to Twinkle who would just laugh at him until he got over himself.

          On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 11:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Just started reading Manu Pillai’s Rebel Sultans which is about the Sultans of Deccan and their rivals in Deccan, the Vijayanagar Empire. It starts with Khilji and Malik Khafur.I can’t help but picturise Ranveer in my mind whenever I read about the former.Nevermind that he overacted a lot in Padmavat.Finished the last of my Sunil Dutt marathon with Chirag and Chhaya. Chirag is a snoozefest for one hour as Sunil Dutt, scion of an aristocratic family and the epitome of perfect Indian husband falls in love and marries sweet,saintly Asha Parekh.However things get much interesting when Asha fails to give the much-needed heir(the titular Chirag) and becomes blind in a freak accident.Persuaded by Sunil’s evil mom (Lalita Pawar who else) Asha tries to set him free so that he can remarry.I haven’t seen the perfect blend of tears and happiness since K3G.

    Chhaya in contrast has Asha Parekh as a spoiled rich girl falling in love with her poor tutor Sunil Dutt.The latter hides the truth that he’s in fact the poet Rahi (Wayfarer) she’s got a crush on. Hrishikesh Mukherjee is very raw here and several scenes appear out of sequence.In a nice contrast to his Guddi, here the object of her affection returns her love.But alas he’s poor and she’s rich.And ayah Nirupa Roy has to set things right.If you have ever wondered where Sharmila in Aradhana got the idea of becoming an ayah to her own offspring, look no further.And thanks to Bollywood once more as I wouldn’t have ever heard Mozart’s Symphony No:40 without this movie.Sunil looks delicious as usual as he sings to Asha that he’s a poor wandering cloud who’s homeless.Asha has her reply pat.

    Best friend: Toss between Kajol and Vidya.
    Party friend:Sonam.She throws the best parties and make sure all the guests have fun.
    Enemy:Either Salman or Alia would make a bad enemy.

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    • Wait, does this mean we will get no more updates from the land of young Sunil???? And have you picked what overlooked actor to obsess over next, now that Sunil and Kumar Gaurav are both finished?

      I think Kajol would be a fiercely loyal best friend, but also with very high standards. You would not want to accidentally cross her, she could easily flip from friend to enemy. And then Alia could flip from enemy to friend! And it would all turn into some complicated balance of alliances just like the book you are reading 🙂

      On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 9:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Young Sunil is over and done with 🙂 Perhaps Kumar Gaurav’s dad Rajendra Kumar? He seems to be overly fond of playing twins, not-twins-but-people-who-just -happen-to-resemble-eachother. That trope gets repetitive after a while.But he just might do until I find someone new.I wonder if all they had an inkling of what would happen when they all agreed to do Mother India. Nargis and younger son Sunil got together.Their child happened to marry elder son Rajendra Kumar’s son.

        Kajol is a firebrand and we might cross swords once in a while.But if she can forgive KJo after the way he aired all the dirty laundry, we can get along all right.

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        • Oh and Chirag is on youtube with English subtitles.If you’re in a mood to cry and cry with the assurance of a happy ending.Keeps the Malayali in me happy.Going with your last TGIF it’s an ode to her eyes.I’m dying to get my hands on Asha’s violet sari.

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  4. I’ve been watching all of the mission impossible movies to get ready for the new one that comes out this weekend. The first one was kinda boring but I liked the second and third movies so far. I still need to watch the fourth and fifth movies though.

    I went to the theater to see a Telugu movie last night and I snuck into Dhadak after it was over. I just ended up catching the ending and it was so shocking.

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    • I love love love love Mission Impossible 4. I still haven’t seen 5, which is supposed to be even better, but I don’t know if I believe it could be. 4 just had this great lightness to it, almost Rohit Shetty like, treated the whole concept of an action movie as a joke. Mission Impossible 2 is odd, because it is such a rip off of Notorious and that always distracts me.

      On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 11:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I liked Mission Impossible 4 but MI3 is still my favorite so far. I need an emotional connect to keep me engaged in the movie and saving Ethan’s wife is the perfect scenario to keep me invested. Plus the villain wasn’t really scary or intimidating in MI4. I’m about to watch MI5 today so I will let you know how I feel about that one.

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      • I saw Mission Impossible 5 and I did enjoy it more than MI4! I just felt that the plot was a little more interesting and the action scenes were more creative. MI4 is probably lighter but I really enjoyed MI5. But the third movie is still my favorite as of now.

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        • Well, you agree with all the critics, they all said 5 was the best too. So you must have a very discerning eye!

          On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I don’t know about the critics but based on what I’ve read, it seems like MI4 is still considered the best movie of the series with the first movie and the fifth movie coming in at a close second.

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          • Oh yay! That makes me happy, because I really liked MI4, and it isn’t the kind of action movie that usually gets acclaim, being so light hearted and just kind of silly.

            On Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 9:33 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Reading: Uh, nothing
    Watching: RX100 (Telugu) and Dhadak in the nearby cinema halls
    Thinking: Why Karan Johar’s films as a producer get huge flak (glossy productions, stereotypical richness, lacks the vision, nepotism etc.) unlike his directorials. Even the better productions bring name to the directors but leave nothing to Karan. A bad production, the director is safe and Karan faces the heat. Why?

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    • Really interesting question! My suspicion is that, as a producer, Karan tends to take responsibility and provide a little cover when things fail. But if it is a big obvious hit, he steps back and lets the director shine. Most vividly, when Wake Up Sid was in trouble with the Shiv Sena for saying “Bombay”, Karan took full responsibility and apologized and made himself into a target. But once the film released and got all that critical acclaim, it was firmly Ayan’s production, Karan stepped back.

      On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 1:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Intentionally or unintentionally, Dharma productions films have become somewhat comical now (if that’s the right word). Apart from Baradwaj Rangan’s review, my friend who watched Dhadak was like, “this is a Dharma film? Things are not super gorgeous in the second half like they usually do” and had a hearty laugh during the exit.

        I coolly slapped him and said, “this is Nagraj Manjule’s story. He’ll take your money and slap you in return just like this”. I got this feeling very much when I saw his short film Pistuyla on YouTube with subtitles.

        Coming back to Karan, I really think he should seriously consider making a gritty film for Dharma productions quickly, at least to break the patterns he has been setting off late.

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        • From Karan’s memoir, he all but says he realized the Dharma advantage was branding. His father made everything, from Agneepath to Duplicate, but Karan decided to stick with what people expected, Kuch Kuch and movies like it. So he created a Dharma brand, and obviously it worked since we all have a picture of a “Dharma” film. But now he has the downside of strong branding, everything feels old-fashioned and expected in a bad way. Time for a dramatic rebranding!

          So yes, a gritty Karan film would be just the ticket. Or rather, a gritty film that is more aggressively promoted as “Dharma”. He already has Rohit Shetty’s film ready to go, and Drive, and Kesari. And he produced Ittefaq already. But I’ll be interested to see which of the upcoming films are heavily promoted as “Dharma” films instead of just their own thing.

          On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 7:39 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Reading: I read a book about Krzysztof Klenczon a.k.a “polish John Lennon” written by his wife. (he has a career very similar to John. Born in poor family, father always absent, then fame with a band similar to The Beatles, going solo, and tragic death only few months after John) .The book was good but , the women who wrote so annoying.

    Watching: After one month I finally watched something indian – Sillunu oru kadhal with Suriya and Jyothika. I’m so glad Meenakshy recommended it! I needed something like this – super romantic,full of emotions, with very good music, one great and super sexy song, and gorgeous Suriya (shirtless in some scenes!). It’s not a perfect movie, but if you are looking for romanticism, love after arranged marriage and excelent chemistry this is a movie for you.
    Oh, and I also saw Incredibles 2 in cinema. I loved it!

    Thinking ; about the book I read, the situations described and why I hate the women who wrote this so much.

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    • Well, you just sent me down a wiki-wormhole! Krzysztof Klenczon was from my area, why didn’t you tell me? His house in Skokie was about a block from where my Grandpa lives now. I’ve never been to the Milford theater because it was torn down when I was still a kid, but I’ve been to its twin the Portage just a few blocks away. And Swedish Covenant and Saint Joe’s, I’ve been to those hospitals loads of times.

      Any other Chicago locations I should be looking for? I’m all excited now! I want to drive by his house and take a picture for you!

      Oh, and thanks for the supporting recommendation of Sillunu oru kadhal ! I may have to track it down.

      On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 3:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, I was thinking about you when I was reading about Chicago in this book. The women who wrote this, was very very specific when it comes to the places . She was talking in detail about every corner, every bar, house etc in America and in Poland and I was like: who cares ! Talk about your husband, his work, his songs,

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        • I care! I care! Tell me tell me! There is a legitimate chance that my parents/grandparents/friend’s parents overlapped with him.

          On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 4:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • So just for you I looked for some details and they lived in few places.
            First in an apartment in Rogers Park (near Evanston University). Then they moved to a house in Granville, and after some months to Sheridan Road, near lake. Their last home was in Skokie, and there is even exact adress in the book : 9126 Four Winds Way
            Skokie (california bungalow style home, bought from some Chicago gangster; fourth house from Church Street, on the right, yes she was so specific).
            And the accident in which Krzysztof Klenczon died was at Pulaski road, near Victoria Street).

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          • Yep, that’s what I was guessing!!!! There’s a really standard pattern, you start in the Rogers Park neighborhood when you have no money (that was their first few apartments), then you slowly move away from the lake and into better neighborhoods. And then you finally buy a house in Skokie or Evanston or (if you are very lucky) Winnetka. My parents followed that pattern, and my grandparents. And me too, except I am only a few moves into the pattern, nowhere near the house point yet.

            But it’s also a really specific pattern, Chicago is over 200 miles square, and this particular little pattern only takes place within 5 of those miles and maybe a few hundred people a year. So my Dad probably delivered pizzas to them, and Kryzstof probably picked my parents up in his cab at some point, and they all would have gone to the same cafes and coffee shops and grocery stores.

            And isn’t that cool? A famous musician was living right by my parents and they never knew it, and I am only finding out now, decades later, thanks to a comment on my blog from a Polish woman living in Italy!

            On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 8:35 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I watched Dhadak and there is much to admire even if it isn’t the masterpiece that is Sairat. Going to see it a second time tonight with friends who haven’t seen it yet.

    I watched The Great Father with Mammootty on Netflix and you should avoid this movie at all costs. I was incandescent with RAGE at this movie and the way it treated the little girl (Anikha, who was excellent).

    Saw Masaan and I’m kicking myself for putting off watching it for so long. Man, what a gem! Vicky Kaushal is so dreamy in it, and acts well, too.

    6 episodes into Sacred Games, and so enjoying Saif in this. Nawaz we expect to be great, but he’s played so many of these gangster roles, and yet manages to make each one different!

    Just finished a great romance novel = The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. It’s a reverse Pretty Woman plot, with a half Vietnamese male escort hero, and the heroine has Asperger’s! The author was diagnosed as an adult herself. Just a great romance, really fresh and different. I’d been hearing amazing buzz about it, and it lived up to the hype.

    Best friend – Rani
    Party Friend – Kareena
    Enemy – Priyanka – she just gives me mean girl vibes.

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    • Kareena would also be a great “war ally” friend against Priyanka, I think. And a good “gets you in with Karan but takes the brunt of his neediness so you don’t have to” friend.

      On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 6:40 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Reading: Karan’s memoir on a trip last week. Not my usual fare, I’m generally allergic to celebrity memoirs, but it was a painless way to get more of a feel for the film world there. I do like him, though I feel like in real life…high maintenance, as Alisa said.

    Watching: Fan, as you know, and also Rab Ne Bana di Jodi. Such a lovely movie. I was just sitting there thinking how much fun it was to watch SRK disappear into this dorky, totally endearing Suri character, and his equally dorky, over-the-top alter ego Raj. Also, random observation, having seen Jab Tak Hai Jaan not so long ago, Anushka seems to have been typecast by the Chopras and now Imtiaz Ali as the girl who gets SRK to dance (again). There’s the scene in “Jiya Re” in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, in JHMS you could go with either “Radha” or “Raula”, and pretty much the whole plot of RNBDJ.

    Thinking: really enjoying the freedom of summer and how quiet the city gets, aside from the tourists. Just wish it didn’t have to be so cold inside everywhere.

    Best friend: back to Mahira, I just really like and admire her, she seems interesting and curious and down to earth.
    Party friend: agree with Swara!
    Enemy: Kangana

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    • One thing that gave me a glimpse of Karan’s personality as a friend was on some recent interview when Shahrukh mentioned he doesn’t even know who he is friends with and who he is feuding with, he just waits for Karan to tell him who he is supposed to be mad at now. I think we have all had friends like that. Constant Drama, and the best you can do is just patiently try to keep up.

      You are so right about Anushka! She is perfect as the young strong role, the one who has the energy of youth but the maturity to appreciate an older dude. And therefore teaching him to dance, both metaphorically and literally.

      I went to see a movie last night and my friend threatened to ask for her money back if they turned down the a/c as low as it was last time we were at that theater. So cold!

      Swara and Mahira would be excellent allies in your war with Kangana. Vocal, strong, feminist. Also, Mahira has the cute kid, which can be fun in a friend.

      On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 10:02 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, see? Didn’t think of that but even her son is around the same age as my older son. They can hang out and be annoyed by the little brother while I hang with Mahira ;).

        One thing I’m curious about – I got the sense Anushka doesn’t have a reputation as a good dancer, or did I make that up? She seems pretty good to me, for a modern model type anyway.

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        • I don’t know if I’ve heard anything about Anushka as a terrible dancer, but I also haven’t heard anything about her as a great dancer. Certainly she’s never done an item song or anything that really focused on her. The closest I can think of is that one song from Band Baaja Baarat and Thug Le from Ricky Behl, but then that was really Ranveer just dancing around her.

          On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 10:31 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Reading: student papers. The semester is over at last!

    Watching: I had to work all weekend, so I had limited watching time. I’ve gotten through about half of Ami She o Sakha, a Bengali movie with Uttam Kumar. It was made in 1975, when he was past his peak of physical beauty (and the 70s costumes don’t help) but so far this seems like a good movie about the complex relationships between three people. It could all go wrong in the last hour, of course. One thing that I really like about Bengali movies of the 50s through, say, early 80s is that you can see a nuanced relationship with a complex female lead. Something like Abhiman, but it seems rarer in Hindi movies of that time.

    That’s it for Indian film this week, but I’m hoping to watch something this weekend. And weekend after next is my birthday and I’m going to see Bahubali 2 again! Alone, because my friend group who would go watch a 2+ hour Telugu film and my friend group who can read rapid Japanese subtitles do not overlap. But looking forward to it.

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  10. There are many sons of technicians like ajay devgan, rohit shetty vicky kaushal whose dad were action directors.
    Do u think they have a fire inside them to succeed as children of technicians I. E they want to do it for their dads?

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    • Yes and no. I feel like they have a better sense of how lucky they are to be in the position of “star”, and maybe work harder and take their chances more seriously. But I don’t know if, for me, I see it as wanting to succeed for their fathers so much as being grateful for the better life they have compared to their fathers.

      Also, I didn’t know Rohit was the child of an action director! That’s another reason for him and Ajay to get on so well.

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      • Yup both their fathers were stuntman/action directors.

        Rohit started his career as a stuntman and did body double for akshay/ajay etc.

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  11. Reading: just finished a cute rom-com published by Penguin India and written by a California based Indian author…it’s called Man of Her Match by Sakshama Puri Dhariwal. And she has a related book called The Wedding Photographer that I will read soon. It’s a very light and fluffy Mills and Boon/Harlequin style romance with a chick lit flair that is about childhood friends/sweethearts who get a second chance…he’s a star cricket player and she is a marketing person. Name drops lots of Bollywood and cricket celebrities and I could see it easily turned into a fun screenplay. But first up is The Zoya Factor, of course, and this author clearly states that Anuja Chuhan is an influence. For my serious reading, just read a James Baldwin novel.

    Watching: still kind of in a slump, but did finally watched Raazi and liked it a lot. Like Melanie, I’m going to go back and try Maasaan again soon. Will probably watch a few Indian films this weekend! Also watched The Beguiled and was underwhelmed. I liked Marie Antoinette but I just don’t get the rest of Sofia Coppola’s work…she’s a bit overrated, imo.

    Listening: really trying to get back into listening to more Hindi and Urdu music again instead of so many political podcasts. And definitely excited about the new Umair Jaswal single and upcoming studio album as well as the new Coke Studio season coming in August.

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    • Also:
      Best Friend: Anushka Sharma
      Party Friend: Farah Khan (you know I want to be invited to her dinner parties!)
      Frenemy: definitely PC for me, too

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      • Farah Khan would be an AMAZING party friend!!! And also a “can I play with your cute kids?” friend.

        On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 12:11 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • There are so many cute Indian rom-com books I keep hearing about! Funny that the films have fallen off the rom-com bandwagon just as the books are picking it up.

      I find Sofia Coppola underwhelming too. She is one of the people I think of when, occasionally, Hollywood is held up as a bastion of merit based success unlike evil Indian film. Along with Jennifer Aniston, the Deschenal sisters, Giovanni Ribisi, and actually a whole lot of people!!!! It’s just easier to get that first break and know how to capitalize on it if you are from the industry. And your failures tend to be more forgiven, and your successes more celebrated.

      Let me recommend the Teefa in Trouble soundtrack! Very nice easy listening. Otherwise, not sure I have anything else to suggest. I think you probably have more eclectic and adventurous musical tastes than I do, because basically everyone does. Oh! Also Soorma soundtrack, that was good. But not as good as Mirzya, I still think that and JHMS are the two most interesting and powerful soundtracks in recent years.

      On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • There has been an interesting spotlight on romance in both India and the States lately! Since Mills and Boon started cultivating Indian authors and the explosion of Indian chick lit (like Anuja Chuhan and Advaita Kala), there have been more and more interesting titles (adult and YA) out there that have strong romantic plots and that are just fun. I do avoid the Chetan Bhaget and other Nicholas Sparks-life Indian male authors. And then a lot of new South Asian American authors making waves over here like Sonali Dev and Alisha Rai.

        And now American production studios are finally seeing the potential in the romance fiction market and its audience. First Passionflix, then Julia Quinn’s historicals get a Shona Rimes deal and then a great rom-com from Australia called The Hating Game by Sally Thorne gets bought, too.

        You’re absolutely right, the last three soundtracks that interested me where those two and ADHM. I already saw that Ali Zafar sings most of the songs on Teeza so I will definitely be listening to that closely.

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        • Well, heck! I should write an Indian themed romance novel and get all that sweet sweet money! And then I could quit my job and blog full time, The Dream.

          Glad to know that my musical taste matches a little with yours, makes me feel a bit more confident in it.

          On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 12:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m definitely not a music snob though:) Remember one of my favorite Hindi songs is Beedi. I do always want to spend more time following specific playback singers’ work, but that’s very difficult since you have to jump around to a lot of different soundtracks or create your own best of playlists and that’s a lot of work. And most filmi soundtracks, even the ones I like generally, only have one or two songs that are really any good. As much as I love the Hindi film music scene and, of course, A.R. Rahman’s work, I’m really finding that I’m drawn more and more to the amazing musicianship and traditional sounds I hear in Pakistani music. Ali Zafar is really a pop singer first and foremost who has some traditional singing skills and training, but I’m really interested in all of the folk singers and Sufi-style singers I see on Coke Studio. I love the fusion of pop and folk on that show!

            I used to be a big music buff (and I do have too many CDs still!) and would listen to almost every genre except instrumental jazz (I just hate it with few exceptions!). My three favorite singers of all time are Nina Simone, Otis Redding, and Tori Amos. Now I just listen almost exclusively to Indian music, Irish music, or things like Ray LaMontagne, Sturgill Simpson, Glen Hansard, and Nathaniel Rateliff.

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          • Hey, I know Nina Simone and Otis Redding! Tori Amos, not so much, too modern for me.

            I’m with you on instrumental jazz, unless it veers more towards Big Band stuff. Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong are fine by me, but they are barely jazz, at least not as it is now.

            For particular singers, if you are willing to pay out for Saavn, they have a “radio” option where they play all the songs by a particular singer.

            On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 1:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Making it rich by being an author is a rare dream indeed! As I’m sure you’ve seen by now ;).

            OK, since you’re talking books – this is not romance, but YA, there are two new books that I’ve been curious about:

            My So-Called Bollywood Life https://www.bustle.com/p/the-5-bollywood-movies-that-inspired-my-ya-novel-about-love-destiny-identity-9130463

            The Night Diary http://ew.com/books/2018/03/05/the-night-diary-veera-hiranandani/

            Anyone read either of those?

            Also, thank you for the Coke Studios recommendation, I want to check that out. The Sufi style is reminding me a lot of flamenco. I want to listen to more.

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          • Hi Emily,

            I haven’t read those two you mention, but they are both on my TBR list. Nisha Sharma also has romance trilogy coming out for Avon e-books called the Singh Trilogy that promises to be interesting, too. I did read When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon and that was cute. Also Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (YA) was really good, too.

            Glad you liked the Coke Studio recs…there are so many good songs and I love that they are all available on YouTube.

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  12. Couple of things: did you see this? https://twitter.com/pinkvilla/status/1022608817169854464

    Also, I tried watching Sacred Games but I had trouble understanding the dialogue even though it’s mostly in English so I put on the subtitles and good God, they’re terrible! How do you mess up English subs for English dialogue? It’s so damned distracting and annoying that I had to stop watching. Not that I was terribly incentivized to stick with it since cop dramas aren’t my thing but still. Do better, Netflix!

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    • Interesting! Mohnish and Salman are friends from long back, and of course he likes to launch his friends’ daughters (Sonakshi, Athiya). But what leaps out at me is not that she is the daughter of Mohnish, but the granddaughter of Nutan, arguably the greatest actress in Hindi film history. And has connections to Kajol and therefore Ajay and Ayan Mukherjee and all sorts of people. I am surprised they couldn’t do better than Salman for a launch partner. And I am really surprised that this headline is calling her Mohnish’s daughter instead of Nutan’s granddaughter. I guess it makes sense with the Salman connection, but I will expect that to change as they get closer to the launch.

      And I am so glad it wasn’t just me frustrated with the subtitles! I got a response on twitter from a subtitler which made me feel bad for calling it out in my headline, but they were really really bad.

      On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 5:31 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well this is embarrassing: the audio defaulted to an English dub and I couldn’t tell! Probably because the dub was so garbled that it wasn’t apparent to me that it wasn’t synched with the mouth movements. Good lord. I’ve switched to Hindi audio but I’m so mortified after tweeting about it. #StillANewbie

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        • I did wonder a little bit because there was some English dialogue, but I wouldn’t say a lot of it.

          No need to feel embarrassed, I did the reverse, Loins of Punjab feeling very proud of myself for how much Hindi I was understanding, and then realized it was just English with an accent.

          On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 9:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. I have had the most difficult week. My dear old dad passed away unexpectedly last Saturday leaving my elderly frail mother bereft.
    So thinking has been in overdrive with all that has to be done yet my mind is blank at the same time.
    Watching – not much. I did see Parmanu on Netflix on my iPad one evening and that was ok. And I also watched the 10 part series Karenjit Kaur: the Untold Story of Sunny Leone starring Sunny as Sunny. Acting wasn’t great sometimes and there was that weird we’ll-use-unknown-European-actors-for-all-the-white-people thing – in this case they were supposed to be American but a number of them were South African and most of the rest had that funny intonation thing. At around 20 minutes per episode it was a show to watch in between doing other things and an easy distraction.

    Reading – am in the middle of Soha Ali Khan’s autobiography. Which leads on to your question – I want Soha for a best friend. She just seems to be so down to earth and unaffected.
    I’m not a party animal but maybe Deepika, Sonam or Anushka.
    And I don’t really want an enemy so I am not going to pick one 😂

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    • I am going to steal someone else’s suggestion and offer you Farah as your party friend. Great dinner parties, small groups at her place dressing casual and staying up late talking.

      I haven’t read Soha’s book, I’d almost forgotten about it, but it sounds like it is worth reading if it makes you pick her for a best friend!

      And for the rest, I can offer you something to watch when you feel like crying:

      And something to watch when you feel like laughing:

      And something to just have on in the background when you need to calm down:

      And, of course, the thing to remind yourself of as you plod through all these difficulties:

      On Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 3:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. Best Friend: Sushmita Sen
    Party Friend: Jacqueline Fernandez (Fun and always happy)
    Enemy: Sonam (annoying, dumb) and kareena (racist/ rude)

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    • Sushmita Sen would be a great best friend, partly because her daughters look really cool and fun to hang out with. And Jackie is an excellent party friend! She also seems to know a lot of other good party friend types, so you could go out for Tapas or whatever with Aditya Roy Kapoor and Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti and Karan Johar, and that has GOT to be a good time.

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          • Well, if it is a cute smiley happy baby, great for parties! If it is a grumpy unhappy crying baby, not so good

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        • and for kareena I didnt like what she did to bipasha called her “Kali billi” (Black Cat” and apparently slapped her on set of Ajnabee, plus he called my love John Abraham expressionless like shes so rude and full of herself but she is a talented actress ill give her that

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          • IKR it was on koffee with karan, I think she put her anger on him because Bips was dating John at the time

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  15. I watched two movies this last week which wrapped up an unintentional trilogy (Raazi, Aruvi, Sairat) after watching Raazi last week! All three great films but pretty raw and sad.

    Aruvi – I was already prepared for something groundbreaking here and I really liked the concept/message, some of the performances, and some of the cinematography and direction but I also had issues with it throughout SPOILER alert… 1) How she acquired HIV was very vague and I thought it actually led to some miseducation issues in a film that was also supposed to be fostering understanding of HIV+ people. 2) The director relied way too much on montages (and non-linear storytelling) for his plot…some bits and pieces of them were effective but often they went on too long and became boring. 3) I liked the performance of the lead, but I also thought she wasn’t as good in the final scenes (I did like the inclusion of the transgender character/actress!)

    On an unrelated note, the movie poster art for Aruvi is beautiful! And even though the screenplay didn’t earn it, the hostage party scene was pretty great!

    Sairat – Had to watch it in order to compare to Dhadak someday plus everyone has raved about it and it’s one of those “important” films that I always worry that I won’t like enough. This one lived up to the hype for sure. Both leads were so perfect because they were so unstudied and I hope they both have interesting careers (he was good again opposite Radhika Apte in Lust Stories). If this is what she can do at 15, I can’t wait to see what she does in the future. Hopefully the Hindi film industry doesn’t steal her and she can continue to put Marathi films on the map. A few things I enjoyed or was impressed by SPOILER ALERT…1) How the music basically falls out of the film in the second half as they lose the magic in their lives, how it kind of returns briefly and then everything goes silent in those last moments. Even though I knew the ending and exactly how it plays out it was still devastating. 2) The music itself 3) The depiction of male friendship 4) some of the cinematography was incredible…the moment when the young hero is introduced running across our screen but looking into the camera, the runaways running through the farms on fire in silhouette, the scene of Prashya and their benefactor/neighbor sitting at the top of the slums, and the final sequence.

    Watching this one makes me want to watch Dhadak more than I did before.

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    • Aruvi SPOILERS. 1) I liked the message they were going for, that you shouldn’t blame the sick person, and that you should trust and believe your daughter no matter what, but I agree that it was a little disturbing. Just showing a blood transfusion after a minor accident would be more believable and have the same result of her parents not believing her and so on. 2) Agree 3) I think the most important thing for the lead in this role is that she actually look like an average very young woman. So I will forgive a few miss steps, since they managed to get a very very young and fresh face in it.

      I know I have seen what you talk about with Sariat before, songs being heavily frontloaded in a film and then taken away as it turns serious. Certainly that happened in Bombay, the devastating final riot sequence has no songs at all. But my mind is a blank, I can’t remember where else it was!

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