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

Happy (?) Wednesday!  I continue to have a semi-terrible week, so you all get to distract me from stress!  What fun for you!

I’ll start!

Watching: Over the weekend I made my sister watch 10 Endrathukulla and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and S/O Satyamurthy.  And also the newest season of Brooklyn 99.  It was a busy weekend.  But we didn’t see Hasee To Phasee, because stupid Amazon doesn’t have it with subtitles.  Strangest thing.  Or else the subtitles don’t work on the app I have.

Reading: Almost finished one series of Terry Pratchett, thank goodness he has more.  They are the perfect summer reading.  Very light, very happy.

Thinking: Am I really going to have to buy a new car just so I can drive to the movie theater on Fridays?  Where the heck am I going to find the money for that?  Would it be more cost-effective to just rent a car once a week? Or do some kind of ride share thing?  GAAAAAH!

 

So, what’s going on in your life?  Hopefully something a bit less stressful?  And, if you want to help me destress and find calm, perfect calm, what Indian film song always cheers you up and makes the world seem like a better place in these times of minor life stresses?

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78 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are We Watching and Thinking and Reading This Week?

  1. Car troubles are the freakin worst when it comes to stress. Maybe a rideshare is a good idea until you get the money together for a new car? I work in a gentrifying neighborhood and an electric car rideshare station was just installed across the street. If I didn’t have a kid I’d totally give up owning a car and do rideshare through a service like BlueLA and Uber/Lyft.

    So many songs to choose from! I really need to get myself together and start creating playlists of my favorites. It’s funny how I prefer the 90s songs to a lot of the current music. I am a Gen Xer but didn’t grow up with Bollywood films and yet I’m gravitating to the music I would’ve listened to as a 20-something in India.

    Right now I have the Yeh Dillagi soundtrack on repeat, esp. Jab Bhi Koi Ladki Dekhu. It gets me jazzed up when I’m driving to work.

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    • Oh, if you haven’t seen it, you have to check out the other super fun Saif song. “Neela Dupatta” from Hamesha. Actually, Hamesha as a whole might be fun so long as you are on a 90s kick. Kajol and Saif are reincarnated!

      On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 8:22 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. A very happy Independence Day to everyone reading!
    Not a great one though. Kerala is facing one of the worst floods ever in the history of the state. I’m far away & so is the entire family. But the devastation is just too depressing to watch & read about.
    Watched an awesome interview of Tapsee Pannu by Anupama Chopra. She has such a mature & positive take on nepotism, being outsider etc. Kangana can take lessons on how to put across your point(there was a candid comment on Sanju told straight to Anupama’s face) tactfully & logically.
    Just started watching Zindagi Gulzar Hain & OMFG FAWAD KHAN!! Now I get why he’s considered so hot. That voice & effortless charm. Now I think Bollywood so under-utilised him with roles like that in Khoobsoorat & ADHM. I have mixed feelings about the show itself what with women being told to dress properly & stay at home. But the performances are so great. From the lead actress-such a natural, mature performer(i got a Sai Pallavi vibe with her pimply face & no nonsense body language)to every supporting cast-Everyone’s so good.I am only on episode 6-so yet to make up my mind about the whole thing. But it’s so peaceful & stress free.
    As for stress freeing songs-I go to Fidaa songs or the movie itself. Or any of the old Malayalam comedies. So not much help for you there. Good luck with the car!

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    • Zindagi Gulzar Hai Review: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/02/15/zindagi-gulzar-hai-26-episodes-to-tell-us-that-daughters-are-just-as-good-as-sons/

      Fanfic: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/02/12/silly-sunday-speculative-post-i-finished-zindagi-gulzar-hai-what-happened-to-sibra/

      Fawad was amazing in Kapoor & Sons, a really difficult role that required a really sophisticated complicated actor. And then politics got stupid, and we lost him before he could do more. I think Karan is replacing him with Vicky Kaushal, and can you imagine how good he would have been in the roles Vicky is getting?

      What I love about Zindagi Gulzar Hai is how layered all the female characters are. No one is straight up awful, they all have their reasons and their strong points. And also how our heroine is the strongest most outspoken and independent and feminist woman in the show, and she also happens to dress modestly and be a little old-fashioned in her behavior, and that’s okay too.

      On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 8:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yay, Zindagi Gulzar Hai! Loved the mother in that, in fact loved that whole Jane Austen family dynamic with the mother and the sisters and the good for nothing father.

        It’s funny, I watched that series for Fawad, because oh man his eyes, but I kept thinking his physicality wasn’t all that, the way he inhabited the character with his body in both this one and Humsafar seemed not as strong, and I wondered how he’d stack up across the border. Both of those characters are entitled little rich boys, too, which might have influenced my feelings. But then in ADHM, as tiny as that role was, he pretty much walked off with the scene where he confronts Ranbir, and I decided I’d underestimated him as an actor.

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        • His eyes! And the range of emotions fleeting through the face-not a single wrong note. It could be that the slightly cocky, charming man is a role that he can play even in sleep. Yet to see him in Kapoor & Sons to see how he pulled that off. I had been avoiding that one cos of Sid Malhotra but now I have to watch it for Fawad Khan.

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          • Sid really drags down the movie, almost ruins it entirely. But if you pretend he isn’t there and watch just Fawad and Ratna Pathak and Rishi Kapoor and Rajat Kapoor, it is an amazing film. Which isn’t that hard to do, because it is supposed to be a disfunctional family so they all kind of move in their own lives without connecting with each other.

            On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 7:27 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Exactly, the cocky, charming, slightly obnoxious male character who becomes a better person through winning over his romantic interest is the male equivalent of the typical pretty but hard to get romantic character all the actresses take turns playing. Fawad just flutters his eyelashes and we all swoon.

            Thank you for mentioning the Taapsee interview, that was very entertaining :).

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        • Zindagi Gulzar Hai, I’m thinking more about his “presence”. And I think it grows as the show goes on. Or maybe I am imagining that? But no, I think he does subtly slightly change himself as his character grows from a somewhat immature college student to a mature man looking at marriage. I’ll be interested in what you think

          On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 10:21 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Ugh. Car troubles and associated money troubles are so stressful!

    Reading–tons of stuff for work–catching up on the latest evidence around maternal and infant malnutrition of all kinds and what’s been most effective to reduce them around the world. Then, as usual, politics (mostly US) and feminism (radical). I miss books. The “reading” of long form content I do these days is listening to audiobooks or podcasts. Blurgh.

    Terry Pratchett–which do you think you’ll do next? Have you read the Tiffany Aching books yet?

    Watching–pap, nothing exciting. I have enjoyed the coverage of SRK in Trinidad and Tobago for the cricket–seriously starved for content on the Shah Rukh front. Which leads me to songs–I’m enjoying the song and video for the Trinbago Knight Riders way too much. What can I say, it’s a catchy earworm and Shah Rukh looks good in red…

    One category of songs that calm me down when I’m stressed are what my husband calls the “shampoo commercial” variety of Hindi movie songs. Examples include Mitwa from KANK, Kuch to Hua Hai from KHNH, and the two love songs from One 2 Ka 4. Just simple, pleasant, light melodies, with pleasant voices, like Udit Narayan’s and Sonu Nigam’s.

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    • Ha! Shampoo commercial is perfect!!!! This would be another one for me:

      When I was a baby (well, toddler), I loved scrambled eggs but I loved them so much that I would grab them and start eating when they were still hot and then I would burn my mouth and start crying and stop eating. So, there is my story of infant nutrition. Sometimes the eggs are just too hot.

      My wonderful friend not only lent me her Terry Pratchett books, she sorted them out in order. And she started me with the Witches series, so I’ve read all the Granny Weatherwax books and am now finishing up the last two Tiffany Achings. And then I will be done and I will have to go back to my friend and see if she is willing to lend me another series. I am very proud of my analytical skills because I started the first Tiffany Aching book and thought “I bet Terry Pratchett had a daughter”. And yep, he did! So good at the difficulties of growing up a girl.

      On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 9:00 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I have a special playlist of cheer up/relaxing songs in my phone. It includes mostly malayalam ballads and mariachi music. The number one is Malare. You can’t not relax when you hear this one.
    Other thing that I can count on to cheer me up are Rajkummar Rao scenes in Bareilly ki Barfi.

    My last’s week watchings:
    Uncle – OMG why nobody warned me this movie is so slow! It’s 2 and half hour watching two people in a car. And one guy making calls because he was worried. The beginning was very good. It made me feel the anxiety of being lone woman on the street. And the ending was good also. But all the rest was so slow and boring. This film should be at most 1 hour and half long.

    Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain – not bad, but I thought it will be better. Some very good scenes, some very good dialogues, but something was missing. But I liked the younger pair story. And Pankaj Tripathi. He was so good and so handsome in this movie. Now I want him to do romantic lead asap. And I think I should officially add him to my crush list.

    Now I need a rest from those “nothing really hapens” movies and so I started Yamadonga. Rajamouli never disappoints.

    Reading: I finally started North and South!

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    • Oh thank goodness, someone to read my North and South fanfic that took me so long to write and doesn’t get many views!

      I was planning to watch Uncle this week, before my life fell apart, but it sounds like I didn’t miss much.

      Pankaj Tripathi is amazing, and he is going to be the center of Sacred Games, so hopefully that brings him to the attention of more people. Or at least gives us more interesting Pankaj Tripathi scenes to watch.

      On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 9:11 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • You know, I’m not a sophisticated movie watcher, but in my opinion Uncle is a perfect movie to watch while doing something else. Like I said, first scene is good, and the ending (even if it’s too exaggerated – nothing happens but they all act like OMG what a drama!). But in the middle you can play with the dog, do laundy or something else and Mammootty will be still in the car driving.

        Oh and I forgot say something about Hasee Toh Phasee. I hoped you will watch it, but for different reasons than others I was hoping you won’t like it so I would not be alone in my anti HTP camp 😉

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        • Well, seeing as you and I are already hanging out together in the Love Mirzya camp, maybe we will join together in the Hate HTP camp as well.

          On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 9:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Hmmm…I just barely like Mirzya (more for the music and the concept than the actual film) and I am firmly in the HTP love camp (though I see its flaws). I can’t wait for you to see it though, Margaret! I can’t believe it’s not somewhere with subtitles! Did you try Amazon Prime? It’s on there.

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          • No subtitles on Prime! Weirdest thing. Maybe they just weren’t working when I tried it, but they really didn’t seem to be there.

            Anyway, I will be carless for the forseeable future, so maybe a good time to catch up on all those movies I haven’t seen since I can’t see the new ones in theaters (although I am hopeful of being able to rent a car this weekend so I can see Gold and SJ)

            On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 8:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s not that it was the worst movie ever, I liked many parts of this film, but at the end, when I was thinking about it I hated the message and Parineeti’s acting.

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          • Yeah, looking back at it now I didn’t really hate it either. I just happened to watch it during that time that I really hated Sidharth Malhotra and I kinda projected that onto the movie. I also didn’t really like Parineeti’s acting. But I also didn’t think that Sidharth and Parineeti really had much chemistry like people claim that they had.

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  5. I saw Goodachari earlier this week and I enjoyed it. It was a fun spy film and it kinda reminded me of both Mission Impossible (the first one) and Kshanam (the previous movie that Adivi Sesh wrote). Adivi Sesh was really good and I thought the story was very interesting with all the twists and turns. There are three main female characters played by Sobhita Dhulipala, Supriya Yarlagadda, and Madhu Shalini that I thought were really good as well. I liked a lot of the world-building stuff that they did in the movie rather than the actual main storyline though both aspects of the movie were really interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if they decide to make a sequel to Goodachari because it’s doing really well and they spent a lot of time on the world-building that it would be nice to see a sequel.

    I also watched a Tamil movie called Mayavan that came out last year starring Sundeep Kishan and Lavanya Tripathi. It was like an action/sci-fi movie and it was pretty interesting though dull at times.

    I also rewatched Nenu Local which is a Nani movie that came out last year. It’s not a great movie but it’s fun to watch at times. Kind of like MCA, this is one of Nani’s more commercial massy movies. But I really like the song picturizations and colorfulness of the movie. It’s a fun movie to watch randomly and it’s on youtube with subtitles. Here’s one of my favorite songs in the movie:

    I really want to see Geetha Govindam which is Vijay Deverakonda’s newest movie. It came out yesterday and it got good reviews. I’m hoping to see it this weekend so I’ll let you know how it is. Here’s the teaser of Geetha Govindam with subtitles:

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    • Wow, Vijay Deverakonda’s career is moving fast! He’s already had two movies this year? And he was hardly known this time last year.

      I may need a nice cheering Nani movie, I will keep your suggestion in mind.

      On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 6:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yup! It hasn’t even been a year since Arjun Reddy came out. He’s growing big really quickly! Apparently Geetha Govindam had a really good opening day and it will break even by day 2. He has some really interesting movies lined up too so I’m curious as to what he’ll do next.

        Keep in mind that I’m probably one of the few people that liked Nenu Local in the people I personally know. I’m sure there are other Nani movies that you haven’t seen yet like Pilla Zamindar and Yevade Subryamanyam that are a lot better and a lot more fun.

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        • Oh Nani! He’s a great “I just feel so stressed about the world and nothing will ever be right again” kind of star. He’s so cheerful! Makes me believe I can get through anything.

          On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 6:39 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. So I noticed something interesting recently: I really prefer 90s era Bolly music over the more recent stuff. I’m a Gen X’er so that music is hitting the era when I would’ve been in my early 20s but of course I didn’t grow up listening to it. And yet I think there must be some generational alchemy going on because it speaks to me so much more than anything in the 2000s.

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    • For me, early 2000s hits me just right. But I am about 10 years younger than you (probably) so the generational theory still works. It is interesting how the music starts to sound different to you, isn’t it? At first (like, in my first few movies), everything just sounded “Indian”. And then I started being able to pick out song from song bu movie 4 or 5 and have favorite songs and so on. And then I reached the point of being able to go “oh that sounds so 90s!” or 80s or 70s or whatever. And then eventually I was able to pick out composer from composer. But that is probably as far as I will ever be able to go with my limited music senses.

      On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 10:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I watched Goodachari movie and it was very nice. Afternoon show on a week day was almost full!! I loved the suspense, twists and the love story is absolutely beautiful. I’m sure there will be a sequel to this movie in a year because this is not a ‘spy saving the world’. Not yet.

    I wonder who is going to get the remake rights for this in Hindi and who will play the lead!! Tiger Shroff or Arjun Kapoor!!

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    • Oh, please Tiger! I want to keep Arjun in thoughtful calm type roles, not in action stuff. Or maybe this is a thoughtful and calm kind of action hero?

      On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 12:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Sorry about all your car struggles!! Hope you are making it though “the rain” 🙂

    I finally finished Sacred Games. Wow, each episode on its own felt like its own movie. Really good storytelling here, and good use of the film medium to tell that story.

    Also rewatched a couple films based on recent blog posts and comments.

    Fashion – PC is very watchable, and she always services her role and her story well. But Kangana commands your attention, 1000% commits to character, though sometimes hammy or overacts (hello ranveer and aamir), isn’t this just her 3rd film, and she gets a national award for it. Kangana really is a character actor moreso than a leading lady, and the opposite could be said of PC.

    Tamasha – Yes I share that films like three get made because producers and directors and money people are men, and thus identify with the story. Especially nowadays, when every director, producer, or money person studied engineering and dine even embarked on an engineering profession before going through a life change to foray into film. But whenever I watched the film, I identify with the existential struggle, and the fact that is conveyed by as male vs female is incidental for me. In fact, I’m thinking that there are many Indian movies where women go through a similar journey, but they might not be the main character. The first half of this movie is amazing because of Deepika, who at this point in her career was starting to realize her potential as an actress. The second half is really shoddily made. It’s 50% psychological drama, 50% father son drama, and thus 100% of nothing. Imtiaz Ali should have committed to telling one story or the other in depth – heck, a full on nervous breakdown would have been brave.

    Crazy Rich Asians – tonight is opening night, and I caught the late show. Are KJo, Aditya, and all those Kapoors paying attention? While they’ve been making a bunch of navel gazing films over the past half decade, the Asians have just snuck in and beat Bollywood at their own game! This is a well-produced, entertaining, high gloss movie about rich people, a rom com, a love story, a poor girl rich boy story with a poor boy rich girl subplot. and… a saas bahu drama! In fact, a multigenerational one! Oh, and fancy engagements, and even fancier weddings! And so many costume changes! Michelle Yeoh gives a layered performance in a complex role that isn’t given enough screen time (and most of her dialogues are expository, so it’s her nonverbal performance that carries her role). And not a white person in sight! (Usually if it’s an Asian or Indian cast in a Hollywood film, there is 1 white person playing a narrative or pivotal/savior role.) The only Indians are the sikh guards at the estate, unfortunately. Nevertheless, If you love Bollywood movies, you have got to see Crazy Rich Asians!

    One more thing… A critical difference demonstrating why people are fed up with “rich people movies” from Bollywood, but yet love sex and the City, or the Real Housewives franchises, or what makes Crazy Rich Asians so relatable despite all the wealth on display. Every project about wealthy people has to have at least 1 striver, and the striver needs to be either a lead character, the narrator, or a character we come to learn a lot about and gets their own arc. CRA has 2 strivers – the lead , as well as her local friend (the later is wealthy, but not crazy rich). SATC has both Carrie and Samantha as strivers. Who are the strivers in ADHM? VdW? In Kank, both Rani and Preity could be viewed as strivers, but we don’t really get to experience their striving backstory. SoTY otoh has a striver. Mahira is clearly the striver in Humsafar. If BW wants to retain, expand, or globalize their audience with rich people stories, they need to include a striver or two to drive the story.

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    • You always give me so much to think about!

      Blew my mind with your comment on Tamasha. And now I am looking back on it and yeah!!! You’re right! I went into the first half thinking “that childhood flashback was a bit overwrought, but now I am interested in the idea of a vacation friendship with playacting and then meeting years later in the ‘real world’ and how it plays out”. I was also hoping that the first half would be Ranbir’s backstory and the second Deepika’s or something like that. And instead, it just kind of fall apart, he took a wrong turn at the interval. Not even in where the story went, just in how the narrative showed it, you know? If we had seen Ranbir bringing together a theater troupe and making new friends and slowly winning Deepika back, instead of this sort of artsy flashforward, I would have been really interested in that movie.

      Your “striver” concept is fascinating. The movie I always think of as the Worst Ever is Ta Ra Rum Pum Pum, because it’s not just that they aren’t “strivers”, it’s that they aggressively reject that identity. They lose all their money and move into a poor neighborhood, but they aren’t like their neighbors, the characters and film tell us that over and over again, they are innately better and more important. With NRI films there is that added layer of the NRI in London or America or Australia or where ever being better than all the white people around them. Not just better than the poor people back in India, but better than the poor and rich non-desis in the country where they live now. Which I think has diminishing returns, I can understand the need for the wishfullfillment and validation for the NRI audience, but as time moves on and they become more and more integrated into their communities, it doesn’t work as well. You can’t keep throwing in the disposable white girl when more and more people have white girl friends, or sisters-in-law, or wives.

      But in the classic era, I think, even if you looked at the movies with very wealthy characters, there was always that sense of the wealth being temporary, easily lost. I’m thinking of something like Silsila where everyone was extremely well off with great houses, but the whole engine of the plot was that after Shashi’s death, Jaya could easily have ended up living on the street. She was fine and comfortable for now, but it was dependent on circumstances. Or Aradhana, where that actually did happen. Or Waqt, where that was actually the whole point of the story, don’t count on your wealth, be grateful and aware it could always disappear. Maybe it’s something about India having such a stable economy and history (comparatively) for the past 20 years? With the end of colonialism, Partition, The Emergency, there really was a sense of those who were up might suddenly be down tomorrow. But I don’t feel like we see that as much now, people are just wealthy without thinking about it. So with your “striver” idea, until recently even the wealthy characters were established as people who had made their money themselves, were strivers just a few years back. And could be turned into it again any day now.

      Does that make sense?

      On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 5:00 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. This has to be the most depressing week for us Keralites. A lot of my extended family had to be evacuated to higher plains due to flooding. There is no power, and rain is just not letting up. The state is in the midst of the worst floods in a century. Hopefully the rains reduce by tomorrow.

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  10. I just randomly rewatched Meri Pyaari Bindu today and I thought it was so much better than the first time I saw it! There was so much depth in the movie that I missed the first time because I was focused on the plot rather than the characters themselves. I just have this feeling that this will not be my last time watching this movie and that it will soon become a favorite.

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    • Oh how interesting! I haven’t even watched it the first time yet, and I wasn’t planning to, but now you are making me think maybe I should.

      On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 11:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. I’m trying to focus on watching more 2018 releases since it’s almost September and I need to be prepped for my end of year picks!

    Watched the first 10 minutes of Parmanu and couldn’t stand the jingoism and poor acting. Was like one of those cheesy reenactments on the History channel. From what I hear about Satyameva Jayate it’s another miss for John Abraham. I want him to stop trying to do “serious and meaningful” action/patriotic films…more Rocky Handsome and Force-like films, please. Or just more Dostana like comedies.

    Finally watched Masaan, because I’m on a Vicky Kaushal kick and I’ve decided he’s right up there with Rajkumar Rao in terms of versatility and acting talent. I had tried watching Masaan once and the opening sequence was so depressing that I didn’t get any further and tellingly didn’t get to the Vicky introduction. It really is a perfect representation of an independent, artsy film done well with well-drawn characters and a sense of place and humanity. This one and Mukti Bhawan are a great duo to think about back to back for some obvious reasons but also because they are very similar in tone.

    Then watched Bhavesh Joshi last night and really was bored to death by it. After watching Sacred Games, I could see the director’s distinctive style well and I really like the story idea, but the script and Harshvardhan Kapoor’s dreadful acting really let me down. HK wasn’t amazing in Mirzya but he worked OK as the obsessive lover, but in this one he was so sulky and wooden that I he wasn’t sympathetic at all, like he’s taking the wrong kind of direction from all of the minimalist acting in all of the “world cinema” he’s been snobbily watching. None of the characters were interesting at all…the villains are boring and the friend/documentarian/narrator was so dreary, the female character, Sneha, had nothing to do…so pretty bad. A notable exception being the actor, Priyanshu Painyuli, who played Bhavesh Joshi. I thought he was actually quite magnetic (and unique looking) and a better actor than anyone in the cast.

    I really need to find a feel good film next…I’m still waiting for Veere Di Wedding to make it’s way to a streaming service!

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    • Oh dear, you are watching all kinds of things from 2018 that I haven’t seen. You are surpassing me.

      I have hope that Satyamev Jayate will be more on the “Dishoom” side of things than it appears. Yes there is turgid dialogue, but he also FLEXES HIS WAY OUT OF A TIRE!!!! But glad to know I didn’t miss much by skipping Parmanu.

      Awww, another person who doesn’t like Bhavesh Joshi. I am still all alone. I’ll have to wait until Angie (the closest thing we have to a HK fan) watches it and see if I can finally get some company. And I even agree with all your critiques! I just feel like the social criticism and the songs and the pure images and camera work elevated it beyond Hk’s wooden acting and the confusing narrative and the rest of it.

      I’m scared about Veere now! What if you don’t like that either???

      On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 9:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I know! Veere better deliver…but seriously, I think I’ll enjoy it if I go into it with the right mood. I get already that it has some flaws, but a lot of charm. This year is all riding on Manmarziyaan and Namaste England and Arjun Patiala now! One of these has to deliver the perfect romantic dramedy with a HEA or this whole year is a wash. I still need to catch up with a lot of potential winners from other industries though! The lastes Vijay D. sounds good.

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        • Stree might be a surprise winner, I was thinking “horror movie” but from the song and trailer, it looks like it might have a bit more romance. And there is also the the Battery Gul Meter Chalu (sp?) possibility. Both Shraddha-cursed, but she is so much better than she could be.

          Plus, of course, I know we all have great hopes for Loveratri (sarcasm)

          On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 10:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I want to see Stree, but horror comedy is not one of my go-to genres. Go Goa Gone was kind of fun but forgettable. I’m always in search of that film that will be a future comfort watch for when I just need a good romance with a HEA that focuses on the lead couple with not too much extraneous stuff.

            I’m always willing to change my idea about an actor/actress, so I’m hoping Shraddha is better in these two. She’s definitely pretty and she has the minimum screen presence and charisma one needs for these roles, but I have yet to see her really live in her roles. I watched the Gold Tamba song from BGMC and it was too goofy…I knew Shahid’s character was going to be OTT and he’s lost me. That schtick from him does not work for me…her exasperation with him, on the other hand, was cute and could work for her in this role.

            Wow, so far this year…the only feel good romance-focused film has been Love Per Square Foot, right? I have noticed that there seem to be more and more feel good rom-coms coming out in the South lately. Is Bollywood about to enter into the same romantic comedy dry-spell that Hollywood is just now coming out of slowly? Another commenter said that Crazy Rich Asians is doing Bollywood better than Bollywood and that could be true. We all know that Hindi films are more than romance and song and dance, but that is Hindi film’s USP and I hope it isn’t in danger of losing it!

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          • I just checked the 2018 list of Hindi films and there were a fair number of almost-rom coms. Padman, Pari, Veerey Ki Wedding, Sonu Ki Titu Ke Sweety, October, Veere Di Wedding, Dhadak, Fanney Khan. They all kind of felt like rom-coms, but then the romance was shoved off to the side and something else brought in instead, whether that was the bro-mance in Sonu Ki Titu or the kidnapping plot in Fanney Khan. And there were movies like Soorma and Baaghi and Raazi and October that had the ingredients for a really lovely love story, and instead got distracted by sports/fight scenes/both.

            On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 11:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Exactly, many of those you listed had romantic elements but all were different kinds of genre films or slice-of-life films or comedies that were not actual romantic dramedies with the HEA being the climax of the film. So my interest in the three aformentioned because I need my Hindi romance fix! Sight unseen, I think it’s safe to say I’ll love Namastey England the best (first look posters are out and they’re exactly what I want them to be…nothing special but solid rom-com potential…plus Arjun and Parineeti are my new real life ship) and if Manmarziyaan is a HEA for Abhishek and Taapsee then that could be even better. Arjun Patiala is the real wild card and there hasn’t been much publicity to judge it yet.

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          • Oh, there’s also Happy Phir Bhaag Jayege or whatever the title is. Looks kind of heavy on the comedy and light on the romance, but I think a HEA is basically guaranteed.

            On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 11:47 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. Check out Samantha’s next movie! Apparently it’s thriller which is being remade from Kannada to Telugu by the same director. It looks pretty interesting.

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    • Thank you for confirming it is a remake! I’ve had the Kannada one recommended to me a lot and I think the heroine from it was in something else I saw, so I ran into it multiple times. And then I started seeing all this stuff about the new movie “U-Turn” and going “wait, what? Can I see the future? How is this new? I thought it already came out?”

      On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 10:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah, I’ve heard that the Kannada one was really good but I never got a chance to watch it. Then I decided not to watch it once I found out that Samantha was starring in the remake.

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  13. I finally saw Geetha Govindam last night and I was kinda disappointed. I was going in and expecting the movie to be as good as a Bhale Bhale Magadivoy based on the trailers, but this was more dramatic than I expected, especially in the first half. The second half gets more lighter and it’s more fun. Geetha Govindam was still a pretty fun movie though. Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna were really good! I’m starting to really like Vijay Deverakonda and now I’m really curious to see what he comes up with next.

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    • I’m excited about Vijay too! As we’ve talked about, I thought Arjun Reddy could be a one off, but he really impressed me in Mahanati. And I am glad to see he is signing a variety of movies very quickly and capitalizing on his fame. Although, I don’t think he has done a straight action film yet? Does he at least have a fight scene in this new movie?

      On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 10:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • There’s one tiny fight scene in Geetha Govindam but I wouldn’t even consider that a proper action sequence. Vijay Deverakonda’s next few movies are Taxiwala (horror-comedy), NOTA (political thriller), and Dear Comrade (action drama). So it looks like he is making a variety of decisions. I’m especially curious about Dear Comrade because the first look poster looks interesting and it’s also starring Rashmika. I think it would do really well considering it’s Vijay’s first big action movie with the hit pair from Geetha Govindam.

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        • Vijay really has a great face. It’s one you don’t notice right away, seems like just your standard issue hot guy, but then you start to study it and there are these interesting little imperfections to it.

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          • Hmm, I guess…

            I really liked his look in the beginning of Inkem Inkem Kavale from Geetha Govindam. I guess he was shooting for multiple movies at once because his hair and beard was all over the place and there was not proper continuity at times.

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  14. Can’t wait til this Wednesday’s post to share…I finally watched Chandni and, wow, that’s a thing!

    So many thoughts on this one. Sridevi is amazing. I really haven’t seen much with her beyond Mr. India and English Vinglish. I’m trying to ramp up to watching Lamhe, I think. The film is worth owning on DVD just to have regular access to these classic dance moments and to her amazing 80s sunglasses and sari looks. I can now place this one in the overarching filmography of heronie-centric roles and in Yash Chopra’s career. But, and a big but, how awful was Rishi Kapoor in this role. You wrote in your review that both he and Vinod were on their way down in the romantic leading man category and you are so right. I could tolerate Rishi in Bobby because he was so young and it worked for the storyline. I don’t know how much my view of him in Chandni was influenced by how I don’t find him attractive and his styling was god awful, but I also found his acting completely hammy and the script was problematic in having him basically bully her into falling in love with him in the beginning. That scene on the stairs was not sexy, it was assault. But this is in a long tradition of stalking in Hindi films that leads right up to Badrinath. Often I can set that aside and still enjoy a film (just as I can when I read an alphahole hero in one of my romance heroes). However, Rishi’s character is not redeemed for me at all. He is still a spoiled, entitled jerk at the end of this film, yelling at Sridevi that she is his and then getting drunk at the wedding and making a scene.

    And then Vinod Khanna. I guess this was after he came back to movies after joining a cult, so there’s that. He’s interesting to me because I could see how his general look and presence would have been appealing to me if I were watching films back then. He’s got a suave sexiness and he was certainly styled better in this film than Rishi. I actually think in terms of acting, he gets one of the best character arcs and delivers in this film. Sridevi is magic, but the fact that she only has one brief moment where she shows real anger and is generally passive is too much.

    Then because I wanted to remember that sometimes I like Rishi in his later career roles (Shuddh Desi Romance, Delhi-6, and Agneepath are all great performances), I watched 102 Not Out and I thought it was delightful. It felt a lot like a French comedy to me for some reason…enough to check online to see if it was a remake of a French film. I did see it’s based on a Gujarati play and that makes sense because of the stagieness and length of some of the scenes and the small cast. I went in thinking it would be yet another Hindi comedy with annoying sound effects and jokes I didn’t get, but this was more of a dramedy tearjerker and I loved it. I usually think Amitabh can be a bit of an ungenerous scene stealer in his performances, but here Rishi and him have a great give and take. I was so glad that Amol at the end was given his comeuppance and it didn’t end by resolving everything in unrealistic ways.

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    • I am so glad you didn’t wait! Those are two movies I am dying to talk about.

      For Chandni, agree completely about Rishi versus Vinod. And I sometimes wonder if that was on purpose. Vinod is clearly the better choice, not just because he is rich and stable and his mother loves Sridevi and all of that, but because he is a better person than Rishi. But Rishi is the one Sridevi wanted, so the end message is that she should get to pick the man she loves just because she loves him. Rishi’s character was also so close to a redemption arc. They got him almost there with deciding to learn to walk again and earn her back, and then he was just a little pill about it when he found out she was marrying someone else.

      For 102 Not Out, I am so glad you saw it! It felt very French to me too, or some kind of similar small European industry. I could also see a BBC stage play special kind of film. Definitely not the usual filmi melodrama and slapstick. It also was great casting, because Rishi is capable of stealing a scene too. But instead you had two actors at the top of their game challenging each other. Plus two co-workers with a long history together who will treat each other with respect. (well, sort of. Based on Rishi’s memoir, he still looks down a bit at Amitabh but has learned to tolerate him). Oh, and the ending was so satisfying. Because sometimes things don’t work out perfectly and you still have to find the good and do your best. Especially appreciated that there was no pop psychology or something to explain why the son was terrible, sometimes people are just terrible. Amitabh raised a son who loves him and takes care of him, Rishi did the exact same things and ended up with a son who is incapable of love.

      On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 10:15 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I couldn’t agree more when it comes to Rishi in Chandni. He was terrible. But I think he was even worse in Deewana. He looks like Divya Bharti’s creepy uncle in this film.

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        • Yep, aging Rishi is not the best. I forgot to say, this is one of the reasons to look forward to watching Lamhe. Anil ages into a really nice dignified looking person, and more importantly, he is a super nice guy right from the beginning, someone who is worthy of Sridevi. At least, I think so.

          On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 2:03 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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