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

Happy Wednesday!  Doggie and I are very happy to be almost to the weekend.  It’s been a tiring week.

I’ll start!

Reading: The Rajinikanth bio by Nama Ramachandran.  It’s a bit of an odd duck of a book, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but it is very useful for me learning about the Tamil industry and, of course, Rajinikanth himself.  Most interesting fact so far: he dropped cigarettes constantly when he was working as a bus conductor and trying to perfect his cigarette tricks and everyone made fun of him.

Thinking: Cars!  I have to get a new one so I can see Helicopter Eela!  Which gives me two weeks.  Do I go for the save-money-but-less-trustworthy-source option or the spend-extra-money-but-more-reliable option?  Also, do I admit to the car salesman that my main concern is the ability to play my ipod through the car speakers and I don’t really care about any other features?

Watching: I finally watched Veere Di Wedding with the friend that I wanted to take to see it in theaters and we couldn’t schedule it.  She loved it just as much as I thought she would, which is always so satisfying, and we agreed that she and me are exactly like Swara and Sonam.  Which is a little nerve-wracking because she is probably going to get married in the next couple of years and can you imagine what Swara’s character would want for her wedding?

 

 

Now, question!  A question of cultural research and understanding:

Did you grow up with the tooth fairy?  If so, what did she/he give you?

When I was growing up, we put our tooth under our pillow and then we got a quarter.  But I was talking to my desi co-worker yesterday and she said she has to give her kids an actual present, wrapped and everything, and put glitter trails from the window to their pillow to prove a fairy was there.  Which is much less than I ever got!  And then she also said that back in India, they would lose teeth and throw them on the roof.  Is this something anyone else experienced?  If so, why the roof?

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

    • That’s always my instinct anyway, spend more money and be reliable.

      On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 7:32 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. I think you should spend more and get the car from more reliable vendor.

    And for your question, no I didn’t grow up with the tooth fairy, we didn’t have such things in (then communist) Poland. Now, thanks to the movies and tv more and more kids believe in it. And in Italy children leave their tooths under the pillow for Topino (tooth mouse) who leaves some money in exchange.

    I have seen a lot of movies last week:
    Yamadonga, which was fun.
    Baghpan – which gave me a headache because I both liked it and hated it. Spoilers ahead:First half was so slow, and full of unneccesary scenes (now I remember why I quit watching older movies). So many scenes were shamelessly copied and pasted from K3G. Then it was more interesting but frustrating. I mean, why Amitabh and Hema didn’t come back to their house? Why torture yourself for 6 months? It reminded me a lot Ek Vivaah… Aisa Bhi. Has somebody here watched it? I love Ek vivaah, it has beautiful music, a lot of emotions and family values, but there is a giant hole in the plot. There wasn’t ta reason why the couple must be separated. The same in Baghpan. I was so angry while watching, because I was sure that it will end with parents forgiving the sons. But no! And I loved it. But I hated old-fashioned way of thinking that only prayer-singing salwar-kameez wearing girl is a good daughter-in-law. The man must control his women, and if he trust his wife he is fool.
    You too Brutus – finally I came back to my “at least 1 Tovino’s movie a month” schedule. Different movie, but not as bad as I thought.
    Bhavesh Joshi – still have 10 minutes to watch, so I will write about feeling when I will end it.

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    • I think a tooth mouse makes a lot more sense than a tooth fairy. Not that either of them are terribly logical, but I can more easily picture a mouse sneaking around and collecting teeth than a fairy. Why would a fairy want teeth? She’s magic!

      Baghban almost makes sense, and then doesn’t. They do establish that Amitabh and Hema are renting their house, and they saved no money for retirement. So they are at the mercy of their children once Amitabh retires, no place to live and nothing to live on except what their kids can provide. But then at the end it is revealed that their landlord couldn’t bring himself to rent the house to anyone else so it has just been standing empty for 6 months. If the house was just going to be empty, why couldn’t he have let them live in it rent free all that time instead of moving out????

      I go back and forth on the traditional woman part of it. Because on the one hand, Mahima is shown to be all respectful and praying and all that. But on the other hand, her early introduction is a very untraditional flirty modern kind of girl. And Amitabh’s daughter-in-law keeps the Karva Chauth fast, but is also HORRIBLE. And there’s the teens at the cafe who are very young and modern, but also kind to elderly Amitabh. But then there’s Hema’s granddaughter and her “evil” boyfriend who is clearly no good just because he picks her up in his car and drives her around without a chaperone. Anyway, it’s worth it for me for Amitabh and Hema getting to play a love story at their age. And for the kids NOT being forgiven, and instead receiving an epic public dis.

      Very curious how you will feel about Bhavesh Joshi!

      On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 8:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • What annoyed me in Baghban, was that make this plot better was so easy. They could just say that Amitabh must leave the house for some reason (e.g the owner’s son is getting married and he wants to live in that house) and cut the scene that his boss wants him back. This way we would have Amitabh forced to live with his sons. And the other thing – seems that the parents have never visited their sons homes. They were like: who will take us, and we will leave tommorow without asking if they have a room, a place to stay. But it’s early 2000 film, and logic wasn’t the most important thing back then.
        And you’re right – it was a strange mixture of good and bad woman message.
        I wish they did a sequel – Amitabh and Hema move to Salman’s home and in the beginning it’s great. but then the parents want to forgive their sons, and here Salman goes crazy. He was jealous all his life. Now finally he has everything he wanted – Amitabh and Hema only for him, and he will do anything to keep them for himself. Baghban-the thriller.

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        • You are so right! Maybe there was something about trying to maintain the Amitabh characters dignity? He couldn’t be a man unable to support or house himself, he had to choose to leave his job and so on. Same with the staying with the kids, I think it might be because there was supposed to be some kind of pride in the kids always coming to their house instead of vice versa. But it would have been so easy to just say “We usually moved out of our bedroom for you, but now that you are here to stay, you will have to sleep in the maid’s room”. Just to explain why they were so shocked. Certainly the apartments were small, but they still could have figured out something better. Make the little boy sleep in the living room or something.

          I love your sequel idea. I’ll give you one better, they never forgive the sons, it’s the granddaughter and grandson that Salman gets jealous off. The whole story but flipped around, the granddaughter and grandson move in and are stuck in the maids room and have to beg for money and are left behind without food and so on and so forth.

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  2. I’m binge watching modern family. I used to watch it a couple of years ago, and just forgot about it. Now they’re showing reruns from the first season on star world, and I was reminded of how much I loved the show,and have been watching it online since then. So refreshing to see a gay family raise a girl. Cam and Mitchell are relationship goals for me. Also the lovely father son bond between Phil and Luke. (I’m assuming you are familiar with the show)

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    • I really liked Modern Family, and then it seemed to kind of hit a slump around season 4 (I’m wondering if that is when you stopped watching it too?). That happens all the time with shows and then it also seems like they tend to get re-invigorated around season 6 (if they last that long), but of course no one is watching by then. Let me know if the later seasons hold up as well as the early ones and maybe I will go back to it!

      On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 9:34 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, I recently finished the 8th season, and it didn’t get as many laughs out of me as the first 4 seasons did. Apparently they are ending it after the 10th season which thry are currently filming.
        Also, which are the states in the US where gay marriage is legal other than California? I was under the false impression that it is legal throughout America.

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        • Same-sex marriage became legal everywhere in 2015. Marriage in America is on a state by state basis with the general practice of a marriage in one state being recognized by all other states. We went through this whole thing before because cross-racial marriage was not legal everywhere for a long time. So the country was a patchwork with couples being able to be together in some places but not others, or traveling across state lines to be married. Until the Supreme Court determined that the laws against cross-racial marriage were unconstitutional and since the national constitution supersedes any state constitution, the state laws were wiped off the books. And that’s what happened with same-sex marriage in 2015, the laws against it were declared unconstitutional.

          Vermont was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, meaning couples from around the country could go there and be married, and then have a legal marriage license to take back to whatever state they lived in (so long as that state did not specifically have a law against same-sex marriage). And then many other states followed, one by one. There was also the compromise status of “civil union”, which meant you could have most or all of the legal rights of married couple (depending on the state) but still be kept separate from the actual “married” status.

          It really is a terrible situation of legal limbo in America partly because our laws combine so many rights into the married status. Even things as simple as being allowed to stay with your partner during a medical emergency would be impossible, because only “family” would be allowed and you were not legally family. And the right to your partner’s pension after their death, to share their medical benefits from their job, and lots of issues revolving around adoption of children, usually one partner had to adopt as a single parent leaving the other partner with no legal claim to the child were something to happen. In the case of modern family, that would mean that most likely either Cam or Mitchell is Lily’s legal father, and if they were to split up, one of them would have no legal right to her. If Cam or Mitchell was in an accident and unable to talk for themselves, the other would have no legal right to make medical decisions or possibly even visit them in the hospital. If one of them was to die, the other would have no legal right to inherit anything from them. And so on and so on. There is a patchwork of legal workarounds for almost all these issues, but marriage is the quick and cheap and universal solution for them.

          California, where Modern Family is set, went through a bit of a roller coaster. It was legal, and then there was a state wide vote among the people (something allowed in some state constitutions, a particular law can be added to the ballot and the people can vote for or against it directly rather than their elected representatives making the decision for them) and it was defeated. There were similar stories through out the country, of it being legal and then suddenly not legal again, which also lead to couples rushing to be married as fast as possible for fear the legal status would change. I think the Modern Family storyline has the background of them living in a state where marriage was legal, they missed their window, and now it is legal again and so they obviously will want to get married as soon as possible.

          On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 10:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Thanks so much for the info.
            The defintion of family is so wide in India – during medical emergencies or times of distress, anybody can pitch in – even the next door neighbor.But we do have the same laws wrt pension and property.
            If same sex marriage was legalised as late as 2015, I have no idea when can such an amendment happen in the Indian laws.

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          • Well, the flip side is that sodomy laws (the equivalent of Prop 377) were just declared unconstitutional in 2003. And before that they were still technically on the books (although enforcement varied, just like with 377) in a dozen states. So you can go from sodomy being illegal to legalizing same sex marriages in just 12 years. And if you look at Vermont, the first state to legalize it, that was just one year after the sodomy laws were struck down. So homosexual sex was illegal, and 12 months later same-sex marriage was legal, that’s how fast it was.

            I was thinking about the difference between the openness of Indian society and the legal by the rules attitude of America when I was writing up my response. In America, we are concerned about people abusing elderly, children, and so on. Which is good, but it means that a goodhearted person who has been the primary caregiver for, for instance, her next door neighbor would have no legal rights when it came to medical decisions. Or if someone takes in the kid who lives next door unofficially while her mother is working out of state, that person would have a hard time registering the child for school and would have the constant risk of the child being taken away. I think about that all the time with all those Indian movie stories of distant relatives being taken in, or random street children being cared for and so on. In America, you would have to jump through so many legal hoops to do that instead of just going ahead and doing it and no one really caring that much. I love that about Indian society, someone is your child (or sister or brother or mother) just because you call them that and the legal part of it comes later.

            On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:58 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Well here’s hoping that India can make changes that quickly, though I highly doubt it .The billion people here have billion ways to get offended. And most of the lawmakers and the politicians here are pig headed to even consider revoking article 377. It took them so long to make even a live in relationship legal, and it’s still looked down upon.
            I love that about India too. People are very driven by emotions here, the legal aspect is never important. Which is why I love watching modern family, they seem very close knit, even though they have differences and don’t agree on many things, and meet up quite often .

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  3. I’ve enjoyed following posts on social media celebrating the 20th anniversary of Dil Se. I especially enjoyed this essay about it: https://www.filmcompanion.in/10-memorable-moments-from-mani-ratnams-shah-rukh-khan-dil-se-which-turns-20-today/

    Jitesh Pillai from Filmfare also shared a cool memory about hearing Ae Ajnabi for the first time with Shah Rukh in his car at Film City late one night. I follow him on Twitter for just such stories. 🙂

    Watched Alias Grace on Netflix and really enjoyed it.

    There’s a Terry Pratchett book which involves the Tooth Fairy rather heavily. It’s more or less a standalone novel, though it involves characters like the Wizards and Death/Death’s family which feature in the serial novels. It’s called Hogfather.

    Can’t remember the show or movie, but recently watched something where the Dad was putting a dollar under a kids pillow for a lost tooth. The mom says, “But that’s the same amount of $$ we got.” And the Dad says, “Well, there’s no inflation in the fairy world.” Cracked me up.

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    • I’ve been seeing the Dil Se posts and thinking I should write about it, but on the other hand I just don’t think I am in a place emotionally where I could handle it right now. I’ve only watched it once and I waited until I was in a particularly emotionally balanced and calm state and watched it with all the lights on in the middle of the day, and then took myself out for ice cream. I don’t know what I’d have to do to be able to write a post on it. Probably write it with Hazel sitting on my lap and lots of breaks to go outside in the sunshine.

      I liked getting a quarter, because coin money is so much more magical than paper money. And it wasn’t like I was really going to spend it on anything, I wouldn’t have thought about buying something myself instead of asking my parents for it and letting them say “yes” or “no” or “your birthday’s coming up”. We still took it very seriously though, my sister had to have a tooth pulled and the dentist wouldn’t let us take it home (because it was medical waste), so she had to write a letter to the tooth fairy explaining what happened in order to get her quarter.

      On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 10:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • We gave our kid the Sacagawea gold dollar. So pretty!

        She wanted to keep the tooth as well as the money, so we told her we asked the TF if that was ok, and got special permission for her. Once in a great while I find a baby tooth of hers in this or that little keepsake box. Kinda gross, kinda cute.

        No reason to write about Dil Se in particular if you aren’t moved to. That’s the cool thing about having your own blog. I don’t mind Shah Rukh and Manisha’s ending because they meet it together, and for different reasons neither are suited to this world. I do feel terrible for Shah Rukh’s family though, and for Preity.

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        • Years after we were past the TF stage, we were doing science experiments at home with hydrochloric acid (super fun, you get to bounce an egg and stuff), and my Dad pulled out this little jar filled with baby teeth to use in the experiments. Which just completely ruined the magic! And was also kind of weird, to realize that there was a jar in the world that had all our baby teeth mixed up together. Parents and serial killers, often very similar.

          The thing that kills me about Dil Se is the wasted lives. I agree that Manisha and SRK aren’t suited for this world, but that’s just because this world is so yucky and breaks people like them, and that is tragic for me. Similarly, Rang De Basanti, Aligarh (which I haven’t even seen and just the trailer is heartbreaking, Pyaasa, etc. etc. Although at least Pyaasa had a somewhat hopeful ending.

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          • Haha, wow. Now you really should read Hogfather. Your Dad was playing with fire (well, would have been if you were living in Discworld).

            I think for me stuff like Dil Se is ok to watch sometimes because it confirms to me that I’m not crazy, the world can be a seriously effed up place. But I can’t really watch stuff which makes that point using (even fictional) kids and dogs. So, I skip the scene where Manisha is recounting her trauma to Shah Rukh, and I stop watching MNIK right before 9/11 happens.

            Rang De Basanti keeps popping up in my Netflix recommendations. I should watch it with comfort food and tissues this weekend.

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      • I have a similar story with my son’s tooth – before he could put it under the pillow the tooth was lost. We couldn’t find it. My son was heartbroken, so I told him to write a letter and explain what happened. He did it (I still have this letter), Topino comprehended the situation and left some money.

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        • But wait, how do you have the letter if he wrote it to Topino????

          My co-worker also said that her daughter wanted to be penpals with the Tooth Fairy for a while, but she ended up telling her that the Tooth Fairy was very busy with a lot of teeth to collect and didn’t have time to write letters. Because she got sick of staying up late trying to respond to letters as the Tooth Fairy.

          On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 1:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Reading: Still working my way through Marge Piercy’s “Gone To Soldiers”, which is powerful and fabulous.Five more hours to go in the audiobook version. I finally looked up the hard copy and it’s almost 800 pages long. Not wonder it’s taken me weeks to get through it!

    Watching: 102 No Out (adored it!) and Crazy Rich Asians (spent the entire next day mentally comparing it to K3G.). Also creeping my way through Sacred Games.

    Thinking: Bookity book book book. Reading, note-taking, drafting. Oy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad more people are watching 102 Not Out! It was such a surprisingly good movie, about issues that no mainstream film in India or America ever really wants to touch. And it managed to have a satisfying but not unrealisticly happy ending.

      I hadn’t thought about the advantage of an Audio book being that you have a set time amount. With regular books it varies so much, right? Size of the print, amount of dialogue, illustrations, and so on and so on, you can end up reading books of the same page length at completely different speeds.

      And good luck on the bookity book! Finish soon so you can come back and talk to us without feeling guilty (always my problem when I know I am supposed to be writing something. For instance, right now when my Aamir filmography is open in another tab and I am replying to your comment instead)

      On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:19 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I have thrown many teeth over the roof, glad to know I wasn’t the only one! Anyhow my daughter now claims the going rate from tooth fairy is $10 – trying to strike a deal for $5.

    Thinking – The floods, what else 😦

    I’m also seeing a lot of write-ups about Dil Se but I never really liked the movie much. I think its partially because I find Srk’s love for her very sudden. And the movie was too abstract and jumpy. Mani Ratnam didn’t bother to explain a lot of the stuff. It’s fine if he doesn’t want to spoon feed but I literally never understood the Ladakh sequence. I loved Preity except she wasn’t a very convincing Malayali.

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    • I just looked up on The Internet any logical reason behind throwing teeth on the roof. This is what I found ” In some Asian countries, that’s just what they do.” Which sometimes is what folklore boils down to I guess, “it’s just what we do”.

      $10 for a tooth is ridiculous, I feel this strongly. You can tell your daughter that The Internet believes teeth should be paid for in change and no more than a dollar. Maybe that will help.

      The present day or the past Ladakh sequence? The present day one I kind of loved because Shahrukh is approaching the situation like any other romantic hero, his True Love is being kept from him by her violent brothers and so on and so forth, not realizing that there is something else entirely going on here. Really that would be a valid interpretation of the entire film, Shahrukh’s character has wandered in from the typical romance, complete with love at first sight and fighting her family and passionate speeches and so on, without realizing that Manisha is living a completely different life and trapped in a completely different kind of film narrative. Which could also be thought of as what life is in different parts of India, Shahrukh has the luxury of being a dreamy romantic, while in a different region of the same country, Manisha can’t afford love.

      On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The present one – like why was he in Ladakh? I saw this many many years ago but I don’t remember a scene where they tell you anything (before). You’re just supposed to assume and then tie up everything together at the end.

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        • At some point early on, but it might be after their first meeting, he explains that he is in Ladakh to do radio interviews for All India in more remote parts of the country as part of the 50th anniversary of independence celebrations. But yeah, it’s super poetic. He sees her at a train station and then is dancing, and then goes straight to interviewing soldiers all serious, and then randomly sees her again in downtown Ladakh, follows her to a large house, is beat up by her “brothers” and then ends up on the same bus with her later and helps her when the bus breaks down. All very random and unexplained without a lot of connective tissue.

          It’s the Delhi part that I have a harder time with, her just showing up at his house and him offering to let her stay. Plus the oddness of him feeling something for Preity, being content to marry her, but at the same time obsessing over Manisha.

          But then, the title is “Dil Se”. It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s just what the heart wants.

          On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Reading? Thinking? I don’t have time for either because I’ve been binge watching pre-Bahubali Prabhas movies. In the last 3 days I’ve seen: Raghavendra, Varsham, Chatrapathi, Pournami, Munna, Bujjigaadu, Billa, Darling, Rebel and Mirchi. Despite some of them being excruciatingly cheesy, I loved them all! Prabhas is just so freaking charming that I’d happily watch him mow the lawn, as long as he looked up every once in a while and smiled. And called everyone, “Darling.” How many actors can beat up 50 goons at once, dance like a giraffe dress like they haven’t quite figured out the whole “clothes,” thing and yet still manage to be sweet and sexy? (One side-effect of the Prabhas binge – very weird dreams.)

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    • Well, you have found Your People. There are at least 3 other commentators who went through the exact same journey. I ran out of steam after Mirchi, Billu, Bijjigaddu, Chatrapathi, Varsham, and Mr. Perfect. But if you comment on those posts, I am SURE you will find people eager to talk with you.

      Of the ones I saw, Bijjugaadu and Mirchi were head and shoulders above the rest for my taste. Bijjugaadu is still my favorite Telugu film.

      On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 1:15 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I have a habit of binge watching every time I see an actor or actress that interests me. Since I am very shallow, they are usually fine looking male actors. So far, I’ve binged Kunal Kapoor, Prithviraj, Rehka, Hrithik and Arjun Rampal. And I always go back to Shahrukh. Always..

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        • I envy you this dedication. When I fall for some actor I promise myself to watch as much as I can from his filmography but then always after 2 or 3 movies I get distracted by other films I should watch and I abandon the mission. I wasn’t even able to finish Madhavan’s filmography yet.

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          • Priyamani Thozhi! I think it’s on Prime, you’ll love it.

            On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 2:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes, I wanted to watch it right after your review months ago, but I saw something else on the list and ended watching this other stuff. I started Dil Vil Pyar Vyar 2 times, Rendu 3 or 4 times, never finished. That’s why I’m so proud of myself that I keep watching Tovino’s movies. I have seen 50% of his filmography already.

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          • You should be proud of yourself! That is very impressive. But if you ever need a jolt of cute young Maddy, Priyamani Thozhi is extremely pleasant.

            On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 3:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Priyamani Thozhi and Dumm Dumm Dumm are my priorities and some day I will watch A Peck on the Cheek.

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          • But that one is so saaaaaad! Watch Priyamani Thozhi instead, there’s flirting with saris.

            On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 3:24 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m like you Angie. Right now, I’m supposed to be on a FAwad Khan binge but got sidetracked by a ridiculously funny Tamil movie. Dum Dum Dum is one of my favourite Maddy movies after Alaipayuthey. Jyothika & him crackle on screen & it’s super cute & funny. It’s the perfect date movie.

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  7. I am here to answer your tooth fairy questions, courtesy of this delightful children’s book, where I learned everything I know: http://www.siruela.com/catalogo.php?id_libro=3562&completa=S

    I grew up with quarters under the pillow, like you. Then I married a Spaniard and as my older son was getting to tooth-losing stage I had to decide how we were going to handle the fairy vs. mouse dueling tooth traditions. (As a parent, tooth fairy is up there with Santa Claus in that weird space where magic of childhood involves intentionally hoodwinking your children.) On one of our trips to Spain, I picked up this book, which explains everything, and as a bonus neatly resolves the dueling traditions by having the tooth fairy be descended from the mouse, which perhaps she is.

    The story goes like this: Once there was a mouse whose job it was to collect the teeth that children lost and replace them with new teeth as straight and strong as the mouse’s own teeth. This mouse was believed to live in the thatching of the roof, or later under the roof tiles, so when children lost their teeth, they would face away from the house, say a little charm, and toss the baby tooth over their shoulder onto the roof. (It was important to face away from the house, because if you’re going to ask favors of magical beings who live in high places, you have to show respect by averting your face and speaking in verse.)

    Then the buildings got taller and the roofs were too high to throw teeth onto, so children began to throw them into the fireplace instead, still with a little rhyme asking the mouse for a new tooth. This way, the mouse could climb down from the roof through the chimney, collect the tooth, and go back up again. But then, gradually, no more fireplaces either. Around the same time, end of the 19th century, the mouse acquired a name in Spanish – Perez, now known as el ratoncito Perez – and a curious habit of leaving money or a small token in return for the tooth. Since this tooth exchange was now more like a business exchange than a charm to guarantee your new tooth would grow in and no bad humors would inhabit the hole left by your baby tooth, children began to skip the charm and ritual and just hide the tooth under the pillow.

    The mouse, Perez, had a number of descendants, known by different names in different places, one of whom met an ant named Formichina from the north of Italy (also in the tooth collecting business), and they had a winged mouse daughter who emigrated to America and became known as the tooth fairy. According to the book, you have to write a letter to the tooth fairy if you want her to give you anything in exchange for your tooth – just like people used to write notes to mice in the old days, asking them politely to leave the pantry alone (and possibly suggesting they visit a bothersome neighbor instead), rolling up the note and sticking it in a crack or hole where the mouse would be likely to find it. Who knew? It’s really a lovely book :).

    My son swallowed his first tooth, I think that’s the only letter he ever wrote to her. We leave money or a small gift, depending on if it’s the mouse or the tooth fairy visiting (meaning whether we were prepared and had a toy laid away or we’re scrounging for singles in our wallets). There are 20 baby teeth. My son used to be happy with $1, back when he was six, but it’s two years later and we’re not even halfway there…

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    • Ready to have your mind blown? I looked up the author on The Internet in an attempt to find an English translation (feeling very embarrassed, because as an American I really should know at least some Spanish). And this is what I found: https://www.hydlitfest.org/speaker/ana-cristina-herreros/

      She was in Hyderabad!!!!! The world is so connected, a random conversation about tooth fairies and we have come back to Hyderabad and India by a circuitous route. Another speaker at that conference, Sanjana Kapoor, Shashi’s daughter.

      Okay, moving on from that. I love this explanation! It makes complete sense. And I also love the bonus of duel heritage in parents being that you can pick whatever fairy tale is convenient at the moment.

      On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 9:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Reading: very slowly, aside from news. Still working on the last book of The Passage trilogy, though I at least made a dent on vacation. Now I’m in the scary vampire part again, after an extended detour into college romance territory.

      Watching: Bareilly Ki Barfi – very fun! Rajkummar is adorable, and I really enjoyed Kriti and Ayushmann. The parents were my favorites, though, especially Pankaj Tripathi.
      Judwaa 2 – I think I watched this because of Taapsee? IDK. That and I was looking for escape after a bad work day. I’ve only seen Varun in this and Dilwale, can’t say I see that “next big thing” spark you claim to have spotted :). He is of course very good looking, even through the extreme hamminess of those roles. Maybe I just haven’t seen the right movie yet.
      Inner and Outer World of SRK – looking at this list I see why I’m making such slow progress on my book.

      Thinking – summer is almost over! I’m not ready.

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      • Ugh, Dilwale is Varun’s worst role and acting in my opinion. To get Varun’s charm, I think you have to check out Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. He is so good as Humpty and the movie is really good as well! Other movies I would recommend are Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Badlapur, or Main Tera Hero.

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      • Inner/Outer is my comfort food. It’s such a delightfully unfocused documentary, I can dip in and watch ten minutes before bed or while eating breakfast in the morning, and it doesn’t really matter what ten minutes they are. I just love the sound of it, it’s all soothing British voice overs or gentle low energy Hindi-accented English, interspersed with bits of familiar songs.

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        • Wouldn’t it be amazing if they did a follow up documentary? I enjoy watching it (them?), but somehow I feel like I’m cheating on current Shah Rukh with younger Shah Rukh. That’s one reason all his interviews around the JHMS promotions, and the Dilwale promotions before that, were so nice. Come on, Zero promotions!

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          • I would love a follow up documentary. It was the perfect stream of consciousness mix of Shahrukh talking, and Shahrukh just sort of walking around in candid images. Interviews and stuff are always nice, but I get overwhelmed with the really long ones. And candid videos are nice, but then I get lost with wanting to know what he was thinking. Really, if someone just edited together all his recent interviews with recent song footage, I would be happy. I could probably just make a youtube playlist of that, ten minute chunks of interviews with songs in between.

            On Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 10:18 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Cracked up at “cheating on current Shah Rukh with younger Shah Rukh”. I know the feeling.

            Outer World was a little too much for me – I’d much rather see him working on a film than on a stage show, and it felt a bit repetitive after a while. Inner World was what I really wanted to see, SRK loose and chatty on any number of topics but without that buttoned-up interview feeling. I was surprised he was so open and frank about some of the family stuff and how in his head his work is connected to grief.

            It made me think again about JHMS and that scene where Mayank is trying to convince Harry to come to Frankfurt for the wedding as he sends them off in the train – he says “We’re basically orphans here.” We’d discussed how little back story Imtiaz gave the characters, and I was wondering if he intentionally leaned on the public story of SRK (and maybe Anushka? don’t know much about her background) to let the audience fill in the blanks of his character without having to build it into the movie. I’m still new here and feel like I’m just now getting an appreciation for how much the SRK persona is tied up with his biography.

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          • There is a theory (not original to me, although I agree with it) that Shahrukh partly became so beloved because he was so willing to share his real self and his real story with interviewers and, eventually, with his characters. Seems like it falls in that grey area between calculated and honest, when he talks about how DDLJ is his story, the way he romanced Gauri’s family to convince them to let them get married, I am sure that is true. But I am also sure that he is choosing that particular aspect of their love story to talk about in interviews because it matches with one of his most famous onscreen roles. On the other hand, there are those moments in films where I can feel the method actor in him, that his personal tragedy is driving his ability to play a scene. When he talks about his father in Dear Zindagi, or when he tells Gaurav to go home to his parents at the end of Fan, I can immediately feel and know that the character is an orphan without him saying it, something about that sadness comes through.

            I love Inner/Outer for how patient they were, just letting him talk and say what he was comfortable with. Is there a moment when we ever hear the interviewer onscreen? I’m not sure if there is. Have you read Anupama’s book yet? He is similarly open in a lot of the quotes in there, but I think it is just because Anupama was so patient with him, it wasn’t a ten minute sprint of an interview, it was months and months of sharing time together.

            On Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 5:47 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s true. I think Margaret has written a bit about that, but I can’t remember where. Margaret?

            Agreed about Inner vs Outer World. If you haven’t seen it I think you’d like his interview at ThinkFest, which is on youtube. It’s long, he talks quite a bit about his family history and how it impacts his work. He reads a bit from his seemingly never to be finished auto-biography also.

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          • I can’t remember either. The first thing that occurs to me is my recent “Masks” post, but I think Emily already read that one. I haven’t done an SRK 101, because there’s too much to it. Hmm. Maybe in my birthday posts?

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          • I’m guessing it’s in the context of one or more movie roles–like talking about Raees as a different sort of interaction with his identity as a Muslim, but more focused on how personal loss in his life intersects with his portrayals of loss in roles. Hmm.

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          • The death of his parents seems to be the thing he is most willing to make public. Which I can see several reasons for. First that it keeps them alive, to talk about them and make sure other people know about them. Second that it is so public and obvious, it’s not a secret he could hide if he wanted to. Third that he can’t really harm them by talking about them, they are past embarrassment and privacy concerns. And fourth, that on some level he must be aware it is what the public universally responds to, more than they might to tales of post-Partition angst or being raised Muslim and so on.

            But I think we can also just assume that he had marriage strife at some point (because that’s what happens when you are married for a long time), and fights with his kids sometimes (because they are teenagers) and all of that is just kept quiet. Heck, we still don’t really know why he and Salman fought!

            I just find it fascinating, the skill with which he reveals some but not all of himself. It’s like emotional striptease, we have the feel of seeing everything but we didn’t really.

            On Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 2:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Thanks for the Think Fest reference, I’ll check that out.

            Margaret, i did read Anupama’s book, though I think I took away more of the big picture stuff than the personal stuff.

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          • It’s a tricky read, because she buys into his hype quite a bit. So instead of being a star study, it’s more an example of the kind of hype a star builds around themselves. If you can get a copy of her book First Day/First Show, that’s really interesting, because it’s got reprints of her very earliest SRK interviews, and she discusses how he is this odd interview experience, much more open and electrifying and interesting than the others, but kind of weirdly too open almost. Really cool to think about how right from the start, he was focused on revealing himself as much as possible to the media and fans. Even random crew members, he carried a photo of Gauri with him everywhere (at the time she was just his girlfriend) and he would show it to everyone he could and talk about how amazing she was and so on.

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          • You articulated what was nagging at me, it’s almost always the love story and his parents that he talks about, sometimes his kids. It does feel like a curious mixture of super open to the point of “I was so lost, working on movies was the only thing that kept me alive”, but very controlled because it’s those few stories over and over.

            The part in the documentary where Anupama was interviewing him was one of the trippy moments for me. They’re both so young, the hair and clothes are different, but the dynamic is pretty much the same.

            There is a part where he talks about how it’s important to give god to your children and they show the altar that also has a Quran, and he says something about how he didn’t grow up very religious. It just made me think of all the people who didn’t see themselves as attached to a particular identity until they encountered opposition because of how other people saw them. Like you may not see yourself as a devout Muslim, but now you’re one of the most famous Muslims in the world. That has to be a strange experience.

            Anyway, thank you for humoring me :).

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          • Any time! I love talking Shahrukh.

            Even with his love story, it’s always the “love story” part of it. Have you watched the Koffee episode with Akshay and Twinkle? I completely fell in love with them, as did most everyone else who watched it, but part of it was that they didn’t just talk about the “romantic fantasy love” part of it, they talked about after they got married and fighting over watching too much TV and so on. Gauri and Shahrukh, they never really talk about those parts of it, it’s always the romance when they were young, and then a big line after marriage. Even in Anupama’s book, she talks about Gauri being lonely and the hard early years and befriending Karan, but there is nothing about them after that, after the honeymoon was over.

            Speaking of “devout Muslim”, that was one of the things that bothered me the most about his interview at Davos. The interviewer casually identified his father as a “devout Muslim” and also a follower of Gandhi. Which was so blind in two ways, that all Muslims must be devout and that all Indians must be followers of Gandhi. Anyway, I assume with Shahrukh the identity became more important as he had to represent it, you know? I feel the same way about being American or being Christian. I don’t think about it at all really, and it’s not the primary part of my identity. But if I travel out of the country, or end up in a room where I am the only Christian, suddenly it becomes more important to me as part of my identity that I can feel being worn away.

            On Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 9:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I just watched a very funny spoof film in Tamil which is something of a rare genre in Indian films. It’s called Tamil Padam2(literal translation is Tamil film)& is a sequel. Haven’t had such a good laugh in a long time. Every single trope, every single star hero in Tamil including Rajani & Kamal, is mocked at. The subversion of the obsession with the fair skinned, dumb lovable heroine(who has to have ice cream in the rain, help blind ppl, chase a puppy etc)&the customary sad song by hero to blame the heroine for love failure is the best one. So glad that somebody is actually making fun of it in a way the audience understands the misogyny & stupidity of it. There’s even GoT, Forrest Gump, Casino Royale & Baahubali references. It’s a tad long & I may have missed many references but still so much fun.
    Also Nayantara’s new movie-it’s a black comedy on the lines of Breaking Bad- is creating a new history among south films. Apparently the pre-release traditions reserved only for male stars like early morning shows, pouring milk over flexboard(🙄)name featured above the movie on posters, excellent advance bookings etc were all accorded to the opening of her movie. So what I get is while Tamilians(&rest of India)like to objectify women, they have no qualms in recognising a woman who has proven star power. No more lady superstar but just superstar.
    Thinking-Onam! It is the most celebrated festival in Kerala & is coming up in few days. schools are given 10 days holidays & is a general celebratory period. This year it’s going to be very low key due to the floods. Still the amount of harmony the flood has created among the people is so heart warming to read & watch. So many positive, humane stories shared everyday. This would be an Onam time that most would not forget for a long time.

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    • Naturally I can’t watch Tamil Padam 2 until I have seen Tamil Padam 1. Luckily, I just looked it up and it looks also very good and very funny so that won’t be much of a hardship. I really love film spoofs, it’s film deconstruction but fun, you know?

      Fascinating about Nayantara!!!! I’m at the point in my Rajinikanth book where his first massive poster went up along with being called “superstar” and so on. And it wasn’t because the public demanded it, it was because one distributor was very good at promotions and just did it. And the public accepted and went along. That’s all it takes to make the change, just do it and see what happens.

      I was seeing stories about Onam related to film, none of the releases are coming out. Instead they will be staggered at the rate of one a week for the next few weeks, since it’s not the right time for movies.

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      • Margaret, I haven’t seen Tamil Padam 1 fully. Just a couple of scenes here and there. It was made in 2010, and I had just begun to watch Tamil films. So didn’t get many of the references from the older Tamil films. The second part focuses on a lot of recent and very recent films and political events so maybe you could enjoy it even without watching the first part.

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    • I liked tamizh Padam 2 as well. I was laughing like hell in the 1st half. The 2nd half could have been better imo. Just looking at Shiva’s face made me laugh! He’s great in the movie.

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  9. I’m on my last week of summer before I have to go back to college and most of my friends in town have already started school/college again so I’ve had a ton of free time. I think I’ve been watching about 1.5 movies per day this past week. I’ll just go over the more significant movies.

    I rewatched Tholi Prema and I still love the movie. It’s out on einthusan but there’s no subtitles. If there were subtitles, I’d be begging you to watch it by now. For now, enjoy this song 🙂

    I also rewatched Rarandoi Veduka Chudham and I enjoyed it a lot more this time. It’s not a great movie but it’s a good watch. Especially if you like Naga Chaitanya.

    I saw Shubh Mangal Saavdhan for the first time as well but I didn’t like it much. I think Meri Pyaari Bindu is my favorite out of the three Ayushmann movies that came out last year.

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    • I was waiting for months to watch Tholi Prema, and I was soooo disappointed it doesn’t have subtitles! The same with Shaadi Main Zaroor Aana . I want to see both so badly.

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      • I just went through the same thing trying to watch my Tuesday Tamil! I was in the mood for something good and I wanted to see a Gautham Menon movie. But no, most of them aren’t available at all, and the few that are available, no subtitles.

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    • I really liked Shubh Mangal Saavdhan in theaters but I am kind of worried about rewatching it for fear I won’t like it quite as much. You like Meri Pyaari Bindu more than Bareilly Ki Barfi? That’s quite a recommendation!

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      • I didn’t like Bareilly Ki Barfi as much as I thought I would when I first saw it and I never got the chance to rewatch it. I feel like I would like it more the second time once I know what the twist is.

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        • I was just thinking about Bareilly when I was talking on another post about how Taapsee still hasn’t really made her mark for me. I saw Kriti in Dilwale and 1: Nennokadine, and she was fine in those, I didn’t notice her as so bad that she ruined the film, but I also wasn’t super impressed. And then in Bareilly it was just the right combination of character and performance and director and suddenly I am all excited about her. Anyway, might be worth a rewatch just for that, since I know you are also a 1: Nennokadine fan.

          On Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 9:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, usually knowing the big twist for the rewatch is fun because then I get to pay attention to all the little details and not focus too much on the actual plot.’

            I’ve really liked Kriti since 1:Nenokkadine so I’m hoping she makes it big!

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          • I had the same reaction to Kriti in Bareilly. Thought the movie overall was fun and totally up my alley, but it somehow wasn’t totally satisfying. Maybe something about how Kriti’s character doesn’t get to be that unconventional after all? It’s really Ayushmann’s journey to being a better person and getting rewarded by getting the girl.

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  10. Oh yeah, tooth fairy! I remember putting my teeth underneath my pillow but I always knew that the tooth fairy wasn’t real. I remember losing my first tooth when I was seven which was considered to be kinda late so I realized the truth about the tooth fairy by that time. Plus I lost my first tooth when I was in India and I got rupees instead of dollars so I always held a grudge that I never got that money.

    Is it just me or are there a lot of space related Indian movies coming out lately? Sankalp Reddy, who directed Ghazi, is making a space movie starring Varun Tej, Aditi Rao Hydari, and Lavanya Tripathi as his next. The first look poster came out recently:

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    • Never occurred to me that the tooth fairy leaves local currency only! I suppose that’s because each country has their own tooth fairy/tooth mouse.

      It does feel like there are a lot of space related movies. Although the Sushant one seems like it might never happen. And meanwhile this one was kind of rushed through. It’s an ambitious topic, the science and special effects are hard to master. I’m curious how this one will be.

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      • I’m really curious too! This one is being made on a fairly small budget and from what I know, it’s not based on a real life story. But Ghazi was really good and that was made on a small budget as well so I have faith in the director that he’ll make something worth watching.

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        • And Ghazi was so good at using the setting and technology in a clever way. I don’t need to see a space movie that’s just about explosions and stuff, but a space movie that deals with the specifics of life on a shuttle and so on, that is interesting.

          On Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 9:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Argh. Farhan is going on tour with Shankar-Ehsan-Loy in the US and Canada. They’re promoting it with the hashtag #selftour2018. Still waiting for Don 3. 😦 Equally frustrating is that I can’t seem to find all the dates, so no idea if they’re coming to the DC area.

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