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

Happy Wednesday!  Time to talk about what we’ve all been doing this week and share movie and book and article recommendations and everything else happening in our lives.

I’ll start!

Reading: I finally finished my Rajinikanth book! Hoping to have time to do a post about it today, if not it should be tomorrow.  Oh, and I just started the first Night Guard book by Terry Pratchett.

Watching: Watched Qarib Qarib Singlle on Friday with friends, watched London Bridge late Sunday by myself, and in between times watched Murder She Wrote again, it is still wonderful.  If we can’t have Hema Malini, what do you think about Amrita Singh?  Or Shabana Azmi?

Thinking: What do I do about AR Rahman?  He’s coming to town in a couple weeks, it looks like it could be a really interesting concert (outdoors, for one thing).  But I’ve already seen him so it’s not like I have to check it off my bucket list.  And I missed the window for the cheap tickets.  And I may not be able to find anyone to go with me.  And it’s like 2 hours away.  Hmmm.  Oh, and in a less pressuring decision, should I see Paltaan or Laila-Majnu next week?

 

 

Now, question for you!

I’ve asked this before but it bares repeating, and anyway there might be updated opinions now.

What couple that haven’t co-starred do you most want to see together?  And in what kind of film?

I want to see Varun and Parineeti in a light-hearted comedy.  Something silly and nonsensical, a plot like “They fall in love, but her father only wants her to marry a poor man who knows the value of hardwork, so Varun has to hide his riches and pretend to be ridiculously poor with a lot of spoofs of other movies with the poor boy and rich girl.  And meanwhile his parents only want him to marry an experienced woman who has had a lot of boyfriends so she knows what love is, so Parineeti has to rope her gay best friend into playing her ex and do a lot of in jokes referring to her previous movies while she makes up romantic escapades”.

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

  1. Among the younger lot, I see only Parineeti who has the talent to give a decent competition to Alia.But she has not made the most of her opportunities so far.Unless her new film with Arjun does well,I don’t see any chance of her being offered a film with Varun. I saw Parmanu last week and it’s a propaganda film but parts of it is very entertaining too. It was fun to see John as the long haired scruffy middleaged father and husband and not the army hotshot as shown in the trailer.Now if only they had fleshed out his team members too, it’d have been great.And it’s a treat to see the villains using their brains to piece together the truth.The threat was very real.I also managed to see Gulzar’s Kinara with Hema Malini and Jitendra where the latter falls in love with Hema only to realise that he’d killed her fiance Dharmendra, in an accident.Of course any other director from the 70s would have milked the drama for all its worth.But Gulzar being Gulzar has to make everything real and grounded -even after Hema loses her vision.The real delight is the ruins of Mandu where Hema and Jitendra meet.It’s the kingdom of sultan Baz bahadur and Roopmati.They are the ‘less’ famous interreligious royal couple from the Mughal era.Their story is mentioned throughout the early parts of the movie.

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    • I am the opposite, I can see Parineeti getting a film opposite Varun, because her career has been so slow. Varun is looking to solidify his position as a big hero, he needs heroines who will take second place and let him shine. A romance is different, where it is really two handed, but if he is looking at another comedy or an action film, he needs someone like Parineeti, not Alia that will grab all the press away from him.

      And, HA! That Hema-Dharmendra-Jeetendra movie is a remake of Magnificent Obsession, one of my family’s favorite “so bad it’s good” movies. All that drama they don’t milk in the Gulzar version is milked like crazy in the American one. Plus, there’s several more plot twists (in a movie only half as long!). In the American version, the heroine is married to a brilliant older doctor and has a grown stepdaughter. The hero is an alcoholic worthless playboy. The hero is in a speedboat accident and the doctor offers his “resuscitator” (not a real thing) to save him. Because it is being used on the playboy, the doctor dies. The heroine is furious with the playboy, even though he keeps trying to apologize to her, and then in the middle of an argument, she jumps out of his car and is HIT by another car, thus losing her sight. The hero secretly arranges to use his millions to fund her treatment, sending her to Europe to visit all the leading doctors and forget her troubles (widowing, blindness, all of that). In Europe, she meets up with the playboy again and they fall passionately in love (with her not knowing his identity). Her maid/nurse warns him off, since she would be shattered if she ever learned he was really the man who caused the death of her husband and her own blindness, but instead when she learns who he is and he proposes, the heroine forgives him but turns him down, not wanting to be a burden, and then disappears, taking only her maid/nurse with her. In despair, he returns to America, goes to med school, and becomes a brilliant famous doctor (all this happens in like 6 months). Only to learn that the heroine herself has come to his clinic, her blindness/brain injury/something has progressed and she is now dying. He is the only one who can save her. Which he does, and then removes the bandages and she realizes it is him, there is much drama, and finally they get married. And it’s only 100 minutes long!!!!

      On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 9:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • In that movie, Agnes Moorehead is EVERYTHING. Also, Otto Kruger. You can practically feel the disrespect and “what have I found myself in?” oozing off the screen, but by golly they still do their job.

          In my family, we do it as a double bill with Random Harvest, for the complete “wait, WHAT is this plot???” experience.

          Oh, and my favorite Rock Hudson performances are Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers (also remade in Hindi, weirdly). Because he does his regular Rock Hudson Hero role, but goes ever so slightly over the top and turns it into a spoof of itself and I love it.

          Best Jane Wyman movie, Here Comes the Groom with Bing Crosby. A bit of an odd one, but so fun and happy making. At least, I like it.

          On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 10:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Varun & Pari in a cartoonish screwball comedy, complete with ridiculous plot twists, laugh-at-them villains, exaggerated facial expressions, physical pratfalls, sound effects like BOIINNNGGG!, the whole nine yards. Maybe even with some b/w silent scenes, where visuals of an actor talking alternate with frames containing the print of what the actor just said. Maybe in several languages printed even.
    These are the only two of the younger generation I imagine pulling this off, though possibly Rajkumar Rao or Ranveer Singh could partner with Pari for this project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I want the whole ridiculous over the top throw everything at the wall and see what sticks kind of comedy! Judwaa 2 was holding back a little, and Mubarakan had a bad comic lead in Arjun Kapoor, but Main Tera Hero was perfect, complete with nonsensical Salman voice over as “God”. That is what I want! And Pari and Varun could do it in a way that convinces you they don’t think they are too good for this.

      Also, I want Anil Kapoor in support as the wacky uncle, Tabu as the wacky aunt, Nana Patekar as Parineeti’s father and Sushmita Sen as Varun’s youthful stepmother who comes up with the “she must have had many love affairs in the past” rule. And Anupam Kher as his doting father who does whatever his young wife says. And Maliaka does an item song with Varun.

      On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 9:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I’ve been traveling and at a family reunion, so not much time to read, post, or watch. On the plane I watched Lucknow Central, which is kind of the perfect plane movie: interesting enough to distract you, not so interesting that you can’t watch while sleepy. The plot can be summed up as : “Is there any context we haven’t used the music contest plot in?” “Hmmm . . . prison?” (I think it is based on a true story, though?)

    Last night the family went to see David Byrne and I got the evening to myself to watch two movies from the vast US Netflix Indian collection. I was totally overwhelmed by the choices and so decided to go with the ones I had wanted to see the longest. 7 Khoon Maaf was unfortunately too long, so I saw OK Kanmani and Tamasha. (Which makes two movies in one night where the lead female’s name is Tara). I quite liked the first, although maybe not as much as everyone else does. I think my favorite part was Prakash Raj, and the relationship between the old couple.

    Also didn’t hate Tamasha as much as everyone else does, although it could have been so much better. I liked the beginning. I liked Deepika’s character; although I wanted her to be fleshed out more I liked that she isn’t a MPDG whose quirky sexiness is supposed to distract you from the fact that she has no inner life. Deepika is really good in this and makes the character more interesting. You’ve written before about movies that give too much weight to a middle class man’s run of the mill pre-midlife crisis, and this is certainly one of them. I really liked the depiction of Ranbir’s days:same necktie, same coffee, same Hijra every day. I also liked the portrayal of the pleasant boredom of his relationship when he isn’t fully engaged. The problem for me only comes when he starts dissociating and acting crazy. This for sure allows Ranbir to just act his ass off, but turns the character into a self indulgent brat. The worst is when he’s enacting his “I was just a robot” monologue for his family. I wish there was some acknowledgement that his father had to do the same thing to give him his comfortable upbringing, and that his mother and grandmother probably never even thought of having any dreams for themselves.

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    • Lucknow Central was the one that, weirdly, released the same week as Qaidi Band with the EXACT SAME PLOT. Lucknow Central claimed to be based on a true story, but I didn’t have much luck tracking it down, I think it was more a weird human interest story in a local paper than anything big. No idea how two movies ended up with the same plot. But Lucknow looked like the better one just based on the cast. Qaidi Band was the launch for Armaan “I’m a Kapoor” Jain, blech.

      Ugh, Tamasha!!!! Ranbir was sooooo bratty. Every time I think about that movie I get mad at how poorly it was done. It almost would have been better if he had suffered an actual psychotic break and been put in a rehab center. More realistic too. And then start writing there, and let his parents discover his true passion that way. And both the character and the director/writer seemed to think this was the worst thing EVER, but, like, his grandfather fled Partition and lost everything! I think that was probably worse than some sort of job angst.

      On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 10:21 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • How bizarre about Qaidi Band. Maybe we could put it down to running out of places to do the band contest plot, although they still haven’t done it in a convent or a hospital or under water. Or in space.

        Oh my God, I forgot about his grandfather fleeing Partition! And he’s there whining to his grandmother, who presumably did too, that he doesn’t want to be an engineer.

        Also I forgot to mention how much I hate the whole robot/clown thing.

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        • This reminds me of my Grandfather suddenly bursting out in the middle of headshaking over how his granddaughter is terribly afraid to fly “What’s there to be afraid of, it’s not like anyone is SHOOTING AT HER!!!!” (he was in the army aircorp during WWIII)

          Yeah, the Grandma should have burst out with “Oh, you don’t want to be an engineer? Well, I didn’t want to watch half my family be killed in front of me, but I survived it!”

          On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 12:38 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think I’m one of the few people who has seen both Lucknow Central and Qaidi Band. Both are forgettable but not unpleasant with a couple of good songs. I actually didn’t think the Jain guy was awful, but it was just a weird choice for a debut.

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  4. @Margaret Speechless.So much drama stuffed into 100 mts.I’m so glad there is a ‘masala’ version of Kinara around. Trust Gulzar to take the fun out of it. Jitendra is an architect.Hema is a classical dancer and Dharmendra writes history books.The two men never even meet before the accident.

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    • Well that’s no fun at all! I bet you don’t even get the fun of Jeetendra, post-reform and misery, suddenly having grey spots at his temple that shrink and grow randomly scene by scene depending on how the make-up artist is feeling.

      There’s also a lot of talk about God and religion and stuff, and spiritual icons that glow with power and change people when they look at them. You are right, it is ridiculously Masala. Magnificent Obsession and Streets of Fire (Tezaab) the two Hollywood movies that were already so odd, the Hindi adaptations had to water them down.

      On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 11:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I’ve been listening to the podcast “Gaslit Nation” which tells the story of the US 2016 election from the perspective of two researchers/journalists who were predicting from 2014 or so how the election would go, and all the connections with mafia types and Putin’s government. Interesting and infuriating, but they have a clear eyed approach and are just smart funny women.

    Watched the first two episodes of Ghoul. I LOVE the combo of dystopian near-future with supernatural horror themes, but it’s too violent for my kid and husband, which means its hard for me to find time to watch it if I want to see it on TV rather than my laptop. 🙂

    Joined Film Companion’s Film Club on Facebook. Fun, but heavy posting. I may have to mute them, sadly, and just remember to go check there once in a while. Margaret, I recommended DCIB there.

    Also very excited about going to see A.R. Rahman with Jo on Friday!!!

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    • Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll look and see if I get a sudden leap forward in Facebook referrals 🙂

      Facebook is completely frustrating to me, because it only seems to work if you are on it all the time. I need to know if someone contacts me directly through it, but I can’t seem to find a way to sort those contacts out from all the Super Super Important notifications Facebook thinks I need that are stuff like “so-and-so just put up a new post”. So the only way to find them would be if I am there minute by minute waiting for the important notification and sorting through the bleh ones. I just went on today and found a message from 2 months ago from someone who got a letter for me at my old address. Exactly what Facebook should be for, a neutral way to contact me about something important from a stranger, and I had no idea because I didn’t bother sorting through the 50 other unimportant things until today. Anyway, that is just a long way of saying “Isn’t the blog better? Everyone should just blog instead of Facebooking”.

      See, I really don’t like dystopian near future and horror, so I am thinking I will be skipping Ghoul. Although I am going crazy trying to figure out where I have seen the male lead before. I just caught a glimpse of his face when I went on Netflix last night to watch my bedtime Frasier, and I know I recognize it, but from what?

      And say “hi” to Joyomama for me! And I guess tell her to say the same to you, also from me 🙂

      On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 1:17 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • The only notifications I want are when someone sends me a direct message. That’s it, nothing else matters. I am sure there must be a setting somewhere that lets me see those listed out, but I don’t know where it is. Anyway, that’s just my frustration with social media, nothing to do with anything interesting.

          On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 5:19 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Only Indian film this past week was Pad Man. I seem to be reading more this year than watching films…plus I’ve been good about waiting to watch things on legal streaming instead of “downloading” them from the internet.

    Pad Man was pleasant, but not earth shattering. Radikha Apte can do no wrong and she was really the heart of this film. Akshay is fine and believable in these types of roles, but I really disliked the writing of that final scene at the UN and the choice to have him give it in broken English. It felt patronizing somehow, even if it’s based on the reality. I enjoyed how in the montages we see Akshay’s character building machines because he has a natural talent and an engineer’s instincts and this final scene undercut all of that building up of his genius. Sonam’s character was one of the poorest written characters I’ve ever seen in a Hindi film. And you could tell that she was just doing this part as a favor to someone and/or the film had a special message, not because she truly connected with the character. We know she’s capable of it because she can give a performance like Neerja. There was absolutely no reason to have this be a romantic relationship (which wasn’t believable anyway no matter how “artsy” and “free-minded” they portrayed her and her father). If they had cast a younger actor like Varun Dhawan (which actually could have been amazing!), that story line may have paid off in the end. Why couldn’t she just have been a feminist with a social conscience and good business sense and that’s it? I think I liked Toilet better between these two Akshay PSA films.

    Also watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, another new rom-com on Netflix. Definitely liked it better than the other romantic teen film on Netflix, The Kissing Booth, since I had major issues with the toxic masculinity of that “hero”. The hero in TATBILB is certainly sweet, but not as perfect as everyone is making him out to be. Of course, I’m not a teen girl and I was swooning more over John Corbett as the girl’s dad (I’m so old).

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    • Oh, and I’ve already weighed in on the future pairings. Arjun Kapoor and Anushka Sharma need to do a film together and soon.

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      • Anushka as a made-it-on-her-own advertising intern and Arjun as the owner’s son both competing for the one choice promotion? They end up working together and pleasing the client and becoming friends, but Anushka is dating her long term boyfriend and Arjun give the go ahead for his father to arrange his marriage with a perfectly nice young woman as part of a business deal? Arjun and Anushka finally realize they are in love during on overseas ad shoot (let’s say Philadelphia, since the whole movie is your idea), and return having to figure out a way to end both their engagements. They decide to approach it like an advertising campaign and use guarilla marketing and stuff to convince Anushka’s guy that he wants to experiment and date other girls before settling down, and to convince Arjun’s girl that she should be the one running her father’s company, it should just be given away to Arjun because she is marrying him. It all falls apart last minute when Arjun’s father (Boman Irani) figures out what they are doing and is furious, but then Arjun stands up to him and says he is willing to give it all up and start over on his own so long as he is with Anushka and Boman realizes he has finally grown up and forgives him. WEDDING SONG.

        On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 1:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I love it. I was definitely envisioning a corporate setting for some reason and the shoot in Philly with a montage song would be amazing. There’s the iconic Love statue, City Hall, Independence Hall, Boathouse Row, the PMA “Rocky” steps…it would be so fun! KANK was filmed in Philly which subbed for NYC and it always cracks me up. Are there any Indian films actually set here?

          I could also see Arjun and Anushka in a Punjabi village based story. They might actually be a better pairing than Sid and Parineeti for that groom stealing story (but different states, right?).

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          • Yeah, I agree! Arjun and Anushka seem like a pairing for that movie rather than Sid and Parineeti.

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          • I feel like I was just watching a movie set in Philadelphia and thinking “I must remember to tell Filmilibrarian about this”, and of course now I can’t remember it.

            Anyway, yes! Maybe something about how they have the contract with an Indian brand that is trying to break into the American market, and they have a whole “You fought the British, we fought the British” connection worked out around the Philadelphia Revolutionary War landmarks and stuff. And then the celebrity who is supposed be the lead in the ad doesn’t show, so they have to sit around and wait for him, end up seeing the city, getting a little drunk, staying up all night talking, falling asleep together, walking up in the morning feeling in love, and finally confessing their feelings to each other just as the plane is landing back in Bombay and they have to face the reality of their respective fiances waiting for them.

            On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 6:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Having read the Twinkle short story that first introduces the idea of the second love interest, I’m really interested in the changes they made. In the short story, their relationship is about her teaching him English, an eventually opening his eyes to all kinds of culture. Plus, she is a divorced single mother, so a society outcast in another way. His choice to go back to his wife is about giving up the woman who is his intellectual equal. They went another way in the film, but I think the short story is more believable as a romance, with him growing up to her level and a true sharing of cultures until they become the same and all that.

      You don’t necessarily have to be old to swoon over the hero’s father. Sometimes the father is just way more interesting!!!! I was far more intrigued by Ray Milland than Ryan O’Neal in Love Story.

      On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 1:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I read the Twinkle Khanna story, too, and didn’t remember a word of it. I remember enjoying her fiction but not as much as her essays. Thanks for the recap;)

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  7. And I want to see Vikrant Massey in a love story (Dum Laga Ke Haisha or Tanu weds Manu style). with Bhumi Pednekar or other talented still not very famous actress. I want him to be shy, younger brother, bullied by his older brother. Vikrant likes the girl in college, and she likes him too, but his timidity and low self esteem don’t let him confess his love. But one day he accompanies his brother to see the bride, and the bride is the girl he loves! Shocked, he finally has the courage to confess , and the girl is extremely happy, and they had one of those improvised weddings I love so much. Don’t know what happen next.

    Reading: Still North and South and I’m in the interesting part now
    Watching:
    Bhavesh Joshi, I’ve already written about it, so I will add only 2 other things. First : wouldn’t be this movie much better with Vikrant instead of Harsh? Second: I really liked the sound of hindi in this movie. Especially Priyanshu Painyuli accent. Or maybe I only liked Priyanshu dialogue delivery?
    #RX100 – loved it! It’s not a perfect movie, but it was perfect for me. I needed something like this – love, drama, fights (too many!), sexy hero who looks like young Sunil Shetty, a lot of shirtless scenes, bold heroine in great clothes and BEAUTIFUL music. Really it’s worth watching just only for the music (and for young Sunil Shetty love-making scenes 🙂 )

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    • Vikrant Massey is interesting to me, too. I can’t figure out where his career is going…

      #RX100 is on my list to watch soon…Pardesi/Melanie’s review made me want to see it!

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      • I was affraid #Rx100 will be too violent for me (sitll have post Rangasthalam trauma), and it was violent, but I used fight breaks to make a tea or watching my phone so it wasn’t bad.

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  8. Pellichoopulu just got added to Youtube so I rewatched it. I liked it more than the first couple of times I saw it and I noticed a bunch of small details that I thought made the movie so good. Pelichoopulu is just one of those very pleasant movies that you can watch to brighten your mood. I liked Geetha Govindam when I saw it but I kept thinking about it and how some parts of the movie really bothered me. It’s like Geetha Govindam left a bad taste in my mouth and Pellichoopulu helped get rid of it if that makes any sense.

    This is the first week of classes so I’m pretty busy in terms of getting organized for my classes. I haven’t gotten a chance to watch RX 100 because I kinda forgot about it. I’m actually really in the mood to watch Manam but I can’t find it online anywhere except for Einthusan.

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  9. Other actresses I would like to see Varun work with are Bhumi Pednekar, Sonam and Deepika. I would also love to see him work with Taapsee, Radhika Apte, Yami Gautham, and Shraddha again as well.

    Oh! Another pairing I definitely want to see is Ayushmann and Alia. They would look really cute together!

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    • I don’t think I could handle Varun with Radhike Apte again, they both did such a good job in the murder scene in Badlapur, I think it would make me shiver to see them together again., even in a happy film.

      On the other hand, I think Varun and Bhumi would be PERFECT!!!! Her kind of calm centered onscreen feeling would be the perfect balance to his wild personality. Maybe some sort of slightly screwball marriage romance? There was an Anil-Kajol movie with the plot of her being the sensible wonderful secretary to his father and Anil being the pleasant nice young man who doesn’t want to get married. His father convinced them to marry with the understanding that they could be divorced in a year if Anil didn’t like it, and privately told Kajol that he was sure after a year, Anil would realize her worth and never want the divorce. Anyway, that is the kind of plot I want to see Varun and Bhumi in together! Something like, it opens with Varun and a cameo actress (Shraddha or someone) singing and happy and in love in college. And then he goes back home and his cheerful elderly millionaire grandfather insists that he has to be married for a year in order to get his trust fund. He rushes to convince Shraddha, only she can’t reach her in time, and so he ends up taking home the first woman he can find, Bhumi, the sensible office worker who is desperate for a place to stay after her landlady throws her out. They strike a deal, she will live in the house with Varun and his grandfather rent free and get a small pay off at the end of the year. And in return, she will perform all the non-bedroom duties of a wife for a year in order to convince the grandfather they are married . And then stuff happens, Varun’s grandfather makes him feel guilty about how his wife is going to work every day and he only goes to the office sometimes. Varun starts working harder just to humor his grandfather but eventually starts to sincerely feel guilty, seeing how Bhumi is struggling just to make a little money to send home for her sibling’s education and how he has had everything handed to him, he works harder and Bhumi begins to respect him and stay up late to give him food when he comes home and so on. Eventually Varun picks Bhumi up from work and sees how her boss is leery at her, picks a fight and gets her fired. Bhumi becomes a “full time” wife, Varun gives her a salary in secret so she has money to send home, and at a big party for his work, he insists on her dressing up in a new sari he bought her and wearing the family heirloom jewels and it seems like they might really be falling in love. But then who should show up at this fancy party, but Shraddha! Bhumi knows all about her and immediately steps back to let her shine, Shraddha is comfortable in this super wealthy world while Bhumi goes back to the kitchen and helps the cook with the food. The grandfather sympathizes with her, tries to convince her that Varun and Shraddha are just a boy-girl thing and Bhumi is his real partner. But Bhumi doesn’t believe him, and tells Varun that night that he should spend time with Shraddha, she’s the one he really loves. Shraddha and Varun go around, but it’s not the same. And finally they have a heart to heart and admit that it was just a college thing, out here in the real world she wants to go to clubs and art exhibits and things, and he just wants to go home at the end of a long day at the office. But! Varun goes home to find his grandfather telling him that Bhumi has left him! He is devastated! He rushes to the train station (the same place where they first met) to stop her, gives an impassioned speech, and then learns that she was just going home to visit her family, not leaving him. His grandfather lied because he was trying to make sure Varun learned how he really felt. Happy Ending with a big real wedding.

      Oh, and I also want Ayushmann and Alia!!!! I agree, they would be cute together. Not sure about the plot. Him as a boring office worker meeting her for an arranged marriage and her as a peppy young woman who doesn’t want to get married might be fun. Or him as the tired bureaucrat who falls in love at first sight when she comes into his office to report something and gets dragged along into her investigation against his will. Maybe she is an NRI that is all fired up about being asked for a bribe, and goes to report to the anti-corruption office where Ayushmann is uninterestedly shuffling paperwork around. He starts the investigation just to have an excuse to see her again and has to arrange for his friends to fake an elaborate conspiracy so he has an excuse to keep seeing her, even though he knows it was really just the same guy who always asks for a bribe because he is trying to pay for his daughter’s wedding. Eventually they stumble into a real conspiracy, Ayushmann tries to convince her to leave it alone, Alia discovers his tricks and is furious and yells at him up and down, it inspires him to actually investigate, and when he successfully brings the major smuggler to court, Alia is so impressed that she goes back to him. Or maybe he investigates and discovers the big smuggler is her father and agrees to look the other way as his dowry? Pretending to blackmail her to make her agree to marry him, but really they both know she wants to anyway and it is just to save her pride.

      Oh boy, this is fun! You have inspired me and now my Sunday posts are already written.

      On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 8:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. I watched Billu. I don’t know why, I thought it would be almost all Irrfan with an SRK cameo at the end, I wasn’t expecting all the songs and film shoot scenes. It took so long to get them in the same room, and then they had all of 4 minutes together! That scene is so lovely, it melted my heart, I wanted lots more of the two of them, playing off each other, and not so much of the flashy item dance numbers. I liked the village side of the story, the movie star part felt kind of ill fitting to me, like it wasn’t quite part of the same movie – not a script thing, more because of the styling and production design. Also, Lara Dutta is gorgeous and I really liked her as the wife. The kids were cute too.

    Reading: still chipping away at my vampire book, hoping to finish during the camping trip this weekend. I got my copy of The Night Diary, maybe that will be next.

    I think I’m still on a sci fi vibe from the earlier post. Thinking a spy vs. spy action thriller with Swara and Dulquer, just to be different :).

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    • I just finished my Rajinikanth book which talks about the Rajinikanth version of Billa that was almost all movie star. The film-within-a-film had a whole complicated plot and big sections all to itself. And the original Mammootty version that came closest to truly being just a cameo. I guess the Shahrukh version is somewhere between the two. The songs were big hits so probably needed to make the film at least a little profitable, but agree about it feeling like a different film. Maybe that was a little on purpose, so we could see the gap between their two lives. And so the moment at the end when when Shahrukh enters into Irrfan’s life has more impact. Oh, and I really liked Lara Dutta in this movie too! And also in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. I am so happy she seems to have started a second career as a comic lead, I think it is a good fit for her.

      I like the idea of Swara as a spy, I’d love her playing the female version of the tough cop. Smoking, drinking, having casual one night stands an a failed marriage. But I don’t know if Dulquer is who I would want opposite her.

      On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 9:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think I still have warm feelings for Dulquer from OK Kanmani, because he did so well opposite a strong, independent female lead. Which is what I would want for Swara. And agreed, she could be great in a gritty cop or spy role.

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        • There is that tradition of the gritty tough spy/cop and the earnest young local assistant. Maybe Swara is the tough outsider spy with the complicated personal life and so on and Dulquer (or whoever) is her local guide, top police officer assigned to help her? He falls in love immediately, because she is so cool, but she doesn’t take him seriously until a series of challenges bring them closer together and she reluctantly comes to respect him. But, after seducing him and sleeping with him, she immediately regrets it and backs off, but he is so earnest and puppylike and keeps coming back every time she kicks him away (metaphorically), and when they say good-bye and she goes back to the centre, she finds herself missing him. Only to walk into her office and meet her new partner, a fresh recruit transferred in from the regular police-Dulquer!

          On Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 5:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Ha! I was picturing something more adversarial, like Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh in Supercop, or maybe Brad and Angelina in Mr & Mrs Smith. But maybe you’re right and Dulquer isn’t quite badass enough for that kind of role.

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          • I’m trying to think who would be. Maybe Ajay Devgan? By the book hero cop confronted by break the rules spy woman? Kind of like Radhike Apte and Saif ali Khan in Sacred Games.

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    • This is very strange, I can’t seem to find a showtime anywhere near me. I somehow thought it wasn’t until next week and I could take a weekend off. Very odd.

      On Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 8:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Even Fandango says “currently, there are no showtimes in Chicago, IL”. Looks like it is playing at the two hour away theater in the suburbs that gets EVERYTHING (versus the 1 hour away theater I usually go to), so I will have to decide if I feel like going all the way out there or if it isn’t worth it. Hmm.

          The really funny thing is that my All Indian theater isn’t getting it. They’ve got both Pakistani movies, plus the two Independence Day Hindi films, plus two Tamil, plus a Punjabi, and the new Deol movie, but no Stree.

          On Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 8:25 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. I watched It takes two with my son, an it was basically post-intervall Kuch kuch hota Hai, but with twins.

    And now I just finished watching Tovino Thomas interview for Film Companion. I love how humble he is. I’m proud of myself because seeing all his older films bore fruit: I knew all the movies he was talking about, and even noticed when the guy who was asking questions made mistakes 🙂

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    • It Takes Two!!!! I saw the ads for that over and over again when we rented movies when I was little and I really really wanted to watch it. And then I did, and it was pleasant but not perfect. I like the original Parent Trap better.

      On Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 10:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  12. I just watched this interview of Varun’s with Rajeev Masand and I thought it was pretty interesting. This came out after October came out so they talk about the film for a while. Rajeev was praising the movie a lot but I kinda felt like I understood the movie a bit better while watching the interview. Varun’s mom shows up too and she talks about what she felt about the movie as well. They’re also simultaneously touring Varun’s new place so that was interesting as well.

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