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

Happy Wednesday!  Such an odd shortened week, I almost forgot about this post because I kept thinking it was Tuesday.

I’ll start!

Reading: I finally got the Lois Bujold books that datablue recommended from the library, yaaaay!  I am very excited to start them.

Watching: I saw Hamilton last night, thanks to the generosity of my mother.  We had balcony seats and mutually agreed that, at least in this particular theater, the balcony seats are far better than floor.  Also, I got distracted the whole time thinking about Fiorello! and 1776.  I’m probably just short-sighted and sentimental, but I think I like 1776 better.  And maybe Fiorello! best of all.

Thinking: Will there be air conditioning at work today?  There wasn’t yesterday, and then it was sort of fixed but not really.  We are in this very modern circa 1960 office building, that doesn’t have windows that open.


Now, question for you!  Inspired by my seeing Hamilton, and Paltan coming out.  What story from Indian history do you really want to see onscreen that hasn’t been told before?

I know it will never happen, but boy do I want to see a Nehru-Lady Mountbatten love story onscreen!  It could be handled very delicately, supposedly he inspired her to be a better woman, to dedicate herself to good works.  And she got him to laugh.

Oh, and I would also LOVE to see the Tata family in a movie.  Any generation, I don’t care, they are all cinematic from the young orphan boy adopted and inheriting millions to the late in life passionate second marriage with the Swiss tourist.


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

  1. I know very little about Indian history, so I can’t say what I would like to see, but I read your Tata family’s story and I like it very much, especially the part about white woman (no surprises here).

    I have been busy last week and managed to finish only one movie Mithunam (telugu). It was my 50th indian movie this year so I wanted something different, and it was different. Only 2 actors and only one place (their house and garden). Entire movie is about this older couple – what they eat, how they pass their time, their arguments, their pranks, and most important their love. when I saw the scene with 2 talking roosters I was thinking: why I’m watching it? But I’m happy I continued because it’s one of those movies you must watch till the end to appreciate it better.


    • Maybe a Tata movie focusing on the white woman romance with flashbacks to his youth in the orphanage before being rescued? And it can be an opposites attract May-December kind of thing, he is played by one of our sophisticated older actors as a dignified responsible mature guy, he is walking through his hotel one day and helps a white tourist who is struggling with understanding Hindi enough to pay her cab driver, she insists on taking him out to dinner as a thank you, love blossoms where neither of them expected it, his son objects but then comes around, and so on.

      And then he buys her a magazine, the magazine sponsors a beauty pageant, and in a dark twist ending, their love brings Aishwarya Rai to our movie screens.

      I just looked up the Telugu movie, and it looks really interesting. Also, the male star is primarily known as a musician, not an actor. Huh!

      On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 10:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I didn’t know he is a singer and not an actor.

        Ghajinikanth was added to Prime, and I started watching it, but there were too many jokes about dark girls so far and I don’t feel like finishing this one. Somebody watched it and can tell me if it’s better in the second half?


      • SP Balasubrahmanyam is a multi-talented person – he’s a good actor as well as dubbing artiste in addition to being a singer recording 40000 songs over 16 languages in Indian cinema.

        Mithunam is based on a well acclaimed (classic) Telugu story, with same name, written by a notable Telugu writer, Sri Ramana. A Malayalam movie was already made in 2000 based on this story –
        I watched both, and though I liked both and personally I am a fan of SPB & Tanikella Bharani (Director), I feel the Malayalam version was closer to the story. I recommend the Malayalam version too.


  2. I saw Geetha Govindam and was highly disappointed. Everything I hate – the misogyny, the navel gazing, the over emphasis on “tradition” and “culture”, way toooo much father and sister sentiment, family “honour” was present in the film. The only reason I could sit through was because of Vijay Devarakonda.
    And this made a 100 crores already.


  3. The first teaser from Vijay Deverakonda’s next movie, NOTA, came out today. I knew that it’s a political thriller but this looks quite intense.

    Also another song from Devadas came out today.

    And since I’m posting trailers anyway, the trailer of Shailaja Reddy Alludu came out a few days ago and it looks really fun!


  4. Finished Ghoul–somehow I missed that it was only 3 parts, so at the end of part 3 I was really into the story, and thinking to myself–awesome!–what happens next? And then it ended. But, they left things really open for a part 2. It really is straight up horror in some parts, but the dystopia part is interesting. It portrays one way things could go if the Hindutva stuff is followed through to an extreme by those in power.

    Watched the first hour of Rajneeti last night, gearing up for Friday! How many movies had Ranbir been in by this point? Cuz I’m getting nothing from him so far. On the other hand, LOVING Arjun and Nana. So far Sanjay is a cipher–where does this ambition come from? Can’t tell if that’s how the character is written or he just doesn’t fit this kind of character. Are there any decent women characters in this? Or–I can ask all these things on Friday.

    Finally–YES to seeing A.R. Rahman and co. I hope its not too late! I’m sure Jo will agree, it was wonderful. Very accessible musically, with lots of film or filmi songs, old and new, and immersive graphics. Fairly interactive with the audience too–if you’ve wanted to have a sing-a-long of Dil Se with the Master, now is your chance. They sang 3 songs from Dil Se, none of them Chaiyya Chaiyya. Udit was there and sang Ae Ajnabi. Lovely! Also there were two songs from JTHJ, which, forgive me, I forgot that Rahman did the music for. Some traditional sufi playing, and some DJ’ing, woven into the performance. His singers and musicians are top notch, and he is clearly the band leader, from his keyboards in the middle of the stage or up front. It has stayed with me all week–a part of me still wants to be there in the hall. 🙂


    • I can still see AR Rahman, if I have an extra $400 sitting around (I missed the cheap ticket window because I wasn’t sure if I would have a car then). So, no. I am just going to pretend he isn’t actually playing in Chicago and I’m not missing anything. But hey, I saw Hamilton! That’s almost as good.

      Definitely not going to watch Ghoul, horror and dystopia and near future and bleh!!! I don’t need any of that. But I am so glad you watched it so you could tell me about it.

      Excited to talk about Raajneeti with you on Friday! I ended up being far more intrigued by the woman characters than the men, but I am not sure if the director was as interested in them as I was?

      On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 12:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • Was the concert more Hindi focused? I toyed with the idea of going several times but looked at the singers and felt there wouldn’t be too many Tamil songs, also went for his concert in 2015 so decided to wait.


  5. I watched Raajneeti and I don’t have too much to say about it but I found it to be a pretty interesting movie.

    I also watched Chukkallo Chandrudu which is a Telugu movie starring Siddharth which came out in 2005 after Nuvvostanante Nennoddantana. It’s a nice love story but there was a lot about the movie that I would improve upon. I thought the story would be pretty interesting to improve, modernize, and remake though.


    • I just looked up the Siddharth film, and I am stuck on the cast. ANR and Waheeda Rahman playing opposite each other? It’s worth watching just for that!

      On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 12:46 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I feel so dumb for not realizing that was Waheeda Rahman! But they were really cute together. I really liked their scenes with Siddharth! The rest of the cast was pretty good as well. There’s actually a Prabhu Deva cameo and song!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I watched Race 3 and though I knew it would be a terrible movie, I really didn’t expect this mess. I mean what were they thinking? Salman really doesn’t have the lean, mean vibe that Race 3 has. And Bobby Deol looked out of place too, like he couldn’t understand what was going on. But i stopped midway cos I couldn’t take it.
    The makers should take your idea to cast Rana and Aditya Roy Kapur as brothers!


    • Race 3 is such a mess! You go into it knowing that it won’t be good, but at least hoping for entertaining. And then it is such a disaster that even “entertaining” is too much to hope.

      On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 1:33 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • LOL I’m preparing myself mentally to watch Race 3 since it’s on Prime. But if I understood well it’s not so bad it’s good, isn’t it?


        • That’s right. Unless you start playing a game with yourself, like trying to find how many times Salman’s dialogue was overdubbed later because he couldn’t remember it while playing the scene with the other actors.

          On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 3:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Yeah Salman just doesn’t move. I felt bad for Jackie towards the end because she seemed to be the only one who was ptrying. And Saqib Saleem put in too much effort, should’ve lent some to Salman.


          • Yep yep yep! Bobby seemed okay, but was putting his effort into the wrong places, like his body, instead of the right ones, like coming up with some kind of believable backstory and motivation for his character and forcing the director to include it.

            Glad it’s not just me who noticed Salman! It was really disturbing, right? Like, it made me wonder if maybe he COULDN’T move for some reason.

            On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 4:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  7. You know there almost was a movie about Nehru and Lady Mountbatten, right? With Irrfan and Cate Blanchette. I was incredibly psyched about this and followed it in the news, and first they were going ahead with the movie but not suggesting that the relationship was anything more than a close friendship, and then they cancelled the whole thing. Very disappointing, but not unexpected. But, yeah, that’s the historical thing I also would like to see the most–what a fascinating couple of people!

    So, I think I told you I saw Lucknow Central on my way to the States, and then on my way back what should be on offer but Qaidi Band. Someone at United Airlines has really specific tastes in Indian movies. I didn’t really feel like another prison band movie was where I wanted to go, so I opted for Jagga Jasoos, which I hadn’t planned on watching. Hoo boy. First, maybe it was my lack of sleep but I could not follow what was going on. Second, I would really like to see a sort of Thin Man-esque screwball mystery, but this is not it. The frothy quirkiness just can’t support all the murder and mayhem, and framing the whole thing as a children’s story is just so weird. (“Hey kids! A teacher was boofing another teacher and she got thrown from a clock tower! Crazy, right?”) Was it supposed to be funny? And I got sick of Katrina’s pratfalls. And what was up with the ending? Were they planning for a sequel? Also, Ranbir is doing the same thing he did in Barfi. Although, I really love Saraswata Chatterjee so it was nice to see him in a Hindi film.

    I am also desperately trying to find a way to watch Rajneeti again. I have a video but can’t make the subtitles work. Going to see a more technologically advanced friend now, but am emotionally preparing to not be able to watch.


    • I can’t BELIEVE the Viceroy’s House movie just ignored the whole thing entirely. I also can’t believe that they made Mountbatten into a stern hero. And made Edwina his loyal wife and partner.

      I find Edwina’s story fascinating, because from what little I know of her makes her out to be a fairly shallow and uncaring person for most of her life. Not actively harmful in any way, but not terribly focused on others over herself. Intelligent, open-minded, lots of good things, but not necessarily self-sacrificing. And then the Indian experience, particularly her interaction and friendship with Nehru, turned her into a woman completely devoted to serving humanity.

      And she just got slammed again in The Crown, painted as a heartless woman who enjoyed cruel games played on her husband instead of a woman who had a cheerful open marriage with loads of relationships on both sides, that dedicated the last 13 years of her life to service for others, and then died at a young age mourned by all.

      Plus the Edwina-Nehru affair is the ideal “love is about service and devotion and not necessarily about being together” story. They changed each other and sustained each other, but never considered consummating the relationship (so far as anyone can tell) and certainly would never have married.

      Cate Blanchett and Irrfan would have been perfect, only Irrfan is much much much much too tall.

      On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 11:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Yeah, Edwina is a bit of a personal hero of mine. I first read about her in Alex von Tunzelmann’s book Indian Summer, in which she and Nehru are the only ones who come off particularly well. (And she, incidentally, thinks they totally did it. Witnesses saw them “embracing”—whatever that means. Pamela Hicks says they didn’t but it’s her mom, so). I then found a biography of her used on Amazon, and that was good, but her life isn’t terribly interesting before WW II when she discovered her talent for organizing. But, in any case it’s a really interesting story of an unusual love affair that enriched both of their lives. From the way it’s been treated in the media it seems like people still don’t know what to make of the Mountbattens’ open marriage.


        • Have you seen The Crown? So frustrating, they decided to make Mountbatten this sad sensitive broken-hearted figure and Edwina the cold woman who breaks his heart.


          • I’m watching it very slowly, meaning I’m only about halfway through season 1. That is frustrating, though. He comes off as a buffoon in Indian Summers, generally being an ass with the Prince of Wales and talking about getting “toxi-boo” (I.e. drunk).


  8. The trailer of NOTA came out and it looks interesting enough. It’s a Telugu-Tamil bilingual so I think that even if the movie isn’t good, Vijay gets the experience of acting in Tamil.

    The trailer of Namaste England came out and it looks more dramatic than what I expected. It kinda reminds me of Badrinath Ki Dulhania plot wise.


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