My Grandpa Reviews Jodha-Akbar, Ghajini, Tara Zameen Par, Talaash, Wake Up Sid, and Jab Tak Hain Jaan

Today is my Grandpa’s birthday, last year I did a whole survey of his life, so this year I want to do something a little different.  I control my Grandpa’s Netflix list, which means sometimes I sneak in Indian movies.  Grandpa loves movies and has very clear and firm opinions on them, which he types up and shares with the rest of the family.  He just sent his thoughts on Ghajini, which inspired me to track down a few other reviews to share with you all.


His favorite Indian movie!  He kept talking about it for weeks and I ended up buying him the DVDs for Christmas.  He can’t remember the title, so he just calls it “the elephant one”.

Review (verbatim from his email)

Jodhaa Akbar   A super spectacular film of of an Indian emperor of many years ago. He brought peace between the Hindu and the Muslims. All the scenes were lush,colorful and ornate. There was a elaborate dance scene with many many dancers. There were battle scenes with thousands including many elephants, horses and camels. It took two DVDs to get it all in.

There were long scenes of the emperor and empress staring at each other. If they had cut that staring time down they probably could have gotten it all on one DVD. It was a film well worth seeing.

(I mean, he’s not wrong, there is a lot of staring)


Tara Zameen Par

Grandpa’s seen it and I haven’t.  Oh well, I’ll just go by his description.


Like Stars on Earth:    It is the story of a 10 year old boy who is having much trouble in school both in his studies and socially and even on the playground. To make things more difficult his older brother is a star in the classroom and sports. His successful father thinks the boy is lazy and a cut up. The school gives up on him and recommends a special boarding school. It is the same problem at the boarding school until an art teacher recognizes the problem. The boy has dislectia. (I know the spelling is way wrong but my spell check is not working and I cannot find it in the dictionary.) The teacher gives a long explanation,with examples, to the father and in doing so also teaches the viewing audience about the illness. With understand by both the school and the family it all works out happily at the end. It is a good film. As it is a Bollywood production it is long. About 20 min. shorter would be better. The musical interludes were not as extreme as usual and did not interrupt the story very much.

(This really seems extreme to me, I think Grandpa and I have different standards)



I’m really impressed that Grandpa liked this movie!  He has very high standards, so congrats to Reema Kagti for meeting them


Taalash:   A Bollywood movie. The story revolves around a couple who’s young son was killed in an accident. She is still sad after a couple of years and the husband in depression, is blaming himself for the accident. I normally poo poo spirits and contact with the departed. I this case I accepted the idea and the couple were each returned to comfort via communication with their son. She via a medium and he by a walking talking beautiful realistic ghost. This attractive ghost helps him, who is police official, solve a murder and another crime.   Sounds weird but it is OK.

(Walking talking beautiful realistic)



I think I just sent him this one because I knew he would like the army training scenes?  And I was right!


Lakshya    It was a Bollywood a little over three hours long. I was going to stop for a day when the intermission  sign came on but it never did and the film was good so I viewed it in one sitting. I am sure I saw the lead man in a prior film. I think it was the historic one. The story is of a lazy lout who is shamed by his girl friend and father into changing. He joins the army and soon goes AWOL as the army is tough. He is shamed back into the army and becomes a hero. There were two elaborate dance scenes that jump right into the movie. They were in the first third and did not spoil the serious part of the story. The best parts were the scenes at the military academy and the climbing of the cliff. I don’t know how they filmed that and it looked like the lead man really did the very difficult climbing.

(Army is tough!)


Jab Tak Hain Jaan

This might be my favorite review.  He misses large parts of the plot, but he does get the jist of it right!


Jab Tak Hai Jaan   Obviously a Bollywood production. Well done and a good love story mixed with some moderate action. The hero by working hard goes from part time jobs to owning and operating a successful restaurant. His love interest who is engaged to another takes a church vow of separation if his life will be saved after an accident. He goes off to Afghanistan and a dangerous position in the army. There another girl is involved. It is a good story and the scenes as filmed were interesting and sometimes spectacular. The two ladies were good actors and surprising to me very good dancers. As is usual in these films all of a sudden there are a whole bunch of people doing a elaborate dance routine. It was two minutes short of three hours and I view it all in one sitting.

(very good dancers)


Wake Up Sid

Not sure why I sent him this, I should have known he would hate it.  Ranbir Kapoor, both as the Sid character and as a real person, is not someone Grandpa would like AT ALL.

Wake Up Sid

Sid is a super brat. Half of the film is to show how coincided, rude and lazy he is. He is extremely rude to his parents especially his mother. It is way over done. You know from the start that by the end he will change. There is no suspense.

It starts with him flunking collage. I thought that the actor looked too old for collage. Then I found out that he was in high school. Slow moving and boring.

(Yeah, Grandpa would have no patience for this kid.)



Completely forgot I sent him this one.  Oh well, he liked it so it all worked out.


Ghajini was a block buster. I started it at 7:45 and by 10:00 which was my bed time it was still going strong. I got up and looked at the sleeve and found that it was over three hours long. I finished it this morning. It is a wild story with lots of impossible fights.  There were four dance scenes inserted with no connection to the story. One was in a spectacular setting and quite long. The plot was too complicated to explain but the idea was exceptional.

(I think he means this song?  I’m not sure)


Bonus, a non-Indian review from a few days ago which I find delightful and hilarious and also accurate:

Spider-Man  Homecoming       When I was a young teen ager I much enjoyed Tarzan swinging on vines through the jungle and leaping off an elephant.  That was real.
Spider-Man hauling around on cob webs and jumping from tall buildings was bunk.
I did not finish it.

33 thoughts on “My Grandpa Reviews Jodha-Akbar, Ghajini, Tara Zameen Par, Talaash, Wake Up Sid, and Jab Tak Hain Jaan

    • He tried it and did not like it. Partly because the flashback confused him so he thought it was one story straight through and all the same character. which to be fair, would make the film somewhat confusing and illogical.


    • I think that means he likes them, right? Anyway, I’m gonna keep sending him Indian movies because I like his responses.

      On Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 8:05 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  1. So cool! I’ve tried so hard to get my mom into Indian movies and she likes the rom-coms well enough. I’m just waiting to see if I can get my nieces and nephew into them. I was playing Daryaa from Manmarziyaan this last week on a big family vacation and my 10-year old nephew who is musically inclined was humming it and he asked me how I know what they are saying and I explained the subtitles in the videos/films, but also explained that sometimes it’s just the general mood from what I know about the plot, instrumental sounds, tone, and the melody that will draw me in…not necessarily knowing the lyrics. He seemed to get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It gets into what you want for “sexy”. Hrithik in Agneepath is tortured and big and noble and rough. Hrithik in Bang Bang is charming and cocky. Hrithik in Jodha-Akhar is mature and and noble and loving.

      Also, as Grandpa pointed out, he spends a lot of time starring into the heroine’s eyes. That’s always good.


      • All three combined are why I will always have a soft spot for Hrithik. There’s really no actor like him and he’s squandered his basic talent for being sexy on so many useless films;) I will add, despite how unwatchable the film is generally, that he looks pretty d**n good in Kites, too. Every once in a while I feel the urge to rewatch it to see if it improves with age and distance and then I remember that it has a too-close to real life Kangana role and the gross Brett Ratner is involved in it.


        • Jodha Akbar really is wonderful though, I feel like I may have missed my chance to talk it up! A bit draggy especially towards the end, but so beautiful and rich to look at, and great performances, and a really nice peaceful and forgiving message, an refreshing take on history in these times when everything tends to be about the big battle.

          On Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 10:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • I keep trying to wrap my head around how different Karan Johar’s version of the Mughal Empire will be from Gowarikar’s. It’s a couple of generations later (if I know my history) and that will give it a different feel and there will be even more focus on the costumes and interiors and less on the battle sequences…unless Johar tries to do something out of his comfort zone or to prove a point. And of course, this will be an intra-family conflict and Jodhaa Akhbar was about a different kind of conflict.

            JA does drag at times, but the best parts of it are some of the best moments in Indian film.

            Gossip is that Kareena and Saif might have another baby sometime soon…I wonder how this will affect filming of Takht, since she is most likely playing Jahanara Begum.

            I can’t wait another two years to see this film!


  2. he looks so nice,
    Talaash is My mother’s favorite film, I liked this film, but my mother loved it very much,She loved Amer’s relationship with Karina and staggered when she learned she was a ghost and wanted him to leave his wife for her

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday to your gpa, and thank him for sharing his plainspoken reviews.

    I agree with his review of Spider-Man Homecoming! I believe it got good reviews and is generally appreciated by the fandom. But I saw it in the theaters, and the loud screechy voice that the lead actor employed was dialed up to eleven and didn’t let up the entire movie. It was literally unbearable, I kept nodding off in an effort to escape the torture. I’ve never had such a physical jarring experience in a movie theater before or since.


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