Happy International Positive Thinking Day! Watch My Mental Gymnastics As I Take All The Worst Things of Hindi Film and Make Them Good!

This is a holiday MADE FOR ME.  I am all about the positive thinking.  To an almost unhealthy degree, I have no patience with myself when I am self-pitying. “Suck it up, Margaret!”, I think, “Find the bright side and stop whining!”, I order myself.  But look!  Now the International Day people (whoever they are) have given me a challenge, let’s see if I can rise to it, and find something that it would be almost impossible to be positive about and somehow manage it.

All right, my top 6 least favorite things about watching Indian movies!  How can I turn this around and make them into something good?


Bad Subtitles on Indian Films

When you watch a film and have that sensation of “I don’t think the thing that is being written below is actually the thing they are saying”, whether that is because it is a misplaced desire to ‘translate’ the meaning (“Emraan Hashmi is the same as George Clooney, right?”) or because there is a ten second lag between the speech and writing, or because half the words dropped off the bottom of the screen or stopped playing entirely, that is a terrible thing.

But, be positive!  Doesn’t it encourage you to learn a new language so you don’t need subtitles?  Or even help you learn that language as you struggle to find meaning between two disconnected things?  Or, at the very least, it helps you to focus on the performances and the visuals rather than the subtitles, better appreciating the over all beauty of the film.

(Same goes for unsubtitled songs.  Don’t you wish you knew what they were saying?  Isn’t it a wonderful gift to give you the encouragement to learn a new language?)


Indian Movies Impossible to Find on DVD or Streaming

When there is a film that you have heard about and desperately want to see but cannot find a copy of it anywhere.  So frustrating!

But, on the other hand, think of the relationships you build!  The chat rooms where illegal links are shared, the direct emails to DVD store owners, even branching out and finding Indian based websites (einthusan, hotstar, Tentkotta) just to satisfy your desires.  All of these wonderful adventures and moments of breaking out of your comfort zone that you would have missed had you been able to just buy the film on Amazon.

Image result for tamanna 1997

(Someday I will find a copy of Tamanna.  But in the meantime, there is something to be said for the joy of the chase.  Life will be so empty once I find it)


Actors that Single-handedly Destroy a Film Through Bad Acting

When you watch Aishwarya in Fanney Khan.  Or Salman in Race 3.  Or Shraddha in Anything.  And you realize that the entire movie is being dragged down by them, they are somehow poisoning everything.

But can there be light without darkness?  Would we appreciate Bobby Deol or Rajkummar Rao or even Varun Dhawan as much if we did not have something else to compare them to?  Yes, the movie as a whole is destroyed.  But it has become a living struggling thing, like a dying bird that tries to fly with a broken wing, a strange sort of pained beauty to it.  There are many good movies, how many movies are there that are almost good?  A much more unique thing to experience.  And finally, most of all, isn’t it nice to have something to complain about sometimes?  Shouldn’t we be grateful for that opportunity?

(Think how much more you enjoy Madhuri by having Aish to compare her with!)


Films That Are Only Playing at Super Far Away Theaters

It takes forever to get there and get home again, you get no sleep because you get home so late, and sometimes you have to skip the film entirely because it is just not possible to make it in time.

But isn’t it nice to see a new part of the world?  You never might have explored this exciting part of your city if not for being forced to go to this theater!  Plus, public transit is always fun and gives you lots of time to read.  Or, if you are driving, it gives you time to listen to the soundtrack of the movie you are watching before you get there.  Plus, sometimes it is good to get very little sleep, makes you sleep better the next day.  And if it just isn’t possible at all, then you don’t have to feel guilty for missing a movie, and instead can stay home and give yourself a different treat during the same time you had set aside for movie watching.

(Plus, the stars look so bright at 1am, and the roads are all empty, it’s nice driving back home super late)


Films That Have Ridiculously High Ticket Prices

With the growing ticket prices, sometimes movies are as expensive as concerts.  And you can go to as few of them as concerts.  And there is no money left over for popcorn or dinner before or anything else.

But then, we only value something depending on what it costs.  A higher ticket makes going to the movies an event, keeps us appreciative and respectful of what we are seeing.  And makes it more special because you can only go to a few, and all your money is spent on the ticket.

(And you can do elaborate dance numbers about the ticket!)


Films That You Struggle to See and Then You End Up Hating

You travel for an hour, or spend months tracking down a copy on DVD/streaming, put up with bad subtitles and bad acting, pay through the nose for the ticket, and then you just hate the movie after all of that.  Not just one actor, but the whole thing. Is there anything worse?

But, if you hadn’t seen the movie, you would still have that bad experience to look forward to!  Now it is behind you, done, and you never have to watch this movie again because you already know you don’t like it.  Knowledge is a valuable thing.

(I never have to watch this movie again.  Isn’t that WONDERFUL???)




I think I did pretty good!  But I am sure there are other miseries I missed.  Bring them up in the comments and I will find a positive spin on them.


Or tell me to go soak my head because there is no one more irritating than a determined Pollyanna-type.


(Pollyanna, one of my favorite books growing up.  Did you know there was a sequel?  And Pollyanna was caught in a complex heartbreaking love triangle?)


24 thoughts on “Happy International Positive Thinking Day! Watch My Mental Gymnastics As I Take All The Worst Things of Hindi Film and Make Them Good!

  1. I admire your ability to turn all these things around! How about this for your worst list: Bhansali puts illogical dance numbers like Dola Re Dola into his films for the spectacle, never mind whether they make any sense to the plot or support the story (why would Paro invite Chandramukhi to a family gathering and then have a dance-off with her?)


    • Indian films are always accused of putting in dance numbers for no reason and interrupting the plot. Bhansali is generous enough to give us a perfect example of this problem so that we can use it to point out the songs that DON’T interrupt the plot and have completely valid reasons for existing. Without him, our arguments would be so much less cogent.

      On Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 7:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Dance numbers in Bhansali movies can be illogical, but they are so elaborate, beautiful, full of gold that you can enjoy them for years. Basically they are better than his movies.


  2. This is a fun post. Ok-spin this. 1.You hear great stuff & read critic raving about a movie, you watch it & think meh, what’s the big deal. You come out & still hear people are going gaga over it & start wondering if u watched the wrong film or the world has gone bonkers.
    2. You start watching a movie like Mersal, Bharat Aane Nenu knowing it’s a star movie & think you are prepared for the mindlessness that is about to happen. But then movie proves to be much worse & you get so mad about it & want to turn it off. But the person watching it with you wants to keep going cos he finds it fun.
    3. You are dragged to a movie you know you will hate but your dearest friend wants to watch it.


    • 1. this is wonderful! That little voice in your head that says “do I really like things or am I just succumbing to peer pressure?” is permanently silenced! If you were susceptible to peer pressure, you would have loved this movie. Now you have proof of your own internal strength!

      2. A fun chance to plan how you are going to re-organize your kitchen cabinets without any external stimuli to interrupt your thoughts! Or, in my case, to write my review in my head before even finishing the movie. You have been given the gift of time! Time to really sit and think.

      3. An everlasting favor to hold over her head! far less painful than helping her move or driving her to the airport. Also, play up the suffering a bit and you can probably get her to pay for the popcorn too. Most of all, turn about is fair play, next time you get to pick the movie and you can pick one she would never agree to watch otherwise.

      On Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 10:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • On similar note, you have a film starring someone you dislike/hate (say PC or Kangana) to the core, but directed by your favorite (say KJo) and should you watch it or skip it?


      • I’m not good at spinning. Will let M wave her wand over this.This could be a Monday qn-will u let your dislike for a certain actor, director or someone associated with a movie dictate how you like a movie or even in deciding to watch it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You watch it and use this time as a challenge to see if you can get past your prejudices and appreciate the performance separate from the actor. And if the actor is still terrible, well, that is just confirmation of your opinion, even with a good director they still can’t manage to get past their own problems.

        On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 5:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


        Liked by 1 person

  3. Illogical dance sequences – they singularly get the women to have songs to for Indian diaspora meetup dances! I am so thankful for Devdas as thanks to Bhansali we had songs to dance to in college! And even today, every Indian club is dancing to Ghoomar or Nainowale ne.


  4. Amazing😂😂😂Especially 2. I usually do my reading during the aforementioned movie. Or just loiter around doing nothing.
    Okay one more-which is the other end of #1. You suggest a movie that you loved to someone who has similar likings & they found it meh. You tell them they have no taste but in your head you are disappointed & start questioning your ‘taste’.


    • A chance to see a different perspective! Learn from others! Knowledge is wonderful, now you have an opening to see into someone else’s brain and gain their knowledge and opinions. It’s not a matter of taste, it’s just a matter of different knowledge bases and now you can share them and learn from each other.

      On Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 11:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • That would have been a good spin except I mentioned ‘someone who has similar likings’. So that could be your sibling, mom, best friend whose brains, opinions & knowledge bases you thought you are overly familiar with. Why spring this surprise & cause distress ?


        • Oh, see, I never have a choice of “springing a surprise”, my face is way too easy to read, if I don’t like a movie, everyone knows it. But in that case, I may not choose to talk about it as much, but instead I will just work out in my brain why is it that two seemingly identical people have such a different reaction to a film, and how fascinating the human mind is. Or, alternatively, I think of keeping my mouth shut as a sacrifice on the alter of our relationship, because true sacrifice is unknown, and my sacrifice will be rewarded somehow.

          On Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 11:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. I love it!
    Let’s see what you’ll answer for my most hated thing:
    You see beautiful posters/trailers , with lots of colours and smiling people but when you start watching you discover it was a trickery and the movie is about people with brain tumor /dysfunctional families or other sad things.


      • (answering for Angie) ALL OF THEM!!!!! They are all like that! Happy happy, nice people, pretty village…..SURPRISE! Misery!

        Okay, not all of them. But a large enough number that it feels like all of them.

        On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 6:43 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL yes, it looks like one of the many many malayalam sad movies, but I was thinking about 2 hindi movies in particular when I wrote this. I’m new to malayalam cinema, but I already know it’s never: boy meets girl, they marry and live happily ever after, there must me something sad always. But with hindi it’s different, that’s why they manage to deceive me with their colorful posters sometimes, like with Katti Batti (spoilers): The posters were like: come, see this colorful movie about young couple in love, and then the movie was: ha you have been fooled, it’s about girl leaving her boyfriend bacause she has a brain tumor and is dying.


    • If an ad campaign promises something you want and then the movie is something else, in the big picture that means the thing you want is the more popular thing, so more of it will be made, this is good news for you! As for this particular film, well, doesn’t it feel wonderful when the movie is over and you are able to leave? It’s like leaving a really bad party, there is nothing more euphoric than the trip home after the escape.

      On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 2:44 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  6. What a nice idea! Yeah, let us look at the bright side of life…because we know there has to be one (remember? nothing bad without something positive…well, okay, vice versa, too, but you can decide to value the positive such that the negative looses its impact…or you’re confident that you may experience the good later).
    Actually, I don’t find nothing to challenge you (it would be a ‘bogus’ challenge)…on this field I’m far too similar to you.
    Yep, it’s a lot about learning…and if I haven’t the time (or the mind) to learn, I just try to accept and to keep cool.


  7. Lets see how you spin this-Tiger Shroff borrowing plots, story lines from good Telugu films, adding foreign action film sequences, destroying the original to make a big dumb action movie(basically the formula that u told me the other day) & that movies becomes a success. Tiger is a star & u have to keep seeing him.


    • Well, first, Tiger Shroff makes my friend Dina ridiculously fangirly and happy, so it’s a wonderful thing that he keeps making movies so I can keep enjoying Dina’s happiness.

      Second, his films are delightful challenges to my global film knowledge base. How else can I quiz myself on films from every Indian language and also every other country in the world simultaneously? If you think of them as Jeopardy questions, they are unique ways of confirming my particular talents and interests.

      On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 8:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I didn’t get to reply to this yesterday. I pictured you writing this like Boman Irani’a character in Munna Bhai movies. When he starts getting stressed, he starts the maniacal laughing. The stickier the item of misery is, the more positive you get. You win!


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