Monday Morning Questions Post: What Are Your Unpopular Opinions?

Happy Monday!  After my super productive weekend (I did everything but hang the new towel rack), regular work feels like a bit of an anti-climax.  So, distract me!  Ask me questions!

Now, questions!  You can ask me anything from the personal (“why didn’t you see Batti Gul Meter Chalo?”) to the specific and factual (“What is Batti Gul Meter Chalo?”) to the general discussion (“Can you decide a movie isn’t worth watching without having watched it?”)

Only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  The discussion just goes better that way.  But once I answer, please feel free to leap in and join the conversation.

 

Now, question for you!  What are your unpopular opinions in Indian film fandom?

I don’t have that many, because I am pretty mainstream and boring in my tastes.  Stuff like “I don’t like Bhansali movies” is uncommon, but not really unpopular.

But here are three things that are just my opinion (not ready to be expanded into an official post or review) which I knew are going to be fairly unpopular:

  1. I don’t think Katrina is all that bad of an actress.  Works hard, friendly on camera, soft attitude to her co-stars.  Sure, she could be better, but she could also be worse.
  2. I just rewatched the I songs again, and I kind of think Amy Jackson is actually a good actress!
  3. On the other hand, I think maybe Ranbir Kapoor isn’t that good of an actor at all?  Kind of focuses on the tics and tricks instead of bringing out emotion in the audience, and always plays the same role.  And, a very unpopular opinion, I also think Kangana may not be that good?  In the right part, she is magnificent.  But I don’t know if she can play anything besides those right parts.

Now, I have revealed my secret shame!  Your turn to pull out your unpopular opinions.

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87 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post: What Are Your Unpopular Opinions?

  1. Question – Who do you think is more talented – Kajol or Sridevi?

    Unpopular opinion: I don’t think Deepika is that great an actress. She was wonderful in Piku but that’s because Irrfan and Amitabh are amazing. I think she bombs when she works with average actors. Some people though, like Rajkumar Rao rise above the averageness and shine in any role they are in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Kajol is more talented if you look purely at their Hindi output, but if you expand to Sridevi’s full career, there is no contest. In Hindi, it seemed like Sridevi was stuck being mostly eye candy and didn’t get to show the range that Kajol has, but looking at her Tamil and Telugu output shows she had that range and more. I think if she had kept working, making movies like English/Vinglish and Mom, she would have easily shown her range even in Hindi. It seemed like as an older woman she was given more freedom somehow in the roles she could play than as a young woman.

      Interesting unpopular opinion! You could be right, I think of Dips’ first 3-4 years as remarkably uninteresting, and then post Cocktail suddenly every performance was excellent. But she really hasn’t done that many movies, so it’s possible it is just good casting for the roles as people figured out what to do with her. Chennai Express was the film I was most impressed with her because it wasn’t really a script supported role and yet she managed to add depth to her performance.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 6:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. My 2 unpopolar opinions:
    1. This one I know is not so unpopular, at least here because there are some good souls who agree with me: Hamari Adhuri Kahani is a beautiful, perfect movie, period.
    2. I think Farah Khan’s movies are a waste of time and I wish she had never had the idea of being a director. She should have stucked with what she is good at – choreographing.

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    • 1. I will never agree with this and I think you are INSANE!!! But I love you anyway.

      2. I half agree with this. I think when Farah approaches her movies like extended dance numbers, they are wonderful. Om Shanti Om and Main Hoon Na had that kind of surreal fun feel straight through. But when she tries to make them actual movies, the magic falls apart.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 8:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t know how you can not love this movie – Vidya Balan, Rajkummar, Emraan, the scene when he “marries” her with a petal before they make love for the first time. What do you want more? 😉

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        • A plot! Acting! An actual kiss onscreen! An ending that isn’t ridiculous! But that’s probably asking for the wrong things from a Hindi film romance.

          On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 3:46 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • But you like Manam, and it doesn’t have any of those things!
            Btw, my other unpopular opinion- I hate Manam. It’s like paying for seeing someone’s family videos. There is only one good thing in this movie-old love story of Shirya and Nagarjuna, all the rest is terrible.

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          • I love Manam! It’s like watching someone’s home movies, but a nicer family than exists in reality so you can imagine you belong to them. So soothing!

            And I would say the problem with Manam, if there is one, isn’t lack of plot but suffette (sp?) of plot.

            On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 3:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • How can you hate Manam????its so sweet. Grown men who cry for their mothers, beautiful love story in sepia tone, rich people acting silly & old men acting child like.. it’s like having ice cream in the sun.. so cooling!

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          • LOL Remove sepia love story, add the hero who is only interested in watching women’s butts and you have the list of all things wrong in this movie 😁

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          • C’mon the only plot Manam has is : people die and reborn in different relations 😀 (and nobody marries using with a petal.)

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          • Yeah, but they send each other cute messages in coffee cup smile-y faces!

            Also, now I am trying to think of other movies with flower petal marriages, and I can only think of literal “deflowering” visual metaphors. Oh ick, do you think that’s why they always put rose petals on the marriage bed? Because of the “deflowering” imagery?

            On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 4:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. So, why didn’t you see Batti Gul…? I think it does seem like a streaming time-pass movie myself. I didn’t end up going to see Manmarziyaan in the theater…almost did. I found a friend, who’s never seen an Indian film, willing to drive out to the theater with me but then on short notice they cancelled the early showing. It’s really flopping, isn’t it?:( Still obsessed with seeing it someday soon. But we went to see Crazy Rich Asians instead and it was so so good! And, yes, a Bollywood version would be amazing!

    Also watched Special 26, for the first time, with a new movie buddy. She’s a neighbor of mine who grew up in Gujarat and she’s a big fan of Hindi films. She also follows the gossip which is always a good sign for the level of fandom! She had seen Special 26 and I hadn’t…which is so unusual for me. I’m usually the one rewatching favorites with freinds. It was pretty fun. At first I kept thinking this is like Raid, but then I remembered right before it was revealed what the twist was! So it turned out to be a pretty standard heist movie, but definitely enjoyable.

    Comments on your unpopular opinions: I agree to some degree with all of them!

    My unpopular opinion has always been that Saif Ali Khan is the best Khan (even better than Irrfan Khan, too). And that Arjun Kapoor is a better actor than most give him credit for (though I don’t think Namaste England is the role that demonstrates that…he needs to be careful not to constantly do the Punjabi dude bro roles).

    And here’s another: I don’t think Prabhu Deva is the best male dancer ever in Indian cinema. I don’t even think Hrithik is. Both rely to heavily on their flexibility and a very limited set of moves. Also Hrithik doesn’t dance enough in his films to really earn that title anymore. I do love certain Hrithik dance performances (Dhoom 2, Bang Bang, K3G, etc.) but others like the over-praised creepy sequence in Lakshya are not my thing. On the other hand, Ranbir Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor have never disappointed me in a dance number and always leave me wanting more.

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    • You shut your mouth! Prabhudeva is PERFECT!!!!!!! Although, I can kind of see where you are coming from. I think a lot of choreographers (including himself) tend to lean on the showy bendy movies he perfected at the beginning. It all begins to feel repetitive. But when he really tries something different, he still has a special grace to him. Hrithik I think can learn and sell any dance move instantly, just an insane amount of natural ability. But I also think he needs someone who knows how to use him. Too many songs that he just lazes through instead of really challenging himself.

      But I agree completely about Shahid. It’s one of his strongest talents, both the actual dancing ability and the physical kind of acting. The way he holds himself in Rangoon (I still hate that movie but I can appreciate his performance) tells you everything you need to know about the character right there. And Bajirao Mastani used it to great effect, he felt like a warrior and a king just standing still. Ranbir, on the other hand, I may not agree. I think he has the same ability his father and his great uncle had to really throw themselves into the song, no embarrassment or holding back. But I don’t know about his actual ability to handle complicated moves.

      I skipped Batti Gul because my schedule is going to be bonkers the next few weeks (too many movies coming out in every language!) so I needed a Friday night to stay home and a Saturday morning to wake up early and be productive, and also I wanted to read a book cover to cover because I haven’t done that in ages. Datablue recommended Lois Bujold’s series and it has taken over my life. I spent Saturday driving half an hour to the suburban library that had the next two books in the series. I could have done interlibrary loan, but I can’t wait 3 days!

      I could believe Saif as “best” depending on what scale you are grading on. I think he is certainly the most educated and cosmopolitan of the Khans, and possibly the best pure actor in the kind of Shakespearean sense (not dancing, not charisma, but perfectly innacting a character). However, he has terrible business sense, and is terrible at controlling and maximizing his public image.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 8:30 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I should have qualified that I’m not sure of the four dancers I discussed which one really is the best ever (and since I know I’m missing out on some earlier or Southern actors that I just don’t know of their work…it’s a limited argument). But I do stand by my opinion that Prabhu Deva and Hrithik are both slightly overrated. Shahid probably gets about the right level of credit (he’s usually mentioned as a close second in the Hindi film industry after Hrithik…though we’ll see what the Tiger/Hrithik movie does for Tiger (yuck)). Ranbir is underrated. I think you’re right about the energy level he brings to his dancing, but he has so much more precision and true swag than Ranveer Singh, who dances like a coked-up Zoolander model most of the time. Plus Ranbir Kapoor also employs physicality in so many of his roles (Barfi and Jagga Jasoos) to great affect.

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        • Ranveer Singh lives his whole life like a coked up Zoolander model. This is now the first thing I will think of whenever I look at him.

          On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 10:14 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I’ll come back with a question later.
    My unpopular opinion is I’ll be happy not seeing Alia in every KJO/dharma/big movie. I’ll be happy to have her not being equated to meryl streep and Meenakumar (for heaven’s sake!!.
    I also think she’s starting to be repetitive. I would’ve loved to see patralekha in raazi for eg.

    The thing is I like her, I just wish she were allowed to make mistakes and learn and grow without the shadow of nepotism.

    I agree with your assessment on Kat. There are roles I’ve liked her in, roles I haven’t. But she’s got an interesting personality while people used to assign this dumb bimbo image to her, which is just unfair.
    I think I agree about Kangana too, she’s so good in some roles while misses the mark in others but people don’t criticise her for those?

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    • Kangana in Rangoon is where I really noticed it. She played the character fine, as this kind of childlike person, not quite connecting with others. But the character didn’t have to be played that way, there were other ways it could have been played. And that made me kind of look back at her career, and the roles where she really stood out were all slightly damaged woman working through emotional distress. She is enormously entertaining and talented in those roles, really throws herself into them. But I wonder if she might be getting more credit than she deserves because I can’t picture her playing, for instance, a matron who is settled in her life. Or a flirtatious confident career woman. Or an action heroine.

      Agree about Alia. She is a talented young woman, but she is being given too much too soon. There is no where for her to go as an artist or as a star.

      To compare with Kat, she didn’t have the natural acting talent or the careful training Alia got, plus there are the language problems, but she has grown so much role by role. I wish Alia had been given the freedom to do the same.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 10:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I haven’t seen Rangoon but what you say makes sense. I felt that way about Simran too. I quite liked her as Kaya in Krissh 3 but I can’t imagine her in many roles which is surely limiting.

        Did you see Shraddha Kapoor will be doing a Saina Nehwal biopic? I wonder what her fans have to say to this? I’m talking about Saina fans.

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        • The Shraddha-Saina film was announced a while ago but I was hoping it was just rumor and wouldn’t really be happening. But I guess it is. It’s nice that she is getting a biopic, especially as an unmarried woman so presumably there will be no romance track. But Shraddha in the lead just feels like it isn’t going to be a big movie, doesn’t it? Setting aside Shraddha’s talent as an actress, she’s not the name you get if you are going to make a big deal big budget movie.

          On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 11:21 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Katrina is lot like Hrithik, not a talented actor but has a compelling physicality. I wish someone would build an action movie just around her, no Salman or any other big male star. Just the glimpse that we’ve seen in the Tiger movies makes me think she could become a mega action star if someone had the vision to move on this.

    I think Kangana is crazy talented (pun entirely intended) but she’s probably the kind of person who thinks training as an actor would make her inauthentic or constrain her pure emotions or something. So she isn’t building up her toolbox the way someone like Irrfan does, who approaches it more as a craft than as a deep embodiment of their soul (which I can imagine Kangana reciting to herself in the mirror every morning). I do adore her as an actor and admire the grit it took for her to move to Mumbai and launch her career even while I shake my head over her crazy behavior.

    My unpopular opinion is that Dhoom 3 is not only extremely entertaining, it’s the best Dhoom. Which I realize equates to a turd floating to the top of the toilet bowl 😝

    I also have unpopular opinions about Shahrukh but I’ll spare you except to say I hope he figures out how to move forward with his acting career in a way that builds on his previous image but allows him the ability to mature and diversify his roles while also performing at the box office.

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    • Oh, you can’t just drop that and leave me hanging! Share your unpopular SRK opinions! There’s plenty of people here who don’t like him at all, think he is vain and stupid and a poser and blah blah. Which is fine, I welcome all kinds. And there are certainly things that are true and problems with him. No one’s going to jump on you, and now I am dying of curiosity.

      What you say about Kangana makes complete sense. Especially in terms of how she is rumored to be to work with. So much of acting seems like it is on the job training, if you trust your director and your co-stars, they can teach you things. Going back to someone else’s answer, that’s what I have really seen with Deepika, she was pretty terrible when she started, but you can see her digging in and growing with every role, really learning something from each film and expanding her “toolbox”. Katrina too, in her own way. But if Kangana is all “my way or the high way” about her roles, she misses out on the chance to get a new perspective and be better.

      I firmly believe that Dhoom 1 is the best Dhoom (maximum Abhishek, John being hot, just generally a smaller funner feel to it). But I will tolerate your opinion.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 10:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I also refrained from saying my unpopular SRK opinions, too:) But I think Margaret already knows that I can get pretty frustrated with his film choices and performances (and really find much early stuff unwatchable). I do still find him fascinating (why I don’t completely hate Jab Harry Met Sejal, for instance) and I’m always hoping he does better things in the future, too. No more navel gazing Fan-type movies, more Dear Zindagi roles, for sure. Zero clearly will fall in the former category and will no doubt annoy me deeply, but I’m still there for the glorious cameos and Anushka and Katrina.

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        • I’m not an ogre! You are allowed to have unpopular SRK opinions. And if one of my overly passionate commentators leaps on you, well, I’ll block them or something. Okay, I can kind of see why you might want to avoid saying something, now that I think about some of the SRK comments that have popped up. I’ve had a bit of a hard time the few times I criticized him. Actually, I’ve also had a hard time the times I have been super complimentary. No way to win with SRK! I guess the one thing you can be sure of with SRK opinions is that people feel them VERY VERY STRONGLY.

          On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 11:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Okay, my unpopular Shahrukh opinion: his image is built on the idea that he is so charismatic that women can’t help but fall in love with him. Even if women try to resist him, he will overwhelm them with the sheer force of his personality and force them to love him. Not only do I not find that appealing, I am actively turned off by it. This is more of an issue with his earlier movies but it’s present to a certain extent even with his newer films. I hate the way he invades the personal space of the women he pursues, the way he grabs and pushes them.

            This has nothing to do with Shahrukh in real life, who by all accounts is nice, professional and respectful to women. I’m speaking solely about his film persona.

            That’s why my favorite Shahrukh role is Suri in RNBDJ. He’s not sure of himself, he isn’t cocky about his ability to win over Anushka. Even when he’s cosplaying as Raj there’s a hint of vulnerability that makes him endearing.

            Ironically, I think the Khan who is the most respectful to women onscreen is Salman, who as we know beat up Aish in real life. Actors, man.

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          • Excellent points! And something that has been read into Shahrukh’s romances before (by me, for instance:)) without necessarily being a criticism. He started as a villain actor and that thread of danger and arrogance was what made him stand out in his earlier romances (Baazigar, Darr, Deewana, really most of the first dozen or so films). It was shaded down and down as time went on, but it is still the thing that makes him stand out from other actors. We can get into a lengthy debate about consent and so on, but I don’t think you are going there? I think you are just saying that kind of over-confident “you will obviously love me” attitude and romance plot pattern is unattractive to you? Totally viable response.

            The Shahrukh persona who is aggressive and confident with women works for me largely because I find him generally attractive. But that’s a very dangerous gamble he is making, that everyone watching his movies will be attracted to him already and therefore those scenes will work for them. Does that make sense? If he played it cool with his heroines, then you could still enjoy the romance even without finding him attractive. But this way of doing things means that the whole romance push-pull falls apart unless you already find him attractive. It’s an error of calculation, counting on his charm to carry him through instead of the character and narrative doing the work to make it a logical romance.

            Oh, and also you should watch Om Shanti Om and Main Hoon Na. The romance in both of those is much more Suri-like, he is overcome and shy and hesitant instead of confident. My Name is Khan too of course. Chennai Express, sort of but not totally so I’m honestly not sure if you would enjoy it or not. And then Chaahat completely turns it around and he is the innocent young boy from the villages that a predatory woman goes after. Oh! Paheli is another good one! Really, these aren’t recommendations for you, I’m just trying to think of the movies where he broke that very specific type you have pointed out. There’s a few, but not that many if you consider the whole length of his career. SWADES!!! There’s another one. Or maybe you’ve watched all of these already and his natural cockiness is still too strong for you.

            On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 4:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I started OSO but never finished it for some reason, I think maybe because I started it too soon. I would get more out of it now that I have a year of Bollywood under my belt (my official anniversary was on Friday!). Swades is on my watch list. Oh and I liked SRK in K3G even though he’s cocky in that one too, I think because the romance with Kajol has such huge consequences for his life. The vulnerability comes in with his father, not with Kajol.

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          • You should definitely go back to OSO! It’s super fun, but also so over the top and fantastical that I haven’t had good luck showing it to newcomers. They always try to take it too seriously, or not seriously enough. And it makes fun of the SRK persona in the second half, when he is an over the top immature movie star.

            Also, congrats on your anniversary! That’s probably why Aamir arranged for the Thugs posters to release last week, to celebrate.

            On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 5:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I think the “of course she finds him irresistible” is a problem not only with the scripts (which yes! very good point, I hadn’t seen it quite like that before but that is a thing that bugs me) but with the way his movies are critiqued. I remember being annoyed by the part of Anupama’s review of JHMS where she found the fact that Harry and Sejal would travel together in close quarters for a week and not have sex totally unbelievable because obviously Sejal would jump his bones. Projecting much? So many of the TV interviews start from the same assumption and end up as variations of why are you so irresistible, or why weren’t you as irresistible as usual?

            It also leads to lazy plot writing and underdevelopment of the female characters – even with capable actors like Deepika and Mahira Khan it’s hard if you don’t have much to work with.

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          • Raees at least, it feels like they should have simply removed the romance altogether. There wasn’t enough time for it with everything else going on, it was inevitably going to be shortchanged. But then, Shahrukh is the great lover, so they had to put in a romance.

            Agree about reviewers, another problem with JHMS reviews was that everyone automatically focused on Shahrukh as the actor in the romance, writing off all the moments when Anushka took charge. the same with Chennai Express. Both romances fit with what Alisa pointed out as Shahrukh being aggressive and confident, but unlike in other films the heroine has her own journey in those and her own confidence. Only, people weren’t expecting that so they didn’t notice it.

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          • (Also interesting implied point that Aamir’s characters tend not to be so enlightened when it comes to women. Totally not on brand but I’m not thinking of great counter examples. Secret Superstar kind of? I haven’t seen Dangal yet.

            Of the movies I’ve seen, Chak de India is SRK;s most feminist film, despite its hero saves the women’s team plotline.)

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          • I wouldn’t say the mere fact of a love story revolving around a confident hero assuming he is God’s gift to woman and winning over the heroine is enough to make a film non-feminist. It depends on what else is in the story. Definitely enough to make a film non-appealing to an audience that doesn’t like that kind of love story, which is fine, tastes differ.

            I think what Alisa was getting at, or at least what I took from her comment, was a specific kind of romance that involves a confident hero working away at a woman’s reserve. Shahrukh does that a lot, the “aar paas” scene in DTPH, basically all of Dil Se, the whole first half of DDLJ. He is being very aggressive. But in Chak De India, while he could be seen as still “saving” women or something, it definitely doesn’t fit that romance template. JHMS I would think does. There is more complicated stuff going on under the surface, but it is still about Shahrukh as the aggressive confident lover. And if you don’t find that kind of surface character type and romance appealing, there is nothing there for you.

            Aamir in Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, Ishq, definitely fits that prototype for me. But it doesn’t feel like it is his main romantic identity, he’s just as likely to be the sweet innocent surprised by his feelings like in 3 Idiots or QSQT or Dhoom 3 or all kinds of others. And I don’t think he has played the confident leading man type in a romance since at least Fanaa if not DCH. I was thinking he would again in Thugs and kind of looking forward to the return of dangerous Aamir, but based on the first poster that just released he is going to be playing the fragile innocent again.

            On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 10:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • OK, one last comment :). I kind of love the idea of Kat as a Lara Croft-style action hero. All of the stoicism that bothers me in her romantic roles would be an asset in an action role. That Dhoom 3 dance sequence where she’s in combat boots randomly came up on my YouTube queue today, that’s now the picture I have in my head.

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          • that’s kind of how she plays Tiger Zinda Hai and, while I don’t like the movie as a whole, I really liked her performance. If Salman doesn’t want to come back to that franchise, I would be perfectly happy watching another sequel with just Kat.

            On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 10:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • @Margaret Yes! I watched Raees at least as much for Mahira as for SRK, and I felt kind of like I did when they cast Michelle Yeoh opposite Pierce Brosnan in a Bond movie. What a wasted opportunity.

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  6. I have expressed many of my unpopular opinions on your previous posts lol.

    So let me come up with a fresh one or two.

    I think Kay Kay Menon is hott. I don’t see why he isn’t marketed as such, esp say ten -fifteen years ago in his younger days.

    I like having Aishwarya Rai on my screen. Not in intense movies like Iruvar or Sarobhai, but in HDDCS, ADHM, D2, Devdas, Guru, KNK, KK, B&P, I enjoyed her, her presence puts a smile on my face. Her dancing background adds to her grace on-screen. I don’t always need an actor to be good at acting in order to provide me with a fulfilling experience, sometimes it’s just their charisma or looks that does it for me. I guess it’s a question of looking at movies as art vs entertainment vs a temporal experience. She’s more of a star than an actress, so I enjoy it when her roles reflect and utilize that.

    Also I don’t hate her personality. No I’m not in love with it, but it doesn’t bother me that much. In fact, she reminds me of my relatives in India, moreso than any other actor does, maintaining the public face vs the private person that simmers underneath that only relatives get to see but that everyone knows is there.

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    • Ha! I was thinking about putting not liking Aish as one of my unpopular opinions and then I thought “No, pretty sure in this community that’s a popular not unpopular opinion”. And you confirmed my feelings!

      I can see what you are saying. I don’t agree with it, but I can see it 🙂 My biggest problem is when she overreaches, ends up in a movie like Fanney Khan or Sarkar Raj that is just completely wrong for her and the movie fails as a film because of it. But in the right role (HDDCS, Taal, ADHM) she can be very effective.

      I try (not always successfully) not to have an opinion on her in real life because, like you say, she is so closed off that I can’t say I really know her in real life so there is nothing to have an opinion on. The one thing that definitely bothers me about real-life Aish is the way she is used as the figurehead for a toxic kind western-but-traditional femininity. I go back and forth on whether and how much I should blame the “Real” Aish for that. But I think I can blame her at least a little bit, she is the one sitting in the interviews giving answers, even if someone else designed the image she is the one going along with it.

      I can’t see Kay Kay, possibly because he always plays such creepy characters that I see his face and immediately shudder. But Irrfan Khan is super hot, and I am reminded of that every time I see him in a film. Not his face, but his delivery and way of standing and I don’t even know, but it’s there! However, I don’t think that is necessarily an unpopular opinion (at least, not here).

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 10:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I guess what I mean to say is, everyone else gives the impression of not being fake, even though they all are, to varying degrees, But Aish is the only one that actually comes across as fake, which means she hasn’t developed the finesse of making it not look fake. And that’s what so middle class and identifiable about her, if that makes sense.

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        • Makes complete sense. I sometimes feel the same way about Jaya, she gives so few interviews and holds back so much in public appearances. Maybe it makes her and Aish get along well as mother-in-law/daughter-in-law?

          On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 10:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I saw Amy Jackson in Madrasapattinam opposite Arya and I thought she was good, as well as charismatic and engaging on-screen.

    But then again, she looks a lot like Aish, as in, same beauty components.

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    • She does look similar, but she feels more natural to me onscreen. Could be the freedom of not thinking about dialogue, I’ve liked her a lot better in her films where she was fully dubbed than in Singh is Bling where she was struggling with Hindi dialogue. Although even there she had a bit of a spark.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 10:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. My unpopular opinions – 1. I also feel Deepika isn’t a great actress, her dialog delivery is too stilted.
    2. Ranveer is a good, infact brilliant actor – better than Ranbir too IMO but tends to act off screen as well (I feel a lot of what he does offscreen is a put-on) and hence I am just not able to like him as much. (Guess I’m not much of a DeepVeer fan)
    3. Malayalam – Dulquer is extremely overrated. He literally does the same role over and over again. with minor variations, and his Malayalam isn’t very good either.

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    • Well that’s it, Dips just read this and cancelled your invite to the wedding.

      I will join you with Dulquer!!!! He’s impressed me in a fair number of roles, but also disappointed me in an equal number. He tends to pick scripts that lean heavily in his favor which gives an artificial impression of both acting talent and charm. You can see it clearly in Bangalore Days, he played the troubled motorcycle bad boy, AND he got the strongest co star to help him (Parvathy) versus Nivin and Fahad who both had layered characters without an immediate hook to them, and worked with inexperienced co-stars (Nazriya was brilliant of course, but she wasn’t experienced). And Mahanati was ridiculous, the amount of time spent making us like Dulquer versus being true to the story and spending time with the purported heroine of the film.

      On the other hand, he is definitely the most traditionally attractive of the younger lot, and is very good at interviews and making connections and so on. I guess every part of being a star besides the actual acting.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 11:19 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Exactly! In Mahanati I thought Vijay was able to build a much better character despite being given half the screen time. In fact he was the first choice to play Gemini Ganesan but apparently everyone wanted an “outsider” to play him.
        Dq’s performances in both Bangalore Days and Charlie are largely due to Parvathy. I can’t believe how underrated Fahad’s performance in Bangalore Days is. And Nivin is exceptional with the language.
        You’re right DQ’s charm and humility in interviews is what gets him the followers.

        Hey I said Ranveer’s the better actor so maybe I can still land the invite 😉

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    • Agree about Dulquer – he is handsome, charming and nice, but he never made me say: WOW what a talent! (he was good in Kali, but not WOW good )

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      • Oh, he made me go WOW in Kali. And then he made me go “eh” in plenty of other movies. He’s just not a consistent “WOW” for me. And I’m used to that with the Malayalam actors, that they always give “wow” kind of performances.

        On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 3:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Oo, difficult question! I think Ranbir is probably the most overrated actor in Hindi film. For underrated, I think Amit Sadh. It’s a hard question, especially the “underrated”, because of course if they are underrated I don’t even know about them!

      In terms of films, the nice thing is that overhyped movies tend to fade away quickly. So 15 years ago I would have said Bhansali’s Devdas, but now that has slipped down to a more reasonable level than it held then. As of right now, Sanju is definitely the most overhyped. But I have faith that within a few years it will be forgotten and we can all move on. Same goes for underhyped films, most of them end up finding their place as time goes on. Right now I think A Gentleman is the winner, but since the success of Stree I am sure people will start discovering it and it won’t be underhyped for long.

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      • I agree because of you I watched Running Shaadi and Amit was great in it. I don’t get the hype behind Ranbir either sure hes a talented actor but lacks in the looks department imo

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        • Yaaay! So happy more people are watching Running Shaadi! I’ve seen Amit in that, and in Breathe, and in Gold. And each time he easily stole the film from his co-stars. I just don’t get why he isn’t bigger.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s a bit of a political hot potato movie (about the recent Pakistan-India attacks), so I am nervous that a) it will end up backfiring on him or b) it will end up being a big hit and I will be depressed that jingoistic patriotism is doing well. I am so conflicted! Would I rather have World Peace or Amit Sadh with a better career?

            On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 12:33 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Hey can I request special blog posts for the month of October since its King Prabhas birthday month 🙂 like how you did with Srk, I know you’re not as big of a fan of him but there are alot of people who like him here

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I could manage a full birthday month for Prabhas, he’s popular but he’s not SRK popular (based on the page views his posts get). But I will definitely do a birthday post!

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  10. 1. I fell asleep during the second half of Baahubali 1 in the theatre 😂. Haven’t seen both the parts more than once, found it too boring. I Like Ramya Krishnan, but I don’t think shouting = great acting. Prabhas is the lanky guy who has good chemistry with Kajal Aggarwal for me, and not with Anushka Shetty.
    2. I also think Ranbir isn’t a great actor. The only film where I thought he acted well was in Rocket Singh. And I haven’t seen Barfi nor do I intend to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen Barfi either, and also don’t intend to!

      However, DEFINITELY did not sleep during Bahubali!!!!

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 12:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I probably wouldn’t even watch the second part if the whole suspense of why Kattappa killed Baahubali wasn’t there.
        The biggest surprise for me, however, was when people started watching previous movies of Prabhas! The only film of his which I’ve watched fully other than Baahubali is Mr Perfect, and I quite liked because of Kajal and Tapsee.

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  11. If u want to appreciate DQ’s talent, just watch the Tamil remake of Banglore Days or OK Jaanu. Aarya & ARK’s acting make DQ seem like Kamal Hassan in the original films.
    I share the unpopular opinions already listed on Alia, Kangana, Ash,SRK(hehehe).
    I disagree with you Margret on Kajol v/s Sridevi. Sridevi’s double role in Lamhe itself shows her range. Kajol’s version of twin sisters(la Parent Trap)was irritating to say the least. I can’t even remember the movie name. Kajol can also never match Sridevi in dancing.
    There’s not a role of Kajol that Sridevi cdnt have pulled off while the converse is not be true. So my unpopular opinion is that Kajol is vastly overrated. Forget Sridevi, even Manisha Koirala(exhibit Dil Se) & Juhi Chawla(exhibit-Ishq)were much better than Kajol.80% of Kajol’s characters are the cutesy, sassy girl whom the hero played by the Khans, Devgan or Kumar falls in love with in a film made by YRF, Dharma or Devgan. Also Juhi & SRK make a much better pair than the overrated pair of Kajol-SRK.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Here’s one more-Priyanka Chopra is a really good actress. She was great in Aitraaz, Salaam E Ishq, Fashion, Barfi, Kaminey, Don & Bajirao Mastani. Diverse roles & great chemistry with all her heroes including SRK🙂

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    • I love that you included Aitraaz. I mean, you’re right, that kind of over the top villainy is rare in female roles and rare for an actress to carry it off, but most people just talk about Mary Kom and Barfi and the “respectable” stuff.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 1:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. Picked Ishq cos Kajol & Juhi costarred in it & Juhi easily grabbed all the lime light. She was playing a typical Kajol role-OTT antics & romance in first half, rona-dhona in second half. My all time favourite Juhi role is Gulaab Gang. The same lovable, sweet smile of hers used to show the cunningness & manipulativeness.

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    • Okay, that’s logical, I will reluctantly accept Ishq. Kajol’s suicide scene in that is indeed high comedy, and that was certainly not the intention.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 9:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. Question: what do you think is the biggest difference right now in what the overseas audience is looking for from Indian films and what the domestic audience is looking for? Like what causes the biggest mismatch in how a film does in India vs. overseas?

    Unpopular opinion: (I fear this will really be unpopular!) The lip syncing to songs still weirds me out. The idea that all star actors spend part of their movies lip syncing to someone else’s singing, and then the actors get higher billing in the song credits than the actual singers, even on music platforms with no video. Needless to say, actors touring a live lip sync show weirds me out even more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I kind of like the lip synching because it’s rare to find performers who are a triple threat. There are a few like Hugh Jackman and Rita Moreno but they are rare exceptions. So in Hollywood you end up with films like La La Land with actors who can’t dance or sing or you have someone like JLo who is autotuned to hell and back and lip syncs when she performs on stage. Even back in Hollywood’s golden era of musicals you had Natalie Wood being dubbed for Gypsy and West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn being dubbed for My Fair Lady.

      Bollywood singers get second billing on the videos but they do have fan followings and tour in concert. They just aren’t expected to be the faces of the music they produce.

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      • Agree completely! Especially with the Golden Age comment. The other thing they used to do was split the singing and dancing parts. So you would have a 30 second bit of sung dialogue, and then the dance number would be just music. So I suppose you could also think of it as time management, this way you can have the singing and dancing simultaneously instead of split.

        For Indian history perspective, the actors used to do their own singing until the 40s when non-synch sound technology became available. They were “singing stars”. But the dancers in that day were very different, maybe a heroine dancing while someone else sang, or a big chorus of dancers while the hero sang, but not the singing and dancing from the same person.

        Artistically, it feels like a very different meaning to me this way. Having the singing and dancing simultaneous and from the same person. The gestures and movements blend with the words and bring the whole thing to a higher meaning that you just couldn’t get without having the same person sing and dance, and you can’t have that without lip synching.

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        • I don’t know, I suspect the performers might exist if that was what you hired for. In the golden age, a lot of the stars came from Vaudeville, where basic singing and dancing was a requirement to get on stage. I’ve said before I think the dancing requirement in Indian film leads to an overall high standard of physicality in the actors, because they have that training and have to be minimally good at moving. Agree that it’s hard to find people exceptionally talented in all three areas. Hollywood has a few actors who can sing and dance left, mostly people who started out in theater, it’s fun to see them break out their skills at awards shows. But they haven’t hired for those skills in movies so long that most aspiring actors don’t bother developing a high level of tap dancing, say, or singing anymore. (And while she’s way too busy to do movies these days, I was super impressed with Beyonce in Cadillac Records – she’s probably my top choice for triple threat coming from the music world.)

          Anyway, all of that aside. It’s not that I’m wishing for the actors to actually sing those parts, or that I don’t like the singing and dancing numbers. Just at some point during most songs I’ll look at the stars doing their heartfelt lip syncing and some part of my brain will wander off into thinking how odd that’s a whole skill set people work on and who is the real singer and so on.

          I get that this is my cultural hang-up. When I was living in Spain, I was also weirded out by the fact that popular singers would go perform on TV and everyone knew it was “playback”. I remember Rod Stewart made a small stink when he was touring his American standards album by insisting on performing live on European TV. They weren’t used to stars wanting to do that anymore.

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          • The Pakistani music industry and TV industry was much stronger for years and years than their film industry. So my impression is that a lot of the Pakistani stars are also singers. Ali Zafar not on sings all his own songs, he also writes all his own songs, even for his Hindi films. It’s like the total opposite of playback singers, when you see Ali onscreen doing a song that is 100% Ali. Even in something like Dear Zindagi that had a different composer for the rest of the score, Ali’s songs are written by Ali. And his Pakistani film Teefa in Trouble, he wrote and sang all the music for it, and produced, and starred.

            On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 11:57 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Sorry! This comment somehow got buried in my notifications (thank you Alisa for responding and reminding me!)

      The biggest difference I think between the overseas and the local for Indian films is that the overseas audience is more mixed geographically (meaning, the same theater shows films from every industry because everyone lives in the same neighborhood) and also the same always and forever need for the diaspora to escape into the fantasy rather than the reality of India. Stree, for instance, did well overseas but much much better within India, perhaps because it shows the dirty boring every day reality of life in India instead of the “fun” parts. Oh, and the other thing is that films that are specifically about the diaspora experience do better overseas in a reverse factor (people at India don’t want the reality of life overseas, the strongest example being MNIK which set records overseas and was only an average SRK hit at home).

      I don’t mind the lip synching so long as it is done well, there was an interview with Ranbir a few years back where he talked about how his father told him, no matter what you have to actually sing the song and then it will look right. And I noticed ever since then that Ranbir looks really good lip synching.

      The albums of “best of so-and-so” and it is the actor instead of the singer are really weird though, I agree! I like it that way, because I only enjoy music by picturing the visuals that go along with it, but I am aware in the abstract it is very very weird. The oddest one for me is the song from Darr that has become a Shahrukh “standard”. Not only does he not sing it, he doesn’t even appear in the song video! The only reason it is a “Shahrukh” song is because we know his character is the one singing it and we are picturing him in our heads while he sings.

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      • I do wish the singers got higher billing, if only because I’m new at this and can’t always figure out who they are without researching every single song.

        In your other post about box office this week you said straight up romances are doing better overseas than social message movies. I wondered if one reason might be that there’s so much distressing political news all the time in the US and the UK right now that the audiences in those markets are going for nice, escapist films. Or maybe that’s just me projecting :). Without having seen either movie, on some level it makes me happy that a creative little horror comedy like Stree has out earned Gold, which seems like a self-important patriotic sports film. But they actually look pretty similar in domestic vs. overseas collections, so maybe it’s not just overseas responding to fun escapism over “serious” themes?

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        • Last year was the really terrible box office year in America, and that was the same for Indian and Hollywood films. Like, record-breakingly bad, no one was watching anything. And we are just beginning to crawl back up from that (in the Hollywood and the Indian films). And that, I think must have been related to the political turmoil. No one had time for movies just then, everyone was doing other more important things instead.

          My hope is that the Indian social message films are failing because (please please please) the audience is getting turned off by the current Indian administration. There was this rush of “Let’s identify and fix the problems of the country! India can do anything!” kind of films in the past few years that were doing well at home and overseas as the diaspora and the locals (at least the Hindi speaking locals) were all caught up in the fantasy of a shining perfect India. But now it feels like (I hope) people are waking up out of that fantasy, they don’t want to hear about how these problems are terrible but one man can fix them, they want something like Stree which is a little cynical and a little bit “this is just how things are”, or they want the total fantasy of a romance.

          On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 11:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  15. My unpopular opinion (which I am certain will be very unpopular, so I apologize in advance) is that I think Farhan Akhtar should keep acting if he wants to. I find him very attactive. Part of what I like about him (besides his looks) is his versatility as a director, writer, producer, actor, and singer. I also think he is a good actor. So, for selfish reasons, I think he should keep doing what he wants to do, including acting.

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    • NO!!!!!! You are that one person who is giving him positive reinforcement and keeping him from directing/writing!

      My problem with this opinion is just that I think he is so so so so so brilliant as a writer/director. And pretty darn good as a producer too. I think he is very good as an actor/singer, better than a lot of people working, but he is irreplaceable (to me) as a writer/director. So, he’s cursed by his own talent.

      You know what it is? If he had done his career the other way around, started as a singer/actor and worked his way up to director, I would be perfectly happy right now and eager to see what he did next. But I’m spoiled! I already know how good he is as a director and I want more of that instead of more acting.

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        • Sextuple threat! Singer-Dancer-Actor-Writer-Director-Producer. And the producer is a real thing, his company is a real mover and shaker. Oh, and he also runs an anti-rape NGO.

          On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 3:29 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That is why I think I loved him so much in Dil Dhadakne Do. It goes along with so much of what is doing with M.A.R.D.

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      • I completely agree with your assessment that he is a brilliant writer/director, pretty good producer, and a very good actor/singer. If I were assessing what he should do logically, I would say he should be writing and directing. But I want him to also act because then I can keep seeing him on screen, instead of just watching his brilliantly written/directed films. I also, loved his overly perfect feminist character in Dil Dhadakne Do. It was ridiculously and idealistically perfect, but I loved it.

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