Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me Thanksgiving Week?

Happy 4 days to Thanksgiving!!!!  Or three days?  How do you count these things?  Anyway, soon!

As always you can ask me anything from the personal (“what are you doing for Thanksgiving?”) to the specific and factual (“the ‘Indians’ at the first Thanksgiving, were they the same as the Indians in these movies?”) to the general and discussion (“is it appropriate to do a blog post about Thanksgiving if you are writing an international blog?”).



Now, question for you!  Thanksgiving is a time of family get togethers, and also a time of family sedentariness in front of the TV. Making it the perfect time to attempt to introduce others to Indian film.  What movie would you show your family if you wanted to make them like Indian movies?

Now, I have actual personal experience with this.  Many many Thanksgivings ago I came home from college with three DVDs, Kal Ho Na Ho and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Hum Aapke Hain Koun and my sister and I forced our mother to sit down and watch all three over the course of one very long day.  It worked well, because she also had the flu and Hum Aapke Hain Koun is about the perfect movie to watch while curled up on the couch under a blanket drifting in and out of consciousness.  Dad on the other hand was healthy enough to escape and only caught bits and pieces which has lead to minor confusion between all 3 movies that lasts to this day.

On the other hand, were I to do it all over again, I would probably limit it to one movie and 3 hours instead of 3 movies and ten hours.  And I might pick something a little more accessible than 90s classics.  Daawat-E-Ishq might be my first choice for my mother, and Soorma for my father.  For both together, it’s hopeless, they will never react the same way to any movie.  I suppose the best plan would be to show Mom Daawat-E-Ishq while Dad makes Thanksgiving dinner (for some reason, he always does the majority of the cooking), and then show Dad Soorma while Mom does the dishes (she’s the one who insists on using the fancy china, so she’s the one who gets to handwash it).

(Bonus, Soorma has a very good soundtrack to hear from the other room while doing dishes in the kitchen)

(Defensive footnote: I would have done it that way at Thanksgiving during college, the past 10-12 Thanksgivings my sister and I have actually done most of the cooking or else Grandpa has taken us out to restaurants.  Now it would be more a matter of setting them down in front of the TV and hitting play and then going into the kitchen to do stuff.  But then they would just turn off the TV and read books instead, so that doesn’t work)

17 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me Thanksgiving Week?

  1. I think English Vinglish is a perfect Thanksgiving movie because it involves not only family and food but also travel and autumn in New York (not sure the movie is supposed to be set in autumn but it clearly is based on how people in the background are dressed). It’s also one of the most accessible Bollywood movies for non-Desis.

    Speaking of travel, besides Swades and DDLJ, are there other films about NRIs visiting home? There must be, right?


    • Brain overload! Too many NRI returning home movies to handle!!!!

      Off the top of my head, Luv Shuv To chicken Khurrana was just re-added to Netflix. Namaste London looks at it from the female side of things, London raised Kat dealing with her Indian heritage. Dil Bole Hadippa is kind of fun with Shahid being a Londoner who returns to the Punjab and slowly loosens up. And Bharat Ane Nenu and Sarkar both just came out and deal with the idea of an NRI who returns home and runs for office to fix things by making India like the west and I HATE both movies. There’s a lot of movies that have the kind of set-up of the hero being from Abroad, comes to India and can’t handle the spicy native heroine, and then learns to love her/the country.

      And yes, English/Vinglish is a really good one! Such universal ideas. Bucket List is very similar, which is part of the reason I am thinking of it as a good Thanksgiving movie. But not a good movie to share with your family just because the production values are much less than English/Vinglish and they would have to learn to get passed that.

      On Mon, Nov 19, 2018 at 9:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • It’s a beautiful “message” film about a multi-generational family house in the Delhi-6 neighborhood (with some actual “true”” events woven into the narrative) that takes some time to sink in. There are some valid complaints about the ending (two different versions were filmed). This film is all about the supporting performances and they are all perfect. Sonam is well cast in this (maybe only her second film) and I’m a big Abhishek fan and it’s one of his best. There’s a great sense of place and the A.R. Rahman music is stellar. Even the movie poster is beautiful. Can you tell I like this one?


  2. That’s a question I’m always trying to find the right answer to…I’ve been able to show my mom one Hindi film a year for the last several years and I’ve been successful with Aaja Nachle, Jab We Met, ZNMD, Bang Bang!, and one other one I forget…maybe MBKD. But last year’s disaster of having both my parents watch Dabangg will not be repeated. It was my dad’s first Bollywood and I may have messed up my chances of having him like any of them (first impressions being hard to overcome with him). I mean I love Dabangg and thought he would like the action sequences and macho Salman since he likes The Expendables, for god’s sake! I should have stuck to my guns and had him watch a sports film like Chak De India or Haider or Omkara (since he was a high school English teacher). I’ve also always wanted to show my mom Kahaani or Talaash since she likes crime thrillers and I want to show her that Hindi film is more than romantic dramas with song and dance.

    So basically I can only test their patience once a year with a subtitled film, so this year I think it’s going to be Gold. But the timeline is difficult because my brother and his family are arriving earlier than expected and I have a very short window to sit them down for a movie and my mom will be busy cooking on Wednesday!

    My question for you: when will we see your reaction to the KWK with Saif and Sara? I’m biased but I thought it was one of the best episodes ever and I already adore Sara. She’s smart and she’s well grounded…now just hoping her movies are solid launching pads for her.


  3. With my family, I’ve had good luck with Paheli and KKKG, moderate with Dil Dhadakne Do, and less good with Om Shanti Om, JHMS, and Don/Don2. Hilariously, my sister’s boyfriend really got into Om Shanti Om. He loved the 70s cheesiness of it and the reincarnation/revenge plot.

    If I were going to do another one this year, I’d think about Veer Zaara, because it’s clear the older women in my family like the big melodrama with people in fancy or period dress. And I just love Amit and Hema so much in it! I might not be able to watch Main Yahaan Hoon with my mom. My aunt would love Luck by Chance because she loves movies about making movies, but my mom will fall asleep in minutes. Unless she finds Farhan Akhtar or one of the supporting cast hot. 🙂

    I watched Aaina yesterday–I needed a good sister/evil sister drama to take my mind off of my troubles. Hoping you find time to post a review! It’s the holidays though, and you were on vacation, so no pressure.


  4. What movie would you show your family if you wanted to make them like Indian movies?

    Baahubali for sure, than Eega, Talaash – those work for everybody I think
    For men in family – Don, Goodachari, Vikram-Vedha
    For my sister and mom – Ohm Shanti Oshana, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bareilly Ki Barfi, RNBDJ


      • There is something in Eega that attracts kids. I narrated the story to my son, and he liked is so much he decided to watch it. I have only english subtitled version, and he doesn’t know english but still insisted, and so we watched it and I was telling him what happens. He likes it very much, and it is the only indian movie he ever wanted to see (he liked Cats Baahubali I told him as bedtime story too 😉


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