Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of Zero????

HAPPY SHAHRUKH MOVIE RELEASE WEEK!!!!!!!!  The most wonderful week of the year!  And blessed is the year in which it occurs more than once (2017).  This has been a long hard slog, getting through 2018 with no release AT ALL for more than 12 months.  But the dark time is finally over!  Light is coming!  Our Lord and Savior will arrive again on December 21!  And I guess also on December 25th, for those who follow other faiths.

As always, you can ask me anything from the personal (“what was the first Shahrukh movie you saw in theaters?”) to the specific and factual (“is this the longest Shahrukh has gone without having a release?”) to the general discussion (“Zero will be a hit: yes or no or it doesn’t matter?”)

Now, question for you!  Easy question.  What are you all doing for Christmas?

I am going to visit my sister and she will give me The Greatest Gift of All: permission to organize her apartment.  I am so excited!  I am going to do dishes until the kitchen counters are visible, and then build new shelves for the kitchen to put them all away, and then slowly build out from the kitchen to the dining room (which in my vision becomes a laundry room), living room, and eventually, THE WORLD!!!!  Hire them a cleaning lady!  Find them a new car!  A puppy!  I have so many opinions on what they should be doing!  After all, isn’t that what relatives are for?  To sweep in for a week visit and give you helpful advice on everything you are doing wrong?  Oh, and also we are going to see a Christmas musical based on Pride and Prejudice and we aren’t making my brother-in-law come with us (that’s his gift).

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42 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of Zero????

  1. Pingback: Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of Zero???? - Dream Bollywood Working

  2. How do you feel for Zero? Excited? Worried? Sure?

    I’m devastated because I just read there will be only one show of Zero in Catania, and guess what – 25th December at 2.00 pm. What a stupid stupid date and hour. Everybody is at home eating Christmas dinner at that time. I can’t leave. I’m so mad now.

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    • I am excited for Zero, because no matter what it will be ambitious. And I am always more excited for the ambitious failures than the safe hits. But I am still not sure that a) I will like it or b) it will be a hit. As we’ve discussed, I don’t really like what I have seen of Aanand L Rai and if Shahrukh’s hero or Anushka’s heroine turn out to be shallow and unfaithful in love, I will have a hard time coming back from that. And on the other hand, even if the plot plays out just as I would like it, it’s also possible that the audience will turn away because it is too strange, or too romantic, or too something else.

      I am devastated for you! They must be counting on a desi audience who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. But that seems strange, in my experience if you are in a country that celebrates, you end up being invited to Christmas dinners or otherwise participating anyway.

      On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 7:57 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • From what I see in Catania, desi immigrants are closed in their own circle and don’t mingle with Italians. I always feel odd when I go to their shops or the only indian restaurant there. They always look at me like: hey what she is doing here? So yes, the show is made for desis only but I don’t care. Shah Rukh why you haven’t released this movie on Diwali?
        I did something I never do – log to fb and wrote those guys that their date sucks and they should do a second show.

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  3. I’m very excited for you about the release of Zero! I’ve been watching some of the random interviews he’s doing. He’s got that line about “how three months later he looked completely different after the FX were done” down pat:) I did like how he was highlighting the performances of both Katrina and Anushka because he is the ultimate gentleman. Though I also recently watched the Simi Garewal interview with him and Gauri. That was weird.

    For Christmas, I’m going to my parents’ up in snowy upstate New York where we might still not even have a white Christmas! Climate change strikes again. I’ll be there for over two weeks and besides the normal Christmas stuff, I plan to make them finally watch Gold or maybe Badhaai Ho and I plan to catch up on as many 2018 releases I as I can so I can make my final picks for best of the year. I’ve only watched 18 of this year’s Hindi releases which is low.

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    • Zero and Simmba are forcing me to wait on my end of year picks. But maybe I spend my day off on January 1 writing all my “best of” posts, once the year is officially over and there will be no more late entries.

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  4. Have fun at Zero this week! I don’t plan to see it in theaters but I’m enjoying seeing people online excited about the release.

    Also have fun organizing! I am recovering from an illness but instead of resting I went to Ikea yesterday and bought some things to organize my bedroom. I got these underbed storage boxes for my sweaters, sheets and towels and zomg, it made such a big difference! https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20222665/?query=GIMSE&icid=iba|us|unbxdsuggestion|201811132211556208_1

    And these boxes to organize my dresser drawers: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70323959/

    I folded everything up KonMari style which is absolutely not something I can keep up with but for the time being everything looks so neat and nice.

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  5. We’ll be traveling to see relatives in Ohio and Kentucky for the holidays. Because of where Christmas and New Year’s fall, I have a nice chunk of time off, so I hope to enjoy it by hanging out, playing board games, eating too much, and walking our new pup a bunch. Regardless of weather, which I haven’t checked yet.

    I’m behind on Christmas prep, but refusing to worry about it. Yet. 🙂

    I’m having a heck of a time finding info about Zero showtimes in the US. One question is, do you use pragathi.com to find out that info or just look at your local theaters’ websites, or Fandango or something else? Second question, do you think they’re doing a limited release at first in the US, then a wider release if it does well, or is this going to be one I’m going to have to catch in streaming/DVD?

    It’s making me a bit sad how scripted Shah Rukh’s promotional interviews are, but at least the scripts are very in line with the parts of his persona that I like, so I don’t too much hearing him say the same things over and over. It’s a risky movie so I’m glad they’re playing it safe in the promos.

    My third question is, what do you think about the social media and merchandising they’re doing with Bauua? I think it’s clever that they’ve turned the character into a chibi (here are characters from Avatar: the Last Airbender in chibi format):

    However, I’d feel more comfortable with it if Bauua were not also a little person, or if they had “chibi’d” the other characters too. And there’s a whole line of Bauua merch on Red Chillies website, complete with a short promotional video with Shah Rukh that they’ve shared on social media.

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    • I am so happy with where Christmas/New Years falls this year! It’s why I get to go out of town, I can visit my sister for a nice long time and only take 3 days off work. A few years back when Christmas and New Years were on a Saturday was the WORST.

      In my experience, theaters never know their showtimes for sure until 2 days in advance. I’ve even asked at the theater and been told by the manager “oh yes, we are definitely getting ____” and they end up not getting it. So I don’t bother looking for info before Wednesday or Thursday. I haven’t found a really good website for rounding up all the Indian movie showtimes, plus I know from working at a movie theater that all secondary websites are potentially unreliable (google listed us as showing the new Winnie the Pooh movie and I had to spend a weekend turning away sobbing children because we weren’t showing it, scarred me for life and also made me forever distrusting of 3rd party movie listing websites). In Chicago, I painstakingly go to each separate website for every theater that has shown Indian films in the past. And I am still worried about missing a theater I don’t even know about it.

      One thing I have figured out with my local Indian theater, they post showtimes on Fandango before their own website. Which didn’t make sense to me until I noticed that Fandango had way more showtimes than they could possibly handle with their screen numbers. So I think they wait and see if anyone buys advance tickets and then base the official showtimes on that. Which is a great trick for me so long as I am buying the tickets on Fandango anyway, but is useless if you are just trying to find out showtimes.

      So my advice would be wait until Wednesday, check Fandango and other ticket purchase sites first in case a theater is waiting to post showtimes until they sell tickets. And then start by googling to find out what theaters around you have shown Indian films in the past, and then go directly to those individual theater websites and see what they say. It’s like a little treasure hunt! Oh, and I don’t know where you are going to be in Ohio, but I know that Columbus and the suburbs have theaters that show every Indian release.

      Oh, and I doubt they will do a limited release just because it seems like that would be a waste of a Christmas weekend.. But on the other hand, it does make sense since it’s a bit of a risk for the overseas market. But if they were going to do that, they would have released it on the 15th and then been able to do an expanded release on the 21st.

      One thing with the Bauua character, just by giving him a distinctive look they have made him separate from “Shahrukh Khan” the actor in a way that I don’t think the Katrina or Anushka characters will be. They could have had a similar effect by making him always wear a clown costume or something. At least, that’s how the promotions feel to me, here is the one character you can know and recognize at a glance as different from every other role this actor has played, so this is the character we are marketing and promoting. Like Amitabh’s chain link sleeve and white hair in Shahenshah.

      On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 10:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Thanks for the tips! Glad to hear about Columbus–I could get there without too much hassle.

        Good point about how promoting Bauua as a person differentiates him a bit from Shah Rukh. That also makes sense in terms of setting up his own Twitter Handle and AI chatbot.

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        • Now that I think about it, they went too far the other way with Harry. It was sold as “another Shahrukh romantic hero”, and his “Harry” character was as different from the usual “Shahrukh” character as Don or Bauua looks to be. It was both an inaccurate way to sell the film, and helped turn people off (I think) since it lead to more fatigue with Shahrukh blurring into fatigue with the film.

          And glad I was helpful! One of my best friends went to med school at OSU, so I spent about 4 years bumming around Columbus and environs a lot. And I know her aunt and uncle and other friends out in the suburbs were able to see all the new Indian releases. Relatedly, have you read Jennifer Cruisie?

          On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 1:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes! That’s my only other connection with Columbus, she is very specific in her settings, clearly has a particular house or street in mind in the city for when she describes where her heroine lives and stuff. I’d recommend starting with Anyone But You, it’s very light and accessible and all set around the hospital area of the city.

            On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 1:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Agreed about Harry! I mean, he almost spits on someone in the opening credits, flips someone off in the first 10 mins, and outrageously macs on a friend’s girlfriend in the first 30. This guy is super sexy, but not at all a typical Shah Rukh loverboy.

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          • Yes! And yet, not in a way that is “action figure” friendly. He just looks like Shahrukh, but in a button shirt and sneakers. If they’d shaved his head or made his tattoos more prominent or something, it might have worked better.

            And now I want a Harry action figure so I could make him seduce all my Barbie’s and then sob to himself because of his deep loneliness.

            On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 1:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. We are traveling to Kerala after ages and Xmus in Kerala gives the perfect festive mood just like Onam. Ours is a Hindu household,but mom would make cake and wine and put up a Xmus tree and decorations. I’m hoping to catch at least one of the Malayalam movies in theater as part of the big family outing where everyone from my grandmother to my 2 year old would join.There’s the perfect Satyan Anthikadu-Fahadh ‘family’ movie releasing on 21st.

    Qn to you-
    Are you not covering the Vicky-Ayushman episode of KwK?

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    • I so want to do Christmas in Kerala sometime! For me, Christmas is very much a “public” holiday, I would feel super depressed if I were somewhere in the world that I was the only one celebrating. But my understanding is, in Kerala, it really does take over the streets and stores and everything else just like I am used to. Well, not identical, slightly different traditions, but still taking over everything.

      I’m covering it, but it was so booooooooooooooooring, I am having a hard time forcing myself to write the post. So boooooooooooring!

      On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 11:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I SOO wish I had a friend like you that I would gift with organizing my apartment!!! Seriously! I need this in my life! I hate organizing and household chores in general and so wish someone could just come over and take care of it. The first thing I did with my real adult paycheck was hire a cleaning service but they obviously do not organize.

    I will be visiting the inlaws in CA for the holidays so looking forward to the company, nice weather, and hopefully delicious wine. But NOT looking forward to the long flight with multiple stopovers where I am certain the incoming flight will be the furthest distance away from the outgoing flight!

    Happy Holidays!

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    • I love organizing, but I’m not so good on the cleaning. I’m not terrible with cleaning, it’s just something I will let drop if I don’t have the time for it. I am dreaming of hiring a cleaning service myself, I think my income is almost there but not quite. Maybe after the new year I take another look at the budget and weigh the amount of happiness it might give me to know someone else is cleaning my bathtub instead of me.

      Good luck on the travel! I hate making connections and always pay more to avoid it. Of course, I am also traveling from Chicago, so I have loads of options available for direct flights to pretty much anywhere.

      On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 1:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. As a non-Christmas celebrator it can be a challenge finding things to do but this year there is ZERO. So, I’ll be spending Christmas with Shah Rukh.

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  9. It’s like to nominate No One Killed Jessica for an upcoming review. It’s on Netflix and I watched it yesterday.

    My mini review is that Vidya and her segments are pitch perfect, but Rani and her segments bring it into Lifetime movie of the week territory. But the Rani segments provide the emotional payoff that the audience yearns for, esp for a movie based on recent true events. Vidya was at the forefront of today’s naturalistic acting style, whereas Rani was at the tail end of last century Masala acting style, and the contrast really shows up here. Also it’s too bad that Rani and Vidya only get one conversational scene together. With more, this would have blown Bechdel out of the water. Finally, I imagine that this movie would have done better if it had released today, esp without Rani (only because if Rani is in it, it becomes a Rani film, whereas with Vidya the film can still stand in its own).

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    • I really need to rewatch it, I’ve only seen it once years ago, I think when it first hit Netflix.

      You got me thinking about what would happen if it came out today. For one thing, there would be far more casting options. I can see anyone from Taapsee to Deepika in either of the two roles, while back then it was really only Rani among the top actresses who had that kind of realism available to her.

      On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 4:12 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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