Wednesday Watching: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to Valentine’s Week?

Happy Day before Valentine’s Day! And day after Lincoln’s Birthday!!!! Such a glorious celebratory week.

I’ll start!

Reading: Wodehouse! I want all of his books to be made into Indian movies now. They are all about large families and country houses and engagements being made and broken and family pressure not to marry for love, they are all perfect for Indian film!

Thinking: What should I show for Valentine’s Day? It has to be Shahrukh, and we’ve kind of run down the SRK filmography at this point, not many new options. Last year we did Anjaam which was quite fun in a sort of anti-romance way. I suppose we could do Zero, which will be absolutely terrible if watched on and off while guests arrive and leave, but will also be immediately entertaining if you only catch a few minutes of it.

Watching: So many rom-coms! Saw Chameli Ki Shaadi, and Hasee Toh Phasee, and 96! Chameli Ki Shaadi is the most totally and completely happy one for me, the other two both left a bit of a “oh, that’s sort of sad” feeling in my mouth. Anyway, Hasee Toh Phasee review is already up, 96 review is written and going up tomorrow, Chameli Ki Shaadi will go up on Friday once I write it.

Thinking: Why has no one requested a Valentine’s from me? Or at least, not many people. Please do if you haven’t already, I’ve got like 30 left!

Now, question for you! Two questions, in honor of the two holidays this week:

For Valentine’s Day, what is your all time favorite Indian film romance?

I gotta go with DDLJ. Followed by Jab Harry Met Sejal, and then Ohm Shanti Oshaana.

For Lincoln’s Birthday, what is your all time favorite Indian tall actor?

Amitabh, obviously. With Prabhas as a close follower. He’s just SO TALL!

Advertisements

47 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to Valentine’s Week?

  1. I’m thinking, thinking, thinking…reading & writing…

    And just at this very moment, as it is the 13th of February, I’m not even considering any romantic feeling but a thought about ShahRukh triggered by my thoughts about his way how he tries since years to deconstruct his star persona triggered by the meta layer of Zero.

    So, as there is 10 years of Billu today, I posted two tweets like this:
    1)Today I celebrate “Billu-day”! It’s the 1st time ShahRukh clearly presents his own stardom as a theme. (In OmShantiOm were hints, but the theme had been another one.) From there on I entirely could enjoy every of his attempts to deconstruct this star persona – “haule haule” πŸ™‚

    2) Just as an afterthought to my previous post: What if ShahRukh made a movie based on ValMcDermid’s “Wire in the Blood”, definitely destroying his star persona??? Would that be another challenge/risk he would enjoy to accept? And it clearly would be a theme opposite to Billu.
    Creating a cercle to leave the vicious circle…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like Fan, in a lot of ways, was the farthest he could go to destroy his stardom. Showing the man behind he star as power mad and vicious and egotistical, not ultimately a bad person, but with flaws that come with stardom.

      On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 7:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I think he could go further than Fan. As Sryan was persecuted by Gaurav there had been still sympathy for the star…and a learning process vis-Γ -vis the fans. He still had a positive grain.
        The star in “Wire in the Blood” has another, very dark ‘texture’.
        The star in Fan hadn’t been destroyed but for the star in Val McDermid’s novel, there is no redemption or atonement.

        Yes, it would be a dark movie…in the similar form of Baazigar and Anjaam.

        Like

        • It could be a movie that presents again the theme of stardom (not only his own…one can skip all the references to his person as SRK like it was done in Billu with the posters of his movies and in Fan with Mannat). Like a take on the dark side of stardom…
          I remember a French movie “Masques” with Philippe Noiret ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masks_(1987_film) ).
          Hey, just thinking…he also could do a kind of remake of this movie…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m reading, thinking, about work, money problems, extended family health problems. Ugh.

    I’m also enjoying the photos on Filmfare, and all over Twitter, of the glamour and style awards. I’m hoping it was really good for Shah Rukh’s ego to be amidst all these beautiful people loving him. And I really really want him and Vidya to do a movie together. Much as I love Anushka, Deepika, and (like) Alia, I like him better with shorter, curvier women, like Vidya, Rani, and Juhi. Call me shallow! Also, the extended hug and lovely photos of he and Kajol are nice, even though I’m not really an SRKajol shipper per se.

    Humorously, I think it must be tough for actors (male or female) to be at these things where so many women are wearing very low cut tops. It would be hard to relax fully, because the second one’s eyes would drift toward someone’s torso, even if one was just looking down to think or something, there would be a dozen photographers capturing that moment and making it seem salacious, for eternity. Look how Shah Rukh is holding himself and his head around Deepika. He must have had a stiff neck at the end. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • It’s romance week! Thank goodness, so many fun posts to distract you.

      And HA about the lowcut tops!!!! There are also so many photos out there that claim to show two same-sex stars kissing, and really it is just creative angles on a hug, another thing they all have to watch out for. Love is really not fair!

      On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 7:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m thinking about all of the movies I’d like to be watching right now instead of fighting a cold and working! But at least I get to see Gully Boy on Saturday.

    My favorite Indian film romance is too hard to nail down…I just submitted the following five as the “best rom-coms of the last 15 years” in an online survey: Bunty Aur Babli, Jab We Met, Band Baaja Baarat, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, and Bareilly Ki Barfi. HOWEVER, my favorites of all time are probably 1) Band Baaja Baarat 2) Mujhse Dosti Karoge and 3) Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Or at least those are my favorites today. And when I think of my favorite romance films I always think about ones that are lighter or at least have a good mix of drama and fluffiness, not the all out depressing but romantic ones that I also love like Mausam or Veer Zaara or Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam or my all time favorite romance with an unhappy ending: Sanam Teri Kasam.

    My all time favorite Indian tall actor would be either Abhishek or either of the Arjuns!

    Like

    • My choice would equally be Abhishek…and then Kunal Kapoor.
      My favourite romantic movies? Oh, I boringly stick with ShahRukh although I like the movies you mention, filmilibrarian. I would name DDLJ, RNBDJ and JHMS…or maybe KKHH, KANK and JHMS…or K3G, KHNH and JHMS (*chuckle*)

      Liked by 1 person

        • I was waiting for you to mention Chalte Chalte! It’s the purest “rom-com” movie, I think, in the Shahrukh catalog. No big family drama or action or anything else, and with a lighter touch than JHMS, not quite so intense.

          On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 9:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Liked by 1 person

      • I want Abhishek and Kunal to co-star again, they had such great chemistry in Laage Chunari Main Daag, and really look like brothers.

        On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 9:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

        >

        Like

    • Really? Band Baaja Baarat? As you know, I have a big problem with the Ranveer character development, but even if I didn’t have that problem, I’m not sure I would see it as a really great rom-com. Although, I didn’t ask for “great”, I asked for “favorite”, which is a whole different thing.

      And so glad I am not the only one who likes Mujshe Dosti Karoge! It is an odd duck of a film, a little too heavy to fit in the new light small rom-coms we have now, and a little too light to fit in with the “family romance” type stuff.

      Ooo, I forgot about the Arjuns! I love how Arjun’s height is used in OSO to make him all looming and scary.

      On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 9:01 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • Yup, there’s always been something about Band Baaja Baarat for me. I think it was partially that even though his character is an idiot, there’s just that star spark that Ranveer has that blew me away and then it’s just got some heartbreaking acting moments by Anushka (the mirror scene), I like the fact that they have sex because it’s realistic and the guy acting weird after is also realistic. It has great music and Dum Dum is just special because it’s so randomly over-the-top. And I love the final grovel scene and the beautiful backdrop of it. Finally, it has one of my favorite scene stealers Neeraj Sood as the florist who snarkily comments on their stupidity.

        Also, BBB is one of the movies that I’ve successfully introduced to non-Indian audiences multiple times. One of my guy friends really loved it (granted he’s a beta kind of guy but he thought it was pretty great).

        Mujhse Dosti Karoge is just my favorite because of Hrithik and Rani and it’s the first Indian romance I saw.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I really didn’t get the rush of feelings she had towards him, considering they never met after 10th grade :/ Or maybe there are people like that, but it seems too fae fetched for me.

        Like

          • Okay, that’s it, I’m moving up the schedule and the post is going up at midnight. Too much conversation already! I want to give you all a space.

            Like

          • I took it as more that the sudden shock of the affair permanently stunted his development. But still you have to accept the importance of this relationship in his life.

            Like

          • Don’t even get me started on his holier than saint characterisation.
            His effing love is so divine that he will rather watch her get married in front of him than approach her a second time to understand if she’s still interested. I don’t like the peurile message the movie is giving out that it is a great thing that you deny all your desires and happiness,pine and live your entire life in mysery for that one brief connection from your adoloscence.

            Like

          • I promise, 16 more minutes and the post goes up and I get ALL into this! The sort of crazed denial because of fear of breaking the smallest social barriers.

            On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 10:47 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

          • It’s just so frustrating because I have all these great thoughts but you haven’t read them yet and I can’t remember how I said them in the post.

            On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 10:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

          • That is the typical “pure love” trope of South Indian Cinema. I’m not saying Jaanu should cheat on her husband, but not even a parting hug at the airport?

            Like

  4. I am binge watching netflixs one day at a time. Just watched kumbalangi nights, a new malayalam release. And spending time asking all people I know to watch both of them .
    Kumbalangi nights is a soft beautiful movie about men in the fringes of society. The movie is very very sensitive to its females too. And fahad faasil is the villain who is literally the representation of toxic patriarchy.
    One day at a time is one of the best sitcoms i have ever seen. How they handle issues ranging from depression and anxiety to drugs and homophobia with sensitivity while maintaining the overall lightness is amazing..
    Watch both of the people

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m finally watching One Day at a Time! It’s definitely not a show that grips you right away. It takes a few episodes to really see how the story is going to unfold and who these characters are. And get used to the combination of serious moments and casual jokes and misunderstandings like any other sitcom. It reminds me a lot of the classic sitcoms of the 70s and 80s and early 90s, the ones that mixed drama and social messages into the comedy.

      Like

  5. I watched Telugu movie F2-Fun & Frustration that had Venkatesh and Varun Tej. I went into it thinking it’s a staple,wife bashing bro comedy and it is until pre climax. The movie is very self aware, poking fun at itself and the dialogues are funny. I don’t think I have laughed out so much for any other Telugu movie. I have seen some sad,serious movies of Venkatesh but he was a riot in this.His comic timing is superb and Varun Tej also seemed more relaxed and fun.The heroines also have equal screen time and that’s a good thing. It was just the thing I needed to watch after a very hectic travelling week.
    Seeing too many raving reviews of GullyBoy and I’m starting to think if it’s not another 96.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wondered about F2! It’s doing surprisingly well at the box office. Not record breaking, but it had a better opening weekend than I expected, and it has been running a long time now.

      I am trying to go into Gully Boy neutral. Right now, I didn’t like the trailer, but love the soundtrack, so -2 + 2 = 0. So long as I don’t take in anything else about it, I can go in without misconceptions.

      On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 10:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  6. Thinking: Today is Valentine’s Day (in Japan), so time for the annual watching of DDLJ! I’m absentmindedly humming about the koel birds welcoming the traveler home as I go about my daily tasks.
    I finished Bodyguard and also Sacred Games this past week. Bodyguard refreshingly does not end on a cliffhanger, but of course SG does. I really think this cliffhanger stuff is a holdover from the old days of network television, when there was a 3 month hiatus but you were watching reruns during that time, and then you’d watch the cliffhanger again and then find out how it ends. Nowadays, it could be years before the next season, and you’re not still going to remember/care.

    Also watched Chalk n Duster, which was really disappointing and also bad and wrong. I watched for its great cast (Juhi, Shabana, and Divya Dutta) which is wasted on a terrible story. Shabana and Juhi are saintly teachers and Divya is the evil principal. Shabana is doubly wasted as she spends most of the movie in coma. I did learn a few interesting things about the place of teachers in India. There is the usual plot about the evil principal taking over the school and being mean to teachers in a bid to get more wealthy students, ending somehow in a ridiculous scene–I couldn’t really follow this–where the teachers have to go on a Who Wants to be a Millionaire style game show and will lose the right to ever teach again if they get a question wrong! Where is their union while this is happening? OK, so that part is dumb but more deeply: I’ve taught junior high school and high school in Japan and I’m currently a teacher trainer, and I hate movies about saintly teachers. Because those teachers love to sacrifice for children! Why, they’d be positively insulted if we offered them a living wage and decent working hours! And teachers who want these things must be bad teachers!

    My favorite romance: DDLJ is my favorite romance to watch on Valentine’s Day. I think all-round my favorite is Band Baaja Barat, with the Bengali film Saptapadi a close second. Am I the only one who doesn’t know how tall actors are? I mean, I know Amitabh because such a huge big deal is always made about it, which is the same way I know Aamir is short. But in the movies, everyone is standing on a box anyway, right?

    Liked by 1 person

      • My new theory, WordPress wants to create romance for Valentine’s Day. So they have anonymized random commentators in order to launch missed connections and new connections.

        Like

    • I read an article a few years back that stuck with me, about the Netflix strategy. They end every episode/season on a cliffhanger to keep you binging. You don’t particularly like the show, you forget about it the moment you turn it off, but so long as they have a little tickle there to get you to start the next episode, you will just keep going. And I suppose the same thing is true of the end of the season, they want people to just keep going instead of thinking “you know, I don’t actually like this show and it isn’t very good, why am I still watching it?” Like eating a whole bag of potato chips just because they are there. Ever since I read that, I’ve really noticed it.

      Thank you for watching Chalk n Duster so we don’t have to! I will avoid it. And I will also think about your point on the saintly teacher who doesn’t want money every time I watch one of those movies now.

      Another Band Baaja Baarat vote!!!! I just don’t get what people see in that movie.

      For height, I always go with comparison with co-stars. Rani and Abhishek are ridiculous looking opposite each other, so tall he has to bend his knees to hug her. And then Rani and Shahrukh look about right, and Rani and Aamir are the same height. Thus, Abhishek is tall, Shahrukh is average, and Aamir is a little toy person.

      Like

  7. All this talking about romances remineded me I must tell you about the movie I saw few days ago- Ratham (telugu). It was one of those so-small-doesn’t-even-have-wikipedia-page movies I watch from time to time (but they have VFX eagle!)

    It looks like first movie for almost everybody concerned, so it’s a little confused, tries too many things and some actors are not good, but at the same time has few ideas I loved and I would love to see the love story remade by more experienced filmaker.
    SPOILERS
    A cute girl is always followed by many boys who are in love with her. They force her to chose one of them. She doesn’t like any of them so she points a random guy who was passing by (our hero). She believes she get rid of stalkers and will never see the other guy too, but he falls in love with her and starts following her too. To cheat other guys the girl and our hero fake they are together, and soon end being in love for real.
    At the same time girl’s father leaves prison and returns home. He is presented as some kind of goon, and we are sure he will be just another bad telugu father who does everything to separate the lovers. But, surprise! He is not like that. He is against our hero, but only because he has heard the hero is just like he was before the prison- can’t stand injustice and helps those in need. We get to know the father was in jail for killing some bad guy. He is sure, sooner or later the hero will be in trouble or dead, and his daughter will have to suffer like his wife had to. He says the words I absolutely LOVED: In love even anger looks good, but after marriage the same anger becomes poison.
    The father tells the guy he can marry his daughter only if he will change and will stop fighting villains. Boy is angry, offends his in-laws, argues with the girl and they split. But, here another surprise – the father can’t see his daughter sad, and he decides to go to boy’s house and make peace with him (I’ve never seen a father in indian movie who sacrifices his pride for his kid happines). He wants to send the girl and her boyfriend far from this dangerous village, so they can live in peace for some time, and maybe with the girl’s influence the hero will change. Hero’s mother is shocked (how they can go together without being married), but our man trusts the pair. They go to Vizag to study. Later they even live in the same house, sleep together (without sex), and do chores together. But after some time bad guys from the village find the hero (he killed their boss at the beginning) and beat him heavily. Girl sees it, and decides her father was right – she doesn’t want a life like this.
    Months later he sees her at the street with little child. some woman tells him the child doesn’t have a father. The hero is sure she married and is now widow, rushes to her father house, makes a speach how they doesn’t want him as son-in-law and married her to some guy who is dead now, takes mangalsutra out of his pocket and marries the girl (I love those impromptu weddings). Later he learns she was never married, she only adopted a baby because his parents died.
    What do you think? I wish some mainstream movie had a father like this!

    Like

    • This plot sounds amazing! And I feel like I have seen bits and pieces of it before, I know the adoption misunderstanding is in Malli Malli Idi Rani Raja. I agree, it is the little barely noticed films that sometimes have the most delightful breaking of the rules for plots.

      On Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 12:26 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I wonder if the best parts of the plot are original or maybe copied from other movies. I couldn’t help but think about other telugu movies (especially Rangashtalam, also about village,one of the biggest hits) in which nobody cared about the girl, and here the father was ready for everything for her. And she didn’t even talk to him, because she was angry he went to jail and left them alone. It added another beautiful thing to the movie – she grow up without him, wasn’t happy he was back, but he still loved her so much, and wanted only the best for her. And he was the tough guy, respected in the village.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.