Wednesday Watching Post: What Are We Watching and Reading and Thinking and Listening to the Week Before Mother’s Day?

Happy Wednesday!!!! I’m having one of those long slooooooooow work weeks. Too much to do, so they days go by fast, but I am exhausted at the end. Oh well, half way through!

I’ll start!

Watching: I caught the start of The Guru on TV yesterday, another Merchant-Ivory film. It looks quite odd. But I am very proud of myself because I saw the opening credits and went “this feels like a Merchant-Ivory movie” and then it WAS!!! Someday when I feel I have the strength, I may finish it.

Reading: I just started Pollyanna again! Did you know Pollyanna was just one of several sappy three volume novels by Eleanor Porter? I have read all of them. They vary in quality greatly, I can see why Pollyanna was the only one that really lasted. At least she wasn’t a creepy racist obsessed with masturbation like Gene Stratton Porter. All of whose books I have also read. And which also vary quite a bit.

Thinking: I’m going on a mini-break! Visiting my sister for the weekend. Obviously we are doing Student of the Year 2 together in theaters (a perfect sister movie), but what else to watch? I think Andhadhun is the perfect brother-in-law movie, right?

Listening: With the hectic days at work, I’ve retreated to SRK songs to sooth me. And I’ve decided, once again, to ignore the reality that it is ridiculous to listen to a “Shahrukh playlist” since he doesn’t actually sing his own songs. And it’s let me rediscover some really pleasant old favorites, like this one.

Now, question for you! This mother’s day I am reposting my review of Pari, and yesterday I put up a post with 10 suggested mother’s day films. What film would you suggest for mother’s day?

42 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are We Watching and Reading and Thinking and Listening to the Week Before Mother’s Day?

  1. I’m a mom and grandmom but rather laissez faire on both counts. As long as they were safe, I let my sons and grandsons work things out among themselves. In no way do I see myself as heroic, like those self-sacrificing Indian mothers that made you cry. Still, I might watch one or two of the films as a point of comparison. But I don’t do guilt well, either. Pari seems a good bet, though. Will pencil it in and see you Sunday!

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    • Do Jhankaar Beats! It’s a fun happy movie in general, but it also has a pretty laissez faire style of mothering. And it’s on Netflix. Oh, and do Pari too, even though it is not a fun happy movie.

      On Wed, May 8, 2019 at 7:29 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • She is pretty impressive. Although Kirron in Om Shanti Om is pretty great too.

      On Wed, May 8, 2019 at 7:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I have seen two odd absolutely random movies this week. I was looking for Lekin, Gulzar’s movie datablue mentioned last week. Unfortunately I haven’t found it with subtitles, but I saw Pathar Ke Insan is about competition of two sisters, one dancer (Sridevi) and one musician, and I decided to give it a chance. I feel I should hate this film because it was so antiquated (Vinod tried to kill his wife Sridevi many times, she knew but still venerated him, and when he asked why she said: because you are my husband), and promised artistic competition lasted only first 20 minutes (after that musician sister’s sitar string broke, she lost and commited suicide). But OMG there was so much drama! I needed a movie like this. I forgot how fun old movies can be.
    Yesterday I saw something very different – 2006 marathi melodrama Kshan with Subodh Bhave (it’s one of those od movies Prime Italy has, and I can’t stop thinking why).
    It was one of Subodh’s first roles, and in my opinion he was great. I won’t lie, I thought the movie will be terrible, but I ended really liking it.
    And now I’m watching 2.0, and being honest it’s the most boring film of this week.

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    • Oh yuch, 2.0 on a small screen? that would be boring. I enjoyed all the special effects and explosions and stuff, and the rest of it was okay, but it didn’t super grab hold of me. Are you going to be okay with Akshay in it? I thought his bit was the best bit, especially the flashback, but I know he gives you headaches.

      On Wed, May 8, 2019 at 8:36 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, I swore I won’t watch Akshay’s movies, but I thought I want to see this one and, why should I deprive myself of something because of this man. So I’m watching, but yes, every 10 minutes I say “oh this would be spectacular on the big screen”.
        My son was watching with me, because he saw the trailer, but after first violent scene he quit.

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  3. Recently started watching Catastrophe on Prime. I recommend it to everyone. It’s such a brilliant and hilarious show.

    Meanwhile, Kangana has already started her attacks on Hrithik through her sister’s twitter account. Ekta is no less herself.

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    • Blech, so ugly. If Kangana’s movie moves before Hrithik’s, then I will have faith that the date conflict was unintential on their part and they were trying to avoid this.

      And I love Catastrophe! I watched the first two seasons when they came out, and the new season while I was on my last airplane ride. It’s perfect for airplanes, breaks the trip down into nice 30 minute chunks, and is so absorbing and stressful that you forget you are stuck on a flight.

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  4. Watching: YouTube videos about the Met Gala and Avengers:Endgame. I don’t care a bit about fashion but I enjoy the Met Gala every year. Desis were pretty well represented!

    Also re-watching this clip over and over again–at least the few seconds with Radhika and Shah Rukh dancing. Based on the few clips I’ve watched from this made-up style awards thingy, Vicky is a natural hosting type, but Radhika needs to work on not looking bored when she isn’t doing or saying something.

    Thinking: if all goes to plan, I am doing a pilgrimage to Mannat on the last weekend in June. I’ve booked a room and everything. I’m wondering, should I try to meet up with Mumbai-based fans while I’m there, to say hi, and for moral support and logistics advice? If I should do that, how on earth to go about it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Radhike might have “resting bored face”. I’ve noticed it in her movies too, when she is just actively listening in the background, she often comes off as bored. Sanya Malhotra, on the other hand, has “resting excited face”. Whenever the camera catches her, she naturally looks happy and excited.

      How was Avengers: Endgame? Do you feel the need to change any Marvel casting ideas?

      And yaaaay for visiting Mannat! I have no advice. You’ve traveled way way more than I have, my advice is stuff like “bring hand sanitizer and drink lots of bottled water” and you already knew that. Oh, and when I got lost with my sister our first time in Bombay a nice middle-aged man stopped and gave us directions and told us “people are nice! Just ask for help”. So, that’s my big wise words for Bombay travel, “people are nice”.

      There are SRK fan groups on twitter, and I think srkuniverse and planetsrk are still active if you want to reach out there. But again, you would know more than me. Hopefully someone else chimes in to help. Because, again, “people are nice”.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 100% contact the Mumbai fan club. They are so nice and were so hospitable.They sometimes do screenings in theaters of his older movies and they often go to Mannat as a group on Sundays. They are wonderful.

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      • Hi, Molly. Thanks for the advice! I think there are a few clubs with representation in Mumbai. I don’t want to start any controversies, and I’m sure they’re all great, but would you mind telling me which one you connected with? Thanks again!

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        • There is one main one I’m pretty sure. We met and have stayed in contact with @srayaswee. She doesn’t tweet but she reads tweets. Carol might have the contact info for the ‘president’ of the club, Yash. I’ll check with her. By the way, it is worth it to hike up to the Mount St. Mary Church which is in back of Mannat. Across the street from the church is a shrine that has steps up and from there you can see the roof of Mannat. You can’t see much and you can’t see the pool but you can see the view they have when they are on their roof which I thought was fun.

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    • Make sure SRK is actually going to be in town first. It’s unlikely he will be there at the end of June! Suhana’s graduation from Ardingly is on June 28th so he will definitely be in London that day. It’s very possible he might go a little early and stay on for a few days for a vacation afterwards. I’m just guessing but I think it will be a difficult time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My suggestions for Mother Day:
    Nil Battey Sannata – beautiful and inspiring movie about what mother is ready to do to help her daughter and how sometimes children are the worst, and sometimes not 😉
    Diya – (tamil with Sai Pallavi), about how strong the bond between the mother and child can be. Not the best movie for sure but interesting
    Badhaai Ho
    Special mention – K3G, how the moms are the best and understand everything and dads are terrible

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    • I have only seen Badhaai Ho and K3G out of this list, because you are so cool. But agree about your description of K3G!

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  6. Okay were are GOING TO HAVE to have some kind of thread following the Ekta/Kangana/ Rangoli bruhaha. Ekta tweets that she is going to stay civil and so will her actors and then crazy Rangoli(or does Kangana actually do those tweets herself) writes vitrol and threatens Hrithik, who HASN’T SAID A WORD. Ekta is too smart for all this.What is actually going on????

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    • Ekta is involved too. She has tweeted implying that Hrithik and his team are targeting Kangana for no reason. Rangoli has put out an alleged screenshot of Hrithik’s PR circulating how to target Kangana and what keywords to use and the payment for it.

      Normally nobody pays attention to the Kangoli team but Ekta is endorsing them now.

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      • I don’t know, I just read that tweet and it sounds like it cuts both ways, it also says she told her actors not to get involved, and now Kangana is getting involved. It’s blatantly going against orders from her boss, to my mind it is humiliating to Ekta. If I were her, I would fire Kangana at this point, announce I was releasing the movie but cutting ties with the actress. But then I could be wrong about all of this, if Ekta keeps not making statements and letting this continue, we will know.

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  7. Watched Darr last night with my daughter and we watched Fan today. So. Much. Stress.
    Not sure I’m ready to read about Kangana … So. Much. Drama.

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  8. I’m surprised you’re not planning on seeing SOTY2 with your friend Dina 🙂

    By the way, I saw Newton last weekend and I thought it was interesting. I did feel like it was kind of overhyped though. It’s a good movie but not what I would consider to be a great movie.

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    • Dina is heartbroken! She will have to make her way there on her own somehow. Or else I may take pity on her and bring her to see it next week, if it is good.

      Selfishly glad to hear that Newton was overrated, makes me feel less bad for never having seen it.

      On Wed, May 8, 2019 at 8:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Ordinarily I try to stick to Hindi films for the general questions so that everyone else will know what I’m talking about, but for movies about mothers you’ve got to go Bengali. My modern pick would be Unishe April, by Rituparno Ghosh, which narrates a complex conflict between a flawed mother and daughter which plays out one stormy night while they are stuck in their home. Very good treatment of how misunderstandings can pile up over years and years between well-meaning people who love each other. Also, does not have an ambiguous/sad ending! For classic I would say Ray’s Mahanagar, about a young mother who goes and gets a job in 50s Kolkata and the effect it has on her large family. Ends a bit ambiguously but is not super sad!

    This past week was the week I was going to watch Simmba, Bareilly ki Barfi, Veere di Wedding and Kedarnath before I discovered that Zee5 will not let me mirror movies from my device, and they, their employees, advertisers, and subsidiary companies are all very bad people who should never find happiness in this life. So instead I watched some episodes of Delhi Crime on Netflix and even through my disappointment I was just blown away by how good it is. (Does not constitute a silver lining). I was really thinking about giving this one a pass, since who want to relive the Delhi rape, but it focuses mostly on the cops who are looking for the suspects. The rape is described briefly and the victim depicted but it is not re-enacted at all, not even how Mom depicted a rape. Finally, Shefali Shah got a role she deserves, and it also has some of my other underserved favorites like Adil Hussain. Yasashwini Dayana, Jackie in Dear Zindagi, has an interesting role as Shefali’s daughter and she is wholly believable as a high school student. (She also had a weird and funny role in Phobia–she’s heading for a super interesting career if she sticks with that sort of thing). One slightly false note is that Yasashwini is accepted to a college in Toronto because she hates Delhi and Shefali doesn’t want her to go and bets her that she (Shefali) can show her (Yasashwini) the good parts of Delhi before the application deadline. This, at this moment halfway in, seems truly unnecessary. Yasashwini has to show conflict between her friends who are protesting the Delhi police’s perceived inaction and her mom who is a Delhi policewoman, and also fear, anger and sadness about the rape itself. We don’t need a fake bet about Delhi. And, come on, she should go to Toronto! Everyone should study abroad if they have the chance.

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    • Yashwini is in Made in Heaven too! In a kind of similar role, but one that makes more sense in that show. And you are now the second person who recommended Delhi Crime to me. I was avoiding it because, like you, I felt no need to revisit that crime. Is it mostly procedural feeling, or more emotional?

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      • Hmm. Hard to say if it’s more procedural or emotional. If I have to pick one I’d say procedural, but with a bunch of really good characters played by good actors, dealing with political fallout and family stuff and the emotional impact of the crime.

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    • Oh, and I have been working on a plan for you! Here’s what you do. Next time you are in the US, you download through the Prime app the Made in Heaven episodes with the “good” subtitles. Then, you carry them across borders on your device. Or, alternatively, you have a relative purchase a device in America, load it with English subtitle prime content, and mail it to you. But that is probably going a bit far 🙂

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      • I wonder if that would work! Streaming services are pretty crafty about knowing you’ve left the country and sending you a message that says HA HA WE KNOW YOU PAID FOR THIS CONTENT BUT YOU CAN’T WATCH IT NOW.

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        • Maybe if you left your device in airplane mode until you watched everything?

          Also, i kind of want a new smuggling movie telling this story, the brave smuggler who brings free content across borders. But most people probably just use a VPN system to trick it. Which i guess you could do too, although i still like the idea of smuggling a phone across borders.

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  10. Those of you who are sick of the Kangana/Hrithik drama stop reading here. As I said, I can’t look away and now there is a new twist. Hrithik has answered in the most measured, sane way possible. I am really really curious about what Ekta really thinks. I think she thinks she took the high road and is now only realizing the extent of Kangana and crew’s madness. Or maybe she’s known for a while and is trying to contain it. Hrithik wisely changed the date of his movie release to get out of the circle of madness. The theory of K and H having had a brief affair is possible but he has certainly suffered for it.

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    • Yeah, I am waiting for Ekta to do a follow up statement to her original one acknowledging the mistake and that she acted unprofessionally. It feels really weird to not respond to Hrithik’s statement, or Kangana’s for that matter accusing her of having been in on it all along.

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  11. This is random but I watched Maya Memsaab over the past couple of nights. I have an issue with heroines who are destroyed for breaking social norms, in both movies and 19th century novels, so I’d been putting it off, but I enjoyed it more than I expected. Deepa was beautiful and effective (you can feel the camera lingering on her, truly the muse to her husband the director), but I was more surprised by how impressive baby Shah Rukh was – what a confident, nuanced performance so early on, from young innocent to obsessed lover to guilt-ridden suspect. Some of the acting felt a touch stylized, like they were reaching for French cinema (Deepa doing crazy, Shah Rukh in the disrobing scene) but the emotions still felt true. Was the infidelity plot very risque when it was released?

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    • The whole thing was risque, but it still came out in a limited release. This is one of the movies I think of when presented with the “multiplexes are important because they let smaller films be seen” argument. Maya Memsaab came out in single screens, so did loads of other similar movies. Before the big movies started doing such wide releases, these strange little films would play in theaters because they couldn’t get anything else, and people would see them because it was what was playing.

      The same team made Oh Darling Yeh Hai India, which is a little too stagey and Brechtian for me, but some people really love it. And that one is even more of a showpiece for SRK’s stage trained acting (lots of monologues).

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      • Yeah, I’m not a Brecht fan, but then French literature isn’t really my jam either so what the heck, worth a shot.

        Am I imagining things or did baby Shah Rukh look super uncomfortable in that scene when he’s sitting by the window with a bare torso before she starts tickling him? Like beyond the character/situation uncomfortable?

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        • I think Tom Stoppard would be a closer comparison? Picture Tom Stoppard, but less brilliant, and with Indian references instead of British/Western.

          And if you are imagining things than so am I! And anyway, Shahrukh is on record talking about how uncomfortable he is with love scenes and displaying his body and so on, especially at the start of his career.

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          • Well, Tom Stoppard is a different matter. I love Tom Stoppard. Now I have to watch to give an opinion on the right playwright comparison.

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          • Oh my, that was a very strange film. You were closer with Brecht, maybe wannabe Beckett, but with a generous dollop of Mystery Science Theater 3000. More importantly, this is manic show-offy Shah Rukh, which is the reason I avoid most of his early movies. Not my flavor. I might even have liked Ram Jaane better, seemed oddly more sincere.

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          • Oh good, it’s not my favorite either. Of the few people who have actually seen it, most of them seem to like it, which made me think I was weird. So nice to know that I have a companion.

            On Sat, May 11, 2019 at 12:31 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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