Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week Before Memorial Day?

Happy Monday! I had the best weekend, spent ages with my friend on Saturday, hung out with another friend on Sunday and cleaned my apartment and did laundry. Oh, and updated my Reviews and Hindi Film 101 indexes. And now I have to go back to work-work, boring!

This is the place to ask me anything at all! Whatever is bumping around in your head, lay it on me! This is where you can go all week any time you think of anything you want to know. I love questions, the simple little ones or the big complicated ones, anything you want to know!

Oh, and I have a question for you! What was the first Indian film you bought?

For me it was DDLJ, of course. I looked at the super expensive two disc special edition in the store over and over again, and finally bought it. There was a hitch in “Ho Gaya”, a little rough spot in the hole in the center, and I played the song over and over again until I wore it down. I kept it for 7 years as my DVD collection grew and grew. And then when a good friend was moving away, I gave her the option of taking any DVD she wanted as a good-bye present, and she picked that one. And then gave me the blu-ray for Christmas a few months later, and that became my first blu-ray.

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31 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week Before Memorial Day?

  1. As my first six Hindi movies had been DVDs lent to my daughter by her Indian film class prof at university, I did not buy a “first Indian film” but many at the same time in a regional Pakistani shop followed by each time ‘many’ at the same shop where they were nice to even order those they hadn’t on stock. Unfortunately, this shop doesn’t exist anymore (or maybe fortunately because of the sheer amount of DVDs I would have problems to store in my appartment).
    With the growing of my family, my time to watch movies has dwindled anyways and with einthusan ‘at hand’, I either watch/download from there or not at all. Exception for ShahRukh’s movies 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your story sounds similar to mine! I rented a bunch of movies first, before buying DDLJ. And then when I got my Christmas check a little bit later, I went in a bought a whole bunch more DVDs, until my collection started to grow by giant leaps.

      On Mon, May 20, 2019 at 7:19 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Anyone else excited about the new Mindy Kaling/Emma Thompson movie Late Night? It looks really good!

    What do you think release will look like for Legend of Maula Jatt? Think it will get a decently wide release? Any schedule conflicts that might push it out of theaters? (Mostly this is selfish – I really want to see it and I’m hoping it comes to the local theater.)

    The first Indian movie I bought was Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara because it was cheap on Google and I figured we’d end up rewatching the road trip through Spain.

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    • Maula Jatt is going to have a challenge, because it is going for Eid which is traditionally Salman’s release date. But, based on the Eid date, I am going to guess they are also hoping for an international release (since Eid is an international holiday). I hope that means a push to get it in American theaters like Teefa in Trouble, but I am worried it may end up with just one sad little theater and no showtimes because of the Bharat competition.

      On Mon, May 20, 2019 at 8:42 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • See, this is what I meant in a comment on another post by “I would have been on his side in 2003, but the years since have changed my feeling”. Salman was abusive in 2003, but in the years since has been respectful and considerate and atoned over and over again. And Viviek has shown himself as willing to do whatever it takes for publicity. Which makes me look back then and stop thinking of it as “Viviek tried to do the right thing and was punished for it” and more “Viviek tried to take a personal issue and use it for publicity and was rightfully punished for it”.

      On Mon, May 20, 2019 at 10:41 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Vivek is back in the news acting stupid. This is why he has no career.

        A lot of people were angry with him including Sonam who called him classless and disgusting. He responded by telling her to stop overacting on screen and overreacting on social media.

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        • I just linked to this in the discussion from Saturday!

          And according to news outlets, Vivek has been served a legal notice from the National Commission for Women.

          As I said there, once a creep, always a creep in his case. And why can’t he just let this go?

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  3. Post idea: you can transport one young actor of today back in time to replace one of the leads from an earlier film, leaving the rest of the cast intact.

    Two I’ve thought of: Ranbir instead of Aamir in Raja Hindustani – just think Ranbir and Karishma could be a cool combination. And I know you don’t agree, but I kept thinking what it would be like to replace Gayatri in Swades with Sai Pallavi. I feel like Sai could pull of the bookishness and high principles, but with more joy and sincere love for the villagers. And she’s really good at emoting the special spark you need to believe in love at first sight.

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    • Oh that is a fun idea! Also, I can’t wait for Alicia/BollywoodNewbie to see that you are suggesting replacing Aamir in Raja Hindustani.

      One that leaps to mind for me and is kind of obvious is replacing Varun with a young Shahrukh in Kalank. It’s clearly a young Shahrukh role, youthful and cocky and romantic and understands woman and all that, but it also requires a lot of stage style acting, big speeches and stuff. I think if young Shahrukh was transported forward, it could have fixed a lot of problems in that movie, without needing to change anything else.

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 8:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Nothing against Aamir, it’s not about fixing problem with the movie. That may actually be one of my favorite Aamir performances. But it’s such a great role, and Karisma is such a fun partner, it’s tempting to imagine what another actor could do with it. And puppy love + violent outbursts plays to Ranbir’s strengths.

        Same idea with Gyatri in Swades, it’s a meatier role than heroines usually get. She’s an orphan, she’s a teacher and community leader, she has a teasing sibling vibe with SRK that matures into mutual admiration and romance. What would Sai do with a role like that?

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        • Ooo, now you’ve got me thinking about what other movie roles might hit that sweet spot! Zamaana Deewana, that weird movie I love, can you imagine Ranveer Singh mugging through that instead of Shahrukh?

          On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 10:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I think those are great recasting ideas! I watched Swades and Gayatri was definitely a weak spot in the film with me and you identified why, because she came across a little shrill and cold. And Ranbir would be a great choice for portraying the man-child that is Raja.

          How about recasting Aamir in Ghulam with Vicky Kaushal?

          Ranveer and Deepika in DDLJ?

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          • Gasp! You opened up DDLJ! 🙂 Ranveer has exactly the hyper energy for Raj. Deepika would be a different Simran, less defiant, more vulnerable maybe.

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  4. What a fun question. I went back through my Amazon purchasing history to check. My first purchase of a DVD was Chalte Chalte. I asked for Paheli for Christmas at the same time. A couple of months later was Om Shanti Om, Sholay, and 2 DVDs of Shah Rukh songs, and a few months later I bought your book, My Name is Khan, and Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman together. 🙂

    So, Zero is streaming on Netflix. I bought it on Google Play a couple of months ago, and it’s the same as the theater version I saw (only twice, sadly). But the Netflix version has added a scene with Aafia to the opening, and I think one scene when Bauua and Guddu arrive outside the venue where Aafia is speaking in New York. I’m not a happy camper. People who didn’t like the movie aren’t going to like it any better with the new scene, I think, and people like me who did like the movie didn’t need an extra scene to justify later narrative choices. Rather the super cute cowboy opening is now diluted. Looking forward to hearing what you and other commenters think.

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    • Now you got me curious to watch the Netflix version of Zero just to see if I can spot any other additional scenes! Very weird that they changed it like that, I can’t think of another Indian movie that altered it’s theatrical release version for Netflix. Although, they also altered it for China. I wonder if that happened organically or on purpose? They made the movie and realized it could work multiple ways and started thinking about different edits, or they made the movie with some flexibility built in so they could edit it for different audiences?

      Chalte Chalte is a very cool first DVD, kind of off-beat and original. And Paheli is even cooler. Om Shanti Om, less cool, but by then I am sure you had already impressed the Amazon programmers with your neat taste.

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 1:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I really like the cowboy opening scene. I agree that if they diluted the opening in the new release, it would adversely impact the tone & curiosity of the opening. 😦

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      • I didn’t like cowboy scene much, but now I checked this new scene, and I agree that the first version was better. But at least we know now why Anushka had a gun in New York.
        Oh and I finally saw Arjun Kapoor’s cameo. Not strange I didn’t see him earlier it’s indeed “blink and you’ll miss it” moment.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Did they change the ending? I haven’t seen it since it was in the theater, but I thought when the capsule popped open he said “Aafia!”

      The bookend of Aafia’s narration at the beginning and the end makes sense, and I think it makes the ending a little better, but I agree it dilutes the beginning.

      At the distance of months, I mostly remembered the bad or really weird parts, it’s nice to get reacquainted with the good parts. Shah Rukh’s performance is really really good. So is Kat’s. Anushka’s is better than I remembered. Abhay and Maddy bring a lot to their bit parts. It is better if you watch it like a Wes Anderson movie.

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      • I haven’t watched the whole thing in real time yet, just fast forwarded to watch favorite scenes and try to catch changes. You’re right about the ending. In the theater version he says, “bless the goddess” or whatever, then says, “Aafia!” But they’ve cut the “Aafia!” on Netflix. How odd.

        On a second fast forward re-watch, they’ve cut some emotional moments to make room for more exposition. I’m bummed because this movie is all about emotion and not at all a plot that is supposed to make sense in the real world. Boo. Looking forward to more discussion as more people watch!

        I think the Netflix version is the same as the DVD version, which I haven’t ordered (yet), based on comments on Twitter from folks in Europe who’ve gotten their DVDs. I checked Google Play, for science!, and the original first and last scenes are still the same. Maybe one day I’ll do a scene by scene comparison. 🙂

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        • Okay, you may have suckered me in just because I love finding facts and evidence. I’ll have to fastforward through the Netflix version just to find and record the differences.

          Anonymous-the-SRK-Fan (not the other anonymouses) pointed to a comment in an article a while back with Shahrukh about how he is sending stuff back and forth to Netflix and getting their input, and we talked about how refreshing that must be for him, to have people who can give him useful feedback and aren’t afraid of giving him feedback (like his directors, for instance, who might be so afraid of losing his acting that they won’t be honest even when he asks them to be honest). I wonder if that is why Netflix has a different edit? If they were involved enough, and fearless enough, to say “No, we don’t want this cut, can you put in some stuff to cover the narrative gaps here and here and here?” in a way that distributors and others just weren’t?

          On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 8:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Hehe. Wish we could re-watch together. NOT on fast forward. 🙂

            It’s quite possible Netflix gave feedback, but I’m not sure given that it seems the same changes have been made to the DVD version. Would Netflix have had input to that? Who ultimately controls what gets put onto the DVD? Is it the production company/ies, the distributors, other?

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          • Who produced the DVD? I would assume if they are buying the rights, they would have some kind of negotiating power. Based on how few movies release on DVD now, I think the DVD world might be turning into a bit of a buyer’s market. I had a DVD store owner tell me that, that the movie I wanted isn’t available probably because the producers couldn’t find anyone willing to pay for it. I guess it makes sense, with a DVD you have to buy the rights and pay for manufactor, and there isn’t the option of some kind of sale by sale profit splitting like with streaming.

            On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 10:41 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • For some reason I read those changes as Aanand tinkering vs. Shah Rukh, after the disappointing box office, but I guess it could have come from outside input.

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  5. I think my first Hindi movie dvd purchase was a 90s song video collection. It had Mast Mast, Humma Humma, Chamma Chamma, Choli ke Peeche, and probably a few others that I’m forgetting. The first actual movie purchase was a Yash Raj double feature DVD containing both Chandni and Lamhe.

    I usually don’t seek out movie purchases, it’s just that if the local Indian store was selling off any of their dvds I would have a look at their clearance table and buy either a favorite or one that I hadn’t seen yet but had been meaning to see someday.

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    • I am jealous of your 90s song video DVD, but I have that same Lamhe-Chandni double edition! It’s really hard to shelve, because I can’t figure out if I should put it under the “C”s or the “L”s.

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 2:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Only if people pay attention to it and understand what it is saying. And if this story is true, SRK himself hasn’t confirmed it so it could be just a rumor.

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