Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Watching and Reading and Thinking and Listening to This Week?

Happy Wednesday! Half way through the work week, woo-hoo! Is it half when I have Monday off? Or is Thursday half now?

Watching: Well, I rewatched Zero, you all know that. Besides that, not much else I’ve been watching. Well, more classic movies on TCM of course (best channel EVER). Weird thing I turned it on at random a few nights ago and they were playing a Satyajit Ray movie! And I recognized Sharmila Tagore in it, which made me proud because she looks way different in her Ray films. Anyway, the sound quality was terrible and the print wasn’t that good either and the talking head intro was kind of dull. So I think I will stick with watching nice black and white American movies on TCM instead.

Reading: Oh, I have a thing to link! FilmiKudhi posted a link to an interview I had long heard of where Ayesha Shroff (Jackie’s wife and a producer) talked about how they discovered and reinvented Katrina for her first movie, Boom. The most interesting thing is that this interview is right there and easy to find, and yet no one ever references it when talking about Kat’s background. https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/others/sunday-read/The-rise-and-rise-of-Katrina-Kaif/articleshow/16169102.cms

Thinking: Will I ever get to have my beautiful new sofa visible to the world? Does dog ownership mean my nice furniture will always have to live under grey sad covers? I know I can remove them for guests, but how often will that happen?

Listening: The news about Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy yesterday got me to think about some of their greatest hits. Well, greatest hits according to me. I really love the Patiala House soundtrack.

Now, question for you! Take a look at this list, and tell me what is your favorite Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy soundtrack?

49 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Watching and Reading and Thinking and Listening to This Week?

  1. Watching season two of Derry Girls. Watched season one on Netflix and found out that I can watch season two on Channel 4 portal.

    Reading and listening to mandatory and important research ethics training material for grad school research project.

    Thinking about what makes a movie a hit in one language but the remake in a different language a flop. Recently read two articles in The Hindu about it and read your review for RHTDM. Minnale was a better commercial success than RHTDM. On the other hand Telugu/Tamil movies have a big market for getting dubbed into Hindi. They score big views on YouTube and have become an important money source for producers.

    I am sure Albie will get trained and you can remove the covers.

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    • How is Derry Girls? I am always looking for good new sitcoms.

      Speaking of research ethics materials, isn’t it funny how movies tend to skip that part? If it’s convenient for the plot, the evil/brave scientist can do all kinds of things to their subjects. Pretty sure Rajinikanth in the Robot movies does all kinds of things he shouldn’t with his super human robot.

      It seems like the Tamil-Telugu-Malayalam triumvirate do better with remakes generally, don’t they? there are still the random ones that don’t work, but it’s much more routine for films to have equal success in two of those languages. When I think of Hindi remakes of southern films, it seems like they are usually quick cheap moderate successes (the Boney Kapoor system) or flops. I can’t think of one that was a legitimate success. Maybe Singham? Or Ghajini?

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      • Derry Girls is good. I had to look up about the Troubles and the politics of Northern Ireland after one episode. Having that context helps enjoy the show and also learn some history. The shows creator lived through the Troubles and I suppose its her experience growing up.
        Absolutely, ethics and science get thrown out to make plot better. What I don’t understand is how such things don’t get picked up in the scripting process. Also, do movie critic have a code of conduct or something they have to follow?
        South movies also it depends I suppose. Tamil version of Maheshinte Prathikaram did not run much. Ghajini for sure. Singham – not sure if all parts were as successful? Akshay Kumar has starred in many remakes.

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        • Most movie critics come from journalism, so I guess they would just follow the journalism ethics codes. Or rather, not follow them in most cases. It’s kind of a basic element of journalism to try to strive for objectivity which I don’t think a lot of these reviewers are doing. And the Film Companion weirdness of not acknowledging the incestuous relationships they have with the film industry is also not great.

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          • Those incestuous relationships make it impossible for me to take their reviews seriously. As we’ve discussed here before, it boggles the mind that one can have a social relationship with someone whose movies you’re reviewing!

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  2. I was so impressed with Lekin that I decided to watch another Gulzar-Vinod Khanna collaboration.Mere Apne (Someone of my own). It was Gulzar’s first outing as a director and the movie had quite a few rough touches.The movie tells the story of two outsiders who come together and build a family of their own.Meena Kumari is an old widow who’s coerced into moving to town by her distant relatives -a young couple who actually needs a free baby sitter.She’s sadly disillusioned upon learning the truth. Vinod Khanna is another one of society’s outcasts.He leads a gang of educated but unemployed youth.He takes in Meena Kumari to live with him and a couple of orphans in a ruined building out of town.Meena becomes a foster mother not only to Vinod and friends but even his rival Shatrughan Sinha and his gang find themselves warming up to her.And since it is a Gulzar tragedy (and senseless violence) awaits.Meena’s devastation when she learns that she’s nothing but an unpaid servant to people whom she considered family, her gratification when Vinod calls her ‘Nani ma’, Danny’s devastation when his puppet is killed all are fine moments.But Vinod’s finest is during his conversation with his father during one of his rare visits home.”I couldn’t do anything for you.I couldn’t even make you a human being” says Vinod’s father sorrowfully. He doesn’t see Vinod swallowing and suppressing his tears.Because he’s a sensitive human being and even his own father is unable to see that.The film shows that the young generation was turning to violence because the older generation failed to step up.

    Below is Vinod K singing soulfully “I wish I had someone to call my own” after seeing his ex-girlfriend in town with her brand new hubby.”Do you have a girlfriend?” Meena asks Vinod after the song ends. “I don’t have.Nor will I ever have.” says Vinod forcefully. For, all his troubles could be blamed on her.

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    • This is all SO SAD. It just makes me want to watch Phool Aur Patthar where a similar kind of plot ends all happy-happy with Meena and her troubled sexy savior finding love together.

      On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 8:33 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • In this case Meena is the savior figure. “Let’s go back to my village.I have a fine mango orchard which can support us all” she tells Vinod repeatedly.But Vinod waffles and wants to wait till the elections are over.He’s a fixer for a political party.As a result everyone suffers.The movie is super slow.It’s at least 50 minutes before Meena and Vinod even meet and have a conversation.And Gulzar as always maintains a distance as an impassive observer and refuses to give in to the tragedy.What the movie gets right is the mood of the 70s.The colleges are closed due to strikes and the exams get postponed eternally.The youth are unemployed and gets little sympathy at home.The politicians use the colleges as recruiting ground for their cadre cum bullyboys.The youth are aware of all this, but are cynical and let themselves be used for money.Extra points for a fresh faced non-villainous Danny and his loquacious puppet.

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  3. Watching: India’s Most Wanted. It was just terrible…may have killed my love for Arjun…his early promise may have actually been a fluke…needs to start producing or something. The movie itself was not good…not very suspenseful and not very clever spycraft, also jingoistic at the end. Clearly put together fast and low budget and it shows.

    Badla – also did not like at all. The twist was obvious and stupid. Amrita Singh is just not at all sympathetic in her more recent roles…had the same problem with her in 2 States. Taapsee and Amitabh were fine but the story was silly. Thought Tony Luke was very pretty and a decent actor.

    Manikarnika – my favorite of the three surprisingly. It was like watching a fairy tale legend with a sad ending. That early scene when she shoots the tiger gave me Disney’s Brave vibes. Her performance was extreme, but engaging. The obvious issue with the film is that it’s too much about Kangana and the secondary characters are not developed, but I actually think it worked in the mood that the film created. She was just merciless in her devotion to India’s independence and it worked. The music was powerful and the costumes and sets were great. Even the clunky CGI worked for me because it gave it that weird otherworldly quality that the film was toying with at times. Not one of my best films of 2019 so far, but almost made the list. Gully Boy is the only one on my list so far…

    Also watching: Schitt’s Creek, Star Wars: The Last Jedi…can’t wait for the next one. Reylo for life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Related to another comment somewhere…I did love Derry Girls but it helps to know a bit about the context of The Troubles and post Good Friday agreement Northern Ireland. It reminded me of watching some of watching the old Roddy Doyle film adaptations like The Snapper, The Van, and The Committments in tone. Also subtitles necessary!

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    • This is so sad, watching love die! But I am glad to know I made the right choice in skipping India’s Most Wanted. I can enjoy a poorly made film from other genres, but a poorly made spy/patriotic film is not for me. Even feeling an obligation to review it could not force me to see it.

      Aw, I am sad you didn’t like Badla!!! I really enjoyed it. But maybe it is a big screen movie? Like, being in a dark theater and with everything calculated to draw me in and sweep me away made me like it more than if I had been home alone and counting on the movie to fascinate me away from distractions?

      Didn’t it bother you in Manikarnika when there were scenes like Kangana suddenly talking in English for no reason? And stuff like her appearing/disappearing baby? For me watching it felt like a really good movie that occasionally burst out and then was suffocated.

      On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 9:31 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Good call on skipping India’s Most Wanted. I’ll still give the director (because Raid was so good) and Arjun (in Panipat, at least) one more try.

        I think that was the problem that I didn’t see Badla in the theatre and was watching it on my laptop and it didn’t hold my interest.

        Didn’t notice Kangana speaking in English actually. I have a tendency to just keep reading subtitles I don’t notice the switches back and forth. I have noticed that sometimes dialogues will switch to English for added emphasis or gravitas (which never made sense to me…especially weird in a film about independence from English imperialists!). I agree that there was a better film in there trying to get out…I just think I had low expectations that were definitely exceeded.

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        • Did you notice the scene where everything stops dead for Kangana to talk about how good her English and and how it is no big deal?

          On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 7:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • God, I watched it two days ago and now I can’t even remember it! No, I just vaguely remember a scene like that…that was just some Kangana having a chip on her shoulder stuff then about how everyone put her down about her English early on in her career. She may be bonkers, but she certainly has screen presence.

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    • Reylo? Help me understand, why? Why? Maybe my problem is with Adam Driver’s enactment but I just can’t with that guy (Kylo).

      We’re you happy with Luke’s arc in The Last Jedi? I’ve been a Luke stan since I saw the first movie in 1977 and I was happy with it, though many weren’t.

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      • Adam Driver is sexy/ugly. There’s just no other explanation, I think:) I think you can see Kylo’s tortured and twisted mind in the way Driver portrays him. There’s always a sad little boy quality to Driver and his chemistry with Rey is interesting…I don’t think it’s really at all that sexual, just intensely bonded by the Force and something else (which would make me fine with it if they turn out to be closely related and the relationship is not a tragic romantic one). Though I do think Kylo will be sacrificing himself in the last film.

        I was fine with Luke’s arc…it made sense that he would make one last stand as a jedi in order to save his sister and the rebels. I just didn’t like that there’s no real resolution with his nascent father figure relationship with Rey. I always loved the original main characters, too. And I’m a huge fan of Return of the Jedi…I loved the Ewoks when I was a little girl and had a favorite stuffed animal of the girl Ewok.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. `
    I saw “BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHΓ‰”

    YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE IT! Anyone interest in early film has got to see it. Anyone interested in women in the film industry has got to see it.

    `

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    • Alice is great, and I’d be super happy to FINALLY see her take her place in the film canon after scholars (and a few mainstream critics) have been clamouring for that for what, 30 years or longer? But while appreciating the vast, vast importance she has in film history, I’ve heard that this docu leans on ideas of originality, auteurship, etc which are incompatible with very early film (if not all film but that’s my opinion), because murky history, them relentlessly copying each other, a lack of fact to base ascriptions on, and lost films mean you can’t really say who did what first or who influenced what. So it doesn’t sound like what I want it to be. Is it like that or are scholars overreacting, do you think?

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  5. I’ve read part of that article about Katrina before. But the thing is she definitely looks part non white. Maybe not Indian, but maybe middle eastern? I could definitely see her as being part kashmiri but her dad doesn’t exactly look kashmiri. Some of her siblings look more white but she’s looked mixed to me since she was a kid. It’s not just the dark hair and eyes, like Kendall/Kylie Jenner have dark hair and eyes but definitely look fully caucasian. It’s her features..something looks different. But who knows lol

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    • And ultimately it doesn’t really matter, right? She’s never claimed south Asian heritage was part of her upbringing, never pretended to be able to speak Hindi or know anything about Hinduism or even having worn a sari before coming to India. It’s kind of cool that they just made this half-hearted attempt to identify her as desi in some way and then didn’t follow through and no one really cares.

      On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 11:07 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Re: Katrina. So she’s all Brit? The Kashmir part is an invention? Then why does the opening paragraph of the article call her British/Asian? Asia is a big continent, covers a lot of countries/cultures. Who are her parents? Why did she say she wanted to be in India? What drew her to it in the first place?How long did it take her to learn Hindi? Does she speak it with an accent? The article was skimpy on her pre-career story. All it did was whet my curiosity.

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    • Exactly! No one knows any of these things! Or at least, the media has never covered it. Katrina publicly has a mother and several sisters. One of her sisters tried to get a bit of an acting career a few years back, all of them are referenced in articles and we have seen photos of them. Katrina was raised Christian and is British, and the rest of her family still lives there. All of that is also established and regularly referred to. But Katrina’s father is never talked about, even her childhood is kind of lost (beyond maybe general references to holiday traditions and stuff). One of the things I find really interesting is that Salman’s family has become her family. Not just publicly, but privately as well. She goes to their house for her birthday and they make her a cake, stuff like that.

      On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 2:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Oh how interesting! Did she mention it in an interview or something?

          On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 3:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • What a wonderful interview! So long, so thoughtful, so in depth. Makes me nostalgic for those days of 9 years ago when you could give an interview like that without worrying about it being picked apart and attacked. Her response about thinking of all those other people who are more talented than her and feeling conflicted about her opportunities was honest and clear, and today would probably get a headline “Katrina admits to nepotism!” or something.

            Anyway, thank you for the interview!

            On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 4:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. “We created an identity for her. ” Yes, that line was confusing. You mean the back story is a lie, or its never really discussed?

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    • The later interview Angie linked to is really interesting because it says her father was Kashmiri but she has no connection to him. So if the whole story is a lie, Katrina is reluctantly going along with it in the smallest way possible. She isn’t claiming any kind of Kashmiri heritage, just going along with the idea that her last name is “Kaif” and therefore her father was Kashmiri. A very small simple lie.

      It sounds like the bottom line is that she was raised by a single mother with no father. Whether or not her father was Kashmiri, whether her mother even knows who her father was, it didn’t change her life at all. Maybe she just had a family story of “I think maybe your father said he was Kashmiri” and it’s based on that. Heck, maybe her father himself doesn’t know he is her father!

      (you understand I’m not saying that with judgement, right? It’s okay for a woman not to know everything about a man she slept with and to raise her children alone)

      On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 4:29 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I reread the Wikipedia entry. Not that it is the final word, but it is clear that she moved around a great deal and isn’t really English either. She says the comments that she made up a father named Kaif were hurtful. I can’t imagine she’d lie about all that. What money did her mother have?

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    • The Angie interview says that her mother was a traveling volunteer charity person. No greater detail than that, but I think we can picture the kind of person? Grew up in England, wanted to save the world, traveled around, had some kids with someone, raised the kids alone all over the world, landed back in England when the kids were teenagers or a little younger. Katrina came to India from England and I think her younger sisters are a little more firmly rooted in England, it seems like that is where her mother and maybe some of her siblings live now.

      From the people I know with this kind of life, her mother could have come from money and wanted to go off and spend it saving the world, or could just have been a brave adventurer who went off without a safety net.

      On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 4:33 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. I watched a little over half of Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota on Netflix last night, will watch the rest tonight. So far, I’d say it’s a really well made ” indie superhero ” movie, with irony, comedy, drama, and pathos. It starts off heavily stylized, so it takes about 15-20 min to get your head in sync with the narrative style. The child actors really dominate the first third of the film and are given quite a bit to do from an actors point of view, and pull it off well. The characters are richly drawn and easy to relate to. I especially liked both the child and the adult actress playing Supri – she’s the love interest but she’s also his inspiration, and she’s given as much to do as the hero, both emotionally and physically (martial arts!). It really feels like both of their movies. Lots of good use of a variety of music as well to score this movie.
    Highly recommend, and worth a review on this blog.
    This movie might have done better numbers as a straight to Netflix release, or as a global indie cinema release (ala Lunchbox or Monsoon Wedding) versus the conventional Hindi film release pathway.
    Finally, the lead actor is Bhagyashree’s son. In some scenes, he looks like her male carbon copy, he has same nose and lips and general facial structure as his mom.

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    • Have you seen Bhavesh Joshi Superhero? It is a similar kind of “indie superhero” story, but goes pretty dark in the last third after being very light in the first.

      On Thu, May 30, 2019 at 11:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes they are both good movies. I would argue that Mard is a better movie (though you could prove me wrong), certainly a more clever one, and while both have pathos, this one is more to my taste for wit, warmth, irony, and tarentino-esque fight scenes (ala Kill Bill).

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        • Loved Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota Hain.Very new genre for
          a Hindi movie. The actress is Radhika Madan who was wonderful in Patakha too.A kick-ass heroine is so rare in Indian movies. With a better plot,it could have gone places but still a very good watch for all the action & wry humour. The climax fight with Samurai was lit!

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    • Ugh, I forgot about that! I hope it doesn’t, because I have a super busy next two days and I would like to get some sleep. Does that make me a bad fan?

      On Thu, May 30, 2019 at 10:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well I am definitely not staying up for THAT!!!! I will just trust every bit of information received up to now that indicates it will not be part of the regular release and go to bed.

        On Thu, May 30, 2019 at 11:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. This week I did a rewatch of a lot of older movies I enjoyed when I was younger like ”My name is Khan”, ”Yeh Jawaani hai Dewaani”, ”Chak De! India”, ”Swades”, ”Chalte Chalte” and ”Lootera” ( I also tried to watch ”Salaam Namaste” today but I wasn’t in the mood to see Saif break Preity Zinta’s heart so awfully again). I also realized while watching ”Chalte Chalte” that ”Loverboy Shahrukh” is definitley also not one of my favorite characters he from time to time slipps into. I found him rather creepy and annoying in a few scenes and totally understood why Rani in the end was super done with him. YJHD is also not as great as I imagines it especially the first half was kind of dreadfull or maybe I just hate seing Deepika around Ranbir Idk haha

    I haven’t been reading much except stuff for University and your blog of course! I especially loved your analysis/deep-dive on Katrina! So, so intresting! I also never heard that she actually didn’t even knew who her father was. I (faintly) remember that I back then read some random article on a gossip website that claimed that she grew up in a big family with both of her parents while living in Hawaii and England (I know super weird!), they even had a picture of her father who had a more darker skin tone in the picture, which totally contradicts the whole theory with him being Kashmiri, but I think that your analysis made more sense to me. I also hope that Katrina is never going to go back to Salman OR Ranbir for that matter. They both seem like awful, abusive men to be around, that completly shattered her self confidence. It is a good thing that she is taking her time off the dating market right now to have some time to ”figure herself” out. She should also defintley do more movies in which her acting-abilities are challenged beyond looking hot and dancing well.

    When it comes to listening, I am at the moment totally obsessed with the soundtrack of JHMS! Your in depth-analysis on the film as well as positive review about it totally encouraged me to give it another watch and to appreciate it so much more. It is really more of a character study. I just wished that more scenes of Shahrukh’s and Anushka’s backstory would have been used to highlight the before existing problems in their lifes. My favorite songs to listen to are ”Ghar”, ”Yaadon Mein”. ”Hawayein” and ”Safar”.

    Have a nice rest of your weekend πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Huh! You know MNIK is the one that has a male lead who has an official diagnosis, and yet he is the most acceptable and empathetic romantic partner out of all of them.

      I hope Kat gets some respect for her acting abilities, or anything else. She just started a make-up line, and a production studio, if those pan out it could give her the confidence she needs in her ability.

      The JHMS soundtrack is so good! I was just thinking about going back to it as well, I listened obsessively for months and then took a break, but I think it is time to go back to it. I agree that more scenes of the backstory might have helped, at least to clue the audience in that this isn’t a love story so much as a story of these two people.

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      • Omg you are right! Rizvan was really out of all of the movies I’ve watched last week maybe one of the few that you could actually have a stable and mutual relationship with. His empathy and honesty are true qualities you can’t really find in the other guys I mentioned.

        And it’s great for Kat to start launching her own Filmstudio- I really waited for her to take that step so that she isn’t dependant on any of the Khan’s anymore to make her movies. Maybe in that way she has a bigger chance of not only putting herself at a central role but also to play more challenging characters.

        And JHMS really has such a beautiful and rhythmic soundtrack that perfectly fits into the story. Like you could just listen to the soundtrack and know what the story is about, that’s when the music really fits into the mood and tone of the film! I kind of wish that the story would have had an open ending without the whole marriage-in-the-punjab thing and that it would have ended with Sejal and Harry just embracing at the wedding of this other couple. In that way, Imtiaz Ali would still have the opportunity to continue telling their story in a follow up film or maybe we can get a sequel mixed with a “prequel”, of what Harry’s and Sejal’s lives have been like before they met each other.

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        • We had a whole long discussion about the end of JHMS! So far as we (the collective DCIB community) can figure out, it’s not necessarily a wedding. Anushka doesn’t have a mangalsutra or sindoor an Imtiaz, and the song is a celebration but doesn’t show any specific wedding rituals. So if Imtiaz really wanted to do a prequel/sequel with their wedding at the end, he could.

          On Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 5:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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