Discussion Post: What Are Your Favorite Movies of the First Half of 2019?

Well, this is hopeless, I can’t bring myself to do real serious writing when instead I could be sitting on the porch reading a book. So I am going to steal an idea from Reflects On Life and open up a discussion: favorite movies you watched in 2019?

Make up your own rules! This can be only 2019 releases, or it can be movies from any time that you watched in 2019. It can be only Indian, or Indian and everywhere else. You can have as many categories as you want. Just go crazy!

Here’s my contributions:

The Notebook: My favorite romance of 2019 (so far). Sweet, simple, and different. And I really felt a connection between the characters.

Image result for notebook 2019 poster

Bharat: My favorite big historical movie of 2019 (so far). Kept a clear hand on the sweep of history, nice stories, excited moments.

Image result for bharat

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga: My favorite family movie of 2019. Nice family friendly plot, good message, warm feeling.

Image result for ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga

Favorite non-Indian movie I watched in 2019: The Late George Apley. It’s just a silly silly spoof of Boston manners and, as some one who regularly visits Boston, it warmed the cockles of my heart (so much so that I wrote a fanfic)

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69 thoughts on “Discussion Post: What Are Your Favorite Movies of the First Half of 2019?

    • Gully Boy is pretty amazing. I debated making it one of my picks but, while I liked it, I can’t honestly call it my “favorite”. Even though it is the best film.

      On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 10:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. Gully Boy and Luka Chuppi! Gully Boy was just phenomenal all around and I can just keep going on about how amazing it is. Luka Chuppi was just a calm and fun movie to watch.

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    • I liked Luka Chuppi but, overall, I think I like The Notebook better. Slightly stronger script and main characters I could relate to. It’s been a decent year for romances so far!

      On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 1:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • You told me I didn’t have to see Maharshi!!!! I missed Jersey (although hopefully it comes to streaming soon) and I skipped Maharshi because it sounded like just another Srimanthadu/Bharat Ane Nenu.

      Anyway, I will keep this in mind and have to check out both Jersey and Maharshi when they hit streaming.

      On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 1:57 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • To be honest, Maharshi is like a Srimanthudu/BAN mashup along with another few Telugu movies. The only reason I liked it so much is that it was really entertaining. I really liked Mahesh’s characterization and punch dialogues along with the fights that I thought were pretty fun to watch. There were also some nice emotional moments. It’s a decent masala movie but I’ve definitely seen versions of this movie that are more well-made.

        I enjoyed watching Jersey and it was very well-made. I feel like you would really like it.

        Since you’re taking recommendations, I would say that you should check out Sammohanam. It’s a lovely Telugu romance starring Sudheer Babu (he was the villain in Bhaagi) and Aditi Rao Hydari. It’s on Prime and it was one of my favorite movies from last year. It was directed by Mohankrishna Indraganti who also made Ashta Chemma and Gentleman.

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  2. Favorite properties, hands down =
    1. Made in Heaven
    2. Delhi Crime
    3. When they see us

    2 & 3 are a similar genre. When they see us might be the better property, more holistic approach to the subject, etc, I found Delhi Crime more immediately approachable and understandable simply because if its singular focus on the detectives – their personal and professional lives, their struggles, their evolution. When they see us = 12 years a slave for the modern era. Both Delhi Crime and When they see us are “it’s time for this, the audience is ready to receive this truth” types of content. Both are cathartic.

    Favorite films
    1. Mard ko Dard Nati Kota
    Think of this as approaching the depth of Bhavesh Joshi, matching the humour, warmth, family values, and masala of Flying Jatt, and having the wit, irony, and really great up close martial arts choreo of Tarentino or Jackie Chan. The major Achilles heel is the stone faced lead hero, but he’s more than balanced out by all the other actors. Plus an argument could be made that a person who can’t process physical pain might also struggle with processing emotional pain, hence the stone face. Really good child actors in this, balancing comedy and pathos.
    2. Gully Boy – nothing more I can add than has already been said. Though I recently listened to a Khandaan podcast episode that traces Gully Boy back (cinematic predecessor) to Dhobi Ghat. Also, on the cinema screen, I couldn’t take my eyes off Siddhanth Chaturvedi. But I the small screen upon subsequent viewings, it’s Vijay Verma that shines as an actor. Plus he gets the Ben Affleck Good Will Hunting type of monologue at the end.
    3. Notebook – lovely in is own small way, just through and complete in what it wanted to achieve. I really liked the two actors and the child actors too. And the cinematography is transporting, both visually and soulfully.
    4. Always be my Maybe – really well made light rom com, with all the warmth and heart and humour and cheese and fantasy that you expect from this genre. Really great that they built motivations and backstory for both the male and female leads into the screenplay.

    I haven’t seen Sonchirya or Bharat yet, so…

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    • I’ve only seen half of these! I didn’t expect it, but looks like this post will also be a bit of a “what does Margaret have to watch to catch up this year” inspiration.

      All I will add is that I saw Vijay Varma in MCA, a pleasant Telugu movie, before this. And he was quite good playing the bad guy in that, and it was an overall pleasant movie, so if you feel like risking a non-Hindi film, check it out (I may have already told you this, but I am repeating myself so other people reading the comments can get the recommendation too).

      On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 2:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yay! Looking forward to your reviews on some of these.

        MCA … Will look it up on streaming.

        Also I saw an interview with Mira Nair at Cannes recently… She said she’s casting Vijay Verma, along with many of her Monsoon Wedding & Salaam Bombay & The Namesake cast, in a limited series for Netflix, an adaptation of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. Exciting!

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        • Just watched MCA a couple of weeks ago – talking about Sai made me go see what else was available on Google. I liked it, kept thinking this is classic masala. I didn’t love Nani – these normal guy characters who have super fighting powers for no apparent reason bug me – but he was fine, Sai is great, and I liked the rest of the cast. Bhumika especially.

          Love this thread, so many good tips. (If you have catching up to do, Margaret, imagine the rest of us!)

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          • I love Nani!!!! I love him soooooooooooooooo much!!!!! And now I am trying to think of a movie that would make you love him too. I may not have one? Somehow I love him as a cumulative whole, not just for one character or film here or there. And yes, Bhumika is great. Check out Run if you haven’t yet, peak young Abhishek, and Bhumika is delightful.

            On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 10:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • So much Nani love. OK, I will watch more Nani and see. I think the only other movie I’ve “seen” him in is Awe, but he was a fish.

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          • *Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha* is one I really liked him in. It’s not a great movie, but it’s a fun movie. And it addresses your problem of unbelievable heroics. He is a coward who constantly avoids fights for the whole movie (in contrast to the other hero characters we see within the film who are always fighting). And it’s on Prime.

            On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 5:31 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • She better have cast Vijay Varma as Vijay Raaz’s son because it is criminal no one has done that yet! They look so similar, plus the feel the same onscreen somehow, you know?

          On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 6:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I’ll be the odd one out who was bored by Gully Boy and disliked Made in Heaven 🤷

    Bollywood films, I’ve only seen ELKDTAL in a theater and I loved it despite Sonam being a weak spot in the film (but I did love her scenes with Anil, that worked). I also enjoyed Mard ko Dard Nati Kota. It was meandering and lost the plot (literally) at points but turning Mumbai into a martial arts fantasy land through the lens of Wes Anderson really worked for me.

    Hollywood films, Detective Pikachu was adorable! Definitely a good watch if you have a kid.

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    • I forgot you saw ELKDTAL in theaters! I am so glad, that was a good one for the big screen, all bright and happy and songfilled and stuff. Bharat is similar, if you feel like another big screen experience. Looks like it might be our only big screen experience for a while, somehow the rest of the summer doesn’t have a big fun film coming up. At least, not in Hindi.

      On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 8:21 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I wanted to go to opening weekend but we were too busy. Maybe I’ll go later this week. My son is on summer break and his camp doesn’t start for three weeks so either I persuade him to go to a Hindi film with subtitles or I wait for hubby to be home to look after him. Note: my son watched Raja Hindustani with me on my first watch and he had fun! But it was because we were both goggling over the film and that final chase with the real baby.

        @ReflectsonLife good to know! I’ve seen nothing but raves about Gully Boy and I don’t get it.

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  4. Well, I haven’t watched many of the Bollywood movies this year, but among the one’s I’ve watched,
    Gully Boy was amazing.
    I, for one, loved Kalank.
    Bharat wasn’t bad either.
    And, yes, Notebook was also surprisingly good.

    https://aarnavg17.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/gully-boy-review/

    https://aarnavg17.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/kalank-review/

    https://aarnavg17.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/bharat/

    https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE3ODY1MTYzNTIyNDA1MzQ0/?igshid=l4vw7tjkaftv

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  5. Kumbalangi Nights for me followed by the Pakistani movie Cake.Both are about people,families,relationships which I could relate to & empathize with.Now that I think of it both were perfect in all aspects of filmmaking-acting,music,cinematography,layered characters.I so want Anjali Menon to remake Cake with Parvathy & SaiPallavi.It would be worthy followup to Banglore Days and Koode.
    I am a fan of the John Wick series so Parabellum was my big,full immersive theater movie.The action,the hero worship and the innovative ways to cut,kill people made me grin and howl like a blood thirsty lunatic.Indian directors should take a look at how to make masala movies from John Wick.The hype that is given to John Wick by the other characters will put even the fan boys of Telugu/Tamil stars to shame.
    For Hindi,I liked Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota for its humor,action and actors.Kedarnath for being a simple,old school romance with no big goals & ambitions,liked Sushant Singh & Sara Ali Khan.Also Tamil movie Thadam for being a a very engrossing investigative thriller & a sexy hero-in double role.
    I found Gully Boy to be yet another poverty porn movie disguised as underdog drama that is aimed at the multiplex audience.Ranveer was fab,Alia her usual self and Vijay Varma intense.Sonchiriya was good but very difficult to follow the dialect and very heavy with no respite in any form.I am looking forward to seeing Virus,Super Deluxe and Article 15.

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    • Just saw John Wick 3 with my father (great father-daughter movie), and I think what I loved about the action in it is what I like about some of the best Indian action films. It feels like inventive violence, throwing out all the rules of common sense and coming up with the most ridiculous concept you could and then just going with it. I don’t like dumb action, just punching really hard, but something like Ajay plucking the driver out of a car as it flips over his head in Singham, that’s clever.

      I just saw that Super Deluxe is available somewhere. Maybe einthusan? Which sometimes means it is available legally somewhere else. I’ll be interested in your reaction, it was a movie that I felt differently about after sitting with for a while than I did on the first watch.

      On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 11:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It is on Google Playstore apparently.Someone even prescribed how to watch Super Deluxe for maximum appreciation.First watch on Saturday nigh,sleep over it and second watch on Sunday morning.I will try it,though second watch is not usually up my isle.
        Yep,what makes John Wick fascinating is the unadulterated action.I could see,feel every punch,kick and stab,no abrupt cuts,no camera tricks,no gimmicks at all.Plus very clever ideas of fighting,like throwing knives from the drawers around you cos you happen to be in a shop that sells weapons.

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  6. I am including films that released in 2018 but I ended up watching this year. I really liked two Kannada films that released last year. Nathicharami (Netflix) and Katheyondu Shuruvagide (Amazon Prime). Nathicharami presented on screen what we do not commonly see Indian films – sexuality of women. Katheyondu Shuruvagide is romance elevated by the character arcs. Both movies focus on urban upper/middle-class and that might be their shortcoming.
    Have not had a chance to watch many Telugu movies this year. Will wait for Jersey to stream.
    Mard Ko Hard Nahi Hota is my current favorite Hindi film.
    Another category but worth including – short-films. Tungrus (

    ) for one is interesting. SPOILER ALERT – If you love animals please don’t watch last one minute.

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  7. 2019 movies I have seen so far:
    1. Mikhael – good if you want to make a few laughs and see Unni taking a shower, otherwise skip
    2. Peranbu – very good movie about serious issues nobody makes movies about, but also slow, and sad
    3. Sarvam Thaala Mayam – it was ok, the drums was great
    4. Music Teacher – great acting but sloooooow
    5. Thadam – must watch, engaging thriller, with the hero (x2) too sexy too handle. Recommended
    6. Notebook – very nice romance
    7. 99 – the remake of 96 in kannada;

    Thadam is the winner here.

    Fav not 2019 movies I saw this year:
    Joseph (malayalam)
    Aamhi Doghi (marathi, it’s on Prime, about beautiful bond of a woman and her step-mom)
    Taxiwaala (engaging plot and Vijay Devarakonda)
    Katyar Kaljat Ghusali (marathi, must watch for beautiful music)

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    • Oooo, I forgot about Sarvam Thaala Mayam! That might be another one to show my parents. But maybe just the drum edit. What do you think? going from him playing with his friends before the movie, to convincing his Guru to take him on, to the spontaneous show at the mall, to the journey through India, then back for the final contest?

      On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 3:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Gully Boy so far. I’m saving Notebook for when my sleep-over family visitors finally go home. They watch good naturedly with me, but then ask too many questions or get bored and START TALKING. Aargh.

    I agree that Cake was wonderfully acted and shot, but I didn’t get it; left me hanging at the end. I enjoyed The Music Teacher and Kadhalum Kadandhu (Tamil) but wanted to know if the protagonists got together; hanging again. Chopstix was fun and my intro to Abhay Deol whom I had overlooked but won’t anymore.

    I’m looking at the list of films I loved and want to re-watch. Trouble is, the titles, in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, etc. no longer mean anything to me. I’m going to have to include a brief description. Or step up my Hindi lessons…and Telugu and Tamil and Punjabi and…Oh My.

    How about films NOT liked so far in 2019? I can start off with Manikarnika.

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    • Oh yes for Music Teacher’s ending. I was hoping somebody can explain it to me. Spoilers. There is this beautiful scene when the music teacher finally talks with his lover, and first she says: I’m not the same person anymore, and it’s too late now, but then she adds: it was all lie. And so, will they be together or not?

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      • Well this doesn’t make me want to watch the movie! I am on record as liking films that end with a wedding and a baby. No mystery, no confusion. Wedding, baby, HAPPY.

        On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 9:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Exactly! What was all a lie? Her? Their relationship, which certainly looked genuine to me? Was she angry and getting even because when she wanted him he resisted?

        It’s the same with Kadhalum. He’s a thug; she’s a solid family girl with ambitions. He obviously falls in love, does all the crazy things she asks, buys a suit to impress her. And it’s clear he’s getting under her skin too, in a good way. Then they part. Years later, he’s pumping gas; she pulls up in her nice car, and they smile at one another, nice and friendly. You wait…you wait…you wait…and Boom! Credits.

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    • VERY IMPORTANT: Watch Socha Na Tha. Once your family leaves, do it in a double bill with The Notebook.

      Socha Na Tha was Imtiaz Ali’s first movie, and Abhay Deol’s first movie. It was supposed to be nothing and then turned into a surprise sleeper hit. Abhay could have easily bounced off that film into the top tier of mainstream success, but he just wasn’t interested. He does what he wants when he wants it. And of course, you know what happened to Imtiaz. Anyway, Socha Na Tha is this small sweet romance that, down deep, is really about growing up and figuring out what you want versus what you think you should want and finding yourself and a family that loves you no matter what even if they don’t always understand you. And also about a no-kissing love scene that rivals “Yaadon Main” for the sexiness of “I love you so much I just want to be as close as possible to you”.

      On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 9:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I bet your dog is like my Albie Dog. He ran around all day yesterday, and then I sat down with my parents to watch a movie, and he immediately curled up and went to sleep. Because he has been trained movie time-quiet time.

          On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 12:24 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Buddy is a lot like Albie Dog that way. Except I think he watches. When the songs come on, he raises his head and looks at the screen until its over. It’s like when my kids were babies. They ignored the programs on television, but as soon as the commercials began, they stopped bouncing in the swing or tooling around in the walker and paid attention.

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      • I really l love Yaadon Mein! Maybe overly angsty and obvious and OTT for most people’s taste, but it grips me every time! Wonderful mix of Hindustani and Portuguese musical stylings.

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        • I’m so pleased with myself for finally putting it together with Socha Na Tha. Very very similar songs, and I don’t think Imtiaz has really visited that exact emotion in any of this other films.

          On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 1:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. How wonderful suggestions (if only I had the time…*sigh*)…anyways, I’ve added Joseph, Super Deluxe, Jersey and MKDNH to my list. Thanks for talking about them.

    I’ve only watched three rather intimate movies…and very much liked all three: Badla, Hamid and Notebook.
    I started Gully Boy but then more or less rushed through it with some fast-forward, so not really a movie I could connect to (except of the music…I like rap) as I found the story too well known.

    Imtiaz Ali’s first movie…a gem! And I also liked the 2nd one.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There have been so many, with Gully Boy, Ek Ladki, and Notebook at the top of the list. However, I just watched Luka Chuppi since it because available on Netflix and I am going to add that to the list as well and comment on it. I already commen I totally have a girl crush in Kriti. I first LOVED her in Bareilly Ki Barfi because I just resonated so much with her character. Bitti might be my spirit animal! But her charm, and acting skills were on full display in this Luka Chuppi. From being very upfront and speaking from her heart when she is talking to Karthik in the first half of the movie, to the quiet, guilty child who speaks volumes with her facial expressions in the second half. Her expressions in this movie were fantastic. I also really enjoyed Karthik’s character and acting but the hair!!!! Why the ridiculous OTT hair that’s just plain distracting?!

    Still so happy to have watched both Luka Chuppi and Notebook. Thanks for those recommendations! Hope your vacation is going well and you are able to relax!

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    • I’m so glad you liked the movies! And now you can join me in being excited for Kriti’s next, a rom-com with Diljit Dosanjh and a so far unspecified plot. But I love her in rom-coms, and Diljit feels like the perfect partner for her, very easy and smooth to match her energy and confidence.

      On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 1:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Judging from all the above comments, what we might be experiencing in 2019 is a decent year for Indian film ! This warms the cockles of my heart 🙂 By a “decent” year, I mean a year when the mid-tier crop of films is generally well made, entertaining, and enjoyable (or hard hitting), and either worthwhile or at least a good time pass. In Hindi, Badla, ek ladki, luka chupi, mard ko dard, de de pyaar de, notebook, mere pyaare prime minister, music teacher, kesari – these are all good mid-tier properties, many of which produced good music as well (I disagree on ek ladki but will concede that most people liked it, hence I’ve included it here). The only weird thing about 2019 is the spate of nationalistic propaganda films also in the mid tier – accidental prime minister, Thackeray, Modi movie. But as you mention, it’s a good year for mid tier romances, whether the movie itself is a romance/rom-com (notebook, luka chupi, music teacher), or whether the romance track within the movie is really heartwarming or well made (mard ko dard, mere pyaare prime minister – the male love interest character is every woman’s caring supportive hot hubby fantasy guy!).

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    • My theory, which I just now invented in my head, is that Shahrukh and Aamir both taking a step back this year, and Salman consciously focusing all his energy on just one movie, really opened up space for the smaller films. Not just finding an audience, but that the producers and talent were more ambitious, worked harder, knowing that they had a chance for a decent release without a Khan film breathing down there neck.

      On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 1:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I also have a theory, perhaps it dovetails into yours.

        Once they arrive on streaming, midtier movies are competing not only with other mid tier arrivals, and newly arrived blockbusters, and older content, but also with original straight to streaming content that the streaming service and the internet has been hyping. So the mid tier movie is basically stale upon arrival unless it arrives on streaming with its own buzz and goodwill. I have so many average mid tier movies on my “watchlist” that will probably never get watched because there is always something fresher and better to watch.

        Compare that to the prior models. On torrents, einthusan, and pirated sites, you only had movie content, past and present, to compete with. On VHS, it’s only in the children’s animated space (and in adult porn) where movie arrivals had to compete with straight-to-vhs. Of course on satellite you had original content to compete with, but given that most satellite programming, just like most tv programming, was scheduled for particular days and times, you allocated different parts of your schedule for different types of content.

        In the days of Blockbuster Video, I watched every new arrival, no matter how average it got. So I was a captive audience to average content. Today I am spoiled for choice, I literally don’t have time for average, let alone bad.

        So the current streaming model being the second life of a mid tier movie puts pressure on the mid tier movie to up its quality game as well as its goodwill with the audience while still in theaters.

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  12. Thanks, everyone, for recommendations. I’m struggling to find the time to watch much, but will remember this post for later! I’ve watched things, but I feel like not much as made an impact. I have to say Zero, Made in Heaven, and Delhi Crime are the things I’ve watched where the story, the performances, the music made it an experience and not just a time pass. Shefali Shah is such a powerful actor.

    ELKD, Gully Boy and Aaj Nachle were fun to watch, with a couple of moments and songs here and there that stood out. But I think they’ll ultimately flow into the great tide of half-remembered movies. I’m sad about Gully Boy because I love Zoya’s other films so much. She really can’t win, by the way. If she does a DDD, it’s “just problems of rich spoiled people” and if she does Gully Boy, it’s “poverty porn” :).

    For dumb and fun, I watched Ezra and Naam Shabana since my crush on Prithviraj strengthened. A fair amount of fast forwarding through Naam Shabana.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Badla, Luka Chuppi, and MKDNH. Hope I can fit in at least one Imtiaz for this weekend. I’m going to have to go with Einthusan for Stree and Baghban I guess. I’m not caving into the Hotstar pressure yet!

    And waiting, waiting, waiting for the Letterman/Shah Rukh special! (I refuse to believe we have to wait until Season 3.)

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    • Watch Socha Na Tha!!!! I think you would really like it. If you watch it like Jab Harry Met Sejal, note the little touches that tell us about the heroine’s backstory along with the hero’s, the subtle expressions, the little half-finished lines of dialogue. Personally, I really love it, but on the surface it looks like just another silly 2000s selfish rich young folks romance.

      On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 3:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Hey procrocastrinarix,long time!Long comment alert for Gully Boy.
      I too like Zoya Akhtar movies .She shows a sensitivity in her movies which is lacking in most Bollywood filmmakers-be it rich people’s problems or poor people’s.Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,DDD -all had people’s stories. I could get the emotions in them,just not the world they are set in,but thats fine and I love those movies like Chinese food-super tasty,but forget once you are done.In Gully Boy also, I can see and understand the angst that Ranveer’s character is going through because of the class divide.But just like the rich people’s stories,thats all the movie is making me do.It doesn’t even nudge the viewers to think/ponder even subtly about why the class divides are happening or if anything can be done by anyone feeling bad about it.And it is very much an every day problem which I cannot ignore after the movie is done.Hence questioning the intention of the movie-is it made just to manipulate the multiplex crowd into feeling sad & morally superior without having to necessarily think/explore why this is happening or what can be done about it or how the oppressed folks can break free.The resolution the movie gives for breaking free is another problem I found in the messaging.
      Ranveer’s character eventually attains success through a set of coincidences(a comment under his video turns out to be a rich,loaded music producer),good fortune to meet mentors as selfless as Siddhanth Chathurvedy’s who immediately takes him without any feelings of competition or resentment.Not that these cant happen but it is a rare occurance.It is not that the movie didnt give him a chance to lift himself.The video he makes with Siddhant and Kalki becomes a hit,yet that is brushed under the carpet.For someone who just had a viral song,where are the music labels(even the tier2 or 3 ones),Youtube companies or even chances to sing at other stages?That he has to still struggle for basic stuff and not on building a music career like the real world Divine & Naezy is what bothers me.If his struggle had been about how he had to do auditions,weave his ways through the corporate worlds of music labels(here is a class clash I would have been happy to see),dealing with competition from other aspiring rappers etc instead of making the main struggle about how he is so poor that he has to do an office job against his will to make an every day life.
      The message of ‘Apna Time Ayega’ if you are super talented and didnt have anyone bothering you for daily necessities is too unreal,idealistic & counter productive to anyone aspiring to break out of a real world problem.The real class struggle is less monetary and more psychological in my opinion.All that said,I still like Gully Boy for the songs and Ranveer Singh.

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      • I agree with everything you say here. I really can’t stand the idea that the cream will rise to the top, so structural inequality really isn’t a problem. The ruling classes only let enough new folks in (through talent, or marriage, or bloody hard work, or a combo of all three) to keep up the myth that it can happen to anyone.

        The specific problems you mention with Gully Boy–kind of taking class differences and inequality as a given, and not presenting solutions other than good luck and God-given talent–indicate that maybe Zoya (and Reema) would do better sticking to personal stories, and not go for big social commentary films. I love their take on interpersonal relationships, and how our histories and our choices shape us and our lives.

        One scene that did stick with me in Gully Boy is when the tourists come into Ranveer’s home as part of a “slum tour”. Some really fine acting from Ranveer there. When there was a possibility that I’d be able to go to Mumbai at the end of this month (I’m not going to be able too, sadly), I looked at day-tour packages online, and almost every company was offering a stop in a slum and in a dhobi ghat. It was pretty gross.

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        • Oh yeah,that scene is good and almost like Zoya mocking at herself or taking an anticipatory bail out from being called out for using the slum dweller life superficially. I also realize I may have expected too much from the movie because some of the reviews were so over the top. Rahul Desai-Margret’s favorite reviewer- called Zoya Akhtar the best Indian director & Gully Boy the movie of the decade. So when it turned out to be just scratching the surface,I am underwhelmed.

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          • I HATE RAHUL DESAI!!!!!!

            (I think you can pretty much count on me responding to any comment that mentions his name with this knee jerk reaction. He is on my List. My very very short list, since I pretty much like everybody)

            On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 9:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

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