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

Happy Wednesday! I am now halfway through my vacation (sad!). Or, on the other hand, I still have half left (happy!).

This is where you talk about the interesting movies you have watched, songs you have heard, news articles or books you have read, or any random thoughts floating by. Feel free to keep coming back all week if you run across something interesting you want to share with us.

I’ll start!

Reading: I am now on my third book, which is just a wonderful and rare experience for me, being able to read. I read Pollyanna Grows Up (so dramatic! I’d make it into a movie, but it might be too confusing to follow). And then I read a paperback cowboy boy’s adventure story I got at a rummage sale, The Outlaw Roan. And now I am reading West Point Plebe by Colonel Red Reeder. Basically the boy version of Pollyanna Grows Up. In the boy version, do you think it still ends with an engagement and a wedding? Or is it your first day at work or something?

Watching: I saw John Wick 3 with my Dad and it is EXCELLENT. If you like clever action scenes and fun dialogue. If you don’t like those things, skip it. And I saw Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga with my parents and my mother got very nervous at the ending, even though I promised her it would be happy.

Thinking: My parents kept saying that Albie Dog’s ears were different when I first got him, and by golly they are right! Now his ears stick straight up, all the time, like antennas. But when I first got him, they flopped forward. It’s the strangest thing. He was really sick then, kennel cough, and he was on strong antibiotics. And of course stressed and unhappy from being in a shelter. But still have, you ever heard of a dog’s ears going from floppy to stiff?

Listening: I did a very good playlist for the drive up, heavy on Gully Boy and Jab Harry Met Sejal, but by golly Ranam is still excellent! And of course the video has bonus Prithviraj goodness.

And question for you! In addition to the usual “what are you watching, reading, listening, thinking this week?” question: Current movie star crushes, can you rank them?

This is a very hard question for me!

Hindi: Shahrukh, then very very far down under him, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. I like smart guys. Oh, and young Shashi Kapoor. Like, 70s era, when he was really beautiful. I’m also a little shallow.

Telugu: Oh, this is HARD! Telugu has some great guys. I think first Prabhas, by a hair. Then Nani. Then Vijay Deverankonda.

Tamil: Madhavan. First and last and only. Vijay Sethupathi is trying to crawl his way onto my list, but he hasn’t made it yet. Oh wait, also Ajith! I forgot about him. Madhavan, and then down down down down down, and then Ajith.

Malayalam: It was Nivin on top for a long time, but I think I have to switch orders and make Prithviraj first and Nivin second. And then young Mohanlal. And then Tovino. And then Real Life Kunchacko Boban (so nice! So cheerful!). And then Dulquer at the very very end.

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

  1. I only just got all my university results last week so I’ve been decompressing and haven’t had the chance to pick up any books, even though I have a HUGE pile of them I kept buying and got too busy to read in the last couple years of uni lol. Right now I’m reading the Three Musketeers- I watched the BBC adaptation and LOVED it, so thought i’d give some classic literature a go.
    Watching- I found out about a Pakistani drama Sadqay Tumhare which is on netflix and youtube with subtitles and I’ve just been BLAZING through it, it’s SO GOOD. Mahira Khan, and Adnan Malik are phenomenal and the story is pure romance which I LOVE. I think you’d enjoy it (love to see your thoughts on it), actually- it’s very Shakespearean, in it’s almost inevitable tragedy with a couple that have the odds completely stacked against them. Definitely one of my new all time favourites though! + the OST with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
    Listening-haha, the aforementioned Sadqay Tumhare has been on a loop with me right now, it’s such a nice song.
    Thinking- about everything I need to do even though I feel like I should be doing absolutely nothing for AT least another month. I’m enjoying getting a decent amount of sleep again after staying up for 48 hours at a time working on my dissertation. But I have to start looking at courses for the next year and I am completely overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Hence- sleep and netflix now that I have no deadlines to panic about

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    • I started Sadqay Tumhare, but Mahira’s young person costumes were so bad it made me think “is this worth continuing?” So I read a little about it and learned that it is supposed to get better, but also might not have a happy ending, so I gave up. I always prefer a happy ending, especially after spending 20 hours falling in love with the characters.

      Three Muskeeters! My Mom read it aloud to us, I am impressed with you reading it all by yourself. The film version I like is the Michael York one from the 70s. The one I like least is the Gene Kelly one from the 1950s which just makes NO SENSE.

      On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 8:05 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m a complete sucker for romance though, which is why I watched it, and it surprised me in the way they showed the two’s complete faith in each other haha. I’m literally 4 episodes from the end, and I can tell it won’t be a happy ending but I can’t stop now!
        And yeah, The Three Musketeers is really interesting, it’s easier to read now that i’m not commuting and trying to read it on a train, and it’s fun to see what was put in adaptations and what wasn’t. I told my dad about my interest in it and all he had to contribute was telling me to watch ‘Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds’ so uh

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        • but then again, this is the man who read ‘Killing Mr Griffin’-about a group of kids who want to ‘punish’ their strict teacher with a kidnapping prank & accidentally kill him- to me and my sisters as a bedtime story when we were kids and subsequently traumatised us, so

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        • I thought Mahira was amazing in Sadqay Tumhare. Adnan I liked not quite as much. He has the soulful gaze, but I didn’t quite believe him as either tormented or as a fearsome fighter. The Mahira vs. Samiya scenes, though, the conflict between those characters was so good!

          I went back to re-watch the last three episodes a bunch of times to figure out how I felt about the ending. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

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          • I finished the series last night, and I think the ending was bittersweet, in the way that I understood why things happened the way they did + factoring in that the drama is autobiographical by Khalil ul Rehman Qamar. I’m not sure I liked the amount of dialogue exposition they gave-I think it would have been interesting to show a montage of the events described instead. But when Maqsood said that Shano’s eyes stayed open until they took her to be buried as though she was waiting to see Khalil one last time honestly devastated me. Adnan Malik definitely did what he could with the material, and considering it was his debut role and that it was such an intense character, I think he played it really well but there’s always room for improvement. Like I didn’t really have an opinion on Mahira either way but I really saw a difference in her performance in ST from past work and she really sold me on the role.
            Samiya was SO GOOD in this drama, I legitimately feared her and what she would do next, so I think it was fitting that her words ‘Shano can die but she won’t marry Khalil’ came true, yet didn’t bring her the relief she always wanted. I definitely think that my favourite episodes were 8-18, and looking over it again, I realised that they played the romance in such a way, that you don’t even notice Shano & Khalil barely touch each other throughout the whole series- or I didn’t, at least. Sadqay Tumhare is absolutely going onto my list of favourites, it’s just so melancholic in the way that the tragedy seems inevitable, which makes it even sadder when they themselves realise the futility of going up against Rasheeda which you can see in the way their interactions with each other changed.
            Haha you probably didn’t expect such a long response but like I said- I finished the drama last night and I have uh, a lot of feelings about it

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          • SPOILERS When I first watched the end I was really frustrated that you don’t get to see Mahira in the final episode, that’s what made me go back and re-watch, I wanted to see her living and breathing again, I wanted that last scene between the two of them. The switch to the present day perspective with the journalist felt like a cop-out, which I think is kind of what you’re saying about the exposition. But after going back and seeing Adnan with the family and the funeral…it is an effective ending, just not what I was hoping for :). I didn’t want Rasheeda to win in the end, they came so close to ending up together so many times. On the other hand, the compassion Mahira – and by extension the series – shows toward Rasheeda and the damage that was done to her by her sister and the rest of her family was beautiful, and ended up making the story much more morally complex than I would have expected. It flips the understanding you have of who is good and who is bad in the story. END SPOILERS

            It’s ironic, Margaret, since you probably won’t get around to seeing this series, but having *strong feelings* about the ending of Sadqay Tumhare and no one in my real life to talk to about them is one of the things that sent me searching the internet for a community, which is how I found DCIB.

            And agreed, Hanaa, the song is really pretty, still makes me feel happy to hear it :).

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    • How well remember that long ago slog, Hanaa. I submitted my dissertation hours before my grace time expired. It felt like 10 years but I’m sure it wasn’t. When it was over, I was toast. I left the kids with my husband and flew to Rabat to lay around my grandmother’s house being pampered. Funny thing is, I did it all to get tenure at CUNY. Then, a few years later, I quit my job to stay home and write novels. Go figure.

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  2. We’re binging Bailey and Scott on BritBox. Police procedural with great writing and 3 female co-leads. It is very heavy on the inter-personal drama. Hubby calls it Peyton Place with Murder. 🙂

    So excited to watch Stree and Socha Na Tha sometime this week. A few of Hollywood movies out I’d like to see in theaters, which is unusual for me. Rocket Man–Anumpama’s review basically says if you like big Bollywood musicals, you’ll like Rocket Man. Also Dark Phoenix and Men in Black International. (Yes, I’m trash.) Oh, and Late Night. Dang it! Why do I have to work?!?!

    Reading and thinking–work and politics as always.

    Crushes–I’m not going to separate by industry, so
    Top: Shah Rukh
    down, down, down, down, down
    Middle: Irrfan, Hugh Laurie
    Bottom (heh): Prithviraj, Ranbir (I can’t help it), Abhishek, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Martin Freeman, Idris Elba, Winston Duke, Humphrey Bogart, Jack Lemmon, Rani and Vidya (they’re so hyper-feminine-ly gorgeous it just breaks through my hetero programming). Probably several others I’m not remembering at the moment. 🙂

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    • I love Bailey and Scott!!!! So great. The most recent season I was a little less in love with, partly because I think they had the perfect ending to the previous season, which was supposed to be the series ending until they got talked into coming back. But yes, SUCH a great show. Even if sometimes I want to just grab the heroines and shake them and tell them “stop messing up your lives! Be as good at personal stuff as you are at work!!!!”

      John Wick! Add John Wick to your list! It’s like Rocketman, only instead of big song numbers it is massive fight scenes!!!! And I’ll need to do a Stree repost sometime now that it is on Netflix, maybe next Sunday?

      I just can’t imagine having a crush on Martin Freeman. I look at him, and either see the dopey guy from Love Actually, or the smarmy killer from Fargo. The others on your list though make total sense. Although if we are talking black and white detectives, Dana Andrews in Laura is it for me, even above Bogie in The Big Sleep.

      On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 9:26 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I’m sort of catching up on my shows so I haven’t gotten the chance to watch much Indian movies. I finally caught up on Designated Survivor and I thought the show is going in an interesting direction even though it will never be as good as it was in the first thirteen episodes. Plus the NBA finals and cricket world cup are happening and they’re taking up my attention as well.

    I did watch Crazy, Stupid, Love and it was a really fun movie.

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  4. Watching mostly Good Omens on Amazon Prime. It is sooooo good! I’ve watched it four times already and soon going on fifth. Even printed out some posters of the series because its my current obsession.

    Listening to BBC radio dramas on YouTube from Agatha Christie to other classics. They are very entertaining and well made.

    Wanting to read Terry Phratchett’s Discword novel Maskerade (A parody of The Phantom of The Opera), but haven’t gotten to it yet.

    Movie crushes:

    Hindi: Shahrukh, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Varun Dhawan

    Telugu: Prabhas, don’t know any others

    Malayalam: Nivin Pauly and Dulquer Salman

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    • BBC radio dramas are great, it’s true. This one is my favorite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUCr478J0gk

      I have a copy of Maskerade! I was about to offer to lend it to you, but then I remembered you live on the other side of the world.

      Excellent crush choices! And Kalank should be a treat for you, combining two crushes in one movie.

      On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 12:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I have the book in hand so no need to worry. Just haven gotten to actually reading it. Proper time and place, thing.

        I watched Kalank! And you’re right that it was. I just didn’t know what to write on the Spoiler review after seeing it since it had been a week and others conversations were happening here …so I just didn’t write about it.

        But yeah Kalank got me right in the crush field and it was wonderful to see them both having heart eyes, which they both pull off well. I agree with everything you wrote in there, especially that Alia’s should have been recast (her expressions are literally the same in almost every frame) and a little honing on the editing and script. That cruel twist to the DDLJ ending was like a knife twist in an already depressing ending to a movie.

        But yeah, those were my thoughts. These are the things I would have written if I would have done it then, but oh well, I suppose here its OK too.

        And I will listen to the Oscar Wilde one now! Thank you for the recommendation! 😀

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  5. Not doing much reading, watching listening or even thinking this week. House guests. But I did manage to get in an odd half hour here and there.
    READING – back issues of The New Yorker (I’m so behind)
    WATCHING – first half of Socha Na Tha (and loving it)
    LISTENING – Reggae, reggae, reggae (house guests are from Jamaica)
    THINKING – Are they going to stay forever?

    ALSO THINKING ABOUT – Prabhas, Harshvardan Kapoor, Prithviraj, Vijay Sethupathi

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  6. I have so much catching up to do don’t know where to begin, do you have any suggestions for Hindi netflix shows or movies? Also What are good Hindi thriller movies you have seen?

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    • Stree is probably the best thing to just hit Netflix. I’m reposting my review of Socha Na Tha on Sunday, so you can also check that out. Ittefaq is on Netflix, if you haven’t seen it, it is a great thriller. Badla isn’t on Netflix yet but will be soon, also a great thriller.

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  7. News of the day or better of the half year – I FOUND SUBTITLES FOR LAILA-MAJNU.

    After 8 months of waiting suddenly 2 days ago, boom, some good person uploaded it. The translation is not good, often the sentences are like: “He thinks Mkudh3syf”, “Leila spraying”, “Why do not you cook time?” but at least I could understand something and I could watch the movie! I was so happy.
    I watched the movie yesterday and today I’m still thinking about it because it was sooooo good – beautiful visually, the music was wonderful and all the actors were terrific. Especially Avinash Tiwary. The fact he wasn’t even nominated for awards is a crime. There is only one thing I didn’t like and it’s the story. In my opinion, those love legends don’t translate well in present times. What do you think? Or maybe it’s Imtiaz Ali? Or I’m not romantic enough? Spoilers (yeah I know the title already spoils everything). So Majnu went crazy, and when Laila saw him she was like: oh he doesn’t need me anymore. I think I will kill myself. I was like WTF?! He needs you now more than ever. I know, I know it’s supposed to be romantic, but for me, it wasn’t. She just took the easiest way. I can believe 300 years ago there wasn’t much to do, but now, there are hospitals, medicines… Not everything can be cured, but they are from the richest families out there, they can afford the best doctors. At least they should try!
    Also, the part of the story when the lovers could be together but weren’t because “what will people say?” . C’mon, he went insane because he loved her so much, she killed herself for love, and I should believe they managed to stay separated, for this stupid reason? In XXI century? When they could just fly to London? No way!
    I guess I think too much about it, but it’s because all the rest was so good. Avinash was excellent as Majnu, and the scenes when he was losing his mind broke my heart in pieces multiple times.

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    • I’m so happy for you!!!! And yet, I don’t know if I want to see it. Those “it’s tragicly beautiful” lover stories just get my goat. I already have a hard time with 96, this sounds like it’s even more so.

      I like the Mirzya reimagining partly because it still made sense in modern times. This was not a couple that could be together, there were real obstacles to their love. And at the same time, they still ran away together instead of sitting around saying “oh no, our family objects!”

      On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 4:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I would like you to watch Laila-Majnu for Avinash so we could be in the fan club together, but I’m aware it’s not the easiest watch.

        You’re so right about Mirzya. They tried to be together and there was a passion, and it was so romantic. Here, at least for me, nothing was romantic. He loved her, but he already wasn’t 100% sane from the beginning. She, in my opinion never loved him. He was there offering her the future together and she was always like: you know, I wish we could be together but I’m not sure.
        After some time: my dad won’t agree .
        The day of her wedding: I don’t want you anymore, go away.
        After years: what’s the hurry, I’m divorcing, so wait a little and we will marry… I’m not surprised poor guy gone crazy! Everybody would with this woman! And in the end when she should take care of him, she killed herself.
        I was like:

        https://media1.tenor.com/images/b94f7b047bcccbf6d4f91bbf6995fa04/tenor.gif?itemid=11739771

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  8. I’ve been watching Outlander, never had expensive cable and so excited it’s on Netflix now. It’s making me want to re-read the book, which is not a reaction I had to Game of Thrones. Even better, my husband likes it too so we can watch it together. He’s into those old fashioned swords and adventure movies. (When we first got DVD Netflix and could rent any movie we wanted instead of just the store selection, the first movie he chose was Cyrano de Bergerac. He told me he had memories of watching it in the barracks when he was doing his stint of mandatory service – not a fun period in his life – and the image of him watching this French movie with a bunch of overgrown teenage boys stuck in a barracks together away from home still gets me.)

    Hearing good things about Always Be My Maybe with Ali Wong and Randall Park. Has anyone watched it? Saving it for now, I think we might both like that one too.

    I was traveling on a business trip this week and very carefully, in snatches, re-watched Dil Se. Many things bug me about that movie but, I discovered, not in isolation, it’s somehow about the way the pieces fit together – the terrorists and the marriage plot and the songs and the SRK-Manisha love story. Any one of those elements by itself work for me, but not all together. Manisha’s performance is amazing. I liked Preity more this time than before. Shah Rukh’s performance is very good but his character is problematic – on purpose, I know, but the obsessiveness and tendency to physical force bothered me more…at the same time that I understood better the clues Mani Ratnam was dropping into the story. I almost wished he’d just gone ahead and shaded the character darker, I didn’t quite believe the virtuous reporter side when balanced against the scary obsessive lover.

    Longest standing crushes: SRK, Shahid, Fawad. I suspect my Rana curiosity could grow into a crush, given the right movie. Ranveer and Vicky are an almost, just a little too puppy still.

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    • I think I need to schedule a rerun rewatch of Kaatru Veliyidai. It has that same problematic hero, but more so. And more obviously, Ratnam really wanted the audience to see the abuse under the romance. It’s an odd movie, because it is still a romance, and the hero is kind of redeemed, but Ratnam also knew what he was showing and knew that his hero was not a good guy.

      I wish I could give you the right Rana movie, but he really hasn’t been in that much as a straight hero. Maybe Ghazi?

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  9. Still in academic hell for another two weeks, although maybe if I’m very productive it will be shorter. I have never had such a perfect storm of conference presentations and publication deadlines on top of grading my overloaded classes. Looking forward to July, when I will flop around and watch things and catch up on the blog.

    So, not really thinking or reading anything outside of work. I’m watching a Japanese Netflix series called “My husband won’t fit” and in Japan by a much more forthright title. It’s a really interesting look at sex within a complex adult relationship, but it’s really about the relationship, not the sex.

    For the question: I think I’ve had a crush on everyone in Indian film who has ever been described as “the thinking woman’s sex symbol” with the possible exception of Naseeruddin Shah, because he was doing uncle parts already when I started watching him. Irrfan, Rahul Bose, Rahul Khanna, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rajkummar Rao, etc. I am that thinking woman who finds these guys sexy. For Bengali: Young Uttam Kumar, young Soumitra Chatterji, Indraneil Sengupta, and Parambrata when he’s not playing someone nebbishy. (Indraneil was Vidya’s “husband” in Kahaani, and although he’s mostly in kind of crappy movies he’s very reminiscent of a South Asian Jeff Goldblum, which as far as I’m concerned is the perfect man).

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    • Watch Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro or Mausam, and you can add Naseerji to your list. Just for the sake of completion.

      And what’s your feeling on Ayushmann Khurrana?

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      • I really like Ayushmann and watch him in pretty much whatever he’s in, but it’s not really a crush. I think that will be the same with Naseerji even if I see him in a young role. They both have this sort of awkward dentist-y thing going on. I can’t explain it.

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        • Yes, I know exactly what you mean. And yet, I can find a dentist attractive. More attractive than a poet sometimes, they are practical!

          On Thu, Jun 13, 2019 at 9:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. I’m not sure I can rank my crushes. It was easy some months ago, but not anymore. Maddy who was my number 1 I don’t know where he is now.
    In malayalam industry, there was Tovino and Unni but now Unni is first
    Hindi: (this one is easy) Arjun Kapoor, then there is a gap and Harsh K.
    Telugu: 1.Sharwanand 2. Vijay Devarakonda
    Tamil: currently 1. Arun Vijay (Thadam) but it’s only one movie old crush, I must watch more. fortunately, he is supposed to be in Saaho 2.Kathir (Pariyerum Perumal) 3. Surya

    + southern Sidharth

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  11. Oh I saw another romance this week – 99. And if somebody thinks “oh it’s on Prime, maybe it’s worth watching” I can say: No, watch 96 instead.
    I never watch remakes if I saw the original, but this time I just had to.
    It’s a scene-by-scene remake, but with everything worse (except Crocs, at least here the protagonist wears normal shoes on his bike).
    Ganesh doesn’t have even half of Vijay’s talent, and I think he was not a good choice for a movie like this where nothing really happens, it’s all about details, gazes, and emotions.
    I haven’t cried even once! And it says a lot because I watched 96 twice and I cried a river both times, and also just when I was listening to the background score or watching some random scenes. And during 99 – nothing, not even one teardrop!
    I just can’t wait for telugu version now.

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