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

Happy Wednesday! Halfway through the week! And I had to come to work an hour early today, but it will be worth it because I get to leave early on Friday.

I’ll start!

Reading: Summer has defeated me. I am returning to happy romance novels! Have you read the early Evanoviches? She started out writing really silly fun romance novels and then moved on to writing bestselling murder mysteries. Anyway, they are the lightest books I have ever read, there is literally no conflict. It’s just happy happy happy and then kind of trails off at a random ending. Highly recommend them.

Watching: I saw Udaan! It is just as raw and brilliant and difficult as I thought. You should all watch it because I need help figuring out if I should be angry at the Ram Kapoor character or pity him.

Thinking: So, we need coverage at my job from 8am to 6pm. Monday is covered, I offered to come in at 8am Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and then leave 3 hours early on Friday. That makes sense, right? I don’t think I can manage a 10 hour day, but how much harder can a 9 hour day be? Stay tuned, if I start complaining endlessly next week, it means I made a mistake.

Listening: I’ve been listening to the “chill” mix on Saavn, and I can’t believe this song hasn’t popped up yet!

Now, question for you! Around the theme of my Hindi Film 101 Deol series, Hottest Deol Man

Dharmendra

Image result for young dharmendra

Sunny

Related image

Bobby

Image result for bobby deol badal

Or Abhay?

Image result for abhay deol
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46 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to This Week?

  1. I watched Milan Talkies this week, so y’all don’t have to.
    I saw it’s on Prime now and decided to watch it without seeing the trailer or reviews. I don’t know what to say about it, because it was so mediocre. Not bad, but not good either. The actors were good (especially Sikandar Kher, every time I see him I wonder why he is not a star). the songs were colourful, but it was too long and should be focused more on the romance in my opinion.
    In brief – you can all skip it.

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    • Thank you! I appreciate it. How was Ali Faizal? I keep trying to like him, but he just doesn’t impress me.

      On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 9:10 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • He was just like the entire movie – not bad, but not great either. He was fun to watch in this “film inside a film” song. Watch this and you saw the best part of the movie:

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  2. Early Dharam
    Abhay
    Other Dheol men that i haven’t seen
    Sunny
    Bobby

    1. That’s a horrible pic of sunny
    2. I find all 4 (?) dharam offspring equally unappealing onscreen, doesn’t matter who the mom is, dharam genes are dominant.
    3. I’m letting Dimple break my tie. If sunny is dimple approved, and dimple and twinkle only go for the hottest men of their eras (rajesh & akshay), then there must be something there that I’m not seeing.

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    • I like that all the other Deol men, the middle-class farmers and business types living in happy anonymity, get your vote before Sunny and Bobby.

      From what I can tell, 6 Dharam off spring exist. 2 more daughters with his first wife, but they were never onscreen so it doesn’t count.

      I like your Dimple-Twinkle theory. I wonder who Twinkle’s daughter will end up with? Grown-up AbRam?

      On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 9:13 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. 90s Bobby Deol was sooo dreamy.Abhay Deol was known as the ‘poor man’s Bobby Deol ‘back when he started before showing his acting chops and made a place for himself.Can’t stand Sunny in any shape,size age.He can’t act and doesn’t even look pretty to make up for it.

    Had a lovely time watching Rekha and Vinod Khanna play a newly married couple in “Aap ki khatir.Rekha is awestruck by the grandeur of Vinod’s family mansion.Vinod’s snobby sister-in-law informs her that it’s her fault Vinod was disinherited by his father.Rekha is determined to make it up to Vinod.So what does a young middle-class girl do to make some quick money? Invest in stocks of course.But unfortunately the stocks she bought go down.Before she knows it, Rekha is embroiled in the toils of cut-throat money lenders, a madam running a housewife prostitution ring and a gold smuggler.She’s naive but outspoken and sassy and determined to get out of trouble without her husband knowing about it.Vinod is busy driving cabs during day and attending night school.He’s one step behind Rekha as he rushes to rescue her and does not know half of her shenanigans. The film ends with the couple ending up with a nice sum of money (perhaps enough that Vinod can go back to college full time) and Rekha learning a lesson.Though I rather doubt it.But Vinod won’t be so blind and trusting next time.One of the best comedy scenes in the movie has one of Rekha’s clients arriving in Vinod’s cab to their apartment block.Rekha was to stuff the old man in a cupboard and when Vinod comes in and boot out Vinod from the flat at the same time.

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    • Were you the person who liked Bobby? Or maybe there were multiple people, it definitely felt like A Thing.

      You watch the best old movies! I keep meaning to track them down, but then it is so fun just getting the summary from you. I looked up this movie to see if it is available, and turns out it is a remake of a Barbra Streisand movie from the 70s. Which feels right, that kind of fun wacky feel to it.

      On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 9:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Sigh! I am just not excited by any of the new movies or new actors these days.Not enough masala for me.Or not the right kind of masala.No Rohit Shetty for me.Not surprised that it’s a remake.Vinod is too reasonable and Rekha is too independent for it to be a pucca Hindi film.Funny thing is that there’s an Akshay Khanna movie with the same name.And I happened upon it this evening on TV.According to imdb quite a few of his movies are named after his father’s.And not even after the famous ones.

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        • Ha!, I first thought, you meant the one with Akshaye which is also a remake of an American comedy. Then, reading your summery, I thought, it is familiar. Looking up Wikipedia, it was bingo! I’had watched the Barbra Streisand movie because of Michael Sarrazin (I had liked him very much in the Fonda movie They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) and of the director Peter Yates.

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  4. Watching

    Patriot act, netflix
    I call this Comedy for the TED Talks generation. It is ironic because I’m not into TED Talks but i think Hasan Minhaj is doing a great job with this show, covering topics throughout the globe in ways that foreign-illiterate Americans can understand, including cricket and Indian elections.

    Warning – no actual spoilers below, but my comments might bias you, so skip the rest of you want to watch these shows without prejudice.

    Leila, netflix
    I’m not sure what the controversy is here. Just like Handmaid Tale shows how a totalitarian regime can twist and contort Christianity for its own ends, and how actual governments throughout history and in the present do horrible things in the name of religion, leila shows a dystopian near-future government twisting Hinduism for its own gains to control is people. Maybe because netflix is an international platform, and deepa mehta is an indo-canadian, it feels like punching down or publicly airing dirty laundry?
    My review – First third is riveting, unique, and completely held my attention. Second third is slow but still riveting and quite haunting. Final third is much more ordinary and forgettable. Most of these dystopian future properties devolve into plot-driven good guys out to save the world (or themselves) from the bad guys in a race against time, copy paste repeat. There are very few Westworlds and Fury Roads out there, i.e. dystopian future properties that keep the final third as interesting as the rest (usually by continuing with the philosophical bent and character arcs). Huma Q. is in every frame of every episode. She’s good, but maybe not good enough to carry an entire show like this. Siddhartha is very good in a complicated role, plus he’s aging like fine wine, extremely handsome in a uniquely chiseled-features sort of way (but not like a model, if that makes sense). Rahul Khanna also adds eye candy.

    Music Teacher, netflix
    Like ADHM, this showcases unrequited love, as well as loved-and-lost, in its various forms, via multiple characters, not just the lead pair. The cinematography is breathtaking. The acting is superb. You know a cast is good if Neena Gupta is the least impressive part (only because she was underutilized). This is essentially Manav Kaul’s audition reel for future projects. Can I just say how handsome he is? He’s got classic leading man square jaw square forehead bone structure. He’s Christopher Reeves’ doppelganger – at times i thought i was watching Clark Kent speak Hindi. Divya Dutta is a revalation, i hope this performance catapults her career. The lead actress is beautiful in a completely Indian sort of way, long wavy dry voluminous blue-black hair, dark skin,
    etc. This might work well for an international platform like netflix, since the international audience wants to see an “Indian-looking” Indian woman in a lead role, rather than say a Katrina Kaif. She handles the conflicting emotions of the penultimate/climax scene very well. Like many properties made by Bengalis, this movie is more about the journey and self discovery therein than the destination. The music is subtly impressive, as is the “coluratura” (sp?) of the vocal performances. Warning -this is basically a Ranbir Kapoor art film. Don’t watch if you don’t want to see a movie about a man-child lacking self-awareness where all the women, whethet younger and older, do all the emotional labor for him.

    The Golden Years by Javed Akhtar, Prime
    A trip down memory lane of the best Hindi film music of 1950-1975, including interesting backstories and anecdotes., done chronologically by episode. I was surprised to find that i recognized almost every song.

    Mere Pyaate Prime Minister, netflix
    The latest Ram Omprakash Mehra production, he of RDB and Mirzya fame. In format, this movie mixes the masala social-message film of the black and white era with a slumdog millionaire ethos and modern acting styles. Like secret superstar, it’s a real problem with a fantasy solution. While it’s set in a Mumbai slum, it might as well have been set in a village ala b/w era social message films, i.e. it has all the stock characters, like the village belle, nosy auntie, lecherous uncle, young handsome caring suitor, corrupt police, stagnant; bureaucrats, magical politician (stand in for the white savior), comical best friend/neighbor, song and dance, a holiday celebration, and a tragic event that catapults the plot toward the resolution. The gang of child actors do much of the heavy lifting in this film. The lead actress is terrific, and she’s especially charismatic in the way her face exhibits expressions, animated yet not masala overacting. Like in music teacher, the lead actress is beautiful in a completely Indian sort of way. She looks a lot like Smita Patil with larger eyes. The movie belongs to the mother and the son; the lead actor/suitor is actually a supporting role. The mother-son relationship is close, supportive, fun, and richly drawn. This is the rare film where the youthful suitor does some emotional labor (without mansplaining or patronizing). There is one such male-emotional-labor scene that i found so original, unique, and touching that i would recommend this entire film just so you could watch that one scene.

    Sorry for the length of this post!

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    • I love your long reviews! They are so interesting.

      All I can add is the heroine from Mere Pyari Prime Minister had supporting roles in both Mirzya and Kaala and easily stole the movie in both.

      And I should probably avoid Music Teacher, because you know how I start ranting about those boy man movies.

      On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 11:09 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Oh Anjali Patil is stunning and very talented. She was also in Newton. I loved her chemistry with Rajkummar.
      And I’m so happy you watched Music Teacher. The movie is beautiful but do you think they are together in the end?

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      • I think they are “end game” but I don’t think they are together at the end of the movie. From her busy schedule, international commitments, large support staff, and “superstar” label, they are depicting that stage of every successful artist’s life where their career is controlling them, and not visa versa. Once that dynamic changes, she’ll probably make her way back to him, since he’s made it clear that he’s ready for her and not going anywhere (hence his decision to stay in shimla instead of moving back to mumbai), and she’s finally reaffirmed that she wants him too.

        The ending is a little like that of Swades, but different too.

        What do you think, Angie?

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        • I love your interpretation, and I think you’re right. I rewatched the last scenes and disliked the protagonist, even more, this time. But it seems that she will come one day to be with him, and that he will be waiting. When I watched the movie some time ago, I didn’t understand it and I thought he just wanted to say when he had to say, so the burden of the decision will be on her shoulders and he will feel better, without taking any action.

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  5. Dharmendra blows the other Deols away. He was charming in Deewangi Deewangi, but he won me over completely in Life in a Metro.

    I started watching Ranam (on Einthusan) but didn’t get very far. I got distracted by Masters, which is on Netflix so I can watch it on TV, not my lil laptop screen. 🙂 I haven’t had time to finish either. Blurgh!

    I loved this song at the beginning of Masters about friendship/bromance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CJqJ1oJlvc

    It reminded me of the Sholay song on the moto. So fun! What are other songs which celebrate same sex friendships (with or without homoerotic under or overtones)? A couple of the songs in Queen come to mind, of course. But I’m blanking on others. There must be, though.

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    • Ha! I just put up a “which of these is the gayest song?” post. Which isn’t exactly what you are looking for, but yes there are a lot of friendship songs! It’s a whole genre of songs, for those multi-starrer movies. The two heroes are best friends, they sing a song about it. And then they meet the heroines and life gets complicated. And my dirty dirty mind sometimes translates those songs as “because genders are segregated in this society and young men have needs we are totally bi until marriage”.

      On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 11:14 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t really have a female one about friendship, there are some homoerotic ones though. This is my fave:

      I really only have examples from classic films:

      There have to be more, but I can’t recall all of them right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. reading: the crime novels of the Swede Liza Marklund (a journalist whose heroine is a journalist, too).
    watching: When I read an article about Ranam, I learned that the director had been the screenwriter for a movie about a man with Aspergers and that Nitin played this role. So I decided to skip Ranam (whose summery didn’t really invited me to watch it, despite Prithviraj playing the lead) and am watching Hey Jude.
    thinking: that I definitely don’t like ranking 😉 in any way, I would choose Abhay (not because of hotness, though)…I just like the way he portrays the characters he chose…and I like his choice of characters. I’m indifferent when it comes to the other Deols.
    listening: classic music…

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    • I liked Hey Jude, although it is a difficult movie. Trisha was the actor who impressed me more, she is a big deal in Tamil film and older and this was her first Malayalam film. I think she did a fantastic job with her character.

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  7. Dharmendra is the hottest young man, Abhay, the hottest older man. Bobby had a “look” but didn’t age well. And Sunny reminds me of somebody’s Uncle Oscar who dyes his hair and goes to the gym to meet young girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve only seen a couple of young Sunny films, but he was really something back then. Never traditionally handsome, but just bursting with testosterone and energy.

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  8. Another movie I watched (well.am re-watching)…and I find these connections very interesting…from Hey Jude to Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro…didn’t know why it came so strongly into my mind (from nowhere) until 2 minutes into the movie: Hum Honge Kamyab (We shall overcome)…both movies have a distinctive relation to MNIK.

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  9. First time commenter here, though following your lovely blog for some time! Any Big Little Lies viewers here? I kinda binged up to the latest episode and it’s GOOD! But the best part is that it got me thinking how amazing it would be to do this series with Indian actresses. This is the first I’ve ever wondered about recasting, usually it doesn’t interest me! Here are five A-list movie stars telling a story that is strictly about them and the male actors are just supporting them. Also, the fact that they are all playing mothers, which is a core aspect of their lives and an integral part of the story, would be so ballsy in the Indian context, since it is still unusual for lead actresses to play mothers. I indulged myself thinking who I would cast in place of the original actors, so here goes (considering aspects from their previous roles/ real life):
    Reese Witherspoon (Kareena/ Rani) – Kind of the queen bee of the group, bubbly and a loyal friend to people she likes, but can be a real mean girl if someone crosses her. Hiding past infidelity from husband, friends. No shade but this is how I think of Kareena (minus infidelity)! But both of them could pull off the multiple sides of this character well.
    Nicole Kidman (Katrina/ Kareena) – Strikingly beautiful with a seemingly perfect life with loving husband and twins, but suffering from domestic abuse. I’m obviously going by Katrina’s turn in Zero but not entirely sure she can pull off such a complex, nuanced character. I know Aishwarya played a domestic abuse victim early on, but I can’t see current Ash playing such a character (too ethereal in ADHM!). Kareena I feel could play raw well. (I didn’t even know I had such high regard for Kareena but seems like she can fit in both lead roles!)
    Laura Dern (Tabu/ Priyanka) – The high-powered CEO, glamorous, ruthless at work, insecure because she feels everyone judges her, helpless when she finds out her daughter is being bullied, clashes with Reese and others. I’d go with Tabu just for the similar height but even otherwise she’d be delicious in this slightly unhinged role. I’m picturing Priyanka in her Dil Dhadakne Do look but I think Tabu would be perfect.
    Zoe Kravitz (Kalki) – Bohemian looking, yoga practicing, socially conscious wife of Reese’s ex-husband and stepmom to their daughter, has friction with Reese, plays key role in 1st season finale. I can only picture Kalki in this role!
    Shailene Woodley (Shobhita/ Anushka/ Jennifer Winget) – The youngest, mysterious outsider carrying heavy trauma from her past (possibly PTSD), looking for answers. I want to see Shobhita in another meaty role after Made in Heaven and it has a similar theme of escaping from the past. Anushka would do well I think. Jennifer is a TV actress who looks very like Shailene (really felt it while watching) so just threw her name in! Only seen her in a light role on TV, so no idea if she can do this.
    Meryl Streep – Biggest addition in season 2, Nicole’s mother-in-law. 2 episodes in, it has to be Ratna Pathak Shah (similar hairstyle too!).
    So if you haven’t seen it, obviously none of this means anything! But if you or others have, let me know what you think, pondering this has been fun!

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  10. Next song post request: best rain songs. There must be a bajillion of them. You might need subcategories. Sexiest man getting rained on, sexiest woman getting rained on, sexiest rain couple, muddiest rain song, most joyful rain song, most longing rain song, best rained-on hair, best rained-on clothes, best music/rain combination…So many possibilities!

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    • I think I might try for “songs about sex in the rain”. There are so many! And it always seems really unpleasant and wet and sticky to me.

      On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 2:49 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. I’m so excited and can’t wait for Wednesday to say it – I just watched Half Girlfriend and I absolutely loved it! I was in a mood for something romantic and simple, so I gave it chance and I’m so happy. I was watching and thinking it will be terrible because everybody hated it, and there will be this ridiculous Bill Gates head, and no acting and stuff, but no. Shraddha wasn’t that bad, and had awesome clothes, Arjun was super cuddly, cute and sexy and was looking at Shraddha with those sad “I love her so much but don’t deserve her” eyes all the time. The music was very good. and Vikrant Massey with his doe-eyes was also in this film, and it was a nice surprise , because I didn’t know that. I enjoyed every minute.

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    • I’m so excited for you! I still probably don’t want to watch the movie, but I am glad to know it is another one of those “not great, but not nearly as bad as painted” kind of movies. And I am so glad you have a new Arjun Kapoor film to be dreamy about!

      On Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 10:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think one must be in particular mood and like Arjun to enjoy this film (or have a bad taste in movies like me). Was it good? Maybe not, but it wasn’t bad either. It’s mainstream romance, nothing deep, don’t know what people were expecting. I’m reading Kathy Gibson’s review and she wrote this:

        “Half Girlfriend‘s Madhav (Arjun Kapoor) is from Bihar, a state that borders Badrinath’s Uttar Pradesh. Neither movie is interested in actually addressing the causes or consequences of inequality in either state, just in appropriating a regressive mindset so that the female lead can be treated as a prop rather than a real person.”

        Sorry, but I’m not interested in discovering causes of Bihar’s problems when I’m watching Shradha Kapoor romance movie. I just want long gazes, broken hearts and happy ending. And this movie had it all. And the heroine is not just eye candy without any background. We see she is from messed up family, and she has a lot of problems. Her marriage is bad so she divorces and it’s shown as a good thing, even if everybody blames her.
        Arjun wants girls from his village to attend the school, because it’s not fair they can’t study. The way the film shows all this may be silly and simple, but at least the messages are there.
        For me this film is like a good fat donut, definitely not the most sophisticated or the best thing out there, but sometimes you just need it. And people are like: I just bought this donut and I hate it because it doesn’t taste like oyster.

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        • Sounds like my problems with the SOTY2 reviews. It’s Student of the Year 2! It’s a high school love triangle where everything is resolved at a Kabaddi match, how deep do you want it to be?

          Like

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