Saturday Small Talk: Chat Away While I Sleep!

Happy Saturday! I am going to sleep in, I am so excited. Somehow I just can’t seem to get enough sleep the past couple of days.

Now, things to talk about!

New Saaho song! How are we feeling about Prabhas and Shraddha together? And Prabhas’ sockless look?

Random recommendation, I just placed another order on eshakti.com. You all know about this, right? It’s India based, they have nice simple styles, and (best part) for $10 they will make anything to your exact measurements. I finally started paying the $10 extra and it’s amazing. No more “well, it’s okay, but it could look better”. Everything looks great when it fits! Anyway, I just ordered this dress and I am very excited.

Katrina Kaif’s little sister Isabelle is trying to be an actress again. After the crossover American film Dr. Cabbie didn’t work, Salman is trying again with an Indian film opposite Ayush Sharma? Who in the WORLD is going to watch this movie?

What else do you want to talk about?

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22 thoughts on “Saturday Small Talk: Chat Away While I Sleep!

  1. Wait. Hotstar is owned by Disney? Did I miss that?

    This post makes it sound like the streaming content bubble is moving to India, just as it’s showing signs of beginning to pop here.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-07-29/three-ex-bankers-win-netflix-backing-to-shake-up-bollywood

    “the startup’s approach (is) a ‘data-driven, continuous feedback loop’ that helps improve stories and production. That has allowed Pocket Aces to steer clear of the clubby Bollywood scene populated by the offspring and relatives of established actors, producers and directors. Pocket Aces crunches data to gauge the popularity of actors, who then get cast in bigger shows.”

    Never believed in data driven content creation, it’s been tried in many different media and never fails to create derivative tripe, but interesting all the little digs at the mainstream industry that are packed into that one short post.

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    • I missed the Disney connection too! I knew they owned UTV, but not hotstar. Explains part of their massive library, if some of that is left over from the UTV buy. But it’s weird, because their official Disney-branded Indian products are NOT on Hotstar exclusively (Khoobsurat, for instance). Maybe trying to build a brand name over multiple platforms for their content even if it means they lose the advantage exclusive rights to popular content on their own platform?

      Anyway, I don’t know about you, but that whole article just raised up red flags of “danger danger, fake fake!” to me. Coming up with those perfect mathematical formulas to take over an industry feels the same as the guy who arrives in Vegas with the new idea of how to beat the house. If that guy was trying to sell his new idea to a whole bunch of gullible gangsters and then laughing all the way to the bank.

      The article also reads almost identically to the articles that were written about KriArj before the founders were arrested for committing massive fraud. Which isn’t to say these folks are fraudsters, just that it has a familiar sound of what you are supposed to say, whether or not it is true. And they are obviously spinning everything in the best possible light, instead of saying “we create lowbudget films that target the top 2% of the market in order to bring in tastemakers at a low cost”, they are all “we look at raw data and aren’t bound by the old systems!” I doubt Netflix would survive long in the Indian market if all they had to offer was Little Things, you need the solid old-fashioned starcast offerings to back it up.

      And now I am thinking “wait a minute, should I be trying to be hired by this company? Get in long enough to make quick cash and then get out? Gosh darn it, my orneriness has shot myself in the foot again!”

      Never mind, I found their website and working in this kind of office space would drive me INSANE. I work at a start up now, but one that has walls and stationary computers and no game room. http://pocketaces.in/

      On Sat, Aug 3, 2019 at 10:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Funny, I didn’t get fraud vibes but I haven’t been following the KriArj drama as closely as you have. Definitely agree about putting the best possible spin on a low budget, small audience play. Clearly putting a Netflix or Amazon deal in the headline is the way to sell yourself as the hot new thing, I’m certainly guilty of clicking on a lot of those posts so it works on me. The details in this one were interesting, though – not just Disney and Hotstar but the mobile only streaming plan competition in India. Don’t think that’s offered by any services here.

        And yes, for your sanity, one start-up job at a time!

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        • Not so much fraud necessarily, more that they are saying the right things which I have read before from companies that don’t actually believe them. Like, if someone in a personal ad says “loves long walks on the beach” it could mean they do, or it could mean they know that is what everyone is supposed to say. Who knows?

          The mobile only plan is interesting. I’m really curious if all this optimism about the streaming market in India is going to pay off. Every time I look at the actual figures, the internet penetration is still extremely low in the non-urban areas. And there is an issue still with the cost of Internet, although Republic Jio is helping with that. I’m not sure of these global companies are being realistic. Or maybe they are being very realistic, if they know the data limitations will keep use down, maybe that’s why they are making the monthly price so cheap?

          Oh, and I was interested to learn that ALTBalaji has teamed up with Zee5. I was waiting for that to happen, ALTBalaji had the highest quality original programming but just didn’t seem to be putting the effort into getting their platform out there. Felt like they just wanted to get high profile enough to be bought out, which is what happened.

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          • Found more on Disney and Hotstar. The acquisition only happened in March, so we’re not that behind. It was part of the big Fox deal, Star was a Fox property.

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/netflix-and-amazon-trail-a-local-video-rival-in-india-thats-now-disney-owned-11559646003

            I think the media execs are just looking at the huge population and the tiny number of existing subscribers and it seems like all potential upside. If mobile data plans spread rapidly that might be the way they reach areas that don’t get wired internet for a long time. People still have to be willing to pay for content, though, and they have to come online fast enough to pay for the quick ramp up in production that’s underway. Who knows. In the meantime, room for experimentation by producers, writers, and actors, hopefully not focused only on the same urban, educated audience.

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          • I’m really curious when that experimentation phase is going to go away. Based on all previous successful media, the Indian audience as a whole likes songs and drama and family stuff, which Sacred Games and Made In Heaven and all those other new properties don’t really have. Well, maybe Made in Heaven, it’s kind of a new age version of a Saas-Bahu soap.

            And thanks for the Disney info! That’s exciting, I wonder what they are going to do with their nice fresh Hotstar property?

            On Sat, Aug 3, 2019 at 9:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Guessing they have no idea what to do with it, besides using it to piggyback their own content on to get to the built-in in audience in India. The only tidbits I see in US trade press is the idea of using Hotstar to launch Disney Plus in India in the fall, and a Hollywood Reporter piece on cricket as a subscription driver.

            I have a feeling we’ll start to see here pretty soon what happens when the experimentation phase ends, and it will hit in the US before it hits the markets they’re counting on for growth in subscribers. Already seeing the first articles here about belt tightening in the production budgets. Feels like they have enough data now to understand how original content affects new subscriptions, retaining existing subscribers, and keeping a critical mass of content they control in all markets. So now they can start putting a number on how much it’s worth to the company, which means the free-for-all period is over and producers are back to having to live in a world with rules and rational economics.

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          • I’m assuming there is also a big difference between gaining subscribers and keeping subscribers. I see it myself in my own behavior, I will set up a Prime account to watch Made in Heaven or something, but then I will just leave it open out of habit so long as there is anything I might be willing to watch. Right now they need to get the word out, get people talking about them, and signing up. 2 years from now when folks have started their subscriptions, they will just keep them running even if there is no new exciting content.

            On Sat, Aug 3, 2019 at 11:21 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. When I first read this news about Aayush and Katrina’s sister movie I thought the same as you: who will watch it? And than I remembered I saw entire Loveyatri and a lot of other odd stuff and probably when this movie will be on Prime I will be so curious I’ll watch it. I hate my bad taste in movies so much right now 😆

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    • Yes! My headline was almost “who will watch this (besides Angie)?” Can’t wait until Dear Comrade hits streaming, I think it is a movie you will very much enjoy that is also not-terrible.

      And then there was that strange blip of New Zealanders who loved Loveyatri. Maybe Salman is going after an exclusively New Zealand market?

      On Sat, Aug 3, 2019 at 4:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m sure Salman didn’t think about markets and he makes this film just because he was tired of hearing his sister and brother in law complaining. At least they will be happy for some months.

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        • Poor Isabelle, stuck acting opposite frozen-face-man. I hope she at least is getting paid.

          On Sat, Aug 3, 2019 at 5:20 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Yeah, Prabhas and Shraddha are fine together, but I am not feeling the love. And the teaser makes it appear that their love story is supposed to be driving the whole plot, so that’s a problem.

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  3. Random comment/question…did you know about the Satte Pe Satta remake in the works directed by Farrah Khan?! SRK was approached, but it looks like Hrithik in the lead. Also heard rumors that she might get Deepika for the Hema role (closing a circle with Deepika as the Dream Girl!). Finally, a possible Deepika/Hrithik match-up. I was already excited for a team-up of Farrah and Hrithik, but after watching twenty minutes of the original, I was ecstatic. I’ve never even seen the American version of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, but I can already tell that this one will be a personal favorite, just like Seeta Aur Geeta (same feel to it for sure). Anyway…haven’t been so excited about a move that’s not even pre-production in a long time…don’t want to get my hopes up but this is the kind of film I’ve wanted Hrithik to be doing.

    I can’t imagine what fun they will have casting the rest of the brothers, too! I would try to cast Amit Sadh, Kunal Kapoor, that guy from the Notebook, Varun Sharma, Vijay Varma, and Siddhant Chaturvedi. I think that’s the level of stardom the actors will be, not sure any other bigger stars will want to take second billing to Hrithik…maybe Aditya Roy Kapur, Abhay Deol, or even Sid might?

    Saw Super 30 today. My friend and her 12-year old daughter liked it and I guess I did, too. But it was a bit too OTT for me. Hrithik’s performance was actually more understated than I expected it to be. Still, this should have been a totally different film with Pankaj in the lead and a more realistic tone.

    Also watched Shaada, the Punjabi hit with Diljit this evening. The first hour or so was fun, but as is often the case with Diljit and Punjabi comedy, the silliness and casual misogyny was turned up too loud. I really wanted to like it though. It had a good basic rom-com plot.

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    • Yes! I know we’ve talked about it here a few times but I can’t find the posts. Anyway, the original version is INSANE and just barely related to the American original, really just that there are 7 bachelor brothers and when the oldest gets married, his wife whips them into shape and finds them girlfriends. And then there is a double role for Amitabh and various other craziness that I really hope they keep in the new version.

      I’m nervous about Hrithik’s ability to do comedy, but then his role is kind of the straight man if they keep it like the original and the original Hindi version. It’s the brothers and the wife that have to go really over the top.

      Oh, and I have a recommendation for you! Once Dear Comrade hits streaming (new Telugu movie I saw last week), I think you would really like it. Very swoony and over the top romantic. At one point the hero rides all night through a rainstorm without a shirt (because of the rain? It’s unclear) to see the woman he loves.

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      • Dear Comrade is on my list…I do like Vijay, but he came across an arrogant ass in his interview with Anupama.

        Looking forward to Jabariya Jodi this week! Sid and Parineeti are really a cool duo in off-screen interviews, too.

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      • And watching the song teasers, especially this one, I am even more excited about Jabariya Jodi. This is the perfect kind of angsty/bad boy/strong chick/colorful fun that I need in my life! And their surprisingly strong chemistry on display in HTP seems to be here as well. (Of course, I could have said the same about Arjun and Pari revisiting their jodi in Namaste England based on the teasers…and got mega burned on that one…god that movie really was awful in retrospect!). JJ almost seems like Ishaaqzaade but with a happy ending?

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          • Ooo, I hadn’t seen that one! You are right, very very good. And thank goodness, it looks like Pari is acting at least a little bit, some nice quiet moments instead of just pulling the same cute smile.

            On Mon, Aug 5, 2019 at 8:53 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • LOL I usually also dislike movies more with time, but with Namaste England I’m still thinking the same – it wasn’t good but wasn’t terrible also.

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