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

Happy Wednesday! And happy day before Gang Leader releases and two days before Dream Girl. I wonder which I should watch?

I’ll start!

Reading: Anu linked to a couple of fascinating articles about Tamil film financing, they are definitely worth a look! https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/why-tamil-cinema-has-had-a-disastrous-summer-2019-from-release-delays-and-financial-issues-to-box-office-failures-6870371.html

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/ashok-kumars-death-anbu-chezhiyan-and-kollywoods-murky-cycle-debt-72011

Oh, also, in case you forgot, here is the article in which Ranbir first acknowledges his relationship with Alia: https://www.pinkvilla.com/entertainment/news/ranbir-kapoor-dating-rumours-alia-bhatt-its-really-new-right-now-414087

Watching: Well, I’m halfway through Lootera, I skimmed through Businessman again, and I rewatched Student of the Year 2 on Monday. It really holds up! Also, just out of curiosity, I showed a co-worker who knows absolutely nothing about Indian film a Tiger song and a Hrithik song and let her pick, she went with Hrithik by a mile, just a whole different animal.

Thinking: Sunday school starts this week and I have done absolutely nothing to prepare. How do you keep nine middle-schoolers entertained and involved? Oh well, I am sure inspiration will strike Saturday night. Or else I will just take Albie Dog and let that be the activity.

Listening: I need ideas! Work has been crazy, and I’ve got Sunday school and other stuff this weekend. What’s a good “happiness pump you up” song? Like this one:

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

    • Glad to hear I made the right choice in skipping Sacred Games 2! The first season was already wearing on me a bit by the end, I just couldn’t face another series of episodes.

      I did watch The Sky is Pink, thanks to Niki linking to it. Looks like it will be a sick little girl who wants to fix her parents’ marriage before she dies. Okay concept, and the production values look good, but kind of Western feeling somehow in quality. Maybe because it isn’t melodramatic enough? Or we haven’t had songs yet?

      Like

      • Good that you decided to skip Sacred Games S2. I am into the sixth episode and not sure if I will watch the rest.

        Yes, the emotional connect just is not there. Plus the trailer felt off to me because Farhan and Priyanka look the same through the span of the movie.

        Like

      • I thought the The Sky is Pink trailer outright sucked. Tell me it doesn’t look like those cheesy TV movies that used to come on Lifetime television. It’s so cliched. A couple has a sick child and it makes it rough on their marriage until everyone comes together to let her have the best last days and enjoy the spirt of life. Come on. This kind of insipid illness story has been done before so often.

        Like

        • I had the same “sappy” feeling about it, but if done well, there is a place for that kind of plot. I just hope it doesn’t get overly praised merely because of the Western style to it.

          Like

  1. Reading: I Owe You One, a fun Sophie Kinsella novel, a nice change after the sadness of the Robin Williams biography (which was wonderful, don’t get me wrong.)

    Watching: Chhichhore! I took the afternoon off from writing/research and went to the movies, and was so glad I did. Just a fun, positive movie, exactly what I needed. I also watched the first half of the first episode of Sacred Games, season 2, and haven’t been back. Just too dark. So I binged “Worst Cooks in America” instead.

    Listening: Lots of ragtime. I downloaded a complete Scott Joplin collection, such a joy.

    Thinking: Summer needs to be done, or at least as done as I am with it. Also this book chapter needs to be done.

    Like

    • Random question, did the Robin Williams book treat his suicide as due to depression or as due to a terminal diagnosis? It fascinates me that the media and public immediately labeled it “depression” but his wife and family see, to treat it as more euthanasia related to Parkinson’s.

      Isn’t Chhichhore a happy film? So happy and positive about everything in live, and just good people doing good things.

      Like

      • The author raises the possibility, not realized until the autopsy, that suicidal depression may have been caused by Lewe Body dementia. It turns out that the Parkinson’s diagnosis was wrong. LBD is sometimes mistakes for Parkinson’s. The medication he was taking for the Parkinson’s could have exacerbated the problem, as well. But there is also plenty of evidence that Williams had thought about how he would react to losing his abilities long before it started to happen. He was very close friends with Christopher Reeve and it was something they had discussed. It really was a wonderful book, in many ways, and I was struck by the similarity between Williams and SRK. Though I would say Shahrukh is considerably more mentally healthy.

        Like

        • Thank you for the Williams information! That’s what I remembered, that the decision was more about a terminal diagnosis and less about simple depression. It’s a personal bugaboo of mine, his death set off a whole series of articles about the pain of depression, and how comics tend to suffer depression, and so on. But it wasn’t because of comedy and depression, it was because of unrelated far more complicated interactions of events. I just don’t like it when the initial answer, no matter how incorrect, is the one everyone remembers instead of the more complex later accurate answer.

          I hadn’t thought about Williams and SRK before, but now I am! Mostly in terms of how both of them had this amazing youthful energy that translated to mature subtlety.

          On Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 3:12 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • And then there is the chameleon-like ability to hind their own complicated selves inside of equally complicated characters. So many of the people Itzkof interviewed mentioned being surprised at how shy Williams was in private.

            Like

          • How interesting! I remember vaguely knowing that he had 3 (or 4?) wives and I translated that to being this big outgoing party animal, as you would expect from seeing him onscreen. And then after his death, turns out his life was very small and quiet and private.

            On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 11:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

  2. I finally paid money and bought Darr from You Tube last night. I don’t buy enough or watch enough to pay for Amazon Prime and Einthusan doesn’t have the English subtitles. My kids and I cuddled in bed and watched the Holi scene this morning, and that is about all I’ll let them watch. They don’t need to see their action hero carve himself with a knife. The way my life works I get 20 minutes here and there to see films, so I’ll be watching it all week. I look forward to reading the articles you suggested.

    Like

    • Karan only cares about copying Western aesthetics. He posted a video from from his office once and although he panned by it very fast, his Takht mood board was literally just pictures and scenes from Game of Thrones. He lost it years ago. This one will be an even bigger disaster than Kalank.

      A Mughal movie set in the castles of Italy. LMAO

      Like

      • Exactly! If he really wanted to film in Europe then he could have picked Spain which actually has Islamic architecture. Moorish Islamic architecture isn’t the same as Mughal Islamic architecture but it’s closer than Italian architecture from any period! Uhg I’ve wanted to see the Dara Shukoh-Aurangzeb conflict depicted onscreen for years and it’s getting made by people that probably don’t genuinely care about this piece of history at all!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I assume it is that they are trying to avoid interference on set by extremists during filming. Remember the problems Padmavat faced. It is, unfortunately, too dangerous to film Indian historical films in India. Or at least could add on complications. Better to film in secret overseas and only let people see the final result.

      As for the choice of Italy over any other country, presumably that is because of the Italian film office/heritage sites office being more accommodating than other countries.

      Like

  3. Watched Raincoat and I really liked it! This is probably my fourth Rituparno Ghosh movie and I think this is the first film that instantly clicked for me. Aishwarya and Ajay were really good in it. It was really refreshing seeing them in roles that were different than their mainstream stuff. Aishwarya’s voice suddenly becomes more tolerable when she isn’t shrieking and is modulating it properly.

    Like

      • It’s in hindi so she’s actually using her voice. Her voice is still shrill and all but her speaking was more controlled so it didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. Not entirely sure but I feel that Rituparno Ghosh’s directorial methods might change depending on who he is working with. I think he was very meticulous whenever he directed Aish and really worked to have her get rid of her entire self-conscious artificial persona in both Chokher Bali and Raincoat

        Like

        • That’s what I notice about Aish, she is very good at following direction, with certain directors they can make a performance happen just by guiding her through it. Bhansali in HDDCS, Mani Ratnam in everything, and it sounds like maybe Ghosh too.

          Like

  4. From the firstpost article…

    “In Hindi and Telugu film industries, large production houses operate with proper financial planning and depend largely on their own release for the movies than depending on third parties to buy the theatrical rights to recover their investment. However, in Tamil cinema, producers are dependent on third parties/distributors to invest in their film, to pay back their lenders to release a film. When the distributors fall short in making the payment, they are unable to pay back their lenders, leading to delay in release of their film.”

    Margaret, do you think there is a co-relation to this and quality of movies made in Tamil vs Telugu? I mean essentially big prod houses play safe and hardly take risks compared to tamil producers?

    Like

    • Yes, absolutely. There’s also the level of passion required from the artists. Working in Telugu or Hindi film is a viable career path, it sounds like working in Tamil film is something you would only do if you needed to make movies to live.

      On Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 4:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I watched C/o Kancharapalem finally on Netflix. Had heard so much about it as one of the rare realistic films in Telugu. It mostly lived up to the hype in that it’s very different from the usual Telugu films. Even the cinematography,texture of it’s is very artsy. The director and most of the crew is American and that shows in the filmmaking. The actors however are all from the suburb where it is filmed and that rawness adds to the difference. I liked most of it,though it does drag a bit and makes some good social commentary in a subtle way. More organic and humane than Super Deluxe but less so than Cake or Kumbalangi Nights. Would love to hear your thoughts on it-its a low concept,very well done movie and worth discussion. Oh,also Rana Daggubati’s company is the presenter which is a curious choice for such a big studio to back such a small, non-mainstream film.

    Like

    • We may have talked about this before, but I find Rana so much more interesting as a producer versus as an actor. And it seems like he is more interested in that side of things too. I also find it fascinating that he and Karan are friends, I suspect they connect on an industry leader kind of level rather than a celebrity level.

      On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 12:15 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • Finally we are moving closer to all SRK films being on one service! Yes, Prime still has the film rights, but at least Karan has a Netflix relationship now, there is hope he will jump ship once the Prime contract expires. Of course, YRF still has a Prime deal too, but once the Dharma domino falls, YRF should be even closer.

      And then Shahrukh can just lay awake nights obsessing about the rights to Guddu and Trimurti, which I believe are the only ones he does NOT currently own.

      On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 5:11 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  6. I’m in Dhaka, taking a few minutes to catch up on reading while I watch Ajay and Sonakshi dance in the background. This past week I watched Trapped. A lot of people have described it as an Indian Castaway, but I think it’s better. The background of a huge empty high rise makes a nice metaphor for the impersonal nature of big city life in which Rajkummar is surrounded by people but no one can hear him. It also strips the story down so that it’s all about how he gets out.

    Now they are advertising De De Pyar De. Star Plus is really into Ajay today.

    Then I watched Noor, which I really wanted to like, but it falls apart after the interval. It just doesn’t ring true that a young woman would upload a video that basically says “Guess what? Mumbai has problems!” and that would go hugely viral and make her career.

    Oh my God, Ek Villain is on. I forgot how much I hate this movie.

    Like

    • Nooooo! Now I have to watch Trapped! I am still trying to finish Lootera, I had made my piece with having seen 3 out of 4 Motwane movies, and now you are challenging me to watch another one? I really really love Motwane which is why the films are hard to watch, I want to pay attention fully and not do anything else while I am watchin them.

      Agree about Noor! I think the script wasn’t terrible (except for that ridiculous passionate voice over part), but the directing just did not work. On the other hand, do you see why I am in love with Kanan Gill?

      What’s to hate about Ek Villain? Or maybe I am just remembering the Sid track which is so delightfully soapy and ridiculous. The Ritiesh track is kind of hard to watch though.

      On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 6:57 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I can’t wait to read your Lootera review and, yeah, Trapped might take some time but I don’t think you’d regret it.

        What I hate about Ek Villain: well, basically, Shraddha. It’s an annoying character and she just goes to town on the precious mannerisms. Also, I’m sick of the bad boy being redeemed by the sweet good girl (although I’ve watched Sanaam Teri Kasaam about 7 times, go figure). I’d like a gender flip where sweet Parambrata redeems bad Sonakshi with the purity of his love.

        Like

  7. I saw a movie yesterday that looked like written by somebody who knows me well, and who wanted to make me happy, but unfortunately didn’t have enough time/talent to finish the screenplay. Kannada movie D/O Parvathamma.
    It’s about a woman who is one of the best investigative officers of CID. She is tough, intelligent, rides the bike like a boss, and does everything southern heros do. I saw the trailer full of slow-motion entries, slow-motion wearing the glasses, slow-motion touching the collar, and I thought it’s super cool. And in fact it was cool, but later I discovered half of the movie is just that: slow-motion scenes of everything she does. I still like it because there was also a super cute romance in it: our heroine doesn’t need or search for love but she can help when she sees a fluffy haired, bearded, tall guy being nice and offering a dinner to homeless people. She falls in love with him not because he beat somebody, or stalked her but just because he is a good person! Of course I fell in love with the guy too 😉 What a pity, romance was so quick and short. Later she solves the murder case (btw one of the most boring and ridiculous filmi investigations ever) but who cares, I was only thinking about fluffy haired guy. Really it could be such a good movie, if only the makers worked harder. There should be more heroine’s background, more romance, and more thrills in the murder.

    Like

    • You successfully convinced me not to watch this movie. On the other hand, watch Dear Comrade! My sister just watched it and confirmed that it is perfect for sleep deprivation and watching bits and pieces between newborn care. And also, that it is like watching a movie written by a 13 year old boy and a 13 year old girl trading off. “and then he fights a bunch of people and WINS!” “and then he suddenly sees the girl next door in a new light and, like, gazes at her”.

      Or more likely, you have already seen Dear Comrade and didn’t like it and are trying to spare my feelings.

      On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 2:40 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I started Dear Comrade like one week ago or more. I saw the romance part (super cute, especially the scene when Vijay is shirtless in heroine’s room, she borrows him her t-shirt and they cuddle). But later I had to pause, and was afraid the evil stalker will be back and I didn’t feel like watching. Btw I really appreciate that the movie shows how ugly stalking is.

        Like

        • Don’t worry, the stalking plot disappears with the time jump (remember the opening is later and the rest of the film is flashback?). It’s just a really really dumb movie, filmed as though it is a smart movie.

          On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 4:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

  8. Lots of mourning, hardcore grieving, wondering about quintessential life questions and what SRK movie I want to tackle next.

    Music: Listening a lot to my favourite band, Pearl Jam, and when not them, then it’s pretty much songs from the SRK movies I’ve watched recently.

    Like

    • Oh boy, the only thing I am qualified to help with is the SRK movie, and now that you have watched Fan, I have no strong suggestions. Have you seen Baazigar yet? What about Josh? Phir Bhi dil Hai Hindustani?

      On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 7:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

        • They’re completely different movies so it depends on your mood. Josh is a remake of West Side Story, Shahrukh plays a gang leader complete with leather jacket and earring. Baazigar was his first movie with Kajol, very young and energetic, complicated double role, dark. Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani is mostly cheerful and silly and happy.

          On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 9:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • Thanks for that. I’m non the wiser though as they all sound intriguing. Hmmm, Josh sounds great. Baazigar is his first villain role, but I’ve just seen Darr and Anjaam, so I think I’m going to go with Josh. Phir Bhi is the first one with him and Juhi as producers, right? Dreamz Unlimited or some such?

            Oh, not that this is of any relevance, but I finally figured out what movie I had seen him in first!

            I had been looking and looking to find that film and never got anywhere, well, up to now! It was Shakti! I remembered how brutal it was. I also remembered that this might have been the first film that made me question my prejudices and embarrassing ignorance towards Indian film. I was really quite taken aback by Kapoor’s performance and also SRK’s. That dying scene and how he’s fumbling with his broken cigarette. That scene went under my skin, just like the scene where Kapoor tries to defend herself against that army of men in the village. Sigh. I just ordered the DVD, so hopefully can watch it in full and better quality soon.

            Like

          • Yeah, Juhi and Shahrukh were business partners with Aziz Mirza and made a series of movies that all ended up losing money. Then Shahrukh restructured the company and turned it into Red Chillies under his sole control and had hit after hit after hit after that. He and Juhi are still business partners in some ways, they just restructured didn’t end the relationship altogether, but Dreamz Unlimited is dead.

            Anyway, Josh! It’s a great different Shahrukh role, the movie is a bit all over the place but his performance is fun and unusual.

            On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 9:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Dude. I finally finished JHMS and it was so good! I’m so glad you mentioned to pay attention to the characters beforehand because I don’t think I would have liked it if I was mostly focusing on the plot itself because it felt sorta silly at times. I realized early that this was one of those movies where I would end up randomly pausing a lot. I ended up deciding to follow along with your scene by scene analysis and I really enjoyed reading that as I went! I felt like I was understanding what was happening better and I also really liked reading all the different ways people looked at the movie in the comments. I did feel like I would think that the movie didn’t flow that well if I was watching it straight through. Also the songs were really good but I wish Hawayein was placed better. It was such a good song and I sorta felt like it was wasted where it was placed. Overall, I really enjoyed the movie though! I definitely plan to see it again.

    Like

      • So many comments! I would say I spent a couple of hours a day the past three days watching JHMS and pausing it every few scenes. But I do think it was worth going through all the posts and comments 🙂

        Like

    • I feel the same way about Hawayein! But I’ve finally come around to it being placed correctly except for the speech that comes afterwards. If we had Shahrukh giving in to his feelings for once, Anushka being swept away, and then INTERVAL and come back to “Beech Beech Mein”, I think it would have worked better.

      Anyway, I am very very impressed that you watched the whole thing while reading along!

      On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 10:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • Hmm, I’ll have to see the next time I watch it.

        It took a lot longer to finish the movie but it was fun reading along! I think I would have left it in the middle and forgotten about it like I did Chalte Chalte if I wasn’t reading along.

        One thing that I didn’t realize until you mentioned it is that they only spent about a week together looking for the ring and everything. I think it’s because I’m from Texas but I wasn’t really thinking about how close everything is in Europe. I was wondering why Sejal’s family was okay with her spending weeks in Europe looking for her ring and essentially taking a second vacation.

        Like

        • Yes! I didn’t realize on the first watch how little time it was because it felt like such a long important personal journey between them. But we see everything, and it’s only a few days and nights. It also explains why they, the characters, are so resistant to act on their feelings. How can Shahrukh be sure she feels something real for him if she’s only risked a few days with him? How can she be sure she would be happy with this life if it has only been a few days.

          On Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 10:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

  10. For any SRK non-veteran out there, this is a great interview from 2012 by THiNK India. Very insightful, lots of personal anecdotes and encounters:

    Like

  11. This past weekend, I actually got a chance to see Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi which was Tharun Basckher’s next movie after Pellichoopulu. I thought Pellichoopulu was better in terms of the story and music but Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi was a nice, pleasant movie as well. It was a buddy comedy movie and I did think it could be better but it was fun to watch.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.