Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me After a Busy Weekend?

Happy Monday! I had a weird long weekend and now I get to relax by being at work. And continue to wait for the thunderstorm that’s gonna cool everything down.

3 hours doing laundry on Friday, 3 hour church teacher training on Saturday (plus an hour there and an hour back), actually teaching on Sunday plus dinner with my parents, I am wiped! No more fun for me, just work and home sounds awfully nice.

Anyway, this is the place to ask me anything you want all week! Any questions that occur to you for the whole week, swing back here and ask them. Name of a movie you can’t remember, meaning of a gesture in a song, anything at all.

Now, question for you! Completely non film related (sorry!). It’s getting to be fall and I always watch and read mysteries in the fall. What mystery serieses (book or TV) can you recommend to me? And, just to make it a little filmi, you can also mention what Indian actors you picture in the Indian version.

And to stay on the mystery theme, here is a song from a classic Hindi film mystery with super super young and dashingly handsome Dev Anand:

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41 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me After a Busy Weekend?

  1. Did you review Article 15? I’ve started warching it on Netflix and am finding it really good but also hard to watch.

    For mystery series, Tana French’s In the Woods. BBC is doing a miniseries of it to release soon. Also, The Number One Ladie’s Detective Agency series is lovely. No ideas about possible Bollywood casting–French’s book is very Irish and the other is African.

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  2. The Nordic Europeans are the best when it comes to writing good suspense thrillers and series (books), so I will recommend to you Jo Nesbø, in particular the Harry Hole series. If you like crime and suspense, it doesn’t get much better than this. It would be logical to recommend the first book of the series but I will instead suggest The Snowman.

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    • Ooo, just looked them up, they do look good. Depends on how dark/gritty they are though, I can take a certain amount of darkness in my mysteries but no more. Definitely worth trying though!

      On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 9:53 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Then I recommend going with the first book of the series instead.

        Other recommendations:

        Stieg Larsson Trilogy (very good, not as sophisticated in terms of writing style but the story is good enough to make you read the trilogy in high speed. Larsson tragically died very young, so he wasn’t able to write much, but this trilogy makes for wonderful Autumn reading.

        A classic recommendation has to be Henning Mankell, perhaps one of Sweden’s most successful authors. He no longer is with us either, unfortunately. The Kurt Wallander series are very good. I would say, along with Jo Nesbø, his strongest suit might be his ability to create characters for which you feel strongly, root for, cry with. My recommendation for a first read would be The Fifth Woman.

        Final recommendation:

        Arnaldur Indriðason, arguably the best Icelandic crime / suspense author. He mainly created series as well and, out of all three, his books are the least brutal. The suspense isn’t as strong either in comparison, though. My favorite of his is the Erlendur Sveinsson series. I would start at the beginning. Oh, and Gerua was filmed in Iceland, so that association alone must be worth something (even if I don’t actually like Gerua).

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        • I gobbled up the Steig Larsson series when it first hit America, have you read the sequels written by someone else at all? I can’t decide if I should check them out or not.

          The Arnaldur series, it looks like the first two still haven’t been translated into English. I assume I can just leap in with the third one without problems?

          On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 10:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Whoops. I posted my comment before reading this response. I haven’t read the sequels written David Lagercrantz and probably never will because of all the uglyness surrounding them.

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          • Yeah, that’s how I kind of feel too. But on the other hand, they could still be good books even if they are shameless cash grabs by unfeeling relatives. I can’t seem to find anything that talks about their quality outside of the situation around them, so I’m still lost.

            On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 11:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes, each book can be read as a stand-alone book.

            No, I only read the original books by Larsson. I would say that out of the four authors, he is the weakest one in terms of the craft of writing, character development, and creativity. Having said all that, it still is a great read, albeit not even close to someone like Nesbø who really manages to have you immersed in the world of Harry or like Wallander (Mankell). Erlendur is also a great character though it takes a lot longer to get to know him and understand him in depth.

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      • Forgot to respond to the violence factor; I find that difficult to answer accurately because it’s somewhat subjective as to what you’re sensitive to. I will presume that you are familiar with Silence of the Lambs? Using that as a metric, I would say that Mankell is roughly on that level, on average slightly below that level. Nesbø’s Harry Hole series is on par, sometimes slightly above it, perhaps closer to Red Dragon. It varies a lot. The first book is quite harmless (for nearly any standard), but some of the later ones are not without.

        Indriðason isn’t as exclamatory in terms of violence.

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        • I don’t so much mind violence as find it boring. Sometimes when I read a mystery, there will be pages and pages from the villain’s point of view, or describing some violent death in detail, and I just get tired of it and skip ahead to the actual mystery part.

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  3. Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth is superb; a modern version of Shskepeare’s tragedy. Another great crime series is Val McDiarmid’s Tony Hill series.

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    • Oh! Wire in the Blood! That was one of my favorite BBC murder mystery serieses. Very dark and violent, and yet strangely comforting.

      On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 10:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I second Stieg Larsson’s trilogy. It has a kick-ass heroine and the books are really good, but it can definitely get very very dark at times. If it was made into a Hindi film/series I would cast Radhika Apte and John Abraham as the lead characters.

    If you want a light, fun, romantic mystery then I recommend the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series. I would need to think about who to case on this one a bit more. The heroine would have to be someone with good comic timing and feisty yet a bit ditzy. As for the two heroes, one would have to be tall, dark, strong, silent type, and one would have to be home-town cop, boy next door with a six-pack.

    I am thinking of starting Oxford Girl Mysteries by Plum Sykes. I saw it described as Clueless meets Agatha Christie, which seems perfect for me!

    Question for you, will you be seeing and reviewing Dream Girl?

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    • We have very similar taste, already read both Steig Larsson and Evanovich! For Steig, I would cast Kalki 100% because she needs that extra extra skinny fragile look, and Sanjay Dutt as the hero so he can be heavier and middle-aged. For Evanovich, I would do maybe Swara Bhaskar? She has to be sexy and bubbly and fun, but also with an edge and a bit of a working class feel. It would be slightly outside of Swara’s usual range but I think she can handle it, and the working class feel is definitely something she can do. For the cop, call me crazy but I would say Rajkummar (I think he can do boy next door hot). And for Ranger, Vidyut Jammwal.

      I don’t know about Dream Girl. It would have to be a midweek show at this point and that is always hard for me. I may go with the “I’m allowed to take a break” excuse and skip it.

      On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 11:16 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I love the idea of Kalki and Sanjay Dutt!!! Also, Kalki would look amazing in a pixie cut. I could even see Ajay Devgan playing Mikael.

        Also, I just watched Junglee and am a bit obsessed with Vidyut Jammwal’s abs, so I am all about casting him as ranger. On a separate note, I would LOVE to see an action movie with Tiger and Vidyut. If War does end up being all action like you predicted, that might have been a much better combination.

        I think Swara can do sexy but I am not sure she would be able to play the ditzy factor. Maybe Sonam? She could be a good blend of sexy, bubbly, fun, with an edge. And she has played working class roles before. I am okay with Rajkumar Rao. I love him as an actor and think he can seamlessly play any character. But I do not find him attractive and I kind of wanted to oogle a little bit at Joe Morelli. Could we get Gurinder Chadha to direct this outside of India and cast Fawad?

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        • Oooo, Ajay would be really good! And a better age fit than Sanjay I think. Sanjay 10-15 years ago would have been perfect though.

          Heck, why not make it Pakistani set? I think Sonam Saeed might be an amazing Stephanie, and then Fawad can be Morelli, and we can bring in Vidyut as an outsider to play Ranger.

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          • Ajay had been on my mind because I also watched De De Pyar De over the weekend, and kept thinking, why did I resist watching this movie for so long?! Well I know why – Alok Nath and I have a very love-dislike relationship with Luv Ranjan (i.e., I love Aakash Vaani, I really dislike the ending of Sonu Ki Sweety). But the movie turned out to be so good! And when did Ajay become SO HOT? I mean I started to see the attraction in him in Raid but this movie was on a whole different level. Ajay’s Ashish Mehra is now in my top 5 movie character crushes!

            Also, I love the idea of Sonam Saeed, Fawad, and Vidyut! Although that might be too much hotness for me to handle!

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          • Yes, De De Pyaar De is so charming! So many little things to enjoy, like the way middle aged divorced mother of two Tabu has all of these men falling over themselves trying to get her attention.

            And oh my yes indeedy Ajay is hot. Which makes the whole film work, because it is completely believable that Rakul really truly fell for him and is happy with him. I think there is a certain kind of comfort in himself that came with age which is very very sexy. The Dear Zindagi effect. More men should relax into that.

            Oh, and I have just brainwashed myself into believing there is an epilogue scene to Sonu Ki Titu where Kartik surprises Nushrat with a romantic proposal. It would make the movie so much better! And then the end credits song is the three of them celebrating Nushrat’s engagement to Kartik.

            On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 3:40 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for but season one of Riverdale is a really fun mystery. The show went downhill after that but season one was really good!

    How often do you go to movies just by yourself?

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    • I prefer to go to movies with someone else mostly for the drive. It’s a half an hour there and back, a lot more fun if I have someone to talk to. I don’t mind going by myself, especially on weekends, but midweek when I’m driving home alone at midnight falling asleep? Not fun.

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      • Hmm, that’s interesting because I tend to want to be alone after watching a movie. I like to spend the drive home thinking about the movie and how I felt about it.

        If I ever go to a movie alone, I find it weird to be alone in a theater full of people and I feel more comfortable if the theater is pretty empty and has only like five other people. How about you?

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        • I like the drive home during the day, it’s just those midweek movies that kill me. I just desperately want to be in bed so I can wake up for work in 6 hours. But a matinee on the weekend is one of my favorite things, even better if I am alone, even a long drive is nice, I can look out the window and maybe stop for lunch on the way home, it’s fun.

          I’m in a bit of a different situation than you in terms of Indian movies in theaters because I am so incredibly visibly not-Indian. If it’s an empty theater, I can find a corner and hide so no one notices me, if it’s crowded and I have to sit by people there’s this whole awkward social thing of my knowing they are curious about me, and me not being sure if I should start the conversation and explain or just let it go, plus little kids are (literally) pointing and staring at me which embarrasses their parents, and it’s this whole thing. I’m not insulted or anything, it’s just this weird moment of “should I start the conversation and explain why I am here? Or should I just let you be curious about me without an answer? Which is best?” Sometimes I feel like I should just stand in front of the screen and say “Hello! Yes I am white and yes I know this is an Indian movie and yes I enjoy Indian movies! Feel free to ask me anything about it, I will not be offended” before I go get my seat. If I’m with someone, we just talk to each other and it’s easy to ignore the stares. Even better, usually if I am talking to a friend it feels easier for someone else to approach us and say “so, do you like these movies?” than if they are going up to a woman alone.

          On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 1:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh ok, that makes a lot of sense. I never thought about like that. So how often do people approach you?

            I think the only time I noticed white people at an Indian movie was when I went to see Brahmotsavam. Me and my friends just felt bad that they also ended up spending $20 to see such a bad movie on opening night.

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          • People approach me about half the time. If I am with a group of 4 or more, it’s basically guaranteed someone will talk to us. It’s usually something like “so, you like Indian movies?” or a compliment on my Indian film themed bag or something. My hair gets A LOT of compliments, often along the lines of “you know, even in India they don’t have hair like that any more”. I had one old lady who made her son take a photo of her with all of us when I went to the theater with 4 friends. It’s a lot less common when I go to a regular theater, but if I am at the all Indian theater, I am literally the only white person in the building, so everyone is curious. I really like it, everyone is always very warm and friendly, they are happy to see me there, I never feel insulted or anything. But it’s kind of like being the only person in the room wearing a Halloween costume, you just feel mildly self-conscious the whole time.

            On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 1:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Whenever I see white people at a movie theater I don’t usually try to think too much of it much less actually walk up to them and ask why they are here. That being said I am still very curious about the two elderly white men that were the only other people in the movie theater when my family went to see Saawariya on opening night. Though I suppose if two elderly white men did go see a hindi film it would be an SLB one.

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          • HA! That was my same thought, that of course they were at an SLB film.

            My favorite/least favorite white people are still the nice elderly hearing impaired couple who sat behind us at Gully Boy. “WHAT DID HE SAY? WHO IS THAT? IS THAT HIS SISTER?” They were adorable and sincerely trying to follow the film, but also SO IRRITATING.

            On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 4:34 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Awww that seems irritating but really wonderful! When I came back from the intermission during Saaho I saw these two young white boys (I am very embarrassed to admit that I briefly left the auditorium because I thought I walked into the wrong theater for a moment) and there were super into the movie and were excitedly talking about the interval plot twist! It was great! Tbh I think those two guys along with my sister and I were the only ones having during the movie

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          • That’s great! And Saaho is definitely the movie I would recommend to two white boys, were I to recommend a movie.

            I’ve had that experience multiple times from the other side. Been the first person in the theater, seen the desi people arrive, see me, leave, check their tickets, come back. There was one time I was with my parents to see Bajrani Bhaijaan and my Dad yelled down “It’s okay! You’re in the right theater!” ‘Cause he’s a Dad and they do stuff like that. We ended up having a nice conversation.

            On Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 1:53 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. murder mysteries…Do you know the Australian Michael Robotham (series and stand alone books)? What about Elizabeth George (the partners Lord Lynley and Barbara Havers), Minette Walters, Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller), Harlan Coben (Myron Bolitar-series, Mickey Bolitar series, stand alone books)? From the North I like – among others – Liza Marklund (her heroine is a journalist)…oh well, I could go on and on…I also like the “old” ones (Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Sayers, Rex Stout, Arthur W. Upflield, Boileau-Narcejac, Patricia Highsmith…)

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  7. Omg I just got the Sept card and I feel like you made it ONLY for me with that pic on the front. I had the same reaction pulling it from the envelope as I have every time I see him walk up the stairs in HNY. Yikes! I needed that! Thank you Margaret! My week is crappy and it’s helped so much! Xoxo xoxo

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    • Not unless I discover a time-space wormhole. I either have to take a day off work to see it, or see it on a worknight and get home so late I only get a few hours sleep. All the showtimes around me are 1. Over an hour drive away; or 2. In the middle of the work day; or 3. 8:30 at night. Donate enough money so I can quite my job, and I’ll go watch it.

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  8. Are you at all curious about Money Heist? It’s counts as crime more or less and very entertaining. There were the inevitable rumors about it being optioned for an Indian adaptation but not I’m sure if those were for real. It has enough flaws to be fun to pick at, and a recasting conversation would be super fun. So many characters. Speaking of Swara, she’d be great as the bad girl lead. I’m going to say Vicky Kaushal as Denver, the young street tough who calls for a hostage (who could maybe be Radhika Apte?), Ashutosh Rana as Moscow, Jim Sarbh as sensitive hacker Rio, Konkona Sen Sharma as Nairobi, Akshaye Khanna as Berlin, and Tabu as the police detective. Stumped about who to cast opposite her as the Professor. Same age or slightly younger, credible as a mastermind, nerdy but sexy enough that several female characters end up flirting with him. Maddy? IDK.

    How did you do with the middle schoolers?

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    • I am curious about Money Heist but (and this is going to sound awful), I don’t like subtitles. I know! I’m the worst! It’s just, with a show like that, I want something I can watch while blogging, or doing dishes, or folding laundry.

      The middle school kids were terrifying. By age 12, apparently you have hormones but don’t know what to do about them. So many pillow fights. I am eager to go back to my regular classroom (I was just subbing this week) where everyone is 10 and interacts like normal people.

      On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 11:13 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ha! This is why it’s so hard to get my husband to watch Indian movies with me, he complains about trying to follow subtitles at the end of the day.

        That’s a pretty accurate description of middle schoolers.

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        • Also, all middle-schoolers look weird. I’ve got a 12 year old girl who’s as tall as me (so, 5’9″) and a 13 year old boy who is about 4 feet tall and looks 8 years old. Guess which one is more aggressive?

          Anyway, my regular kids are the right-before-middle-school class, sooooooooooooo much easier. The biggest problem is that if you say “boobs” or anything that sounds similar to “boobs”, you have lost the class for about 5 minutes of giggling.

          On Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 8:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. I love Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. Slow-paced and introspective rather than action or gore. I haven’t seen the tv series as the lead character doesn’t fit with how I imagined him and I don’t want to spoil the books for myself.

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    • I love female mystery writers (my strong writing prejudice, female mystery writers and fantasy writers ONLY), so she just shot up the list.

      On Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 4:47 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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