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

Happy Wednesday! Baby flies home today, I said good-bye last night, and my life is back to normal today. So sad!

Reading: I’m trying Elizabeth George, based on my mother’s recommendation. I’ve seen some of the BBC series and now I am in the odd position of remembering how the personal stuff turns out, but not who the murderer is.

Watching: Well, I saw War for the 3rd time! That’s important. And I have been retreating to The Golden Girls, it is still just SO GOOD. And at the same time, cozy. I’m jealous of all their pajamas and nightgowns.

Thinking: Planning for Letterman! I’m gonna set my alarm for 2am, watch it as soon as it releases and write my review ASAP too. Which means the review should be posted an hour to two hours after the show drops, if things go as planned. And also, I will be up all night. Maybe go to bed at 7pm, try for 7 hours of sleep before the show releases, and then just pretend I am waking up like normal at 2am?

Listening: This song randomly popped on my ipod last night, and I forgot how very very good it is.

Now, question! This song also popped up on my ipod and I love it so much. And I am so ashamed of loving it. It’s a rip off of a minor American pop hit, from a minor Indian film, but it just makes me smile. What are your guilty pleasure songs?

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64 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to Diwali Week?

  1. My guilty pleasure songs are Main Tera Boyfriend, Hawa Hawa (watching Arjun Kapoor dancing is like eating chocolate, but better) and Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast (new version)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was going to say that “Tu Cheez Badi” isn’t a guilty pleasure, but the remix version? From Machine? Yeah, that’s a guilty pleasure. But then, who am I to judge!

      If we are talking classic remixes, I have to admit I am partial to the new version of “Dhak Dhak”.

      On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 8:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I had a bunch of random SRK-related thoughts over the past few days which I wanted to share.
    I was watching his and other random episodes of previous seasons of Koffee with Karan recently. In the 2007 one, Karan asks SRK who is the current sexiest actress and he answers with PC! In PC and Shahid’s 2011 episode, Karan teasingly ribs her about blushing at the mere mention of SRK and she play acts accordingly! I didn’t remember all this, but now post all the linkup rumours, I couldn’t help but snigger and wonder what the reality was! These are innocuous things by themselves but this was atleast the 2nd time SRK described PC as sexy, the other was in the BTS of Billu. Now I’ve heard him use a lot of different superlatives for his other co-actresses but never ‘sexy’ which is why these instances stick out in my mind. Regardless of anything, she must have reaaally made an impression on him!
    Oh and in the Aamir and Dangal girls episode, Fatima cutely declares her love for SRK multiple times, it’s hilarious when I realized he essentially played her father in 12K4! Apparently, no one can escape his charm!
    Less fun – two of his recent tweets! That ad thing on Gandhi he did with Hirani – so all accusations on Hirani have been brushed off it seems, everybody is back to hailing him, I’m just disappointed! After Aamir basically declaring another accused director innocent, I have no hope in the industry. Then the photo-op with Modi – some credible journalist claims that SRK had been put under pressure to agree to that as so far he had resisted being clicked with him even when the rest of Bollywood was doing it. Just made me sad!

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    • I don’t know with PC, it seems like he says stuff like that any time he is co-starring with someone. Or rather, he finds some aspect to emphasis with every co-star and with PC “sexy” is the option that worked for the role and her person.

      On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 8:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Isn’t it the standard stock answer in BW that everyone uses? For instance, Aishwarya is beautiful, Juhi is cute, Priyanka is sexy.

        Fatima’s obsession with SRK is well known. She leaves comments on his insta posts, gushes in interviews, and fights with her costars about him. Once she did an interview with Faridoon and he was so creeped out by how she was acting. He kept saying she was a child star and acted with him, he’s so old compared to her, etc. And she said it doesn’t matter, when she found out on the 1 2 ka 4 set that he was married, she cried all day and that he is her only love.

        Vidya Balan is another one who used to act totally nutty and make strange comments about how she wants to murder Gauri and take her place and other crazy stuff.

        Sometimes I think it’s all fake. Just a way to get attention and get into the headlines using SRK’s name. It’s hard to tell what is real in BW.

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        • Hah! Faridoon being creeped out now that’s funny, can’t stand his suck-up attitude!
          I’m sure they play it up and exaggerate for the camera but I think the feelings are there.

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    • I didn’t know about SRK doing something with Hirani. Gross. But I had the same reaction to the tweet with Modi. Really? How much pressure can people really put on SRK at this point? He’s too much of a cash cow I’d think. I’m disappointed.

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      • Having said that, I should say that I know I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, or even in front of the scenes, from my very outsider position.

        And, I remain a huge fan of Shah Rukh as an entertainer, filmmaker, and a person. Nevertheless, I am disappointed.

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      • They can ruin your reputation, boycott your films, file court cases, raid your office, and get your businesses investigated. They have every power in the world. You can fight the underworld but you can’t fight your government. Not in volatile countries like India. It’s very different for Meryl Streep to be against Trump compared to an Indian actor to be against Modi.

        Your first aim is survival. Showing up at these types of photo ops is a way to save yourself from extra trouble.

        With that said, it’s wrong to automatically imagine that our favorite stars are also aligned with us politically. We have no idea what they’re actually voting for and what they truly support. Modi supporters are happy that SRK is one of them and similarly the ones that oppose him are making their own theories about how he must have been forced and is really with them. The truth is that we don’t know either way.

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        • Fair enough. Also, don’t kid yourself that the IRS doesn’t do politically motivated audits and raids. And did you know about Hoover’s and Nixon’s enemy lists that the FBI acted on in our recent past? I bet that sort of thing hasn’t really gone away.

          I don’t expect anyone to align with me politically unless they’ve explicitly said so. But I’m also allowed to be disappointed if someone gives cover to someone I believe is damaging human rights. Notice I didn’t call for any kind of action in response to my disappointment. That would be silly.

          Margaret–I know you are avoiding posting about politics here. What are you preferences for whether commenters talk politics or not?

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          • No politics anywhere. Mostly because we all agree so it can easily turn into neverending headshaking in agreement with each other.

            Whereas questions like “what is Shahrukh’s best movie?” Can lead to interesting and productive discussion!

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          • Ok–I didn’t get the message. I’ll stop talking politics here then. Hard to say where the line is between film analysis and political analysis, but I’ll err on the side of caution. 🙂

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          • I know, it’s a weird hard rule and I don’t like to censor people. But then, I also don’t want to get depressed and sad reading my own blog, or risk anyone else feeling depressed and sad, so I am instituting a completely arbitrary and confusing limitation.

            Liked by 2 people

        • I did not anticipate triggering a political discussion in any way so sorry for that Margaret!
          I wouldn’t assume anyone’s politics. It’s that he’s never done these photo-ops before as far as I know, so doing it now takes on a meaning especially in today’s climate, as per my limited political knowledge.

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    • This video was a bit cringy and awkward https://youtu.be/lW_AvY7YgO4

      I do think that it’s just his flirtatious and carefreeness but an affair probably did happen as well.

      Hmmm is there any actress who can truly deny SRK?!! Any actress who had no interest in him at all beyond a co star? I mean I know him and Kajol have always truly been just platonic friends but who knows what would have happened if both were single (although I always get friendship vibes from them)

      But I wonder if there was every an actress who was truly turned off by him. Seems like they’ve all been enamored, specially the younger ones whose first celebrity crush was probably him

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      • I was gonna give a big PC answer and then I thought “wait a minute! I already wrote a post on this!” So here is my post: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2018/06/21/hindi-film-101-priyanka-chopra-and-shahrukh-khan/

        I’m interested in your question of actresses being turned off! I would expand it to say that I don’t think anyone who meets him in person can be truly turned off when he turns on his charm. But that it can wear off. While you are working together and he has to focus on you, it is intense and intoxicating, but then he is done and moves on and that is when I could see resentment and anger.

        On Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 8:02 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Everyone loves SRK when they are with him. The negativity comes later. Strangely enough, once Pamela Chopra (Yash’s wife) accidentally slipped up a bit in an interview when asked about SRK. She said something like “SRK loves you when he’s with you. The next day, he doesn’t know you.” Then she must have realized it sounded wrong and said something like “no no, SRK is great and always there for me.”
          His connection to people is automatic and effortless but it is transient. He doesn’t love you the way you love him. And then people get upset and dislike him afterwards because of that.

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  3. All Sanam Teri Kasam lovers please watch Malaal! It’s so beautiful. Not perfect but well done, with good music, costumes and Meezan:

    That was my recommendation. And from the movies I saw this week and don’t recommend: Pailwaan. I wanted to see it so badly, but the first half of the movie is so bad and boring I almost quit watching. It’s like southern movie’s parody. We have 10 minutes long hero’s entry, long, acrobatic fights,ridiculous villain, funny best friend and a beautiful girl who mentally seems 10 years old. I kept watching because there was interesting wedding scene and K3G style situation right after the wedding. Sunil Shetty has one badass fight scene (I wish I watched it when I still was a fan), but he was badly casted. He plays Sudeep’s adoptive father but he looks like his brother! I love Sudeep but he is 45 and he looks 45 and it was funny ther pretended he is 20 something. So save yourself and don’t watch it.

    I also started Saaho, because it’s on Prime but it’s so boring! Please tell me it will be better soon. I started watching it 4 days ago and managed to see only 1 hour.

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    • Get through the talky talky boardroom scenes and it gets better. But it doesn’t get really insane until post-interval. It’s definitely an explosions and big moments kind of movie, maybe it just doesn’t work on the small screen?

      On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 8:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ok, I will give Saaho another chance, but for now I’m really disappointed: Prabhas doesn’t look fabulous, the plot is boring and being honest I was confused in the first 3 minutes (too many criminals and the subtitles are so quick I wasn’t able to read)

        Oh, I also started Brother’s day few days ago, and right in the second scene I comprehended what you mean with “it’s only for Prithviraj’s biggest fans”

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        • Relax about the plot, it’s one of those movies where everything resets at the intermission, so you shouldn’t sweat anything that happens before then.

          On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 3:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I am watching ‘Karikku’ videos now and they are super funny.. Karikku is a malayalam youtube channel and it is now hugely popular among malayaless with their short comedy videos and a webseries named Thera para .. Actors in it now have bigger fan base than film stars.. I think its the only malayalam content creators who became successful in digital space.. Also movie stars like Tovino, Rajisha vijayan, Aju varghese etc appeared in guest roles in some of their videos..
    And they have started adding English subtitles in their recent videos..
    Here are some of the videos with subtitles..
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jfztJQKy_Zw

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kW0E_TcHgzg

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2oRpHNsPShI

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch Letterman until the weekend at the earliest so I’ll be avoiding your review until then. But I’m happy I’ll have something to come back to.

    Meanwhile I’m excited we have yet another interview coming up after Letterman! SRK visited his old school St. Columba’s and his old home in Delhi where he grew up. There were a few pics and videos and he was driving around Tania Bryer in a jeep. How lucky is she?!

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    • Glad to know someone will be waiting until later to read the review! With all the time zones folks are in, I know some of you will be watching it live as soon as it drops because it won’t be the middle of the night for you. But nice to know other folks will be swinging by later on.

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      • It’s 3 AM for me but I can’t pull an all nighter this time because I have a packed schedule in the weekend and I need my sleep. I also want to watch it when I’m relaxed so I don’t want to rush through it while eating breakfast or anything like that. So hopefully by the end of the day Saturday sometime.

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        • I’m looking forward to my second watch when I can relax, the first time around I’m going to be taking notes and trying to concentrate and not just enjoying it. But it’s Netflix, I can watch it infinite times on infinite devices anywhere in the world! Such a luxury versus the other interviews that are harder to find only available on funky little video sources.

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  6. reading and watching: stuff on the Net (finally have some time to do it). Also reading lot of your posts and comments I hadn’t read yet. Organize stuff on my PC (shifting, sorting out, ranging in…)

    listening: audio-books

    thinking: how they would further try to make ShahRukh appear a weakling, how they will make IT cell work overtime again and again to harm his reputation and position…etc.It really saddens me to see this look on his face:
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EHajr99X0AEPamX?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

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      • The IT cell has been targeting SRK for years now – calling him antinational, terrorist, Pakistani, etc. They constantly spread fake news, fake tweets, photoshopped pictures and so on. This is spread through twitter, facebook, whatsapp and the same fake controversies are started before every film release to get people to boycott his movie. It’s like the Indian version of a Russian troll factory.

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      • IT cell is an influencer tool to influence people’s opinion through all kind of social media or media widely used… although it is mainly used for political purpose you can use it for any other, too. It’s mostly a question of money and power as you have to pay those who put out what you want them to put out or they have the same interests and beliefs as you.
        (At least that’s what I’ve learned has been used for campaigning for or against something or somebody in an opinion-manipulating way.)

        But maybe this happy place is not the right place to talk about this…sorry.

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        • Yep, HAPPY PLACE HAPPY PLACE! This is the one reason I am dreading the Letterman interview, I don’t want it to turn into all of us drawing long faces about how and why SRK can’t have good interviews elsewhere. HAPPY! I want us to be HAPPY!

          In other news, check out my new post that gives you 10 possible happy and escapist SRK discussion topics,

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        • Hi, Claudia–I’ve heard a bit about what it is. I just wondered if there had been a new “attack” that I hadn’t heard about yet.

          But you are right. This may not be the place to discuss. Thanks!

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  7. Reading: work stuff and listening to the audio book of Rachel Maddow’s oil industry expose, “Blowout”. It’s so good but depressing and maddening. The chapter on Deepwater Horizon is devastating.

    Watching–Prithviraj and Vijay Sethupathi movies, songs, and interviews. Nice to have distractions and new content but I’m missing content from Shah Rukh. Come on, Letterman! Also looking forward to binging season 2 and 3 of The Detectorists, which I didn’t even know were out until a couple of weeks ago. Have we talked about this show on DCIB? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detectorists

    Letterman’s on at 2 am central, so it should be online at 3 am on the 25th in DC? So excited! But I probably still won’t get up until 6 am. Which means I can watch and then read your review right away!

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    • God, this looks so boring. How do these movies still work? Don’t people get tired of watching the same thing reheated and given to them hundreds of times? It seems like the same template film comes out every month.

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      • I don’t even understand how… how can someone be desperately in love with the current Salman? 90s Salman, I get. But today’s Salman?! And that too in the same basic movie made over and over and over again? Geez.

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        • I genuinely don’t know. I love 90’s Salman, the current one feels like a whole different person I can’t even trace back to his old days!

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          • Will watch.
            I saw Pailwaan only for him, but his character is saintly good and he is the hero so must do all the stupid scenes to make his fans happy instead of just being sexy. I didn’t mind slow-motion wrestling intro 😉 or when he crashed his lover’s wedding like a boss or when he bought a sari for his wife and insisted he will help her wear it, but those were only 3 little sexy drops in 3 hours long ocean.

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          • Sye Raa has him playing the angry jealous rival who always wears eyeliner and flowing black robes. You should like it.

            On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 4:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Thinking: I saw Bigil trailer two days ago and I hated it. People in internet are super excited and in love with this trailer, and I’m sure the movie will make a lot of money but I didn’t like it at all. Not my type of movie. But are you planning to see the film?

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      • Maybe it will be fun like Mersal because Vijay plays 3 characters again. In few years he will do all the roles and will not need suporting cast in his movies;)

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  9. Reading: I put down my book about Suchitra Sen before vacation and then read vacation books and then this past weekend I finally picked it up again and finished it. It’s fairly interesting and includes tidbits about how it became a thing that Bengali movies had to include a Tagore song. This actually started when Rabindranath was still alive, and he had to be convinced to allow his song to be used, but the film was a huge critical success and ever since then it’s been the thing.

    Watching: Raazi. This was so good although extremely sad. It kind of does for spy movies what Badlapur does for revenge movies: you think you are seeing a genre movie but it exposes the human cost of the real thing that inspires the genre. Also reminds me of Zero Dark Thirty in that it sort of shows the empty life of the woman after she’s accomplished her mission, but Zero Dark Thirty is a bit more committed to the idea that killing Bin Laden is a reason to sacrifice your whole life.

    Then I saw Yesterday in the theater the day after so I could cheer up with something happy. Also loved it and felt like I was hearing the songs for the first time.

    Then I’ve been slowly plowing through Bard of Blood. The story is pretty interesting. Sobhita has been relegated to the back seat of the jeep and I’m waiting for her to do something again. Also, all of the actors are Indian and I feel like having to act in Pashto is taking a toll on the performance of the ones who have to do that. The Al Qaida members just seem to be speaking really carefully and in a concentrated way. I feel bad mentioning this because it must be extremely difficult.

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    • Is Bard of Blood any good? I tried the first episode and gave up even before the halfway point. I will try to get through it if it’s actually good. But then again, I’ve been doing the same to almost all BW movies lately so maybe it’s just me.

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      • It’s not great—pretty much a by the numbers spy thriller. I’ve watched about four episodes and I’m fairly invested in what happens and will probably watch until the end.

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    • Thank goodness SOMEBODY is watching Bard of Blood, on behalf of us all. You can do that, and then I won’t have to.

      That’s really interesting about Bengali movies and Tagore! I wonder if it is still true at all?

      Love your idea with Raazi and Badlapur. Have you seen Talwar? Would you say it does the same for police films? Showing the pettiness and impotence of the police, how there is no simple “answer” and how even our police “hero” makes stupid mistakes with his personal life?

      On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 9:19 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I might not be the best person to watch BoB on everyone’s behalf, since I do have that documented Emraan Hashmi issue.

        Yes, absolutely Tagore songs are totally still a thing in artier Bengali moves. Mostly historical movies, but I’ve seen a couple of modern ones that worked on in as well.

        That is such an interesting idea about Talwar–subverting our expectations by not even having a criminal or a single resolution. I never thought of that. She’s so interesting and I can’t wait to see her next movie.

        (Incidentally, the Suchitra Sen biography mentions Gulzar–he directed her in Aandhi–and his daughter “Bosky”. Bosky has to be Meghna, right? I wonder if that’s her childhood nickname?)

        Like

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