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

Happy Wednesday! I am just crawling through this week, the weekend really wiped me out. But hey, Juhi is here for me!

I’ll start!

Watching: I am supposed to go to a film discussion group thing at the end of the month, for which I have to watch Blaxploitation films. Which I am quite enjoying! The overlap between 80s-90s Hindi action films and Blaxploitation films is extremely high. Plus, since this is just a casual social discussion, I don’t have to pay minute attention and all that like with Hindi films.

Reading: Shoot, I feel like there was something interesting I was reading but now I can’t remember what it was. Oh well. I am 60% into my first Elizabeth George, so there’s that. It’s really like 50/50 romance novel versus mystery, isn’t it?

Thinking: In my effort to NOT get depressed this winter, I am signing up for all kinds of casual social film things. If I am going to film things, and I am the only person there with an actual graduate degree in film plus a film website, and a book, at which point does it become weird not to reveal myself? I really like sitting in the corner and listening to other people talk, but I also don’t want them to feel like I have been there under false pretenses, you know? Is it weird that my introduction of myself is “My name is Margaret and I love movies” rather than “My name is Margaret, here is my business card, my book, and my Masters degree”?

Listening: Another depression related question, how soon is too soon for Christmas music? In the meantime, I will listen to this which is kind of like Christmas music in that it makes me feel cozy and happy and like a little kid again.

Now, question for you! On top of the “how should I introduce myself” and “is it too early for Christmas music?” questions: It’s Juhi Chawla day! What is your favorite thing about her?

And a more controversial picking up on last weeks birthday girl: 90s actresses with interesting continuing 2000s career, Tabu or Juhi?

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

  1. How very appropriate that it’s Juhi week because by coincidence I have just finished watching Ram Jaane. It’s a long time since I last saw it and I can’t say it’s a favourite but I’m enjoying comparing it to similarly themed Raees. Two gangsters who learnt their trade from an early age, both turn out to be ruthless in establishing themselves in the hierarchy and both succumb to the same fate. Yet they both display a keen social conscience and love for the downtrodden around them. (Very different from Don). The development from baby ShahRukh to mature ShahRukh is marked – less shouting, less throwing himself around but still the same intensity and passion.

    One thing I’m puzzled about – why did they use that really unappealing kid to be boy-Ram Jaane? He looks nothing like ShahRukh and there is nothing boyish about him. Very bad choice , I think.

    Re film group, I would probably go half way – mention that you take film viewing very seriously, run a well-followed blog and write as much as possible, but not bring up qualifications, etc until someone wants to know more about you. But then, you will probably play it by ear anyway, depending on what the group is like. Are they all talking about Bunuel and Kurosawa or Marvel vs DC?

    Re Christmas music – for me, yes it’s too early. 1 December leaves plenty of time to get your fill.

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    • Should I repost my Ram-Jaane review do you think? I realized when I started thinking about it that I am strangely rich in Juhi review content and I might have to pick and choose what is worthy of a birthday repost. Agree about the energy of Baby Shahrukh, I just rewatched Chaahat and it was really obvious how over the top he is in the fight scenes, never doing a fall when he could do a somersault.

      Based on what I know of lower budget 90s Hindi cinema, I am going to assume that Young Shahrukh was played by someone’s kid that would work for free.

      So far the few times I have gone to general film social groups, they think they are very sophisticated film viewers but actually aren’t. Nice people though. So I tend to downplay my intelligence and knowledge in order to not make them feel bad. I do the girl thing, basically. But I have hopes that people who are talking about Blaxploitation might be a little more sophisticated than the usual “Did you know that Star Wars was based on The Hidden Fortress?” kind of crowd.

      My family rule was no Christmas music and no Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. So December 1 is even later than I am used to! What’s your feeling on continuing through to New Year versus taking the tree down immediately on December 26th?

      On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 9:09 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I loved the kid who played SRK in Ram Jaane! I thought he was a little ball of energy, while SRK was a big ball of energy. And I thought the costuming of a shirtless kid into a shirtless adult was cute in a cartoon sort of way. That is how I see the whole movie, humans acting like cartoon characters.

      But while I respectfully disagree about boy Ram Jaane’s charms, I think your introduction advice is spot on.

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  2. I agree with Zindagi on how to introduce yourself. That Blaxploitation film discussion group sounds amazing! I wonder if I can find similar groups here in LA. You would think so since we’re in Hollywood but with a ton of industry people the groups can get weirdly self-important and incestuous.

    I created a silly tweet thread about Hrithik that has a punchline and I got retweeted by a reporter for the Hindustan Times and I feel strangely affirmed, lol

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    • Congrats on your affirmation!

      I’m really excited about the Blaxploitation topic, because usually when I look at the listing for these groups it’s the same old Scorcese-Orson Welles-Iranian blah blah. I’m hoping the Blaxploitation topic will bring out less pretentious and full of themselves kind of people. Which means I will be more willing to say “Hey, I really care about this stuff and actually know a lot about it”. If I were a different person, I would enjoy puncturing self-important film snobs, but they are so happy in their snobbery, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Let them float along in little balloons of hot air instead of being stabbed with the reality that their very serious insights are no more than the standard back of the DVD box content.

      On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 9:53 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yeah, I just don’t like twitter. I do wish I knew more people I could talk film with in real life, instead of The Internet, and I am sure there are little gems hidden in the Real Life film gatherings, I just have to find those people within the more talkative less good people.

          On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 10:31 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. My family generally has a rule about not Christmas-y stuff until after Thanksgiving but I am being a rebel this year! I bought the Hallmark channel on Amazon and have already started watching Christmas movies!! Also, watched Holiday in the Wild on Netflix and loved it so much!

    Any interest in reviewing a new Juhi movie?? Maybe as a Friday classic?

    One of my many many favorite things about Juhi is how there was never a single believeable “hook-up” rumor ever started about her and an actor, even a fake one to boost sales of a film.

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    • Ooo, you might inspire me! Especially because I didn’t realize Hallmark was available through Amazon. Very very tempting (although I think Lifetime actually has the slightly superior holiday movie options).

      What would be a new Juhi movie? I’m not watching I Am or My Brother Nikhil, life is too short to be that depressed. What other good options are there? Or did you mean new-to-the-review? If so, I am TOTALLY picking Ishq! I love Ishq!

      The only rumor I ever heard was about her and Rishi, but that seems so unbelievable I just refuse it.

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      • I meant new-to-the-review. Yes, life is WAY too short to be depressed. I am not a huge fan of Ishq (mainly the second half) but I will rewatch it after your review and see if I have changed my mind. My other favorites that I don’t think you have reviewed yet besides Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke are Bol Radha Bol (yeah I don’t even care if Rishi is in it; I love Juhi SO much in it); Mr. and Mrs Khiladi. She really has some of the best comic timing I have ever seen. Other movies of Juhi that I secretly like because Juhi and Aamir are sooo frickin cute in both but don’t think they are good movies necessarily are Love Love Love and Daulat Ki Jung.

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        • The key to Ishq, I find, is to watch it as a comedy start to finish. Kajol’s failed suicide scene? HILARIOUS!!!! Ajay’s failed suicide scene? EVEN FUNNIER!!!!

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          • HA! You crack me up. Now I am curious to read your review of the Ishq. Can sarcastic Margaret please come back?

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          • But I unironically love Ishq! This would be cheerful Margaret who says “remember when movies used to be fun? When you never knew what the next minute might bring? When Jonny Lever was sometimes both funny and touching?”

            On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 4:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s actually how I feel about Daulat Ki Jung and Love Love Love. I actually like all the silliness but in them! I have recently been surprised at how much I enjoy obscure, happy 90s movies with my favorite actors. They are all just so happy and fun.

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  4. I follow my family’s European tradition that Christmas paraphernalia comes down on 6 January, but we didn’t used to put the tree up until 24 December. Mine goes up sometime in December, so it’s quite a long stretch.

    Please do repost your Ram Jaane review here. It can keep the other Juhi reviews company. 🙂

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    • I just looked for it, and turns out I haven’t done a full review of Ram Jaane yet! Just a little 900 word thing for Raees.

      My grandparents all did the tree on Christmas Eve, and presents and church and the whole thing (my grandfather recently told us that he hated it and it made him feel “weird” because all his non-German-heritage friends got to do Christmas on Christmas Day, like Americans). My Mom’s family did the tree after December 20th, but that wasn’t because they were German, it was because my Uncle’s birthday is December 20th and the family rule was that he got a full not-Christmas birthday party, and then the holiday season started.

      Either way, my feeling of “Christmas starts sometime mid-November” is just breaking all kinds of rules.

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  5. My favorite thing about Juhi is how she shines even in mediocre stuff and elevates them, apart from her comic sense which is so unique; she’s among the best actors (male/female) when it comes to comedy. Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke is one of my favorite movies, largely due to Juhi; Aamir and the rest come later. Even with Shahrukh, PBDHH and 12K4 wouldn’t have been half as interesting without her.

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    • The pity of comic acting is that it seems so easy that no one appreciates it. Juhi is amazing at adding a small light touch to films, but it’s not noticed nearly as much as the showy dramatic roles. And yet almost any actress can manage the weeping and monologues kind of thing, it’s the comedy that is hard.

      On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 6:24 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Yeah, but Karan always plays it like that. I do like that he isn’t being played as a predator, but rather kind of sweet and hopeful.

      On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 9:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Favorite thing about Juhi: She does not take herself seriously. I heard her on Raj and Pablo some years ago and they asked her something like who she would want to be in an item number with or some weird question like that. And she burst out laughing and exclaimed “No one wants to see that!”

    Watching: First, watched some Prithviraj with Ranam. Dude, this is dark. Was really not expecting some of the things that happened. I really liked Rahman as the villain, it’s a real moustache-twirling part but his performance was relatively restrained.

    This weekend I went to see Hotel Mumbai which is in theaters now and of course is not an Indian film but it has Anupam Kher. This movie really tries to avoid Muslim-bashing, to the point where it seems really self conscious. One of the protagonists is a Muslim. Although the cruelty of the boys who did the actual shooting is starkly portrayed, it’s clear that a mysterious “Bhai” on the phone is planning everything. It also shows the social and economic pressures that would lead someone to join the terrorist group. Absolutely the most affecting scene for me was one of the terrorists calling his family and wailing in anguish after he tells them goodbye.

    Then I need something considerably lighter so I watched Chopsticks on Netflix. I did not know that awkward, socially inept girl + goonda was a trope that could have a light funny happy version, but it can and this is it. The goonda is suave and funny and only mildly threatening, the stakes are low (stolen Hyundai), and no one gets a terrible disease or thrown out of a window! I lllooooovvved it. One thing I especially loved, as someone who studied Chinese a lifetime ago, is that they tried to realistically portray Mithila speaking Chinese. Usually they just take out the tones, which makes it gibberish. Also, I was thinking Mithila was too busy becoming a big star to be in more Little Things but I was cheered to see the third season is out! But I hope she still becomes a big star. She’s kind of who I thought Bhumi was going to be.

    And then to round off my multilingual weekend I picked Surya Toran randomly off the Uttam Kumar list for some Bengali. Turns out it’s The Fountainhead. I’m still plugging through it, but it’s a really unusual role for Uttam, playing angry and passionate.

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    • Ranam is dark! But the ending is slightly open and I just went ahead and wrote myself a happy epilogue because there’s nothing to say it COULDN’T happen like that. Also, the title song is great! And do we really want Prithviraj to be happy? Doesn’t sad Prithvi equal sexy Prithvi?

      Never gonna see Hotel Mumbai. I stayed at the Taj about 4 months before it happened, and it’s just too terrible and real and close for me. Okay, I feel that way about a lot of things based on true stories, but this time I have an actual logic for it! Oh, and also I’m sick of Dev Patel.

      I’m worried about Mithila, she was the second best part of Karwaan (right after Irfaan), but then Chopsticks hit Netflix which isn’t great, and I’m not seeing any other film on the way. Do you know something I don’t? And now I am trying to think of more gunda and quirky women romances! You’re right, there are a lot! Even Ranam almost fits that category.

      Blech, The Fountainhead? Twice cursed, it’s Ayn Rand, and while filming the American version Gary Cooper cheated on his wife for the first and last time.

      On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 9:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ranam was what made me think of it, and while we are on Prithviraj there’s also City of God. I guess those are more sad women than quirky women so maybe its just a fragile woman and a goonda. And then there is Ek Villain and Sanam Teri Kasam, and there’s got to be more.

        Gary Cooper cheated on his wife? Wow. Uttam up and left his wife and moved in with Supriya Debi and lived with her until he died, but it was several years after this.

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        • Yep, with Patricia Neal. I saw her interviewed about it years ago. And what she remembered was that Gary’s mother (I think) came to visit on set and she poured her heart out about how they were in love and miserable about it and blah blah, and his mother’s response was a complete lack of sympathy and reminder that he was a married man. And now I am down a wormhole of Cary Gooper affairs. My goodness, apparently he slept with EVERYONE! Pre marriage, during the Patricia Neal caused separation from his wife, and then after his wife’s death. And looks like he was also bi? Now I am picturing the possibility of Gary Cooper and Cary Grant having a night together in the early 30s and my mind is exploding.

          On Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 1:25 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Patricia Neal! She was married to Roald Dahl, and he left her for someone and I can’t remember who right now. I saw an interview right after it happened and she was very stoic about it. Anyway, she got back some of her own.

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          • And I’m off to the internet again! If I am adding this up right, Patricia met Felicity through work, brought her home and introduced her to Roald, and then Roald and Felicity started a ELEVEN YEAR affair, with her divorcing her husband right as it started and him staying with Patricia (did she know? Who knows!) through the whole thing, until Patricia finally divorced him in 1983 and he married Felicity.

            I was going to say that I can’t imagine the same woman being in love with both Gary Cooper and Roald Dahl. But then, Roald was quite something, wasn’t he? Secret service and stuff?

            On Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 5:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I was just coincidentally reading a Twitter thread about Roald Dahl who was quite the piece of work, but the tweeters sort of agreed that his horrific boarding school experiences might have been a mitigating factor. Seems to have really messed up a generation or so of upper class British men.

          To drag this back to Hindi film: wouldn’t quirky + gunda be great if it were gender flipped? I’m imagining poor sad and quirky Parambrata running into some sort of trouble and having to enlist the aid of Sonakshi to beat up some guys for him. And he sees her soft inner core and makes a peaceful space for her and she protects him and gives him the strength to stand up to his mother and be a zookeeper instead of a software engineer. No wait, that brings it back to the whole “I’m not fulfilled in my joooooooobbbb” tantrums that drive movies like Tamasha. He just stands up to his mom and bullies in the office who are doing something unethical.

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          • And Sanjay Dutt! Nargis and Sunil tried to give him a high class British style boarding school experience, and they succeeded.

            For the gender flip, let me refer you to the most recent post in which I suggest a gender flipped Hum Hain Rahe Pyar Ki. Really, we can do that for almost any of those movies. Low class female gunda sent to kill someone, sees a sweet glasses wearing young man and has a change of heart, struggles to protect him but asks nothing in return, and so on and so forth.

            On Fri, Nov 15, 2019 at 1:16 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I have only seen Kabhi Kabhie this week and a couple of Pokemon and Air Bud movies with my son. I think it’s his favourite type: late 90′ early 2000 movies for families e.g The little rascals, Parent Trap, Richie Rich etc.
    Thinking: I started work this week and mostly I think: I was happy as I was so why I decided to change my life? Hope I’ll feel better next week.

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    • Jumanji! I think that is my favorite of that particular genre. And I hope work gets more interesting and fulfilling as time goes on. If nothing else, you can follow the fine example of most of us here and spend your work hours catching up on DCIB in peace and quiet.

      On Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 1:46 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Yaaaaay! I’m supposed to get a copy of it, hopefully it arrives soon for me too, I want to give it to a friend for her birthday.

      On Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 4:12 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Just popping in to say SRK’s episode of Trailblazers just aired in Europe and I think it will start airing in India tomorrow. There are some reruns too.

    It was really good. If you’re a fan, it will give you what Letterman’s interview didn’t. And we learn that little baby AbRam wants to be an actor like his papa.

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    • Oh, exciting! And not readily available to me, so I will look forward to the reports of those of you who are in the right location/internet savvy enough to fake being in the right location.

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      • Don’t worry, a link of the recording will pop up soon after it airs in India tomorrow. I’ll post it if I find it.

        I won’t spoil it for you and I missed the first few minutes anyway. But it was basically just SRK driving around an old jeep in Delhi and talking.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Today I read a tweet about some Miss India who will be in this next Akshay’s epic. I only commented “Will she play Akshay’s daughter?” and I received so much hate! Akshay’s fans really have no chill. It’s another reason to dislike the guy. But it’s funny how one simple question can cause so much hate. People started offending me, Madhavan, Jesus and Mamootty, and I think I will wonder for days what Mammootty has to do with all this.

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    • Forget Mammootty, what did Jesus have to do with this? Is he up there sitting at the right hand of God and obsessing over celebrity gossip? Although, I guess eternity can get boring, why not obsess over gossip.

      On Fri, Nov 15, 2019 at 2:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Jesus because the guy read my name and he told me I’m Ricebag convert and so I should only watch movies about Jesus and his wife (?) and not about the great heros like Prithviraj. There was more but I was like : “what a bullshit – block” .

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        • I want to watch a movie about Jesus’ wife! That sounds amazing. Widowed, living in secret, on the run from the Romans and the mainstream Jewish community, and to protect her and her children the apostles enter into a solemn vow never to reveal her existence. Heck, make it a mini-series! Oh oh! She could come to Kerala with Saint Thomas!

          On Fri, Nov 15, 2019 at 3:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Akshay’s fans are hardly Akshay’s fans. Half of them are part of the BJP IT cell. Their whole mission is to make Hindu actors more popular than other ones for a Hindu nation. They are at the forefront of spreading fake news about others, morphing pictures, and basically being bottom-feeders. You waded into the wrong side of twitter by mentioning anything negative about Akshay. That’s why you got attacked with Jesus type of stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So Prithviraj and Jesus are the equivalents of each other, only in different cultures? – is that the logic of that argument? Interesting. Twitter……. sigh…… the only tweets I read are ShahRukh’s. I prefer to stay away from all that hate and stupidity, even though it can be funny in small doses.

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  11. So this is not the type of post where I can just stumble on and say “I had a 101 fever last night, stayed home from work today, and have yet to recover”? Blergh.

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