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

Happy Wednesday! I finish work today, then I finish work tomorrow, then I host a movie night, then I do half a days work on Friday, then I fly out to visit my sister and hold a crying baby for three days.

I’ll start!

Reading: Anonymous sent me a link to this Deadline article. I am always nervous about these kinds of stories that haven’t been officially announced yet, but I will put up the link anyway for y’all to talk about. From my perspective, I am mostly interested/dubious in this whole idea of the same series but different partly in different languages. Kind of insulting, can’t people just read subtitles? Or can’t Amazon just spend more money and make unrelated series for different languages? Or, best of all, can’t Amazon just dub Made in Heaven and let more people discover what is truly the BEST streaming series I have ever seen? https://deadline.com/2020/01/priyanka-chopra-jonas-richard-madden-to-star-in-citadel-amazons-russo-brothers-international-event-series-1202830243/amp/

Watching: I am hosting a movie night tomorrow! So excited. It will be maybe two old friends, one of whom has seen everything up to 2017 and nothing after, and the other who has seen most things up to the present day. Plus one new person who has seen Jodha-Akbar and Happy New Year and nothing else. Suggestions? I was leaning maybe Dangal, or maybe Bahubali, or maybe War. Not JHMS, too risky for this mixed of a group. But Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga might be another interesting option?

Thinking: Anonymous also gave links to these two new Alia posters for the “gangster madam” Bhansali movie. What do we think?

Listening: Listing out Salman’s “best of the decade” movies reminded me how much I love this song. Such a sweet parent-child love song, “you are the beat, I am the heart”.

Now, question for you! Before I shut down my “best of 2019” and “best of the decade” series, is there any other topic you think I should throw in there?

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

  1. Watching: Going to see Frozen II tomorrow. I’m a bit spoiled on the plot, but it’s the execution of those that count in the end. Also, apparently they have made a Northern Sami (Indigenous Scandinavian/Nordic) dub of the movie! I’m so happy with their inclusion of indigenous elements and languages now to their dubs. We have them in Lapland, though I think everyone knows many aspects have been commercialised and we aren’t taught much about them at school, at leat here in the South Finland.

    Listening: Disney songs in different languages. Italian is GORGEOUS! French is smooth flowing but a bit boring, but Italians just deliver on the songs.

    Reading: Still the same ‘Dawn of Belle Epoque’ that is on a bit on a pause right now since I started ‘Lavinia’ by Ursula K. Le Guin

    Thinking: The SLB movie might the Ram-Leela fighting route or it might be something different all together. Alia looks good and the posters are gorgeous, but that is expected by now whenever SLB is in the helm.

    And maybe Favourite Wedding? Or is there some Jodi that defines the decade? Favourite flop movie, as in like it even if it’s bad?

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    • When I was watching my holiday movies this year, all of a sudden the Sami were popping up. The Netflix original cartoon Klaus had a bunch with them as well. I wonder if they got a new publicist? No joke, I seriously think the Sami community must have suddenly gotten more active on social media and stuff and made folks outside of their region aware that a lot of stuff we think of as “fantasy” is actually stereotypes of a real community.

      Your reading is so much smarter than my reading! I’m reading, like, bad free kindle books and you’re reading historic tomes and fancy books from name authors.

      Favorite wedding would be tricky, it’s basically between Dips-Ranveer, Virat-Anushka, and Sonam, and I kind of already did that last year because they all got married the same year. Jodi that defines the decade might be good, or favorite flop movie (although everyone’s just going to pick JHMS).

      On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 9:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah, a new publicist and popularity with Disney sounds like it could be the reason. For a long time the only source of Sami knowledge came from a book and movie called “Joulupukki ja Noitatumpu” or “Santa Claus and the Which Drum” which isn’t exactly flattering of the Sami people in terms of representation, though it isn’t completely villain making either. It’s complicated.

        At least now there’ll hopefully be more knowledge to be sought by those that see Frozen II, hopefully.

        And thank you for the compliment! My reading choices boil down to – is this historical? – or – Is this someway connected to culture and mythology?. If it is both, then it’s pretty much perfect. The Tapestry of Bronze series for example is the epitome of what I love. Mythology compacted in to factual Bronze Age package that is perfect. I’ve read almost all of the series, 2 still to go. Also, independently published.

        And don’t be so sure of just JHMS being the winner. As I was writing it I was thinking of Kalank more. I’ve watched it more and since I’ve seen Thugs, nothing can beat how bad it was for me.

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        • Oh! Read Devdutt Pattniak when you get a chance! He has two massive books for the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and he tells them like oral stories. So lots of separate stories as they came from separate cultures that all weave together into one epic tale. I think you might really love them.

          There’s also a bunch of new books that take the Mahabharat and Ramayana and retell them within the context of real ancient cultures of the subcontinent. I haven’t read them, but Krishna Udayasankar’s novels that tell the Mahabharat from the woman’s perspective are supposed to be excellent.

          On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 9:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Devdutt I’ve read. Just not the big ones yet. And I wasn’t aware of Krishna Udayasankar’s book. Thank you so much! I’ll write it down for next time! 😀
            And I’ve yet to read ‘Palace of Illusions’ but I will get there someday. Thank you!

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  2. I think that Amazon series is really good news for Priyanka. Doing a project with the Russo Brothers is a big deal even if it’s a derivative web series (I mean, the entire Avengers franchise is derivative at this point).

    I hate the SLB posters because someone on Twitter compared them with the inspiration and I think they are weaksauce compared with the original.

    I am in a foul mood for various reasons and I only slept four hours last night, MEH.

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    • The black and white one at least is also clearly picking up on Guru Dutt’s visions of Waheedaji with the way it mixes light and dark:

      And now I have to cheer you up! I can’t let anyone go unhappy in my world!!! Stay tuned for a ridiculous BollywoodNewbie pleasing post later today.

      On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 9:26 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. This movie just randomly poppoed up in my Netflix recommendations and I decided to give it a go. I just loved it so much, it’s a nice breezy rom-com/coming of the age story. I specially loved the dynamic between the parents, reminded me of Badhaai Ho..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looking at the two posters, I am wondering if they are going to go for more of a “skinny poor nasty” kind of gangster queen than the usual “rich and luxurious” version we see. Like Shahrukh in Raees.

      On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 10:58 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • From what I have read, Gangubai was very very young when she was sold off into prostitution and when she first became a madame. So I think in that way, I think Alia could be a really good fit to play her. I am hopeful for this movie. I have no strong feelings one way or the other about the posters.

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  4. Reading: This NPR article on the past year in music. It talks about the increase in video watching as a form of music consumption, and sure enough, in the past year I have been watching a lot more YouTube music videos, especially when I am searching for music from different countries. https://www.npr.org/2020/01/14/796187782/the-past-year-and-decade-in-music-listening

    Watching: A couple days ago I realized I missed my “friend” SRK, so I’ve been watching his movies. I watched JHMS and Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman side by side, flipping from young SRK to older SRK every 10 to 20 minutes. That was fun.

    And you may have already done this but I’m curious about who the best up and coming actors of the past decade have been. My timelines are fuzzy, so I’m not sure who appeared when. Also, notable deaths & retirements of the past decade.

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    • Thank you for bringing up up and coming talents! Last year, that was one of my most interesting posts because there were so many new actors suddenly arriving. I thought about doing it for this year, but then I realized there just wasn’t anyone who really broke through. Not that they were launched this year even, just that they had a really good year, better than before. Although, there might be surprising comebacks of the year. Ooo, that could be interesting.

      On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 11:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Watching a whole host of Amitabh movies because they are all on Netflix and crushing hard on all the heroines, especially Zeenat, Parveen Babi, and Shabana Azmi! On a more serious note, I thinking that I love how the women depicted in these movies in such a wonderfully liberated manner. In the Great Gambler, for example, Zeenat is a cabaret dancer, who wears a bikini, drinks, smokes, and continues to date Prem Chopra and Amitabh for most of the movie and Amitabh falls in love with her and she gets a happy ending. In Kaalia, Parveen cons/hurts Amitabh for money, and does not know how to wear a sari or cook and Amitabh falls in love with her and she gets a happy ending. Amar Akbar Anthony, Shabana is forced to seduce men and bring them to an undisclosed location and Vinod Khanna just brings her and her grandmother to come live with him and then they are basically in a live-in relationship with no mention of how this might be perceived by others. Not sure how much interest there is in an Amitabh 70s/80’s week in the DCIB community but it would be fun to read your reviews on some of these movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is exactly why the 70s movies are so great. The 80s start out well but become misogynistic and violent later on. This happened in some European countries too, where the 60s/70s were more progressive in some ways in the arts than now.

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    • Yes! And most importantly, IT WASN’T A BIG DEAL. Now if you want a liberated working woman heroine, you have to give a million thought pieces about how you are “breaking boundaries” and “showing the New Indian Woman” and so on. Instead of just doing it as though it is normal life.

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  6. I saw Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya because I read it’s one of the best Telugu movies in 2019, and guess what – I didn’t like it much. I appreciate it, the crime he solved was important but it was boring in some parts, and I couldn’t wait when it will end.

    I also saw Marjaavan and it was so much fun. A perfect so bad it’s good movie. I enjoyed it a lot and even cried few times durning sad scenes.

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    • I’m visiting my sister this weekend, maybe Marjaavan as a sister watch? I want something so bad that we can make fun of it a bit, but also enjoy the melodrama. Like Aashiqui 2.

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      • Yes, I think Marjaavan is perfect to see with sister/friends. It’s really bad but in a nice way I mean they knew they were doing a movie, nobody pretended it’s high art so they could afford including a lot of melodrama, ridiculous fights and lion’s roars when Sid was beating the villains ( movies with lion’s roars or punch lines about lions are the best). And did I tell you Tara Sutaria plays a mute girl?

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        • I knew Tara played a mute girl from the trailer, and I am pumped! Sweet mute girl is a great romantic trope.

          On Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 1:30 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Alia looks great in the posters, but not menacing enough to play a gangster/mafia queen, so the entire movie makes me nervous. I’m super excited to see her in an SLB movie, but this might not be the role for her.

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    • One hope I have based on the posters is that it might show the reality of the young age of a lot of these women. The journey from child to prostitute to madam to dead can be very very quick. If Alia is a kind of “young and hungry and desperate” dangerous, that might work.

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  8. I know I’m running the risk of becoming the official DCIB SLB apologist, but I love the black and white poster. First, because it looks like an old Bengali movie but also I love Alia’s tough/vulnerable look. I am excited for this one, but prepared for it to suck.

    I am working on a big project for the next couple of weeks so not reading or watching or thinking anything else. I have made several attempts to finish Kalank but so far unsuccessful, not because I don’t like but because every time I sit in front of a screen I fall asleep. (Yeah, it’s Bhansali-light but again, not an SLB apologist). After I finish my project I will visit a Malayalee friend and I’ve requested Virus-watching as an activity.

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    • Well, SOMEONE has to be an SLB apologist, I guess you have been chosen to speak up for the side.

      And I hope you are able to watch Virus! I look forward you to correcting even more mistakes that I made in my review (I found it very confusing).

      On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 9:34 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I like SLB (even though sometimes I hate him), and will definitely see this, but I’m not hugely into the look of this, tbh, unless it means the whole movie will have a retro look which would be great.

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  9. Dropping news for you. Imtiaz Ali’s trailer for Love Aaj Kal is out. I was looking forward to another Imtiaz movie but it looks sooooo bad. Sara’s acting is worst. I never liked her anyway but this confirms it.

    In other news, the Jeff Bezos chat was held yesterday but it seemed to be a closed-door thing. No live stream or anything. From whatever I could pick up, SRK was not interviewing Bezos. They had Zoya Akhtar with both of them on stage. At one point, SRK said he has to plug his own brands and said he buys books from Amazon but everything else from Big Basket (a major competitor to Amazon in India). He did not name Netflix at all. He also made jokes about not feeling comfortable buying underwear online. That made me laugh because it reminded me of Margaret saying he always makes some type of naked joke.
    Some tweets and clips from people who were there:
    https://twitter.com/anupamachopra/status/1217870253872558080
    https://twitter.com/vivekoberoi/status/1217850231053635585
    https://twitter.com/Riteishd/status/1217838187524943875

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    • Huh! Maybe the Amazon thing was more of a networking event? Not that SRK is looking to jump to Amazon, but maybe other people in the room mattered for Red Chillies? Or heck, maybe Red Chillies is looking for the VFX contract for some Amazon shows, I can’t imagine that is a conflict with Netflix.

      And thanks for the trailer! I will definitely have to post a post on it!

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