Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me as I Travel?

Happy Monday! I got up slightly before dawn to catch an airplane, and then am going straight to work. So don’t expect much clear thought from me today, but questions are always appreciated.

This is where you get to ask me anything, all week. Song you can’t remember, actress you want the gossip scoop on, question about where you can find a movie streaming, this is the place! Just keep swinging back until next Monday when there will be a new post.

Meanwhile, I am exhausted because I spent the weekend with my baby nephew watching him try to sit up and fail (lots of slow topples and then crying), and spit up on himself, me, pretty much everything. Oh, and he also very carefully took his teething ring and put it around his ankle. So I think he also thinks “Ghungroo” is the song of 2019.

In my exhausted state, I think I have a good question for you all today, but I am not sure: What song, American or Indian or otherwise, do you want to suggest as a source of advice for a celebrity?

Maybe this it will make more sense if I explain. To wear the baby out every night, we have a dance party, and last night in an effort to teach him about girl power, I put on classic girl group songs. Which lead to me listening to this song, which lead to me thinking how much I really REALLY want to send it to Alia Bhatt. So what song, to what celebrity, would you send?

37 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me as I Travel?

  1. Yay, tiny baby foot! Amazing skillz, nephew.

    My question for today: my friend who has been my Indian movie buddy might come over later. My next movie with her was going to be Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota but now I’m not sure I’m ready for the kids to watch that one and this might be the rare daytime movie date.

    My friend is still beginner level. She’s up for most things. She likes action and also big spectacle songs and rom coms. The only thing I’ve found that bugs her is regressive patriarchy, so that cuts out a fair number of options! Ideas for movies I could show her that the kids could also watch?

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    • I’d vote Bang Bang if you haven’t done it already, or Dilwale. Or Happy New Year or Main Hoon Na.

      On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 9:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I second the Bang Bang vote and the other recommendations as well. And I don’t know the ages of the kids, but my oldest (11) really got into Veer-Zaara. For my youngest (5) it is all about Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

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    • Thanks, those are great ideas :). I’ll hold a vote. I had been meaning to rewatch War, that might be up my friend’s alley. Hadn’t thought of Dangal. Salman is always a good option for the boys, and don’t think my friend has met him yet. I did try the boys once on Main Hoon Na but they’re still at the girls are icky stage and the romance tracks kept losing their attention.

      Sorry, Margaret, I can’t subject anyone to HNY! I did show this friend the mud scene and the Deepika intro the night we watched Piku, as context ;).

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      • Ha! My boys (11, 8, & 5) love HNY and Main Hoon Na, but they have tons of close female friends and we all admire good dancing. But I admit neither of those are movies I’d be excited to show a friend.

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    • War won the popular vote and it ended up being really fun. Between the kids seeing it for a second time and the friend, there was hooting every time a shirt came off or something exploded or some unbelievable stunt happened. Felt like a small taste of the theater experience, on my couch :). Plus this is a friend who I met doing martial arts so it’s fun to do running commentary on the fight scenes with her. We agreed Tiger has pretty kicks and prettier abs (which probably require the equivalent in hours to a full time job). And that he looked at Hrithik too longingly in the second half *spoilers* to be believable as Saurabh *end spoilers*. She wanted them to get married and raise Suhi together, which c’mon, would have been a great HEA.

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      • Would practicing the kicks help him build up the abs? Or are they two different things?

        On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 9:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Ha! Strength yes but not a chiseled 8 pack or however many pack the kids are going for these days. Noticed this time too: final fight scene when he rips off his shirt (in the Arctic? we were debating where that temple thing was supposed to be set) his torso has so much makeup. It must have taken a couple of hours at least to apply that much paint. Not that I’m complaining :).

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          • Maybe that’s why Hrithik never went full shirtless? Just wasn’t willing to take the time in the make-up chair?

            On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 7:58 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • P.S. one other random observation – I thought Hrithik’s toasted look was for this role but Netflix showed me another trailer from years ago and he had the same burnt orange shade. Is he the only actor in Bollywood who tries to look darker than he is? He looks perpetually sunburnt.

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          • Oh oh! I have thought MUCH about this! There is such a variety of skin tone in Hindi film actors, and what I really notice is that lighting for one skin tone can look just horrible on another. Especially since the goal is to make the darker skin tone person look lighter, which means the actually light toned person can sometimes end up looking sort of gross. Like your face in a light up make-up mirror, all the pores showing and blackheads and yuch. On top of that, the face make-up is aimed at making you look paler too. So, if you are darker skinned, you will get tones of powder and foundation to create a lovely standard slightly lighter tone. But if you are pale skinned, they may not bother as much because you are already pale. But people need foundation!!!!

            Anyhoo, maybe Hrithik, or his make-up guy, has figured this out and opts for a universal slightly dark foundation just so he looks optimal under the lights. Instead of following common wisdom and making him as pale as possible. Oh! You can see this even in War! Tiger is one quarter French and one quarter Turkish, so he is naturally far paler than most of his co-stars. But his face ended up looking kind of washed out and blank, while nice tan Hrithik got the good lighting.

            On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 8:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Did you ever watch Saand Ki Aankh? I just came back from a country that had Zee TV so, I could finally watch it and I loved it so much! An underdog sports movie based on real life about women who support and lift each other … this definitely was made for me! I watched it on my phone and did not care about the bad prosthetics at all. It was such a sweet story and I legitimately cried at least a couple times in a movie. Can’t wait to watch it again when it comes to one of the US streaming services.

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    • Really? It’s good? I trust your judgement but it really really did not look good.

      On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 11:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I loved it! It’s a great story with a lot of heart. The chemistry between Bhumi and Taapsee is wonderful! And to me, they were flawless in the dialect and accent. And the male lead/teacher Vineet Kumar so appropriately let the women shine and not steal the show. I was shocked by how much I enjoyed it. And it also made me really angry because this is a film where had Aamir or Akshay taken the role of the teacher, the man would have been highlighted as the male savior, the women would have become secondary, and the movie would have been a hit.

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  3. I almost had a friend over to watch a Hindi film on Sat! We didn’t actually watch anything and ended up just talking for three hours which is probably all well and good as I don’t actually have a TV. But she does want to watch a film with me, and invited me to her non-full-of-children house to use her TV. I want to show her JHMS, because it is my favorite and I was a tour guide. BUT I know it isn’t a good representation of Hindi films and I remember you said something about how it isn’t good for beginners. (I love this idea of beginner and advanced watchers!) So my question is: Why isn’t JHMS good for beginners again? And what is the perfect beginner film?

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    • I usually don’t recommend JHMS as a beginner film because there is so much going on. Like, if you have to pause the movie to explain arranged-kind-of engagements, or what Punjabi versus Gujurati is, it can really slow things down. Also if Shahrukh doesn’t work for you, the whole film falls apart, and it is not his Most Charming Ever role (for instance, I have never failed to make people fall in love with him in Swades or Chak De).

      But more than not recommending JHMS as a beginner film, I don’t recommend it as either a “watch this on your own when you feel like it” film or a “let’s watch this in a big cozy group while talking”. It’s such an odd duck, if you are watching alone you can easily be distracted or tempted to just stop. And if you are in a large noisy group, you are never going to “get” it.

      HOWEVER! I would say in the particular situation you describe JHMS could maybe actually work! It will just be the two of you, so you can answer questions, and keep her watching, and it won’t be a big noisy party where she can’t pay attention.

      My standard beginner film is Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham because it has so many fun tropes and stuff. Back up favorite is Jodha-Akbar for the spectacle, or Jhoom Barabar Jhoom just because it is fun and short.

      On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 12:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • JHMS was the first or one of the first movies I showed to my beginner friend above and it made her want to watch both more SRK films and more Indian films, so it worked for us. I’d say it helped that SRK is in her general age range, and I gave her a heads up that some of the bad guy chases and such are pretty over the top, since those are the parts that stick out most to a western viewer. If your friend would be into the relationship dynamics, it might be a good fit, because those are strong.

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        • Yaaaay, glad it worked! I am considering showing it as a 3rd film to a friend. I think the rule for myself will be if it is only her, and if I confirm first that she is okay with deep romantic relationship dramas with not much “plot”.

          On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 1:40 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I still haven’t watched Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’s trailer because I realized it’s not Shubh Mangal Saavdhan sequel and I’m disappointed and angry. So it’s a new movie but with recycled title, and the group of actors we have already seen together, pretending to be a movie we already know. C’mon
    I remember when I watched Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania only because I wanted to see Badrinath Ki Dulhania and I thought I should know what happens in the first movie. I felt so betrayed when I discovered those are two completely different stories but with similar title and the same actors.
    I’m sure SMZS will be good, so what is the need of recycling the title? People would watch the movie anyway because they like Ayushmann, and the kind of films he does.

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    • SPOILERS It’s a mainstream rom-com about a male-male relationship. I am guessing they are recycling the title to make people feel like it is familiar and safe. So in this one case, I will forgive it. See also Dostana 2. END SPOILERS

      On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 3:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Karan’s new show for Netflix “What the love!” will be available from 30th January. I must admit, seeing it on “Upcoming” list was a nice surprise but I won’t watch the show. I wonder why Karan decided to do this? It looks like yet another fake show we have seen many times already.

    I read also that Shimla Mirchi will be on Netflix from next Monday (I remember FilmiKudhi was waiting for the news)
    My app says it will be available in Italy but I don’t belive them anymore. Last week Motichoor Chaknachoor has been announced and guess what – it disappeared from the list the day it should be available, just like Malaal. I found it strange, because it happens only with those little movies nobody besides me cares. Apparently somebody in Netflix hates me 😉

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    • Did you know Imraan Khan’s father worked for Netflix at one point? Is it possible he resents that Imraan is no longer being considered for these small films where he used to be a potential actor and therefore is trying to sabotage their Netflix releases?

      On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 11:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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