Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week Malang Comes Out?

Happy Monday! I’m back at work after an adventurous weekend, and taking Albie Dog to the vet to get a million shots and a feces check and all that fun annual stuff. His life is hard some days.

This is where you get to ask me anything you want any time all week! Movie you want to know if I’ve seen, opinion on a performance, backstory on a new gossip feature, swing over here and ask away and learn it all.

Now, I have two silly questions for you! First, is this the face of a dog who is sick of spending the weekend at my parents’ while I go on trips and ready to go back home already the second I let him jump in the car?

Second, should I be nervous that the box for my new coffee table is this big?

And third, real question, (well, kind of real): our Valentine’s theme this year is Sex. What movie is your favorite for how it handles sex?

My favorite changes regularly, but as of this moment it’s Running Shaadi. Our heroine has sex with a guy she doesn’t really like and it means literally nothing to her. And then she has a long slow relationship with the hero that is all about spending time together, sharing tea, holding hands, and the occasional cheek kiss which means so much more. Before they finally decide to have sex, buying condoms and planning in advance, but it’s still romantic and all even if it isn’t sudden or spontaneous. And then life interrupts and they don’t have sex just then after all, and that’s fine too. When it happens, whenever that is, it will be wonderful and magical because they love each other, but they don’t have to rush into it.

So, what’s your favorite movie for how it handles sex as part of the love story? Yes, you are allowed to say Band Baaja Baaraat even though I disagree with you.

37 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week Malang Comes Out?

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    Half girlfriend!
    Spoilers.
    Arjun first tries to have sex with Shraddha to prove to his friends that he is not imagining things and she has feelings for him. Of course he fails and it causes a lot of problems. In the end, when they meet again they have sex and it’s an expression of their love and longing. So beautiful! Funny thing is that I was sure this scene is long but I rewatched it recently and it’s like only 30 sec I don’t know why I remembered it longer.

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      • I’m with angie in liking this movie more than most people. I have even seen it more than once. Maybe it’s a commentary on the lack of pure love stories in BW or almost anywhere anymore. But yes I agree that this movie subconsciouslyexplores the meaning of sex.

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        • Then maybe I should give Angie her dearest wish and actually review the thing!

          On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 11:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Hurray! Finally somebody who appreciate this film like me. Have you read the book Reflects of life? I’m planning to read it as soon as I finish what I’m reading now.

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    • Yes! That is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, it’s a good sex scene, but it’s also a good sex “plot”. Like, it means something and is part of how the characters relate.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 8:31 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Salaam Namaste stands out for me, because it shows sex as being simultaneously significant and insignificant as part of a filmic portayal of love. Sex isn’t minimized or avoided, and yet it isn’t a major plot or climax point. It’s just an indicator to us of the progress of their relationship. IIRC the first sex scene is in the middle of a song (My Dil Goes Hmmm), rather than being its own scene. And yet the song isn’t about the sex scene, it’s just part of the song sequence, portrayed as a healthy part of an evolving love relationship. For its time (early 2000s), that was pretty radical. It’s still pretty radical for commercial Indian film.

    Befikre in that it shows how initial sexual chemistry can be simultaneously a misleading “false positive” as well as a leading indicator of future love. And sex scenes that are genuinely fun and joyful! Reminded me a bit of the sex scenes in the Spanish film Sex & Lucia, which is also etched in my memory for portraying sex as playful, joyful, and fun.

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    • I considered S-N, but then the after math of sex is handled so sillily and stupidly that it kind of ruins the sex for me. How can a relationship that progressed in a slow normal manner including sexual intimacy suddenly descend into selfishness and total lack of communication? It retroactively makes the sex not realistic to me and throws it back to Aradhana and Aa Gale Lag Jaya territory.

      But Befikre, YES!!!! They start out not thinking, just enjoying the sex. And then they can’t handle it when they start to feel things beyond having a good time together. But the flipside, they flee to “safe” relationships where they don’t have as much fun and can stay sane and that’s not good either.

      Of course, as people, I absolutely hate them when they are having sex all the time, so it’s not sexy in that it makes me equit (sp?) sex with being a terrible person I hate.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 11:46 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Here’s my question – Have you seen Jawaane Jasneman yet, or reviewed it? Or intend to?

    My thoughts, it was good not great. Despite being less than 2 hours, it still managed to have points where it dragged. But it’s good to see a movie where a bunch of middle aged actors get to do good character work (esp Saif & tabu), while the young lead is the “straight man” moving the plot along.

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    • I intend to see it on Wednesday. I was out of town this weekend of course (DCIB road trip, wooo!), but I’ve got a couple friends interested in it so we may go on Wednesday, and I’ll review it once I see it.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 11:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Right now I think my two favorite married sex movies are Jodha Akbar and Khabi Khabie. The first one because Aish has agency, Hrithik refuses to force himself on her and offers her a divorce even though it would be politically difficult for him, and when they have sex it’s because of genuine love and respect. The second one because the sex is joyful and they both enjoy it and it’s portrayed as a natural part of married life.

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    • Ooo, Jodha-Akbar is a good one! Especially because the sex really means something to both of them by the time it happens, it isn’t just because they are married or something stupid, it’s a sign of mutual love.

      And Kabhi Kabhi, of course, Shashi sex is the best. And conversely, Amit sex but is clearly the worst.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 12:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. My question (please don’t hate me): Is Hema Malini a bad actress? I haven’t seen her old movies (not even Sholay, yes, I know :/ ) and now I’m watching Shimla Mirchi and she ruins the movie! If I didn’t know I would think she is Sonam Kapoor’s mother because of how she ruins the scene only by showing her face.

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    • Hema is like Madhuri. She has great charisma, and is immediately enjoyable to watch, but not necessarily a huge range. In her prime, in “Hema” roles, she was magnificent and could not be equaled. But I can believe that after years off screen, and in a role that maybe isn’t a natural fit, she could be unimpressive.

      You’ve seen her in Baghban, which was past her prime years but back when she was still acting more regularly than now. And in a role that was written well for her. Amitabh did more with his part, but Hema was more than good enough for her part. Especially providing the charisma that made you excited to watch her and able to believe the central love story even though they were “old”.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 1:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh yes, how I could forget Baghban? She wasn’t bad in it, even if more than other stuff I mostly remember her countless scenes of making tea.

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        • Yes, exactly! She has this great camera presence, and in the right role it really works. Back in the 70s, you would watch a movie just for her. I don’t know if that is quit true any more, but if so it is a fault of the screenwriters who can’t write great Hema roles for an older actress.

          Anyway, watch Seeta Aur Geeta. That was her breakout performance, it is delightful and ridiculous and 70s.

          On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 2:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • In Shimla Mirchi you can see it was made by a director who knew and worked with Hema long time ago, and still thinks she is a big star. She has long entry scenes and even her own background melody. Unfortunately she doesn’t have the power to sustain those scenes.

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  6. I was going to say Jodha Akbar but Alisa beat me to it. So, I am going with a odd choice: Rajneeti because it shows different types of sex in a “normal” every-day life sort of way. Nikhila Trikha having sex with Naseeruddin Shah becuase she is a young women experiancing all the feelings of “first love” and enamored by an older man’s ideology and charisma; Arjun and Shruti Seth have sex with the understanding that this is meaningless and potentially transactional; Ranbir and Sarah Thompson have sex as part of a normal long-term relationship; Katrina does not have sex until she is ready and then willingly initiates sex Arjun because she’s in love. So much sex, yet noone thinks of Rajneeti and thinks, oh so much sex. It is shown as a part of life and handled in a way that moves the plot forward and is relatable.

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    • I would agree, except that Arjun and Shruti Seth seem to have sex while fully clothed and standing 6 inches apart. But I suppose the filmmakers intention was to show it as meaningless and transactional, they just had a blocking failure.

      Otherwise though, I love your points! Especially since Arjun is part of two separate sex scenes, that feel very different from each other. And there is an implication (or is it said straight out?) that Arjun quits the casual transaction sex as soon as he is married, while still not having sex with his wife. So there is this careful line of him being a man who enjoys sex, but not a monster who is incapable of controlling himself.

      And isn’t Ajay almost asexual? He seems to have no need to fulfill any desires for himself, including sexual desires.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 1:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. And how about sex in 2 States? I hardly remember the movie but I know I was shocked to see the sex scene right in the beginning because it was one of the first movies I saw after my break from indian movies and I was still thinking there must be a romance and a lot of courtship before love making.

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    • Yes! And it’s another one where sex was a big part of their relationship, but not everything. They have sex early because they are at college and what’s to stop them? And then they have sex like normal people all through college. And losing daily sex is a big problem with long distance and a relief once they are in the same city again. But it’s still not even a consideration when they break up. He’s not sad because “oh no, I have no sex!” and neither is she, it’s the person that matters. And they certainly never have a “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” feeling about marriage, they want to get married because they love each other and not just to get a license to have sex all the time.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 2:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I’m going to say the best movie in its depiction of sex is Badhaai Ho! An older couple is in love and still have sex is such an ordinary thing but yet so bold to put on screen and base a movie on it…

    My question to you – have you seen KJo’s new Netflix show – ‘What the love’? He gives people a makeover and life lessons to help them find love…plus celebrity friends also show up to help dole out relationship advice….it is trashy, shallow, catty, patronizing, regressive, and just inane in general…an amazing train wreck that I can’t stop watching!

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    • Oh Badhai Ho is a great choice! And not only is it an older couple who has sex, they have sex as a routine thing. There’s the little touch we find out later that they keep a condom under their pillow and just weren’t able to find it that night. So it’s no random one off, it’s a regular healthy part of their marriage.

      Oh Karan! I was guessing “train wreck” based on the fact that KARAN IS TERRIBLE AT ROMANCE, and it sounds like that is correct. Why would you have someone host a show on helping couples find love who has never been able to find love himself??? And why would anyone think that the Karan Johar fictional ideal of love is what you actually want??? I mean, I like Karan Johar movies but except for MNIK, I wouldn’t want to have any of those love stories.

      On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 7:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well, best case scenario the show could have been silly in its propagation of filmi love…but he takes it to another level by actually being condescending to the participants….in one scene KJo along with his two helpers have a Mean Girls session about the people saying things like “she looks like she has issues” “that guy is beyond our help” “She desperately needs a makeover”
        In another scene, they makeover a gay participant by telling him “your clothes are intimidating…be more relatable”
        I’m currently watching more episodes to see how much worse it can get…

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  9. I’m sure you knew I was going to say Band Baaja Baaraat. In fact, predictive text on my tablet filled it in as soon as I wrote “Ba” so I guess I say it a lot.

    But my other favorite sex is the one that doesn’t happen in Cheeni Kum, for most of the same reasons you noted in Running Shaadi. The part where Tabu asks Amitabh to run to the tree and back to see if he’s capable, and then the drugstore guys quietly making fun of him when he goes to buy condoms. It shows they are frankly talking about sex and the age difference while still being light and funny, and the filmmakers get around actually having Amitabh Bachchan talk about having sex, which would have squicked everyone out.

    For your other questions: don’t know Albie well enough to comment, but that box is definitely not too big for a reasonably sized coffee table.

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    • Oh, Cheeni Kum is a good one! It threaded the needle just right between treating them as totally non-sexual, and like that’s not a part of an age difference romance, and making it too much of a thing.

      On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 3:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Oh man, they are so cute together! And Ayushmann continues to age backwards in an almost disturbing way.

      On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 11:05 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Awww, they look like a group of middle-aged old friends having fun being embarrassing at a wedding! Because they are a group of middle-aged old friends having fun being embarrassing at a wedding.

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