Monday Morning Questions Post: What Do You Want to Ask Me on Varun Dhawan’s Birthday Week?

Yes, it is Varun Dhawan’s birthday week! Which I think means our Friday movie has to be a Varun movie, don’t you?

This is where you can ask me anything any time. Where can you stream your favorite movie? Why am I not posting as many movie reviews? How old is Varun Dhawan going to be and why isn’t he married? Just keep swinging back here all week.

Now, question for you! Simple one, Do you like Varun Dhawan? Why or Why Not?

I like him! Not so much for his common persona, the big star on the rise, or even for his performances some of which I’ve liked and some not so much (Kalank was a disaster), but for his personal life. He’s been dating a normal non-famous non-glamorous young woman since college, ten years now, and kept her very quiet and safe from paparazzi. How rare is that? For the relationship to last so long, under such pressure, and they aren’t even married! If he and Natasha ever break up my Varun fandom will go from a 9 out of 10 down to a 4 immediately.

Photos: Varun Dhawan and Natasha Dalal walk hand in hand as they ...

37 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post: What Do You Want to Ask Me on Varun Dhawan’s Birthday Week?

  1. Haha, you already know my answer to this question. If he overhauled his image, and struck out on his own, I wouldn’t mind him. It would be some time before I could like him, though.

    i finished Mumbai Police! It was fantastic. Now I’m looking for more stuff to watch but nothing is grabbing me, so I’ve gone back to watching MST3K, which is great.

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    • Okay, go over to the Mumbai Police spoiler review so we can talk. Because I need to know more about what you thought!

      My parents and I watched Hail Ceaser last night which was amazing. And not Indian of course, but if you can watch it, and if you like late 40s Hollywood at all, it’s a blast.

      On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 8:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I posted! I have a lot of thoughts. I can ask you here though, do you think Prithviraj wears a wig now and when did he start wearing it? Because I feel like in MP he had his own hair but it’s kind of weirdly immobile sometimes so idk.

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        • Is it possible he just changed up his hair spray?

          Or maybe he does the wig like women do, just because it is easier sometimes to use a wig than bother with all the styling?

          On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 8:36 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I need to re-watch Made in Heaven, but I can’t get hubby to watch it with me and I really don’t want to go through all those ups and downs again on my own. What would be some fun set-ups for the one-episode only marriages in Made in Heaven Season 2, and what developments would you like to see for the ongoing characters?

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    • I want a same sex marriage in Made in Heaven Season 2, it would fit so well, they think Arjun’s publicity is going to damage their business and then this very wealthy older male-male couple hires them to do a “we’re gonna show the world” angry big gay wedding. And then they can end up talking with the couple and changing it from an angry expensive wedding, to a small wedding that is truly about them being in love and the people they love being there. The agency takes a hit with money, but holds on to their central morality of making weddings about the couple’s happiness, not anything else.

      Also, I want Vijay Raaz to hire them to do his daughter’s wedding. They can come in with all their expectations about Vijay being low class and cheap, and then it turns out he knows exactly who he is and what he wants and it is very nice. They can also learn that his son-in-law doesn’t want to join the business and his daughter is afraid to tell him, and help the couple through talking with him. Which would also further bond Vijay with Arjun in a nice pseudo-parental way.

      On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 11:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I like Varun quite a bit! My main problem with a lot of the more “launched stars” from this decade is that they don’t have enough energy but Varun has that (maybe too much sometimes) and a general sincerity that I like. Not that I know for sure, but it seems like he has a decent head on his shoulders.

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    • Yes, one thing I think everyone can agree on is that Varun is a hard worker. I appreciate that, especially from someone who could easily feel he deserves to have everything handed to him.

      On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 12:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I actually don’t like Varun…its really an irrational dislike…he comes across as stupid and entitled in his interviews…like really not much depth to him…most of his characters are a man-child…and just the fact that he is an industry kid plus being part of KJo’s harem makes me like him less…oh well I know its an irrational dislike

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  5. I really like him! Some of his performances were truly awful (I didn’t like Street Dancer at all), but he really does work on his craft. People make fun of him in interviews for always asking for one more take to try to get his performance better. And as bad as Kalank was, I think his character was the most interesting and he gave him flavor. With where he is now though, I think he has a lot of work to do. He’s always entertaining to watch off screen as well, but there’s a fine line between being his silly, kooky self and hamming it up for the cameras. I like his comedy, I like Main Tera Hero and Dilwale. But I totally get why people might not like his off screen presence. I don’t know. I like watching him. I’m rooting for him.

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    • Thank goodness, someone who really likes him! The poor boy has a birthday coming up and is just getting bad mouthed.

      I agree about the hardworking. He is so cocky and confident, but he backs it up with really hard work. You can see that just in his dancing, he’s a good dancer, but he also does the really tricky stuff that you can only do with hours and hours of practice.

      On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 3:17 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. What show should I watch next? Any other Pakistani serial recommendations? I need something in between the Little Things episodes and after Heer, I remembered how much I love Pakistani drama.

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    • Oh and I like Varun Dhawan. I like that he knows he is a “massey” hero and generally focuses on that. He wants to make big splashy light-hearted hits and then go home and chill. I like those kinds of movies, so I like that someone wants to make those.

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      • Yes! And we are going to have so much fun picking which Varun movie to watch together for his birthday, almost all the options are good (just not October!)

        On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 5:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Umm yeah. I will never watch October. Way too depressing for me. And the pick is easy for me, HSKD. I love that movie so much. But obviously, if the crowd wants something else, I am down!

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          • I hated October! It was depressing and weird and dumb! And I hate that it’s supposedly one of Varun’s most praised performances! He wasn’t even that good!

            But aside from SOTY, especially since we watched that a couple weeks ago, HSKD is my favorite Varun movie. I’d be 1000% okay with watching that on Friday.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Have you seen Badlapur? He is scary and disturbing in that movie, and it is a scary and disturbing movie, but it’s also a better performance than October.

            Also, I assume you have seen the songs post but are taking as long as it takes to answer correctly.

            On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 9:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I think Badlapur is the only Varun movie I haven’t seen because I don’t like scary and disturbing movies.

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          • It’s very scary and disturbing! I wish I hadn’t seen it.

            On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 2:47 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I’m in the same boat! I should be done with both Heer and Little Things in the next few days and I have to decide what to watch next.

      I checked all the Pakistani serials on Prime and Neflix before I landed on Heer, and the others looked too depressing for me. Maybe back to ALTBalaji? there’s still the male-male Romeo and Juliet adaptation there. and the romance mini-series with Vikrant Massay.

      You should definitely watch the Kanan Gill stand up special that is coming to Netflix on Friday, but that’s not really a show.

      On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 4:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Netflix only has 4 Pakistani shows, Zindagi and Humsafar (which everyone should watch), and a show about rape, and a classic tragic love story. FUN!

          Prime has way more but none of them really grabbed me. They look more soapy and angsty than happy and interesting.

          On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 5:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, not up for anything depressing. I’ll keep looking. Maybe I will watch the second season of Four More Shots Please but I just haven’t been in the mood for it yet. Everytime I watch a Pakistani serial, I am just reminded of how interesting they are and want to keep watching those.

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          • There’s loads on youtube, if you can put up with VHS level quality. The one that intrigues me most from youtube is Dhoop Kinare, first massive hit by the female screenwriting genius who reinvented Pakistani TV in the 80s. It’s a hospital drama/love story between a doctor and a med student, with the twist that she is the estranged biological granddaughter of his foster father who has just died.

            On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 5:26 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Have you watched Sadqay Tumhare, filmikudhi? Definitely wouldn’t call it light, but it is soapy and entertaining. And a lot of the drama is so over the top that I think it could still scratch that escapist itch. The central conflict is between the protagonist (Mahira!) and her mother (great villain performance by Samiya Mumtaz), nothing too real world or societal problem to drag you down. And set in rural Pakistan in the 70s or so, safely past. Slooow beginning, though!

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          • Sorry, I just saw this. I started Sadqay Tumare a long time ago and never got past the first episode for some reason, probably because of the slow beginning, and I think I started watching it before I really got into Pakistani serials. Thanks for the recommendation. I will start it back up again!

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          • But the wigs are so bad! And it’s sad! And old! It’s not what I would recommend, were I to have total complete control over what you watch.

            (wouldn’t that be great? To be the propaganda chair in a fascist regime, but it just meant that everyone had to email me and ask what movie they should watch next and then I would tell them?)

            On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 9:47 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I will listen to you but then you have to recommend another Pakistani serial for me. I just read your latest Little Things review and it is definitely going to take me a few more days to start season 3.

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          • What, you aren’t eager to watch a show about the slow undramatic but unstoppable breakdown of parent-child communication? That sounds so fun!

            You have to finish Little Things eventually because season 3 ends on a slightly open note and I need to have other opinions on it.

            I vote you either watch Dhoop Kinare, the original classic slow moving feminist Pakistani TV serial romance. Or the male-male love story on ALTBalaji. And then I will watch one of those along with you once I finish Little Things and Heer!

            On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 10:01 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I used to like Varun and now I don’t and I don’t know why. I think I might have gotten sick of him. Some people I can watch over and over, and some I can’t. But you never know, maybe one day I will see a performance that will cause me to fall in love with him.

    My Monday question for you might be too big/political, though I’m not trying to come at it from a people are bad angle. I’m wondering how often children are employed as servants in India? Parugu has become one of my favorite movies, largely because of Sheela’s performance in addition to Allu Arjun’s, and I’m fascinated by the relationship between her and her servant. Sheela is a teenager, her servant is a teenager who sleeps on a mattress on the floor by her bed, and they are clearly friends, but is there a hint of resentment from her servant? She seems to have been serving her for a long time which means she became a servant at what age? There is plenty to read about servants in India, but most of it is focused on the cities and often the relationships seem similar to say, the relationships in The Help, some employers are awesome, some not… I have not found anything that illustrates, or explains what I am seeing in this movie.

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    • What an interesting question! I can give some general observations and see what other people have to say.

      It’s less “The Help” than, say, Downton Abbey. Servants work for some families for generations, their employers pay their hospital bills and send their kids to school and there’s a real back and forth give and take in the best feudal tradition. Of course it can be abused, anything can be abused, and there will be servants who feel trapped because of family loyalty with employers who underpay them and take advantage. But the expectation is true responsibility that goes both ways.

      In a smaller household, the single live in servant can truly become part of the family. The older housekeeper or houseman who is the best friend of the mistress of the house, and second parent of the children. There are some sweet older movies (Hrishikesh Mukherjee in particular) where you see a bachelor living with the servant who raised them, who they consider their only family and vice versa. The servant nags them to get married, eat better, go to bed earlier, and so on. And the new bride is deferential to the servant and learns from him about her husband’s preferences and so on. The servant would have the keeping of all the household money, decide the meals, help organize the house, it’s not a strict salary and labor laws kind of relationship, they are treated exactly the same as a relative who might be living with you and helping out with the household chores. Dear Zindagi was kind of like that, Alia and her maid talked like friends/sisters and she was hired by another one of Alia’s friends after Alia had to leave, this woman will probably be part of her life for the rest of her life, help raise their children, be taken care of by them as they lay dying, and so on. Oh, and Shahrukh’s nanny in Swades, he is clear that she wasn’t a “servant” but a second mother to him.

      With child servants, sometimes I think they are just children of the other household servants, so they might pick up your clothes to be washed or make your bed as part of their chores to help their parents. It’s also just accepted that small children will come to work with their parents. So you’ve got some 4 year old running around your house and it’s just normal, and then when the 4 year old is 8 years old you feel comfortable saying “hey kid, can you take out the trash”. And sometimes they are servants, but with “good” employers they are treated more like foster children. So, they have light chores, but also go to school all day, are taken care of when they are sick, regular go home to visit their families as they choose, get presents and are included in the celebration on holidays, and so on. In Main Pyar Kiya, Salman’s best friend/servant calls Reema Lagoo “Ma” as well and is treated as half a servant and half another child of the household.

      This is the ideal from both sides, but you also have larger households where there are literally dozens of servants, and in that case it is a job with regular hours and a uniform and a good salary, but not necessarily the feudal loyalty from both sides. Or you have people who don’t have the money/interest in a full time servant, but will have someone who comes in once or twice a week just to clean and do dishes. Minimal relationship there.

      There is a really good interesting movie about this whole thing, Anjali Menon’s first film Manjadikuru, which is a bit agonizing to watch but fascinating. In that case, it is kind of child labor but also not. She was taken from her family by a broker and brought to a household where she was treated kindly and learned to love the elderly couple who employed her and expected her to work no more or less than they did. But then the husband died and his family all came for the funeral (that’s the plot of the movie, all these people arriving and staying in their family home) and they start abusing her, forcing her to work all the time, yelling at her, just not being nice. The elderly woman doesn’t like it and misses her, since the little girl servant was her only companion for the past few years, but is too weak with grief to do anything. The other relatives start talking about “taking” her with them because she is such a hard worker and never complains. She runs away to avoid being taken, but then is brought back. The good news is, thanks to her running away, no one wants her any more. Instead she is left behind. And ten years later, the old woman dies and leaves her house and fortune to the maid, her “daughter” for the past ten years, the only one who stayed with her and loved her.

      On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 7:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Sticking to my Varun = Matt Damon equation. I think he should stick mostly to the kid-friendly comic/action track with occasional forays into the right kind of more serious roles – good guy, accidental hero type parts. And dance while the dancing’s good. Spin up an action franchise with Varun, Tiger, and Kat. Lots of creative fight scenes and sexy, acrobatic dance numbers.

    I realized watching A Flying Jatt with my kids that I feel kind of motherly or big sisterly towards Tiger, and I feel kind of the same with Varun. I enjoy looking at them the way I would a pretty picture. They seem like nice boys. (Going by onscreen personas, have no idea about offscreen.)

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    • I think they are nice boys offscreen too. There’s something about dancers, they are so hardworking and patient and focused and humble. I feel a bit “nice boy” about Hrithik, which makes no sense because he is a decade older than me. But he just seems so sweet and innocent!

      On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 11:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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