Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to on Aditya Chopra Week?

Happy Wednesday! I’m having a weird work week, spurts of being very busy, and then not again.

I’ll start!

Reading: Popka wrote a great review of Shubh Mangal Zyaada Saavdhan, for those of us trying to puzzle out why it didn’t feel quite right even though it should have felt right. Link here: https://thickthighsandbadguys.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/shubh-mangal-zyada-saavdhan-india-2020/

Also, Angie posted a link to this article about Sunil Shetty back in the day helping 128 victims of human trafficking return to Nepal! https://www.thebetterindia.com/227031/sunil-shetty-1996-rescue-operation-sex-trafficking-victims-nepal-real-hero-inspiring-ser106/

Watching: We’ve been having an Elaine May festival, saw Ishtar, then A New Leaf, and last night Tootsie. I want to remake ALL of them in India!

Thinking: I get my apartment back! Now what am I going to do with it? I’m still firmly at my parents until who knows when. I’m thinking about maybe just making it available to friends who need a break from their houses, I’m not there 2/3rds of the time, someone else might as well be using it.

Listening: It’s Aditya Chopra Week! So obviously, Aditya Chopra songs. Mohabbatein may be a boring shambling movie, but it’s got some great song sequences.

Now, question for you! Still Aditya Chopra week, What is Your Favorite Aditya Chopra/YRF song?

Okay, judge me if you will, but as of this second I think this terrible English language love song is my top choice:

50 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to on Aditya Chopra Week?

    • Both of them very high on the production values! I think I can see your taste 🙂

      On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 7:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. I tried to watch Malang but deeply hated everyone in it so gave up after half an hour. I simply DO NOT CARE about men who do incredibly heinous things but you’re supposed to like them, get that stuff AWAY FROM MY FACE. And ARK looked great, too. It’s criminal.

    Now I don’t have anything to watch, I might go back to my beefcake regional films list or rewatch something with Govinda because watching him dance and cry will cheer me up.

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    • But Anil Kapoor! He is having so much fun!!! And Kunal Khemu is a fabulously character too. I mean, don’t watch for actually liking the characters, but they are in general very dreamy people.

      If you can get it, Malayalam film Style is bonkers. Bujjigaddu is still my favorite Telugu film. And the most important movie for you to absolutely definitely watch is the Madhuri-Anil Rajkumar. Very hard to track down, I am aware, but it is a movie made for you. Madhuri is a princess, Anil is a horse riding rebel, and Naseeruddin Shah is an Evil Viceroy.

      On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 8:31 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • YES to what Margaret said. If you can find a way to track the Anil-Madhuri Rajkumar, please please watch it. It was made for you!

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      • He was good in it, well, everyone was, and many of them very beautiful, but ugghh, I am not in the mood.

        Style is on my list! The other two are good options too. It’s Govinda time now though.

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  2. I had the same problem with Malang – everybody is terrible and does drugs, and why should I care? But I finished it and I’m happy because Anil was great. Aditya had an awesome intro scene and was super sexy.

    The next day I watched Ek Villain, and excuse my language but it was pure shit and waste of time and I literally felt sick. You know when you eat something not fresh and have bellyache and nausea? This movie made me feel like that. I hated it. Seems I only like Mohit Suri in romances. I look forward to your review to write about all the things I hate (spoiler: it’s entire movie)

    Today I finished Reema Lagoo’s Savalee and it was nice. Reema plays a famous classical singer with a talented but stupid daughter. The daughter was very annoying and I kept saying: girl just see a therapist! But Reema was awesome as a calm and wise mother, and there was a lot of classical music with drums so I’m happy.

    Reading: Not nice but very interesting article about Kangana:

    https://silverscreen.in/movies/features/the-fascinating-fascism-of-kangana-ranaut/

    Listening: Devdas soundtrack doesn’t leave me since I rewatched the movie.

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    • Thanks for the article, other people should read it and then discuss it NOT HERE.

      Oh dear, I already wrote my Ek Villain review and I was gentle to it. To late, not going to rewrite, you can go off in the comments about why you hated it.

      Anil was great, it’s true. And was kind of a moral force in Malang, if there was one. Yes he also did drugs, but he cared about people in general, so that was good.

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      • And he had a real tragedy I can understand why he does drugs and is violent. But Disha and Aditya? They were so annoying – wasting their time, money, and youth for no reason thinking they are better. Give the money you are burning to buy a meal or help somebody, maybe your life won’t be so empty.

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        • YES! I mean, Kunal is still way worse than they are. but that doesn’t mean Disha and Aditya aren’t terrible too.

          Maybe Anil will adopt Kunal’s widow as his new daughter? I feel like they are the two best people and deserve to be together.

          On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 11:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Angie – I can always count on you for the Marathi recommendations. I will try and watch Savlee. Did you ever end up finishing Aai Shappat – the movie with Reema Lagoo as a single mother and her talented daughter?

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      • Still not, but I will try to see asap.

        And for Savalee, I’m afraid you can find it boring, there are only a few characters and one conflict. It didn’t age well also, but I liked the music and the part about respecting your guru and the art.

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      • Filmikudhi, thank you for recommending Aai Shappat. I loved it. It not only has all the elements I want in a movie (some spoilers ahead) :
        – the strong, intelligent and nice heroine
        – good soundtrack with a lot of classical songs
        – good actors
        – a lot of drama
        – longing lovers
        But also many bonus things I didn’t know I wanted but was so happy when I found them in the movie
        – the lovers are two classical singers who fall in love during training (how cool is that?)
        – Subodh Bhave
        – the scenes about how men who don’t want daughters are bad and stupid

        There is only one thing I hated: the heroine chose Shreyas Talpade! How it’s possible? I loved seeing her with her friend Shekhar and was 100% sure they will be couple in the end, but no! Maybe I’m imagining things but chemistry like that between Garki and Shekhar is very hard to find. With Shreyas there was no chemistry and in every scene, she looked like she was wondering: why this annoying guy doesn’t leave me alone? Seeing them being together in the end, was worse than seeing Kat and SRK in JTHJ!
        I have seen Aai Shappat on Prime list hundreds of times but never gave it a chance because I didn’t like Shreyas’s face on the poster. Who knows how many other movies I rejected because of bad poster or synopsis.

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        • I completely agree with everything, Angie! Initially, like most Marathi movies, it was slow and the editing was not very good. But I loved that Reema Lagoo walked out on her abusive, daughter hating husband; raised a strong, intelligent daughter; and got back with her lover! When does that EVER happen in a Hindi movie?! The songs were beautiful. And, yes the bond and chemistry between Garki and Shekhar was so much better than the rich, cocky, Shreyas. But overall, I definitely enjoyed it. Did you watch Bonus yet? I am so curious what you’ll think of it. You might hate it, but even if you do, I still want to know. Also, I’m still going to keep recommending GharaBaher just got the representation of such interesting women but I don’t know if you’ll like it because it’s a political drama with no romance.

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  3. I saw Yash Chopra’s Kabhi Kabhie on Prime this weekend. As others mentioned in your review a couple of months ago, Sashi is indeed the GREATEST and the last 10 minutes are straight out of a silent film. It was also nice to see Rishi in his chocolate hero phase 🙂 Maybe Bobby is finally next on my watchlist…

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  4. Watching : I’m showing my parents Dil Dhadakne Do, they watched the first two hours last night, so one more hour to go. They can’t tell the actors apart and they are frustrated that it doesn’t fit into a genre.

    Watching/Thinking: Last night I started watching For Love or Money because it was the inspiration for Yes Boss, in addition to The Apartment, but as SRK is a Michael J. Fox fan For Love of Money was probably more immediate. And now I’m thinking of all the ways For Love of Money was not appropriate for a Hindi audience and how the re-writes made it a better story and how SRK and Juhi are better actors than MJF and Gabriele Something. But I’m so curious as to WHY they chose to remake a flop of a U.S. film. I’m glad they did it, I LOVE Yes Boss, but I’m still curious.

    Reading: My father asked me go through his papers to see what to save and I found his 1967 grad school notes from Henry Kissinger’s class on National Security Policy. So far the basic principal is that the U.S. can do what ever it wants if it is in the national interest. So no surprises yet…

    And from me to you, Margaret, thinking of your apartment. You’ve said you’re happier now, living with others. Do you really want to go back to living alone? You have a lot of time to consider your options, and I don’t know the housing situation in Chicago, but surely there are single people sharing large apartments? I’m not like you, I LOVED living alone, but I still keep in contact with many of my former roommates. I like knowing that you are happy.

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    • You are so sweet to think about my apartment! I’ve been having similar thoughts. It’s one of those “if I knew then what I know now”, but of course you never do know. I’ve been living alone for 15 years, I don’t think I could handle roommates. And I adore my current apartment, it’s the nicest place I’ve ever lived, in a nice quiet area with lots of families. But now that my job has changed, and all those exciting city social events I used to check out are canceled indefinitely, living alone is a whole different thing. At the very least I am thinking I need to look for a smaller apartment in a more active neighborhood, instead of the peaceful lonely place where I currently live.

      I have to admit I have never seen For Love or Money. Sounds like I didn’t miss much? Give us a summary of the changes they made if you feel like it! And of course, also tell us what your parents thought about DDD.

      On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 6:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Word Press wouldn’t let me leave a response earlier today, so hopefully this will work. My father read e-mails throughout DDD so his opinion doesn’t count. My mother thought it was too long. Both parents had a hard time keeping track of who was who, and Pops, who wasn’t truly watching, couldn’t even keep the four primary family members straight. My mom loved the colors, she loved the clothes, she loved the dancing. She loved the fact that it was thier whole world on a ship. She loved that it wasn’t about poor Indians, which was almost what she thought all Bollywood films were about (clearly she hasn’t seen a lot, but she thinks Slumdog Millionaire is a Bollywood film…).She enjoyed the insight into a different world, rich Delhi-ites, especially since she is so involved in Rotary and she realized these would be her counterparts in Delhi. She was able to recognize that they where Delhi specific and not India as a whole, my father who didn’t really watch would not be able to make that distinction. At first the dog narration was off putting, but then because the characters were so awful she enjoyed the bit of whimsy it provided. She did mention that it was too long about 10 times. She got bored in the middle, but loved the end. She’s happy she saw it.

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        • Thank goodness! It is so stressful showing Indian movies to your parents. The last one I tried was a qualified success, but the one before that they loved. Tonight I didn’t even risk it, just went with Dispicable Me 2, because no one doesn’t like that.

          Also, yaaaaaaaaaaay Rotary! Your Mom and Amitabh Bachchan eradicated Polio from India.

          On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 9:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. That’s such a hard question. JTHJ has one of the best ever soundtracks. Heer is probably the best song, Jiya Re is still one of my go to happy songs. So is Haule Haule from RNBDJ, the first song that made me go watch the movie.

    Watching: We’ve been blazing through shows now that my husband says up later with me. This run started with Babylon Berlin, I think I mentioned it before, great setting and characters but complicated and dark. Then this week we finished My Brilliant Friend, which is indeed brilliant, perfect in every detail. I’d only read the first book, my only squishiness is getting ahead of the reading by a volume. They’re not even filming the third season yet, though, so maybe I’ll be able to catch up. Yesterday we finished Unorthodox, interesting but only four episodes. Kind of mind-blowing knowing this whole other universe exists in Brooklyn. Today we started Giri/Haji, only one episode in and hooked. It’s one of those cross national Netflix productions, filmed in London and Tokyo, in English and Japanese. Good set-up, handsome detective lead, tight plotting.

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    • Finally someone loves Haule Haule! You are the first person to list it on this post.

      I feel weirdly guilty for not completing more shows. Like, what’s going to happen if I do? the Show fairy is going to give me a certificate of completion or something? I am very impressed that you have finished 2 of those smart thinky kind of shows and are moving on to a third. While I continue to rewatch random sitcom episodes I have already seen.

      On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 11:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It’s because they’re both shorter than your average series. Unorthodox is four episodes and done. My Brilliant Friend is eight episodes per season. And addictive, my husband kept wanting to watch one more. Neither are super thinky, the plots are straightforward, just more human drama and realism. Babylon Berlin and Giri/Haji are more complicated and thinky but both in this high concept crime drama space that seems to appeal for streaming, kind of the same family as Sacred Games.

        Haule Haule as a song is pleasant but the movie sequence is one of my favorites. Adorable.

        Oh, and I meant to mention my song of the week for listening:

        Not sure why, maybe because it’s chill but has a strong beat

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  6. I read this cute article on cricketers with dogs – sharing as I think you like dogs
    https://www.thecricketmonthly.com/story/1222966/dog-days

    Then, I have watched a series of videos from Telugu Singer Sunitha – she’s not only a good singer, but a good dubbing artiste, called Voice Artist these days. Considering the number of non-Telugu heroines and villains in Telugu movies, Voice artists play a major role, although they’d hardly get a title’s credit.
    Sunitha dubbed for a long list of heroines from late 90s to till date (Anand, Godavari, Happy, Sai Raa…) and Ravi Shankar is the guy who dubs for a long list – Sonu Sood, Bomman Irani, Mukesh, Satyaraj (Kattappa in Bahubali)

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    • Thanks! They both look very nice. And I will assume it was a small function with appropriate quarantine numbers of people 🙂

      On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 9:09 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • You know, I totally forgot about the quarantine! I think they’ve eased some restrictions starting on May 12 or 14. That certainly explains the “low key” aspect! (so, less impressive)

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        • Although they could also have delayed indefinitely and put a Big Impressive Engagement at higher priority than just getting engaged. So I will still give them some credit.

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      • I know we should be angry with him for not marrying Trisha but he looks so good and happy on those photos I just can’t stop smiling.

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  7. I started Thappad yesterday! I like it so far!

    Finished a gay romance novel that made me cry multiple times, and now I’m starting a straight one about white people signing up for an arranged marriage service. I’m scared.

    Thinking: My grandma landed herself in the hospital last week, she’s 96, and my parents are having lots of intense discussions about where she should go once she leaves the rehab center. She’s completely there mentally, but can barely walk even with the help of a walker, and has had arm problems her entire life. It’s depressing, and they have conversations about it every few hours, and with NJ still mostly being under lockdown, it doesn’t make this any easier.

    Listening: I made a playlist to supplement my fanfiction I posted about recently, and I put lots of indie, acoustic, emotional love songs and it makes me cry but in like a happy way.

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    • So excited to hear what you think of Thappad!

      I hope your Grandma’s situation comes to a good conclusion. Or at the least, I hope that you are able to lock your door and escape into movies and not have to think about it for a while.

      I know just what you mean about crying in a happy way! And you should add “Heer” to that playlist if it isn’t already there.

      On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 4:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I am so sorry about your grandma, Courtney. My 95 year old grandpa was also recently hospitalized for two weeks and having to make decisions with my dad every day and discussing options throughout the day is emotionally draining.

      Watching lots of Hindi movies and shows kept me sane. For shows, I enjoyed Heer, Mentlehood, and Little Things thanks to Margaret’s recommendations. I am also, so curious to hear your thoughts on Thappad. I just rewatched it with my dad and sister.

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  8. The Salaam Namaste title song came to my mind on reading, otherwise there’s no way I can choose from the vast YRF catalog.
    I have gone back to old Hrishikesh Mukherjee classics – rewatched Golmaal for the umpteenth time (have you seen it?) and Rang Birangi for the first time. Though the cast is good, it doesn’t have the sparkle and humour of his other comedies. It’s a re-enactment of Pati, Patni aur Woh. I came away mesmerized by the beauty of Deepti Naval and her whole aesthetic, so gorgeous!
    Also had a dose of Fawad Khan with the telefilms Behadd (on YT, no subtitles) and Armaan (on Prime, thanks filmikudhi!). Behadd didn’t have enough of him. Armaan was great due to him being cute and charming, then the last half hour was super dramatic. Searching for more of his dramas.
    Mostly though I’ve been rewatching parts of Cesur ve Guzel (Turkish drama), it’s so good! I would wholeheartedly recommend it to you and others here. Give the 1st episode a chance and decide, like I did (I was hooked). It reminds me of Pakistani dramas a la Humsafar, ZGH, but with more sizzle and less annoying patriarchy. The lead actor has the kind of charm and talent I wish current Hindi actors had!

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    • I saw Vishal-Shekhar live and “Salaam Nameste was irresistible live. So endlessly catchy and repetitive.

      Your watching has been really smart and inventive too! And no, I haven’t even seen Golmaal. Maybe that should be the classic movie I watch with my classic movie friend this Friday?

      On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 4:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • They do not translate well at all! I have a post somewhere in which I suggest comedies that are funny to non-desis because it is so rare. Not just the language, but so much of humor relies on upending social norms. So if you don’t know social norms, nothing funny there. Like, in some comedy movie I saw there was a humorous bit where a guy was pretending to be dead, his wife didn’t realize he was just pretending, and started breaking her jewelry and her nephew had to try to stop her because he knew she would be mad at herself for breaking the things when she learned the truth. Really funny, but it doesn’t work at all unless you know breaking bangles is something a widow is supposed to do in grief.

          On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 7:16 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I can imagine. Golmaal doesn’t have that issue I think. There’s a thing with the images of a respectable middle-class widow vs modern high-society married lady but I’m sure you’d know that already.

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        • I always wonder how comedy translates to non-speakers as well. Also, I have such fond memories of Golmaal because I watched most of Hrishikesh Mukharji films with my grandpa who loved them and is 95 now. I might have to rewatch it to figure out if I enjoy it on its own. I will say, to date, my favorite HM film is Chupke Chupke. I have watched it far too many times and love it each time.

          I am also, so glad you watched Armaan. Yes, it’s definitely a mini soap and Fawad plays his typical rich, spoilt guy, but my goodness he was so attractive and charming that it made me super happy.

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    • I finished Armaan last night (thanks from me too, filmikudhi!). Your description is exactly right, it turns into a mini Pakistani soap opera by the end. I feel like you could do a Pakistani soap bingo card with pregnancy, suicide attempt, selfish mother figure, spoiled rich boy. And a drinking game for every time someone tries to call another character who doesn’t pick up. So many close-ups of characters holding the phone listening to it ring. I liked the way they resolved it in the end, though. The part his friend played and the way everything came out into the open after all that suspense.

      This was earlier days for Fawad, but now that we’ve seen what he’s capable of as an actor, it feels like kind of a waste to watch him in the typical spoiled rich boy role. (Same for Aamina Sheik as the heroine.) Though they do excel at making him look beautiful. His hair is perfect in every shot and they choose angles that highlight the planes of his face. And give him many opportunities to use the superpower of his dreamy eyes.

      (I did wish the audio and subtitles weren’t so terrible. Though I didn’t notice as much once I got into it.)

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      • Yes! All the phone calls that aren’t answered! It’s the Pakistani soap opera version of “I have something to tell you” “Wait, before you tell me that, let’s talk about something unrelated until we are interrupted and you never tell me”.

        On Sat, May 23, 2020 at 9:21 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The subtitles were HORRIBLE! I agree that Fawad is capable of so much more than the spoilt rich guy. But, I think I was too mesmerized by his smoldering stares at Amina to care.

        I love your idea of the bingo card/drinking game because let’s be real, a Pakistani movie or soap is not complete with these! Did you ever watch Cake?

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  9. I’ve been a bit absent lately. I’ve been writing so much for work that I can’t really do any other writing, and I’ve been watching about 10 minutes of a Netflix movie/series and then quitting. I have tried: Taj Mahal 1989, She, One Day, Sillu Karupatti, Guilty, and the 1980 Dostana. I’m going to finish Dostana, we’ve just gotten to the big love triangle between Shatrugan, Amitabh, and Zeenat, and I expect it to get very exciting and I would have finished last night but I had to get up early this morning. “She” is just kind of gross, it’s the kind of thing that’s supposed to be sexy but it’s like Rajneeti where you just feel embarrassed for the actors and the crew and just everyone but Imtiaz. Guilty sounds so interesting but I’m not sure I’ll like the characters enough to finish. Ditto Taj Mahal. Sillu Karupatti is an anthology of varying degrees of quality, and at one point they rip off An Affair to Remember (WHY does everyone love that movie and keep remaking it? I found the pacing really frustrating. Plus, you know, just tell him you broke your legs). Anyway, tapped out after the last part. One Day I lasted about 20 minutes, right until Anupam aims a circular saw at someone’s crotch. I don’t think they’re actually going to go there, but it’s a bit more sensational than I was up for. There is nothing on Netflix but Little Things, I have concluded.

    So I hated everything and decided to just watch Apur Sansar, which of course is one of the best Indian films of all time. It does feel cliched in spots, but I’m sure that’s because everyone has copied it. Apu is the prototypical beta hero, because, I’ve heard, Ray always made the heroines stronger. That’s definitely the case with little Sharmila, fourteen years old. Shoumitra is the perfect Bengali hero, dreamy in both senses of the word, and manages to be beta without being whiny or annoying.

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    • This is exactly my feeling with Netflix! I’ll watch the old stuff they have any day (Dostana, absolutely should be on my list), but their new “original” content has no appeal to me except for Little Things.

      I haven’t seen any of the Ray movies, I am bad, but you can just describe them in detail and it will be the same as if I had watched them.

      On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 2:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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