Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me on Memorial Day in America?

Happy Monday! I don’t have to work today, yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! For weird reasons related to American history, we all have a holiday here that no one else in the world gets.

Here is where you get to ask me anything you want! If I’ve seen some movie yet, if I can give the backstory on some social/religious element you want to know about, what my opinion is of your favorite actor, anything at all! And you can just keep swinging back here all week as you come up with more questions!

Now, Karan Johar birthday question for you! What’s your favorite Karan Johar movie?

I’m boring, I’m gonna pick Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. It’s just so happy! And I watched it in college and it makes me feel young and so on and so forth.

30 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me on Memorial Day in America?

  1. Happy Monday!!! How have you been doing during these times?
    To answer your question, my favs Karan movies are KKHH and K3G. Maybe it’s cliché, but I fell in love with Kajol and Shah Rukh with KKHH and K3G is actually the film that made me want to know more about Hindi Films, so there’s this sentimentality attached to that one movie. Plus I love the songs 🙂

    My sister (who to my surprise also loves Hindi cinema, but usually doesn’t like the new movies or so she said) recommended me to watch Badhaai Ho.Thoughts?

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    • I have been doing great! Mostly. I moved in with my parents so I wouldn’t be alone and going insane, I’ve been there for 2 months now, watching movies every night and being happy. But it’s also kind of weird retreating to childhood by living with them. I’m glad I was able to go over to my “real” apartment for this long weekend and kind of take stock of my life.

      So many people found Hindi movies through KKHH and K3G!!!! Karan says terrible things about both films now, but I hope someday he comes to see that what he thinks of as flaws, were qualities that made them special (the simple filming, the childish story, the wacky songs).

      Badhaai Ho is a family comedy, not escapist so much of fantasy, and only two songs, both montage-y. It’s a fun good movie, but it isn’t what I usually look for in Hindi film.

      On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 8:25 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m happy to read that! And yes, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming living with the parents again 🙂 But great that you’ve had time to watch movies and be happy!

        Yes, I have read that in Germany, where I live, K3G was the movie that pretty much opened the market for other Hindi movies. If ppl have watched some Hindi Films, they have watched K3G.
        Now I’m curious, what does he say about them? And why?

        Well, I will watch it and maybe I’ll write what I think. I’m curious about the not-escapist part you mentioned.

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  2. “Weird reason”, Margaret? Don’t you know what “Memorial Day” is commemorating? A couple of days ago I read an article lamenting the sad state of American education, such that most young people today don’t even know the significance of Memorial Day. I hope you are not one of those uninformed numbers.

    I’ve actually been waiting for Monday so I can ask you a question. But first, I guess, I’ll have to answer your question. Unfortunately, the answer is that I don’t like any of Karan Johar’s films. In fact, I dislike his film making ethos, and most of his personality traits. Since I know that will upset you, I won’t go on about it. But, if I’m pressed, I’ll name Duplicate as the Dharma film that I like more than any other of theirs. Karan supposedly wrote some of the dialogs, so I hope that will satisfy your condition.

    Now, for my question: Can you please define what you mean by “chemistry” between actors on screen? I’ve never understood what people mean by this. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been astounded to see you repeatedly say that there was “no chemistry” between SRK and Madhuri in DTPH, or indeed, in any other film of theirs. I thought they were fine in DTPH. On the other hand, I’ve never seen any of the much vaunted Kajol-SRK “chemistry.” They act well together and obviously are very comfortable with each other. Perhaps it is this comfort that seeps into their performances and is what is termed “chemistry?” But the thing is that I don’t think Kajol is that good an actress. I much prefer the Juhi-SRK pairing. I’ve also seen Kajol give the exact expressions of passion or love with other actors in other films as she does wtih SRK. So there is nothing unique to him. I also find the “‘aur paas” scene in DTPH much more sizzling than the gazebo scene in KKHH.

    To give another example, many people go bonkers over the “chemistry” between Salman and Aishwarya in HDDCS. Again I’ve never noticed anything special in that film between them. At any rate, if there was such a thing, it was obviously just a reflection of what was going on in real life between them. Which is why I’ve always been even more baffled by the many, many fans over the years who kept wishing that Salman and Aishwarya would act together again, so that they could have a repeat of that chemistry. Really? After the way they broke up, why do these people think there will any such romantic chemistry between them onscreen again? Or perhaps there would be sparks, but of an entirely different nature.

    And that brings me to my final question. Sometime in the last week or so, people here mentioned that there was a strong “chemistry” between two characters in a film, even though they were not romantically paired. So, can this chemistry exist between two characters who are friends, but not lovers, especially if the two are the same sex? Can there be “chemistry” between the hero of the film and villain?

    Sorry for the length of the question (by now you know that I’m long-winded!). I look forward to seeing your answer.

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    • Memorial Day is a descendant of Decoration Day, which was created to encourage people to go decorate the graves of their Civil War dead. It’s an odd holiday because there’s no significance attached to the particular date, and we don’t even do the thing that it was created to encourage us to do any more. Plus, it was created with the idea of the Civil War dead being this big unique moment in American history, and turns out we’ve had lots more war dead since then. Oh, and it’s no longer for the dead exactly? Like, now it’s to honor anyone who served? Having Memorial Day, plus Veterans Day always confuses me. Because they are kind of the same thing, both were supposed to mark this big important war in American history, and now they are both sort of catchalls. If Memorial Day was still “let’s remember the Civil War”, that would make sense to me, but now it’s all who served, so it’s the same as Veterans Day! If I gave this whole history to a non-American, I think they would be perfectly justified in saying “wait, why do you have two holidays that do the same thing? And if Memorial Day is for the Civil War, why is that no longer talked about any more on the holiday? And why don’t you decorate graves which was THE WHOLE POINT?” It’s just an odd holiday.

      For me, “chemistry” means when I am excited to see the two people together in a scene, when I sit up and pay a little more attention. I am sure there is something real I am picking up on, something like their body language is echoing each other a bit more, or their dialogue rhythm is harmonizing, something that happens when two performers are a bit more on the same wave length. It most often comes up with romantic scenes, because that is when you really need to believe these two people are in harmony for the scene to work (especially if there is some physical business they need to do), but I have had the same feeling of “oh, I like seeing these two together!” with non-comic pairs. For instance, in Om Shanti Om, I think Shahrukh and Shreyas Talpade were far more in harmony and had better chemistry in their scenes than Shahrukh and Deepika. Somehow with Shahrukh and Madhuri I never feel that, I never feel like they are perfectly focused on their scene partner and just letting go in the moment. On the other hand, I almost always feel that with Abhishek no matter who his scene partner is (male, female, child, anything). I think he is just very very good at playing off of someone.

      On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 8:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Just a tag on to the weirdness of Memorial Day — many sources credit its origin to women decorating Confederate graves during and after the Civil War. So, the current holiday to honor those who have died in service to the United States may have begun by honoring those who died while fighting against the United States.

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  3. Favourite Karan Johar movie(s) K3G and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. No competition. I can’t make a decision between the two since they are essentially one at the beginning and current part of his career and I love them both. I just rewatched ADHM and it is so good, even Ranbir doesn’t bother me in it since Anushka calls him out so many times and the music is so good and it is just a beautiful filled with such raw emotion underneath.

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    • I am so glad someone likes ADHM! It wasn’t my favorite, because I just don’t enjoy Ranbir, and the ending was too much of a downer for me. But I think it is Karan’s best made film from a technical stand point, and he had a clear message he wanted to tell and feeling he wanted to evoke.

      On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 9:13 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • At the time of seeing it, I was in a headspace where it made my cry deeply for the message it gave that I haven’t experienced from any of his movies apart from K3G, that I love for all the ambition in it, even if it’s not perfect it makes me feel warm inside and I do enjoy the soap opera plot

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          • Have you ever done a comparison of ADHM and KHNH? So interesting that the character who comes to bring light and love into the dark places is also *SPOLER* the impossible love who gets killed off in the end.

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          • Wow, I hadn’t thought about it that way! To me KHNH and ADHM come at SPOILERS the death in such a different way. In KHNH, it is the whole reason Karan made the film, the whole point of the story. But in ADHM it was a last minute script decision to resolve the central conflict. But there is something subconscious going on there I think, in KHNH Karan had hope that another love could come and replace the dead love, but in ADHM that hope is gone. END SPOILERS

            On Tue, May 26, 2020 at 12:44 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Same! Though not full-on soap opera I grew up with a lot of period dramas where there are a lot of relationship dramas, which I am sure influenced the reason why I don’t mind the dramatics in a movie like K3G if they have a point or are honest in showing them

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    • No, no one in Hindi film ever goes bold, all their hair is always perfect. And also, looking at his genetics, I don’t think so, Boney went bald, but only after 50 and not that much. It’s just not a Kapoor thing.

      Also, we are watching SOTY2! You should join us! Only an hour and 45 minutes left, and it is so AWESOME!

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  4. K3G was the second Indian film I saw and I was completely sold after that! The music, the SRK Kajol jodi, the over the top emotions, I loved all of it! I think in one of your other posts about Karan you mentioned how he thought K3G was a failure because of how Dil Chahta Hai had been so lauded, but if that had been the second film I saw I’m not quite sure I would have fallen so hard for Indian films.

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    • Exactly! Karan doesn’t appreciate what he did with K3G, yes it wasn’t “original”, but it was the best example of a type in maybe forever. The complex family dynamics, the big songs, the unembarrassed emotion, it’s all special.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is a shame that he doesn’t appreciate it tbh. It’s one movie where you experience all the emotions one after another and sometimes it feels like self care therapy to watch it…like through the laughter and tears you feel lighter… at least that’s what some friends and I have felt.

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        • Oh absolutely! He calls it “mush”, I call it something that succeeded in exactly what it set out to do. Maybe to his eyes now it looks confused and strange, but I think young Karan could have easily explained that he wanted to throw in a lot of plot and mood and so on rather than a smaller film that was all of the same.

          On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 4:30 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I feel like I don’t even need to say that SOTY is my favorite Karan movie. That should be obvious. But KKHH is a close second.

    Although, real talk, I started getting into Bollywood in the summer of 2017, right after I graduated college. I had a long list of movies to watch that took me months to get through and really had no rhyme or reason aside from an actor or actress I knew and liked in my big expanding web, with an interesting plot, or something as simple as I liked the music. SOTY I watched purely for the music, but I didn’t get around to it until September of 2017, right when I was starting my first big teaching job. I was so busy that I watched it in five minute increments over several weeks, and I was so stressed out and overworked all the time that I looked forward to my little breaks when I could escape into the movie. There’s a lot that I won’t get into about how terrible my mental health was in late 2017, but SOTY and some other movies that I watched around that time brought be out of it for a bit. It may be trashy, but it came into my life pretty much exactly when I needed it, so I will always have a place in my heart for that movie. Not sure if I’ve ever told that story, but it felt worth sharing for KJo week.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I can’t decide which movie I like more: K3G or KHNH. Maybe the latter.

    My question: What do you know about this film?

    After seeing the poster and the title I feel intrigued. The movie is on youtube with subtitles, but I’m afraid it can be really bad. What do you think?

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  7. What wait – did I miss not one but THREE movie watch-alongs? Ouch. I don’t regret going camping with my family, but geez, I wish I could have timed it better. Well now I have a lot of movies and comments to catch up on this week. I still haven’t finished Befikre. My favorite Karan movie, that I’ve seen, is probably Kuch Kuch Hota Hai; he started out strong!

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    • Yes, you missed three movies. Because I didn’t go camping with my parents, instead I had a glorious movie fest in my apartment and invited everyone!

      We did a watchalong for Kuch Kuch, you should read through all those comments ASAP.

      On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 9:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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