Wednesday Watching: What Are We Watching and Reading and Thinking and Listening To on Karan Johar Week?

Happy Wednesday! I love these short weeks. I always do a half day on Fridays, and I had Monday off, and Thursday is really just a slide into Friday, and the first day of the week is just a slow ramp up to productivity, so if you think about it this is my only real work day of the week. Huzzah!

I’ll start!

Watching: Finally saw Zootopia! And it is indeed a great movie about racism, and also intersectionality in really interesting ways. Also watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai twice in 3 days, which was an excellent life decision (once with y’all and then again with my regular movie group trying an internet get together).

Reading: Oh shoot, I had a thing! And now I can’t remember it. If it comes back to me, I’ll update this post.

Thinking: Should I take the dog with me when I go back to my apartment this weekend? I’ve been leaving him at my parents to keep them in line, and so I could have glorious lazy PJ wearing alone time. But it began to feel a little weird last weekend. Hmm.

Listening: Courtney claims “Ladki Badi Anjani Hai” is musically underrated. I don’t know if I believe that, but it got me to give it another listen!

Now, question for you from Karan Johar Week: What was the first Karan Johar movie you saw?

Mine was either Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Kal Ho Na Ho, depending on if you count KHNH. KHNH was one of the first movies I saw, because it had just come out on DVD when I started getting into the movies and everyone told me I HAD to see it. And also Main Hoon Na. I liked KHNH a lot better. And then I watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and it blew my mind that something could be so swoony and romantic, and not do anything to cause a censor to blush.

38 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching: What Are We Watching and Reading and Thinking and Listening To on Karan Johar Week?

  1. K3G was my first Karan Johar movie, by accident because my friend loves Jab We Met and while looking for JWM on Netflix we 1) couldn’t find JWM and 2) Netflix thought we’d like K3G. She didn’t like K3G but I loved it. Funny you mention Main Hoon Na because my sister and I have alternate names for a few Indian movies and and MHN is “Captain Student” XD

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    • We also have alternate names! For us, K3G was “it’s all about loving your parents”.

      On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 9:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I’m basically just watching Kimmy Schmidt. Very easy to mainline into my brain.

    After that I will probably compulsively rewatch the rest of Govinda and Shashi’s movies together, because Ilzaam reanimated all my feelings and they’re all so gooooood. I’m going to make a list of movies in which he gets tortured so I can rank them all for science, too.

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  3. Watched: Madhumati! For no other reason than that I saw Vyjayantimala dancing to “Chadh Gayo Papi Bichua” and was mesmerized by both her dancing and her and Dilip Kumar’s chemistry in the little moments where she addresses him were just lovely. And I pretty much adored them both in the film too, even though the out and out romantic moments aren’t *that* many. I hadn’t seen it before, and I absolutely loved it. The thing that indirectly led me to it was a documentary on Saroj Khan, which begins with her early years as a child artist and then a group dancer, and Vyjayantimala was interviewed for it since she interacted quite a bit with Saroj when she was young (so a clip of Chadh Gayo Papi was featured).

    Read: Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test. Both v engaging novels about people on the autism spectrum.

    Thinking: of having mangoes after dinner nomnomnomnom

    Listening: I’m in a bit of an Asha Bhosle mood so lots of “Yeh Ladka Hai Allah” and “Mere Dil Ka Woh Shehzaada” and stuff.

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    • Is Madhumati the ghost one? It always looked sooooooooooooo weird to me that I didn’t care watch it. I stayed with happy Jewel Thief and Sargam for my Vijantimala. Did you run across the story of her dancing for the Pope when she was 5 years old? Mindblowing!

      On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 9:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Yeah it’s the ghost + doppelganger + reborn lovers one so basically Vyjayantimala had three separate roles πŸ˜„ Tbh the ghost bit only comes towards the end in one scene. I think Om Shanti Om may have referenced this one for the ending where Shantipriya takes revenge on Mukesh because the elements are v much similar. Also yes I heard about that story but only found out yesterday 🀭 Even now she’s so agile and still performs and I’m just. In awe, gosh.

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    • Dancing! Best way to stay fit and active life long. Although, also best way to blow out your knees and spine if you do too much of it. So a mixed bag I guess.

      On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 9:41 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Correction: Make that TWO scenes. She’s a ghost in TWO scenes, I just forgot the first one coz it was so short πŸ˜‚

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  6. First Karan Johar movie was KKHH. Also, so excited that you watched Zootopia and KKHH again! Isn’t Zootopia amazing? My husband and I have watched that movie far too many times and love it every time. I could also listen to the songs over and over again.

    I just watched the original Don with my dad and it was just so damn well done. I love everything about it. I also watched Jabariya Jodi. I love Sid, and he tries so hard. My big issue with the movie was again the lack of enough romance!!! What is it with this movie and Street Dancer 3D?! Give me more romance between the couple. I can forgive most things in a movie if it has enough romance and a happy ending, especially with someone as cute as Sid. Oh, also, did you ever watch Never Have I Ever? My husband, dad, sister, and I binged watched the entire series over the weekend, and everyone loved it. And then I made my dad watch Late Night and he really enjoyed that too. I am realizing more and more that I just love Mindy Kaling’s writing.

    Not reading anything else besides work stuff. I need to get back into the Pineapple mysteries. My issue with reading for fun is that once I start, I cannot stop and I will do stupid things like stay up all night and not eat during the day just to finish the book. So, I really have to start reading something when I know I have all the time in the world.

    Listening to songs from K3G and KKHH and I completely agree with Courtney that Ladki Badi Anjani Hai is so underrated. It is so much fun, and easy to sing along to, and generally makes me smile.

    I am Thinking, I need more movie recommendations. I am now just rewatching old stuff. Nothing new seems to be catching my attention. I like Ayushman but I have zero interest in Gulabo Sitabo. The trailer did NOTHING for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! Are you one of the KKHH little girls? The ones who watched it and thought “Little Anjali is so cool and awesome, and her Dad is fun” and then 10 years later watched it again and went “Little Anjali’s Dad, HELLO!”? Or were you like me, and saw it first as a teenager and were all about the parents and hated Little Anjali?

      Yes Zootopia is amazing! Such a good exploration of feminism versus racism without ever saying it is about feminism versus racism. And also just funny and amusing on its own.

      Haven’t watched Never Have I Ever, waiting until I am in the right mood. Haven’t seen Late Night either. Someday I will have a big Mindy Kaling urge and just binge it all.

      I am the same way with reading. I used to love to read on public transit, because it was perfect for letting me enjoy reading while also having something going on around that would stop me from reading when I got too involved. When I was little, my Mom would have to slap her hand down on the page of the book so I couldn’t see the words any more to stop me. Anyway, I am all caught up with Pineapple Port, and a new one is releasing on June 1! Very excited about this!

      On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 10:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I watched KKHH during my first year of college, and just completely related to Angali (Kajol). Everything about her made sense to me. I was a total tom-boy in high-school and always felt awkward expressing my more feminine side. My best friend was a boy who broke my heart (not romantically) but still. And then I went to college in a big city, and I felt like I was around peers that finally just saw me for me and understood me (I moved from India in my early teens to a very small, very homogenous town). I started exploring makeup and trying new clothes, and all of a sudden, I felt pretty, and wanted to look pretty. So, I think KKHH is so special to me, because I saw it at that exact time when I was going through all of this, and Kajol’s characterand journey just became so special to me. I also truly loved the friendship between Kajol and Rani.

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        • Same! Well, not exactly the same. But I saw it in college too, at that same “finding yourself” kind of age. I think I wrote about it somewhere, the magic of a story where the college romance doesn’t actually work out. That’s what makes it good, because I wasn’t mentally ready to think about being married and having a kid and stuff, just like Anjali wasn’t really ready for it then, but the idea that ten years from now maybe I would have this amazing perfect love sounded just about right.

          On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 11:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Agreed completely! To me, I met a wonderful guy in collage, who I liked and we had a nice relationship, but I was never in love and definitely not ready to get married or settle down. So I could relate to Kajol’s feelings for Salman too. And I had a wonderful roomate too, so I could relate to the Rani-Kajol friendship.

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  7. I’m on Marathi movies spree lately. I watched Aai Shappath, Filmikudhi recommended last week. I loved it and I also felt in love with Ankush Chaudhari who played heroine’s best friend. I needed more of this actor so I watched Double Seat and it was so nice! Such a simple story but with a big heart. You know those big Telugu movies about families that are all: our Telugu/ Indian traditions and families are the best and all the world is jealous. But instead when you watch you’re like: Thank God I wasn’t born in this traditional house!
    Double Seat was the opposite. The family was unpretentious, quite poor and lived in a very small apartment, but they loved and helped each other a lot. There was no misogyny and new daughter in law was treated just like a daughter and a family member. And yes, I was jealous and wanted family members like those from the film. All actors were great and Ankush was also so sweet and cute. He is now my official Marathi crush. I read he is in Marathi remake of Charlie and I must watch it asap.

    Yesterday I planned watching Mouna Ragam, but couldn’t find it with subtitles. There is telugu version on youtube but the subs don’t work well :/ I thought it will be easier to find.
    While searching I saw his poster:

    I started watching immediately and had high hopes because Atul is a very good actor, and the reviews were good, but it was SO BORING! Nothing happens from the beginning to the end. Only few people talking about the same thing all the time.

    Listening: Double Seat soundtrack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so incredibly adventurous! I don’t want to try any movies, let alone one from a new language group. I am just stuck rewatching the same things over and over.

      On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 12:19 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Sometimes I feel like rewatching something but there are so many new movies I want to see and rewatching the old ones feels like a waste of time.

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        • I feel the same way, and then I rewatch the old ones anyway, and feel guilty.

          On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 12:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Seeing K3G and Devdas after years was fun. I think I will watch KHNH too when the new movies will disappoint me.
            A few weeks ago Italian Prime added Tum Bin 2. I was so happy I started watching but it was like seeing a different movie because I saw all the bad things I haven’t seen earlier. I’m not sure if I’ll continue because in my head it’s a great movie and I’m afraid rewatching will ruin it.

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  8. I still believe I’m right about Ladki Badi Anjani Hai, and I’m glad you gave it another shot!

    My first KJo movie I believe was actually SOTY. Look who you’re talking to.

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  9. My first KJo movie: damned if I can remember, but almost sure it was either K3G or KANK. If you put a gun to my head I’d say KANK, because I’d watched DDLJ by that time and understood it as the flipped version, although I was really disappointed because of the whole tone and Shahrukh’s character being an ass. I haven’t watched it since and I should give it another go. Although, depending on how we are defining “KJo movie,” I think I watched Wake Up Sid before that.

    I’m still catching up on everything I missed before I decided to go to the dark side for my movies, so this weekend (besides KKHH) I saw Bareilly Ki Barfi! What a lovely charming movie. A bit disappointed that the action leaves Kriti in a more passive role instead of focusing on her, but the two male leads are really great and play off each other well. I like Ayushmann and I don’t care what anyone says. Also, although I like romcoms I don’t usually experience them as hilarious, but this was an exception. I laughed out loud in several spots.

    Also very slowly watching Dostana. Things remain tense between Shatrughan and Amitabh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bareilly Ki Barfi is such a delight! So glad you watched it, definitely better late than never.

      On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 9:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. I saw Jabariya Jodi and Parineeti was great! And the chemistry with Sid was fantastic. Sid couldn’t really pull off playing a thug though. Which is interesting because he can do the whole Gentleman action scenes, but in that he was still a “nice guy”. But I liked the movie enough to watch the WHOLE THING, even though it is now past 1 AM and I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow. Netflix wanted me to watch Hasee Phasee, but I wanted to see a movie like that, but that I hadn’t already seen. I skimmed though Parugu for a while, but really wanted something light but new, and after some more searching tada, Jabariya Jodi totally fit the bill. Not fabulous, not Bhangra Paa Le great, but fun. And educational for me, forced marriages! I had no idea they existed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Sid just can’t play a thug, but for some reason he keeps taking this kind of roles: Jabariya Jodi. Marjaavan, Ek Villain. The scripts say: he is bad and dangerous, but all I can see are those cute puppy eyes.

      Liked by 2 people

    • So glad you liked Jabariya Jodi! I found it a bit shaggy dog story, kept going and going and going. But the chemistry was great, and I loved them together, and that was enough to keep it fun straight through.

      On Fri, May 29, 2020 at 3:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. I’ve been doing this thing where If find the most popular movie of “all time” in a language on einthusan, and watch it. That is how I found Bangalore Days, which I loved, and I recently saw Ambarsariya, which was entertaining. And last night I saw Raja Rani, which I found highly disturbing. Now I have this gross loop in my head of all our family friends who I would be miserable married to. And the biggest misery is sex. I’ve gone from neutral on the issue of arranged marriage to thinking it is TERRIBLE, from one movie, that I’m pretty sure was defending it.

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    • Everyone tells me I should see Raja Rani, and I still haven’t, so yaaaaay! You are giving me a reason not to watch it!

      I think I know what you mean, even without having seen Raja Rani. There are a bunch of other movies I’ve seen that seem to have an argument of “arranged marriage is good, because eventually you stop being actively miserable”. Which is just YUCHY. I don’t want to write off the whole concept, because there are also movies I’ve seen that deal with it as “two strangers who come together with an intention of building a life together and slowly form a bond in their own time”. That’s a concept I can get behind, if more people believe in that and didn’t go for a marriage without that understanding, I would be okay with it.

      And I just realized, you also mentioned Bangalore Days, which has one of those good arranged marriage messages. It’s not a good marriage, they don’t have sex, they can’t figure out how to fix things, and then the movie shows how honesty and understanding and slowly getting to know each other is how they can form a good relationship.

      Oh, and speaking of thinking about family friends you might have to marry, you know in South India the assumption is that you will marry your first cousin, right? So think about the male first cousin who is closest to you in age or, if you don’t have a first cousin close to you in age, the maternal uncle closest to you in age, and marrying them.

      On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 1:00 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • There are two good things in Raja Rani: Jai’s and Nazriya Nazim’s little roles. I had a crush on Jai after watching the movie years ago, maybe I still have because I watched this bad snake film Neeya 2 quite recently only for him.

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        • I liked all the actors. And perhaps because I liked Bangalore Days I am especially fond of Nazriya Nazim. Jai’s character was so unappealing, I’m surprised you had a crush on him. But then I’m old. I can’t really regain young eyes, but I know the world (and characters) would look different if I were 20 years younger. I loved the father/daughter relationship, except that he then encouraged her marry an alcoholic jerk, surely he would have paid more attention to his future son-in-law?

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      • Bangalore Days was one of those movies that left me neutral on arranged marriage, because though there was pressure, the protagonists chose it. And I probably shouldn’t talk about the differences with Raja Rani because you haven’t seen it and the fact that it is so popular probably means it is culturally important in some way. I will say I enjoyed the way the characters broke into dance and it was interesting how much LESS violent it was than the other films I have been seeing. There was a point where I WANTED a punch, and it didn’t happen. And then I questioned myself for wanting violence…

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        • Generally what I’ve heard about Raja rani is that it is like Mouna Ragam, but not as good. Mouna Ragam is really the classic “arranged marriage to love” movie. But it’s a lot like Bangalore Days kind of, the marriage actually breaks up, and then re-forms as a relationship of choice.

          I think wanting a fight scene just means that a) you have watched a lot of Indian movies where violence is a cathartic plot moment, and b) you have 3 sons.

          On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 4:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I was going to say: No! Mouna Ragam has nothing to do with Raja Rani, because it’s so subtle, and elegant, but I realized both movies have a dramatic death, a person hospitalized and woman planted at register office. The only difference is husband’s character. Mouna Ragam’s husband is perfect and very nice while Arya isn’t.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Raja Rani is like Mouna Ragam in the same way that Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is like Mouna Ragam. Love after marriage.

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          • I hadn’t thought about Rab Ne and Mouna Ragam! In Rab Ne, the tragic backstory felt totally earned and necessary. Good on Adi for writing well!

            On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 9:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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