In Honor of the 3rd Anniversary of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha: Which of These Movies Would You Erase From Existence If You Could?

I’m not gonna deal with the bigger “message” part of the films, just the minor irritation of all the horrible parts of watching them. Oh, or movies that DCIB would never really love or pay attention to (Manikarnia who?). But of the movies that in theory we might have enjoyed, and which we saw or at least saw the trailers, which of these is worst?

Okay, you have a one shot magic wand. Using this wand, you can erase all memories of the existance of one of the following movies. WHICH DO YOU PICK?

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha

Akshay takes over a women’s issue and explains it to us, we learn the real reason it is a problem is because women are too dumb to know what is good for them, and the abusive older Brahmin man is treated lovingly and indulgently as just kind of funny. Also, Akshay talks SO MUCH.

Mission Mangal

Fabulous female cast, who each get about 15 minutes of dialogue because Akshay has to talk and talk and talk and talk the whole time. Also, the concept of science and government accomplishments are reduced to the labor of a few people lead by a Great Man instead of a whole system. Oh, and there is a “nice guy” romance that ends with the woman finally waking up and realizing the unattractive older guy who stalks her at work is who she should love.

Sanju

A series of complex issues from addition to imprisonment to father-son relationships are reduced to catch phrases and wigs. And not in a fun way.

Padman

Akshay is coming in for a real battering here, but eh, I’m okay with that. This time he explains menstruation to women, and that makes them all fall in love with him.

18 thoughts on “In Honor of the 3rd Anniversary of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha: Which of These Movies Would You Erase From Existence If You Could?

  1. Akshay seems to be a reoccurring theme here. Why not just magic-go-away-wand all Akshay movies. (except “Holiday: A Soldier is Never Off Duty” — I liked that one.)

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    • But Toilet gave us so many pun opportunities! For example, you would “flush” away Toilet. I feel that is at least as valuable as giving us Vicky Kaushal.

      On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 10:36 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Although I didn’t like the films I wouldn’t remove Toilet or Sanju. Toilet was Bhumi’s first 100 chore film and was a big step in the right direction to making her a Bollywood Star. I wouldn’t remove Sanju either because it gave us Vicky Kaushal (at least in mainstream cinema, no one has seen Massan)

    So I’m left with Padman and Mission Mangal. Honestly, Akshay Kumar didn’t annoy me in Mission Mangal, so I’m going with Padman. Though, I do feel bad about my decision. If anybody reads this I encourage them to read up about the man that film is based on.

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    • I am okay with your decision! As someone who uses menstrual pads and has periods, the Padman story doesn’t quite hold up for me. Breaking taboos, absolutely, very important. But the need for disposable menstrual pads doesn’t quite make sense to me, since a lot of people I know have moved away from disposable to reusable just like were already in use in India and they aren’t dying in the streets or anything.

      On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 10:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Shakuntala Devi! I ended up watching it and I can say, for me, knowing the background, it was way worse than Mission Mangal. It was so blatantly biased and I’ll admit that I felt really icky watching it because I helped support a woman taking advantage of her mother’s popularity, to make money while defaming her and her legacy. Ugh!! The whole thing made me sick and I am really annoyed I even watched it.

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    • I considered adding Shakuntala Devi! But didn’t know if it deserved a spot in the roll of honor that are the other 4. You have to be really really bad to be up there with Sanju. I think you are the only other DCIBer who watched it (I have such power!) so you are the only one who can confirm that it is really really bad.

      On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 12:17 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I did not watch it (well not completely). I started watching it and I actually could not get through it. That NEVER happens. Right after Ranbir slept with Vicky’s love interest and then justified it by saying that he was just testing her and she’s a floozy and not worthy to marry Vicky, I was DONE.

        Sanju was TERRIBLE. And yet, I would still say on my moral compass scale, for me, white washing someone’s reputation may still be slightely better compared to completely tarnishing it, solely for money. Maybe we can just erase then both.

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        • What bothers me with Sanju is that, after doing a deep deep dive into Sanjay Dutt’s life in the lead up, I feel like it both white washed and black washed him in weird ways. It treated a lot of stuff way too lightly (his drug addiction and how it damaged his family, his involvement with gangsters and the effect on his father, the feuds with his sister), but at the same time it removed his dedication to being a good father, his fight with his family to marry Manika, and all those moments of shocking generosity people talk about. But then, Sanjay himself was part of making the film. So maybe this is how he sees himself, the best things he has done (in my opinion) have no weight with him, and the worst things he will find a convenient excuse instead of looking deeper, either at himself or society or even his family (that first marriage situation was a mess and Sunil didn’t handle it any better than Sanjay).

          Hmm. Yeah, Shakuntala might be slightly worse still. At least Sanjay was rewriting his own life, there wasn’t an involved party rewriting it for him. Well, mostly. You stopped before the whole “And then Munna Bhai MBBS changed his life, nay, THE WHOLE WORLD” section that was pure Hirani indulgence.

          On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 2:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I think your reasoning is exactly why I find Shakultala Devi worse. At least to me, Sanjay Dutt had a say in his movie. I am not saying that makes it that much better, but it is on him, and it is from his perspective (at least partially).

            Shakuntala Devi never had a say in her movie and the writers and directors chose to never go beyond the version persented by a daughter that a very real reason to present a warped version of her mother.

            Also, I can see how doing a deep dive into someone’s life and then seeing it represented so falsely would make one have strong feelings towards the movie and its inaccuracies. I knew about Sanjay Dutt’s life, and never felt the need to dig into it before the movie. Maybe it is because I did a deep dive into Shakuntala Devi’s life before watching the movie that makes me have stronger feelings about it than Sanju. Again, I hated Sanju. I knew it was completely inaccurate. But knowing the director, maybe I kind of expected the result.

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          • The deep dive right before Sanju definitely had an effect. I was so excited to see how they would handle certain things, and looking forward to these cinematic moments of his life, and then all the good stuff was just cut out and the boring stuff remained. I don’t morally object, because Sanjay has a right to have his life presented how he wants, but I do object to being forced to watch it as a movie goer.

            In general, you think a biography will be really good if it involves the actual people or their families, but it can be the opposite effect, right? Because they are too involved to see clearly. The most accurate biography is probably the one written by someone who was never close to the person, is able to step back and see them for all their faults. In the case of a celebrity, I would even prefer someone who can present them more in terms of what they meant to the world than what they meant to their family. A movie about Shakuntala presenting a version of Indian womanhood, and teaching children that numbers are a game, would be far more special than this mother-daughter drama. And a movie about Sanjay that looked at how his drug addiction helped India understand drugs, and how his multiple marriages were interpreted, and how his acting matured, would be a heck of a lot more interesting than all the friendship and family drama we got.

            On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 2:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. It seems to me that maybe we should do away with Akshay, except I do really like Yeh Dillagi. If I have to pick one it would be between Padman and Mission Mangal. I saw the first half of the other movies. Toilet was comically off. With Mission Mangal the actual poster is offensive. But the entire idea of Padman, and how much people loved it, makes my skin crawl without being able to explain why.

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    • I don’t like men poking around in my underwear. That’s why I don’t like Padman, and don’t like how popular it was among men. Get your own underwear! Leave mine alone.

      And then Mission Mangal is just infuriating.

      On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 1:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • At this point, I think everyone liked him in the past and is tired of him now. Kidnap him, put him in a time machine, send him back 4 years, and the DCIB readers would fight over him tooth and nail. But not now.

        On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 3:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Add me to the Padman list (although, full disclosure, I haven’t actually seen any of the others, thanks to your blog!) I agree that Padman explains periods to people who menstruate which I don’t think Akshay does. My big problem was that in addition to being sexist it is very classist. Akshay speaks in adorable, and utterly unnecessary, broken English; Sonam has to rescue him, etc., etc.

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    • Oh good point! And also that weird reverse classism where the rich girl falls for the working man.

      On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 9:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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