Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching and Listening To the Day Before Jim Sarbh’s Birthday?

Happy Wednesday! I am sure we are all spending the day quietly, preparing for the grand holiday tomorrow.

I’ll start!

Reading: Still reading Thirkell’s, I’m in the one that is described as her most bittersweet and thoughtprovoking. BLECH! I don’t want my thoughts provoked! But I can’t skip it, because that would mean Not Reading in Order, which is evil and wrong and lazy. Also, I picked up 6 more at the library yesterday and the librarian made fun of me a little, “so many books, all by the same author”.

Thinking: Up at the lake house again! For our last long stretch of the year. We are starting in 90 degree weather and by the time we leave in two weeks, it is supposed to be down to the 60s and we will be shivering.

Watching: Right now I am watching the wind blow and the lake ripple and all these very nice things. In the virtual realm, I’m trying to figure out my Sadak 2 viewing plan. I assume many of you are eagerly waiting for my review, especially those of you without Hotstar access to the movie.

Listening: It’s Jim Sarbh’s birthday tomorrow! So of course, we have to appreciate the strange and awesome Raabta title song.

Now, question for you! It’s National Dog Day! Which movie star does this photo of a random dog that I enjoy most remind you of?

Petey, an adoptable Australian Cattle Dog / Blue Heeler Mix in Morton Grove, IL

Second question! My Grandpa is turning 99 in a couple weeks, what present should I get him? Right now I am just leaning towards “flowers”. Who doesn’t like flowers?

41 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching and Listening To the Day Before Jim Sarbh’s Birthday?

  1. I’m not able to watch anything lately. Everything looks too demanding these days. Even Pyar Impossible! I thought it will be perfect light film but no. There is this scene with Uday showing his software to Dino Morea and I was literally like: OMG Uday be careful, this evil Dino will steal your software. I had to pause because I couldn’t stand the pressure.
    I also started a chinese film Dot 2 Dot. So far nothing interesting happened which is good because I didn’t have to pause but also bad because it’s too boring.

    Does you grandpa like funny shirts? I follow a person on twitter who often takes photos of her eldery father and his funny shirts. He looks so happy everytime he has a new one.

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    • Good call to pause Pyaar Impossible, Dino keeps doing evil stuff the whole movie, it’s not just the one scene. What about Hum Aapke Hain Koun? nothing happens in the whole movie.

      funny shirts is a good idea! Hmm. I will have to see what the internet has.

      On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 10:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Isn’t Hum Aapke Hain Koun very very long? I don’t have energy for it. Will continue with Pyaar Impossible.

        Oh I forgot to say that punjabi movie Surkhi Bindi I liked a lot is finally on einthusian and with subtitles, in case somebody would like a sweet fall-in-love-after-marriage romance with a very cute couple. I subscribed to Zee5 months ago because they said they had it with subs. Later I discovered the subtitles don’t work (stupid Zee5, but I should have known better). I saw the movie anyway reading subs in downloaded text file. It was very nice even watched like that. I recommend it 🙂

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        • HAHK is very very long, but totally no stress. Which makes it feel longer, but also means you can just dip in and out of watching it.

          On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 2:13 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I’m still rewatching Shashi movies, but am preparing to switch to some recent Western movies, once my brain is ready for them. It’s suddenly autumn here, and it’s unbearably depressing, so probably I will soon fall off the movie watching wagon and go back to watching horrendous detective series.

    Jim! Why won’t anyone give you roles? I should have gone into a business that made me rich, so I could produce movies and other art.

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    • I love autumn! I’m getting happier and happier as summer winds down. Probably makes you feel worse, but whatever, your sadness feeds my joy. You can laugh in triumph at me in February when my SAD has me crawling on the floor.

      Jim is supposed to have another film coming up listed as a “revenge drama”, he is the second male lead so probably the bad guy, which is just how I like him.

      On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 10:18 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I was in the mood for something a bit trashy, and so I watched Fashion. I know it won awards, or at least Kangana won an award for being in it, but it is not good. All the acting is either wooden or unhinged, sometimes from the same actor, and the plot doesn’t make a ton of sense. It’s Priyanka’s fall and redemption in her modeling career, but Priyanka really doesn’t get a character arc, she just starts drinking, smoking, and being a massive bitch the minute she gets a modeling contract although she was a sweet girl from Chandigarh moments before.

    For some weird reason I’ve watched a ton of Madhur Bhandarkar movies, and they are weirdly regressive despite ostensibly being about strong women fighting the odds. In Fashion and Heroine the point is to gawk at the woman as she falls into the depths of depravity (in both films drinking, drug use, and sleeping with randos), although Heroine is much better because Kareena and Arjun R. really make you care about the characters. Page 3 is a lot more sympathetic to the main character, maybe because it’s Konkona and she’s a reporter. She gets painfully disillusioned but basically acts decently and in a way the viewer can identify with. ( Konkona is a bright spot in Fashion–she makes one of several celebrity cameos bickering with Ranvir Shorey and it’s an oasis of natural acting). The movies as a set seem to be designed to appeal to people who think female celebrities are evil. All the movies feature gay characters. In Page 3 a revelation that a character is gay is treated pretty much the same as drug use, in Fashion it’s more normal but they are still limp-wristed stereotypes.

    One movie I really enjoyed was Dil To Baccha Hai Ji, which I watched during my Ajay phase. It’s a fun romcom with a really unusual ending and I thought it was funny and sweet although I mostly just watched Ajay’s part.

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    • I have only heard of Fashion in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way. Well, scratch that, I have only heard of it in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way in recent times. Back in the day, I was routinely told “you don’t think PC and/or Kangana can act? Have you seen Fashion? They are Good in that”. There’s a certain kind of movie perfectly calculated to sweep everyone away into sort of a mass delusion it is good for like 4 months, and then everyone wakes up and goes “what was I thinking?” Like Sanju, or The English Patient.

      On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 9:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes, very much reminds one of an 80s soap opera or movie of the week, down to the costumes and Priyanka’s huge hair. It is very much so bad it’s good and would be perfect for a popcorn watch with a bunch of snarky friends. His other films are more like real movies; this is kind of a nadir.

          No idea what everyone was thinking praising Priyanka and Kangana. Rab Ne came out that year, and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, and Mumbai Meri Jaan. It wasn’t like there wasn’t anything else to compare it to.

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          • Oh, and speaking of movies that cause mass delusion: don’t forget Titanic. I thought it was dreadful, and I had to sit through all five hours or whatever it is because all of my students just loved it and I wanted to be able to talk about it. (I didn’t tell them I hated it). I am a dedicated teacher.

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          • HA! Remember my Titanic story? I was flipping through channels late at night and found this amazing hilarious spot on Titanic spoof, like Spaceballs but for Titanic. I watched and watched and laughed and laughed and then it slowly dawned on me “wait, those aren’t actors who look remarkably like Leo and Kate, they are the real things. Amazing, that they agreed to be in this spoof version! Wait, I think I saw a clip of this scene at the Oscars. Wait, is this THE REAL MOVIE????”

            On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 12:41 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Huh! did not realize Kangana and Anushka had similar careers in that way. I know Kangana started a lot earlier with Gangster and other Bhatt films (which she seems to have forgotten during her current campaign), but it was Fashion where she really jumped into the mainstream. And now Anushka is quietly running a production studio and inserting radical feminist messages into her work, and being offered plum roles in mainstream films, while also being an outsider. And not making a fuss about things.

            Fashion: Potential Friday Watchalong choice?

            On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 12:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I’ve had to take a break from Lucifer because of too much chest make-up in Season 4. Chest make up and I just don’t get along. And I started watching Crashed Into You. I grew up during the cold war, I am obsessed with communist and former communist countries. And the North Korean Town is SOOO CUTE (with constant evil music played in the background). ANd the details of how to use a plastic bag to take a shower and such, it is hard to explain how giddy it makes me. I can’t wait to show my father-in-law, he won’t give a hoot about the romance or plot, but I think he’ll love the depiction of North Korean life.

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    • But Crashed Into You doesn’t have a happy ending! Or at least, not a traditional happy ending. So I have been told. I don’t know if I could handle that, although I also want to learn how to take a shower with a plastic bag.

      On Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 11:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Maniyarayile Ashokan (a new malayalam movie produced by Dulquer) will be on Netflix from August 31th. Looks like my kind of film because it’s about a guy who seeks a wife.

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  6. Currently, my non-Indian interestest are kinds dominating my life, so not much to tell other than life and school are surprisingly good and my Peter Johansson interest hasn’t stopped and he makes it VERY HARD not to…I am not kidding here, the guy is way too generous with his fans by commenting on YouTube underneath comments, liking/loving said comments and just overall being a sunshine laces sweetheart of a man with a killer voice who clearly loves what he does for a living. It’s infectious! (not the best choice of words considering the reality now, but I can’t think of anything else to describe it)

    All I am saying is that I am now (and most likely later on as well) on Cloud 9 because of reasons that are no way India related

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  7. Just finished watching The Hater because Faridoon recommended it on Twitter and I was intrigued that he was recommending a Polish Netflix movie. It’s like Patricia Highsmith meets Black Mirror. You shouldn’t watch it because it’s dark, but for people with a higher tolerance for digging around in the unattractive parts of human nature, worth checking out.

    Now I need to go find something light and happy for a bit so I can have a peaceful sleep.

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    • For an internship in college, I had to watch all of the Polish classic “The Decalogue”. Which is as dark and sad and depressing as you can get I think. Anyway, now Polish accents and landscape just bring me back to that, so I would be already depressed based on the language alone. Huh! I haven’t thought about The Decalogue in years! I wonder if Angie saw it, or if it is something Polish people don’t actually watch, just pretentious Americans?

      On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 11:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • “I would be already depressed based on the language alone”
        Oh it breakes my heart. Polish is such a beautiful language.

        I have only seen “A Short Film About Killing” recently and it was depressing AF. I also remember seeing parts of “A Short Film About Love” years ago in polish tv.
        When The Decalogue was first broadcast I was too little to watch it, and later if I remember well it was shown at 11 p.m so too late.

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  8. I started a book called The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, which is a fantasy that starts in Cairo and spreads throughout North Africa/The Middle East/South Asia. It’s interesting and magical (djinn, water beings, LOTS of politics) but it’s so lore heavy that there’s a glossary in the back that I keep having to refer to so I can understand everything, and even then I’m not sure if I do. It’s also over 500 pages. I am enjoying it but it’s also making my brain hurt, so I’m not sure how to deal with it.

    This has been another very busy week for my brain. On the apartment front, I signed a lease on an apartment!! I think it turned out to be one of those things like you said, where we were going to settle for something and then something else came along that is probably better. Not perfect, but better. I probably won’t actually start living there for at least a month, but we got that squared away and now I’m thinking about furniture and measurements, and also on top of really getting into school mode since it starts in a few days. I sent the intro emails out today and gave them the codes to join our class pages, and watching them trickle in is so much fun, as I continue to try and figure out how to pronounce their names.

    I also watched Gunjan! A very lovely movie imo. I can see why you avoided it, but the actual war stuff is really only the last 20 minutes/half hour. Most of it is feminist and just a girl trying to get some respect in a male dominated field. There’s a whole scene where Gunjan wonders if not being a patriot means she shouldn’t join the Air Force, so it might not be as jingoistic as you were worried about. Jahnvi was okay but there were a couple of moments that made my heart hurt for her, including a speech that was okay in delivery but written SO WELL I applauded. And Pankaj Tripathi is so great all the time, I want him to be my dad.

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    • Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! APARTMENT!!!! And yes, I know exactly what you mean, that feeling of depression and just wanting to be done looking and ready to settle, and then Poof! the better thing appears. I am so happy for you! Also, Ikea! And Target! Best places to furnish your first apt.

      I am getting consistently great reports on Gunjan, someday when I am in a very good mood I may try it after all.

      On Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 10:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Hi Margaret, et all! Checkin in after a long time away. Hope you are doing well. I was sliding into a movie watching slump even before the pandemic hit and was only able to watch the new Love Aaj Kal and a couple of Hollywood things up through July. But slowly getting back into a routine at my workplace and back in my apartment (was at my parents’ home for a while). I replaced movie watching and reading with an obsession with cross stitching! But anyway…

    I watched Sawan Ki Ghata a few weeks ago and was entranced by Sharmila and Mumtaz both. These kind of films are some of my favorite Hindi classics. The guys are kind of beta and the girls are bossy and chic. So that was all good fun.

    But then I just watched four films in the last 48 hours and I think I’m back in the Bollywood zone again, luckily I’m getting back into it when things are starting to pop up on streaming.

    I tried watching Sadak 2 and got through the first 30 minutes. I wasn’t in the mood for 90s melodrama so I turned it off, but I was surprised that I actually liked the world-weary Sanjay in this role, just hated everything else about it and Alia was terrible. I think she is developing the same problem Hrithik has…they can’t say no to their fathers and their fathers never evolved in the industry and are still making crap films:)

    I loved Gunjan Saxena! What a sweet film about a young woman’s dream and the father who supports them. I liked that it wasn’t too jingoistic and I think the halt in production might have helped it…they couldn’t pad it with too many extras and the runtime was perfect for the story. Pankaj is the best! Angad Bedi is always interesting, but really hard to believe him as young enough to be Pankaj’s son…they are like the same age! Janhvi was solid, she has a gentle screen presence which belies her star power.

    Tanhaji was kind of disappointing. It had good ingredients, but the court intrigue and exposition was really boring. The CGI and action choreo was very interesting, but often a little OTT. Saif was chewins scenery and I loved it…just wish it were a more interesting (and less stereotypical) villain. Ajay was just too wooden, except in the scenes with Kajol (who felt out of place even though she’s always endearing). The songs were kind of fun, but overall I actually liked Panipat a whole lot more.

    Needed to find an Ajay film I could get excited about again, so tried De De Pyaar De and enjoyed it overall, except for the screechy daughter who was really jarring. Wish there was more comedy to it like you said in your review. Also, I didn’t like that Ajay and Tabu having sex was so cavalierly handled and excused. If this were a normal film about real relationships…that would be more believably handled as unresolved feelings on *both* sides and Rakul’s character wouldn’t be able to forgive them so easily. Honestly, in a setup like this I would have wanted the happy ending to be with Ajay and Tabu and this be a whole other film. Still I do like that it was an attempt at a “mature” storyline and I do believe that they dealt with the age difference issue well and even kind of beautifully at times with some good dialogues (reminded me of how there are can be some gems of humanity in films like these…thinking of Kareena’s speech in Good Newzz, too).

    So I wanted a film where Ajay and Tabu end up together so decided to try Vijaypaath and watching it now. I recognized the music immediately (that Look Look song is banana pants). Tabu is stunning of course and Ajay does his thing…not a film I would watch again though. I admire Tabu for being OK with taking these roles where she’s either the villain or the first wife, but I would kill to have her and Ajay or her and Saif actually have a romantic drama to dig into where they actually end up together.

    Ok..Singham is fighting a tiger…gotta go:)

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    • I am so glad to hear you are doing well! I was worried about you, because you were in a similar situation to me, and I was worried about me. If that makes sense. I am glad both of us made the decision to move in with our parents, living alone was just impossible for a while there, not if you wanted to stay sane.

      My Mom has gotten into embroidery as well, for the first time in her entire life. She’s always sewn, and enjoyed handsewing, but never liked embroidery. The ten million long boring Zoom calls got her to pull out an old embroidery kit just so she would have something to do with her hands, and after a rocky beginning, she loves it! Only challenge is buying new thread, because you really have to go into the store to match the colors.

      I’m sorry you didn’t like Sadak 2, but it sounds like you saw it about the same as I did, just with less interest in the genre. Sanjay was great, Alia was okay but not spectacular, definitely a thriller action kind of movie over all.

      Everyone who has seen Gunjan at DCIB has really liked it, which is ALMOST convincing me I should see it. But I am still nervous.

      I will continue to ignore Tanhaji. The few people here who have seen it all reacted similarly “eh” to you.

      Interesting about your reaction to De De, the sex between Ajay and Tabu was my favorite part of the film. Tabu’s whole speech afterwards is about the way their divorce was cast in this simple black and white light but that’s not how humans are. They didn’t stop loving and desiring each other just because they couldn’t live together any more. And Tabu in particular was a woman with desires who had been living a celibate life in order to please society, and that’s wrong, and Ajay slept with her out of love because it was what she needed. I could even believe Rakul forgiving them because it was such a complicated situation that she had dealt with like an adult all along, and Tabu approached her as an adult. But if this were a different film, I wouldn’t want Tabu and Ajay, I would want a total gender flip and go with Tabu and Ayushmann Khurrana or Sid M or someone. She is the saintly hardworking mother, her kids leave and she is alone on a business trip or something, she and a young man fall in love, she brings him home, only to discover that her estranged husband Ajay is home for a visit for the first time in years and the kids are all excited about it. She has to lie that Ayushmann is the new hotel manager she has hired, and so on and so forth.

      Important question: where did you see De De Pyaar De? I’ve got a couple people here who want to watch it but can’t find it with subs

      On Sun, Aug 30, 2020 at 3:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Nice to check in with you especially! The embroidery and cross stitch industry has really expanded in the last twenty years since I stopped. Tons of speciality threads beyond DMC and lots of cool hand-dyed fabrics. I also picked up a sampler my mom designed and didn’t finish from the 80s. She used DMC floss and I have only been able to find two matches so far even with going into the craft store last month. The first design I stitched was actually Pretty LIttle India by Satsuma Street (google it…it’s cute and a good way to start stitching again). Being in upstate NY with my parents was a blessing in disguise…I was able to be there for the duration of my dad’s cancer surgery and treatment and it was timed perfectly…he’s recovering well. Plus I got to hangout there (working from home of course) with their dogs and pool and much better than being in the Philly area early on. My university just made the national news for pausing in-person classes for two weeks because of an outbreak. But the library is still open and I’m on-site two days now.

        Yes, watch Gunjan Saxena…it’s a quick watch and Janhvi really is growing on me as Sara is wanning in my affections. They will always be pitted against each other of course!

        I watched De De Pyaar De on Hotstar with subtitles…I broke down and bought the annual subscription for $50. It’s actually a pretty good deal compared to other streaming platforms. But I was excited to see some South Indian films on there, but some don’t have subtitles. I was definitely surprised that they went there with the Ajay and Tabu sex, even though it rang true in some ways it didn’t in others. I still was happy with the ending for Ajay and Rakul, but I also wish that goofy Jimmy Shergill and the groom’s dad were Tabu’s options. She deserved better. And, yeah, I’m always in favor of a May December with an older woman character.

        I’ll hopefully be checking in again more frequently…at least with viewing updates.

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        • Thank goodness for librarians! I have been binging Angela Thirkells (wonderful light novels from the 30s, 40s, and 50s) and they are in that exact dead zone where kindle hasn’t gotten them yet, the used versions are increasingly rare and expensive, but libraries still have their copies. I’ve been hitting up interlibrary loan hard since they reopened here. And that’s just “for fun” reading, I can’t imagine trying to be in grad school still without college libraries.

          Your time with your parents sounds similar to my time with my parents, sort of. Except I was the one with the health thing (foot surgery), and the one with the dog (I think they should be paying me dog rent at this point, he brings so much joy to the household), and we have been half in their tiny apartment and half at the big nice family home. Anyway, the point is, being alone in a small city apartment working remotely and not seeing any friends is INSANE, and no one should be doing it.

          There is no concievable better option than Jimmy Shergill, that’s crazy talk.

          On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 12:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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