Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to The Week Before Shahrukh’s Birthday?

Happy Wednesday! This week has felt so fast to me. Probably because my work’s been busy, that makes the days fly by so much faster.

I’ll start!

Reading: Oh oh! I have a good one this week! Aman Basha, who has commented here a few times, wrote a thing on SRK which is really interesting. Y’all should read it! https://baradwajrangan.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/readers-write-in-287-peddler-of-dreams-seller-of-love/

Watching: I have been on a kick of crime-ish documentaries. Don’t know why, just something satisfying about about watching humans be weird. I suppose if I want the Indian version, the closest I could come would be Talwar. Oh, and tonight I am thinking of watching The Willoughbys with my parents. Has anyone seen it? Is it good like the reviews say?

Thinking: I may need to alter my schedule. I’ve been doing Sunday night through Wednesday morning at my parents, but this last weekend with the sun going down earlier, and too cold to really meet up with friends, and so on, my apartment started feeling very weird and empty. May need to do a few more days a week living with other people. Also, THANK GOD I live close to my parents!!!! I don’t know how young people living alone do it who aren’t close to family. I guess they don’t, I’m hearing more and more stories of people giving up their apartments and flying cross country to move back home.

Listening: Since it’s almost Shahrukh Day, this seems appropriate

Now, question for you! First, what are you doing for Halloween?

I bought scary earrings that I will wear all day to be festive. And I may put a costume on the dog when I walk him. My Mom ordered fancy truffles and is going to put a bag of them on all the neighbor’s doors. My nephew will have a homemade costume yet to be determined because his parents forgot until the last minute and now it’s too late to order stuff.

Second, what is the scariest movie (Indian or otherwise) you have ever seen?

The Innocents is one I saw at some film program when visiting a friend and it was TERRIFYING. For Indian films, I think probably Pari. The combination of jump scares and traditional horror with the metaphorical horror of violence against women is really spooky.

34 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to The Week Before Shahrukh’s Birthday?

  1. I generally avoid horror,and Pari was slightly on the thriller/supernatural side.Arundhati starring Annushka Shetty is probably the scariest one I have watched.I saw it expecting a horror comedy,but it was full on creepy horror and jump scares,not to mention the unnerving background score with curtains rustling against the floor,something that can actually be creepy in real life.I had quite a few nightmares after watching it.It was terrifying if one isn’t accustomed to such stuff to say the least.
    Get Out is probably the ‘best’horror movie I have seen,if not the scariest.Knowing Jordan Peele from his comedy sketch days made me really enjoy the script.From India my favourite horror movie is Tumbbad.

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  2. All horror movies are equally scary for me, so I don’t watch many. I do not like watch horror movies in theatres or at home because, most likely, I will scream through the film. The last horror film I saw was IT and it scary.

    We are still figuring out how to give out candy. Whether to put a table on the porch and leave smalls bags of chocolates or use a waste picker to pick and drop chocolates into their bags. We get around 250 children usually. Not sure how many will come this year.

    I watched Ee Nagaraniki Emaiyindi on Netflix. Pelli Choopulu director’s second movie. Commercially did not do well but I think it is well made film. Last night watched Sarah Cooper’s Netflix special. It is funny but at the same time scary about what is happening around us. Has a big list of guest appearances.

    Reccomendation for crime documentary – Evil Genius – about an infamous bank robbery in Erie. It is on Netflix.

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    • When I was growing up, we used to get 100s of kids on Halloween. It was so much fun being in one of those neighborhoods where kids just flocked over. Now it’s not an issue anyway since I live in an apartment, which is kind of nice, at least we don’t have to think about it.

      Thanks for the recommendation! I saw it pop up on Netflix and wasn’t sure if I would like it.

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  3. I have seen The Willoughbys with my son and we liked it but I didn’t expect it to be that dark. But still worth watching.

    The scariest horror? A Nightmare on Elm Street seen whan I was little. I had nightmares for years, and that’s why I avoid horrors like a plague now.

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    • I’ve never seen Nightmare on Elm Street and I think that was a good decision based on what you say! But maybe I will stil watch The Willoughbys with my parents tonight, I think we can handle just a little dark.

      On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 9:32 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes. Watch The Willoughbys and avoid forever Nightmare..

        I also found The Others terrifying. But maybe it scared me so much because I’m not used to watch horrors? Anyway I was 18 or 19 years old when I watched the movie and I was affraid to stay at home alone, or open the front door in the evening (Everytime our dog wanted to go to the garden or enter the house I had a little heart attack 😉 )

        From Indian horrors I have only seen Game Over, and only because I thought it’s a thriller. More than scary it was violent and unpleasant.

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        • Oh! Speaking of Nightmare, I haven’t seen Nightmare Before Christmas since I was 7 years old, and my parents have never seen it I think. Would that be a good one to watch tonight?

          On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 2:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • You should rewatch Nightmare Before Christmas. I’m going to show it to my kids because the little one is curious about it. I don’t remember it being scary and I do remember thinking it was good.

            Lately I’ve been thinking about the genius of making a movie that gets played for two holiday seasons every year.

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          • We watched it! It was a bit too, I don’t know, not sappy enough for us? I missed the sweet little kid and dog kind of storylines. But I could also see how little kids would just LOVE it. All these funny jokes and clever lines you could memorize and repeat.

            On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 10:57 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I’m going to cobble together a costume from whatever I have, for my own entertainment (all the good ones are at my mother’s house, sadly). I was going to buy more decorations but am now in quarantine so can’t, maybe I will make some on the day as a fun activity

    The scariest one was probably a really realistic biopic about Ed Gein.

    I watched Maharaja which was a let down. Now I’m kind of out of stuff to watch, am back to stupid British detectives. Later in the week when I’m less anxious I will find some fun silent horror movies or something to watch. After that, Taish! And then I need to get through all the Govinda films on Zee5 while my account lasts.

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  5. Scam 1992 is a great crime drama trending currently,it is getting good response from the audience.More of financial crime as a backdrop,not a whodunit story.

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  6. I have started many different movies last week: a Bollywood classic, a telugu romance, Shabana Azmi’s movie with English dialogues and Malayalam film. I finished only the latter: Halal Love Story. I’m not sure what I think about this film. It has a few very nice and touching moments,the acting was great (Joju George, Indrajith, Grace Anthony) and I needed a nice and simple movie about nice people but I don’t get what was the conflict was. And it felt too short. Like one day Indrajith is mad with his wife and the next day he is not, and 10 minutes later the movie ends. It could be one of the nicest movies this year if only it wouldn’t end so abruptly .

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    • The movie is sweet and simple but it’s background is anything but. The conservative muslim clerics and organizationa in North Kerala had banned films telling they are haram(against their belief) . This meant a large community was kept away from films at least until 2000s. Even now, the ultra conservatives stay away from films.
      The group in this film is trying to argue that films fundamentally are not haram and are setting out to make a halal(acceptable by religious standards) film.

      The kind take on the film will be that the makers are trying to show how halal and haram are based on your intentions not based on diktats by some entity. And at times it does feel like makers are trolling the entities …The unkind take would be that they are trying to whitewash the entity and it’s diktats by showing a group of people bending backwards to toe the party line.

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      • Thank you for the details. I saw mixed review and was wondering.

        And can you explain me the debt story? The subtitles were very fast during those parts and I didn’t understand well. So Indrajith didn’t forgive his father-in-law’s debts unlike the other sons-in-law? In the flashback he said he forgives, so why his wife is angry with him?

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  7. Reading: I friend did a training at work that included taking these implicit bias tests, and she showed it to me, and I am constantly astounded at what I come up with. Not the majority, for the most part, I’ll tell you that. Apparently I slightly prefer dark skin to white, my husband told me he’ll get a tan. https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html?fbclid=IwAR0PKgup0AfY0cL7S-mypAvzUdI2eiszLO5t7uRER1jYMqqyEGbgBi1cqyk

    Listening: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

    Also Reading: Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815-1848 – Early Californio culture was NOT like that of Americans, or Spanish most likely. I don’t know everything, but I’m reading about respectable women who have had two divorces, by 1848…

    Watching: The new Borat movie (hysterically disturbing) and Yes Boss.

    Scariest movie I ever saw was Gremlins because I was TOO YOUNG and I saw it in the theater. I spent the whole movie trying to crawl back into my mother’s womb; I’m not sure she enjoyed the film either.

    I still don’t know what we are doing for Halloween. We are NOT going to to the trunk or treat at the fairgrounds; there has been an uptick in COVID in the last week. But are we hanging out in the driveway around a firepit with a bowl of candy for kids to help themselves to? Do I LET my kids go out? A lot is going to depend on the local COVID counts the next couple of days.

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    • thank you! Those implicit bias tests look really interesting. I’m gonna save them as an interesting treat for after work.

      Now I want to read about early California too! But I am fascinated in general by how history isn’t a straight forward progression. Race issues, gender issues, all these power dynamics keep changing over time and place and culture.

      Do your kids have costumes ready to go? So at the very least they can wear them and dance around your fire?

      On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 9:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Then you are fine! A pinata and costumes, that’s all you need for a Halloween.

          On Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 11:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s good, because hubby is sick and getting Covid test tomorrow. So we certainly aren’t seeing any friends. Or even touring the neighborhood to see displays. Kids are counting on the fact that I’m going to make this up to them with lots and lots and lots of candy.

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  8. The movie I remember being most scared by in the theater (as a person who didn’t see many scary movies) was The Blair Witch Project. That one was such an event, the early days viral marketing, the homemade feel of the filming, the set up of it being real footage discovered. And it is scary.

    The one that stuck in my head the most, though, is The Watcher in the Woods, which I saw at a sleepover and carved bits of itself into my young brain. I wonder what I would think of it now.

    We’re not doing much for Halloween. A small “party” for the kids with the next door neighbors, just to give them a reason to dress up. I did take Friday off, though. We’ll carve the pumpkins.

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    • Ooof, you are so brave watching those scary movies. And I want you to rewatch Watcher in the Woods! Just because I am curious if it will still be terrifying thanks to your memories, or if it will spoil that childhood memory of fear. Although maybe you shouldn’t watch it, because then you would lose that memory. Hmm.

      What are your kids dressing up as?

      On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 11:29 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Shraddha Kapoor is starring in a Nagin remake.Why on earth would anyone step down into a hole that ends in a disaster?I shudder thinking about the terrible vfx that would be served out.

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    • Even if the vfx is good, what are they doing making Shraddha the lead???? Her lead roles have consistantly flopped! She’s a great supporting actress, but no way should she be a lead.

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  10. Thinking:Indian film critics.Barring Raja Sen and Baradwaj Rangan,there aren’t many reviewers whose reviews I enjoy so much.
    One of the things that make me enjoy Rangan is how detailed his reviews are.Dissecting the possible intentions of the filmmakers,how it is executed,what is the possible impact on the audience.There is a complete separation of his personal views of the film,and the film itself.His reviews feel like it points out what we might miss,like a contrived plotline in an otherwise good film or a great message in any universally panned movie.Feels more like “the film explores these themes” instead of the usual “you HAVE to watch this”or “who the hell made this” route of some critics.I was pleasantly surprised to know that he was a deputy editor of The Hindu,one of the best left leaning newspapers in India(don’t go by the name,it started in 1878 and is a liberal inclusive news source).Raja Sen is also good,but his reviews are shorter(for quick read to decide “should I watch it or not”)with star rating system.Do you think that most film critics aren’t bad at film reviewing in general,but fail to articulate their thoughts well,unlike Rangan or Sen?Especially when their tone starts to feel dismissive instead of critical?

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  11. So after Kuch Kuch Hota Hai on Saturday I thought I should see some more hot Salman, so I watched Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, his spring hit with Kajol so you said! First off, for all its faults, KKHH is so beautifully filmed, the stars are so well styled at least in comparison. Also, Karan is friends with Kajol, he wrote it for her, used her to her full abilities, and despite some fancy belly no nos, for the most part he picks clothes that are flattering on her. Pyaar Kiyo To Darna Kye is really fun in the second half, and Salman is beautiful, showing so much more skin than Kajol ever does. And while his chemistry with Kajol isn’t terrible, it is NOTHING like the chemistry she and SRK share. But her onscreen chemistry with SRK is better than that with her husband, which makes me think it is SRK, he is just a better actor, or at least an actor the camera loves more.

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    • Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya was directed by one of Salman’s brothers (can’t remember which) and I feel like that tells you everything you need to know about the film. The direction is not the best, and it is definitely The Salman Show. But also, so beautiful! And so much skin!

      On Sun, Nov 1, 2020 at 8:20 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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