Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Week of JUHI’S BIRTHDAY???

Happy Wednesday! And also, happy one week until my father’s birthday! And two days to Juhi Chawla’s birthday! And of course, the 102 anniversary of the end of WWI/Polish Day (hi Angie!).

I’ll start!

Reading: I’ve returned to Terry Pratchett, he is just such a good writer! And such an easy read. And Procrastinatrix is right, Shahrukh would be a perfect Commander Vimes.

Watching: I am binging sooooooooooooo many true crime documentaries! Best one I have watched recently, Lorena about Lorena Babbitt. It’s surprisingly empowering and kind of lovely. And if you like this kind of thing, you should watch Talwar the movie because it is probably the best true crime fictionalized thing I’ve ever seen. But SAD!

Thinking: People are so nice! For only the second time, I locked myself out when walking the dog last night. The first time I had my phone and I called the maintenance guy, but this time I didn’t even have a phone. So instead I loitered in front of the building and then, thank goodness, I spotted a nice couple coming back from a walk, creepily stalked them into the alley, and asked them to let me in the back gate. Phew! Also, why did they trust me? Was it because I am charming and sweet? Or because I had a Little Dog, and what kind of clever sneak thief would lie about living in a building and have a Little Dog? (and now my father is going to read this and insist on putting a key to my building on the dog leash like he has been wanting to do so I will never be locked out again)

Listening: Poland Day!

Okay, Wednesday question for you! Give me a movie plot involving Juhi Chawla, WWI, and Poland!

Juhi Chawla travels to Poland to find the grave of her great great grandfather who died in WWI in Poland. While there, she falls in love with a sexy local tour guide. (Angie! Are there sexy local tour guides in Poland?)

50 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Week of JUHI’S BIRTHDAY???

  1. Juhi is a sexy WW1 nurse. While deployed in Egypt (???? I don’t know where the UK deployed native Indian troops, or she can pretend to be from Egypt) she charms a bunch of her patients (actors unknown, but must include Govinda who is a colonel or a general or something). The hospital gets bombed, they lose each other. In the 20s she gets a ton of money because she becomes a famous silent film actress and/or cabaret singer (in Poland, why not?) and she decided to give some of it to her lost patients. She seeks them all out, falls in love with one of them.

    I watched Cats last week! I thought it was okay??? Not good but not mind-bendingly bad, except for the way the dancing was filmed, which was literally the worst I’ve ever seen. Sometimes I’ll watch a Govinda dance number and there will be a shot or several where I’m like “Ouch, try again”, and these dance numbers were composed almost entirely of those shots.

    I’m having a super busy week running around buying stuff so am watching nothing but stupid detective shows now, but I think I will have the brain space for Ludo when it comes out.

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    • Love this plot! Just a slight update. Juhi is a “spinster” in India (I want her to play her current age), she joins the red cross because she is sick of not doing anything with her life and she is an experienced nurse (has been working to help support her younger siblings who are now all grown and don’t need/want her). WWI ends up being a transformative experience, she has a wild roommate, gives herself a makeover in Egypt (scarves are involved somehow), and discovers that all the soldiers are falling in love with her. Post-war, she doesn’t want to go home, reinvents herself again, and goes to Poland to try to get into movies after getting a letter from one of her soldiers who is now a director. She becomes an “exotic” vamp in Polish silent films, at age 40. And somewhere in there, she starts helping out the soldiers she used to care for by sending them money and stuff. And then, I don’t know, either her lost love reappears and tells her that his wife finally gave him a divorce. Or she helps some poor soldier stop being alcoholic and clean himself up and stuff but then he doesn’t want to propose because he is just a humble shopkeeper and she is a movie star. Anyway, something like that. The point is, Juhi is an older spinster who goes to war, discovers herself, and then becomes a movie star and is all glamorous and vampy in her 40s.

      What are your brainless detective shows????

      On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 8:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Great additions! Always love a middle age make over. When I thought of it, I totally thought of her as a Theda Bara/Pola Negri orientalist vamp. So suitable! And the kind of thing that actually happened then.

        Oh god, everything British and stupid. Agatha Raisin, Shakespeare and Hathaway, Death in Paradise, even Midsomer Murders. It’s so soothing!

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        • I love Agatha Raisin! And I am so glad they seem to have realized the love interest dude is way WAY boring and have started writing him out.

          With our middle-aged exotic vamp Polish movie star former WWI nurse Juhi, do you think she should have an unspoken love with a married officer who reappears magically unmarried? Or should it be a helping hand to a gentle shell shocked drunk who grows to be a real viable romantic option? Either way there has to be a scene where she acknowledges that she wants to be married, but not if it means giving up her new free like as a Polish film vamp.

          On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 9:08 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The love interest is the WORST. I’m sad Bill doesn’t get more action (from anyone!), but anything is better than Boring McWhitedude.

            I think it had better be a shellshocked or handicapped dude who was all “I’m too broken to love again” before the bombing but actually, he tried this new thing called psychoanalysis and/or invented something that makes his disability easy to live with, and he made a fortune on the stock market and is now Carnegie.

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          • Also, he defected because he became convinced the war was immoral and that’s how he became injured, then he fled after the bombing, so now he has to use a fake name so she didn’t recognise him in the papers.

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          • Oh oh! I really like that! We can have a slow build too where the audience knows who he is and he keeps trying to contact her and arrange a meeting, but she thinks it is just some rich idiot trying to pay to have dinner with her and avoids him. If we want to get really complicated, she can meet him some other way (like, he is quietly in the audience when she performs at a benefit for veterans), and she thinks he is still a down on his luck on the run guy and offers him money and a job, and he can’t seem to explain to her that he is rich now, and it all gets terribly confused.

            I vote he went AWOL and ended up in Poland, took the name of a dead Polish soldier, started over from nothing and quickly built up a bunch of Polish wealth at the same time she also landed in Poland and became a movie star.

            On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 9:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • He had a gay romance in the army but that guy died and he took his name in tribute!

            I love all those complications, very very masala. Why don’t I have enough money to fund my own production company?

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          • YES!!!!!! And that’s why he and Juhi were just friends back in the day! She knew both guys and was the only person they trusted with their love story. She grieved with him after the death of his partner, and when he went AWOL, she assumed he had killed himself. But what she doesn’t know is that even back then, he liked her, because he is bisexual. His partner saw it and left a letter behind “in case of death, open one year later” saying “Don’t live alone and sad, if I die, it is okay to move on and let yourself love Juhi”. He finally opens the letter, flashes back to Juhi and realizes he does love her, then starts trying to track her down, almost gives up when he suddenly sees a movie poster and recognizes her, tries to arrange a meeting but she thinks he is some rich idiot (he is using his lover’s name, but it is a common name, and Juhi knows the guy she knew is dead so doesn’t put it together). Then they meet, she thinks he is some pennyless sad veteran gay dude and he has a really hard time explaining that he is rich and also bisexual and in love with her.

            If he’s bisexual, it HAS to be Shahrukh. Who should play the dead Polish lover?

            On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 9:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m loving this plot a lot. It’s the most masala masala and I truly wish it existed.

            Could be John, lot of Jewish Poles. If we’re fantasy casting here with our unlimited money.

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          • Not sure if John is Jewish or Christian? Anyway, if we are going that way, obviously has to be ARK!!! Desi Jewish mother, Polish Jewish father, forbidden love with an Indian army officer Shahrukh, tragic death.

            On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 12:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh well, he could be Jewish. He’s ambiguous enough looking that it would work. I will also take ARK, though! Good choice. Right energy.

            I also need Govinda to have some kind of deeply tragic story because I love his tragic acting, so he can be the one with a dead wife/family.

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          • Govinda is the producer who Juhi initially links up with in Poland, he is all drunk and weird, and then she learns that he lost his family in the war. He starts to fall in love with Juhi and maybe they can be happy, at which point Shahrukh returns and now we have a Chandni/Taal style love triangle between sad respectful helpful Govinda, and sexy romantic SRK.

            On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 2:30 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That is great, but I feel sorry for him. I feel like giving him a love interest is pandering though, his love interest can be curing his alcoholism and going back to India to bring expressionism to Indian film or something.

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          • Maybe he always had a dream of returning to India and opening a studio but couldn’t get the funds? Part of his misery is homesickness? Rich SRK buys him the ticket and gives him the start up funds and he happily goes back to India. And meanwhile of course, Juhi gets to stay in Poland and take over the studio,

            On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 2:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. What are we watching, indeed! Procrastinatrix and I actually watched DDLJ in a REAL theater! A local multiplex was screening it for the 25th anniversary and so she got tickets and we met there, masks and all. The best part was that we were the ONLY ones in the theater, so we could laugh and snark to our hearts’ content. (OK, not a great thing for the movie theater, but fantastic for us.)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I came by to say hi, and to report that Joyomama and I got to watch DDLJ together in an actual theater–already shared by Joyomama. It was so much fun. Part of it was the giddiness of being in a theater with a friend again, but DDLJ really did “hit different” as the kids say, in a darkened theater with a big screen and big sounds. First, I really couldn’t take my eyes off of Kajol. I could appreciate how much this film is really hers. Second, I forgot so many little funny moments–the first pigeon scene duel between “ao” and “prrrr” just killed me. And we both heard a joke that we’d missed previously–I think when Anupam mistakes Preeti for Simran when he first arrives, and Shah Rukh skims past him, singing, “Preeetiii” under his breath. So cute. Third, while I still find the character of Raj super annoying, Shah Rukh’s performance was more subtle and multi-dimensional than I remembered. Fourth–the songs! so good. I forgot about the couple of shorter songs toward the end of the movie, in the background, that are so pretty.

    How nice to see my name in the post! I’m so glad you are reading Pratchett and have gotten to the Vimes/City Watch books. So glad you agree with my idea of Shah Rukh as Viimes.

    Finally, hubby and I have been watching Capitaine Marleau, a French police procedural. it is a “cozy” in that the body count is low and most episodes end on a hopeful note, at least for the characters you care about most. I’m really crushing on the lead actress, in real life and as the character. She’s a bit like Columbo, and most episodes have a wink and a nod towards that show and other detective classics. It’s on Amazon Prime but only with a free trial or subscription to MHZ. Very annoying, but worth signing up and then cancelling. There are only about 18 90 minute eps total, so you can binge it within the free trial period. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Early happy birthday to your dad! Wishing him health and happiness in the coming year.

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    • Hi!!! So jealous of you seeing DDLJ on the big screen. But also, happy that you can now understand fully why seeing it on the big screen was so life changing for me ๐Ÿ™‚

      That French series might be perfect for me and my parents to watch! My Mom loves French stuff, and we need another “cozy” series.

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  4. I don’t know about WWI but during WWII there was a Polish actress and singer Hanka Ordonรณwna, who had a very turbulent and interesting story worth a movie. At the beginning of the war she was arrested by Nazis. She was freed thanks to her husband, but later she was again arrested (this time by the Russians) and deported to USSR. In 1941 she and many other Poles are released. She saw there are plenty of Polish orfans and decided to help them. She arranged food and medicines and traveled in search of all Polish kids and put them all together in Polish orphanage. Here comes the Indian part of the story – Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar heard about those kids and brought them to Gujarat, where he prepared beautiful camp for them to stay.

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    • I love this! Juhi can be the heroine, we will just give her a desi ancestor somewhere in the background. And then rich royal Shahrukh can support her charity, and eventually fall in love with her. And we can have lots of cute orphan songs.

      On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 11:19 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Ok,I finished Taish and I’m ready to report. In my opinion it’s a must watch movie for Jim or Harsh fans because the actors have so much to do. Like sometimes you need 4 movies to see all those emotions. E.g Harsh Rane – he is heart-broken lover, angry brother, tough gangster and he is great in all those avatars. The same Jim. And they all also look so good. And the music is good.
    Is it sad? Well, it’s a revenge story. Can a revenge ever end well? Someone must lose in the end.
    I enjoyed this movie a lot. The second half is a little too focused on the revenge and I missed some emotions from the first half, but still I liked the movie and recommend it.

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  6. Re-Reading: A lot of books about sad children, because…catharsis…I guess? Not really sure.
    Watching: Nothing at present
    Thinking: What makes a happy ending a happy ending? I realized that even if Raj and Simran from DDLJ got divorced, I’d still think of them as a happy ending. And then I realized that was true for a bunch of couples. Is a happy ending about permanence, the idea of permanence, or just joy and love in a weird world? Or something else entirely?

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    • I love this question! I may have to steal it for a discussion post.

      I think Raj and Simran had a happy ending because in that moment they had complete happiness. That’s not nothing, to experience one moment in your life of pure joy, you can take that with you always. In Raj and SImran’s case, that one moment of pure joy would set them on a good path, Simran to being a fully free and confident person, and Raj to knowing he can do anything he puts his mind to. If they get divorced in 10 years, Simran as a single woman in London with confidence in herself and Raj as a successful businessman who knows his own abilities will still be happier than if they never had that moment.

      On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 4:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • ooh, I’d love to read a post about this!
        I remember, years ago, I read a post that said that happy endings are basically impossible now, since marriages aren’t permanent anymore, so there is no ending. A rebuttal to that I read was that happy endings can still exist if we _believe_ that the couple will end up together, whether it’s only a kiss at the end of a romcom or them reuniting at an airport.

        But I reject the premise itself and agree with you. The idea of a happy ending is that one moment, which is so pure, of both joy and achievement/betterment, which is so hard to come by. You don’t have to believe in permanence, you have to believe in the human capacity for change for the better and endurance. And I think that’s why a lot of romcoms feel hollow. You haven’t earned your joy. In fact, there’s very little joy at all.

        ALSO. Didn’t know where else to post this but.
        In K3G, Rohan comes back to the Raichand House on Diwali and then moves to London. But. The MBA semester would have already begun and also they celebrate Karva Chauth in London, which is before Diwali?? So did Rohan go there next year and spend a year tracking down Haldiram etc (because Eid is also after Diwali!)?? So Krish isn’t 9, but 10 years old?

        (Yes, this is where my brain wanders)

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        • I think Eid wanders around the calendar? So say that particular year, Eid was right after Diwali. He starts in London in January, which would make sense since Poo is already well into the school year. And then I guess he is in London way WAY longer than it feels enough for the calendar to swing around to Karwa Chauth?

          Alternatively, as you say, Diwali, then Eid, and then he starts in London in the Fall, making Karwa Chauth in the right place. Kind of cruel to put off this whole “bring Rahul home” thing for 6 months while he fills out applications and prepares to go to school, but it does make sense.

          Yes! A rom-com with a “happy ending” is one where you feel like the characters have been on a journey and this moment together is life changing, whether they marry forever or get divorced. Luka Chuppi, for instance, perfectly pleasant movie but it didn’t give that feeling at the end, it felt like they were just getting married because it was the thing to do, not because it was the culmination of a life journey.

          On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 10:59 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m still going to lean on the side of fall next year, just because apps take so long and also the clothes everyone wears aren’t suitable for London winters. Of course, all the clothes are still confusing (Robbie in leather and Pooja in a miniskirt but a fur scarf??), but it could be explained away by fall weather, which is difficult to do in January.

            The romcom idea is also why Jane Austen is amazing and I guess the Brontes as well, since both parties have to change (well, Heathcliff and Catherine get worse, but also they don’t get a happy ending, which…I’m so glad). Everyone overcomes at least ONE character flaw that’s been hampering their lives at least somewhat significantly and they carry that reminder with them in the form of a person to give them hope of getting better in the future as well. Also, I was reading Alain de Botton’s ‘Status Anxiety’ where he repeatedly talks about how wealth, power etc. are just methods through which we can give and receive love and that’s the ultimate goal, where we want to be loved like we were as babies (you’re amazing just for existing), so that moment of looking at someone and thinking “Damn. They love me despite knowing exactly all the ways I’ve screwed up in the past??” It can really change how you view the world.

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          • Yes! The magic of unconditional love is so powerful. And I feel like that is particularly relevant in Indian culture because love is so very conditional. You have to do well on tests, not destroy the family honor, dress properly, and so on and so forth. I’m thinking of movies like JHMS, or Dil Dhadakne Do, where they make it clear that the main characters did not receive that unconditional love from their parents and it makes finding that love in a romantic partner life changing.

            On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 8:19 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Watching: loved The Queen’s Gambit. I hadn’t read the book, hear that’s really good too. Just a whole other kind of take on the 60s than we usually get – orphanage in Kentucky, genius girl chess player, eventually going up against Cold War Russians, visiting Paris and New York and Mexico City and Moscow. And the clothes are cute once she starts making money.

    Now we started Barbarians, on a friend’s recommendation. It’s more violent than I’m really in the mood for, but I’m again hooked because it’s a moment in history we don’t usually get to see, the fall of the Roman Empire from the perspective of the Germanic tribes. The tribes folk speak German and the Romans speak Latin, and yet it somehow manages not to be geeky. Think Rome meets Game of Thrones. There are three childhood friends at the heart of it, one of them a feisty warrior woman, that helps too.

    Juhi movie: Daniel Day Lewis is an Irish soldier stationed with the British Army in Punjab during WWII, where he’s coordinating shipments of men and goods along British supply lines. Juhi is a local merchant’s daughter with a rebellious heart. They meet and spark. DDL is secretly getting weapons to insurgent friends back home, and tells Juhi he’s leaving to fight for independence, and she runs away with him. They end up in the middle of the Easter Rising, which is defeated. They hide out for a while, then see everyone is getting killed around them. Juhi gets them out of Ireland with one of her father’s shipments and DDL manages to explain away his disappearance and talk his way back into the British Army. They are sent to Poland with the troops training Polish military. In Poland they encounter one of the British colonels who was so murderous in Ireland. They team up with their new friends, a sympathetic Polish soldier and his tomboy daughter, and together they lay a trap for the bad colonel and expose him as inhumanly cruel and corrupt. He is sent packing. The mission in Poland ends, and Juhi learns that her mother is sick. They go back to India, just in time to get caught up in the early days of the independence movement. Years pass, Juhi takes over her father’s business and uses it to employ and educate people in the community.

    And then, I don’t know, you could keep going, bring back the bad Brit during WWII and have him finally defeated just in time for independence… maybe kill off DDL in the war and end with Juhi and her adopted family of workers and misfits, maybe including the Polish tomboy now all grown up. I’m sure we could find some characters to marry off in a final wedding/new beginnings scene.

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    • Yes! I also watched The Queen’s Gambit! I had a hard time with the first few episodes because I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, like she was going to be molested, or taken away from her happy foster family, or something else horrible. But then I got into the rhythm of the show and saw that it was beyond that kind of cheap device. The bad things that happen to her are more of her own making than anything else, she doesn’t make stupid mistakes, she doesn’t let herself be caught by society, and most of the people around her are fair and considerate and not cruel. The “addiction as a symptom of The Feminine Mystique” message felt a bit heavy handed, but also an important reminder that addiction is not a “male” problem, it’s just that woman handle it in an entirely different fashion.

      I’ve been kind of curious about Barbarians, because I remember reading history as a kid and waiting for “my people” to show up, and then they did, and they DESTROYED THE FREAKIN’ ROMAN EMPIRE!!!! Woot woot, GERMANS! When I got to college level tests, there was a more nuanced take on it, about how the standard history was “noble Romans, bad Barbarians”, but actually if you look at the morals and lives of the common folks under both rules, it wasn’t that different.

      I like your Epic Scope story! And definitely a mini-series instead of a movie. Here’s how I would structure it. WWI, young Juhi and DDL meet, and bond over how they are both colonial subjects dreaming of freedom. Juhi maybe is the victim of a racist attack or something and DDL saves her, but she no longer feels safe in the army (maybe the evil officer harassed her?) so DDL gets a leave to go back to Ireland and takes Juhi to his mother there. At this point, they aren’t officially in love, he is just being a decent person trying to help this young woman who can’t go home (Veer-Zaara style). But he arrives in Ireland just as the Easter Rising happens, he and Juhi get caught up in it, much drama, evil officer returns and is evil. They are separated, he goes into hiding, and then ends up back in the army in Poland under an assumed name. He manages to get a message to his mother and then, to his surprise, Juhi shows up in Poland! She stayed in Ireland to care for his mother, and as soon as she got the message, she came to him in Poland. They are now officially in love, lots of sexy times and happiness. And they are also caught up in the plot to defeat the evil officer who is now being horrible to the local Poles. They defeat him and so on. But after that, they are torn. Both their countries are on the brink of real independence, Juhi wants them to go to India and fight there, DDL wants to go back to Ireland. They end up separating to each return to their homeland, heart broken (Juhi taking various Polish orphans with her). And then WWII!!! Ireland is officially neutral, and DDL is sent on a secret mission to India to take the temperature of the independence movement there. He meets Juhi again, but misunderstands and thinks she is now married (not understanding that the man at the party with her is her cousin, not her husband). Much drama and hidden tensions and unspoken things. Until finally in the middle of a bombing, they each seek out the other and realize they are still in love after all these years. the next morning as they look through the rubble and pick up the pieces, they decide that no one knows what tomorrow will bring, and they will be together for now. DDL marries Juhi and stays in India with her until Independence, and then once it is won, they return to his humble cottage home in Ireland where his mother is now buried to live out the rest of their days together.

      On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 11:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I just remembered I have seen another movie last week, but this one I don’t recommend because it was the worst. Amaram Akhilam Prema: beautiful romantic title, beautiful poster and a lot of people saying it’s cute and romantic. Seems like a perfect Angie movie. I just had to watch it. Unfortunately it’s the opposite of what I like! : The heroine has no agency and harldy speaks and the hero is super stalkish. But the worst was that it wasn’t even about the love between the boy and the girl like the title suggests, but about heroine’s toxic father. At the beginning he was literally like: Oh I love my daughter so much, I will never search a groom for her because she must stay forever with me (creepy!) But when she commits one mistake, he suddenly is: My daughter is dead. I will never talk to her again. (At least he wasn’t like the father from Pardes who went from “You’re the apple of my eyes” to “I will cut you in pieces” in like 5 minutes).
    The rest of the movie is about her studing day and night (even when she is sick) and refusing the love to become IAS officer so maybe her father will be proud and will start talking to her again (spoiler: he won’t because he is a toxic and stupid). This movie was such a waste of time. I must stop believing what random people in internet say.

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    • YES! You should only believe what I say on the internet! I know EVERYTHING!!!! Except I’ve already recommended to you every movie I could, so that doesn’t help.

      On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 3:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I finished Color Photo just few hours ago. I liked the movie. It was funny, cute, sad ( the tears I shed!) The only thing I didn’t like was the ending: HUGE SPOILER:

        Recently I watched a mexican movie with a very different plot but with one thing in common with Color Photo: In the end the succesful middle-class, pretty couple continues their happy life, but the poor girl who made it possible dies.
        Was it neccesary to kill Krishna? I would prefer they both die, or separate forever. By killing him I felt like his life was pointless. END OF THE SPOILER

        Suhas was so cute. I want more movies with him as a protagonist. But this time without mentioning he is dark every 5 minutes.
        I don’t want more movies with Sunil as an antagonist because he was so scary.

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        • Spoiler discussion:
          The spoiler to me was kind of obvious at the beginning itself because how the movie starts. I agree that the Suhasโ€™ character should not die. I see this a common theme in movies that depict the caste/class differences but then it is rooted in reality. Here the difference is the couple takes the decision rather than some one else deciding their fate.
          End discussion.

          I too am hoping Suhas makes the shift to lead roles without any hassles. Sunil is a good example of a how a comedian got a good movie with Rajamouli as the lead but then nothing worked out after that. I think antagonist role suited Sunil well. He is too old to play heroes friend and most movies now are not having a separate comedy track where he can perform.

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    • Yeah. Amaram akhilam prema was stupid. Atleast the grandma was outspoken and always supported Akhila. I thought she would make a kick ass IAS officer!

      The father would listen to a random guy’s lecture but not to his wife or mom. So frustrating. I watched Bhanumati and Ramakrishna again to detox from this.

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      • The worst was that the girl never said what she thinks. I was waiting for her to freak out and tell her father a few things. He should change his behavior after listening to her. But instead of growing a spine and see how toxic her father is she became even more submissive!
        And yes, the grandma was the best. I wish she was in a better movie and had a better niece because this film doesn’t deserve her.

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  9. I think I’m at least temporarily getting out from under the mound of stuff I have to do, and I’ve actually been able to watch stuff and comment on the blog.

    I watched October, like, weeks ago. I think Soojit Sircar is really interested in complex, sometimes borderline unlikeable characters whose motivations are not always clear and I appreciate that. I thought Varun’s character was truly unlikeable, at least at first. I certainly didn’t like him at first and disliked him even more for the way that he inserted himself into the family situation, wasting his parents’ investment and alienating his friends in the process. But Varun was really great in it and this reaffirms my idea that he’s underrated but it’s his own fault because he keeps doing crappy movies.

    Speaking of which, I finally saw the end of Kalank. I think that movie took me about six months to finish, a Braganza record. I was going along with everything until the end, which is just a train wreck of bad green screen which goes on way too long. The “he’s up! he’s down! he’s up again!” thing with Varun running for the train was actually laughable at the end–it seriously reminded me of Airplane. I wanted it to either have more Sonakshi and Aditya, or take place entirely in Amritsar with Sonakshi and Varun in flashbacks, in which Alia and a hotly sad Aditya remake their shattered lives and learn to love again after tragically losing their first real loves and also their life in what is now Pakistan. Anyway, more Aditya.

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    • Varun’s character in October is so fascinating! Because by the end of the film, they leave it open that even though he inserted himself into this situation, even though it was clearly an escape for him from his own responsibilities at first, he did actually grow into the role in a strange way. Brings up questions about what it means to love someone, if you can sort of force love to happen.

      I like your flashback version!!!! YES!!!! Hot Sad Aditya and Sad Alia fall in love. And maybe Sad Alia acknowledges that the entire situation was ALL HER FAULT???? Not falling in love with Varun, but forcing this marriage to happen and then whining about it for ages.

      On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 8:25 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, that was exactly my thought about October; you’ve articulated it better than I could. Remember how Varun corners the doctor in the parking garage to ask something like “Is she going to be OK now?” (It’s been a few weeks, as I said), and the doctor names all of the parts of the brain very clinically. And after this says that these make up the soul. I took this as an outline of the whole movie: we are made of impulses and drives and desires, and in some way we don’t understand these make our soul which loves and makes connections.

        It would be so interesting to see Aditya and Alia, in poverty in Amritsar. Aditya goes from door to door looking for work as (various menial things that had to be done in Amritsar in the 40s) and saying he’s a former newspaper editor and they laugh at him and show him a guy in the corner assembling lightbulbs or whatever and say “He was a surgeon.” And then he finds work as factory worker. No! a blacksmith! Irony, plus he’d have to take his shirt off a lot! And meanwhile there are flashbacks to his luxurious life with Sonakshi. Alia is trying to be a housewife for the first time in her life and failing miserably, while flashing back to Varun. She’s preggo because of that one night with Aditya (which is what I thought would happen in the actual movie). A kind, slightly older woman (how about Divya Dutta?) takes her under her wing and teaches her how to make chapattis and stuff and Alia starts telling the story of her and Varun and Aditya and Sonakshi. Divya and Alia start feeding neighborhood children who are worse off. At the end of Alia’s story, Divya says quietly that it’s wonderful she had a choice; Divya never expected to fall in love or do anything but marry a man her father picked out. But, her husband is a good man and she’s learned to appreciate and love him, especially with the hardship they are facing now. That talk combined with the neighborhood children forcing her to think about other people make the scales fall from Alia’s eyes and she and Aditya have a big make up scene and then they flash forward and they’ve named the baby after Varun which is weird because they’re Hindu. The End. Oh, and Aditya gets another editing job, but still does blacksmithing as a hobby so he remains incredibly fit.

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        • Yes! Varun’s character’s feelings are so opaque and unclear for much of the film, but I think that is because they are unclear to himself too. He doesn’t really know if he loves Bonita, or if he is looking for an escape from his internship, or if he feels responsible, or what. He’s just going with what he is doing at the moment, and somehow by the end of the film that has turned into feelings.

          I love your rewrite! Kind of like Pinjar, but better because they had a whole life and love story before marriage and now they are struggling to put a life together.

          On Fri, Nov 13, 2020 at 9:31 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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