Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to on Bhansali’s Birthday???

Happy Wednesday!!! In two more days, the exterminators come!!! Isn’t that WONDERFUL??? I am so excited.

I’ll start!

Reading: Well, I finished Emily of Deep Valley in less than 24 hours, and that’s with breaks for sleeping and working and watching Columbo with my parents. But not much else. It is a very VERY good book. But we can’t talk about it! Except to say “it is a very very good book and you all should read it”. I am tempted to move up the book club discussion, only I know Genevieve has ordered a hard copy and won’t get it in time. So hold all your thoughts (as I shall hold mine) until Sunday the 7th.

Watching: Did I tell you I finally watched Tumbadd? I did! For my Zoom movie discussion group thing I host. That is a brilliant, and yet very dark and icky to watch movie. I recommend it in a “this is a very good movie” way, but I don’t recommend it in a “I know DCIB and I know you are more likely to want to watch an objectively bad dance movie than an objectively good horror movie”.

Thinking: I am so proud of me! I complained to the landlord about my bugs and now an exterminator is coming! Like MAGIC!

Listening: It’s Bhansali’s birthday today so, in his honor, let us all hum deeply and think about how Budapest is not Italy.

Now, question for you, and yes I WILL fight you on your answer: What is your favorite Bhansali movie?

Khamoshi! Only truly good film the man made! It’s all a long glide down from that.

58 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to on Bhansali’s Birthday???

  1. The Gangubai teaser is out…and I am disappointed…it looks like a trashy melodramatic soap opera…like Bombay Velvet crossed with Kalank…sigh…was so looking forward to this…maybe it’s because Alia is not suited for period movies? I don’t know…I’m just disappointed…

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    • Yeah. I was not looking forward to it, and I feel justified. Post just went up.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 7:14 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. This dropped today.

    Watching: Scandal, which is highly addicting

    And yeah, my favourite SLB movie is his filmed fanfic of Devdas, which is not a surprise. It was one of the first Indian movies I watched, so I am kinda attached to it. But Ram-Leela is a close second.

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    • Scandal!!! I watched I think the first 3 and a half seasons, something like that. And then it just got too weird and confusing for me and I stopped.

      Just put up a trailer post.

      BOOOOO! Booo to Devdas! As you say, filmed fanfic!!!! Worthless. Ignore it like the trash it is.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 7:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Absolutely Padmaavat. It’s offensive but aside from that it has literally everything I want in a movie in the exact way I want it, so I’ve still watched it 6 million times and will watch it another 50 million. I even saw it in the theatre a whole series of times, which I never do.

    Unless Malaal counts, then that, because it’s actually good.

    I tried watching Ek Aur Ek Gyarah (the 1981 one), but had to give up. Vinod Khanna’s character hit his wife then literally forced her to stay with him after she tried to leave, and Shashi’s character has that kind of sexual harrassment romance thing. Usually with him I don’t mind that because he always plays it very airy and playful, but here he played it actually rapey and threatening for reasons known only to him. It was too offputting (especially because it was Neetu) so I stopped and sought refuge in a Sunil Dutt movie.

    I’ve been so unlucky with movies lately.

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    • Booooooo, Padmavat!!! Booo!!!! It’s just so DUMB!!!! The plot makes no sense, it has no historical basis and even the little historical details are wrong, plus the racism. BOOOOO!!!!! After the random Ostrich at the beginning, it was all downhill.

      Shashi and Neetu is always a bit of a tricky wicket, I really don’t want to think about it if he is being aggressive to her. Ick.

      At least you have the Sooraj Pancholi dance movie to look forward to! And Made in Heaven 2 at some point some day!

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 8:11 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Everything about it is offensive and stupid, but if the aesthetic and cinematography and tone is exactly right, I don’t care. Rarely happens, though.

        Yeah it’s pretty bad, he’s lying down on top of her and trapping her while taking off his clothes, really too much. I don’t know if I should blame the director or if Shashi was like, you want rapey, I’ll give you rapey to the point of ruining it! which seems like the sort of thing he’d do.

        Well, Sunil Dutt is soothing me so that’s something.

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  4. The only SLB movie I like is Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela. The chemistry between Deepika and Ranveer (or as my sister and I call it, flat-out teenage horniness) is just excellent in it. The scene when he climbs into her room makes me smile every time! They are just so into each other. I watched Khamoshi when I was a kid and remember just being bored. I also just don’t like Nana Patekar (never did) so that may be a huge factor too. I may have to watch it as a adult to see if I appreciate it more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Watching: Given that it is Black History Month, husband and I have been watching a lot so movies with black history but also its me, so I am oscillating between serious movies and a lot of movies on Disney Plus. I really enjoyed Color of Friendship, Ruby Bridges (the ending is very abrupt and just plain bad, but the movie overall was interesting and had both of us in tears), Queen of Katwe, Just Mercy (my dad and I watched this one and it was excellent).

      Reading: trying to read figure out which of these books to read before I read Emily of Deep Valley. I am debating whether I should read Where the Crawdads Sing and Educated, which have both been on my night stand for a while and come highly recommended by people I trust or other random ones like The Secrets We Kept (description from the book cover: Secretaries turned spies, love and duty, and sacrifice—inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago) or Next Year in Havana (description from the book cover: After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution).

      Thinking: I really need to use my treadmill!

      Oh also we watched a couple movies with Dwyane Johnson and I am wondering when did the Rock become so hot? Was he always this attractive? I think so. I have liked him for a while, but I have not watched much stuff with him in it and I need to rectify that.

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      • All of my streaming services have been trying to recommend Black History Month picks, and I haven’t been watching them. Oh! I have a FASCINATING one for you! Eve’s Bayou. It’s a thinker and really interesting and is set in a completely African American community, which is different. Also, Brown Sugar because it is ROMANTIC. And Love and Basketball because everyone loves it and I haven’t seen it. And Save the Last Dance!!! Because CHICAGO!!!!

        I am most interested in The Secrets We Kept!!!! But of course, it is up to you 🙂

        I really need to use my elliptical! SAME!!!

        I think The Rock was always hot? But also falls into that category of “sincerely nice smart man who just gets more hot as he get older and his niceness becomes more and more concentrated”.

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        • Oooh! I have not seen Eve’s Bayou but now I want to! I have of course seen all the others MULTIPLE times and love them! You should absolutely watch Love and Basketball!!! So good!

          Secrets We Keep sounds so interesting but recently I have been reading books about young women’s journey of self-discovery and Next Year in Havana seems like is in line with that. I’ll obviously end up reading both!

          Also, this week after weeks of working around the clock, I finally got the help I needed at work, so I am taking breaks throughout the day to do things I enjoy, like commenting more on this blog! Plus it is sunny and 60 degrees outside and I can sit on my patio and work so everything is happy!

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          • Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! More COMMENTS!!!! Meanwhile, I have a total of NINE calls scheduled today, which since I work 9 hours a day means they are back to back to back to back. Thank goodness, a few ended early so I could still use the bathroom. And once I finish training my new employee, she can take some of this calls and life will be good again.

            Speaking of good life, it is about 50 in Chicago today. The snow is still everywhere but it is steadily decreasing, and the sun is out, and I can have the window open while I work. HEAVEN.

            On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 11:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I know! It’s amazing how much my mood changes when I get some sleep, am not overworked, and it is sunny outside!!!

            Also, sorry you are so busy, but I am a bit sad I didn’t get a double BOO for picking Ram Leela and also saying I thought Kamoshi was boring ☺️.

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          • Oh, and if you are more free to comment, why haven’t you commented on the West Wing post I wrote for you???? Is it because of SPOILERS? If so, good decision, I go straight through to the end of the series in my discussion.

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          • No. It isn’t that. I think the reason I did not comment on the West Wing is because I wasn’t sure I trusted my own memory. I watched it for the first time while I was going to law school and then just recently my sister, my brother-in-law, and my dad started watching it from the beginning. I wasn’t sure how I would feel watching it again.

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          • Well, don’t comment until you are ready!!!! But also, don’t forget it is there. Tread that in between line.

            On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 12:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I just wrote a long comment with some of my thoughts so far. I haven’t finished the series yet but I am in deep enough that I can comment on it now.

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          • Also, this time I was watching it from the perspective of someone who is both trained and entrenched in the legislative and regulatory process, which is what most of the show is about. And also, I had read your review and wanted to see if I agree with it. So again, thanks for writing your review.

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  5. Reading: Still reading Siva Purana & also reading South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby which is basically a fictionalization of Big Dead Place & also reading Three Sides of a Heart a compilation of love triangle short stories for teens.

    Watching: yesterday I couldn’t leave the house because the tree cutters were here so I let the kids watch Arya 2 with me. And I got gooey happy feelings which is kinda what I assume you and others feel when they see DDLJ.

    Listening: Nothing

    Thinking: So this morning this popped up on my FB feed: https://www.facebook.com/legolanddubai/photos/pcb.3821682724574870/3821682581241551/
    And my first thought was OMG Allu Arjun and his family are going to catch COVID! And then I thought, wait, they are rich, they probably already got the vaccine, @#$! rich people. And then i realized I was thinking all these negative thoughts perhaps because they were in Dubai and I HATE Dubai. @#$@! rich people. But then I thought i wasn’t being fair to AA so I looked into Dubai COVID precautions and lots of folks need TWO negative COVID tests or they aren’t let out of their hotel, but Lego Land’s got some closed attractions and no other precautions. But then I saw that AA was praised by an airline for wearing a mask on a private jet, which made me realize how many weren’t and how there are lots and lots of different ideas all over this world and life is a big tangle. And even if there wasn’t a pandemic, I would still hate Dubai.

    Also thinking I can’t wait till next Monday, because my 12-year-old’s private Spanish teacher has assigned his students to watch a video and then compare and contrast Black feminism with non-Black feminism. He hasn’t taught 12-year-olds before. I can’t wait to see what my kid writes, except it will be in Spanish, so I’ll have to get a friend to translate it for me.

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    • Your thoughts work like my thoughts work!!!!! First you judge, then you feel bad for judging, then you do research and find out if you should judge them as badly, and then you do so much research that you change your mind again, and you end up not knowing what to think because the World is Shades of Grey.

      I am so excited to see what your 12 year old writes too!!!! I used to teach that age in Sunday School and it was super fun, because they went at things sideways and always surprised me. For example, a discussion of voter reform landed on a decision that voting age should be 10 to 100. All double digits, but no single or triple. Which seemed very clear and fair to me. I predict similar sweeping outside the box ideas related to Feminism/Race intersectionality!

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 10:05 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I saw a movie I can recommend!
    Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari

    It’s a nice and entertaining story, Diljit is as usuall funny and energetic, Manoj Bajpayee is great and has a lot of fun with his role and Fatima Sana Shaikh is very good also. It reminds me a little Happy Bhag Jayegi. The story is diffrent but it has the same nice and simple rom-com vibe. And is there something better than watching good actors enjoying their roles and talking good hindi with good dialogue delivery? How I missed it!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. My favourite SLB movie is Khamoshi.Can there ever be a bad Manish Koirala starre-oops,Jaani Dushman.
    I like Bajirao Mastani too,it is just so bland that I can watch it on mute like a montage of gorgeous clips because frankly,there needs to be a story in the first place for me to hate it.Roses,glass,water,burning curtains,rivers,lamps,fountains,and a gazillion sets which were built either by underpaid labourers or through a Netflix documentary worthy scam.Keep your brains aside,get high and feast your eyes.

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  8. I also saw Drishyam because I have had it in my watchlist for ages and now the sequel came out and everybody is praising it, so I thought it’s time to finally watch it. I didn’t enjoyed it. I have heard so much about this film, and yes, it’s good but “the best movie ever made in India” it’s not. It’s definitely too long (I understand we must get to know the family and their life, their village but do we really need 55 minutes for that?) Nevertheless I started Drishyam 2 today. From little that I saw Mohanlal looks a lot better now.

    I also subscribed for a month to Sun Nxt. They have a few movies I really wanted to watch. Unfortunately the most important one has subtitles out of sync 😦
    I found there some obscure malayalam films like Naughty Professor, which I know will be terrible but still I feel attracted

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    • Yep, Drishyam was a “really? This?” from me as well.

      This is why I canceled Sun NXT!!!! Every time I try them, the thing I want has no/bad subtitles.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 2:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I keep thinking how much more I enjoyed Thadam. It’s also about a crime and a man who uses tricks and loopholes to avoid jail but it was much more interesting and so sexy. I have seen it like 2 years ago and still remember almost all the story (which is uncommon for me) especially the scene when Arun Vijay took his clothes at the police station. I love this film.

        I suspected there can be problems with subtitles that’s why I paid only for 1 month. I hope the other movies will be ok. I started 4 different films yesterday and only one so far has problems with subs.

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    • Ooo! My biggest take away, Kumar Sonu is above Arijit Singh? People are CRAZY!!!!

      Wait, how was this created? Is it just how many times you listen to a song by this person or is it voting for the person? Because then Kumar Sonu makes sense, because he may not be the hottest artist around today, but he had loads of hit songs from the recent past.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 4:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The nostalgia factor really stood out to me too. If you click through some of the top artists the songs are old! It feels like people listening to old favorites because they can find them now on YouTube. I believe it’s total cumulative views.

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  9. Ram-Leela (the balcony scene and the honeymoon scene where I was waiting for her to set the bed on fire with her lamp dance and was sooo disappointed when they never got to get in on) and then Bajrao where, in a difficult role, Priyanka was able to keep her dignity while making me feel sorry for her. She really can step up to the plate when she wants to. Or maybe when she has a director like SLB

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    • YES!!! Those scenes in Ram Leela are excellent. I was disappointed that they didn’t get to have sex also! And while I am so so about Bajirao I agree that Priyanka did an excellent job in it with staying dignified but also angry and hurt. She was my favorite part of that movie.

      Also, if Margaret picks Ok Jaanu for the Friday watchalong, you should join us if you can!!! ARK and Shraddha also have really great chemistry but they actually get to have sex!!!

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      • Oh right, the watchalong! Keep reminding me. I am soooooooooooo tired this week, in that “it wasn’t worth it to take days off if I have to work this hard when I come back!” kind of way. Oh heck, I’ll schedule the post for tomorrow now before I forget again.

        On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 5:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. Reading: very slowly and wondering why on earth I got myself involved with such a long book.

    Watching: all old news this week. Just started Peaky Blinders, one of those compromise choices with my husband that’s been on the list forever but we’re both liking it. It reminds me of Boardwalk Empire but I like the acting better. That was after we devoured Watchmen – feeling like after I started watching Sopranos five years late, hey! guess what? this show is so good! way late to the party. Also started watching Master last night but haven’t gotten far yet. Too tired, the past couple of weeks have been too much.

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  11. Oooh, I have such mixed feelings about SLB. On one hand, his movies are BEAUTIFUL. I will never deny that the man has an eye for symmetry and classical beauty. I was also one of the few who liked Saawariya. Wait, and didn’t he direct Black as well?

    His more traditional movies though…I’ve always felt like he’s made to be a theater director, because the directness he loves plays out really well on stage and it would make his characters more flesh and blood as well. And if it breaks the fourth wall a bit with some lines directly to the audience or a soliloquy, that would be right up his alley.

    Essentially, I think Bhansali (or his type of direction) is necessary almost to Hindi film – and his movies are beautiful and the chemistry in Goliyon especially was breathtaking. But his work often makes me feel like I’ve eaten too much cake, just hollow inside, almost a heartburn (and no, this is not just a simile, it is a very, very similar physical sensation).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, he did Black too!

      Oh wow, I can totally see what you mean by the stage directing! Even in actor performances, it is less film sort of very subtle close ups and intimate small moments, and more grand full body gestures.

      On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 3:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I was listening to the latest episode of the Khaanand podcast (which I highly recommend, it’s on Apple Podcasts) about HDDCS and one of them said about how Bhansali is clearly taking a lot of his acting/directing inspiration from Gujrati stage acting, which is loud and over the top. I mean, the “Bengali” characters in Devdas are hardly Bengali by the way they act (according to the podcast). And yes! I love that his movies are to theatrical, maybe it’s the theatre kid in me, but it really is such a joy in its own way how old fashioned theatrical and old way of acting styles from the 1940s to the 1960s Indian cinema he is inspired by, and those styles are the way he directs his actors. Doesn’t mean it always works, but I apprechiate the silent homework and homages he makes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ooh, Khandaan podcast keeps coming up over and over again in DCIB comments. I am pretty sure Kainaat and Alisa/Bollywood Newbie also highly recommended it. I am not a podcast person but maybe this podcast is exactly what I need to motivate me to use my treadmill.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Bhansali: Devdas was one of my first Hindi movies and introduced me to the very expensive sets and the very theatrical acting. So I feel fond of it for that reason. However, I think my favorite is Ram Leela. Bhansali’s opulence really suits a Shakespearian tragedy.

    Watching: I’m halfway through Rab Ne Bana di Jodi, and it’s my first time watching it. It was just never the right time before. I’m just loving it so far and I hope eventually Einthusan lets me watch the second half.

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    • YES! Rab Ne!!!! It stays good straight through, it is the bestest of all things, I am so happy for you seeing it/jealous of you seeing it for the first time.

      On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 5:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Ooh thanks for posting this! Now question, is Isa’a voice dubbed like Katrina’s was for her first few movies? She isn’t speaking much in it but her dialogue is very fluid and I didn’t detect an accent like Katrina’s. Isa has had much more time in Mumbai than Katrina did before her first movie and access to Katrina’s resources so she may have perfected her Hindi during that time.

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      • Thanks for sharing. I just listened and liked this song a lot. I had the goosebumbs when I saw Janhvi in this black dress because she reminded me her mother.
        I also liked the trailer. I’m not sure if I will watch the movie because I found Stree scary, but it definitely looks good and interesting.

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        • I am not a fan of horror movies, so someone may have to watch it first and tell me how scary it is before I watch it. But I really enjoyed Stree, so if this is anything like it, I will enjoy it.

          Like

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