Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of the Autumnal Equinox?

Happy Monday! I was super productive this weekend, if “productive” equals “buying stuff”. Which I guess it might in this case, since I bought stuff I needed like a new space heater and chest of drawers. Anyway, very excited for both those to arrive and my apartment to be all autumn-y.

Here is where you get to ask me anything you want from “are you seeing Vikram Vedha or Ponniyin Selvan this weekend?” to “Tell me the backstory of Ponniyin Selvan!” Just keep swinging back here all week as you think of new questions.

Now, question for you! In honor of Ponniyin Selvan releasing, what Epic Complicated Novel do you want to see made into an Indian movie?

Hmm. I don’t like many epic complicated novels, with multigeneration connections etc. Oh! I’m gonna be Basic, and say Harry Potter! Not literally Harry Potter, but all the complex relationships in a different setting. Harry as the unloved orphan who finds friendship, the Harry-Hermione-Ron triangle, the complex love-hate with Alan Rickman (honestly can’t remember the character’s name), and so on. It would work perfectly well in any setting from modern IIT campus, to ancient training camp for warriors, to rural estate run by Dumbledore with his various great nieces and nephews brought in to try to earn their inheritance.

27 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of the Autumnal Equinox?

  1. I feel like The Count of Monte Cristo would work so well as an Indian novel. With all the deceit and revenge, it would work so well in a modern setting by changing it to some tumultuous setting in Indian history.

    What is your favourite book?

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    • That’s an impossible question! I don’t have one favorite book, I have shelves and shelves of books that are each my favorite in turn. Right now, in honor of Halloween season, I think I might say “Dracula”.

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  2. I would like to see my favorite fantasy novel turned into any screen adaptation honestly, Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. It’s the first book in a trilogy with two following trilogies. The film rights have been bought before and then it goes nowhere. Thinking about it in an Indian context would be amazing! The lead pair are a spy courtesan who feels pleasure from pain and her true love is a celibate warrior/bodyguard and the whole initial world-building is based on Renaissance France/Europe crossed with a religion based on angels, with a philosophy of “Love as thou wilt.” And they go on adventures to all corners of the world and the author uses ancient, medieval, and early modern world history as building block for her alternative histories and cultures. A brilliant series. Think Game of Thrones with better female characters and less gore.

    Off the top of my head with the current age-appropriate stars, I would cast Kriti, Alia, Deepika, or Taapsee and Ranveer, Vicky, Sid, or a younger Hrithik in the lead roles. Any combos of those would probably work for Phedre and Jocelin.

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  3. You had me worried for a second that I got the Ponniyin Selvan release date wrong and that it wasn’t coming out on the 29th like I thought!

    So my Chicago trip didn’t come through but I’m currently in San Francisco for the next week for work.

    Idk about epic complicated novels but I would love to see more Austen adaptations like Kandukondain Kandukondain being made.

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    • +1 to Austen adaptations.

      I’d really like one of Mansfield Park but (spoiler if you haven’t read the book!!) where Fanny and Henry end up together because really the Crawfords deserve better.

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  4. For a fantasy book made into an Indian version, I would just go with The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang. The plot is not complicated, but it is smart, and the characters are great. Based on Chinese mythology and history, to make it Indian would be interesting. I imagine someone like Anaitha Nair or Chitrashi Rawal from Chak De! India in the role of Rin.

    By the way! The last/fifth Ponniyin Selvan book translated by Sumeetha Manikandan is coming on September 30! I’ve only read a little of the first book on Kindle, and a bit of the translator’s blog about it, and honestly I think she is the best simply because she makes it easy to understand, but also provides citations IN TEXT and PICTURES! The perfect beginner’s translation to this complicated plot-heavy book series.

    I just can’t wait to see it when it comes online (my stupid country doesn’t show it :/ ). I love Chiyaan Vikram and Aish together, because of Raavanan (that I will bully anyone to see! It’s dark but so good, psychological, beautiful and the two of them are just FIRE together), and to see them again together in a film is SO GREAT! Like seriously, they are Hrithik + Aish in Jodhaa Akbar levels in this film! Mani always brings the best in Aish, which I appreciate.

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    • I recently watched Raavanan, because of PS and also because I had been wanting to see it for a while, but never got around to it. Before this, based only on the songs and clips from this, I found Vikram very compelling. And the movie totally reinforced this. Him and Ash really have electric chemistry! To be honest, most of it is him I think, or him in this role. Mani Ratnam really does bring out Ash’s best. I don’t know how much they’re going to be together in PS, but it has got me excited.

      I was looking for Margaret’s review of Raavanan, but I didn’t see it. Might be a good one to review.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of the Autumnal Equinox? - nowiu

  6. Talk to me about Dostana. I had read about how the sequel was postponed and perhaps cancelled because of a Kartik vs Karan controversy, and I thought maybe I should finally see the first one. And I’m just hating it. All humor seems to be based on the assumption that watchers are uncomfotable with homosexuality? And now they have to pass some immigration gay test? And there are these assumptions like all gay men know how to dance? And I don’t want to watch it any more. Priyanka is hot, and I am fascinated by how dolled up she gets just to walk down the street with two gay men. But didn’t you love this movie? Is my uncomfortableness just wrong. Is this really about gay pride and I just don’t see it?

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    • I think the key is, it’s Camp, not stereotypes. Plus, the big sincere speech towards the end calling out Kirron Kher for not being accepting of her son.

      Mostly though, Camp! Fun silly over the top underground humor that normally doesn’t make it into mainstream media. So far as I can tell, it is beloved within the actual Queer community because it speaks to them. Specifically the desi Queer community with their own particular quirks.

      On Tue, Sep 20, 2022 at 1:03 PM dontcallitbollywood < comment-reply@wordpress.com> wrote:

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    • I’ve never had a problem with it because it works on two levels: either you think these stereotypes are real and you get hammered over the head with the message later or you’re comforted by the campness and commentary within the movie and you can accept them being stupid and secretly gay, and everything being overblown.

      I’m not desi though so I don’t know how they feel about it. But just that opening song is enough to make it a camp classic as far as I’m concerned.

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  7. I want Indian Jane Eyre. Yes, I’m aware Sangdil exists, but it’s 70 years old! I know there are also kannada and tamil versions from the sixties,but nothing newer (I watched few scenes from tamil version and OMG it’s hilarious with Gemini Ganesan as Rochester) .
    Imagine Jane Eyre with Fitoor’s visuals but with good actors. Dhanush or Vijay Sethupathi as Rochester (I know, I’m obsessed with them recently). Vijay Varma wouldn’t be bad also.

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  8. Someone commented recently on Salman’s bisexual vibes but I couldn’t reply and I just wanted to add he absolutely has that, in his star image at least. Very homoerotic with the bracelets and everything.

    Although I will absolutely eat my hat if he isn’t at least a litle bit in real life. I’ve seen how he is with Govinda, I’m not BLIND.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kartik Aaryan…yuck. Makes me want to watch it even less. Luka Chuppi was the only film I could barely tolerate him in…he just did an interview with Anupama and I think even she was thrown by his brand of smarm.

      Plus tragic melodramatic films like Aashiqui aren’t my jam, if there’s tragedy in a romance it needs to be epic or period drama or if there’s no HEA then it has to be bittersweet like in Meri Pyaari Bindu.

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    • Ugh, I was really hoping they’d wait longer and make Aashiqui 3 with the next generation. Also I can’t take Kartik Aaryan seriously in non comedic roles so I don’t really like the casting.

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  9. Random question: what is your take on the Arjun-Sonakshi breakup…don’t know if you’ve ever written about it? I love Arjun-Malaika as a real life couple, but with the news of the new reality show Arora Sisters instead of(?) wedding bells for them since he said he wants to focus on his work recently, I’m a little more nervous for them than I was before. I know Sonakshi is currently with her new co-star (when are we finally going to get a trailer for Double XL!). But I’m currently fascinated with the progression of Arjun and Sonakshi’s relationship from childhood friends, to co-stars and romantic partners during Tevar, and then to apparently avoiding each other in public. They looked pretty amazing together on-screen and off (even better than him and Parineeti and that’s sacrilege for me). I want to hear your speculation as to what happened to them? It’s probably what the gossip said (he was a bit of a player at the time and she was too clingy). Still I would love to see them paired again on-screen…the real life tension could really translate to some awesome on-screen chemistry.

    That leads me to a whole other question…what is going on with Sonakshi’s career?! I’m a little concerned that she is on the Ameesha Patel/Esha Deol path. Beyond Lootera, Akira, and Noor (the last two didn’t fully work for me) and a good supporting role in Kalank, she hasn’t done anything interesting in a long time and I have a feeling she is losing out on roles to the new group of stars more than others in her cohort (many of whom like Sonam and Anushka have taken a step back to have a family).

    Anyway, this was all brought on by the fact that I watched Tevar all the way through for the first time. I had watched 20 minutes or so years ago and thought it wasn’t for me. I was definitely wrong. Manoj Bajpayee is great as the villain and the Arjun-Sonakshi romance is definitely my vibe. She does too much of the damsel in distress in it (it is a South remake after all), but she has a moment of sparky dialogue with Manoj at the end that made me really like her in it. And the picking the peas out of the paneer is classic. And she and Arjun are sweet and sexy in that rainy song.

    Also fast forwarded Salaam-Namaste for my list. It’s clunky with bad comedy and try-to-hard coolness, but it’s still an “important” rom-com for its treatment of the subjects and that end with AB’s cameo is so funny. I don’t normally like OTT slapstick but that’s classic and the outtakes at the end are even better. Saif is weird and charming as usual.

    Then I watched Kal Ho Naa Ho again for the first time in years. I meant to watch the first hour or so and then it was 12:30 am and I was crying like a baby. Maybe one of my top SRK performances (plus I think he looked amazing in this one…peak of his natural attractiveness…the new fit look since Dilwale has only occasionally worked for me…though the white henley and beard in Dilwale is his best look.

    Enough rambling for today! There is a question in there for you!

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    • Why nobody told me there is a sexy rainy song in Tevar? I would watch it years ago. And now I’m putting the movie higher in my must watch list.

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      • The rain song is such a good one, too! It was the only Arjun film I hadn’t watched all the way through (except for Zero which was a cameo as himself and that movie is just too Anand Rai for me). Tevar definitely feels like a South remake and the opening Superman song is terrible (I think maybe Arun’s dancing has improved over all since getting with Malaika and I bet she has trained him well). But everything after that hero entry song is really good, especially the menace of the villain, and the sexiness of Arjun protecting Sonakshi throughout the film. Not the most feminist film for sure. LOL.

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  10. How do you feel about the Last Film Show getting picked over RRR for the Oscars official entry? It’s clearly purely political and just kissing Modi’s ass at this point. When Anurag Kashyap was so vocal in saying they should pick RRR, I knew that would also set them off.

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    • I mean, it’s also classic Oscars stupidity. Oooo, let’s pick the super arty-farty movie instead of the one people actually watched and will remember from this year! We are Better than that!!! So in a way, India is in line with the international Oscar community.

      On Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 9:00 AM dontcallitbollywood < comment-reply@wordpress.com> wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

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