Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Second Week of Shahrukh Month???

Happy Wednesday! It is supposed to rain all day today, which I am going to take as a sign that I should stay home and do nothing productive. Perhaps write a new Ra.One review!

I’ll start!

Reading: I need something interesting to read! I’m looking for something cozy and well-written, and nothing I see on my shelves on at the library is really sparking my interest. Any suggestions?

Watching: Oh! I have a non-Indian recommendation for you! I just finished “Recipes for Love and Murder”, a South African show available on Acorn/Britbox. It lightly deals with social issues in South Africa, has two sweet romances (one young and dear, and one middle-aged and slow), and is super sunny and bright and flowery. Highly recommended if you need a well-made pleasant sunny timepass. And if you like romance.

Thinking: Winter comes on so fast! I feel like I am playing catch-up getting ready. The boiler man came so the heat is on, and I got my space heater set up, and my sweaters out of storage. But I still haven’t put up insulated curtains by the draft windows or gotten my boots out of the closet or organized my winter coats. And by the time I have all that stuff done, it’s gonna be time to start with Christmas decorations.

Listening: Shahrukh Month! And I’ve been feeling Jab Harry Met Sejal-y.

Now, question for you! In honor of Shahrukh month and this rainy day, what is your happy safe rainy day SRK movie?

I think mine is JHMS! Partly because it is so new? SRK is so much part of my life and has been for almost 20 years now, that some of his older movies just make me feel wistful for different times in my life. So Om Shanti Om, for instance, has gone from being comfort food to being “oh I remember when I had just graduated college and my parents hadn’t sold the house yet and over Christmas me and my sister both came home and we were all cozy together”. But JHMS is, like, still current to my life as it is today. So that’s just pure joy.

45 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Second Week of Shahrukh Month???

  1. I’m so excited today. Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru, the directors of our beloved Sanam Teri Kasam are making new movie! And guess with whom. With Meezan Jafri and with Divya Khosla Kumar and Pearl V Puri. I love Meezan. Divya and Pearl were in Teri Aankhon Mein video I was obsessed with few months ago (btw video was directed by Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru). Beautiful people, super romantic directors, I don’t need more. My only fear is that it’s the sequel of Yaariyan . Has somebody seen it? I haven’t and the reviews are quite bad but this time Divya isn’t directing so there is a chance it will be much better.

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    • This is very interesting news! I did not make that connection to Sanam Teri Kasam (I’m often bad at following directors to their next projects and also at looking into the smaller Hindi releases on the schedules). It’s on my list now, but I haven’t seen the original either.

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      • I just checked out their wikipedia pages and realized that they also directed this song that I liked (because it had Arjun in it). I don’t normally notice the songs that aren’t tied to movies, but this one was fun. I can’t wait for their return to feature films.

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        • I loved Teri Ankhon Mein, it’s so romantic and my type so I had to check who did it. I was surprised to see it’s the same people who made STK , Arjun Song and the other non filmi videos I love: Lut Gaye and Besharam Bewaffa. Every non filmi video I adore they made it. I love their rich and romantic style full of beautiful faces and gorgeous clothes. They are the best and I’m so happy they are making a movie again.

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  2. I think I would pick Dilwale as my rainy day SRK right now. I kind of love that movie more every time I watch it. It’s so silly and audacious and he looks hot (and I’m that superficial).

    Reading: Just started Anita Anand’s narrative non-fiction book, The Patient Assassin, about the Amritsar massacre and Udham Singh. It’s really well-written and I’m planning to finally watch Sardar Udham finally after finishing it.

    Watching: After my rewatch of the torturous Rockstar the other day, I also rewatched Kaminey and also put that DVD on my to be weeded pile. I did enjoy it more than Rockstar on the rewatch, but it’s not a movie I ever need to see again after the 1st and 2nd times. Shahid Kapoor is great in it and it is a very good PC performance as well. Just too violent and dreary, but I do appreciate how Bhardwaj was directly influenced by Tarantino and Ritchie (he made the cast watch their movies apparently). And this movie really did lead to a lot of later films in that “genre” in Hindi films. Though other industries may do it better? I’m thinking of Double Barrel by LJP in Malayalam cinema, the original Good Luck Jerry with Nayanthara, etc.

    The Double XL trailer released today and it looks like it might be good!

    The Ram Setu trailer looks ridiculous and jingoistic and Islamophobic. I’m losing any last thread of respect I have for Akshay.

    Phone Bhoot trailer looks silly and did we really need another Bhoot Police? I liked Bhoot Police and the original Ghostbusters, but this seems like yet another Hindi comedy that won’t really work for me.

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    • How did you rewatch Rockstar and survive? I had a fever when I watched the movie and thought the movie would be uplifting however it turned out to give me such serious sickness that I was sick for 3 days afterwards. Its obviously rockstar and no other virus which caused this.

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      • Haha! Well, I think Margaret would agree with you that Ranbir is a virus in and of himself! I do hope you are feeling better though!

        I am being very methodical about weeding my 200+ Indian dvd collection and trying to rewatch as many of them as I can before sending them to the thrift shop or donating them to the library sales, so I am sometimes forcing myself to rewatch just to make sure (but there are some that I have turned off after an hour or so and put in the thrift pile). Sadly, I couldn’t even get through A Gentleman, despite my memory of it being better. Rockstar is one of the movies that I probably thought I should like more than I did at the time (in my early fandom years) and now can’t stand it. But I was determined to watch the whole thing before deciding. The music was what propelled me through it (and I do like Ranbir more than many here:)).

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          • I wanted to watch the movie because it is an Imtiaz one and it was hyped at its time…but I could not finish it (which is extremely rare as I tend to finish movies).
            I don’t dislike Ranbir but I doubt his work-ethic.

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      • Dilwale was my spontaneous thought when I read your question, Margaret! How funny.
        I like the movie very much (baring some comedy elements) and it has more than romance with the marvellous brother + sister angle….and evil Kajol!!!

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    • I like Double XL trailer. I heard it’s a remake of marathi movie and I can see this marathi feel in the trailer.
      I starting to think I’m T-Series person. This, Yaariyan 2, Ek Villain Returns, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, Tuesdays and Fridays, Maalal, Maarjaavan, Shidaat, Tum Bin 2. All those middle size, colorful, nonthreatening movies I like so much.

      Ram Setu – again Akshay takes an actor close to my heart (this time Satyadev) and makes a shitty, half baked and ridiculous film. This is this year’s Diwali release? It looks ridiculous. I can’t believe there are still people who pay Akshay millions for movies when he just skip from one set to another and doesn’t even care about the final product. This man really thinks we are still in 1993.

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  3. Shah Rukh month for you is Rekha month for me ; ) Both “Elaan” and “Jaal” are on U.S. Netflix right now, besides all the films I have lying around on DVD.

    Even though I hadn’t seen it before the recent watchalong, I think my choice of rainy-day SRK movie in the future would be “Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman.” It was so sweet!

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  4. My happy rainy day Shahrukh movie is Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, nothing can beat the absolute cuteness and saccharine sweetness of it! If not that then Om Shanti Om is the go-to happy movie.

    Listening: Been listening to the PS-1 album in different languages, and somehow the Kannada adaptation of it is just the best ever. Their take on the songs is both original (even added suspense into the Devaralan Attam song) and also stayed true to the original Tamil version. Also just good production and mixing, nothing extra tech in the background or anything. Just take a listen! Also, the Hindi version of Chola Chola just rocks! Love the added husky rock sound that works for it very well.

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      • Yea, it is such a great album and it is nice to compare the other languages and how they adapt it or how good or not perfectly they do it. Especially since voice choices and tempo and word structure can change so much in the interpretation of the song.

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  5. Reading: I am still reading Dorian Gray and it is so hard to read about awful people so I never read it. Everyone is so terrible and though its beautifully written, I need to read some sappy romance to get into a reading rush to go back to reading literary fiction.
    Watching: I watched Catch me if you can which was really nice and feel like would be a great movie to convert to an Indian context. It has a lot of a Bollywood movie feel and Indianising some elements could make this movie a hit. I am also going to watch Ponniyin Selvan 1 on the weekend and am so excited. I also hope that you’ll be able to catch Kantara, it’s a Kannada film that’s been impressing everyone and though I’m not sure you’ll be able to catch it where you live. It’s a wonderful movie with a jaw-dropping climax. Also, it’s from my native place and includes a lot of customs so I’m really happy someone brought those on a big platform.
    Listening: I love Item songs to a different degree. Especially male item songs as I feel like men are less forced to do it. So I’ve been listening to some of my favourite ones;
    https://youtu.be/sIooFGRBZJY
    https://youtu.be/lyWHtKq1PcQ
    Since it is SRK month so:
    https://youtu.be/cKs83ZQxYKA
    Thinking: I hate the cold as I’ve been having viral’s every 2 weeks. I’m so fed up with falling sick, it’s like I’m just recovering and then I’ll fall sick again.
    In honour of Shahrukh month and this rainy day, what is your happy safe rainy day SRK movie?
    I know you don’t like Dil to Pagal Hai but I unironically love it. It’s so safe and I just feel like SRK+Madhuri understood their characters really well. I do agree that they don’t have great chemistry but I think because of their performances and the storyline, I knew these characters well and therefore loved them together. It’s just such a nice low-stakes film.

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    • I don’t like Dil To Pagal Hai, but simultaneously I might also pick it for a rainy day movie! It’s happy and soothing and you can have it going in the background, and it has a great rain song. I don’t like it because I find it dull and slow, but then that’s what is nice on a rain day.

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    • Isn’t Bunty aur Babli the Indian version of Catch Me If You Can? Well, OK, inspired by. But it keeps the sympathetic young trickster(s) at the heart of it, pursued by a persistent cop who later recruits them. And you’re right : It was a huge success.

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      • You are so right! I completely missed that connection. However, I feel if Bunty aur Babli second half was as good as catch me if you can’s third act it would be a perfect film for me. As I always felt the second half was really messy in Bunty aur Babli.

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  6. My comfort movies are Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, OSO and Veer Zara. Every scene brings a smile to my face ( apart from the tragic ones!) and I have watched them so many times I can just listen to the audio and visualise every line, every move, every gesture. Actually DDLJ too, and JHMS is fast approaching the same.

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  7. As sometimes there are many rainy days one after another, I profit from my choice of feel-good, moral-uplifitng, hot SRK movies…starting with Dilwale and then choosing between JHMS, HNY, CE, OSO, RNBDJ and Ra.One (depends if the Kids also want to fight a gloomy day with with an SRK movie).
    Reading: Tamora Pierce – the Alanna books
    Listening: southing Classic musique and German Rap (with the Kids singing and moving)
    Thinking about how I get the time to organize my thousands of photos…ufff!

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  8. JHMS is definitely one of my rainy day movies. Radha, Hawayein, Raula, and Butterfly are all rays of sunshine on their own and the whole movie is so sweet and funny. I also sometimes just watch the second half of HNY when I want a comfort movie. The comedy in the first half is the exact opposite of my sense of humor and India Waale, Satakli, and the final performance medley are my favorite songs (and I know this is basically blasphemy here but if I’m choosing between beard and no beard I’m going with no beard. I don’t dislike it, I’ve just never preferred facial hair on anyone.) K3G, DDLJ, and Chennai Express are also a guaranteed good time.

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  9. I think Yes Boss might be my ultimate safe movie, which is so wierd because it isn’t my all time favorite, but it is comfortable. I think the plot is so very late 80s early 90s – the stories I grew up with, poor guy gets the girl, but doesn’t get rich. Love over money. JHMS is just more complicated, personal demons and all. Yes Boss is easy.

    Margaret, you would LOVE the book I’m reading, unfortunately it is out of print and used editions are going for $80. I can send it to you, but you are fourth in line after my husband, my doctor, and my 10 year old. It is called Doctor Nellie and it is an autobiography of a woman (Helen Macknight Doyle) that starts when she is 4 years old in 1878 and her father moves out west leaving her and her mother behind. It takes over half the book to graduate high school, so think American Anne of Green Gables with less fantasy, more travel & tragedy, but infused with good humor despite all odds. Spoiler, she becomes perhaps the first female doctor in California. But so far I wonder if maybe she shouldn’t have been a writer instead.

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    • Okay, the Chicago Public Library has it, sort of. They say the title is “A Child Went Forth: An Autobiography….” Maybe an early edition had a different title? Anyway, I’m curious enough to request the library copy and see what I get.

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  10. Pingback: Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Second Week of Shahrukh Month??? - Zeerangi Entertainment

  11. I think my comfort movie when it comes to Shahrukh will always be DDLJ with RNBDJ coming in as a close second. My other favorite Shahrukh movies are too angsty to really be good comfort movies.

    This week I’ve been catching up on Mani Ratnam movies I haven’t seen before. I watched Chekka Chivantha Vaanam which was okay but I thought could have been better. I don’t think it helped that I actually knew the Vijay Sethupathi twist before watching the movie itself.

    I also finally saw Thalapathi which I loved. I tried watching it once a couple years back but I couldn’t get past the first 40 mins then because I was in a bad mood or something. This time, I really enjoyed the movie and reading the various analysis’ of it online.

    What Mani Ratnam movie should I check out next? I haven’t seen a lot of the early ones like Mouna Ragam and Nayagan but I also want to rewatch some that I saw a long time ago like Roja and Anjali.

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      • Lol, tbh I only love the charming dulquer and Mrunal parts which is mostly in the first half. Have you gotten past the interval yet? Because if you have and still aren’t feeling it then I’d say it’s better to give up and just watch the songs on youtube.

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        • I’m still before the interval. When I complained that the movie is boring someone on twitter told me I should keep watching because it has one of the best intervals in the last years. But it was so boring so far. I don’t know , maybe I’m a little biased but shouldn’t a movie (especially a good movie) have something interesting in the first hour? Especially if the movie is compared with Veer Zaara.

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          • I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best intervals in recent times but i do like the interval. But you should give up if you don’t find the love story to be charming and fun.

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  12. I saw PS-1 this weekend. Only a 2D screen here in the Philly suburbs (and quite small) but I enjoyed it. I read the plot summary on Wikipedia first so I could follow it and luckily I did that because the subtitles were problematic because they blended with the screen most of the time and were illegible. Why?????

    Vikram was as compelling as I expected. I didn’t think Aishwarya was THAT amazing, but it’s a great part for her. But Karthi was my favorite part. I had seen him in that Aditi Rao Hydari Mani Ratnam romance but his character was toxic so he didn’t leave a great impression (though I remember him being a good actor). Now I need recommendations for more Karthi movies to try (ideally with romance!).

    Finished reading The Patient Assassin and then watched Sardar Udham. Glad I watched it right after reading a detailed bio of him, so I really could see how the screenplay played with the story (the obvious fiction that he worked for O’Dwyer in London for instance). But overall, it really is a brilliant film and deserved all the praise.

    Then rewatched the incomparable Sanam Teri Kasam for a comfort watch yesterday (it had been a while since I watched it and the trailer and song from Tara vs. Bilal are getting me excited for a romance for Rane with a happy ending?!) I love STK still so much. It’s so cringe and beautiful at the same time.

    Also finished reading a Harlequin romance by Mona Shroff called The Five Day Reunion. Very basic story of a divorced couple get back together at an Indian wedding set in the States. But a solid romance, with some great Indian-American content (the hero sings Janam Janam from Dilwale to the heroine when he proposed).

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    • Afaik, Kaatru Veliyidai is the only full fledged romance that Karthi has done. My favorite Karthi movie is Oopiri/Thozha which is a Telugu/Tamil remake of The Intouchables and I thought they indianized the story really well. I also really like Kaithi (straight up action, no romance) and Paiyaa (road action love story with great songs). I’ve never seen them but both Aayirathil Oruvan and Paruthiveeran (apparently this is a rural love story) are considered to be the best movies in his career.

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      • Thanks, Niki! I’m writing these down now. I did notice The Intouchables adaptation in his filmography and was curious about it.

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    • You have ALMOST convinced me to watch Udham Singh. I find the story so fascinating, and so kind of old school (lots of stories in Sikh history about vengeance taken after many years). But on the other hand, it’s not exactly a happy ending.

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      • I really think you should! It’s an “important” film in the same way that Schindler’s List is as in I don’t think I’ll ever want to watch it again but I’m glad I did. Though the first two hours of it do play out like a good political/legal spy thriller. The last 45 minutes are as intense as you’ve probably heard. The craft of the film is so many levels above most Hindi films today and it looks amazing. This is true of all of Sircar’s films and he is as much a true auteur as SLB. Like even Piku has a very distinctive sense of place built by set and production design, from the homes to even the interior of the car. October didn’t work for me but I still remember the look of it well.

        And Udham Singh’s journey to revenge and martyrdom really is even more strange and compelling if you read the book. The movie starts in the early 1930s, but they left out a whole bunch of his time in the US earlier when he married a Mexican-American woman and was working with Indian revolutionaries in California!

        Vicky really is perfect in it and is obviously more of a natural “actor” rather than a star but he has classic movie star good looks so he can do both and has an interesting career ahead of him.

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