July 1, 2012: Charming con-men

Well, we’ve let another month go by without a post despite our best intentions.  Life has just gotten in the way. But we have been watching, just not discussing!  Here’s Part I of what we saw in June, which is without too many snarky back-and-forth comments because Jenny is caught in the East Coast power outage situation…both involving charming con-men doing what they do best.

 Julie M:  In my ongoing quest to see more of Abhay Deol, last night I watched Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008) Here’s the trailer:

There wasn’t much to the plot: Abhay plays Lucky, whom we first meet when he is caught despite being a very successful thief. We then flash back to his youth, where at 15 he started his life of crime, then work our way up to the present through more flashbacks, then we move forward again in “real” time.  A bit confusing but it works.  Here’s a great scene where the young Lucky is trying to convince his father to buy him a motorcycle, who pretends (up to a point) to go along with the idea:

All along we trace Lucky as he works for a crime boss (Paresh Rawal, in one of three roles he plays in this film), meets and romances a girl, and tries to go straight by funding a fledgling restaurant (restaurant owner also played by Paresh Rawal; the third role is as Lucky’s father). He moves around a lot, but his quest for respectability is thwarted at every turn.

A pattern develops: every time he is frustrated or feeling like things have gotten out of his control, he steals stuff. Not to fence or make money from (although he will sell a couple of things when in need), but mostly just to surround himself with. As the movie progresses you see his stash room getting more and more crowded, eventually pressing in on him until all he has is one chair (which he has also stolen) in the middle of towers and layers of STUFF. He gets caught a few times, manages to escape each time, and then the film abruptly ends after one escape with a montage of still images implying that he has married his girl and has gone straight…or has he?

OLLO has an indie feel in its plotting and cinematography, and resisted the impulse to go broad in its comedy, which I appreciated–but to me it never really got off the ground.  I kept thinking that there would be some defining moment for Lucky, some realization of why he steals that would cause him to stop, but although the reason is fairly obvious to us (a kind of crappy childhood with an overbearing father and a handsy stepmother, and a raging case of very low self-esteem, although he is handsome and charming as all get-out), he seems completely unaware. There are a few hilariously funny moments–like when he steals a tiny yappy little dog and then his face indicates that he immediately regrets it–but it’s not rollickingly funny, more of a “smart comedy.” His courting of his reluctant lady (Neetu Chandra) is sweet, though, and Abhay was the perfect choice to play Lucky. The best reason to see this film, though, is Paresh Rawal–three distinct characters, three looks, all fantastic.

There is music throughout as background, and its hip-hop feel works with the plot and action without seeming like a series of music videos, but this is probably the best song as a song:
   (sorry it’s a montage, they didn’t have the cut direct from the film)

So if you’re an Abhay Deol fan, put this on the “to watch” list.

Jenny K:  The things I do for Indian cinema promotion…Earlier this month I was looking for something to watch at the theater with Kathy and as I went through the list of my local Regal cinema, lo and behold, I saw a telltale title. Rowdy  Rathore. Now, it’s not a very promising title, I’ll grant you….I pictured lots of partying Punjabis dancing about to Daler Mendhi, which isn’t really my scene, but, I checked closer into it, and found the surprising fact that my local cinema was trying out Bollywood offerings once every two weeks. Hooray, I thought. I don’t have to go all the way to Falls Church for a fix! So even with Akshay in full-action mode, Kathy and I girded our lions for Punjab, metaphorically, and bought our tickets.

Julie M:  I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that you would voluntarily go for an Akshay action movie, but it’s been a long, hot summer, Indian-film-wise, so I understand the urgency…

Jenny KRowdy Rathore was all I expected and a bit worse. A twin plot…never seen that before…where Akshay plays a conman, Shiva, and his non-related twin, policeman Vikram Singh Rathore. I kept hoping for a teary-eyed maa-ji to pop up with a story about how she lost one of them at a Diwali Mela and hoped against hope that little Shiva had found a home and someone to love him, but no luck.

Shiva’s talent is at conning money out of strangers and occasionally his friends, too. He often uses the hypnotic talent he has for conjuring up a drumming rhythm which gets everyone dancing, whether they will or no. Here’s the first big dance number showing it.

I was really excited that it was Prabhu Deva’s first big Hindi movie offering as a director, and you know how much I love his dancing and choreography. Well all through this number, he kept making little cameo appearances, and I even got a tiny dance duo with Akshay at the end, but sad to say, it just succeeded in showing AK up, dancing next to PD. His choreography just works better on long-leggedy guys like himself and Hrithik, and just makes all-torso guys like our hero look short and a bit clod-hoppy. Not that he wasn’t trying his darndest, but it didn’t really work for me.

Julie M:  PINK PANTS??!! Really? (although after Akshay’s yellow outfit in Bhool Bhulaiyaa I shouldn’t be too surprised, the man does look kinda awesome in bright colors)

Jenny K:  Also, his leading lady Sonakshi Sinha was lovely, but seemed to be too young for our Shiva, especially at the beginning. She grew on me a bit as the long, long, long chop-socky fest went on. The plot had to do with Shiva being mistaken by one and all for the straight arrow lawman Vikram, who is being persecuted by the goondah element in his village for his stringent restrictions on their larceny. Even Vikram’s extremely adorable daughter, whose name I’ve forgotten already, thinks Shiva is her daddy. Shiva is saddled with the pint-sized charmer and must protect her from the onslaughts of the dacoits until the real daddy shows up to thrash the ever-lovin’ heck out of them. Lots of blood, lots of tears, lots of thwarted villainous gnashing of teeth.

Julie M:  Much as I love Akshay, that trailer would have totally turned me off.  Not a fan of endless thwacking of villains.  If I hadn’t heard your plot summary, I would have vowed never to see it.

Jenny K:  He uses that “mental rewind” thing really too often to be funny. Also, what’s with that horrible haircut and moustache?? Makes him look like Hitler on steroids! Well, Kathy and I have done our duty, and since then, the theater doesn’t seem to be making good on their promise of a new Hindi film every two weeks. Sad, but to be expected, when all they offer the general public is crazy, tongue-in-cheek slapstick fighting. I would have hoped they’d start with a popular masala film to get others hooked, but those are getting few and far between, these days, aren’t they? Oh, dear…

Julie M:  Nevertheless, I’m hoping RR comes out on DVD and into my library, because Akshay’s smile just gets me. True, he’s not the “dancing hero” type, but he has other charms that are not lost on me.

So, here are our bad-boy heroes together:  which would you rather have conning YOU?

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April 11, 2012: Abhay, Aisha, and Crap, on the Road

Jenny K:  I don’t know…the world must be coming to an end. I watched Delhi Belly the other day and didn’t hate it near as much as I thought I would.  Yes, it’s disgusting and gross, just like I thought…practically a Hindi Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest. However, it was pretty tightly scripted for one of those things, and the cameo appearances were good. I especially liked Vijay Raaz (Monsoon Wedding) as Cowboy the thwarted drug baron. He was really evil in a very charming way.  And, even covered with plaster dust, Imraan is always Imraan.

Short synopsis. Three slacker friends live in one incredibly dirty apartment in Delhi. Taashi (Imraan Khan), the semi-normal one, has a very rich girly fiancee, Sonia (Shenaaz Treasury). Sonia smuggles something into the country, as a favor for a friend. She has no idea what she’s carrying. She passes the delivery on to Taashi, who is very busy trying to be a “real reporter” not just a gossip journo, and passes it to his photographer and roommate, Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapoor), who has eaten something dangerously bad (any roach-riddled thing in their kitchen!) and is nursing the worst case of Delhi Belly on record. His bowels play the actual soundtrack to the film. Almost not kidding.

Due to his frequent emergency dashes to the loo, Nitin passes the delivery on to their other roommate, Arup (Vir Das) an unassuming cartoonist, silently seething in incipient anarchy against his boor of a boss. At the same time, he’s to deliver Nitin’s stool sample to the doctor’s office, and, of course, mixes up the two packages and delivers the crap to the drug baron. The whole rest of the movie is the plotting that goes on, trying to trade the drugs for hostages, money, etc. And it’s pretty fun, if gross, to watch. And yes, Aamir’s cameo at the end in “Return of the Disco Fighter” is fun, but not really necessary.

Julie M:  I’ll watch for it at my library but the out-and-out Indian comedies tend to make me squirm, and I’m not a fan of extended poo jokes. I can barely stand the comic-relief characters in more serious movies. Yes, I’m looking at you, fat guy from Bodyguard. But having said that, the trailer looks fun. Unless it’s one of those situations when the trailer shows all the good parts and the rest is just bad.  Like almost every Judd Apatow movie.

  

Jenny K:  No, it’s definitely better than those…trust me.  I’m not a full-out slapstick fan, either.

 

Julie M:  My recent film was Road, Movie (2009) with (sigh) Abhay Deol, who I had wanted to see more of every since Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, my first experience with him.  Road is a great “film festival” type film, full of finely drawn characters and beautiful cinematography, a main character who finds himself during a journey, and plenty of heart. Here’s the trailer.

Vishnu (Abhay) is a young, middle-class city dweller who yearns for more out of life than slotting into his father’s barely-there hair-oil business. When his uncle needs to transport his old mobile-cinema truck to a museum on the other side of the country, Vishnu jumps at the chance for a solo road trip and maybe some adventure along the way.

He picks up a young runaway (Mohammad Faizal) who is his complete personality opposite, and when the truck breaks down an elderly mechanic (Satish Kaushik) bails him out for the price of a ride through the Rajasthan landscape. They get lost and wander without food or water, get picked up by the cops for having no papers, meet a gypsy woman (Tannishtha Chatterjee) on the run from an evil water-lord (Yashpal Sharma), conjure up a carnival and, like Sheherezade, find that they constantly have to show films in order to live for another day. By the end Vishnu learns to appreciate friendship offered with no strings and realizes what being a man really means.

In addition to lovely, quiet performances from the stellar ensemble cast and constant, very lush visuals (including Abhay Deol), Road, Movie has some great stuff to offer the Bollywood film fan. I counted clips from no less than five classic films I had seen including Deewar, Umrao Jaan and Pyaasa plus many others I have not yet seen. In fact, hair oil as a theme and metaphor pops up throughout the film, not in the least of which is through the wonderful song “Sar Jo Tera Chakraye” from Pyaasa, which gets a pop remix in addition to showing the original number. Here’s the music video.

The film moves fairly slowly and the camera lingers on the landscape and Deol’s sweaty, dusty frame far too often—I mean, often enough for me but maybe too much for someone else—however, I would recommend it for a nice change of pace away from romantic comedies and gangster shoot-em-ups. And it’s only about an hour and a half investment of one’s time.

Road, Movie is available free on Youtube, unfortunately without subtitles.  

 

Jenny K:  I watched Road, Movie on Netflix and it was an unusual one.  I loved the dreamy, almost surrealistic quality of the road trip, with the women with the water pots on their heads appearing every so often, from nowhere without notice.  I liked Abhay Deol and all the leads, especially Satish Kaushik as Om, were very good at their roles.  The visuals were mesmerizing, with the director, Dev Benegal and the cinematographer, Michel Amathieu painting color-drenched murals behind the silhouetted truck.  Remind me never to go to that endless plate of sun-parched salt where the mela “appeared”…I shuddered just looking at it.  Why would I want to go there?  Why would they? 

That is, in a nutshell, what the problem with this film is for me…dreamy as it is to look at, it didn’t make much sense.  And the nonsensical quality wasn’t whimsically charming, as perhaps what they were going for, it just interrupted my “suspension of disbelief,” so often it became mildly annoying.  

Why was Abhay’s character so clueless?  He didn’t seem actually stupid, yet seemed set on alienating all of those best placed to help him on his trip.  Why, if he’s so self-absorbed, would he agree to keep driving for what seemed like days at a time, aimlessly into the desert, until they were all but dead from dehydration?  And in the middle of nowhere…where did those carnival folk come from, and go to?    Were they there at all?  Who knows?  Oh, dear.  I’ve never liked magic realism much…

Julie M:  I guess that’s another difference between us.  I was perfectly willing to suspend my disbelief and just enjoy the scenery (including Abhay), and let the possibilities wash over me.  I’m not even 100% sure the carnival was real—it might well have been a thirst-induced hallucination—and I felt that the dry, endless desert represented how Vishnu perceived his life, dull and devoid of joy, and these other characters were personifications of lessons he had to learn in order to bring himself back into balance…the filmmaking technique certainly could lead one to think in that direction.

I have to interject at this point, briefly, that after Road, Movie I saw Brick Lane (2007), also with Satish Kaushik and Tannishtha Chatterjee, this time as a Bangladeshi immigrant couple living in London with their children.  Here’s the trailer.

Brick Lane was a dazzling showcase for Tannishtha’s talents, and both of them acted extremely well and almost entirely in English. Overall, though, I found it not nearly as fascinating as the book.  A.O. Scott from the NYT agrees with me.    And that’s all I’m going to say on that.  It’s available online, for $2.99 on YouTube.  

[after a few more days]

Jenny K:  Pat and Kathy and I tiptoed through my Netflix queue the other day and gave into Pat’s not-so-secret crush on Shahid…we put in Kismat Konnection (2008), and only lasted about fifteen minutes before she herself was screaming for a change. Part of it was, I will admit, the Netflix subtitle cut-off problem on my tv. However, the plot was so weak, that I’ve blocked the whole thing out of my mind.

  

Julie M:  I found it on YouTube, free, subtitled, in parts.  Maybe this will solve your subtitle issue, but not the screamingly bad issue. So you’re saying that I should nix my own Shahid leanings and avoid it, eh?  Pity.

Jenny K:  Well, you seem to be willing to overlook his weaker movies, if he’s cute enough…so, you might still like it.  We ended up ditching Shahid in favor of Aisha (2010) also starring our boy, Abhay Deol. It’s an adaptation of Emma, the novel by Jane Austen…or rather, it’s a remake of Clueless (1995) which was a better adaptation of Emma.

The star, Sonam Kapoor, was less absent than she was in Mausam (but still as giraffe-like) as our rich girl Emma, I mean Aisha, gleefully filling her idle hours as a matchmaker to her shy, lower caste friend Shefali. It wasn’t obvious to a non-desi like me what was so low-caste about her; Shefali seemed nicer and prettier than our Emma’s crabby best friend Pinky (Ira Dubey), and so we lost a critical bit of the plot motivator, IMO. And because her father was not a stay-at-home recluse, why didn’t Aisha want to get married herself? No clue. 

Abhay played their version of Mr. Knightley quite well, but wasn’t really old enough to convey the “surprise” element of their romance. He wasn’t any kind of guiding/restraining hand for Aisha as Knightley was in Emma. They still fought cute, but you were mighty good and ready for them to realize their mutual affection, well before the end. Most of the supporting cast members were interesting, if not earthshakingly so. I particularly liked Arunoday Singh as Druv (the putative Frank Churchill) who was not nearly as reprehensible in his behavior as FC in the novel. Arunoday was quite buff and dapper with his red shirt and the spiffy Panama hat he wears in the dance number below. He has a better looking Gregory Hines thing going on.

So, I liked Aisha, on the whole, as I like most BollyAusten remakes (Bride and Prejudice, Kandukondain Kandukondain), but thought it could have made the connections a bit tighter and therefore clearer. I can’t even fathom how a plan to fix up Shefali with her “Mr. Elton,” Randhir (Cyrus Sahukar, who isn’t as big a dud as he should be), could consist of stranding the two of them alone at a hotel and making overnight reservations for them…in INDIA? WTHeck was Aisha thinking would happen???? Nice kids, they walked home, understandably tired and grumpy about her treatment of them. Clueless, indeed…

  

Julie M:  I have to come clean and admit here that I am SO not an Austen fan and have never read Emma. I did see Clueless, though, so am somewhat familiar with the story. I have tried to get through P&P at least four times and not made it past the first few chapters, and perish the thought of anything else like Sense and Sensibility (although the recent version that adds sea-monsters might be more to my liking). So anything Austen, or twists on Austen, whoosh right over my head at least in their comparison to the original.  I loved B&P, loved KK, and maybe I loved them more because I had absolutely no expectations.

  

Jenny K:  Not like Austen? Are you sure you’re a girl??  Does B know???  That sea-monsters comment is a dead give-away, BTW.  Next you’ll be asking for zombies in Devdas!

Part 14: More Modern Views of India, Various

Jenny K: I just got back from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara; I skipped out on the “art stuff” at the film festival. Wonderful evening…lovely show. Good music, have to get the soundtrack. Just the shots of Hrithik alone are worth the price of admission, and then you have Farhan, who even with an atrocious haircut manages to touch me, yet again. Abhay Deol who is the third lead, the groom to be, I hadn’t seen but quite liked. AND I have now officially seen Katrina Kaif in a movie that she registered in as an actual personality and not just pretty fashion model! I, dare I say it, liked her quite a lot in it. Go figure.

So, you must go see it at the theater, and let me know what you think! If the Saturday night crowd here is any indication, it may not be there long. Slow, small crowd, but Indian crowds gather late, and the 9:30 bunch may not have gotten there when I left at 9. I hope, fingers crossed. Hrithik did dance in this one, and not as many numbers as I’d have liked, but better than the last one or two.

Julie M:  Haazaron Khwaishein Aisi…I think I would have appreciated it more if I knew more about Indian politics in the 1970s. Very serious movie, very realistic, definitely the kind of “issue” movie I like even though I missed a lot of nuances through my ignorance. It’s the story of 3 friends in college in Calcutta–Vikram (a middle-class youth from a politically involved family), Geeta (a richMadrasgirl schooled inEngland) and Sidharth (a rich local boy)–who are casually involved on the intellectual side of revolutionary politics while in school in 1969.

Most of the movie is what happens to them over the next 10 years, during a period of political upheaval that strikes both the urban areas and the countryside and involves all 3 of them to varying degrees. The performances were very good, understated yet moving. It won a Filmfare “best story” award, and several “best male debut” awards for the actor who played Vikram (Shiney Ahuja). He’s the closest thing to a big star in the movie. I’d say it’s worth seeing if you are in the mood to see a realistic Indian movie, but it’s kind of sad throughout and kind of bloody at the end.

Om Shanti Om…such a cute movie! Great music, too. I laughed myself silly because I recognized the Rajni parody, and I laughed at the “pain of disco” number because SRK was so over-buffed and the number was way over the top. (was that even him? or did they paste his face on another actor’s body?) And the Filmfare scene–LittleB and Akshay–so freaking funny!! the party scene was great too with the actors playing themselves in sort-of parody. Just a lot of fun all around.

Jenny K:  Glad you liked OSO…I liked it too, but I got a bit tired of the melodrama in the second half. I kept going, alright, already, wind it up! Not a good sign. I liked the first half much better. Deepika was pretty, but she really doesn’t hold my attention like Kajol or Madhuri would.

And that is SRK’s real body in the video, at least at that time. He pumped like crazy and did lots of goofy stuff to look liike that when he knew it was needed to do what he wanted for that character (shallow, self-adoring, etc.) The director said that he even dehydrated himself on the shooting days and did some special diet so that he looked particularly cut. I don’t think that he could, or intends to maintain that level. Almost impossible, without total concentration on it…and he’s way too busy for that.

Julie M:  I agree about Deepika, and the other current “it” girl, Priyanka Chopra. So bland and generic, just pretty. No character. Prefer Konkona.

Jenny K: Priyanka has been getting better as she goes along.  Best so far is 7 Khoon Maaf, where she plays a black widow of sorts…or is she??  Not a great performance, but definitely more varied.  Oh, when I was rereading you HKA review, it remindied me of the description, a bit, of one called New York, which you should look for. I don’t think I own it, but it’s another two boys and a girl triangle, set in the apple, right after 9-11, so it’s got profilin’ goin’ on and angry zealots and good guys who do bad things for good reasons, and also…all the early college scenes at “New York College” were filmed at Bryn Mawr! The school looks fabulous!

Julie M:  I also realized I made a mistake in my review of  Tashan. It’s not Akshay Khanna in the movie, it’s Akshay Kumar. Sorry about that. (too many actors with similar names!!)

Jenny K:  Khanna always spells himself with an “e” at the end of Akshaye to help us along 🙂 Though I never confuse them, because Akshaye is a nicely brought up young man who answers his fanmail, even if it is by email. I still keep it, but it’s not as fun as a real autograph would be. Sigh.

Julie M:  If only he would let his hair grow.

Jenny K:  Unlike his father Vinod (worked with Amitabh a lot in the 70’s) and his brother Rahul (Bollywood/Hollywood and Earth), Akshaye is severely follicularly challenged these days, and I think he keeps it short so he’s not reduced to plugs or comb-over syndrome, of which I approve.

To prove my point, here’s the “meet-DEFINITELY-cute” scene in essentially his debut film, Mohabbat, back in ’97 with Madhuri. Set up, her car has broken down in the rain, of course, and she can’t get anyone on the pay phone, it’s broken, and she runs for shelter into a nearby stable where Akshaye appears like a well-dressed hunky stable boy, or something. He’s not a stable boy in the film…don’t know why he was there, he works in an office in this one. Not the greatest movie, but I like him in it. Sorry no subtitles.

Julie M:  Much better than he looked in Taal.

Jenny K:  I find Akshaye attractive, hair or no, but that’s because of a nice face and fine, expressive eyes.

Wish I didn’t think that expression sounds like I nicked it from some lost Jane Austen description. “Not Mr. Bingley, Jane…the tall one, past Mr. Malhotra, with the pleasant face and fine eyes.  Do you know him and has he been long in these parts?”

[Later in the week…]

Julie M:  A rare Bollywood movie review in the New York Times, with my buddy Ajay.   ‘Singham,’ a Bollywood Cop Film – Review

Singham is about a super-tough village-born cop named Bajirao Singham, with bulging muscles and rock-hard morals.”

Jenny K: I’m probably going to give that one a pass…sounds too much like Gangajaal which pissed me off so much…honest cop in a corrupt world, my a**. This sounds no different. Even Ajay probably won’t get me in unless I read some stellar Indian reveiws about how good it is. I’m going to drag some more friends here to see ZNMD one more time. They haven’t seen it yet. I’ve been singing that darned Senorita song all day.  Hrithik says he’s not a natural dancer, that he just works at it until he gets it right.  Hard to believe when he does it like that.

Julie M:  Well, he can sure move, even in a normal day-to-day way, and he obviously takes direction well, so I’ll live with the fantasy for a while. And he’s a decent actor, not just a pretty face. (although acting-wise I still like Aamir and Ajay) In fact, I am trying to entice a couple of my movie buddies here–we like to go to art films together, mainly the British ones–to branch out into Indian films, at least for ZNMD, and my persuasive ace in the hole was the chance to watch Hrithik, with whom they are not familiar but I gave them links to introduce them to him, on the big screen for over 2 hours. They are so far not biting. Sigh.

I watched Bawandar yesterday. Powerful and made me angry at India, the backwardness and corruption, even in the so-called social service NGOs (those Delhi women were horrible). I also found myself mentally comparing the slick Bollywood version of rural Rajasthan in Paheli to the more realistic depiction in Bawandar. Similar turbans, but that’s about it.

Today I am picking up my weekly haul at the library, which consists of Aaja Nachle (haven’t seen Madhuri lead in a film since I saw Devdas, or half of Devdas), Bhool Bhulaiya and Love Aaj Kal. Yes, pickings are getting pretty slim. I’m not exactly sure how many films are in the library system, but it’s not very many and they don’t add new ones often because of budget cuts.

Jenny K:  I’m glad you liked Bawandar. I think it is one of the strongest films I’ve seen, and Nandita and Raghuvir are both wonderful in it. Raghuvir is a very versatile actor and can really make me cry, like here, [Spoilers]when he stands up for his wife, no matter what, and how he reacts as he can’t help when she’s being raped. You recognize the actors in this one? Nandita Das was the birth mother in Kannathil Muthamittal, the head thug was Yashpal Sharma who played the judas, Lakha, in Lagaan, and Raghuvir Yadav was the chicken guy in Lagaan, SRK’s best friend at the radio station in Dil Se, the writer in Meenaxi, and he’s in Aaja Nachle, too. He only does about one or two films a year, but they are always good solid acting jobs. He’s a musician and does some of his own singing, sometimes.

I’m glad you got Aaja Nachle, I was thinking about sending it to you in the next package (are you finished with the last one now?), so this saves space. Madhuri is one of the few women that Bollywood has let do a lead, essentially by herself. And this one didn’t do well enough at the Indian box office to merit giving her another, but I quite liked it, enough to buy it 🙂 The dancing is fabulous! She looks great (first movie after having a baby), except the appearing and disappearing hair thing, which shouldn’t bother me by now, but it still does. Her hair changes length as much as my Growing Hair Chrissy Doll did when I played with her as a kid…do you think Madhuri has a knob in the middle of her back? I also like Konkona and Kunal as the second couple in this one.

Sorry your friends aren’t biting yet. It’s fun to have a cohort to enable one in movie binging. I usually resort to the “first movie free, on me” gambit, so that if they hate it I don’t feel guilty. Usually they agree…and get sucked in. However, I want to encourage you to brave it out and go alone to ZNMD by yourself if you have to. It’s good enough to see on a big screen, and, if you are there by yourself, you have the added benefit of the Indian ladies there end up chatting with you at the intermission or as you walk out. They are curious as to why you are there, and what you think. If you drop a few names, of people you like, they’ll love it… “You know our movies?!? Ah, Sanjay, she watches more than we do! Are you married to an Indian?” It’s fun, and they are tickled to death.

Good luck, intrepid viewer.

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