Movies 'n' Shakers
From raw, gangland dramas to sugary sweet romances, it looks like a mixed bag at the box office this year. Stay glued. Stay clued.
The year 2012 spawned some sexily unorthodox surprises at the box office. This year, 2013, promises more of the same with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Prakash Jha returning to the marquee. Here’s looking at the movies that might be worth their wait in gold.
Krrish 3: Ideally, sequels, and sequels to sequels are a complete put-off, what with them relying more on nostalgia than intrinsic merit. Yet, Rakesh Roshan’s next installment of the Krrish saga, scheduled for a Diwali release, promises to get bigger, brighter, and bouncier. While Hrithik Roshan has the super-hero role, Vivek Oberoi plays the super-villain.
Ram Leela: Two years after the under-valued Guzaarish, master-creator Sanjay Leela Bhansali returns to his Gujarati roots for a Gujju rendering of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet with oodles of colour, vivacity and flamboyance. Ram Leela is a feisty take on a love tale that refuses to get wrinkled. Deepika Padukone is ‘Leela’ Juliet and Ranveer Singh is ‘Ram’ Romeo. The film also stars spunky siren Richa Chadha from Gangs Of Wasseypur and has been shot in Kutch. Expected to release in July-August.
Kai Po Che: Abhishek Kapoor, who gave us the eminently watchable Rock On, returns with an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel, 3 Mistakes Of My Life about the dreams, aspirations and hopes of three youngsters in Gujarat. The film features three super-talented actors Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh and Rajkumar Yadav.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: Bhaag Farhan, Bhaag! Not one to run away from challenges ever since he took to acting in Rock On, director-actor Farhan Akhtar went into the kind of intense preparation for his role of the Olympian runner that Shabana Azmi would approve of. A biopic on Mary Kom featuring Priyanka Chopra is also on the anvil.
Ghanchakkar: After the hard-hitting No One Killed Jessica, Rajkumar Gupta gets together with Vidya Balan again, this time for a comedy about a lock-breaking thief and his flamboyant Punjabi wife, played by Emraan Hashmi and Vidya. As is his wont, Gupta is shooting the film in different locations of Mumbai including, in the rains. Get set for a wet romp-com.
Raanjhanaa: Extremely unusual casting chemistry of Kolaveri star Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor in a passionate love story set in Varanasi, Raanjhanaa promises to be a captivating take on forbidden love. A R Rahman scores the romantic songs. Sigh. Life at the movies is looking luscious.
Zanjeer: Telugu star Ramcharan Teja makes his Hindi debut in Amitabh Bachchan’s career-defining role from the 1973 blockbuster of the same title. Director Apoorva Lakhia has completely revamped the original and changed the characterizations drastically. Sanjay Dutt’s Sher Khan (played by Pran in the original), Priyanka Chopra’s Mala (Jaya Bhaduri in the original) and Mahie Gill’s Mona Darling (the overblown Bindu) are completely unrecognizable. That’s the beauty of a remake, no?
Bullet Raja: Tigmanshu Dhulia, who last year ripped the box office open with his brilliant Paan Singh Tomar, is back with a tale of crime, commitment, compulsions and convictions in Uttar Pradesh. Saif Ali Khan plays the rustic outlaw and the underrated Jimmy Shergil is his partner in crime. The film promises to give us a humorous insight into the anatomy of small town outlaws without trivialising crime. That’s Dhulia’s forte.
Aakash Vani: Last year, director Luv Ranjan gave us the punchy Pyaar Ka Punchnama. He’s back with Punchnama stars Kartikeya Tiwari and Nushrat Bharucha playing a couple discovering love and, er, sex. While the earlier love-tale was filled with dirty boyz’ backchat, this one is a ‘pure’ love story. Interesting.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani: Going by what the promising debutant director Ayan Mukerjee did with Ranbir Kapoor in Wake Up Sid, one can’t wait to see the magic created by these two in their new film, an out-and-out musical romance in the tradition of Nasir Hussain films of the 1960s.
Dhoom 3: The Dhoom franchise strikes again, this time bringing together the never-before jodi of Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif. The third installment of the Dhoom series is directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya whose only other film, Tashan’s, only claim to fame is that it brought together Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
Satyagraha: Prakash Jha’s take on politics in corruption and corruption in politics brings together Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn as two ideologues united and then separated in their war against corruption. Kareena Kapoor, in her first post-marriage film (not counting the item song in Dabangg 2), promises to play a serious, investigative journalist.
Special Chabbis: A heist caper from Neeraj Pandey, the director of A Wednesday, the gripping 2008 anti-terror drama, Special Chabbis recreates, blow-by-blow, events connected with the dare devil broad-daylight heist of March 1987 when a bunch of men masquerading as income tax officials ‘raided’ a jewellery store in Mumbai. It should be fun watching Akshay Kumar and his gang of co-stars pull this one off.
Besharam: Post-Dabangg, director Abhinav Kashyap refused to direct the sequel to Dabangg. Instead, he chose this crime drama about a con-person from Delhi (Ranbir Kapoor) trying to escape the law with two Haryanvi cops (played by Ranbir’s parents Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh) hot on his heels.
Chennai Express: Shah Rukh Khan teams up with Ajay Devgn’s favourite director Rohit Shetty, for the first time in a romantic drama set in a train. The film promises a change of image for both SRK and his leading lady Deepika Padukone and for the director who, for too long, has become associated with slapstick comedy.
Himmatwala: Remember Sridevi and Jeetendra cavorting amidst the pots and pans to the tune of Bappi Lahiri’s nainon mein sapna? Sajid Khan recreates the 1983 potboiler. Hopefully, the pot would be boiling this time in a different brew, what with Ajay Devgn and Southern glam-doll Tamannaah all set to give the tale a different spin.
Race 2: Abbas-Mustan’s 2008 thriller Race, returns, racier than before. As is the norm in sequels, the male cast members Saif Ali Khan and Anil Kapoor are repeated while the female actors from Race are replaced by Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez and Amisha Patel in Race 2. Sorry guys, no Katrina or Bipasha this time. But there’s John Abraham as a beefy bonus, if that’s any consolation.
Ishaaq: Director Manish Tiwari’s faithful take on Romeo & Juliet features Prateik as Romeo and newcomer Amyra Dastoor as Juliet in a faithful page-by-page, word-by-word, character-by-character rendition of Shakespeare’s original play in an Uttar Pradesh milieu. Sounds fascinating.
Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola: In Vishal Bhardwaj’s latest quirky drama, Imran Khan plays Matru, Anushka Sharma plays Bijli and the fabulous rarely seen actor Pankaj Kapoor plays Mandola. And yes, Shabana Azmi plays a politician who has the hots for Pankaj Kapoor.
Shootout At Wadala: We’ve seen innumerable dramas on gangsterism in Mumbai. This one promises to be the real thing with real gangsters without fictional names. Shot on actual locations, featuring stars who abandon their vanity to get into character and written with the ink of sweat, blood and tears, Sanjay Gupta’s crime thriller recreates the events and episodes from Manya Surve’s ‘encounter’ killing on November 1, 1982. This one should do for the genre what Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya did a decade ago.
Vishwaroopam: The inimitable Kamal Haasan, regarded by many as the best actor India has ever produced, returns with a hi-tech espionage thriller which boasts of some of the most spectacularly staged action sequences ever shot in Indian cinema. If all goes well, this could be India’s answer to Mission Impossible. Besides saving the world from a global catastrophe, Kamal Haasan also takes time off to perform a Kathak dance choreographed by Birju Maharaj. Now, can Tom Cruise do that?
Lootera: Vikram Aditya Motwane who gave us the striking Udaan two years ago returns with a love story based on an O’Henry short story about a love-bond that refuses to fade with the seasons. One doesn’t know how much passion Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha can whip up in the saga, but the producers are doing all they can to ensure this becomes Bollywood’s answer to David Lean’s Dr Zhivago.