I’m pretty certain most of you would be looking forward to the advent of the festive season which almost begins with Rakhi and flows into Pujo’s, Diwali, Christmas and ultimately New Year. Additionally, two national holidays – Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti also fall in the same period and often results in long weekends which we all so love. Bear in mind that this period is also the time when the Hindi film industry begins to book and release some of the most awaited films from their creative factories. With huge economics riding on films it’s imperative that big stars (won’t call them actors, since some don’t really know how to act) reserve festive dates in advance for distributors and exhibitors to put their might behind their film and ensure that the film trumps simply through its wide distribution. This has been the trend for many years now and at times when two competing production houses or stars announce similar release dates it leads to a good amount of friction. Winter in northern India adds to the mystique and creates great anticipation for the audience and delivers great value for the producers.
Nevertheless, in all of this though the viewer gets deprived of variety he surely does benefit from the fact that some of the most entertaining and attractive cinema hits theaters in these four and a half months. My attempt is to list some of these awaited Hindi film releases below:
- JAB HARRY MET SEJAL: Coinciding with the Rakhi week, this SRK starrer directed by Imtiaz Ali releases on August 4th. This is SRK’s first film with Ali who is known to make cinema which depicts the search for the inner voice to achieve a larger slice of life and emotions. As per sources and pre-release publicity the story apparently revolves around Harry (SRK) and Sejal’s (Anushka Sharma) journey across Europe. A search for Sejal’s engagement ring makes Harry understand love and relationships better. Sejal experiences new found freedom, security and solace in Harry’s company and in between all of this – there is love, life, lies, thrill, fantasy and of course the search for the voice within. Needless to mention it will be film filled with pretty visuals and good music and will have the required ingredients to entertain and appeal to your sentiments. SRK is an aging star (he is fifty plus) but keeping himself slim and now that he has grown a neat beard to cover his wrinkles has allowed him to romance young leading ladies without turning off the audiences. There are enough fans who still sway for SRK and thus this film will evoke enough and more interest. Not too certain of the hinterland audiences wanting to watch this film but I guess the star power may pull them in too.
- TOILET: EK PREM KATHA: Co-produced by the grand master Akshay Kumar and his director of past films like Special 26 Neeraj Pandey, the film which also stars Akshay Kumar is written by Siddharth Singh and Garima Wahal, the writers of the 2013 Hindi film Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela. The film has some similarity with an original event in which a 19-year old Priyanka Bharti ran away from her husband’s home in 2012, because there was no toilet. The film seems to be a satirical comedy in support of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a governmental campaign to improve the sanitation conditions in India, with emphasis on the eradication of open defecation in public areas, especially in the rural areas of India. Bhumi Pednekar (she can also endorse weight loss programs) is Khiladi’s co actor and the setting seems perfect for a film which will entertain with a social message appealing to the semi urban and rural audiences in a big way. Such films usually get tax free status but with GST in now I’m not too sure of the modalities but in anycase the film is set to enthrall and promises viewers a delightful watch on August 11th.
- BABUMOSHAI BANDOOKBAZ: With Nawazuddin now becoming a star (an actor who is also a star) not mentioning his film will be an oversight. Nawaz’ films are now eagerly awaited for his acting talent and for the depiction of a character which is evil and borders on insanity. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Babu plays the role of a UP based sharp shooter for which he took special lessons in action and handling guns. Prague based cinematographer Vishal Vittalwas brought on board for the film and has worked on adding an international look to the rustic landscape of Uttar Pradesh while the crisp dialogues add humour and spark to the desi flavour and dialect. One thing that is guaranteed in the film is that Nawaz will present an act which will be thoroughly entertaining and real and will force viewers to love the character despite the evil shades. His screen presence despite his diminutive physicality is a delight to watch and the interiors of India’s largest state always presents tales which are laced with humour in the seriousness of the matter (ala Ishqiya). This is a must watch on August 25th.
4. BAADSHAHO: Emergency is a dark phase in our country’s history and if a film proposes to show a tale against its backdrop its bound to raise curiosity. Ajay Devgn is one of the more reliable actors when it comes to thoughtful cinema (read Drishyam and to a certain extent Shivaay) and with him in the lead viewers can look forward to a treat. Serial kisser, Mr. Hashmi is also part of the star cast and its late respected Mr. Raj Khosla’s son who is at the helm of the film. Milan Luthria has made some good films in the past and I’m sure we can expect another sensible and entertaining thriller from him. It set for release on September 1st and the promos look menacing.
- SIMRAN: Enough of debate on nepotism, but the super talented hero of Hindi cinema, Kagana Ranaut is back with a film where she plays the central character. Not much is known about the film yet, but its shot in Atlanta, US and is set to hit screens on September 15th. With Kagana and her repertoire and with director Hansal Mehta one can safely assume that the film will rise to a level which will be tasteful and exciting. In an industry dominated by male leads, Kagana & Vidya through their immense talent and smart PR have managed to establish themselves as actors who can shoulder a film alone. Kudos to them!
- BHOOMI: The khalnayaak is back and how…the first poster of the film has just been released and it looks gripping. Sunjay Dutt, Sanju Baba as he is fondly called, is going to make a comeback with this film post his prison stint and it seems he has chosen a project which will showcase his powerful acting talent and re-establish him in the hearts of his diehard fans. Co staring the gorgeous Aditi Rao Hydari, the film is apparently a father-daughter story directed by Omung Kumar (maker of Mary Kom & Sarabjit). Shot in Agra and Jaipur the film is scheduled to release on September 22nd. Must give credit to Sanju baba to put his head down and work on a single project dedicatedly to ensure that his comeback is a hard-hitting film which creates memories.
- SECRET SUPERSTAR: This year our Diwali offering has been reserved by this Indian musicaldrama film, written and directed by Advait Chandan and produced by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao. The film features Zaira Wasim of Dangal fame, Meher Vij and Aamir Khan in lead roles and tells the story of a child who aspires to be a singer. The film is scheduled for release on October 18th. The story revolves around a teenager who saves her mother from her abusive father with the help of an alcoholic divorcee. With Mr. Perfect behind this venture one can almost be assured of good returns on your investment. Aamir’s new look is also rather intriguing and post Dangal, this film promises to show him in a completely new avatar. So, light your diya’s and get your ticket to this Diwali release.
- PADMAVATI: Maybe another classic in the making, Padmavati is an upcoming Indian period drama film directed by the visionary Sanjay Leela Bhansali, The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role as Rani Padmini, alongside Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Jim Sarbh and Aditi Rao Hydari. It is currently scheduled for release on November 17th. The film is a fictionised account of the life of Rani Padmini, a legendary queen mentioned in Padmavat. She was the wife of Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the ruler of Mewar. As per historical records, in 1303, Alauddin Khilji, the Turkic ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, led the invasion and ultimately laid siege to the Chittor Fort in Rajputana motivated by his desire to capture Rani Padmini.
- TIGER ZINDA HAIN: Director Ali Abbas Zafar and star Salman Khan come together again in this second installment of Ek Tha Tiger. Interestingly Katrina Kaif reunites with Salman for this film which will be your Christmas and new year offering releasing on December 22nd. Post the lukewarm response to bhai’s last film – Tubelight, he will be hoping hard that Tiger Zinda Hain will help him roar back into the hearts of his innumerable fans. So, a lot riding on this film, we hope that it doesn’t pipe down our NY celebrations.
*please note all sequels have not been included except for Tiger Zinda Hain.