The road ahead

Bollywood 2012

Going by the line-up of films slated for release this year, Hindi film buffs have a lot to look forward to, writes Rajiv Vijayakar, offering a brief glimpse of Bollywood in 2012.

Comeback: Sridevi in‘English Vinglish’, one of 2012’s releases.It’s a varied spread as usual. There are movies full of masala  and movies with run-of-the-mill stories. There are sequels and remakes, both of Hindi and regional cinema. Not to mention Hollywood. The movies that will soon grace the cinema screens this year span a variety of genres ranging from romance and comedy to action and melodrama.

We step into 2012 with a new awareness that the NRI pie isn’t necessarily bigger than our home-grown one. Don 2 has failed to get back its investment, despite having crossed the collection made by India’s top grosser (in the NRI market) last year, Bodyguard. And so, the attention has been slowly shifting  to subjects that aren’t based out of Mumbai, or for that matter, a foreign location. One can also expect some new records to be made, in terms of the number of prints on release, what with the increasing number of multiplexes, or for that matter, countries opening up their markets to Hindi cinema.

Beginning with a bang he year takes off with Abbas-Mustan and Viacom 18’s official remake of the Hollywood caper, The Italian Job, a star-studded film with Bobby Deol, Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sonam Kapoor, with numero uno composer Pritam doing the music. Slated for January 6 release, its misguided branding as ‘multiplex’ fare might prove to be its undoing, as Abbas-Mustan have always been about mass

The other big release this January will be the remake of Agneepath starring Hrithik Roshan in Amitabh Bachchan’s role, Sanjay Dutt as Kancha Cheena (a role earlier essayed by Danny Denzongpa), Priyanka Chopra, and Rishi Kapoor in the villain’s garb. Newbie Karan Malhotra will direct this venture. The track Chikni Chameli (featuring Katrina Kaif) is touted as “one of the highlights.”

February’s sole biggie is Saif Ali Khan’s home production, action-oriented Agent Vinod, directed by Sriram Raghavan, with music by Pritam once again. This will be the second film this year, with many more to follow, which will feature Kareena Kapoor opposite the Khans. In fact, it would appear that Kareena has only been working with the Khans ever since 2009. She will also be seen in Karan Johar’s Ekk Main Aur Ek Tu opposite Imran Khan,
directed by first-timer Shakun Batra.

Down the line

Two modest films are expected to work well in February — Nitin Manmohan’s Gali Gali Chor Hai starring Akshaye Khanna, with Anu Malik in charge of music, and Ashwini Chaudhary’s Jodi Breakers, with R Madhavan and Bipasha Basu, touted as this February’s counterpart to last year’s sleeper success, Tanu Weds Manu.

March will see two potential blockbusters — Priyadarshan’s train-based thriller Tezz produced by Venus, starring Ajay Devgn and Kangna Ranaut with music by Sajid-Wajid, and Mukesh Bhatt’s Blood Money starring Kunal Khemu and Amrita Puri, directed by Vishal Mahadkar. The delayed Tigmanshu Dhulia film Paan Singh Tomar with Irrfan in the title role and Vidya Balan’s next — Kahaani, a Kolkata-centric thriller revolving around a pregnant woman — is being eagerly awaited by avid movie-goers.

Taking on the year’s IPL season from April 4 to May 27 will be three sequels — Sajid Khan’s Housefull 2 with Akshay Kumar, Mukesh Bhatt’s Jannat 2 with Emraan Hashmi, and Ekta Kapoor’s Kya Super Kool Hain Hum featuring Tusshar Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh. Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani have scripted together Ferrari Ki Sawari, a movie starring Sharman Joshi and directed by Rajesh Mapuskar. Sadly, May will see no major release.
Bollywood bonanza 2011 saw June to August as the bumper phase and this year, we have a similar promise. Prabhu Deva’s second Hindi directorial after 2009’s Wanted is Rowdy Rathore, featuring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. Also being released in this period is the Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor starrer Talaash, a thriller directed by Reema Kagti, co-starring Rani Mukerji.

Akshay and Sonakshi have a second film coming in Shirish Kunder’s Joker, India’s first comedy in 3D. Emraan Hashmi serenades his Murder 2 hottie Jacqueline Fernandez again in Vikram Bhatt’s Raaz 3, in 3D again.

Rohit Shetty’s next is the 1979 Golmaal-inspired comedy Bol Bachchan with Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan. Karisma Kapur’s comeback film, Dangerous Ishq, is also slated for a release in this phase. This film is also being talked about for its recorded tracks by Himesh Reshammiya.

Also coming up are Anurag Basu’s Barfee with Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, two stars in real need of hits. Kunal Kohli’s Teri Meri Kahani with Priyanka will be a do-or-die effort for Shahid Kapoor, whose last hit was Jab We Met in 2007! But the biggest release of them all will be Salman Khan’s Eid hat-trick, the anti-terrorist drama, Ek Tha Tiger, a Yash Raj film directed by Kabir Khan. Katrina Kaif reunites with him in a full-fledged romantic lead role.

Come Diwali, and maybe even after, Yash Chopra’s new directorial venture with Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma featuring A R Rahman’s music will take on Himesh Reshammiya’s action comedy Khiladi 786 starring Akshay Kumar and Himesh, Ashwini Dhir’s Son Of Sardar starring Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha and Tips’ sequel Race 2 featuring Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Ameesha Patel.

Much awaited

The year will culminate with the release of the much-awaited sequel to Dabangg around Christmas. The sequel will be directed by Arbaaz Khan and will star Salman Khan as well as Sonakshi Sinha.

Also slotted for 2012 are Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine, expected to be Kareena Kapoor’s tour-de-force, Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai with Emraan Hashmi and Abhay Deol (a political thriller based on a famous Greek novel), YRF’s Ishaqzaade introducing Anil Kapoor’s son Arjun Kapoor with Parineeti Chopra, and Vishal Bhardwaj’s weirdly-titled Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola where Imran Khan, Anushka Sharma and Pankja Kapur take on the roles of Matru, Bijlee and Mandola respectively.

Last but not the least, we will see the diva of the ‘80s, Sridevi, make her comeback in Hindi cinema with a R Balki production, English Vinglish, in which Amitabh Bachchan makes an interesting cameo. It is written and directed by Gauri Shinde, Balki’s wife.

Going by the line-up, 2012 may end on a high where Salman Khan will emerge a bigger star, Sonakshi Sinha will be counted among the top three and Himesh Reshammiya and Sajid-Wajid cement their place as A-listers.

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