A few surprises in 2014

Bollywood buzz

A few surprises in 2014

If 2013 left viewers spoilt for choice, this year would be no different. Big banners are set to belt out their fare of action, drama and rom-coms, which will mark comebacks of top stars. Rajiv Vijayakar  gives us a glimpse of the year that will be...

The buffet just got bigger: Cinema 2014 is going the same way as 2013, but with far more exciting ‘offers’ from the Great Hindi Film Factory. The year opens with the detective caper Joe B Carvalho (a pun on the Hindi ‘jo bhi karvaa lo’, which means ‘Make me do anything’!) starring Arshad Warsi and Soha Ali Khan, among new films, and the 3D avatar of Indian cinema’s biggest hit, Sholay. However, regrettably, there is barely any noise about the latter, making it look no more than like a colorised version of Mughal-E-Azam.

January will also see the teenybopper musical Yaariyan, the first of the T-Series productions (the delayed Sunny Deol-Kangana Ranaut film I Love New Year will follow); the year’s first sequel Dedh Ishqiya, that will see Madhuri Dixit making a full-fledged comeback after her cameo in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani; Neeraj Pandey of A Wednesday and Special 26 fame will be out with his production Total Siyapaa, a satirical Indo-Pak love story directed by Eeshwar Nivas and starring Ali Chashme Baddoor Zafar and Yammi Vicky Donor Gautam; Lakshmi, Nagesh Kukunoor’s hard-hitting film on human trafficking, made from a mix of real stories, and finally the first new biggie of the year, Jai Ho.

The big names

Salman Khan returns to the screen after a gap of 13 months with this latest mainstream masala directed by his brother Sohail Khan. Though the promos have had record hits on YouTube, the anticipation level seems to be more of a “wait and watch” kind, unlike with his films in the last four years. However, Salman’s ready fan base is enough to give the film the coveted 100-crore push — only after this will the movie’s merits or lack of them will take over.

A more exciting set-up is Sajid Nadiadwala’s directorial debut Kick, slated for an Eid 2014 release, which brings back Himesh Reshammiya, solo, into his mentor’s fold and the Eid-Salman connection between 2009 to 2012. In a Salman-athon, the heroine is of little importance, so not many are aware that Jai Ho has starlet Daisy Shah, while Kick stars Jacqueline Fernandez, whose last two spaced-out films, Housefull 2 (2012) and Race 2 (2013), had both been blockbusters.

Incidentally, an early release this year is Salman Khan’s co-production with his sister Alvira and her husband Atul Agnihotri, the small film, O Teri, starring Pulkit Samrat and Sarah Jane Dias, and being directed by Umesh Bhisht. The film releases in March this year, and if Khan’s choice of production (Chillar Party) is any indication, it will be great, high-concept entertainment.

Speaking of the supreme Khans, Aamir will star in Rajkumar Hirani’s PK, co-starring Anushka Sharma and Sanjay Dutt. With a joint humdinger like 3 Idiots behind them, and now Aamir’s Dhoom 3, expectations here are gargantuan, to say the least.

Shah Rukh will return to Farah Khan territory with his home production Happy New Year. The Om Shanti Om-trio of Farah, SRK and then-newbie-turned-Queen Bee Deepika Padukone will join hands with Abhishek Bachchan and Boman Irani for this super-spicy entertainer that has been partly shot underwater. The content is under wraps.

Katrina Kaif, the ever-lucky mascot, revives professional ties with Hrithik Roshan dobara after Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, to do the Siddharth Anand-actioner, Bang Bang, the licensed remake of the Tom Cruise film, Knight And Day. 

Though Ajay Devgn hit a rough patch in 2013, he is all set to zoom back with Numero Uno director Rohit Shetty in Reliance Entertainment’s Singham 2, which he is also co-producing in a first of sorts — an original sequel to a Tamil remake. Ajay will also do a challenging role opposite Sonakshi Sinha, Yammi Gautam and another new face in Prabhudheva’s action comedy, Action Jackson. His current favourite composer Himesh Reshammiya will score music for the latter, and if reports are to be believed, will also score the former.

Sequels again

And if we have Dedh Ishqiya and Singham 2, the sequel fever continues with Ragini MMS 2 from the Balaji stable with Sunny Leone, and Bhoothnath Returns, with which Abhay Chopra revives his grandfather B R Chopra’s venerated banner of BR Films, with T-Series as co-producers. The film is being helmed by Nitesh Tewari, the brain behind — again! — Chillar Party. Amitabh Bachchan reprises his role of the lovable ghost.

Two more sequels are in the offing: Shaadi Ke Side Effects, starring the unusual team of Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan (which comes after Pyaar Ke Side Effects), and Firoz Nadiadwala’s Welcome Back, returns with writer-director Anees Bazmee, Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar from the original cast. While the promo of the first film is already making news for its cute take on marriage, John Abraham and Shruti Haasan co-star in the latter movie, which made news sometime ago for Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha being cast together. But the buzz was untrue, and it is said that Dimple Kapadia has been signed for the key role, though Bachchan is not confirmed.

Akshay Kumar will star first in Holiday, the remake of the South hit Thuppaki. This movie is being directed by A R Murugadoss, the man behind Ghajini, Hindi cinema’s first 100 crore-making movie, and stars Sonakshi Sinha. Akshay also stars in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gabbar, another Murugadoss remake, which will co-star Shraddha Kapoor, fresh from her Aashiqui 2 success, and It’s Entertainment, a masala biggie from Tips. While Gabbar is directed by Radhakrishna Jagarlamudi, the latter film is directed by Farhad-Sajid, the men who have co-written so many comedies from Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Chashme Baddoor to almost all films of Rohit Shetty. Actress Tamannaah, who made her Hindi debut in Himmatwala, stars in this film.

Another masala drama is Sajid Khan’s Humshakals, starring Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor, all in triple roles! The leading ladies are led by Bipasha Basu.

Private eyes & other exotica 

Kabir Khan continues with his core-strength — politics and espionage — in the tantalisingly-titled Phantom, starring his now-favourite heroine Katrina Kaif with Saif Ali Khan. Being shot in rugged and controversial foreign terrain like his past films, this is one of the many productions of Sajid Nadiadwala, which include Imtiaz Ali’s Highway with Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda.Katrina also is cast with Ranbir Kapoor in Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos, a musical detective drama that hotshot composer Pritam considers his most challenging assignment after Basu’s Barfi!. 

Detectives will be in vogue this year, with Ranbir also cast in and as Roy. Jacqueline Fernandez and Arjun Rampal star in this Vikramjit Singh-directed detective drama for T-Series. Samrat & Co. will see Rajeev Khandelwal in what is proposed to be India’s first big-screen detective franchise produced by Kavita Barjatya for Rajshri Productions and directed by Kaushik Ghatak. Vidya Balan plays a detective in Dia Mirza’s co-production, Bobby Jasoos, while the cult fictional character from Bengal, titled Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, will make his national debut in a film of that name from Yash Raj Films, with Sushant Singh Rajput cast in the film directed by Dibakar Banerjee.

Yash Raj Films is set for a slew of films made with young Turks among stars and filmmakers. Their Gunday trailer is grabbing eyeballs for the rugged action of Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor with Priyanka Chopra playing a cabaret dancer under the direction of Ali Abbas Zafar of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan fame. Set in Kolkata against a backdrop of coal smugglers, it promises to be a February blockbuster.

India’s biggest banner is also set to release Bewakoofian, directed by Nupur Asthana with Rishi Kapoor, Ayushmaan Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor; Daawat-E-Ishq, directed by Habib Faisal with Aditya Roy Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra; Pradeep Sarkar’s Mardaani, starring Rani Mukerji, and Shaad Ali’s Kill Dil with Ranveer Singh, Ali Zafar, Parineeti Chopra and (in a negative role) Govinda.

Other exotica slated for 2014 include Venus’s Satish Kaushik-directed Gang Of Ghosts, with an ensemble cast and based on the Bengali hit Bhooter Bhabhisyat (The Future of the Past); Saif’s twin home productions Happy Ending (directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krihna D K) with Govinda, Saif Ali Khan, Ranvir Shorey, Ileana D’Cruz, Kalki Koechlin, Preity Zinta and Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Finding Fanny Fernandes helmed by Homi Adajania, starring Deepika Padukone, Dimple Kapadia and Naseeruddin Shah, the respective home productions of Anushka Sharma (NH10) and Abhay Deol (One By Two), Mukesh Bhatt’s dark film City Lights starring Rajkumar Yadav, and The Omen remake by Vishal Mahadkar and Soumik Sen’s Gulaab Gang toplining Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla.

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