Great Hindi Movies, Coming Up in 2010
2010! It has a pleasant ring to it, doesn't it? It might as well translate into some serious box office jingle.
Chances of that happening look bright. With a series of biggies lined up for release, this new year looks dazzling than ever.
For starters, important films, scheduled for a 2009 release, moved to the year after following a deadlock situation between producers and multiplexes. Secondly, 2010 promises an entertaining mix of intense dramas, fluffy romances, cornball comedies, small-budget artistry, innovative ideas and fresh, untried pairs.
Here's our pick of 10 Hindi films to look forward to in 2010.
My Name is Khan
Rahul and Anjali are back!
Okay, only this time in far more serious skin than ever.
Nothing less than the world is expected from the magical troika of Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Karan Johar in My Name is Khan. As the title suggests, MNIK touches the topic of ethnic discrimination wherein SRK plays an individual with Asperger syndrome, residing in post 9/11 US.
Every time the actor plays someone un-larger-than-life, he's proved to be a pleasure. In that sense, it would be interesting to see how he lends himself to My Name is Khan, which is, perhaps, one of his most physically-challenging roles. Plus, it's always a joy to watch one of our best actresses make her return to screen, every now and then.
As for Johar, he is clearly out of his comfort zone here but dabbling with emotions is nothing new to him. The first promos are out and the chemistry is for all to see, doubling the expectations.
Image: A poster of My Name is Khan
Inspired from the copious Indian mythological epic, Ramayana, filmmaker Mani Ratnam brings his own vision and sensibilities to this wildly-anticipated interpretation.
Considering the secrecy surrounding this project, simultaneously shot in Tamil, Raavan with its curious title and casting is expected to hit the marquee during the first quarter of 2010. Known to extract career-best performances from his actors, Raavan had a lot going for it.
Here's the rumoured lowdown: Abhishek Bachchan plays the title role avenging his sister's derision by Vikram, modelled after Lord Rama by abducting the latter's wife, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Sita. Supposedly, there's a masterful twist to it all, which we shall wait for Ratnam to reveal at his own accord. Until then, it's back to twiddling thumbs in excitement and wait.
Image: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Raavan
Salsa on the rocks? Check. Steaming love scenes? Check. Super sexy cast? Check. No wonder, the buzz on Hrithik Roshan's Kites is hot.
After what seems like forever, director Anurag Basu's ambitious romantic thriller in Hindi, English and Spanish is all set to soar with its tale of blazing passions and nasty betrayals.
Roshan (in his Jesus Christ Superstar-inspired avatar) and his gorgeous Mexican co-star Barbara Mori play two intense, star-crossed lovers striving to make it against all odds. Their explosive chemistry is already talk-of-the-town. Kangna Ranaut completes this puzzling triangle.
Known for his crisp storytelling and sleek visuals, it'll be fun to see what Basu does with his incredibly groovy leading players.
Image: A poster of Kites
It's been a while since we saw a Ram Gopal Varma film on a 'Most-awaited' list. Overlooking monstrosities like RGV Ki Aag, Darling and Agyaat, you got to hand it to the man for his die-hard attitude.
In his latest, Rann he takes on the media and its existing strategy of substituting sensationalism in place of news. It's topical, yes. So far, however, the entire 'Breaking News' lunacy has been more of a sloppy gimmick than a point of debate in our movies. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see Varma's take on a medium he enjoys a bittersweet relationship with.
Rann has previously attracted controversy for its distortion of the national anthem, Jana Gana Mana in the title song. Varma promptly replaced it with Vande Mataram. The ensemble cast led by Amitabh Bachchan, playing a fiercely ethical media baron, features Varma's usual suspects Sudeep, Ritesh Deshmukh, Suchitra Krishnamurthy and Rajpal Yadav along with Rajat Kapoor, Neetu Chandra, Gul Panag and Paresh Rawal.
Image: A poster of Rann
Wanted goes period? If last year saw him beat the baddies like a flock of flies (casually, if you please), his new offering, Veer, a lavish-scale Salman Khan wagon coloured in the Anil Sharma School of filmmaking witnesses him do Conan in true blue Bollywood tradition of grandeur and disbelief.
Credited for its incredulous plot, the beefy superstar plays a brave warrior of some exotic tribe fighting the British for honour and all those Samurai-like qualities whilst hobnobbing with its pretty new-finds Zarine Khan and Lisa Lazarus.
Sure, there'll be moments of unabashed cheesiness and idiocy (it's Anil 'Gadar' Sharma, remember?) to wheedle out a mad wolf whistle out of Salman Khan-loyalists. And that's a compliment. On that note, brace yourself for some armour-clad Sallu fighting the villains like only he can. Woo hoo!
Image: Salman Khan in Veer
Ah well, Ishqiya isn't a Vishal Bhardwaj film. He's *only* written, composed and produced it while assistant Abhishek Chaubey calls the shots. It's easy to recognise the Bhardwaj stamp even as you get over the sheer audacity of its trailer.
Brilliance of blasphemy aside, Ishqiya takes its fabulous cast to places we had never thought we would see them go. And so you have a robber duo of lyrical Naseeruddin Shah and flaky Arshad Warsi give it up for the scheming, seductive hellcat in Vidya Balan.
Conventionally speaking, Ishqiya is not exactly a money-spinning prospect but given Bhardwaj's success with the offensive, it very well could be.
Image: A poster of Ishqiya
When Prakash Jha nails it, he nails it good. And Rajneeti, with its wholesome line-up of actors -- Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan, Ranbir Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal and Katrina Kaif in her first serious assignment looks very, very interesting.
Influenced by the pages of Mahabharata, Jha explores the science of politics in the face of personal equations, in his under production slated for a May release. Earlier on, enthused by the intricate complexities evident in the epic saga, filmmaker Shyam Benegal set his Kalyug against the backdrop of warring industrialists.
Dogged by rumours insisting its leading lady Katrina Kaif's character is based on Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Jha refutes any such similarity.
Who cares? Count us in, anyway!
Image: A poster of Rajneeti
Chemistry is the heartbeat of Guzaarish.
It's a creative circle. Hrithik Roshan creates unforgettable screen moments with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Aishwarya lights the soulful frames of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's imagery. Bhansali paints poetry with his uncontrollably lavish imagination. Just imagine what their collective combination will do?
It's quite simple, really. Either Guzaarish will become immortal in the pages of history. Or fade into nothingness like a wasted opportunity.
Few months into its announcement, Guzaarish has already generated terrific buzz. Rumoured to touch the topic of Euthanasia, the drama features Hrithik as a paraplegic patient and his unique relationship with a nurse, played by Ash. Stock those pack of tissues, folks. They will come in handy.
Image: Hrithik Roshan
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se
'Itne baaju Itne sar, gin le dushman dhyan se. Harega woh har baazi, jab khelein hum jee jaan se.'
Remember Amitabh Bachchan's powerful baritone expounding the same to a spell-binding effect in Tinnu Anand's Main Azaad Hoon. Drawing its title from the same, Ashutosh Gowariker goes back in time to adapt Manini Chatterjee's novel, Do or Die, revolving around a revolutionary's initiation of the 1930 Chittagong Uprising.
His What's your Raashee? may have shook your faith in astrology but the usually durable filmmaker promises to bounce back with this patriotic fare starring Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone. While Bachchan works well under a keen eye, let's see how Deepika evolves with Gowariker's stickler attitude.
Image: Abhishek Bachchan
Karthik Calling Karthik
There's something edgy about his films. Whether he's directing, producing or acting in them, there's always something original about his execution. Farhan Akhtar has earned this reputation quite early in his career. And that's why we are eyeing this queerly titled Karthik Calling Karthik with utmost interest.
As the press junket will tell you, Akhtar plays Karthik, a recluse-types in an extraordinary situation where his only hope is another guy called Karthik. Somewhere in these baffling scheme of things, fits in Deepika, a hip chain smoker in great need of rescuing herself.
It all sounds deliciously vague and intriguing. Directed by newbie, Vijay Lalwani, could Karthik Calling Karthik be that breakthrough film around the corner? We'll soon find out.
Image: A poster of Karthik Calling Karthik
Ten is an awfully tiny number for a year choc blocked with potentially riveting cinema. And so it's imperative to feature a bunch of honourary mentions, no?
There's Sonam Kapoor doing an Emma, the cupid-controlling Jane Austen heroine, in Aisha with Abhay Deol in tow. Guess the episode tormented her enough to exclaim I Hate Love Stories in her next opposite Imran Khan.
Paresh Rawal overstays his welcome in Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen Sharma's pad in Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge. In sharp contrast, he's compelled to choose between terror and politics in Road to Sangam.
Akshay Kumar and Ash time-travel to the 1950s in Action Replay.
Imran Khan explores the grim side of the capital in Delhi Belly.
Kajol and Kareena Kapoor slips into the shoes of Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts in the official remake of Stepmom.
Strangers in the night, exchanging glances Ranbir Kapoor serenades Priyanka Chopra along these lines in Anjaana Anjaani.
John Abraham dials 1-800-Love to experience the conversation of a lifetime.
Image: A scene from Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge