Bollywood develops a taste for English
'I can talk English. I can walk English. I can laugh English. Because English is a very phunny language,' rattles off a memorable Amitabh Bachchan in Prakash Mehra's incessantly droll, Namak Halal.
Adopting Big B's 'Can do anything English' philosophy, Bollywood's shown a noticeable increase in its production of English titles for Hindi movies in recent times.
A lot of them like No Entry, Bluffmaster, My Name is Khan, 3 Idiots, All the Best, Wanted, Welcome, Rock On!!, Race and Wake Up Sid weren't not just widely-accepted but did great business too. Nothing 'phunny' about that, right?
On the other hand, there've been quite a few unfortunate ones, namely -- Risk, No Smoking, The Stoneman Murders, Out of Control, Fight Club-Members Only, Do Knot Disturb, Luck By Chance, Kidnap, Roadside Romeo and Striker, which crashed at the box office.
Nevertheless, the trend is here to stay. On that note, here's a look at some of the significant non-Hindi movie titles to come out of Bollywood in the upcoming months.
After the success of Heyy Babyy, witty television host/anchor turned director Sajid Khan is back making another Akshay Kumar-led farce, Housefull.
Getting into the trouble-inviting skin of Aarush yet again, the Khiladi plays hubby to his three hot, high-maintenance wives -- Lara Dutta, Deepika Padukone and Jiah Khan under one common roof leading to an inevitable comedy of errors. (Read Akki being slapped by a monkey, one of the heroines falling into a trash can, to name a few.)
Set in London, the star-studded fare also features Ritesh Deshmukh and Arjun Rampal.
Image: A poster of Housefull
Murder, Gangster, Life in a... Metro, director Anurag Basu has a thing for English titles. His latest, Kites, keeps the tradition alive.
Starring Hrithik Roshan and Mexican stunner, Barbara Mori, Rakesh Roshan's lavish home-production has taken forever to release but it's finally slated to hit the theatres this May.
Despite the romantic thriller's no-expenses spared status and the leading pair's purported chemistry, the teasers are hardly anything to rave about.
Let's hope this is one of those rare occasions when the film is better than its promo.
Image: A scene from Kites
Clearly the abysmal response to his last release, London Dreams hasn't put filmmaker Vipul Amrutlal Shah off English titles.
Currently, he's kicked about his new project, titled Action Replayy, which is said to be inspired by a Gujarati play of the same name.
Sounds promising, no? The idea of seeing a suave Akshay Kumar and gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan romancing somewhere in the 1950, that is.
It might be recalled that the good-looking duo previously worked on Rajkumar Santoshi's cop flick, Khakee.
Image: A scene from Action Replay
Love You Maa
Kajol and Kareena Kapoor channel their maternal experiences and instincts respectively to lend credibility to Bollywood's official remake of Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts-starrer, Step Mom.
Also, this untitled project finally has a title -- Love You Maa.
Directed by late actor Prem Nath's grandson, Siddharth Malhotra for producer Karan Johar, Love You Maa is about a terminally ill woman reaching a mutual understanding with the new woman in her former husband's life over raising her children.
Meanwhile, Arjun Rampal pitches in to do an Ed Harris over original choice John Abraham.
Image: Kajol and Kareena Kapoor
I Hate Luv Stories
Two young crew members battle it out at the movie set of a gooey romance in Punit Malhotra's emphatically-titled, I Hate Luv Stories.
The debutant director, incidentally, happens to be fashion designer Manish Malhotra's nephew.
Other than being a Dharma Production, the date flick's USP includes its fresh, untried pairing of the sparkling young duo Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor.
If their on-screen chemistry is anything like the sensual cover they posed for in Filmfare's June 2009 issue, the audience is unlikely to find anything 'hate' worthy about this one.
Image: A cover of Filmfare magazine
Once Upon A Time in Mumbai
Films based on real life gangsters have usually found favour in the audiences. Company and Shootout in Lokhandwala, remember? And so, following America, China and Mexico, the Once Upon a Time fever hits Mumbai as well.
In this curiously titled crime caper, director Milan Luthria dwells into the life and times of mafia kingpins, Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim.
To generate the desired intensity, he's roped in an interesting cast of Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Kangna Ranaut.
While playing a gangster modeled around a real-life underworld personality is familiar territory for Devgn, Hashmi took pains to build a six-pack physique to look suitably rough and tough.
Image: Emraan Hashmi
Vivek Oberoi is all set to redeem his leading man glory in and as Prince in a Bollywood-styled cocktail of Jason Bourne meets James Bond. Director Kookie V Gulati's much-talked about action thriller is already making waves thanks to its extra glossy trailer.
So what's the deal? A hot-shot thief loses his memory but finds enough time and inclination to smooch and serenade hotties Nandana Sen, Neeru Singh and Aruna Shields while achieving mission impossible.
Will the Saathiya star pull it off? Wait and watch!
Image: A poster of Prince
Don 2 -- The Chase Continues
Despite purists shunning the first edition of Farhan Akhtar's Don: The Chase Begins Again, a reworking of the stylish 1978 Amitabh Bachchan classic, the young filmmaker is unfazed and meticulously working on its sequel.
As in the case of most follow-ups, the Shah Rukh Khan starrer too will only get bigger (if not necessarily better) and filmed predominantly in Philippines and Germany.
Pretty much all the key players including Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal and Boman Irani will be joining SRK in his misadventures as he lives up to his reputation of being hunted down by baarah mulkon ki police.
Image: A scene from Don
Bollywood isn't very creative when it comes to naming films about performing artists. That probably explains the onslaught of bland titles like Disco Dancer, Street Dancer, Dance Dance, Dancer, Superstar and now Rock Star.
Lack of imagination aside, Rock Star is director Imtiaz Ali's long-standing baby who's known to make effortlessly engaging fare like Socha Na Tha, Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal (even if to a disappointingly lesser extent).
If that's not good enough, guess who's signed up to strum the guitar? Our very own Sid aka Prem aka Rocket Singh -- Ranbir Kapoor.
Buzz is his super busy co-star Katrina Kaif just might shuffle her date diary to join the party.
Image: Ranbir Kapoor
No Problem, The Girl in Yellow Boots
Mostly associated with eerie or disturbed characters, Kangna Ranaut finally gets a chance to show her funny side as the quintessential dumb dolly in Anees Bazmee's upcoming comedy, No Problem.
And she's got a whole bunch of stars ranging from Sanjay Dutt, Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna to Sushmita Sen, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal to give her company.
Courtesy super hits like Welcome and Singh is Kinng, Bazmee's had exceptional luck with screwball slapsticks so far. Will his latest score regardless of Akki's absence? No Problem, let's hope.
The Girl in Yellow Boots
Having won acclaim and awards for her work in Anurag Kashyap's Dev-D, the free-spirited Kalki Koechlin collaborates and co-writes along with the uncompromising filmmaker and real-life beau for the intriguingly titled, That Girl in Yellow Boots.
Considering Kashyap's approximate towards all things edgy and offbeat, this hush-hush thriller co-starring Naseeruddin Shah should be one hell of a ride.
Image: Kangana Ranaut