The year gone by had such a rich haul of good films, that audiences can only look forward to the new year with optimism. With such a line-up of seemingly non-formulaic and varied films in just the first four months; it certainly seems like hope for a better Bollywood might be justified. Later in the year, films like Bharat, Student Of The Year 2, Kabir Singh, Mission Mangal, Batla House, Saaho, Good News, Made in China, Tanaaji, Marjaavan, Brahmastra, Kick 2, Panipat, Baaghi 3, Sooryanavanshi, Sadak 2, ‘83 and Shamshera will hit the screens. Audiences might just have to bust the bank to buy tickets to so many potential blockbusters.
1) The Accidental PM: The controversial film based on Sanjaya Baru’s book about the Manmohan Singh years, directed by Vijay Gutte has Akshaye Khanna playing the author and Anupam Kher the former PM
2) Uri: Aditya Dhar’s film starring Vicky Kaushal and Mohit Raina is about the covert surgical strikes following militant attacks on the Indian Army Base in Uri, Kashmir and is guaranteed to evoke patriotism
3) Fraud Saiyaan: Arshad Warsi played a love-them-and-leave them crook In the film directed by Sourabh Shrivastav, reminiscent of the 1974 film, Woh Main Nahin.
4) Cheat India: Soumik Sen directs this Emraan Hashmi film about a conman who takes advantage of the weaknesses in the Indian education system.
5) Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi: The lavish historical directed by Kangana Ranaut and Krish has the star play India’s most famous warrior queen who fought the British for India’s independence
6) Thackeray: Abhijit Panse directs Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the role of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, a film that threatens to be incendiary
7) Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga: Anil Kapoor and daughter Sonam star together for the first time in Shaili Chopra Dhar’s film, reported to be a sensitive same-sex love story
8) Sonchiriya: It has been a while since a Hindi film ventured into the Chambal Valley of Madhya Pradesh to tell a dacoit tale starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Manoj Bajpayee and Bhumi Pednekar
9) Gully Boy: The promo of Zoya Akhtar’s film on the street rappers of Mumbai has been appreciated, with current heartthrob Ranveer Singh starring with Alia Bhatt and Kalki Koechlin
10) Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar: Dibakar Banerjee returns after a gap to direct Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra in a dark comedy-thriller.
11) Luka Chhupi: Kartik Aryan is cast in the role of a Mathura TV reporter opposite Kriti Sanon in Laxman Utekar’s romantic comedy
12) Badla: Sujoy Ghosh gets a dream cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu in a remake of Spanish thriller Contratiempo
13) De De Pyar De: Editor Akiv Ali makes his debut as director with this romantic comedy starring Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Rakul Preet Singh
14) Romeo Akbar Walter: John Abraham stars in this Robbie Grewal-directed espionage thriller
15) Kesari: The historic Battle Of Sargarhi that has suddenly attracted multiple filmmakers, but Anurag Singh’s film starring Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra comes out first
16) Mental Hai Kya: Kangana Ranaut stars opposite Rajkummar Rao in Prakash Kovelamudi’s darkly comic thriller.
17) Junglee: Hollywood director Chuck Russell came down to India to make an action adventure with Vidyat Jamwal playing a vet forced to fight poachers on an elephant reserve.
18) The Notebook: Salman introduces his protégés Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl in a love story directed by Nitin Kakkar.
19) The Zoya Factor: Anuja Chauhan’s bestselling book set in the world of cricket, stars Sonam Kapoor and Malayalam superstar Dulquer Salman.
20) Kalank: The big multistarrer Mughal era period drama, directed by Abhishek Verman has on his star roster Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Kunal Khemu, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt
Deepa Gahlot is one of India’s seniormost and best known entertainment journalists. A National Awardwinning film critic, Deepa has watched more movies and theatre than most people in the country. An author of several books on film and theatre, she has had an extremely successful run as head of theatre and film at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai, during which she helped nurture several original productions. For Xyngr, Deepa Gahlot reviews theatre and cinema.