2016 can prove to be the most exciting year for Hindi Cinema and cinephiles. The assortment of movies lined up are a treat in itself. Without much ado, let us jump on the list right away:
- Chauranga: NFDC’s Screenwriters Lab has already proved its mettle by honing the script of acclaimed movies. The Lunchbox, The Good Road and Titli are a few examples to make its credentials bona fide. Chauranga is one such movie which is backed by NFDC. It also has other credible names attached to it – Onir (acclaimed director of My Brother Nikhil), Sanjay Suri (who plays a crucial role in Chauranga) and Drishyam Films (which produced phenomenal movies like Ankhon Dekhi and Masaan). One can expect nothing short of a wonderful cinema when such names culminate to make a film. The trailer itself is taut and intriguing to say the least. It does not boast of a 100 crore club worthy Bollywood star (you don’t always need one, do you?) but it does appear to have a strong storyline. We are eager to find out how it fares.
- Wazir: Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Kashmir. All of the above in an action thriller. Need we say more? Wazir’s teaser and trailer has set our pulse racing. We admit that on more than a few occasions big names have let us down but we will be honest when we say that Wazir’s cast and crew has sparked our imagination in the best way possible. Let’s hope it exceeds our anticipation.
- Jugni: Jugni is a musical film where the protagonist travels to Punjab in search of a voice. Debutant director Shefali Bhushan chose the enormously talented Clinton Cerejo (of Madari – Coke Studio Fame) as the music composer. Clinton has been a protege of A R Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj. He did what no one has ever been able to do before. He achieved a musical coup of sorts by getting Bhardwaj and Rahman to sing (one song each) for Jugni’s album. The music is soulful and pleasant. The interesting storyline may remind you of MTV Sound Trippin (remember Sneha Khanwalkar? walking through villages and cities; with a mic in hand; recording sounds and voices).
Jugni has all the ingredients of a memorable film. We will be glad if it turns out to be one.
Airlift: It is based on the biggest evacuation ever executed in the entire history. It was carried out by Air India during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The trailer does remind us of Argo no doubt; (especially the end shot) but let’s give the makers of Airlift a big round of applause for attempting such a storyline. Difficult subjects like these are only seldom touched by filmmakers in India. We will be certified fools if we expect Airlift to be as kickass as Argo. Even if the movie manages to thrill us half as much as Argo did, we will get our money’s worth.
- Saala Khadoos: Have you watched the trailer yet? It is aggressive, stirring and impressive. R Madhavan, a disgruntled boxing coach, on the lookout for fresh talent. Woooow. Also, to keep it real, the makers have roped in real life boxer Ritika Singh. Skilful move. Moreover, Rajkumar Hirani as well as UTV are closely associated with this project. This one has the exact right mix of being an exceptional movie. We will find out soon.
- Fitoor: In his previous directorial venture, Abhishek Kapoor turned a substandard novel (3 Mistakes of My Life) into a remarkable movie (Kai Po Che). This time he has picked a remarkable classic – Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations – for cinematic adaptation. To add to the anxiety, the movie is set in Kashmir. The casting too is nothing short of genius – Tabu, Aditya Roy Kapoor along with Katrina Kaif. Since Haider, Kashmir has managed to catch quite a few directors’ fancy yet again. We are waiting with bated breath for this one.
- Tere Bin Laden Dead Or Alive: Tere Bin Laden thoroughly entertained us. It was an exemplary satire and a meaningful piece of cinema. Except Piyush Mishra, everybody associated with the movie was relatively fresh to the silver screen. It marked the debut of Ali Zafar as well as the director (Abhishek Sharma). According to reports, the second part is more a spin off than a sequel. The entire cast and crew is the same except for the lead. Yes my friends, we are saddened to say that Ali Zafar is not reprising his role. Instead, we will have to bear with the highly irritating host of quite a few award shows, Manish Paul. This casting mismatch can backfire gravely. For the time being, let’s repose our faith in the director.
- Neerja: Neerja Bhanot, the spirited flight attendant who sacrificed herself and saved 360 lives – this is her story. The story of this valiant girl deserved to be filmed by someone of merit and it appears that the story is in safe hands. Renowned and award winning ad filmmaker Ram Madhwani is making his directorial debut with Neerja. Our only concern is Sonam Kapoor. Her recent undertakings have not left a decent impression on us. Will she be able to pull it off? We will know it very soon.
- Aligarh: Aligarh is slowly and determinedly inching toward public’s consciousness while making the right amount of buzz at various festivals (Indian and International). The movie is based on a real incident where a Professor is declared outcast after his sexual preference is made public. It has been directed by Hansal Mehta (Shaheed and Citylights fame). Manoj Bajpai is the lead and those who have watched his performance at festival screenings are singing praises. We have our money on this one for sure.
- Yeh Laal Rang: This movie has been mentioned in this coveted list only because of two factors: Randeep Hooda and its subject. Hooda is playing a Haryanvi Jat (right up his alley) and the story revolves around the business of illegal blood transfusion and blood theft in Haryana. We are not expecting much from Syed Ahmed Afzal – the director – whose earlier outing was Youngistaan (precisely why). Nonetheless, we are curious how he presents this untouched topic in the form of black comedy.
- Zubaan: Let’s just say that this movie garnered praise when it opened the prestigious Busan International Film Festival (biggest film festival in Asia). Moreover, one of the most promising newcomers of 2015 is playing lead in Zubaan – Vicky Kaushal of Masaan fame. We are already curious about Zubaan, aren’t you?
- Rocky Handsome: The very talented Nishikant Kamat (who gave us Mumbai Meri Jaan) is playing safe these days by remaking remarkable movies from different languages. Earlier, he has remade Tamil Kaakha Kaakha (Force) and Malayalam Drishyam (Drishyam). His next too is a remake of a much loved South Korean movie The Man From Nowhere. This is a highly rated and recommended action thriller. Rocky Handsome will star John Abraham, Shruti Hassan and a cute child actor. It goes without saying that expectations are high. The only concern is Shruti Hassan. Nevertheless, we will give her another chance to impress us.
- Ki and Ka: Not much is being heard or said about R Balki’s next directorial venture. It appears that the shooting has been kept quite closely guarded with minimum publicity. But the casting has grabbed our curiosity since the film was announced. It stars Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. The film will also treat us with a special appearance by Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan. It is about the complications a couple faces after the honeymoon period in a marriage is over.
- Fan: We don’t think we need to brief you guys about this one. It should suffice to say that Shahrukh is playing an obsessive fan of himself. Exciting is a grave understatement for this one.
- Mirzya: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is introducing Anil Kapoor’s Jhakkas looking son Harshvardhan Kapoor. The film is based on the legendary Punjabi folklore of Mirza-Sahiban. It is a tragic romance which is as admired as Heer-Ranjha and Sohni-Mahiwal. A few weeks back, Mehra revealed the movie’s logo (first of its kind) which generated favourable buzz. Ravishing Saiyami Kher is the female lead.
- Azhar: This will be the very first time when a biopic will be released on a cricketer. And when the cricketer in question is enormously loved and equally ridiculed Mohammad Azharuddin, it notches up our excitement even more. Emraan Hashmi is playing the lead – now that’s how one scores with casting. But how will they portray his sinewy wrists?
- Sarbjit: 2016 will unveil quite a few biopics on silver screen. Sarbjit will depict the immensely tragic story of Sarabjit Singh who was held captive in Pakistan on spying charges. Randeep Hooda plays the lead and guess who is playing his sister – Aishwarya Rai. Omung Kumar’s last outing as a director was a substandard yet commercial success Mary Kom. We hope he keeps Sarbjit as realistic as possible.
- Jagga Jasoos: Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor have teamed up again. Their previous association gave us the astonishing Barfi. Katrina is the female lead. As the title suggests, it is going to be a detective flick. Decent hopes with this one.
- Udta Punjab: Abhishek Chaubey, the phenomenal director and protege of Vishal Bhardwaj who has given us gems like Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya will be addressing the gravest addiction of Punjab – drugs. The actors roped in for this project include Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Enough said.
- Raees: Kohl eyed Shahrukh mouthing “Baniye Ka Dimaag, Miyanbhai ki Daring”. The teaser has left everyone in frenzy. The film revolves around prohibition in Gujarat of 80’s. The understated yet brilliant Rahul Dholakia has helmed the project who gave us Parzania. Shahrukh’s association with him can prove wondrous.
- Sultan: Salman Khan plays a wrestler. Internet and media is brimming with excitement about this one. Bhai’s fans are gunning for this one as well (maybe because this is the first time Bhai has shown so much dedication for a particular role). We love to inform that Randeep Hooda and Amit Sadh (of Kai Po Che) too have been roped in. But, the biggest concern remains the director – Ali Abbas Zafar. Why? He directed Gunday. Errrrr.
- Mohenjo Daro: Ashutosh Gowariker is all set to showcase his magnum opus which stars Hrithik Roshan and a well-recognized model Pooja Hegde (remember Ranbir’s Hero Maestro ad) who has done a couple of regional language movies before. A period film is always welcomed with anticipation. It will be no different with this one too. This will be Gowariker’s litmus test and will decide his course further.
- Rustom: Neeraj Pandey-Akshay Kumar duo has delivered impressive movies previously. This will be written by Pandey and helmed by a debutant director. It is rumoured to be a murder mystery inspired by real life incidents. Quite tempting.
- Dhoni – The Untold Story: We should heave a sigh of relief because Neeraj Pandey has donned the director’s hat. Extremely talented Sushant Singh Rajput is essaying the titular role. He has already showcased his cricketing chops in Kai Po Che which dispels all our doubts regarding an actor who will look convincing enough as a cricketer. Waiting, waiting, waiting for this one.
- Rangoon: Vishal Bhardwaj, Kangana Ranaut, Shahid Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and North East during Second World War. We rest our case.
- Shuddhi: Long delayed Shuddhi’s extended search for a lead has finally ended. Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt are the chosen one. Whether it will suit the movie will be decided upon its release. We are excited because one of the writers is Piyush Mishra.
- Dangal: Aamir Khan has become a bloated balloon for this one. He will be essaying wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat. We are definitely in awe of Aamir’s preparation for this role. The Captain of the ship is the talented Nitesh Tiwari (who co-directed the under appreciated Chillar Party with Vikas Bahl and directed the much loved Bhoothnath Returns). Rumour has it that Aamir is not able to tie his shoelace. Method Acting is the term my friends.
- TE3N: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan. Produced by Sujoy Ghosh. Aur kya chahiye bhai log.
- Raman Raghav 2.0: Anurag Kashyap returns to direction after the violently attacked debacle – Bombay Velvet. Inspired by true events, Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the serial killer Psycho Raman.
Goli Nahi Maarenge Critics Ko, Keh Ke Lenge Sabki.
- A Death In The Gunj: Konkona Sen Sharma will be following in her mother’s footsteps by debuting as a director with this movie. Abhishek Chaubey and well sought after casting director Honey Trehan will launch their production company with this flick. Actors associated with the film include: Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey and budding talent Vikrant Massey (Ranvir Singh’s friend in Lootera). You have our curiosity as well as our attention Konkona.
So that’s how exciting it’s gonna be. Tell us what you think in the comment section below and let us know if we missed any worthwhile flick.
First published on digests.in
A postgraduate from Symbiosis University & a digital marketing consultant, he loves being sarcastic as it's extremely healthy for the mind & adds up to 3 years to life as well. Cinema is to him what oxygen is to people. A voracious reader who never tolerates anything negative about Matthew Mcconaughey & Govinda.