15 ‘Big Buzz’ of 2017 --- Indian Films
The range is encouraging. The films to watch out for this year are bound to provide a fair representation of the multilingual, multi-locational nature of the diverse Indian movie industry. In here are potential blockbusters driven by major box-office stars as well as small independent films propelled purely by creative passion. A few of the titles in the latter category could well emerge as hot favourites with festival programmers and hunters of indie gems worldwide
Baahubali: The Conclusion
BAAHUBALI: THE CONCLUSION (TELUGU/TAMIL/HINDI)
Dir: S.S. Rajamouli
The VFX-laden action-adventure fantasy is a sequel to 2015’s Baahubali: The Beginning. Large parts of this film were shot before the first part went into post-production. It explores the goings-on in a kingdom ruled by an evil prince. The runaway success of The Beginning ensures that The Conclusion will have no dearth of takers. The only worry: will it be merely more of the same? Hope not.
KAATRU VELIYIDAI (TAMIL)
Dir: Mani Ratnam
A Tamil-language romance starring Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari, KaatruVeliyidai, in the wake of Mani Ratnam’s super-successful OK Kanmani, is the story of a pilot and a doctor set in Kashmir. The film was, however, shot primarily in Ooty and parts of Ladakh. The film also has a Telugu-language version, Duet, which is scheduled for simultaneous release. The film has a musical score by A.R. Rahman. Another hit in the making?
The Song of Scorpions
THE SONG OF SCORPIONS (Hindi)
Dir: Anup Singh
Anup Singh (Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost) returns with a fable set in Rajasthan. The Song of Scorpions revolves around a camel trader and a Manganiyar woman who employs song as an antidote to scorpion poisoning. Shot in and around Jaisalmer, the film brings together Irrfan Khan and Golshifteh Farhani in what promises to be an acting ‘duet’ to die for.We expect loads of magic
Dir: Hansal Mehta
Watch out for the mercurial Kangana Ranaut (Tanu Weds Manu, Queen) in an intense author-backed role.Simran is about a 30-year-old Gujarati divorcee in the US who is drawn into the world of crime. Directed by Hansal Mehta (Shahid, Aligarh), the film is said to have been inspired by a real-life NRI woman who robbed banks to pay off her gambling debts. Intriguing territory for both actor and director.
Dir: Rahul Dholakia
Raees, jointly produced by Gauri Khan of Red Chilliesand RiteshSidhwani and Farhan Akhtar of Excel Entertainment, has Shah Rukh Khan going against type (as he did in Fan and Dear Zindagi) and donning the guise of a 1980s Gujarat bootlegger. The gangster has to match wits with a tenacious lawman (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) deployed to quash the former’s illicit empire. The cast of Raeesalso features Pakistani actress Mahira Khan. Director Rahul Dholakia’s first foray into Bollywood mainstream.
Dir: Imtiaz Ali
Rahnuma will be Shah Rukh Khan’s second release of the year. The highly anticipated film is director Imtiaz Ali’s first collaboration with the Bollywood megastar and hence the excitement. Anushka Sharma plays the 51-year-old lead actor’s romantic interest in this "unconventional love story”. Plot details are under wraps. All that is reliably known about Rahnuma is that it is being filmed across locations in Europe.
POWER PAANDI (Tamil)
All eyes will be on Power Paandi primarily because the film marks the directorial debut of 33-year-old actor Dhanush. He co-produced Vetrimaaran’s Visaranai and M.Manikandan’s Kaakkaa Muttai, both of which were huge festival favourites. While Dhanush’s acting career has been going great guns, he has also displayed a keen eye for quality scripts as a producer. His maiden film as director has, therefore, aroused significant interest.
Dir: Ashim Ahluwalia
After Miss Lovely, a trippy and terrifi c probe into the underbelly of the soft-porn Hindi fi lm industry of the 1980s, Ashim Ahluwalia attempts a change of pace with a biopic about Mumbai gangsterturned- politician Arun Gawli. Arjun Rampal, a mainstream Bollywood actor, plays the protagonist. Daddy is also co-produced by mainstream player Eros Entertainment. A challenge no doubt for Ahluwalia but one whose outcome should be worth keeping an eye on.
JAGGA JASOOS (Hindi)
Dir: Anurag Basu
The much-delayed Jagga Jasoos stars Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. The breezy, quirky film is about a young detective who sets out in search of his missing father, a quest that turns into a life-altering adventure. The film reunites Ranbir Kapoor with the director of the biggest hit of his career (Barfi ), Anurag Basu. If Jagga Jasoos replicates even a bit of that magic, it will be a surefire winner.
Dir: Vishal Bhardwaj
Vishal Bhardwaj (Maqbool, Omkara, Haider), in a move away from Shakespeare and present times, directs this World War II drama reportedly inspired in part by the life and times of Fearless Nadia, a fabled stunt movie actress who delivered a string of hits in her heydays. Rangoon has been described as an intense love triangle set in tumultuous times and it stars Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut.
Dir: Aditya VikramSengupta
The conceptually abstruse Jonaki is highly anticipated because it is the sophomore effort of Aditya Vikram Sengupta (Venice Best Debut Director prize winner Labour of Love). He has roped in 1960s-1970s Hindi and Bengali film actress Lolita Chatterjee to play an 80-year-old comatose woman. Jonaki, which means firefly, is said to be a complex exploration of a mind ticking inside a lifeless body. Unconventional fare, by all accounts.
Dir: Kabir Khan
Tubelight, an ambitious action drama set against the backdrop days of the 1962 Sino-Indian war, is helmed by Kabir Khan (EkTha Tiger, BajrangiBhaijaan). The film will be Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s customary Eid release.The ambitious period film has the actor playing opposite 32- year-old Chinese actress and former MTV VJ Zhu Zhu in has the looks of a cross-cultural love story. Could be expected to burn bright.
Vijay’s upcoming film, for the sake of convenience, is simply called Vijay-61. The highly anticipated project still awaits a formal title. After the super success of Theri, this flick will see the popular actor team up again with Atlee. To top it, Vijay-61 has a trio of leading ladies - Samantha, Kajal Aggarwal and Nithya Menon. It has aroused widespread interest also because this will be the 100th venture of Sri Thenandal Films. Tipped to be a commercial entertainer with some period passages, the film has been scripted by Vijayendra Prasad, father of ace director S S Rajamouli of Baahubali fame. Prasad is the man behind the scripts of his son’s blockbusters.
Dir: Rick Basu
In the 100th year since the publication of Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s Devdas, Kolkatabased director Rick Basu puts a flashy and daring feminist spin on one of India’s best-loved and mostadapted literary tales. The character of star-crossed alcoholic Devdas is reimagined as a drug-addled girl whose life spins out of control in inevitably tragic circumstances. The versatile Paoli Dam plays the eponymous female protagonist
Dir: S. Shankar
An eagerly awaited follow-up to 2010’s sci-fi fantasy Enthiran (Robot), S. Shankar’s 2.0 will see Rajinikanth reprising the dual role of Dr. Vaseegaran and Chitti. The film will be released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. One huge point of interest for audiences nationwide is the casting of Bollywood star Akshay Kumar as the principal antagonist. Amy Jackson plays the female lead. It’s a Rajini film. Enough said.
28 Feb 2017 Issue
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