Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Variety awaits a fashionable 2008

The year 2007 ended with Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar topping industry charts. Shah Rukh’s Chak De! India and Om Shanti Om were the biggest grosses whereas Akshay had a hattrick with three top successes this year as Bhool Bhulaiya, Heyy Baby and Welcome succeeded at the box office. Here’s a peek at the forthcoming Bollywood films.

New heroes

The year 2008 opens with Nagesh Kukunoor’s Bombay To Bangkok which has an unusual pairing of Shreyas Talpade and Lina Christiansen. "This film will project Shreyas as the real hero. A hero that Bollywood hasn’t had for a long time," says Kukunoor. "Shreyas has a likeable face and he will definitely change the concept of the macho hero who beats up people," he adds. Incidentally Nagesh has two more films lined up for release: Aashayein with John Abraham and Eight by Ten, a thriller with Akshay.

Box office par halla bol

The next big one will be Rajkumar Santoshi’s Halla Bol with Ajay Devgan and Vidya Balan in the lead. Red Chillies Entertainment’s My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves directed by E. Niwas starring debutant Nikhil Dwivedi with Amrita Rao is also releasing on January 11. Rohit Shetty’s Sunday with Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Ayesha Takia, Irrfan Khan, Anjana Sukhani, Mukesh Tiwari, Tusshar Kapoor and Esha Deol is also coming up in early 2008.

The epic

Ashutosh Gowarikar’s much awaited magnum opus Jodhaa Akbar follows the trend of period cinema. It is all set for release on February 15 with Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the title roles. "Period films have always fascinated the audience. People love to watch history in a pictorial form. I wouldn’t like to say that period cinema is back for it has never gone out of Indian cinema," says Ashutosh.

March of different films

March has a strange mix of films. There is Samir Karniks’ Roshan and Ek: the Power Of One with Bobby Deol, Dwij Yadav and Kangana Ranaut. Viveck Vaswani’s Dulha Mil Gaya, with Shah Rukh, Sushmita Sen, Fardeen Khan, Mohit Chadha and Tara, that was to release in 2007, will be released now. It is being directed by Muddassar Aziz.

Tashan of April

April has big releases. Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision’s Chala Murari Murder Karne directed by Shivam Nair will be out. Abbas Mustan’s Race starring Akshaye Khanna, Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor, and Sameera Reddy will also see an April release. Also in the race is Yash Raj Films’ much-hyped Tashan with Saif, Kareena and Anil.

Love Story 2050, a futuristic sci-fi film starring producer Pammi Baweja’s son Harman and Priyanka Chopra is all set for an April 25 release. Ravi Chopra’s Bhootnath with King Khan and Big B together alongwith Juhi Chawla is also scheduled for an April release.

Meaningful cinema

White Feather Films has three films for the next season. The Great Indian Butterfly with Sandhya Mridul and Aamir Bashir, Woodstock Villa starring Sikander Kher, Neha Oberoi and Saif and the much spoken about Sanjay Dutt starrer Alibaug will be released. "We are diversifying this year with non-commercial films where actors can come forward to do non-glamorous or daringly different roles. We will be working with new actors and directors who want to make meaningful cinema," shares producer-director Gupta.

Subhash Ghai’s Mukta Arts has also turned towards meaningful cinema with Black N White, a film directed by Ghai himself. The film will see Anil in a dark role. "We have always given family-oriented films. Earlier, we did films like Iqbal which were small budget films. We will continue with such films whenever we find good scripts," says Ghai.

Family time

Ajay Devgan ventures into direction with U, Me Aur Hum. In the film Ajay is not only directing wife Kajol but will also be seen acting in the film alongside her. Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar Raaj featuring the Bachchan family together is a big film of mid-2008.

Goldie Behl’s second directorial venture Drona, will see mother-son duo Abhishek and Jaya Bachchan together alongwith Priyanka Chopra and Kay Kay Menon.

An august choice

Vipul Shah’s Singh is Kinng starring Akshay, Katrina, Vinay Pathak, Sudhanshu Pandey, Sonu Sood and Neha Dhupia slated to release in August 2008.

A.R. Murugadas’ Hindi remake of his Tamil film Ghajini titled Seven Hours stars Aamir Khan, Asin and Jiah Khan. Ghajini has been a very successful film in Tamil. It is slated to release in August. "It is going to be an exciting year for Indian cinema. Big releases, big stars and different subjects, larger than life characters will mark the year. This will definitely result in bringing audiences to the theatres like never before," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.