Indian Films To Look Forward To in 2016
This year, thanks to a refreshing batch of Indian indies and more mainstream films that dared to be unique, we had a good year at the cinemas. From Piku and Dum Laga Ke Haisha to Court and NH10, there were lots of films to have excited conversations about.
Now it’s time to look forward to these upcoming films. (A disclaimer: very little is known about many of these projects, beyond the talent attached to it and in many cases that has been enough to get us excited. Without so much as a trailer to give us a hint of what’s brewing, we can only guess, and rather optimistically, hope for the best!)
The year’s first major Indian release is directed by Bejoy Nambiar and written and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The film is an action thriller about the unusual friendship between a disabled chess grandmaster and an ATS officer brought together by a twist of fate. If the plot hasn’t got you intrigued, maybe this will – the two lead actors of the film are Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan (the latter seems to be in top form).
While we know nothing about the talent of the film’s debutante leads, except that Harshvardhan Kapoor is Anil Kapoor’s son and Sonam Kapoor’s brother, we are curious about this film, mostly because it has been penned by Gulzar and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.
Sonam Kapoor taking a turn as a dramatic actress could go either way; however as fans of Neerja Bhanot we can’t wait to see how veteran ad-man Ram Madhvani has translated her story for the big screen.
4. Ki and Ka
While we love Shah Rukh-Kajol and Ranbir-Deepika films as much as the next person, we’re always excited to see new pairings. Director R. Balki’s next film, a romantic comedy about a married couple, gives us just that. Arjun Kapoor plays a domesticated house-husband and Kareena Kapoor Khan plays his ambitious and career-oriented wife.
5. Sairat (Wild)
We can’t wait to watch what the National award winning director of Fandry, Nagraj Manjule, has lined up next. Said to be a story of impossible love, the trailers look promising, with some beautiful imagery and lovely music. Plus, the Marathi musical film has already been officially selected for the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.
6. Udta Punjab
There are many reasons why we are looking forward to this film, not the least of which is its cast consisting of Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Another reason is that Abhishek Chaubey, the director of Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya and co-writer of winners like Omkara, Kaminey and Maqbool, is telling a story of substance abuse in Punjab.
Whether you like Shah Rukh Khan the actor or Shah Rukh Khan the superstar (yes, we are going to assume everyone likes him, one way or the other) this film, directed by Maneesh Sharma, promises something for everyone. With a rather meta twist, Shah Rukh plays a version of himself as well his own biggest fan in this thriller…. Megalomaniac in the making?
Shah Rukh Khan playing the anti-hero, opposite character actor-of-the-moment, Nawazuddin Siddiqui? Count us in! If you’re still sceptical, think of Chakde! India and Don. Bad guy Shah Rukh trumps lovesick yuppie Shah Rukh, any day!
Everything about this film promises that it will be good, so we’ve got our fingers crossed. Vishal Bhardwaj is taking a break from the Bard, to direct a Casablanca-style love triangle, set against the Second World War. The film will star Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor – both of whose finest performances have been in previous Bhardwaj films – and Kangana Ranaut.
Apart from being the next big ‘Aamir Khan Film’ for which he has once again transformed his looks, we’re actually eager to see the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, the real-life wrestler from an orthodox Haryanvi village who taught his daughters to be wrestlers.
11. Raman Raghav 2.0
After the colossal mess that was Bombay Velvet, this is Anurag Kashyap’s chance to redeem himself. The director has wisely chosen to go back to his indie roots and made a film about the notorious serial killer Raman Raghav, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
While we’re weary of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s choices oft-late (remember Jazba? we don’t either!) we’re hoping for some more of the Guru magic. In this film, she will be playing Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian resident who was convicted as a terrorist and died in a Pakistani prison. Besides, Sarabjit Singh is going to be played by Randeep Hooda, and we are always game for watching the actor in a meaty dramatic role.
13. Kapoor and Sons
Starring Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Rishi Kapoor and Fawad Khan, the second film by Shakun Batra, who also directed Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, should be a fun and frothy one. We are seriously hoping this doesn’t go the Shaandaar way.
14. Mohenjo Daro
Said to be Ashutosh Gowariker’s most ambitious project to date, this film starring Hrithik Roshan, will be set during the Indus Valley civilization. With music by A.R. Rahman and a massive budget and scale, this will be the epic saga to watch out for in 2016.
15. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Love him or hate him, it’s hard to ignore a film when it’s directed by Karan Johar and has a cast as starry as this one. With Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor, this film is a recipe for a Dharma-kind-of-year.