Last year proved to be a fantastic one for Bollywood with films that showed a perfect blend of strong content and entertainment. From Ranveer Singh’s “Gully Boy” to Ayushmann Khurrana’s “Dream Girl” and “Bala,” and Vicky Kaushal’s “Uri: The Surgical Strike” to Akshay Kumar’s “Mission Mangal,” and Amitabh Bachchan’s “Badla,” cine lovers were treated to a smorgasbord of films.
The trend seems to continue this year as well, as big-ticket directors and actors come together to promise an exciting 2020. The New Year begins with the box-office clash of Deepika Padukone’s “Chhapaak” and Ajay Devgn’s “Tanhaji: An Unsung Warrior,” which both release on Jan. 10.
Since last year, films like Aamir Khan’s “Laal Singh Chadda,” the remake of Tom Hanks’ “Forrest Gump,” Akshay Kumar’s “Laxmmi Bomb,” Salman Khan’s “Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai,” and Irrfan Khan’s comeback film “Angrezi Medium,” are already creating a lot of buzz.
There is excitement surrounding Ayan Mukerji’s “Brahmāstra,” which is slated to release later this year. The first installment of the mythological trilogy will star real-life couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni Roy. Shah Rukh Khan is rumored to make a special appearance in the film which follows the quest of the eponymous ‘Brahmastra’, a purported weapon of God, pieces of which are hidden in different parts of the country.
Then there’s Karan Johar’s period drama “Takht,” with an ensemble cast including Kareena Kapoor Khan, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Anil Kapoor, Janhvi Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar and Vicky Kaushal. Though details of the film are kept under wraps, it is said to be based in the Mughal era and will tell the story of the two warring brothers, Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh, as they fight for the throne.
Another film that’s catching a lot of attention is Yash Raj Films’ “Jayeshbhai Joredar.” Starring Ranveer Singh, the film talks about how society can be judgemental about women. Singh plays a Gujarati man who ends up doing something extraordinary when he is hurled into a threatening situation. In “Jayeshbhai Joredaar,” Singh will reunite with Maneesh Sharma, who directed his debut film, “Band Baaja Baarat” in 2010.
Similar to the past year, 2020 will also have its share of sequels and remakes. There’s “Dostana 2,” with Kartik Aaryan, Janhvi Kapoor and Lakshya Lalwani; “Coolie No. 1” with David Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan and “Sadak 2” with Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt, Pooja Bhatt, and Aditya Roy Kapur. Some of the other films in this genre releasing this year include “Satyameva Jayeta 2,” the sequel to 2018 hit “Satyameva Jayate,” starring John Abraham, Manoj Bajapayee and Divya Khosla Kumar, “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2,” the sequel to the 2007 film “Bhool Bhulaiyaa” directed by Priyadarshan with Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani as well as Tiger Shroff’s “Baaghi 3” with Shraddha Kapoor and Ritiesh Deshmukh.
The film slate for the year will include biopics as well. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is all set to collaborate with Alia Bhatt in “Gangubai Kathiawadi,” a film set in the 60’s revolving around a woman with connections to the underworld.
Vidya Balan will be seen playing the role of mathematician Shakuntala Devi in Anu Menon’s biopic of the same name, while Vicky Kaushal will play the titular role in “Sardar Udham Singh,” a biopic based on the life of the revolutionary freedom fighter, best known for his assassination in London of Michael O’Dwyer, the former government lieutenant of Punjab who was part of the Jalianwala Bag Massacre.
Kangana Ranaut will play Tamil Nadu chief minister and film actress J. Jayalalithaa in “Thalaivi.” The trilingual biographical film is directed by A. L. Vijay and produced by Vishnu Vardhan Induri and Shailesh R. Singh under their respective banners Vibri Media and Karma Media And Entertainment.
When it comes to remakes, the film everyone seems to be waiting for is “The Girl On The Train,” the remake of the 2016 American film of the same name, which was based on author Paula Hawkins’ novel of the same title. Ribhu Dasgupta’s adaptation will show Chopra as an alcoholic divorcee who finds herself involved in the investigation of a missing person.
Along with remakes and sequels, a few films releasing this year will also appease sports lovers.
There’s Kangana Ranaut’s “Panga’ which releases on Jan. 24. The film, directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari revolves around Ranaut, a married woman and a former national kabbadi player in her 30s, who aims to make a comeback to the sport.
There’s also the highly-anticipated “83,” based on Kapil Dev’s journey leading India to the 1983 World Cup final and helping team India lift its maiden world cup trophy. Fans are excited to see the real life husband-wife pair of Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh together on screen for the first time since their marriage in 2018. Padukone plays Romi Dev, Kapil’s Dev wife in Kabir Khan’s directorial venture.
Then there’s the sports drama “Jersey,” as remake of a Telugu film by the same name. After the success of “Kabir Khan,” the Hindi remake of Telugu film “Arjun Reddy,” Shahid Kapoor will be seen as a cricketer, showcasing his struggles and failures as he works up to make it to the Indian cricket team.
Another sports-based drama to watch out for is “Toofan,” which reunites the “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” team of Farhan Akhtar and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. The film tells the story of a boxer, played by Akhtar, and stars Paresh Rawal, Isha Talwar and Mrunal Thakur in leading roles.
Another film that seems promising is Taapsee Pannu’s “Thappad,” directed and co-produced by Anubhav Sinha. The film explores the basis of a man-woman relationship and gender equality through a story of a husband and wife.
With such a stellar lineup of films — from mythology to history to spin-offs, sequels and remakes, dramas, thrillers and comedies, there’s something for everyone at the movies this year. Here’s a look at a few films that are expected to keep the cash registers ringing at the box-0ffice:
‘Chhapaak’ (Jan. 10)
Deepika Padukone returns to the big screen with Meghna Gulzar’s “Chhapaak,” the real-life story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Padukone also forays into production with this film also staring Vikrant Massey.
‘Tanhaji: An Unsung Warrior’ (Jan. 10)
Kajol and Ajay Devgn come together on the silver screen in the period drama directed by Om Raut. The film is based on the life of Subedar Tanhaji Malusare, a military leader in Chhatrapati Shivaji’s army, and the way he went to fight the Mughal commander Uday Bhan (portrayed by Saif Ali Khan). Filmfare says that “the film will take us to the surgical strike that shook the nation in the 17th century and the Battle of Singhabad, which decided the fate of southern India.”
‘Jawaani Jaaneman’ (Feb. 7)
A coming-of-age film, “Jawaani Jaaneman,” marks the debut of Pooja Bedi’s daughter Alaya Furniturewala, who will play Saif Ali Khan’s daughter. According to various news reports, Khan will be playing an ‘accidental dad’ in the film which also stars Tabu.
‘Aaj Kal’ (Feb. 14)
Valentine’s Day will mark the release of “Aaj Kal,” starring Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aryan. It is a sequel to Imitiaz Ali’s 2009 release, “Love Aaj Kal.” The romantic comedy has already garnered interest.
‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan’ (Feb. 21)
After taking on the taboo topic of erectile dysfunction in “Shubh Mangal Savdhaan” Ayushmann Khurrana takes it up a notch with a spin-off that puts the spotlight on the topic of homosexuality. Filmfare reports that Jitendra Kumar was finalized to star opposite Khurrana “after an intensive search for the right actor for the same-sex love story set in the town of Prayagraj, formerly known as Allahabad.”
‘The True Story of Gunjan Saxena — The Kargil Girl’ (March 13)
After making her debut in “Dhadak” in 2018, Janhvi Kapoor will be next seen in “The True Story of Gunjan Saxena,” which is based on the story of India’s first Air Force woman officer who went to war in Kargil. The film will spotlight flight lieutenant Gunjan Saxena’s journey from becoming a pilot to leading India into the Kargil war of 1999 and emerging victorious. The film will also reportedly focus on her relationship with her father, who was said to be her pillar of strength.
‘Angrezi Medium’ (March 20)
There is much excitement surrounding Irrfan Khan’s return to the silver screen after recovering from his illness in London. The film will see Kareena Kapoor Khan taking on the role of a cop for the first time in her onscreen career in the Homi Adajania-directed film also starring Radhika Madan.
‘Rooh Afza’ (March 20)
This film will not only see Janhvi Kapoor pair with Rajkummar Rao for the first time on screen, but will also see her in a double role. The horror-comedy is directed by National Award-winning writer and director Hardik Mehta. News reports say, the producers have confirmed that the film is a part of the same universe as “Stree,” and has already been green-lit for a sequel.
‘Gulabo Sitabo’ (April 17)
There’s no doubt that people are looking forward to “Gulabo Sitabo” as it brings together to stellar actors — Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana for the first time together on screen. Gulabo and Sitabo are eponymous glove puppet characters and their story is full of humor depicting the day-to-day struggles faced by the common man.
‘Chehre’ (April 24)
Rumy Jafry’s “Chehre” is a thriller where a group of friends, some of them retired lawyers, meet at a bungalow in Shimla to play a psychological game. Amitabh Bachchan will be seen playing a lawyer, while Emraan Hashmi is playing a business tycoon in the thriller.
“Laxmmi Bomb’: (May 22)
Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani’s “Laxmmi Bomb” the remake of the Tamil film “Kanchana’ is a horror comedy starring Lawrence, R. Sarathkumar and Raai Laxmi in lead roles. The film is a tale of revenge by a couple of ghosts as they haunt an innocent man to get justice for their murders.
‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ (May 22)
Prabhu Deva and Salman Khan first collaborated with the 2009 release “Wanted.” The film went on to become a massive success and post that Khan had a string of box-office hits. “Radhe,” Khan’s highly-anticipated Eid release, is expected to be another money spinner.
‘Khaali Peeli’ (June 20)
Coming together for the first time, “Khaali Peeli” will see Ishaan Khattar and Ananya Panday in leading roles. A typical boy-meets-girl story, the film is about how the two navigate a rollercoaster night in Mumbai in a black and yellow taxi.
‘Shamshera’ (July 31)
Set in the 1800s, “Shamshera” is reportedly about a dacoit tribe who takes charge in the fight for their rights and independence against the British. The action-adventure stars Ranbir Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Vaani Kapoor. Ranbir Kapoor will play a double role as Shamshera and his father, while Vaani Kapoor will portray his love interest, Aadarshini.
‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ (Aug. 14)
“Bhuj: The Pride of India” is based on IAF Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik (Ajay Devgn) and his team’s heroic efforts of reconstructing the runway at the IAF airbase with the help of 300 local women. Their efforts ensured that the flight carrying Indian soldiers could land safely.
Laal Singh Chadda (Dec.25)
“Laal Singh Chaddha” is the Bollywood remake of Tom Hanks’ “Forrest Gump.” The film will see Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan come back together on the silver screen after “3 Idiots” (2009). In the original film, Hanks plays the role of a man with a learning disability who witnessed the historical events that took place in the 20th century in the U.S.