Kal Kisne Dekha
Nihal Singh (debutant Jackky Bhagnani) from Chandigarh is an affable genius who makes complicated gadgets in his spare time and wins people over most of the time. He is in love with the rich brat of the college. He can also see the future, so towards the end of Kal Kissne Dekha, there are ominous visions, unknown enemies and some action. All in all, producer Vashu Bhagnani, the father of Jackky, who is producing the film along with BIG Pictures, has tried his best to pack in the elements that traditionally make a Bollywood flick work—think a mish-mash of SRK’s Rahul in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Hrithik Roshan’s Krrish in Krrish.
Scheduled to release: 12 June
Montage: (clockwise from above) Kambakht Ishq; Sikandar; Kaminey; X Men Origins: Wolverine; Bride Wars; Terminator Salvation.
Sikandar (Parzaan Dastur), a 14-year-old boy, is passionate about football and aspires to be a famous footballer. One day, on his way back from a match with his friend Nasreen (Ayesha Kapoor), he discovers an abandoned gun. The rest of the story unfolds into how Sikandar becomes the victim of a larger plot, ending in a surprising climax. Produced by Sudhir Mishra and BIG Pictures, the film promises to be visually rich. Kashmir is not snow-capped because it’s set in spring when a lot of the valley turns green.
Scheduled to release: 19 June
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
This is the fourth instalment of the X-Men franchise of Marvel Comics. The film goes back in time to when Wolverine became the mutant that he is. Hugh Jackman, who plays the lead role, has been praised universally for his performance. The Wall Street Journal says that the direction by Gavin Hood, “from a script by David Benioff and Skip Woods, is a case study in mismanagement: of anger, rage, demonic howls that grow into howlers, Olympian camera angles and, above all else, the mismanagement of an unusually personable star.”
Scheduled to release on 19 June
Raksha Mistry and Hasnain Hyderabadwala, the duo directing the new musical from the Bhatt (Mukesh and Mahesh) stable recently said in an interview that their earlier films The Killer and The Train flopped because they were remakes of Hollywood films. Jashn, they say, is autobiographical—a story of four ordinary people, played by Adhyayan Suman, Shahana Goswami, Anjana Sukhani and Pakistani actor Humayun Saeed, who make it big. Producer Mukesh Bhatt says the film’s strength, as in most of their films, is its music, composed by a Jaipur-based music director named Sharib.
Scheduled to release: 26 June
Genre: Chick Flick
A story of two hysterical, idiosyncratic brides, this is the all-American story of Liv and Emma, best friends since childhood who have planned every detail of their respective weddings. They both want a ceremony at New York’s ultimate bridal destination, the Plaza Hotel. At 26, they are going to get married on the same day, but a clerical error allows only one of them to get married at the Plaza. A no-holds-barred war erupts.
Scheduled to release on 26 June
Ever since they were launched in 1984, the Transformer toys have spawned comic books, video games and TV shows. The new movie, of which Steven Spielberg is an executive producer (he is known to be a collector of the toys himself), is about Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), a high schooler who discovers that his 1970s Camaro is actually a a robot, Bumblebee. The New York Times says, “Boys and their toys are in full formation in Transformers, a movie of epically assaultive noise and nonsense.”
Scheduled to release in the end of June
The fourth instalment of the Terminator series has the rough, edgy, analog feel typical of the earlier three. Terminator Salvation is set in an apocalyptic future, the year 2018. The death-row inmate, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), pops up for reasons that become obvious to the audience long before they are revealed to him. There are ragged resistance fighters who will go back in time to become John Connor’s dad.
Scheduled to release in the last week of June
Stories about racial profiling and discrimination in post-9/11 America have become a sub-genre in itself. Rendition (2007), directed by Gavin Hood is a well-executed example. Closer home, the Pakistani film Khuda Ke Liye (2008) made an ambitious attempt. Under the Yash Raj aegis, the theme gets a masala twist. With John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Katrina Kaif in the lead and an important second lead by Irrfan Khan, New York is directed by Kabir Khan. Three friends live it up in the Big Apple until unforeseen circumstances drive one of them to desperation and horror. This is Kaif’s first tryst with Yash Raj, and she has an entirely new look.
Scheduled to release: 3 July
Producer Sajid Nadiadwala’s new project, in the making for about a year now, has some Hollywood names attached to it. Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards play themselves in the story about Stallone’s stunt double played by Akshay Kumar. He meets a supermodel (Kareena Kapoor, with an uber glam, international look), only to be engaged in a war of words for a very long time, punctuated by lavishly choreographed song and dance sequences, until they fall in love. The film is made on a budget of about Rs90 crore.
Scheduled to release: 10 July
Love Aaj Kal
One of the most anticipated films of the year, Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan (who produced Being Cyrus) have chosen not to reveal much of their home production to be released by Eros Entertainment, except that it shows romantic love in two generations. Shot in Kolkata, California, Delhi and London, the film’s lead pair is being played by Khan and Deepika Padukone and its director is Imtiaz Ali (Jab We Met), who represents, along with Farhan Akhtar, Bollywood’s urban cool. The producers have tied up with the T20 World Cup for promotion. So, expect to see Padukone and Khan cheering for the Indian team in England.
Scheduled to release: 31 July
The best ever Hindi films in the horror genre have been by director Ram Gopal Varma, so here’s something to look forward to. He ties up with UTV for Agyaat, a thriller about human arrogance and fear of the unknown natural world. A film unit goes for a shoot at a location deep in the forests of Sri Lanka. Each character in this film exhibits their own quirkiness, arrogance and mixed feelings for each other. The shoot is put on hold when a camera malfunctions and they have to wait for a replacement. A walk to the jungle turns dangerous. The cast is new, with the only exception of Nisha Kothari, who Varma launched in one of his shoddy home productions. We hope to be treated to the director’s ingenuous story-telling skills that we’ve seen little of in the recent past.
Scheduled to release in the last week of July.
This is the most promising film of the year. Vishal Bhardwaj has cast Shahid Kapur in two roles—of identical twin brothers—in this caper that straddles many genres. The twins, in their early 20s, hope to leave the squalor of their lives and get a life of prosperity and dignity. But the similarity ends here. They live starkly different lives, but protect themselves when the need arises until a point when events in both their lives overlap. Priyanka Chopra plays a girl-next-door Maharashtrian. Bhardwaj says on the film’s website that he named the film ‘Kaminey’ (crooks) because everybody in the film is either a lovable kamina or an obnoxious kamina. Industry watchers say this is the best of Kapur we have seen.
Scheduled to release: 14 August
The fantasy flick directed by Sujoy Ghosh with a cast that includes Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Juhi Chawla and Riteish Deshmukh, Aladdin is a big-budget film that is scheduled to release on the same Independence Day weekend as Kaminey. It is a modern-day version of The Arabian Nights in which Deshmukh plays the title role. Dutt plays the ring master and Bachchan plays the mischievous genie. Producers Eros Entertainment roped in 250 visual effects artists including animators, designers, matte painters and developers for the project.
Scheduled to release: 14 August