The verdicts from the trade analysts are here and the roundup of the year 2016 isn’t promising. While the initial part of the year suffered a surprising brunt in business as well-rounded films with heavy promotional campaigns such as ’Fitoor’ and ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ floundered at the ticket windows, the latter part which prophesied a great fortune owing to the franchise tags attached to films such as ‘Rock On 2’ which was following up on a legacy and can be seen to have achieved cult status among the India youth, and action drama ‘Force 2’ which underperformed due to the unannounced demonetization drive ensuring that spending those precious bucks on watching a movie was the last thing on the minds of the movie-goers as they were left scrambling in stationary queues outside ATMs and banks.
Nevertheless, 2017 is bound to be a great year at the box-office as great movies with ensemble cast boasting the biggest and most artistically endowed stars are set to release. With the little details about the people involved in these films and a brief idea of their plot, some of these films appear to be having a failsafe formula for triumph at the box office. Check out the ones which could leave behind a money-minting legacy in Bollywood after their release.
While ‘Haider’ evidenced to the world that what Shahid Kapoor pulled off in ‘Kaminey’ wasn’t just a lonesome act of brilliance, ‘Udta Punjab’ seemed to have only cemented the fact that Shahid Kapoor has found a niche for himself, a space where few can match his excellence. Rangoon is a drama set during the 2nd world war and stars two more powerhouse performers in Saif Ali Khan and Kangana Ranaut. The man at the helm of affairs in this one is Vishal Bhardwaj, the man accountable for drawing out best career performances from both Kapoor in ‘Haider’ and Khan in ‘Omkara’. Recently news came out that the film will have Shahid and Kangana dancing atop a train to the tunes of what might be a refurbished version of ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’. Evidently this film’s setting and pre-release buzz is getting us excited for the film’s release on 24th February 2017.
Anushka Sharma proved her mettle in the economics of film-making with her first production venture ‘NH10’ bringing the genre of ‘road trip gone wrong’ which has been routinely and successfully exploited in Hollywood, to Bollywood and doing so successfully. ‘Phillauri’ is the second film under Sharma’s banner ‘Clean Slate Films’ and what lends an interesting byte to the film is the star cast consisting of Diljit Dosanjh who has made an impressive debut in Bollywood with ‘Udta Punjab’ and the ‘Life of Pi’ fame Sooraj Sharma who has made his first inroads into being a crossover star having starred in another Hollywood film ‘Million Dollar Arm’ apart from being a principal character in the 4th season of the American drama series ‘Homeland’. The film promises to be a quirky romantic film as it derives its title from the natives of ‘Phillaur’, a village in Punjab who are called ‘Phillauris’. The film is slated for a release on 24th March.
The Shah Rukh Khan starrer promises to bring back SRK in his own element. The promos and the trailer of the film have generated a lot of pre-release buzz owing to their reminiscence of SRK’s stint in his revamped ‘Don’ franchise. The film also stars Pakistani actress Mahira Khan and a powerhouse counterforce to SRK’s gangster act in Nawazuddin Siddiqui. SRK of late seemed to have fallen in the rut of commercial films which were high on idealized notions of a Bollywood films. These films such as ‘Happy New Year’ and ‘Dilwale’ though did well at the box office, were low on content and Dilwale’s slump in comparison to ‘Bajirao Mastani’ which released on the same date seemed to have shown SRK that perhaps the time has come to be a little experimental with his choices. ‘Fan’ and ‘Dear Zindagi’ were a pleasurable departure in this direction and ‘Raees’ seems to be falling in the same zone. The film is slated for a 25 January release.
- Jolly LLB 2
Courtroom dramas are conventionally anticipated to be hard-hitting films leaning into the genre of drama with plenty of emotional moments. Few could have expected this genre to lend a comic touch to itself. It did so with ‘My Cousin Vinny’ in Hollywood. Jolly LLB seemed to have taken this as an inspiration and the film, though a low budget film, managed to rake in the numbers by virtue of its supreme content. Now the sequel is here with Akshay Kumar in the lead, a move which has been hailed by Warsi himself as something which will justify the commercial viability of this unique franchise. Akshay Kumar takes on this role as he continues his road of modifying his cinema, departing from his ‘action films’ and taking on unconventional and challenging roles. The film is slated for release on 10 February.
- Jagga Jasoos
The Ranbir Kapoor starrer has been repeatedly postponed for release and finally, the release of this film is incumbent for the makers who have finally realized all their wishes of bettering the final product. Anurag Basu is directing this one and given that he has previously made ‘Barfi’ with Ranbir, this one can be expected to be high on content and light hearted moments as well. The film also stars Katrina Kaif as the female lead.
- Meri Pyaari Bindu
‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ brings Parineeti Chopra back into the Yash Raj fold after continuous debacles with ‘Daawat-e-Ishq’ and ‘Kill Dill’ put a temporary stoppage on her upward rise in Bollywood. 2 years on, Chopra has rescued herself and is all set to prove her mettle which won her a national award for ‘Ishaqzaade’ early on in her career. The film is a romantic drama also starring Ayushmann Khurrana as the male lead and is scheduled for a release on 12th May 2017.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali owing to his commercial success in the past two venture has once again leaned into the genre of historical drama which he has mastered with perfection. He retains his favorite duo of Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh and adds Shahid Kapoor to complete the trio of the film’s three principal characters entailed in the account of the 1303 siege of the Chittor Fort by Alauddin Khilji. The film is being produced on a massive scale and has a host of other actors playing supporting roles lending to the film’s credibility. Aishwarya Rai Bacchan has also been roped in for a cameo in this film. Given the recent track record of the film’s leading cast and its director and the promising storyline, this film is sure to be one of the top grossers of the year.
The ‘Mohenjo Daro’ debacle hasn’t dented Hrithik Roshan’s spirits and 2017 will see him back on screen fighting it out for the monetary honors with SRK’s ‘Raees’ with both films refusing to back out from the Republic Day weekend thus making the big clash unavoidable. Kaabil sees Hrithik Roshan portray a blind man on a streak of revenge following an unfortunate incident involving his wife, also blind and played by Yami Gautam. The film is directed by Sanjay Gupta of ‘Kaante’ and ‘Zinda’ fame and is slated for a release on 25 January 2017.
2017 is bound to be an exciting year at the box-office. Which one of these movies are you waiting for?