We’ll see actor-director duos, who’ve delivered several hits in the past, re-collaborate this year — from Padmavati (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh) and Tubelight (Salman Khan, Kabir Khan) to Crack (Neeraj Pandey, Akshay Kumar). 2017 will also see successful franchises return (Badrinath ki Dulhania, Dabangg 3). The hit writer-director (Apurva Asrani, Hansal Mehta) duo, who gave us one of the finest films of last year Aligarh, will collaborate again in 2017 for Simran. Films we’ve long awaited, that were stuck due to production and Censor Board issues, will finally hit the screens this year. So here go all the films I’m keeping my eyes peeled for in 2017.
1. Padmavati (November 17)
After two successful collaborations in Ram Leela (2013) and Bajirao Mastani (2015), the trio (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone) will return with period drama Padmavati, based on the story of Sultan Allauddin Khilji. But unlike the previous two films, this is not a love saga between the leads. Ranveer plays a dark character. Talking about his character he was quoted in an interview saying, “I am absolutely petrified. It takes a lot out of you. Sometimes you feel empty… Hopefully, after Padmavati, I will do something light to keep a balance. I need time to recover. I am on the threshold of entering a completely uncharted territory.”
Bollywood’s costliest film so far, Padmavati will be made on a budget of Rs 190 crore.
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2. Jab Harry Met Sejal (August)
Imtiaz Ali’s romantic drama brings together Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. Their third outing together, Jab Harry Met Sejal has already created enough noise on social media with pictures from the sets of Prague shared recently. Shahrukh plays a tour guide, and Anushka a Gujarati girl. The film is mostly shot in Europe (Prague, Amsterdam, Budapest), with some bits back home in Punjab. The Red Chillies production releases mid-August. I like how Shahrukh has lately been more experimental in his choice of films – Fan, Dear Zindagi and Raees. Though it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s always dished out a diverse variety. He’s one of the few actors who fits in as perfectly in a Yash Chopra film as in a Mani Ratnam or a Bhansali film. (You might like: An Open Letter to Shahrukh Khan)
After the 2014-blockbuster PK (where Ranbir Kapoor played a cameo), Rajkumar Hirani roped in the actor to play the lead in his next venture, a biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt. Starring alongside him would be Sonam Kapoor (apparently plays Madhuri Dixit, who Dutt dated) and Anushka Sharma (plays a journalist). Ranbir and Sonam, who we last saw in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Sawariya (their first film together), will reunite after 10 years. The biopic is schedule for a December release.
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One of the most controversial writers of the post-independence era, Saadat Hasan Manto has been the subject of as much scrutiny as admiration. But how well do we know the man from the writer? Nandita Das is directing a biopic on the Indo-Pakistani writer, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role. A short film, a prelude to the feature, was released recently. It’s one of the most interesting films to look out for in this year’s line-up. Manto also features Rasika Duggal, Shashank Arora, Shabana Ami, Javed Akhtar.
5. Meri Pyaari Bindu (May 12)
A YRF production starring a fresh pairing, Meri Pyaari Bindu evokes nostalgia with its first trailer. Abhi (Ayushman Khurana) acquaints us to his side of the story in this apparently one-sided love story with Bindu (Parineeti Chopra). The retro setting — audio cassettes, an old green ambassador, Asha Bhonsole’s aaye meherbaan — works its charm. Add to it our storyteller Ayushman’s voice. They almost instantly draw you in, much like Bhonsle’s inviting number (composed by the legendary O.P. Nayyar saab).
6. Tubelight (June 26)
After Ek Tha Tiger and the immensely successful Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), Salman Khan and director Kabir Khan will come together for Tubelight. Set in the backdrop of Indo-China war (1962), Tubelight will see Chinese actress Zhu Zhu star opposite Salman. After Kashmir in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Kabir explores the picturesque Ladakh and Manali in this one.
7. Jagga Jasoos (April 7)
After 3-year long delays and controversies around the film and its star cast, the film will finally see light of day. Starring ex-lovers Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, Jagga Jasoos is co-produced by Disney and Picture Shuru Productions (Ranbir and Anurag Basu’s production). The trailer that released last week packs enough adventure and fun with some spectacular visuals. I hope Katrina doesn’t disappointment.
8. Crack (August 11)
Another Independence week release (alongside Imtiaz’s The Ring) is director-actor duo Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar’s Crack. This will be their third collaboration after Baby and Special 26. But there are reports that the film’s release may move to 2018 to avoid clash with Imtiaz Ali’s Prague.
9. Simran (September 15)
Starring Kangana Ranaut, Simran is director-writer duo Hansal Mehta-Apurva Asrani’s fifth collaboration after Chal, Shahid, Citylights and Aligarh. The film is set in the US with Kangana playing a Gujarati NRI. It’s inspired from a real-life story, and will see the actress in a negative role.
10. Veere Di Wedding
A road trip, female friendships, fashion, glamour and a wedding! Add to this two stunningly beautiful actresses. Starring Kareena and Sonam Kapoor, Veerey Di Wedding is directed by Shashanka Ghosh of Khoobsurat fame and also stars Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania. Sonam’s sister Rhea and Ekta Kapoor have jointly produced the film.
11. Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya (March 10)
The team of the 2014-hit Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (Karan Johar, Shahshank Khaitan, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan) will return with the next installment in the franchise. Alia Bhatt and her feisty onscreen chemistry with Varun Dhawan have me looking out for this one.
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12. Phillauri (March 24, 2017)
March looks packed with light, breezy romcoms. After Badrinath ki Dulhaniya, get ready for Phillauri starring Anushka Sharma and the immensely talented Diljit Dosanjh, the star of 2016.
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After NH10, Phillauri is Anushka’s second home production. Anushka and her brother Karnesh’s Clean Slate Films and Fox Star Studios have jointly produced the film. Anshai Lal’s directorial debut will also feature actor Suraj Sharma (of Life of Pi fame).
13. Haraamkhor (January 13)
After Film Certification Apellate Tribunal (FCAT) reversed the Censor Board ban on the film last week, Haraamkhor will finally see light of day. An indie drama about an illicit relationship between a teenaged girl and her tuition teacher, Haraamkhor stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shweta Tripathi (of Masaan fame). It has already won several awards at international film festivals.
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14. Rangoon (February 24)
Set for a September 2016 release, Rangoon was first scheduled for October 2016 and later February 2017. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut, Rangoon is set in the backdrop of World War II and Vishal Bhardwaj’s most expensive film till now. Trust Bhardwaj to helm a project of this scale and setting, with a brilliant cast to boot. Watch out for the trailer on January 6.
15. Raees (January 26, 2017)
No other trailer in the recent times created a frenzy among fans as this one, for reasons obvious. Shahrukh Khan! But what’s more thrilling is seeing him play a dark character (a change from the recent spate of roles that have come his way). Add Nawazuddin Siddiqui and director Rahul Dholakia who gave us the critically-acclaimed Parzania to it and you can have my money already! 28 days is a long wait.
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