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January 2017. I am looking at a crisp new calendar on my desk and filling in the Fridays. There are films I am excited about or curious about and others that I am rolling my eyes just thinking about. Some of the forthcoming offers will surprise, entertain and initiate discussion, others will disappoint, frustrate and generate groans. So, while the slate is still clean, here’s my pick of 12 Hindi films to look forward to this year.

Haraamkhor
Shlok Sharma’s simple love story follows Shyam, a local school teacher, and his student Sandhya, who is infatuated with him. Nawazuddin Siddiqui stars as the teacher and Shweta Tripathi as a 15-year-old schoolgirl. Set in small town India, Haraamkhor releases this month.

Trapped
A survival drama
starring the irrepressible Rajkumar Rao in the lead role and directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, this experimental film
is set to release in March. The film has been lauded for both Motwane’s direction and Rao’s incredible
performance.

Padmavati
Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Aditi Rao Hydari go all costume crazy in director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest period epic. Releasing in November, Padmavati is Bhansali’s imagining of the events around the seige of Chittorgarh in the early-1300s.

Rangoon
This February, Vishal Bhardwaj will transport us to the World War II era. Rangoon stars Saif Ali Khan as a movie
producer, Kangana Ranaut as a stunt star and Shahid Kapoor as an army officer. Ranaut’s character is said to be based on Fearless Nadia, the stunt queen of
the 1930s.

The Ring
This is the working title, but it doesn’t matter what it’s called, because this August offering has Shah Rukh Khan as a tourist guide and Anushka Sharma as a Gujarati girl giving us a taste of all the best European cities. Clearly, a ring (of the jewellery kind) has something
to do with the plot of this Imtiaz Ali film.

Simran
Hansal Mehta directs Kangana Ranaut in this family entertainer about what happens when a young NRI girl’s life goes off the rails. Set in USA, the film also stars Sohum Shah and is set for a September release.

Poorna
Rahul Bose returns to direction to capture the real-life story of 13-year-old Poorna, the youngest girl in the world to scale Mount Everest. Like Poorna Malavath, Aditi Inamdar who plays the titular character, also hails from Telangana.

Tubelight
When the winning team of Bajrangi Bhaijaan reunites, you pay attention. Kabir Khan directs this historical war
drama set during the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Salman Khan stars as an Indian soldier who falls in love with a Chinese woman, played by Zhu Zhu. As we all know, if it’s Salman, it must
be an Eid release.

Jolly LLB2
Akshay Kumar slip into a black jacket and brandishes law books in Subhash Kapoor’s follow-up to his hit Jolly LLB. Kumar plays small-time lawyer Jagdishwar Mishra in Kapoor’s story based on a real-life incident. Saurabh Shukla returns as the judge and Huma Qureshi joins the cast of this February release.

Sanjay Dutt’s biopic
As yet untitled, but sure to be incendiary, Rajkumar Hirani directs Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt, the movie star with a dramatic life that is ripe for cinema. Slated as a Christmas 2017 release, the title of the film should be announced shortly as the film begins shooting this month.

Jagga Jasoos
If the trailer is anything to go by, this April, director Anurag Basu’s Ranbir Kapoor-starrer might just wow us and set a new bar for VFX in a Hindi film. Katrina Kaif also stars in this child-friendly adventure.

Raees
The action thriller staring Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui releases later this month. Directed by National Award-winner Rahul Dholakia, Raees tracks the story of a bootlegger don engaged in a cat and mouse game with
a determined law enforcement officer.

– Udita Jhunjhunwala

 

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