We hit the ground running with the 3D version of Sholay, releasing today. In the coming week we have Dedh Ishqiya with Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Huma Qureshi and the music of Vishal Bhardwaj. And then on January 17 there’s Ashim Ahluwalia’s avant garde Miss Lovely.
February brings a mixed bag. The latest bromance between Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor in Gunday, Alia Bhatt graduates to the big league with Imtiaz Ali’s Highway and then Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar explore Shaadi Ke Side Effects in the same week that Kangna Ranaut goes on a lonely honeymoon in Queen.
March looks a little weak, perhaps because of exam fever, but a few films might make a mark. First up there’s the women-centric Gulaab Gang starring Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla. Later in the month comes Go Goa Gone team’s next, Happy Ending. In April, I am looking forward to Two States, the adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel. One of my favorite teams of 2013, director Hansal Mehta and actor Rajkumar Rao reunite for the May release, City Lights. And then in June there won’t be any stopping Rajkumar Hirani’s Aamir Khan-starrer, P K.
In the monsoonal July, save the date for Homi Adajania’s Goa-based road movie, Finding Fanny, headlining Deepika Padukone. Then, in case anyone wants a little Bollywood masala Salman Khan-style, there’s Kick in the same month. In September, Shaad Ali returns with Kill Dill starring Ranveer Singh and Parineeti Chopra.
Many tent-pole releases are reserved for the festive season, and this year is no different. Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif team up for Bang Bang in October. In December, Dibakar Banerjee reinvents Detective Byomkesh Bakshi, Shah Rukh Khan will play a fan in Fan and Ranbir Kapoor goes back in time in Bombay Velvet.
Few artistes evoke universal love and respect the way Farooque Shaikh did. The leading actor of middle-of-the-road cinema of the 70s and 80s—who passed away suddenly last week—was best known for movies like Garam Hawa (1973), Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Chashme Buddoor, Noorie and, more recently, Lahore and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. He was also one half of a long-running and successful theatre production, Tumhari Amrita, with actress Shabana Azmi. On the morning of the news of his death, an emotional Feroz A Khan, director of Tumhari Amrita, said of his friend and collaborator: “It is such a shock. For 21 years we have travelled together with Tumhari Amrita. On December 14, we performed in Agra at the Taj Literature Festival, with the Taj Mahal as the backdrop. He was the most decent person that I have ever met.” Shona Urvashi, producer of Chashme Buddoor, echoed the sentiment. “He was a fantastic human being, generous and caring. On set, he was very professional, supportive and encouraging. He was a spontaneous actor with complete command over the craft.” The unreleased The Bastard Child might well be the last addition to Shaikh’s illustrious repertoire.
- Udita Jhunjhunwala