Raees: Set in 1990s Gujarat, this is the story of a local don who gains prominence due to his illegal alcohol trade. Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Mahira Khan, and directed by Rahul Dholakia, I am looking forward to seeing Khan leave behind his romantic and cutesy image to play a dark and unpredictable protagonist.
Baahubali 2: Although it will be a dubbed version, I will be counting down to watching the concluding part of SS Rajamouli’s epic film starring Prabhas, Anushka Shetty and Rana Daggubati, which will no doubt have even bigger and more amazing fight scenes
and special effects.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: If any one director is still flying the flag for old school Bollywood love stories, it’s Karan Johar. And when he brings together Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in London and Austria, you know this is one you want to watch—if nothing else, for the fashion.
Aligarh: Hansal Mehta directs this emotional and hard-hitting story of an ageing professor victimised by a judgmental and moralistic society. Manoj Bajpayee delivers an award-worthy and outstanding performance as true-life character Siras, ably supported by Rajkummar Rao as the zealous journalist who doggedly pursued this story.
Neerja: Sonam Kapoor trained for her part in Ram Madhvani’s biopic on the young airhostess Neerja Bhanot, who lost her life while saving those of passengers on a hijacked aircraft in 1986. Kapoor has said this is the hardest role of her career so far, and going by the trailer, the film has the potential to be both chilling and moving.
Dangal: Aamir Khan plays his age in Nitesh Tiwari’s film about a wrestler who trains his daughters in wrestling, in a small conservative village in Haryana. The story is inspired by the real-life story of Mahavir Phogat and will see Khan
transform through three different ages.
Mohenjo Daro: Ashutosh Gowariker will take us back to the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation in this epic adventure-love story with Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, Arunoday Singh and others. Another highlight: A R Rahman’s music.
Rangoon: Vishal Bhardwaj takes on an ambitious period love triangle set in 1940s India. Bhardwaj and Shahid Kapoor reunite for the third time (Kaminey and Haider) along with the powerhouse Kangana Ranaut and Saif Ali Khan in a film that promises to have some fine music, too.
Wazir: We start the year with Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar trying to second-guess the Wazir’s next move in Bejoy Nambiar’s action-thriller. I pick this film because of its accomplished team of writers (including Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi), for the genre and to see a fresh group talents coming together.
Udta Punjab: Abhishek Chaubey directs Shahid Kapoor, who plays a Punjabi rock star opposite Alia Bhatt. Kareena Kapoor plays a doctor in this story on substance abuse in the North Indian state.
Sultan: Salman Khan is looking fit at 50, as he too plays a wrestler in Ali Abbas Zafar’s action-drama. It seems Khan has undertaken intense professional training for the part. However, till date the film’s leading lady has not been finalised.