I know I’m a bit late to give this post, but better late than never I suppose. So here’s my list of the most awaited films of 2013 (or those which are expected to be released in 2013; knowing big-budget films and the competition, date changes are not all that impossible these days). 2013 was supposed to be the year of the blockbuster, though the start has been lacklustre. Here’s hoping to a turn-around later on!
Films are listed in the order of their release date. Please do comment in the comments section and tell me your thoughts about this post, and about your own awaited films of this year.
ZANJEER (May 10)
The remake to the 1973 film of the same name, Zanjeer has been on my radar for some time. It has a pretty good (albeit slightly outdated) plot, which should hopefully be well-upgraded. The presence of big-name Priyanka Chopra should help. The film promises semi-classy entertainment; my only gripe is whether the makers will opt for the full-on masala route, which has witnessed a major disaster in Himmatwala recently. The production problems, however, are worrying, and its almost certain that the film won’t meet the given release; promotions have barely started, and one month is insufficient for this kind of film. Plus, Apoorva Lakhia is hit-and-miss, so it will be interesting to see how his direction fares.
YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI (May 31)
Being a part of the youth myself, its hardly surprising that Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is on my list. Add in the fact that big-name ex-lovers Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone (who do have a good on-screen chemistry; remember Bachna Ae Haseeno?) and the fact that it is coming from Ayan Mukherji, who directed the excellent Wake Up Sid, and expectations are bound to be high. Unfortunately, the first trailer has been a slight dampener; while high on spirits and he fun quotient, this film looks dangerously close to a host of other lovey-dovey and nonsensical rom-coms (films like the awful Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and the unbelievably silly Student of the Year came to my mind immediately). Still, this should be a fun-filled ride, and one that I’m not gonna miss.
GHANCHAKKAR (June 21)
I will admit that Vidya Balan is the main reason why I am looking forward to Ghanchakkar. With the level of unconventionality and versatility she displays, plus her great script sense (till date), one would be hard-pressed not to feel mysteriously excited about this. Add in the fact that this is a comedy, and that it stars the decent Emraan Hasmi (who needs to choose his films better) and one can’t help but feel that this one will be a solid wild card success.
LOOTERA (July 5)
Udaan was a flat-out brilliant film, and so director Vikramaditya Motwane’s next grabbed my interest the moment it was announced. Plus, my beloved Kolkata is featuring as the backdrop (and has been very successfully used in Kahaani as well), and that too in a period setting. I detest Ranveer Singh’s off-screen persona (he comes off as an over-talkative, somewhat uncultured and loudly fake guy) but he is a decent actor. Sonakshi Sinha has failed to impress me until now, but I have a feeling she is going to do be excellent in this film (thanks in so small part to the director). Definitely one to look out for.
BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG (July 12)
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has made excellent films throughout his career (Delhi-6 is a small exception, but even it had great thematic elements and a handful of good performances). And I’m sure he will deliver again, especially considering that the very talented Farhan Akhtar is starring in the lead role (and looking astonishingly like the real Milkha Singh). There is the drawback of coming after he hugely acclaimed Paan Singh Tomar, and comparisons are inevitable. Plus, the trailer is lukewarm at best. Still, hoping for the best for this biopic on one of India’s most well-known athletes.
CHENNAI EXPRESS (August 8)
Shahrukh Khan. That name itself is enough to make this one of the films to watch out for this year (note my neutral use of the words; so lovers and haters are both watching this film, the reasons being very different, of course). Counting in the presence of Deepika Padukone (who had a stunning and surprisingly good debut opposite Khan in Om Shanti Om, but has unfortunately gone down the glam-doll path and not capitalized on her debut properly), and of course – Rohit Shetty, the man who makes exasperatingly entertaining films without following any of the Earth’s set logics and principles. Not all is rosy, however; its non-solo release (even if on the lucrative Eid) and the nagging fear that this may become a different sort of Himmatwala (both being 2013 UTV productions) do instill some fear. And let’s not kid ourselves, Khan was terrible as a South Indian (remember Ra.One?). Its safe to say, however, that this one should be a commercial slam-dunk.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI AGAIN (August 8)
Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai was one of my favourite films when I watched it, and Milan Luthria expertly followed it up with the hugely successful The Dirty Picture. So its hardly rocket science to understand why this film gets a place here. Some of Akshay Kumar’s films have had a significant positive impact on me (till date, his Bhool Bhulaiyya remains my favourite) and its doubtless that he’s a capable actor, albeit in the hands of a limited number of people. Imran Khan has a lot to prove (though I am yet to see Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola), as does Sonakshi Sinha (who has the indecisive Lootera), but an expectedly good plot and a basis on India’s most famous gangster should be gold. There is, of course, that dastardly ill-conceived clash to cope with, though. Not to mention the surprisingly bad marketing (there isn’t even a proper poster yet, and of course, there is the heavily-debated Eden Gardens fiasco).
KRRISH 3 (November 1)
The one and only behemoth of this year is arguably Krrish 3, one of the most awaited sequels of all time. Why all the hype? Massive budget, the extremely bankable Hrithik Roshan, Rakesh Roshan helming it, a host of other big names like Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut, lavish action sequences and flashy special effects. It has all it needs to be Bollywood’s biggest blockbuster till date. Of course, Ra.One also had many of these advantages, not to mention a very ubiquitous marketing campaign, and that was a damp squib (blamed entirely on its bad screenplay and direction). Its safe to say Krrish 3 will learn from Ra.One‘s mistakes, and it is a part of a major franchise, but other risks prevail, most significantly as to whether it will match the pre-release expectations. Even bigger still is whether it can be completed on time (I heard that production ended only some time back, which doesn’t give much time for what will be a very demanding post-production period). Plus, Koi… Mil Gaya remains well-loved, but Krrish has grown from an enjoyable film to an extremely childish and silly piece of forgettable cinema. Having heard that song-and-dance will be minimal, and a great plot having been made, here’s wishing the very best for this film.
RAM LEELA (November 29)
Black was enough to forgive Sanjay Leela Bhansali by 50% for his other sins, namely Devdas and Saawariya (and to an extent even Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam). I have been a Bhansali fan despite his astonishingly bad follow-up to what is undoubtedly one of the gems of Bollywood cinema. So I am riding on this faith for Ram Leela. On the upside, this film looks to be pretty different from standard over-romantic Bhansali fare (a la Black). That Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone look stunning doesn’t hurt. Plus, if the news is to be believed, both actors have delivered great performances (this should, of course, be taken with some salt). Rajasthan, especially Udaipur, is sure to be a stunning, magical back-drop (I eagerly await the sight of Udaipur Palace fully lit-up). The derivative Romeo and Juliet plot may be a bummer, though. Plus I don’t like violence all that much, and it may affect the film when it comes to the censors. Here’s hoping that this film does well.
DHOOM 3 (December 25)
The only other behemoth of this year, the Dhoom franchise returns in its biggest avatar with Dhoom 3, which is sure to blow everyone away. Aamir Khan as the villain – that itself will set the expectations at peak levels. Then Katrina Kaif, who will increase that level significantly. No offense, but Abhishek Bachchan will get dwarfed out almost completely, and it would be comic to talk about Uday Chopra. Expect slick and standard-setting stunts, but this time with a more solid plot (Khan’s presence does give that vibe). The biggest drawback? Sanjay Gadhvi has dropped out, and is being replaced by Vijay Krishna Acharya. Granted he wrote the entire franchise, but the last time he wielded the megaphone, he made the torturous disaster Tashan. And no, Khan’s presence does not make the director inconsequential. Here’s hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.
Ek Thi Daayan, Shootout At Wadala, Aurangzeb, Raanjhnaa, Satyagraha, Besharam, Gunday.