A blockbuster year at the ticket window heralds another promising innings at the
cinemas in 2017. Will it be better and bigger is a guess that may well be decided by the fame and fate of the following films, recommended viewings in the months to come…
Director – Rahul Dholakia
Scheduled originally for Eid 2016, releasing finally pre-Republic Day 2017, Raees is already being touted by box-office pundits as the first blockbuster of the New Year. Set in 1980s Gujarat with Shah Rukh Khan playing a daring desi don delivering clap worthy lines,
expectations are also high for it being made by national award winning ‘serious filmmaker’ Rahul Dholakia, best known for his no nonsense political critiques (remember Parzania). Alluded to have been inspired by the life and times of bootlegging gangster turned politician, Ahmedabad’s Abdul Latif, who once monopolised the illegal liquor business in Gujarat, the film promises some classic cop and goon confrontationswith Nawazuddin Siddiqui representing the law opposite Khan’s Robinhood act.
Director – Vishal Bhardwaj
Vishal Bhardwaj takes a break from his ‘tragic’ Shakespearean adaptations for a breezy entertainer with a screenplay by American screenwriter and director Mathew Robbins. Set around the Second World War with two favourite stars with whom Bhardwaj has achieved magic in the past (Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor), it will be worth watching how the dare of the auteur ups the zaniness quotient in his first partnering with Kangna Ranaut. Bhardwaj has promised that this action-packed-romance ‘will be a film, people don’t expect from him’; though we can be sure of few soulful melodies set on some fine characters, who will be essayed to some felt performances to remember.
Director – Ram Gopal Varma
One of Bollywood’s most prolific and influential post 1990s’ filmmaker, RGV hasn’t given a single hit since Sarkar Raj (2008), and a film to remember perhaps since the first Sarkar (2005). He returns to his favourite genre of a political thriller unfolding in the backdrop of urban crime saga with his last successful franchisee, the Sarkar series, with Amitabh Bachchan in the company of some fine actors worthy of his mettle like Manoj Bajpayee and Rohini Hattangadi. Hope this becomes the maverick maker’s much awaited comeback into his signature form!
A Death in the Gunj
Director – Konkona Sen Sharma
Actress Konkona Sen Sharma makes her directorial debut in this atmospheric period drama set in the colonial town of McCluskieganj (now in Jharkhand) in 1979. A family holiday narrative with the promise of a thriller’s twist, it has the veteran Tanuja putting on her acting boots after a good gap with a charming cast of talented indie cinema stars (Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Tilottama Shome, Gulshan Deviah) and Om Puri. Weaved with a sarcastic web of secrets and scandals that implode into a murder… will this be the family drama of the year with a difference?