WE MAY be into the third month of 2023, but there are still plenty of films from around the world to look forward to this year that feature top south Asian talent.
These interesting looking movies span different genres, continents and cultures.
Eastern Eye looked ahead to find 21 film recommendations for the remaining months of the year, in no particular order, which look like they will be winners.
Little English: The film adaptation of acclaimed theatre play There’s Something About Simmy revolves around a girl newly arrived in the UK from India, who is stuck with her dysfunctional would-be in-laws after their son, whom she was due to marry, runs away. The fish-out-of-water story about a Punjabi girl who speaks little English is loaded with emotion, relatable characters and laughter-filled moments.
Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani: Producer-director Karan Johar returns to romance with this big-budget movie starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt. They join Bollywood legends Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan and Shabana Azmi in a romantic comedy that is sure to have great songs and sparkling chemistry between the two leads, when it is released on July 28.
Maidaan: The long-delayed sports biopic is finally due in cinemas this year. The true-life tale revolves around pioneering football coach Syed Abdul Rahim, who led India to victory in the Asian Games in 1951 and 1962, along with reaching the semi finals of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Expect a feel-good story of sporting triumph when it is out on June 23.
Monkey Man: British actor Dev Patel writes, directs, produces and stars in this India-set action thriller, rooted in ancient mythology. The story revolves around an ex-felon living in India, who struggles to cope in a greedy world with eroding spiritual values. Netflix quickly snapped up the movie, which promises to introduce a new kind of Indian superhero.
Money Back Guarantee: Pakistani actor Fawad Khan will be hoping to build on the success of his record-breaking blockbuster The Legend Of Maula Jatt with this comedy caper revolving around a bank robbery. He heads a star-studded cast which includes Gohar Rasheed, Mikaal Zulfikar Ayesha Omar, Javed Sheikh, and legendary Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram, who is making his acting debut. Expect multiple parallel stories and colourful characters when the film is released on April 21.
Tiger 3: Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are back for the third instalment of this popular action franchise, returning as the fearless super spy couple with great fighting skills. They will be trying to avert another dangerous situation in the movie that was shot at international locations. There will undoubtedly be plenty of action, and a cameo appearance from Shah Rukh Khan reprising his Pathaan character, in the big Diwali Bollywood release.
Polite Society: The latest offering from We Are Lady Parts writer-director Nida Manzoor is this British Asian action comedy, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is set to be in cinemas on April 7. Ritu Arya plays a martial arts trainee dreaming of becoming a stunt woman who takes on an evil woman and tries to pull off an audacious wedding heist. Expect kick-ass women in lehengas doing cool kung fu fights.
Salaar: Director Prashanth Neel will follow up his record-breaking Kannada language blockbuster KGF: Chapter 2 with this turbo-charged Telugu thriller. Pan-Indian superstar Prabhas plays the lead role in the dark drama that will be filled with eye-catching action from start to finish, including a sequence filmed in the sea. Expect lots of bullets and plenty of violence when it is released in multiple languages on September 28.
Jawan: The stunning success of his recent comeback film Pathaan has raised the excitement levels for Shah Rukh Khan’s next release Jawan, because it is also an action entertainer. The new thriller from ace writer-director Atlee has the actor in a never-seen-before avatar and ready to rumble with the bad guys. Vijay Sethupathi plays the antagonist while Tamil superstar Vijay is set to make a cameo appearance in the June 2 release.
The Marvels: One of last year’s big successes was the Disney Plus series Ms Marvel. Iman Vellani reprises her role as the teenage Muslim superhero and takes it to the big screen with this movie, which sees her constantly swapping places with Captain Marvel. The action-adventure will also feature her family making a return and will offer up plenty of surprises when it is released on November 10.
Bholaa: The Bollywood remake of 2019 Tamil language action thriller Kaithi sees Ajay Devgn take on the title role. He portrays a recently released felon going home after years of imprisonment to meet his young daughter, who gets caught up in a race against time, while evading dangerous criminals. The movie is due in cinemas on March 30.
Animal: Ranbir Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna and Anil Kapoor head the star cast in this gritty gangster film. The story revolves around a wronged man getting increasingly out of control and becoming an animal. Expect plenty of violence, fighting and blood in this action-drama, due to be released on August 11.
Leo: Tamil superstar Vijay has already scored a big success this year with Varisu. For his hotly anticipated next outing, he is teaming up with filmmaker Lokesh Kanagaraj for the second time, after their super hit collaboration Master. The action thriller, set to be in cinemas on October 19, has an ensemble cast that includes Sanjay Dutt, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Trisha and Mysskin.
Love Again: After playing supporting roles, Priyanka Chopra Jonas finally headlines a Hollywood film with this romantic comedy-drama. The remake of 2016 German film SMS für Dich revolves around a heartbroken woman who sends romantic texts to a former flame’s old phone, not realising that another man has the number now. He attempts to find her with the help of singing superstar Celine Dion, who plays herself in the film, which is due for a May release.
Aasman Bolay Ga: Focusing on quality over quantity has enabled ace Pakistani filmmaker Shoaib Mansoor to deliver acclaimed films Khuda Kay Liye (2007), Bol (2011) and Verna (2017). That is why there are great expectations around this film, which is reportedly a cross-border love story set against the real-life back-drop of an Indian fighter jet being shot down, and the pilot being captured. Expect the drama, starring Maya Ali and Emmad Irfani, to have a strong message.
Dunki: With a 100 per cent success rate of brilliant blockbuster films, writer-director Raj Kumar Hirani almost certainly has another sure-fire winner with this big Christmas release headlined by Shah Rukh Khan. The record-breaking filmmaker has tackled social issues in an intelligent but entertaining manner, and looks like doing the same again with the theme of illegal immigration.
Heart Of Stone: Popular Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt makes her Hollywood debut with this spy action thriller, due for a Netflix release on August 11. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot headlines the fast-paced film, shot around Europe, about a CIA agent trying to recover a valuable but dangerous asset with the help of a deadly team. Expect plenty of twists, guns, and edge-of-the-seat tension.
Jodi: The long-delayed, period-set Punjabi film was postponed due to Covid-19 and should finally be in cinemas later this year. Diljit Dosanjh and Nimrat Khaira star in the charming-looking romance, which promises to have an outstanding soundtrack. Expect this film to carry on the recent impressive momentum of Punjabi cinema.
Ponniyin Selvan 2: The most hotly anticipated movie sequel of this year is the second part to ace director Mani Ratnam’s 2022 blockbuster hit. The Tamil-language historical action drama, based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s 1955 novel of the same name, will conclude the story of fearless warriors battling for a kingdom. The film is sure to feature more marvellous music from AR Rahman, epic set pieces, eye-catching costumes, battles, and visual splendour.
Jailer: It is always a huge event when Tamil superstar Rajinikanth announces a film. There was added excitement with this particular project because he is collaborating with ace filmmaker Nelson for the first time. Though story details are under wraps, the film also has a strong supporting cast that includes Jackie Shroff, Mohanlal, Shiva Rajkumar, Ramya Krishnan, and Tamannaah.
Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway: Based on real events, this film revolves around an Indian couple whose children are taken away from them by Norwegian child welfare services and their fight to get them back. Lead star Rani Mukerji said it was a story of true human resilience and dedicated to all the mothers out there. The unique Bollywood drama will be out in time for Mother’s Day on March 17.