FROM BOLLYWOOD TO HOLLYWOOD HITS, HERE ARE THE MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES FEATURING SOUTH ASIA’S BRIGHTEST STARS

by ASJAD NAZIR

THERE are a number of interesting movies on the way in diverse genres ranging from high-profile Bollywood releases to Hollywood films starring popular South Asian stars.

The variety of genres means there will be something to spark the interest of everyone. With that in mind, here is the countdown of 50 movies to look forward to…

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2: The ensemble comedy sequel stars Ahmed Ali Butt, Humayun Saeed, Fahad Mustafa, Vasay Chaudhry, Uzma Khan, Sarwat Gilani and Mawra Hocane in the lead roles. The big budget Pakistani film has been shot in locations including Turkey and promises plenty of laughs. Expect: The film to release Eidul Adha.

Arjun Patiala: The Punjab-set comedy revolves around a mismatched couple who unexpectedly find love. Kriti Sanon and Diljit Dosanjh play the lead roles in the film, which is promising to offer plenty of laughs and big Punjab-inspired musical numbers. Expect: Diljit compared the movie to his Punjabi comedy Jatt & Juliet and said it would be a lot of fun.

Baaghi 2: The escapist action romance stars Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Randeep Hooda and Manoj Bajpayee. The next instalment in the franchise will once again revolve around a rebellious young man who must use his fighting skills to keep hold of the woman he loves. Expect: Tiger Shroff to repeatedly take off his shirt and show off his chiselled physique.

Happy Bhag Jayegi Returns: The next instalment in the franchise is a stand-alone story, which once again revolves around a cross-border romance. This time around the comedy is set between India and China. The Mudassar Aziz-directed film stars Sonakshi Sinha, Diana Penty, Jassi Gill, Jimmy Shergill and Ali Fazal in pivotal roles. Expect: Plenty of laughs and catchy music.

Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran: The powerful drama is based on the first nuclear test carried out by the Indian government, which helped to establish them as a major military power. John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani play pivotal roles in the Abhishek Sharma-directed film. Expect: John Abraham said the movie would be an ode to the army and scientists, who although ordinary people, truly accomplished extraordinary feats in the face of adversity.

Badhaai Ho: Dangal actress Sanya Malhotra stars opposite popular actor Ayushmann Khurrana in a story being billed as a coming-of-age drama of a family grappling with some unexpected news. There will be humour, a social issue and romantic angle within the film. Expect: A slice of life comedy-drama about an everyday issue most will relate to.

Drive: Although it was widely believed Drive was a remake of the 2011 Hollywood film of the same name, lead star Sushant Singh Rajput has denied it. He said the Tarun Mansukhani-directed movie was about cars, speed and street racing. Jacqueline Fernandez also stars in the fast-paced movie, which will feature plenty of chases and super cars. Expect: A franchise to emerge if the film is successful.

Paltan: The JP Dutta war epic is based around the Indo-China war of 1962. The story of soldiers on the frontline going through their own respective challenges has a star cast that includes Jimmy Sheirgill, Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Gurmeet Choudhary and Harshvardhan Rane. Expect: A rousing tribute to the Indian army.

102 Not Out: Bollywood legends Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor have teamed up for a film together after 27 years, which is based on a hit Gujarati stage play of the same name. Amitabh plays a 102-year-old while Rishi essays the role of a 75 year-old in the comedy drama about a Gujarati father and son with a love/hate relationship. Expect: Loads of laughs and the two stars to have dramatically different looks.

Soorma: Punjabi superstar Diljit Dosanjh plays the lead role in the Bollywood film, which revolves around the turbulent life of Indian national hockey team’s ex-captain Sandeep Singh, who made an amazing comeback after being accidentally shot and left paralysed. The Shaad Ali-directed sporting drama also stars Taapsee Panu in a key role. Expect: An uplifting sports movie about overcoming the odds.

Pari: Anushka Sharma produces and plays the lead role in the Bollywood horror film, which promises plenty of scary turns. The actress described the project as an atmospheric horror with a love story element added in and a genre that hasn’t properly been done in Bollywood before. Expect: Some scares and at least one major twist.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi: Kangana Ranaut plays the lead role in the big budget historical about legendary freedom fighter Rani Laxmibai, who took on the British Raj in the 19th century. The film also features Atul Kulkarni in the role of Pandurang Tope and popular TV star Ankita Lokhande making her Bollywood debut as Jhalkari Bai. Expect: Eye-catching battle sequences.

Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar: Rising Bollywood actors Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra team up after five years for the Dibakar Banerjee-directed comedy-drama shot on the border of India and Nepal. The film is being billed as the story of a man and woman who represent two completely different sides of India, but have a mistrust, suspicion and hate for each other. Arjun plays a police officer in the movie. Expect: An intelligently crafted comedy-drama

Saina: The sporting biopic charts the impressive rise of badminton player Saina Nehwal’s towards becoming the first Indian female player to be ranked number one in the world and winning trophies along the way. Shraddha Kapoor plays the lead role in what is being billed as an uplifting drama about reaching impossible goals. Expect: Plenty of emotion and a story of triumph.

 

Aiyaary: Ace director Neeraj Pandey returns with another fast-paced thriller, which revolves around a determined army officer trying to track down a protégé who he thinks may have betrayed the country. Manoj Bajpayee and Sidharth Malhotra star in the twist-laden action-drama, that promises plenty of surprises and unexpected turns. Expect: Lots of familiar locations as much of the movie was shot in London, and a strong supporting cast.

 

Dhadak: The romantic drama marks the Bollywood debut of Sridevi’s daughter Janhvi Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor’s brother Ishaan Khatter. The Karan Johar-produced remake of Marathi film Sairat revolves a lower caste young boy and a strong-minded daughter of an upper caste landlord. Expect: Great music and a story of star crossed lovers.

Ocean’s 8: The all-female answer to the legendary Ocean’s 12 movies has an incredible star cast including popular actress Mindy Kaling. She stars alongside Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina and Anne Hathaway in the story of a daring heist at New York’s star-studded Met Gala. Expect: Comedy and slick action.

Raid: The Raj Kumar Gupta film based on real life events revolves around a fearless income tax officer who carries out a daring raid in the 1980s. Ajay Devgn and Ileana D’Cruz play the lead roles in the Uttar Pradesh-set story, which will be high on drama. Expect: A standout performance from Devgn.

Veere Di Wedding: Popular leading ladies Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Swara Bhaskar star in the wedding comedy which reportedly revolves around the misadventures of friends and girl bonding. Sonam described the film as coming-of-age of women at large and Kareena said all girls around the world will feel a sense of pride after watching the multi-layered story. Expect: Plenty of laughs, musical numbers and girl power.

Chanda Mama Door Ke: The first commercial Bollywood film set in space sees Sushant Singh Rajput play an Indian astronaut who goes on an extraordinary journey from humbling beginnings to going interstellar. The story of human endeavour also stars R Madhavan and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead roles. Expect: Great special effects and a story of inspiring individuals achieving the impossible.

Simmba: Actor Ranveer Singh teams up with director Rohit Shetty for the escapist action movie, which is loosely based on South Indian film Temper. Due for release in December, the film will see Ranveer reportedly play a corrupt police officer who must ultimately go on a journey to redeem himself. Expect: Lots of larger than life action, bullets and plenty of cars blowing up.

October: Acclaimed filmmaker Shoojit Sircar has cast hot right now actor Varun Dhawan opposite British beauty Banita Sandhu in what has been described as an intense love story. Shot extensively in Delhi and Manali, the dark and gritty drama is aiming to offer a brand new take on the conventional Bollywood romance. Expect: The out-of-the-box story to take audiences by surprise.

 

Padman: The comedy-drama is based on the true-life tale of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man who created the world’s first low-cost machine for making sanitary pads. Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte plays the lead roles in the R. Balki-directed inspirational story of a man who helped impoverished women with his invention. Expect: An important social debate to be triggered by the movie.

 

Fanne Khan: The official Bollywood remake of Oscar-nominated 2000 Belgian movie Everybody’s Famous stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao in the lead roles. The musical comedy revolves around a man who kidnaps a famous singer and how her unscrupulous manager tries to cash in on the crime. Expect: An intelligently-crafted comedy and lots of music.

Batti Gul Meter Chalu: Toilet: Ek Prem Katha director Shree Narayan Singh returns with another social drama tackling an important issue affecting many in India. Shahid Kapoor, Yami Gautam and Shraddha Kapoor play the lead roles in a story that revolves around the problem of obtaining electricity, its escalating charges and ultimately challenging the system. Expect: The thought-provoking comedy drama to trigger a lot of debate after it releases.

Hichki: Actress Rani Mukerji makes a return after a three-year hiatus with a quirky comedy drama about a teacher with Tourette syndrome, who takes on the task of turning the lives of unruly students around. The Bollywood adaptation of Brad Cohen’s book Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had revolves around battling against the odds to uplift those youngsters who have been forgotten by the system. Expect: An important social message and an uplifting story of triumph.

Sangamithra: The Tamil language historical epic got back on track after the exit of lead star Shruti Haasan. Disha Patani has stepped into the role of what will ultimately be a two-part fantasy adventure that will also star Jayam Ravi and Arya. Expect: State-of-theart special effects and a winning soundtrack from AR Rahman.

Kedarnath: The Abhishek Kapoor-directed romantic drama marks the Bollywood debut of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s daughter Sara Ali Khan. She stars opposite Sushant Singh Rajput in the story of a wealthy woman on a pilgrimage who forms a connection with a tour guide while on her journey. Expect: All eyes will be on new star kid on the block Sara Ali Khan.

Gully Boy: The next film from acclaimed director Zoya Akhtar is based around the true story of a rapper rising up from the slums to find fame and wide acclaim. Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt star in the musical-drama about climbing up to realise an impossible dream. Expect: A winning hip-hop based soundtrack and a high energy performance from Ranveer.

Puzzle: The next Hollywood film starring Irrfan Khan is a comedy-drama revolving around a taken-for-granted suburban mother who discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles, which unexpectedly draws her into a new world. The latest film from acclaimed director Marc Turtletaub sees Irrfan play the key role of helping the female protagonist break free. Expect: Another winning international turn from Irrfan.

Teefa In Trouble: The Pakistani action-comedy marks the Lollywood debut of popular star Ali Zafar. He stars opposite Maya Ali in the colourful film, which has been shot in Pakistan and Poland. Producer and lead star Ali Zafar said he hoped to make the audiences laugh, cry and enjoy the musical numbers. Expect: A winning soundtrack and eye-catching stunts.

83: The Kabir Khan-directed drama revolves around the true story of India winning their first cricket World Cup in 1983. Ranveer Singh plays legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev in the tale of a sporting triumph that shocked the sporting world and caused the biggest upset in history. Expect: A rousing finale featuring the now legendary match, where India beat the mighty West Indies.

Raazi: Director Meghna Gulzar has teamed up with in-demand actress Alia Bhatt for a spy drama based on the acclaimed novel Calling Sehmat, which is about a Kashmiri Spy married to a Pakistani man during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. The edge-of-the-seat film sees Alia playing a determined young woman who saves the day. Expect: An intelligently-crafted thriller with another big performance from Bhatt.

Vishwaroopam II: The sequel to the hit 2013 spy thriller once again sees Kamal Haasan play the lead role. He has also directed the high-octane film about a dedicated patriot taking on a terror threat. Writer Haasan also hinted there would be a strong mother-son sentiment in the movie. Expect: Huge action set pieces and an underlying message.

Kesari: The historical army drama starring Akshay Kumar in the lead role revolves around the legendary battle of Saragarhi, which took place in 1897 and is regarded as one of the greatest last stands of all-time. Twenty-one Sikh soldiers in the British army held out against 10,000 Afghans until they finally fell. Parineeti Chopra also stars in the film. Expect: A story of bravery, which will be released Holi 2019.

Super 30: Hrithik Roshan portrays Anand Kumar in the inspiring biopic of a mathematical genius who rose from humble beginnings to make a mark and then set up a program that helps gifted students from poor backgrounds. The Vikas Bahl-directed drama will be about rising up and ultimately helping others to rise up too. Expect: A smart story with lots of emotion and inspiring moments.

Gold: Akshay Kumar plays the lead role in the sporting drama based on real life events. The story revolves around a hockey team who scored India’s first ever Olympic gold medal in 1948. Director Reema Kagti said the movie would be a fictional take on what actually happened with a strong human drama being at the forefront. Expect: There will be familiar locations as most of the movie has been shot in the UK, and a rousing finale.

A Kid Like Jake: The Hollywood film revolves around a couple who have differing opinions about issues faced by their young son and how it subsequently fractures their relationship. Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra plays an important supporting role of a struggling single mother in the powerful drama. Expect: Another winning turn from Priyanka, who will also be seen playing a yoga ambassador in Hollywood film Isn’t It Romantic.

 

Zero: The Aanand L Rai-directed comedy drama sees Shah Rukh Khan playing a dwarf for the first time. The story with heavy doses of romance has state-of-the-art special effects. Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma star opposite Shah Rukh. Expect: A massive number of star cameos, including from Salman Khan, Rani Mukerjiand Kajol.

 

Brahmastra: Acedirector Ayan Mukerji teams up with Ranbir Kapoor for a third time after their hit films Wake Up Sid and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani for a megabudget superhero film. The fantasy movie will attempt to put a new spin on the superhero genre and possibly draw on ancient Indian mythology for inspiration. Alia Bhatt and Amitabh Bachchan also star in the Karan Johar-produced feature. Expect: Brahmastrato be turned into a trilogy if successful.

The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir: South Indian superstar Dhanush makes his Hollywood debut in the big screen adaptation of Romain Puertolas’ acclaimed book The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir Who Got Trapped In An Ikea Wardrobe. The comedy drama sees him playing an Indian conman who goes to Paris and then unexpectedly finds himself in a series of adventures in locations around the world. Expect: An escapist story that has important messages scattered throughout it and plenty of wisdom.

Race 3: The third instalment in the thriller franchise has a standalone story, which will promise plenty of plot twists. Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Daisy Shah, Bobby Deol and Saqib Saleem play pivotal roles in the Remo D’Souza-directed action-drama, which is due for release on Eid. Expect: Lots of eye-catching action sequences and some big musical numbers.

2.0: One of the biggest budget movies ever made in India is a sequel to hit 2010 film Robot. The science fiction movie starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson sees a battle between good and an otherworldly evil force. The film will be released in a number of languages on April 27, 2018 and has state-of-the-art special effects. Expect: To see an unrecognisable Akshay Kumar as the antagonist.

Maula Jatt: The most high-profile Pakistani film of 2018 is a remake of the Lollywood classic with Fawad Khan in the title role. Hamza Ali Abbasi, Humaima Malick and Mahira Khan also play key roles in the highly-anticipated movie, which revolves around feuding tribal warriors and revenge. Expect: This big budget movie to clock up huge numbers at the box office and change the face of Pakistani cinema forever.

Hotel Mumbai: Actor Dev Patel heads a star cast in the Hollywood thriller set during the terror attacks in Mumbai. Armie Hammer and Anupam Kher also feature in the action-drama focused on a luxurious hotel which is invaded by armed terrorists hell-bent on killing as many people as they can. Expect: Edge-of-the-seat tension in an episodic drama weaving different story angles together.

PadmavatiPadmaavat: The most high-profile film of 2017 was postponed and is due for release later this month. Ranveer Singh plays psychotic king Alauddin Khilji, who goes to war after he falls in love with opposing queen Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), who is married to Raja Rawal Singh (ShahidKapoor). Expect: The lavish Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed historical will have eye-catching sets, big battle sequences and colourful costumes.

Krrish 4: The fourth instalment of the science fiction franchise will see Hrithik Roshan return as the high-flying superhero as he comes up against a brand new threat. Director Rakesh Roshan hinted that other superheroes may be introduced into the story and there have also been rumours Hrithik would play a double role, including the antagonist. Expect: High-flying action and loads of great Hollywood-style special effects when it releases Christmas 2020.

Saaho: All eyes will be on the mega-budget action movie because it’s the next outing of Baahubaali star Prabhas. The high-powered film will simultaneously be released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The story of one man’s fight against dark forces also stars Shraddha Kapoor. There are state-of-the-art stunts and special effects. Expect: The movie is expected to have a huge box office opening globally and could be a potential record-breaker.

Sanjay Dutt biopic: With his last two directorial outings 3 Idiots and PK smashing all records, there are sky-high expectations from ace director Raj Kumar Hirani’s latest effort. The as-yet-untitled film charts the troubled life of actor Sanjay Dutt from being the son of major movie idols to becoming a star in his own right and getting embroiled in an underworld conspiracy. Expect: This to be one of the finest biopics ever made in India and a stand-out performance from lead star Ranbir Kapoor.

Thugs of Hindostan: Perhaps the most high-profile Bollywood film of 2018 stars Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Sheikh, Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles. The action adventure set in 1790 is reportedly based on the novel Confession of A Thug and revolves around a young lady who goes on a revenge mission. Expect: Big battle sequences and the film to clock up huge numbers when it releases Diwali 2018.

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