It�۪s been a fairly mixed bag in terms of films this year. Different genres and different stars have worked, while keenly anticipated films (��Players�۪, ��Agent Vinod�۪) have bitten the dust. Films like ��Agneepath�۪ and ��Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu�۪ just about met expectations while Vidya Balan surprised us yet again with ��Kahaani�۪ – that mother of a story which brought both Sujoy Ghosh and a cast of relative unknowns to the forefront.
We�۪re already nearly halfway through the year and thought we�۪d give you our pick of the top ten films that are likely to sizzle this summer ��� or at least make some kind of impact – critical or otherwise.
Release date: 11th May 2012
Director: Habib Faisal
*ing: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra
Kick-starting the summer is Yash Raj Films�۪ ��Ishaqzaade�۪ which marks the debut of Boney and the late Mona Kapoor�۪s son Arjun. The film co-stars Parineeti Chopra, who was perhaps the only one that came out unscathed from last year�۪s tepid ��Ladies VS Ricky Bahl�۪, and swept all the newcomer awards for her sprightly performance as Dimple Chaddha.
Directed by Habib Fasial (who wrote 2010�۪s surprise hit ��Band Baaja Baarat�۪), the film is obviously a love story, but set against the political background of rural India. The trailer has a very similar feel to Mansoor Khan�۪s ��Josh�۪ (2000), but it makes this list purely because of the fact that it is backed by Yash Raj and directed by Faisal, who also gave us that charming little film ��Do Dooni Char�۪ in 2010.
Release date: 11th May 2012
Director: Vikram Bhatt
*ing: Karisma Kapoor, Rajneesh Duggal, Jimmy Shergill
Clashing with ��Ishaqzaade�۪ is ��Dangerous Ishhq�۪, a film shot extensively in 3D and��its sole trump card is that it marks the return of Karisma Kapoor. The gorgeous actress who ruled the roost during the late 90s and early noughties was last seen on screen in two painful outings ��� ��Mere Jeevan Saathi�۪ and ��Zamaanat�۪ (both in 2006), and a very brief cameo in ��Om Shanti Om�۪ (2007).
With women centric films back in vogue (��The Dirty Picture�۪ (2011), ��Kahaani�۪ (2012) and the like), Kapoor couldn�۪t have selected a better time to return to the big screen. Our only niggle is why she selected Bhatt, the director of some very average films, to helm her comeback, but we�۪ll have to wait until the second week of May to see if her gamble pays off. The full preview and a trailer of the film can be seen here.
Release date: 1st June 2012
*ing: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha
Directed by Prabhudeva and backed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali/Ronnie Screwvala, the trailer of�ʉ�Rowdy Rathore�۪ aired recently and it all looks rather silly. It shows Akshay at his street smart best and Sonakshi reprising ��her doe eyed village belle act from ��Dabangg�۪ (2010).
Kumar plays Shiva, a conman who gets a bout of conscience after a series of inexplicable events see him end up in a small town being terrorised by corrupt politicians in Bihar.
The premise seems to be treading on familiar ground and sounds very mass friendly, but the trailer is exciting enough, and something tells us that Akshay in his bindaas act and Sonakshi with her innocent charm may see it through.
Teri Meri Kahaani
Release date: 22nd June 2012
Director: Kunal Kohli
*ing: Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra
Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra who last scorched the screen in Vishal Bhardwaj�۪s critically acclaimed ��Kaminey�۪ in 2009 are all set to reprise their crackling chemistry with Kunal Kohli�۪s ��Teri Meri Kahaani�۪, the trailer of which was unveiled with last week�۪s comedy ��Housefull 2�۪.
In the film, Kapoor plays Javed, Govind and Krish, and Chopra plays Rukhsar, Aradhna and Radha ��� all characters in a love story that spans three eras (1910, 1960 and present day). Kohli denies that his film is inspired by a foreign film released a few years back, and that any similarities are purely co-incidental.
The trailer has a bright and colourful feel to it and seems to be banking heavily on rumoured exes Kapoor and Chopra�۪s chemistry, and some peppy music. It’s crucial for both Shahid whose last film, the yawn-athon ��Mausam�۪ (2011) sank without a trace and for Priyanka too, who�۪s contribution to her last couple of releases (��Don 2�۪ (2011)), ��Agneepath�۪ (2012)) has been next to nothing.
Release date: 6th July 2012
Director: Rohit Shetty
*ing: Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin Thottumkal, Prachi Desai
Pretty much any film that Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgn have collaborated on has turned into box office gold dust. Sample: ��Golmaal�۪ (2006), ��Golmaal Returns�۪ (2008), ��All The Best�۪ (2009), ��Golmaal 3�۪ (2010), ��Singham�۪ (2011), and the same is expected of this 1979 ��Gol Maal�۪ inspired comedy.
The film co-stars desperately-in-need-of-a-hit Abhishek Bachchan, as well as Asin and Prachi Desai as the female leads and makes this list purely because we�۪re big fans of the original Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic starring Amol Palekar and Uptal Dutt. We just hope Shetty doesn�۪t butcher the original just like most remakes do these days.
Release date: 13th July 2012
Director: Homi Adajania
*ing: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone
After the dud that was ��Agent Vinod�۪ (2012), Saif Ali Khan is back at what he does best ��� romance. He re-unites with Deepika for their third film together after the smash hit ��Love Aaj Kal�۪ (2009), and the disappointment ��Aarakshan�۪ (2011).
��Cocktail�۪ is written by Imtiaz Ali (one of the key reasons why it makes it to this list), and directed by Homi Adajania who last directed the abstract ��Being Cyrus�۪ (2005).
Shot extensively in London, little is known about the plot except that it�۪s a love story with music by Pritam and also stars Diana Penty and Randeep Hooda. Whether the delayed film goes the ��Aarakshan�۪ way or is a runaway success like ��Love Aaj Kal�۪ remains to be seen.
Release date: 13th July 2012
Director: Anurag Basu
*ing: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D’Cruz
Their last outing ��Anjaana Anjaani�۪ (2010) proved to be a bit of a dampener, but Ranbir and Priyanka return to something that sounds far more interesting than a clich̩d love story.
Directed by Anurag Basu, who gave us a disaster called ��Kites�۪ (2010), ��Barfii�۪ recounts the story of Murphy (Kapoor) ��� a deaf, mute character who can�۪t pronounce his own name (hence Murphy is pronounced ��Barfii�۪) and his love story with an autistic girl (Chopra).
The film also marks the debut of Telugu superstar Ileana D’Cruz through whose eyes the story is narrated.
“It’s about two dysfunctional people who bond together in the nicest of relationships, one that is sweet, touching and heart-warming.” said Kapoor in an interview with��Mid-Day.
Considering Ranbir has an exemplary body of work in his short career, Chopra�۪s tendency to sink into meaty roles and Basu�۪s track record (��Kites�۪ not withstanding), this film definitely feels like one to watch out for this summer.
Ek Tha Tiger
Release date: Eid 2012 (August)
Director: Kabir Khan
*ing: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif
This film makes the list not because Salman has been breaking box office records during Eid over the past couple of years (��Wanted�۪ (2009) and ��Bodyguard�۪ (2011) were major headaches), but because he unites with Yash Raj Films for the first time. We�۪re hoping a film produced by Aditya Chopra and directed by Kabir Khan is likely to make a bit more sense than the aforementioned excuses for films.
It also marks his return to a film co-starring rumoured ex-girlfriend Katrina, with whom he last shared screen space with in the abysmal ��Yuvraaj�۪ (2008).
Shot at exotic locations across the globe, as is typical with most high profile Yash Raj ventures, little is known about the film except the tagline which boldly states: ��All his life he fought for his country, this time he will fight for his love�۪. Well we�۪re definitely intrigued about this one.
Release date: 31st August 2012
Director: Shirish Kunder
*ing: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Minissha Lamba, Shreyas Talpade
We were a little weary of putting this film on the list, purely because it comes from the ��geniuses�۪ that gave us that awful film ��Tees Maar Khan�۪ in 2010.
The premise too borders on absurdity. It�۪s being described as a ��Hindi 3D sci-fi fantasy adventure thriller film�۪ by Shirish Kunder in his tweets, which makes us wonder whether Kunder has a miraculous script in his hands that ticks all the boxes, or one big mess of a film that can�۪t decide what it wants to be (we suspect the latter). It centres around a small isolated village that is forgotten after the India-Pakistan partition and how an alien invasion changes the lives of its inhabitants forever.
Sonakshi plays a village belle yet again and is in danger of becoming typecast whilst Akshay plays a village bumpkin who speaks gibberish.
The only reason this film makes it to the list is that it�۪s been in development for a couple of years and the initial stills of the film do look interesting irrespective of its preposterous plot. Here�۪s hoping for Shirish�۪s and Akshay�۪s sake that we�۪re right about our instincts of including it in this list purely because we think its going to be different and path-breaking.
Release date: 14th September 2012
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
*ing: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami
Known for his penchant of making hard hitting, women centric subjects that get actresses critical acclaim, Madhur Bhandarkar is back with what is being deemed as his most ambitious project to date.
��Heroine�۪ garnered a lot of press coverage last year, when Aishwarya Rai Bachchan��announced her pregnancy midway through the shooting, leaving Bhandarkar in the lurch and incurring massive losses for producers, UTV. All ended well though, when Kareena Kapoor, the director�۪s original choice, came on board at an astronomical price making��her one of the highest earning female artists in the country.
The film revolves around an actress�۪s rise to super-stardom and her subsequent fall, and even though it sounds like a mish mash of the director�۪s own ��Fashion�۪ (2008) and ��The Dirty Picture�۪, the sole reason it makes it to this list is Kareena Kapoor. Following a series of big budget blockbusters in which she had precious little to do, this one sounds like it will justify her acting chops and get all the coveted awards next year. We, for one, can�۪t wait.
Honorable mentions: These ones didn’t quite make the cut but we’re still planning on grabbing the popcorn and a seat at the cinema depending on their word of mouth:
Ram Gopal Verma’s ‘Department’ (Amitabh Bachchan,��Sanjay Dutt,��Rana Daggubati,��Naseeruddin Shah), Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Shanghai’ (Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol,��Kalki Koechlin) and Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Ferrari Ki Sawaari’ (Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani).
So there you have it. Our compilation of what we feel you should watch out for and the flicks all set to whet our appetites. Whether they live up to our huge expectations is another story altogether. Either way, we can’t wait for summer.