The year 2018 was no less than a nightmare for Bollywood with respect to movies of superstars. While Salman Khan’s Race 3 turned out to be the most trolled movie of the year, Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan to be declared a box-office disaster and Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero was the worst of the three. While the Khans have floundered, other actors have been up to the task (or perhaps, because other actors have been up to it, the Khans have floundered). Vicky Kaushal and Rajkummar Rao continued to consistently keep up with their deserved reputation as actors for the future, and Mr Consistent Ayushmann Khurana ended up as the ultimate winner with the two biggest hits of the year in Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho.
The only thing the success stories have in common is that they have nothing in common: there is no longer a tried and true formula for audiences. People lap up all content in all forms now, and make decisions based on the story rather than the marketing budget.
Now in 2019, there are numerous films slated to be released. Let’s have a look:
The Accidental Prime Minister (11 January) : Based on the book by Sanjay Baru, who was an adviser to former PM Manmohan Singh, the film shows Manmohan Singh’s political journey. With Anupam Kher playing the role of Manmohan Singh, the first look posters and teaser has drawn attention. Anupam Kher’s resemblance to Manmohan Singh is perfect. One of the highly anticipated releases of 2019, the political drama is expected to create some controversy.
Uri – the surgical strike (11 January) : Vicky Kaushal acted well in 2018. His films like Raazi, Sanju and Manmarziyaan were good cinema. This year he is portrayed as an army officer in URI which is inspired from the surgical strikes on Pakistan in 2016 after the Uri base camp in Jammu was attacked. The film has Yami Gautam too & is directed by debutant Aditya Dhar.
Manikarnika. (Rani LaxmiBai of Jhansi) (25 January) : This much-awaited historical drama will see Kangana Ranaut playing the role of Rani Laxmibhai of Jhnasi who took on a fight against the British East India Company. The big-budget film has been creating controversies since its launch with a fringe outfit demanding a ban on the film. The film was back in the news again after actor Sonu Sood walked out of the film following disagreements with Kangana who had stepped as the director. Manikarnika also features Ankita Lokhande, Danny Denzongappa, Atul Kulkarni and Zeeshan Ayub.
Thackeray (25 January) : Thackeray is an upcoming bilingual (Hindi & Marathi) biographical film written and directed by Abhijit Phanse. Showcasing the life of Bal Thackeray, the founder of the Indian political party Shiv Sena, the film stars Nawazuddin Siddique playing the role of Balasaheb & Amrita Rao as his wife.
Super 30 (25 January) : In this biopic, Hrithik Roshan portrays Bihar-based mathematician and teacher Anand Kumar whose Super 30 institute is famous for picking 30 meritorious students from economically backward families every year and training them for the IIT-JEE. Directed by Vikas Bahl, Super 30 is produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and Phantom Films.
Cheat India (25 January) : A con man decides to take advantage of an academic world where there are very few opportunities and too many aspirants, and only the smartest can survive. From rigging examinations to forging certificates, his schemes will both exploit and expose the failings of an Indian education system fraught with problems. This film features Emraan Hashmi in lead role and directed by Soumik Sen.
Ek Ladki ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (February 11) : The film will see father-daughter duo Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor sharing screen space for the first time. The trailer sends the impression the film revolves around family, and same sex love. The subject makes it a much awaited film this year. Also featuring Juhi Chawla and Rajkummar Rao, the film is directed by Shelly Chopra.
Gully Boy (February 14) : This musical drama directed by Zoya Akhtar features Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in the lead. The film is inspired by the real life stories of Mumbai-based street rappers Vivian Fernandes( Divine) &Naved Shaikh (Naezy), known for their song Mere Gully Mein.
Total Dhamaal (22 February) : Total Dhamaal is the third in the series of Dhamaal. It stars most of the actors from the previous film, including Arshad Warsi, Sanjay Dutt, Ritesh Deshmukh, Jaaved Jaaferi and Aashish Chaudhry. The film promises to make the entertainment triple the what it was in the prequels.
Badla (8 march) : Badla is an upcoming Hindi film directed by Sujoy Ghosh and starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu. The film is the remake of the 2016 Spanish thriller film Contratiempo. The film is produced by Red Chillies Entertainment in association with Azure Entertainment.
Kesari (21 March) : A period drama starring Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra in the lead, Kesari is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Based on 1897 epic Battle of Saragarhi where 21 brave Sikhs fought till their last breathe against the massive 10,000 Afghan soldiers. The film is directed by Anurag Singh.
Mental hai Kya (29 march) : Mental Hai Kya is an upcoming Indian black comedy drama thriller film starring Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao, Shaheer Sheikh, Amyra Dastur, and Jimmy Sheirgill. It is produced by Ekta Kapoor and directed by Prakash Kovelamudi; the screenplay was written by Kanika Dhillon.
Hotel Mumbai (30 March) : Based on the Mumbai attacks of 26/11, Hotel Mumbai is an Indian-American-Australian thriller film directed by Anthony Maras and written by John Collee and Maras. It is based on the 2009 documentary Surviving Mumbai about the Mumbai attacks in 2008 at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in India.
Junglee (5 April) : In Junglee, Vidyut will be seen as a veterinarian who on his homecoming to his father’s elephant reserve, encounters and fights an international poaching racket. It has some serious stunts & action. Produced by Vineet Jain, Junglee is slated for its release on April 5, 2019.
Kalank (April 19) : Produced by Karan Johar, this big budget epic drama is said to be one of Karan Johar’s dream projects. According to reports, the film which is set against partition and the independence struggle, was conceptualised by Karan & his father Yash Johar 15 years ago. Directed by Abhishek Varman, this could be one of the biggest releases this year. The cast comprises of Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha and Aditya Roy Kapur.
Student Of The Year 2 (10 May) : Marking the debuts of Ananya Panday and Tara Sutaria alongside Tiger Shroff is Punit Malhotra’s Student Of The Year 2.The film is a sequel to Dharma Productions 2012 release which starred Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra in the lead. SOTY 2 will also feature Aditya Seal in a pivotal role, while Will Smith too makes a special appearance. This film has created immense buzz.
Bharat (5 June) : Bharat is an upcoming Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and jointly produced by Atul Agnihotri, Alvira Khan Agnihotri, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Nikhil Namit and Salman Khan. The film stars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Tabu, and Disha Patani. Principal photography began in June 2018 and Bharat is scheduled for a theatrical release on Eid 2019. It is based on the book Ode To My Father.
Kabir Singh (June 21) : Directed by Sandeep Vanga, the film is the official remake of Telugu hit Arjun Reddy. Starring Shahid Kapoor in the lead role, the film is about an alcoholic surgeon who heads down on a self-destructive path after his lover marries someone else. Kiara Advani also plays a key role in the film.
Good News (19 July) : Akshay Kumar, Kareena, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani are the lead actors in this Karan Johar film. This film revolves around a Punjabi married couple trying to have a baby.
Batla House (15 August) : Batla House is an upcoming 2019 Indian action thriller film based on the Batla House encounter case that took place on 19 September 2008. The film is directed by Nikkhil Advani and starring John Abraham and Mrunal Thakur in the lead role.
Mission Mangal (August 15) : Based on the real life story of women scientists behind ISRO’s successful Mangalyaan mission, the film features Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Kriti Kulhari and Sharman Joshi. It is directed by Jagan Shakti and produced by Padman director R. Balki.
Chichore (30 Aug) : The coming-of-age content driven film Chhichhore is upcoming 2019 Bollywood comedy film directed by Nitesh Tiwari and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under the banner of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment.
Housefull 4 (2 October) : Housefull 4 is an upcoming Indian action comedy film directed by Farhad Samji, and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under the banner of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. The film is the fourth in the series of Housefull.
Brahmastra (December 20) : The first part in a trilogy, this movie is directed by Ayan Mukherjee. It is a superhero movie. It features Ranbir Kapoor in the lead. The cast also boasts of Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna, Dimple Kapadia and Mouni Roy. A major part of the film has been shot in the picturesque locations of Bulgaria.
For movies that are not that hot but could turn out to be a potential money spinner like Badhai Ho…
January – Salt Bridge. Bombairiya. The Good Maharaja. T for Taj Mahal, Lihaaf, Khamiyaaza, Amavas, Fraud Saiyaan, Cheat India, Dosti Ke Side Effects, Jhol, etc.
February – Phobia 2, Raat Akeli Hai, Body, Umakant Pandey Purus Ya? The music teacher, Chor Nikal kar Bhaaga, Ghoomketu, Lafange Nawab, Cargo, The Tenant, Bhonsle, etc.
March – Googly, Looka Chuppi, Farzi, Badla, Kashi To Kashmir, etc.
April – Abhi To Party Shuru Hui Hai, Zoya Factor, Motichoor Chaknachoor, De De Pyaar De, etc.
May – Arjun Patiala, Radha Kyun Gori Main Kyun Kaala, 1911, Gumnaam, Hume Tumse Pyaar Kitna, Blockbuster, Hathi Mere Sathi, Cabaret, Kaamyaab, Cobra, etc.
June – Turram Khan, Sade Sati, Dancing Dad, Bharat, Mardaani 2, Sin, Crack, Romeo Akbar Walter, etc.
July – The Maya Tape, Bhaichung Bhutia Biopic, Good news, Palki, Bypass Road, Gehraee, etc.
August – Family Of Thakurganj, Imali, Mogul, Tadka, Mahila Mandali, Dream Girl, Made in China, etc.
September – Taanaji The Unsung Warrior, Jawani Jane man, Malang, Jungle Cry, etc.
October – Chanakya, Coolie No 1.(Remake), Talvar, Choti si Baat (Remake), Rambo, Jhunnd, etc.
November – Crazy Hum, Sadak 2, Hamari Shaadi, 90 minutes,etc.
December – Mahavir Karna, Dr Abdul Kalam, Panipat, Rowdy Rathore 2, Hera Pheri 3,etc.
But, the most awaited for me is the multi-lingual film Saaho. This is the only film Prabhas has been doing post Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. This should be worth it