Film critic Vikrum Mathur previews this year’s Bollywood movies.
It’s that time of year, where I compile the most awaited Bollywood movies of the year to come! This year, we have a lot of big films coming out, featuring both superstars of the older and younger generations. As always, it is unclear right now how these films will fare, but given the hype around them, they are at least guaranteed bumper openings at the box office.
Here are the most awaited Bollywood movies of 2017:
- Ok Jaanu
Release Date: January 13
This rom-com starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor is exciting for two main reasons. One, it reunites this hit pairing from Aashiqui 2. Second, it is produced by both Mani Ratnam and Karan Johar, two of Indian cinema’s biggest names, and directed by Shaad Ali (Saathiya, , Bunty Aur Babli, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, and Kill Dill). Based on the trailer, this is a film for the youth, focusing on live-in relationships and love. Whether the film will offer anything new, as there are many movies on this topic now, is yet to be seen. However, with all of the big names attached, there must be something here that is compelling. This will be the first big release of the year.
Release Date: January 25
People have been waiting for this film since its announcement in 2015. The first big blockbuster release of the year, this movie stars Shahrukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Mahira Khan. The plot supposedly revolves around a Gujarati don who is illegally involved in the alcohol business. When a tough cop gets on his trail, the don has to strategically counter the cop’s every move to avoid getting caught.
Everything about this movie seems right. It has a superstar in the lead role (SRK), it has a brilliant actor as his nemesis (Nawazuddin), it has music which is starting to get popular, and it has a director known for making offbeat cinema, Rahul Dholakia (PARZANIA, LAMHAA), at the helm. SRK always excels in negative roles and, going off the trailer, he has nailed it yet again. The cinematography seems great, the visuals seem dark and grimy (in a good way), and I am confident that this movie, after such a long delay, will finally give SRK the big moneymaker he has been chasing since the debacle of RA. ONE.
Release Date: January 25
Yes, this film will be clashing with RAEES, but it seems poised to give that film tough competition. Starring Hrithik Roshan, Yami Gautam, Rohit Roy, and Ronit Roy, Kaabil is directed by the brilliant Sanjay Gupta (Jazbaa, Kaante, Shootout at Wadala) and produced by my favorite Hindi movie director Rakesh Roshan. Telling the story of a blind couple wronged by two very evil villains, the movie is a revenge story, a genre that the Roshans do best. Although for me at this moment it is hard to grasp Hrithik’s character in the film as believable, I am sure that audiences will suspend their belief and make this one a huge moneymaker. This film has a winning combination of actors, filmmakers, and music (Rajesh Roshan), and will certainly appeal to the masses. Kaabil is one of the most anticipated films of the year.
- Jolly LLB 2
Release Date: February 10
Akshay Kumar is back in yet another comedy film, only this time, it is a social satire. This film is a sequel to Jolly LLB, released a few years back starring Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, and Saurabh Shukla. It was a surprise hit and thus the director, Subhash Kapoor, decided to move forward with a sequel featuring new characters, only this time led by Akshay. Saurabh Shukla is back in this film, with the antagonist being played by Annu Kapoor, and heroine played by Huma Qureshi.
Supposedly, the movie is based off of true incidents involving a court case with an ambitious but righteous lawyer facing a corrupt one. Akshay is currently in the best phase of his career, giving hit after hit, in every genre. The trailer for this has already garnered tremendous buzz and it is safe to say that this will add more to Akshay’s repertoire in the year to come.
Release Date: February 24
A Vishal Bharadwaj (Omkara, Haider, Maqbool, Kaminey) film is always special. The filmmaker is known for making quirky films, that are driven solely by creativity and content. For his newest project Rangoon, of which the story is unknown besides the fact that it takes place in the earlier 20th century, Bharadwaj has been able to bring together an amazing star cast that includes Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor, and Kangana Ranaut. Undoubtedly, this film will have brilliant performances coupled with a novel story, and will appeal to the multiplex audiences of India.
- Badrinath Ki Dulhania
Release Date: March 10
This sequel to the superhit Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is pretty much already a success guaranteed. It reunites the stars of the original, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, and the director Shahshank Khaitan. Furthermore, it has Karan Johar as producer, who pretty much ensures that he only produces films that offer something new and fun. This sequel will feature new characters in the lead, and will take place in a more rustic setting. This will be the first “fun” film of the year, and the youth are bound to lap it up because it stars two of the most talented performers in the younger generations of actors.
- Sarkar 3
Release Date: March 17
After a long hiatus, director Ram Gopal Varma is back with the third chapter of his desi godfather saga. Although I have yet to see the 2nd “Sarkar” film Sarkar Raj, its massive success indicates it was even better than its predecessor Sarkar, which I loved. In this installment, we see Amitabh Bachchan returning in the title role, and he will be joined by a gaggle of talented actors that include Manoj Bajpai, Yami Gautam, Jackie Shroff, and Ronit Roy. Varma’s best films have been in the gangster genre, whether it was Sarkar, Company, or the legendary Satya. Although Varma has lost his touch in recent years, one can only hope that it comes back with this film, which is one of the most anticipated films of the year.
- Jagga Jasoos
Release Date: April 7
Ranbir Kapoor’s long in the making home production, directed by Anurag Basu and co-starring Katrina Kaif, will finally release this year. Much has been said about this comic caper for children, from heavy re-shoots to the conflicts between the leads, but audiences will now have a chance to judge for themselves whether all of the effort was worth it. Anurag and Ranbir gave a blockbuster film with Barfi in 2012, and it is yet to be seen whether their combo will set cash registers jingling again. The movie supposedly revolves around a nerdy detective and his sidekick who plunge into a myriad of adventures while trying to solve a case. Going by the trailer, the film seems in the vein of a lighter Indiana Jones, which is a unique style of filmmaking from India. Hopefully, the film’s reputation will be vindicated when it releases on April 7.
Release Date: April 21
Not much is known about this Saif Ali Khan starrer directed by Akshat Verma (writer of Delhi Belly). Saif is known to pick films out of the box and I am sure that this one will be no different, featuring some sort of quirk to the plot. Let’s see what this will turn out to be this April.
- Baahubali 2
Release Date: April 28
Baahubali, although not a Hindi film, became one of the most successful films all around India in 2015. Being the first chapter in a series, audiences were enthralled by the epic fantasy film featuring never before seen special effects, costumes, sets, and action sequences. The director, SS Rajamouli, is one of the shining star filmmakers in South India, who impressed me with his film Makkhi. Given the success of its predecessor, Baahubali 2 is already touted to be a mammoth success, and will set new records at the Indian box office when it releases in April this year. The cast of the original will also be back in this film.
- 11. Meri Pyaari Bindu
Release Date: May 12
Yash Raj Films presents this rom-com starring the fresh pairing of Ayushman Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra, directed by newcomer Akshay Roy. Another project shrouded in secrecy, this film will certainly be an interesting watch, featuring 2 of the most vibrant performers of the younger generation of actors. YRF is always known to produce quality projects, and this should be no different.
- Half Girfriend
Release Date: May 19
Mohit Suri, boy wonder director of numerous hit Mahesh Bhatt films, Aashiqui 2, and Ek Villain, returns with this adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name. Starring Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, this rom-com is expected to be as popular as the book it is based off of. With such talents involved, the film should be a unique cinematic experience.
- Toilet – Ek Prem Katha
Release Date: June 2
I was intrigued simply by the title. My excitement grew when I found Akshay is the star of this social satire on sanitary issues in India. Co-starring Bhumi Pednekar, the brilliant performer from Dum Laga Ke Haisha, I am sure this film will shed some light on these issues plaguing India, albeit in a light manner. Akshay’s script sense of late is impeccable, and this should be an insightful take on an important problem.
Release Date: June 9
Actor Sushant Singh Rajput is flying high right now as a result of his last film MS Dhoni: An Untold Story, doing phenomenal business at the box office last year. This romance, directed by Saif Ali Khan’s longtime business partner Dinesh Vijan, seems geared to appeal to the youth, co-starring Kriti Sanon. If there is real emotion and novelty to the story, it should fare just fine at the box office this year.
Release Date: June 26
The first release of superstar Salman Khan of the year, this is very keenly awaited. The film is directed by Kabir Khan, who has a solid success record with Salman, giving him some of his most memorable films (Ek Tha Tiger, Bajrangi Bhaijaan). Reportedly a period film taking place during the war between India and China some decades ago, the film is expected to be an emotional roller coaster featuring a romance between an Indian man and Chinese woman. Expect this movie to break many records when it releases this June.
- Munna Michael
Release Date: July 7
Jackie Shroff’s son Tiger has found cult status among the youth of today for his dancing and action abilities. He reunites this year with director Sabbir Khan, who launched him in Heropanti and directed him in Baaghi, for this action piece. Expect great stunts and music in this masala venture, which also features Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ronit Roy and newcomer Nidhhi Agarwal in the lead.
Release Date: July 14
Another Saif Ali Khan release, this movie is a remake of the Hollywood film of the same name. Being directed by Raja Krishna Menon of Airlift fame, it will be interesting to see how this movie differs from the original. Although featuring a good actor in the lead, and being directed by a competent director, what worries me is the fact that now in India people have access to American films. This movie has to give something new, otherwise people can just as easily watch the American film, which has garnered tremendous critical acclaim already.
- Bareilly Ki Barfi
Release Date: July 21
Another rom-com featuring Ayushman Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, and Kriti Sanon, the unique star cast makes this one sound like an interesting experience. Let’s see what this one is all about when it releases this July.
Release Date: July 28
I am really looking forward to this Anees Bazmee (No Entry, Welcome, Sing is Kinng, Ready) directed comic caper starring Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, and Athiya Shetty. Reportedly involving the uncle and nephew going head to head, with double roles at a wedding, this seems poised to be the first out and out comedy of the year. Although Bazmee has had some misses in the recent years (Welcome Back, No Problem), the plot of this movie sounds like just the kind of movie I would want to watch in the summer. I expect this to be a massive success upon its release.
Release Date: August 4
Another film where not much is known, this should be a fascinating experience because it is directed by Omung Kumar (Mary Kom, Sarbjit) and will be the comeback of actor Sanjay Dutt after his stint in prison.
- Untitled Imtiaz Ali/Shahrukh Khan/Anushka Sharma film
Release Date: August 11
One of my most awaited movies of the year, this movie stars the unbeatable pair of Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. The details of the film have been kept under wraps, but what is known is that the film has been shot in Europe and India, is a romance, and is a different kind of film for SRK. Ali’s last film Tamasha really disappointed me, so I hope he has made something more simple and enjoyable this time, with shades of Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal. SRK is trying his hand once again at different cinema with new directors. Let’s see how he fares. The title of the film still remains up in the air between The Ring and Rahnuma.
Release Date: August 25
The heartthrob of today, Sidharth Malhotra, pairs up with the gorgeous Jaqueline Fernandez for this sequel to 2014’s Bang Bang. Expected to be an action extravaganza exceeding its predecessor, the film is directed by Raj and DK, two filmmakers from the United States. If the script is better than its prequel, this should be a memorable action film coming from India.
Release Date: September 1
Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi are back together in this action caper, directed by Milan Luthria (Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, The Dirty Picture). Ileana D’Cruz, Esha Gupta, and Vidyut Jamwal round out the remaining cast. This seems to be a winning combination of actors to me, and should be one of the biggest hits of 2017.
- Judwaa 2
Release Date: September 29
Varun Dhawan once again will be directed by his father David Dhawan in this reboot to the 1997 classic starring Salman Khan. The plot is under wraps besides the fact that Varun will have a double role and Jaqueline Fernandez and Tapsee Pannu have been announced as the female leads. Varun is an excellent performer, especially in comedy, and his father is a legendary director in the field of comedy. This should be a sure shot hit.
- Aankhen 2
Release Date: October 19
Amitabh Bachchan is back in his terrifying role as the villain from the 2002 hit Aankhen. This time, Anees Bazmee directs, and Arshad Warsi, Anil Kapoor, Arjun Rampal round out the supporting cast. The story will revolve around another heist, crazier than the first film. To top that is a challenge, and it will be interesting to see whether Bazmee can pull it off with this release.
Release Date: October 19
The long awaited sequel to superstar Rajinikanth’s Robot will release this year. Like its prequel, this film is directed by Shankar, who stunned audiences with the special effects innovations of Robot. What makes this movie special is that Rajinikanth’s Chitti character will have to go head to head with a new super villain played by none other than…Akshay Kumar. The gorgeous Amy Jackson plays the female lead. This will be one of the most interesting films of the year, and I can’t wait till it hits theaters this Diwali.
- Golmaal Again
Release Date: October 19
Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgn are back with this 4th film in the Golmaal franchise. Containing a huge devoted fan base, this movie will also see the return of Tushar Kapoor in one of his most famous roles as Lucky and Parineeti Chopra will join the chaos as the main female lead. Rohit Shetty is one of the most successful commercial directors in today’s times, and this will be one of the most fun movies to release this year.
Release Date: November 17
The most expensive Hindi film of all time, this Sanjay Leela Bhansali epic features an amazing star cast of Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Shahid Kapoor. Bhansali has only gone from strength to strength over the years, and his films are quite honestly the most visually enchanting movies India has ever produced. This film takes place in Rajasthan and tells the story of Sultan Alauddin Khilji and his obsessive love for the already married Rani Padmini. I expect this movie to break all records and take Ranveer and Deepika to an even higher league than the one they are in currently. Can’t wait for this one!
- Tiger Zinda Hai
Release Date: December 23
Expect the year to end with a bang with this sequel to Ek Tha Tiger. Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif will be back in the main roles, only this time to be directed by Ali Abbas Zafar of Sultan fame. The film has not yet gone in production so its story is unknown, but all one needs to hear is Salman Khan and the film is guaranteed to be a blockbuster.
ALSO EXPECTED THIS YEAR
Release Date: Unknown
Another Akshay Kumar release, this will be a biopic about the man who helped find solutions for sanitation measures for women in India. It will be directed by R. Balki (Paa, Ki & Ka, Cheeni Kum, Shamitabh). Another fascinating project for Akshay!
These are the interesting films that will release this year from Bollywood. I’m waiting with bated breath for all of them. Are you? Happy watching!
(Vikrum Mathur is a political professional, actor, and avid film buff who resides in Maryland)
More from Vikrum Mathur:
- The most entertaining Hollywood films of 2016 (January 2, 2017)
- The state of Bollywood in 2016 – Did superstars grow or decline? (December 31, 2016)
- Movie Review: Dear Zindagi makes you go ‘Dear Movie’ (November 24, 2016)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is simply ‘fantastic’ (November 19, 2016)
- Review: Love Stinks: ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ (October 30, 2016)
- Review: Mohenjo Daro impresses, despite large flaws (August 18, 2016)
- Review: ‘Suicide Squad’ charms and entertains (August 8, 2016)
- Review: With ‘Sultan,’ Salman Khan continues to prove why he is a superstar (July 11, 2016)
- Independence Day: Resurgence – A fun, nostalgic ride (June 30, 2016)
- HOUSEFULL 3 brings a refreshing lightness to the series (June 6, 2016)
- Titli: A fascinating film on life in India (March 30, 2016)
- Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – The birth of a new superhero cinematic era (March 29, 2016)
- Pyaar kar: A guide to some of the most romantic Bollywood movies (February 14, 2016)
- The Best of Bollywood 2015: The Year’s Most Entertaining Films (January 6, 2016)
- Bollywood 2016: A guide to the most awaited films of the year (January 1, 2016)
- The Modern Saint: a tribute to filmmaker Ramanand Sagar (December 29, 2015)
- Vinay Pathak sparkles in brilliant play Nothing Like Lear staged in Maryland (September 22, 2014)