Bollywood’s Big Festive Four

02 Nov,2018

 

By Shailesh Kapoor

 

It’s been an exceptional year for Hindi theatrical business so far. The flow of hits has been consistent over the year. A series of seemingly ‘regular’ films, made in humble budgets, have cut through and become big, the latest being the delightful Badhaai Ho. As the year nears its end, it is set to be the watershed year that reverses the trend of declining footfalls and poor success ratio. How big will 2018 be over 2017 will, however, depend on the eight weeks that remain.

 

The last two months of the year are packed with four big films, each with a mammoth potential of its own. If three or more of these films land where they can be expected to, given the credentials of the people involved, we may be looking at an exceptional 2018.

 

Thugs Of Hindostan is first of the four, releasing next week on November 8. The film is set to be the widest release ever in India. It has many records to chase, especially in terms of a huge opening day and an opening weekend. The makers (Yash Raj Films) haven’t put out too much material, leaving a sense of intrigue around what anyway is a fairly unusual film for the Bollywood market in today’s times. Thugs Of Hindostan is incidentally Aamir Khan’s first Diwali release in 22 years, after the blockbuster Raja Hindustani in 1996.

 

2.0, the next film from the Robot (Enthiran) franchise, is releasing on November 29. The trailer is out tomorrow (November 3). It’s a film that promises to give India a definitive leap in the genre of spectacle cinema. The numbers that can be expected, not just from India but globally, have the potential to make many other big films look very small in comparison. Shankar, like SS Rajamouli, is a director with great vision and storytelling skills. Great VFX are a given. But don’t be surprised if 2.0 has emotional depth too.

 

The most intriguing film of the four is Aanand L. Rai’s Zero, whose trailer releases today on the birthday of its lead star Shahrukh Khan. Rai has forged a name for himself with the genuinely authentic Tanu Weds Manu films, especially the second one. He’s worked on this ambitious project since that film released in 2015. SRK hasn’t given a film that’s truly found audience appreciation for a while now. Very little is known about Zero, except SRK playing a dwarf, at the time of writing this. But if Rai can marry his world with SRK’s, we could be looking at something very special. Zero releases on December 21.

 

Simmba, Rohit Shetty’s cop masala action flick with Ranveer Singh, will round up the year on December 28. Singh got accolades for playing Khilji in an all-out, no-holds-barred way, in Padmaavat earlier this year. But this is his big solo film, where everything rests of his shoulders. It’s his Singham. And we can expect him to make it his own. Simmba is more ‘routine’ that the other three films on this list. But never write the staple off.

 

See you at the movies. Four times over.

 

 

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