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VOL 23 NO 54 REGD NO DA 1589 | Dhaka, Monday, January 4 2016
Posted : 04 Jan, 2016 10:47:00 AA-A+
Top ten Bollywood films for 2016
Top ten Bollywood films for 2016

Quality content ruled Hindi cinema last year, with unique stories such as Masaan, Titli and Margarita, with A Straw not only winning acclaim at international film festivals but also getting worldwide releases. The focus on strong scripts looks set to continue in the new year with all manner of great entertainment – from sports biopics and period dramas to blockbuster comedies. A leading UAE based online news portal picks 10 of the most promising options.

WAZIR : The year kicks off with a psychological thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar. Wazir is the story of two men who bond over chess and a common adversary. Wheelchair-bound Pandit Omkarnath Dhar is a chess grandmaster, while Daanish Ali, an officer with an anti-terrorist squad, loses his daughter and his job during the course of his duties. Wazir brings together genius producers Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani and screenwriter Abhijat Joshi, the trio behind blockbuster comedies 3 Idiots, PK and the Munnabhai franchise. Trivia: Akhtar and Bachchan stepped into the recording studio to sing the foot- tapping track Atrangi Yaari. Actors to watch: Aditi Rao Hydari, who plays Akhtar’s wife, and Neil Nitin Mukesh and John Abraham, who take on negative roles. Release date January 7

AIRLIFT : Another exciting release this month. Airlift is inspired by one of the biggest and most-successful evacuations in world history. Starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur in the lead roles, it is set during the Kuwait-Iraq war of the 1990s, when 170,000 Indian expats were evacuated from Kuwait to India in 59 days on 488 flights. Air India, India’s national airline, was recognised by Guinness World Records as the first civil-aviation company to accomplish such a mammoth task. Kumar plays real-life millionaire businessman Ranjit Katyal, who put everything on the line to help the government with the evacuation. The film was largely shot in Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah. Trivia: Kumar reportedly learnt to speak Arabic for his role. Release date January 21

KI AND KA: Spring brings with it a breezy celluloid romance between Arjun Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. This love story about a stay-at-home husband and his career-focused wife promises to bring a fresh perspective to the screen. The film’s title is derived from the words ladki (girl) and ladka (boy), since it is all about role reversal. Actors to watch: Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, who play themselves. Their roles are short but significant, filmed over just two days at their Mumbai home. Trivia: Director R Balki has a track record of making heart-warming films, including Cheeni Kum, Paa and Shamitabh, all with Amitabh in the main role. Release date March 31

FAN:  One of the most-anticipated films of 2016, Fan stars Shah Rukh Khan in a double role: he portrays superstar Aryan Khanna as well as the fictitious Khanna’s biggest fan, Gaurav. To make him look like a 25-year-old, Hollywood make-up artist Greg Cannom used prosthetics, which was a first for the actor. Directed by Maneesh Sharma – of Band Baaja Baaraat and Shuddh Desi Romance fame – Fan promises to be different from the masala blockbusters SRK has delivered in the past few years. Actors to watch: Ileana D’Cruz and Vani Kapoor, the leading ladies in this Yash Raj Films production, which was shot in Croatia and London. Trivia: The film’s logo is a collage of images of 100 SRK fans. King Khan can be heard talking like a true-blue Delhiite in the drama. Release date  April 14

JAGGA JASOOS : A teenage detective, girlfriend in tow, goes looking for his missing stepfather in Jagga Jasoos. Ranbir Kapoor and real-life partner Katrina Kaif will share the screen for a third time, after Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009) and Raajneeti (2010). The film should be billed as a musical, peppered as it is with 15 songs. A television series, called Junior Jagga, which traces Jagga’s childhood and is a kind of prequel to the film, is also on the cards. Trivia: Kapoor and Kaif’s numerous reported real-life quarrels on the set apparently gave director and producer Anurag Basu quite a headache. Release date  June 2

RAEES : A sociopolitical drama set in the 1980s, Shah Rukh Khan plays the title role in this film about a gangster in Gujarat, a state in which alcohol is banned. “It’s like a biopic of a man who rises from nothing and becomes powerful,” SRK said of the film, which features his first morally dubious role for several years. Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, known for her television appearance in Humsafar and the Pakistani film Bin Roye, makes her Bollywood debut in Raees, in which she plays SRK’s love interest. Nawazuddin Siddiqui portrays Ghulam Patel, a cop who chases the gangster. The film is produced by Red Chillies Entertainment and Farhan Akhtar’s company, Excel Entertainment. Releas date July 2

SULTAN: Salman Khan put on weight (and shed 10 years) for the role of a 40-year-old Haryani wrestler, in what is his second Yash Raj Films production after Ek Tha Tiger (2012). It might seem incredible, but the already beefy Khan bulked up more for the role. He also underwent intensive training, led by international fight choreographer Larnell Stovall, while Hollywood’s Chad Guerrero will be his stunt double for fight sequences. Trivia: Rumour has it that Sylvester Stallone will be called upon if Sanjay Dutt is not out of prison to shoot the special role written for him. Evergreen actress Rekha plays Khan’s mother. The leading lady has not been announced yet. Release date  July 2

MOHENJO DARO:Hrithik Roshan returns with this epic historical drama, set in 2,600BC, in which he fights barehanded with wild animals and romances Tollywood actress Pooja Hegde. The film reunites director Ashutosh Gowarikar with Roshan, eight years after their superhit Jodhaa Akbar. A love story set in the Indus Valley Civilisation, the film has been shot largely in Bhuj in Gujarat. The musical score is by Academy Award-winner A R Rahman. Trivia: Roshan has a VFX-enhanced fight with a seven-metre-long crocodile. His 500 million rupee (Dh27m) fee is rumoured to be half the film’s budget. Relese date  August 11

AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL : Karan Johar experiments with love stories again, this time one between a married woman and a younger married man. Ranbir Kapoor plays the main character, who is torn between two women – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma. The story is said to be inspired by Julia Roberts’s 2004 Hollywood drama Closer, as much as Bollywood film Doosra Aadmi (1977), but Johar says it is original. The film was shot in Paris, Vienna and London. Support comes from Pakistani heartthrobs Fawad Khan and Imran Abbas Naqvi. Trivia: the film is special for Johar, because he managed to get Aishwarya on board – he unsuccessfully tried casting her in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1993), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). Release date  October 27

DANGAL: With Dangal, Aamir Khan reinvents himself yet again, this time as a wrestler who trains his daughters to fight. In a country where wrestling is dominated by men, the film seeks to spread awareness about sexism – and depicts Khan trying to make international wrestling champions out of his daughters in a patriarchal Haryana village. But, for Mahavir Singh Phogat, the sportsman on whom the biopic is based, the issue was real and so are his daughters, Babita and Geeta. Trivia: Khan, 50, risked his health to train hard and pile on 30 kilograms, all while travelling to meet rural folk in Haryana and spend time with the Phogat family. Release date December 22. Asfar


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