BBC Bollywood Correspondent Manish Gajjar previews the major films of 2010
2009 has been the worst year ever for the Bollywood film industry in terms of box office gains.
The long drawn Bollywood strike over film rental charges between producers and Mumbai multiplexes greatly affected UK Hindi film releases in the first quarter of 2009.
Rising unemployment and global economic downturn saw dwindling audience numbers in cinemas. This broke the banks of many established Asian distributors as a sense of insecurity and unpredictability took hold of the film industry.
The only film to reach the 1 million mark at the UK box office was the Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone romantic comedy, ‘Love Aaj Kal’ closely followed by the swashbuckling ‘Kambakkht Ishq’, a collaboration of Hollywood and Bollywood stars.
Undeterred by 2009’s outcome, the world’s biggest film industry and its stars are ready to bounce back big time in 2010.
The New Year sees the release of Dulha Mil Gaya, a romantic comedy with Shah Rukh Khan making an extended guest appearance alongside Sushmita Sen and Fardeen Khan.
Pyaar Impossible sees Uday and Priyanka Chopra in a love story of impossible proportions when an awkward, bespectacled geek falls for the world’s most desirable woman.
Reported to be his life story, Shahid Kapoor stars alongside Genelia D’ Souza in the feel good entertainer, Chance Pe Dance about a struggling dancer whose Bollywood dream comes true after overcoming life’s most difficult hurdles. Shahid will also be seen in a more realistic romance, Milenge Milenge with Kareena Kapoor.
The greatly anticipated movie of 2010, Veer, sees Salman Khan as the fearless warrior taking on the might of the British Empire in an epic saga of fierce pride and poignant love ably supported by Jackie Shroff, Sohail Khan, Zarine Khan.
Salman pairs up with brother Sohail to play a corrupt police officer in Dabanng highlighting the flaws and loopholes in the Indian police force of Utter Pradesh and Bihar.
The magic of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol once again unfolds in My Name is Khan – a story of love and hope. Predicted tobe the biggest box office blockbuster in the history of Indian cinema, Khan plays a Muslim suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, detained as a suspected terrorist.
Jodhaa Akbar star Hrithik Roshan and Latin sensation, Barbara Mori star in the greatly anticipated romance, Kites. Directed by Anurag Basu, Kites’ lavish cross-cultural story based on a salsa teacher with spectacular dance sequences is ready to woo audiences upon release. A Hindi and English version will release simultaneously to attract a cross-over audience.
Hrithik will also be seen with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s sensitive Euthanasia drama, Guzaarish, where a married nurse falls in love with a wheelchair-bound patient.
Rock On star Farhan Aktar appears in Karthik Calling Karthik, a thrilling and romantic journey of a lovable loser, Karthik, whose life changes with the help of someone who also claims to be Karthik.
Vivek Oberoi’s performance was appreciated in the terrorist thriller ‘Kurbaan’. He will now be seen in Prince Its Showtime, a fast paced slick action thriller keeping you on the edge of your seat with its twists and turns.
Himmesh Reshamiya makes his presence felt despite his previous box office debacles in Kajraare seeing him as a lawyer falling in love with a prostitute.
You can look forward Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Akshay Kumar in Action Replay, a time travel tale based on 1950s Mumbai. They are accompanied by veteran actor Randhir Kapoor and Neha Dhupia.
‘Heyy Baby’ director Sajid Khan’s House Full is confirmed for a summer release. A romantic comedy with mass appeal, House Full stars Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Riteish Deshmukh, Jiah Khan, Arjun Rampal and Lara Dutta.
Audiences did not take a shine to director Ashutosh Gowariker’s 2009 release, ‘Whats Your Raashee’. But always thriving to do something different, Gowariker is busy directing a period thriller based on Chittagong Uprising of 1930 – Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. Predicted to be a commercial success, it stars Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles.
‘Welcome’ and ‘Singh is Kinng’ director Anees Bazmee returns with yet another crazy comic caper, No Problem. With a cast like Anil Kapoor Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Khanna, Paresh Rawal, Bipasha Basu, Kangna Ranaut and Sushmita Sen, there’s definitely ‘no problem’ with this release!
Sanjay Dutt of ‘Blue’ fame and Kangna Ranaut who terrified us in ‘Raaz –The Mystery Continues’, are seen in Mani Shankar’s stylish action flick, Knock Out. They are supported by Irrfan Khan (Billu Barber) and Gulshan Grover.
‘De Dana Dan’ comedian Paresh Rawal plans to bring the house down with his unique sense of humour. He becomes the unwanted guest to married couple Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen Sharma who over stays his welcome in Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge.
Other movies to look forward in 2010 include thriller, Agent Vinod starring ‘Kurbaan’ couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, romantic comedy Anjaana Anjaani with Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra and David Dhawan’s cricket- based comedy Hook Ya Crook.
With great movies releasing, 2010 is certainly a year to watch out for on the silver screen!
Manish Gajjar is one of UK’s leading Bollywood authorities working as a BBC Bollywood Correspondent based at BBC Shropshire and as Hindi film adviser for VUE cinemas in the UK.