April 27, 2010

Summer Fiesta - A look at upcoming BW releases

From politics to mythology and animation and comedy, bollywood’s summer of 2010 has something for everyone

With many parts of India gasping under record temperatures, Bollywood is gearing up to offer some respite to movie buffs this summer. What’s more, filmmakers are offering a variety of movies to suit the tastes of filmgoers. So from politics to mythology, there will be generous sprinkling of romance, comedy, glitz and glamour.

There’s Housefull, a romantic comedy by director Sajid Khan, whose first film Heyy Babyy was a runaway success. Khan repeats three of his lead actors for the second time (Akshay Kumar, Boman Irani and Reitesh Deshmukh)and joining the laugh riot are Lara Dutta, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal and Jiah Khan. The film revolves around Arush (Akshay Kumar) whose quest for love ends him up in not one or two, but three marriages releases on April 30, 2010.

If Housefull looks at the story of a man caught in a sticky situation because of three marriages, Gurinder Chadha’s new offering, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife is a comic romp about a typical Punjabi mother obsessed with a desire to get her overweight daughter married. Like her previous films, Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice, Chadha’s new film, too, will be released in Hindi and English on May 7, 2010. Explains Sandeep Bharagava, chief advisor of Indian Films, the company releasing Chadha’s film: “It’s A Wonderful Afterlife is essentially an international release but we have dubbed the film in Hindi too.”

In fact, a lot of films are getting released in more than just one language. Kites, one of the most awaited films, starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori, a Mexican model, made at a budget of Rs 55 crore, according to film trade analyst Komal Nahata, has been shot in Hindi as well as English. The Hindi version has been shot by director Anurag Basu, while the English version has Hollywood director Brett Ratner, who has also worked on the Rush Hour series and X-Men: The Last Stand. The story revolves around Roshan, an artiste who plays fast and loose with two women, Kangana Ranaut and Mori. The film has been in-the-making for some years now and will finally see a worldwide release on May 21, 2010.

Nahata adds, “Due to the nine week dispute between multiplex owners and producers last year, the film industry lost around Rs 80 crore. This year, collections from some big budget films like Kites, Raavan (Rs 35 crore) and Rajneeti (Rs 40 crore) are expected to be good.”

Going by the initial trailers of films like Rajneeti and Raavan, Nahata has a point. Rajneeti, written, produced and directed by Prakash Jha, will have Katrina Kaif in a completely new avatar. The political thriller with an ensemble cast, including Naseeruddin Shah, Ajay Devgn, Nana Patekar, Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor, revolves around a set of characters who fight violent battles to attain power. Rajneeti, believed to be influenced by Mahabharata, releases on June 4.

If Rajneeti takes a contemporary look at the Mahabharata, Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, starring husband-wife duo Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, is a modern-day interpretation of Ramayan. Raavan releases on June 18.

Milan Luthria’s Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, too, resonates with political undertones. The film is based on the life and times of underworld Don Haji Mastan, Starring Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Kangana Ranaut, it’s been produced by Balaji Telefilms and will release on July 30.

Releases are incomplete without a Yash Raj movie and this summer the production house has Badmaash Company lined up. The movie stars Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Vir Das and newcomer Meiyank Chang (former contestant on reality show Indian Idol). The story looks at the journey of four youngsters who start a successful business venture. The twist in the tale comes when they’re forced to shut shop. How they manage to survive and jump back to script another success story is the focus of the film. Badmaash Company will be Sharma’s second film after Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and it’ll be interesting to see whether she lives up to the audience’s expectations. It will also be critical for Kapoor, after his films Chance Pe Dance and Paathshala, have already been labeled as flops this year.

Bollywood is also ready with animated movies like Koochie Koochie Hota Hai and Toonpur Ka Superhero. With Koochie Koochie Hota Hai, Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions is all set to recreate the magic of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Toonpur Ka Superhero, on the other hand, will have voiceovers by Ajay Devgn and Kajol. Dharma Production’s will also release I Hate Luv Storys, starring Sonam Kapoor and Imran Khan release on July 2. Kapoor will also be seen in another film, Ayesha.

It’s time to bring on the bucket of popcorn, then.

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta
Director: Sajid Khan
Release Date: April 30
Budget: Rs 40 crore
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori
Director: Anurag Basu
Release Date: May 21
Budget: Rs 55 crore
Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgn
Director: Prakash Jha
Release Date: June 4
Budget: Rs 35 crore
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan
Director: Mani Ratnam
Release Date: June 18
Budget: Rs 40 crore
Cast: Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor
Director: Punit Malhotra
Release Date: July 2
Budget: Rs 35 crore