Here's my comprehensive list for the most promising filmi phenomenons of 2013!
If 2012 was the year of Ranbir Kapoor for Barfi!, 2013 is most definitely going to be the year of Ranveer Singh. The Band Baaja Baraat star has been missing from the limelight for a while now, with zero endorsement deals or movies to his name. For gods sake, even the tabloids forgot about him! However, he is far from being forgotten. In 2013, he has three films lined up for release: Lootera, Ram Leela and Gunday. And from what I've heard about these movies, they may very well be what he and viewers are eagerly waiting for.
Lootera, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, stars Ranveer opposite Sonakshi Sinha in a romantic epic set in the 1920s. Motwane's debut film, Udaan, was a masterpiece, with crisp writing and no room for non-sense. As much as I love the staple song and dance culture of Hindi cinema, I don't mind "Hindie" cinema, as long as it doesn't cross the line of pretentiousness (which it so often does). Udaan was the perfect example of a good, unpretentious "Hindie" film that excelled in every department, especially direction. I have full faith in Motwane and his abilities in making a competent and meaningful film with Lootera, but specifically at reinventing Ranveer's image, which even after two years, stands as Bitoo Sharma. Also, I'm extremely interested in seeing how Motwane crosses over to commercial Hindi cinema from his art-house background.
Meanwhile, Ram Leela is looking fantastic, as well. With earlier promotional "leaks" (or stills) released, I can't help but hope that Sanjay Leela Bhansali is back to his craft. His last few movies were catastrophes, in terms of money and content, but I still do hold that glimmer of hope for SLB. After all, he is the man behind Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Khamoshi.
Going by this strikingly beautiful poster , it seems as if SLB has dropped his "everything must be in blue" obsession, as well! The sheer grandeur of this poster is precisely what I love about classic Hindi cinema. I'm tired of the current"realistic" films, whether they be action movies or romantic comedies. Lately, even in commercial cinema, it is extremely rare that we see effort in art design, choreography or color scheme. No matter what mistakes SLB has made in his movie choices, he never disappoints me in those departments. It's no surprise that I have extremely high hopes for this film!
Lastly, Ranveer's film Gunday is scheduled to release in the end of 2013. I think this film may be my most anticipated. It's a YRF film, starring Ranveer and Arjun Kapoor, made by Ali Abbas Zafar, who directed the masala-tastic Mere Brother Ki Dulhan? Did I mention that the tag-line of the film is "humaare tevar alag hai"? Enough said.
Looking at the release line-up for this year, I'm also quite pleasantly surprised. Actors and filmmakers that I would never have imagined would be working together are collaborating on many 2013 movies! A few of the most promising:
1) Chennai Express, a Rohit Shetty action/comedy flick, will be starring Shahrukh Khan in the lead role. Yes. Shahrukh Khan and Rohit Shetty...together in one movie! Shahrukh has never been a part of an out-and-out action film, especially of Shetty's over-the-top, masala potboiler genre. I'm sure it will be a blast watching SRK stray from his safe zone and off-screen persona. However, in an interview with Anupama Chopra, a few months back, he said:
"I want to do some exciting films. I really want to spend the next five years doing cinema which can make me fail. But to do that, I have to first do safe films. I think the time has come when I can open up, get out of my own shy shell and comfort zone, so to say, and try and do new stuff"
Keyword: Safe. So, I guess we cannot really say that Shahrukh is foraying into "masala cinema" because he's actually temporarily using it to his advantage. He'll make some extra money off of it, garner a few more eyeballs and then, go make another Ra. One. **cries**
2) Bombay Velvet
I'm extremely hopeful for this movie. It's marking Anurag Kashyap finally letting go of his "art-house" obsession and jumping onto the commercial bandwagon. Honestly, no matter what directors and producers who haven't made it in mainstream cinema say, deep down, they all want a chuck of that pie. After ranting on forever about how he only wants to work with real actors and not "stars", Kashyap has given into signing two commercially-viable actors, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma. And I think we all know that there is no such thing as a non-filmi movie starring a Kapoor. Kapoor and non-filmi cannot and do not go into the same sentence together. So, is Kashyap going to Bollywood? I think, yes!
3) Karan-Ekta movie with Emraan Hashmi?!
So, Emraan has been hanging in a weird space for quite some time, now. He isn't exactly a B-class film actor that everyone brushes aside as "a serial kisser", but he isn't an A-lister either. Luckily, these past few years, he has really started to move out of his comfort zone and show his talent in films like The Dirty Picture and Shanghai. Slowly, but surely, he is moving away from the sleaze-fest that his uncle, Mahesh Bhatt, produces. A few years ago, I would never have expected him to be bagging a project produced by Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor. Last I read, Kareena Kapoor has also been cast opposite him. I remember listing this unnamed project on my "most anticipated" countdown back in 2011, so I'm hoping that the two year delay means the film will have even more to offer. After all, it's always great to see such different sensibilities, talents and tastes coming together in one movie.
Cheers, to a year of more Hindi cinema!