After a fairly unpleasant time at the box office in 2009, rescued at the last minute as always by Aamir Khan, 2010 looks as though it may have a better crop of movies to balance the books as we enter the New Year. Everyone will have their own list of favourites they are planning to see – but amongst those this author things are worth waiting for are:
1) My Name is Khan
This has to be seen if only to experience once again the chemistry of SRK and Kajol on screen together. It’s a movie with three strong themes – a love story; a story about Islam and America where Islam is largely misunderstood; and a film about Asperger’s Syndrome and its consequences. It’s also a film about the unity of Hindus and Muslims in India. That Karan Johar – he doesn’t do things by halves, does he?
After Salman proved once again that he can act in Wanted, Veer has got to be worth waiting for as Salman himself admits, he has invested his heart and soul into the movie. The film also sees the introduction of Katrina-lookalike Zarine Khan and British actress Lisa Lazarus. The film sees Salman as a Pindari warrior fighting the British in 1875, giving him lots of opportunities to flex his six-pack and he also promises it will be an epic love story.
This could be a big year for Aish – and this loose retelling of the Ramayana promises to be intriguing at the very least – if only to see if Mani Ratnam has succeeded in overcoming all the obstacles thrown in his path during the schedule. Being made simultaneously in Tamil and Hindi with Vikram and Abhishek Bachchan, it should at the very least represent a good love story – and any film with Bips playing a vamp has got to be worth watching, right?
Okay, not strictly speaking a Bollywood movie as it’s from Kollywood and in Tamil – but it does star Aishwarya Rai in a science-fiction film about a lovelorn robot and shows her dressed as a rather stunning Incan princess in an item number, so that has to be worth a few hours of your time. The production has had difficulties due to the economic recession and the complete failure of husband Abhishek’s Drona damaging Eros’ balance sheet (thanks, baby), but it does look now as though it might limp towards a release sometime during the summer. It will be interesting to see how much Rajnikanth has succeeded in preserving his original vision.
5) Action Replay
And we’re not finished with Aish yet. Action Replay, with Akshay and Neha Dhupia, promises to be a vastly entertaining time travel trip – what is it with Aish, has she suddenly started reading Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke? Set partly in the milieu of 1950s Mumbai, this trans-generational love story gives everyone a chance to dress up too – which after all, is what acting is all about.
A very high-risk production from Anil Kapoor – what a father will do for his daughter, ya? Aisha is sure to have the Jane Austen femdom breathing all over it, being a modern-day adaptation of Emma – but with an actor like Abhay Deol in the cast, Sonam Kapoor might just get away with it. It’s bound to generate a lot of interest at the very least and must be a must-see movie for the year.
7) Karthik Calling Karthik
Any film with Deepika Padukone in it will take money from my wallet with my full blessing – but this Farhan Akhtar psychological thriller and tale of obsession promises to be something a little bit special. Ever the perfectionist, Farhan has even taken to demonstrating psychological problems in real life, apparently, to ensure that he is fully immersed in his role. Creepy!
We know that there’s more to Katrina Kaif than the ditzy persona she uses with ease in her vehicles with the Great Khiladi and it could be that Rajneeti is the movie that shifts her career up a further gear – if that’s even possible. She really does look a lot like a young Sonia Gandhi, even though this movie is intended to be a fiction. A strong cast that also includes Ranbir Kapoor, Naserruddin Shah and Arjun Rampal this Prakash Jha political thriller looks like it’s going to be powerful stuff in the mould of Guru or Sarkar Raj.
9) Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey
A powerful tale of the Chittagong Uprising, this is the type of movie that makes my mouth water. Abhishek Bachchan has shown he can do powerful roles, so I’m optimistic he can pull this off, especially with Deepika Padukone in support and with the usually magnificent Ashutosh Gowariker directing. This is Deepika’s chance, in particular, to show she can really cut the mustard in the role of the genuinely tough and heroic Kalpana Dutta.
10) Love, Sex aur Dhoka
And now for something completely different! Coming from Dibakar Bannerjee, one of the most intriguing of Bollywood directors, this Indian version, reminiscent – but not a retelling of – Sex, Lies & Videotape looks like it should attract attention to say the least. LSD deals with the CCTV age and the lack of privacy and voyeurism in the modern world and consists of three short stories with unknown actors. Producer Ekta Kapoor said she was shocked when she first saw it and isn‘t sure how to release it theatrically. Dibakar, himself thinks the audience will be polarised.
So there we have it – my personal selection of movies to live and breathe for in 2010. I’m looking forward to seeing your list too!