From period pieces to superheroes, real life murders and reincarnation, it looks like the silver screen has a little bit of everything in 2015. Here are the films that we’re looking forward to this year, in alphabetical order.
After the disappointment of Agent Vinod, it looks like director Shriram Raghavan might be back with a vengeance. Judging by the trailer of his upcoming film Badlapur, Raghavan is all set to take us back to the pulpy noir zone ofJohnny Gaddar. Plus there’s a bearded (and grown up) Varun Dhawan in the lead.
Nikhil Mahajan, the director of the underrated offbeat gem Pune 52, has decided to go properly mainstream with Baji. Starring Shreyas Talpade as Marathi cinema’s first vigilante superhero who is — because being a vigilante isn’t enough — also an ancient superhero reincarnated in the modern world, this one just might be 2015’s Lai Bhaari.
The long delayed period noir epic from Anurag Kashyap promises to be a massive film. With Ranbir Kapoor playing a boxer, Karan Johar in an ‘antagonistic’ role, a jazz-based soundtrack from Amit Trivedi, Thelma Schoonmaker editing the international version and the fact that Kashyap is making a big budget film, it’s impossible to not be excited about this.
Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut film has got rave reviews in the international festival circuit and there were stampedes to see it at the Mumbai Film Festival. The film is a powerful indictment of India’s justice system, delving into the dicey themes of power and class, but it’s all delivered with subtlety and humour.
DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY
Dibakar Bannerjee, a story about a legendary Bengali detective, with Sushant Singh Rajput. Set in 1940s’ Kolkata, the film looks slick, steeped in noir and has Chinese gangsters along with death metal music. Sold.
DIL DHADAKNE DO
After taking us on a holiday in Spain, director Zoya Akhtar will be taking audiences on a cruise in Dil Dhadakne Do. The film sees Akhtar in her comfort zone – a large ensemble star cast, big budget and foreign locations. This time, it’s all about a dysfunctional family on a cruise.
Shankar’s latest doesn’t feature Rajinikanth, but it does have a ton of truly insane visuals, absolutely bonkers stuntwork and Vikram in a gazillion different avatars. One of them is as a body builder who worships Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also plays a hunchback and a creature that looks like it’s half-man, half-beast.
Avinash Arun’s Marathi film about a boy finding his feet in a new school won the Crystal Bear from the Children’s Jury and a Special Mention from the International Jury at Berlin. It also received rave reviews when it screened at the Mumbai Film Festival last year. The film is beautifully shot and has some fantastic performances by the children in the cast in particular.
India’s official entry to the Oscars, Liar’s Dice stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Geetanjali Thapa as a woman searching for her missing husband. Writer-director Geetu Mohandas’s debut film made some buzz at Sundance and is slated to release sometime this year. Read about Liar’s Dice here.
Navdeep Singh, the director of Manorama Six Feet Under, had a tough time when potentially-awesome projects like Basra and a Punju wedding zombie comedy were canned. The one that has come together is a fiery horror thriller about a couple’s road trip gone awry. The film stars Anushka Sharma and looks like a pretty dark film, with a shout out for female empowerment.
Produced and written by Vishal Bharadwaj and directed by Meghna Gulzar, Nyodda is the fictional dramatization of the actual events revolving around the investigation of Aarushi Talwar’s murder. The film promises strong performances from Neeraj Kabi as the father, Konkona Sen Sharma as the mother and Irrfan Khan as the investigating officer. Tabu also makes a special appearance in the film. Like most Bharadwaj films, the music has been scored by Bharadwaj himself, with lyrics by Gulzar.
After delivering the refreshingly different and smaller scale Highway, Imtiaz Ali returns to the big budget Tamasha, with two of the biggest stars in the business – Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. The film is a romantic comedy about two people who fall in love while doing plays and is set in Corsica.
Danis Tanovic, the filmmaker behind the Oscar winning No Man’s Land, directs Emraan Hashmi in a true story about a pharma exec in Pakistan who uncovers a major scandal. The film got decent reviews at Toronto International Film Festival in 2014. Read an interview with Tanovic here.
Kanu Behl’s film got tremendous acclaim at the festival circuit in 2014, and we’ll finally get to see it this year. The film stars Ranvir Shorey and is a drama-thriller that delves into patriarchal issues, freedom from roots, and human cost of aspirations of a new India as seen through the eyes of a family of car robbers.
Ship of Theseus director Anand Gandhi’s next film is a period thriller with elements of horror and fantasy and a mysterious, haunted well. Described as a fantasy epic set in the 1920s, the film is co-directed by debutant Rahi Anil Barve, who made short film Manjha.
Delhi in a Day director Prashant Nair’s Umrika has the prestige of being selected for Sundance 2015 for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. The film stars Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma as a young village boy who discovers that his brother, long believed to be in America, has actually gone missing.
X THE FILM
X, starring Rajat Kapoor, is one story with eleven segments directed by eleven different filmmakers. The directors include film critics Sudhish Kamath, Raja Sen, Pratim Dasgupta, as well as filmmakers Q, Nalan Kumaraswamy, Sandeep Mohan, Suparn Verma, Hemant Gaba, Rajshree Ojha, Anu Menon and Abhinav Tiwari. It opened to good reviews at SAIFF and is slated to have a commercial release this year.