By Jyothi Venkatesh
The Bollywood industry had a very disappointing 2022 as many movies fell flat at the box office and it made things quite difficult for the industry, especially since it was already going through a slump because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is hope among the people of the industry that it will be better than in 2022. Senior Journalist JYOTHI VENKATESH brings a list of 55 most awaited movies of 2023 exclusively for Cine Blitz.
RAJKUMAR HIRANI’S DUNKIE
If Salman Khan is all set to appear in not one or two but three films this year, will his best friend and neighbour Shah Rukh Khan also lag behind him? After a gap of nearly four years after the dismal failure of his film Zero, Shah Rukh Khan will be seen this year in three different films out of which Dunki . Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, what is interesting is the fact that the film which is slated for release on December 22 spins around the tale of immigrants, pairs Shah Rukh and Taapsee Pannu for the first time.
SIDHARTH ANAND’S PATHAAN
Shah Rukh Khan is all set to return with his big Republic Day weekend release Pathaan, which has already made a controversial splash with SRK’s abs, Besharam rang, and Deepika’s notorious skin show etc. With Deepika Padukone and John Abraham also starring, besides Shah Rukh Khan that is, all eyes are looking forward to Pathaan to pull the box office out of its current state of rut.
SRK also has a release on 2nd June 2023 titled Jawaan directed by Atlee which also marks the Hindi film debut of Nayanthara, widely known as ‘Lady Superstar’ down South, who was once the love interest of Prabhu Deva. The first-look poster — with Shah Rukh dressed in a bandage top to toe — has intrigued us enough to give Jawan a dekko when it is released. It is worth noting that after a long time; Shah Rukh Khan is playing a double role in the film, after Fan. Vijay Sethupathi and Sanya Malhotra are also a part of the rest of the cast, with a special appearance by Deepika Padukone too.
SRIRAM RAGHAVAN’S MERRY CHRISTMAS
Film Journalist tuned thriller master and my former junior Sriram Raghavan returns with an edge-of-the-seat watch with the unlikely pair of Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi, who is all set to ensnare Bollywood with not just one but two films this year- Jawaan and Merry Christmas.
AASMAAN BHARADWAJ’S KUTTEY
The year is all set to usher in with a bang with this curiously titled film from the stable of Vishal Bharadwaj, who, also had made a memorable film called Kaminey. Vishal’s son Aasmaan Bharadwaj makes his debut as director with this thriller that brings together a dream cast — Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu, Konkona Sensharma, Kumud Mishra, Arjun Kapoor and Radhika Madan. The film is slatwed for release on January 13 this year.
ALI ABBAS ZAFAR’S BADE MIYAN CHOTE MIYAN
Tiger Shroff has one more film lined up by the end of this year in which he is paired along with Akshay Kumar for the first time in his career. Yes. You read it right. Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff will share screen space for the first time in Ali Abbas Zafar’s action comedy that will be shot across four countries and will release on Christmas.
ROHIT DHAWAN’S SHEHZADA
Heartthrob Kartik Aaryan who has earned the reputation of being currently the man, who can do no wrong, reunites with his Luka Chuppi co-star Kriti Sanon for his 23rd February release Shehzada, which is the official remake of the hit Telugu film Ala Vaikunthapuramulu.
LUV RANJAN’S TU JHOOTHI MAIN MAKKAAR
The prospect of watching Ranbir Kapoor in a romcom, with Shraddha Kapoor for company, perhaps for the first time in his career will make us wait eagerly with bated breath for this March release this year. Dimple Kapadia ansd Boney Kapoor also star in this Luv Ranjan film, slated for release on 8th March this year..
NITESH TIWARI’S BAWAAL
After his last outing Bhedia last year, Varun Dhawan will pair up for the first time with Jahnvi Kapoor in this Nitesh Tiwari romantic drama that has been shot in locations as diverse as Lucknow and Warsaw. The film is slated for release on 7th April this year.
MEGHNA GULZAR’S SAM BAHADUR
Vicky Kaushal is the spitting image of Sam Manekshaw in the first look of Sam Bahadur, the biopic on the remarkable life and career of the decorated army man. The Meghna Gulzar directorial also stars Dangal girls Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra. The Vicky Kaushal starrer sees Sanya Malhotra as Sam Manekshaw’s wife Silloo and Fatima Sana Shaikh as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The eagerly awaited biopic will release on December 1, 2023. The film has been creating quite the buzz owing to Vicky’s resemblance and realistic portrayal of Sam since the time it was announced. For those unversed, Sam Manekshaw’s military career spanned over four decades and five wars. He was the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal and his military victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war led to the creation of Bangladesh
SANDEEP REDDY VANGA’S ANIMAL
Ranbir Kapoor fans are in treat for one more film from the stable of Ranbir Kapoor this year, besides Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. That is Kabir Singh maker Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s ambitious project Animal that sets out to bring together Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol and Rashmika Mandanna in this gangster film that is the big Independence Day (August 15) release of this year
ZOYA AKHTAR’S THE ARCHIES
You are in treat this year as Netflix is all set to stream a film with a bunch of star kids comprising Suhana Khan (Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter), Khushi Kapoor (Sridevi’s daughter) and Agastya Nanda (Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson and the darling daughter of Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter Shweta Bachchan) — as well as some young new faces who are all set to make their acting debuts in Zoya Akhtar’s desi adaptation of the adventures of the Riverdale teen and his gang.
RAJ MEHTA‘S SELFIEE
Like Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar is also coming up with not one or two but three films of his to his credit this year. Selfiee, directed by Raj Mehta, will feature Akshay Kumar with Emraan Hashmi and Nushrratt Bharuccha. It is an official Hindi remake of the Malayalam film, Driving Licence starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Suraj Venjaramoodu that follows actor Prithviraj Sukumaran who needs to renew his driver’s license, and runs across a fan in the motor vehicle agent.
SANJAY PURAN SINGH CHAUVAN’S GORKHA
Akshay Kumar will be playing the titular role of the former Indian army officer Major General Ian Cardozo in the Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan’s film Gorkha, produced by Aanand L.Rai and Himanshu Sharma. Ian Cardozo was the first war-disabled officer to command a battalion and a brigade He became an amputee due to a war injury. His courage and valour are remembered strongly during the 1971 war. He has also authored several books which include ‘1971 – Stories of Grit and Glory from the Indo-Pak War’, ‘The Sinking of INS Khukri: Survivor’s Stories’, ‘Somnath Sharma: Hero of the Battle of Badgam in 1947 who Helped Prevent the Fall of Srinagar’ and many more.
AMIT RAI’S OMG 2
OMG 2 movie is slated to tackle the issue of the inclusion of sex education in the Indian schools. The first instalment of this movie was an acclaimed courtroom drama wherein the protagonist questioned the basic postulates of religion. The sequel which is eyeing a May 2023 release is a follow-up to the 2012 film OMG: Oh My God! , which starred Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar.
Yaariyan 2 is the sequel to the 2014 film Yaariyan, which was directed by Divya Kumar Khosla and starred Himansh Kohli and Rakul Preet Singh. Yaariyan 2 will be directed by filmmaker duo Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru, known for helming Salman Khan-starrer Lucky: No Time for Love and Sanam Teri Kasam starring Harshvardhan and Pakistani actor Mawra Hocane. Warina Hussain, Priya Varrier and Pearl V Puri star in Yaariyan 2.
RANDEEP HOODA’S SWATANTRA VEER SAVARKAR
Mahesh Manjrekar’s ambitious film on the life journey of Indian freedom fighter and reformer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar is all set to release this year on 26th May. The film will star Randeep Hooda in the title role of Veer Savarkar
GIRIDEVA RAJ’S THE Y
Kannada director and writer Girideva Raaj, who caught the attention of Bollywood filmmakers with his 2016 Kannada film Zero: Made In India, is set to make his directorial debut in Hindi with his upcoming “The Y”. The film is about how, after a young mute girl gets married, the couple faces a new dilemma. They experience paranormal incidents and their daily life turns into a mysterious tale. Directed by Girideva Raj, the film stars Leonila DSouza. Yuvan Hariharan, Abhinava Koran and Prithal Uday Pawar in the leads are slated for release on January 6 this year. Touted to be a psychological thriller, The Y is produced by Madhu GM and Dr. Ajith under the banner of Rockets Films.
ARUNN GOPALAN’S TEHRAN
Tehran is a 2023 Bollywood drama, directed by Arun Gopalan and produced by Dinesh Vijan. Tehran stars John Abraham and Manuashi Chilllar in the lead role. The action thriller, inspired by true events, marks the feature directorial debut of ad filmmaker Arun Gopalan and is produced by Dinesh Vijan’s Maddock Films. The former Miss World made her acting debut with the Akshay Kumar-starrer Samrat Prithviraj last year.
SIDDHARTH ANAND’S FIGHTER
Hrithik Roshan is teaming up with popular actress Deepika Paduone for the aerial action film Fighter. Anil Kapoor has also been cast in the film for a pivotal character. The project is directed by Siddharth Anand. This film is a remake of the 2007 Telugu movie Lakshyam, and the Bengali action film directed by Rabi Kinagi and starring Jeet and Srabanti Chatterjee.
NANDITA DAS’S ZWIGATO
Kapil Sharma plays the role of a food delivery guy in Zwigato, who struggles to make both ends meet. Zwigato follows the life of a former floor manager at a factory, who loses his job during the pandemic. To make ends meet, he turns into a food delivery guy, who struggles with the world of ratings and algorithms. The film is set in Odisha and tells the story of everyday people and their struggles. The film has been directed by Nandita Das. “The film which is an emotional drama attempts to make visible what’s hidden in plain sight. And for this, the cast and crew have serendipitously come together. I hadn’t seen his show, but I could see him wholly representing the ‘common man’, despite not being one anymore.” The film also has Shahana Goswami in the lead role as a homemaker, who also helps the family by taking up a job.
APARNA SEN’S THE RAPIST
Naina, a criminal psychology professor, is sexually assaulted in a slum she visits to help the daughter of a school custodian embroiled in a case of domestic violence and infanticide. Upon surviving the attack that leaves her colleague dead, Naina fights social prejudices and testifies, which leads. The film stars Konkona Sen Sharma, Arjun Rampal and Tanmay Dhanania. The film chronicles the journey of three protagonists, whose lives are interlaced because of one horrific incident.
SUJAY GHOSH’S THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X
Based on the novel by Keigo Higashino, the film directed by Sujay Ghosh follows a single mother and her daughter who commit a crime and a neighbour who helps them cover it up amidst a police investigation. The film stars Kareena Kapoor , Jaydeep Ahlawat and Vijay Verma
ANURAG BASU’S METRO IN DINO
The film is a spin-off anthology to Anurag Basu’s Life In A Metro (2007) stars Aditya Roy Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Pankaj Tripathi, Neena Gupta, Konkona Sen Sharma, Ali Fazal and Fatima Sana Shaikh.
VARDHAN KHETKAR’S GUMRAH
This film which has been directed by Vardhan Khetkar is the Hindi remake of the Tamil super hit Thadam directed by Magizh Thirumeni and stars Mrinal Thakur and Aditya Roy Kapoor in the lead
SUDHANSHU SARIA’S SANAA
The film Sanaa directed by Sudhanshu Saria which stars Radhika Madaan, Sohum Shah and Pooja Bhatt is a social drama about an ambitious woman whom is navigating an unresolved trauma.
RAJA KRISHNA MENON’S PIPPA
Raja Krishna Menon’s film Pippa starring Ishaan Khatter, Mrunal Thakur, Priyanshu Painyuli and Soni Razdan is based on the book The Burning Chaffees by Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta, a first-hand account of a pivotal battle fought Between India and Pakistan, days before the 1971 war was officially declared. The USP of the film is that it has musical score by none other than A.R.Rahman.
HANSAL MEHTA & JAI MEHTA’S FARAAZ
The film Faraaz directed by Hansal Mehta and Jai Mehta, is based on the real life terrorist attack that ravaged a café in Dhaka way back in 2016. The film starring unfolds over a single night, tracing the story of as young man called Faraaz who finds himself trapped in the restaurant with his two friends. The film stars Zahaan Kapoor, Aditya Rawal, Aamir Ali and Juhi Babbar
ANUBHAV SINHA’S BHEED
The film Bheed is a socio political drama in which Anubhav Sinha is directing Rajkummar Rao for the first time. The film also stars besides Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar, Pankaj Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana and Dia Mirza in the lead roles. Initially all set to release on November 22 this year, the release of this film has been postponed to early this year.
SUDHIR MISHRA’S AFWAAH
Touted as a quirky thriller, Sudhir Mishra’s Afwaah starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bhusmi Pednekar, Shareeb Hashmi, Sumit Kaul, Sumeet Vyas, Rocky Raina and T.J. Bhanu sets out to chronicle a story that he has lived with for a long time and also worked to make it twisted and quirky to the core. This film marks Sudhir Mishra’s second collaboration with Nawazuddin Siddiqui after his Serious Men which he had made for Netflix
RAJESH KRISHNAN’S THE CREW
Described as a comedy riot, this film set against the backdrop of the airlines industry has a stellar cast comprising Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kriti Sanon and Tabu. It is by the way the second collaboration of TV Czarina Ekta Kapoor (Balaji Motion Pictures Limited) and Rhea Kapoor, daughter of Anil Kapoor (Anil Kapoor Productions) with Kareena Kapoor Khan after Veere Di Wedding (2018)
TUSHAR HIRANANDANI’S SRI
Tushar Hiranandani’s film Sri starring Rajkummar Rao, Aleya F , Jyothika and Sharad Kelkar is based on the life of the industrialist Shrikant Bholla and follows his journey from being the first ever visually impaired pupil to study Management Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to establish Bollant Industries. While Jagdeep Sindhu has penned the script, Bholla has co-directed the film, slated for an October release this year.