URI - A Surgical Strike
Calling a spade a spade, declaring Pakistan a political enemy in a film about India’s surgical attack on Pakistan is not the kind of soft-focus approach one would expect in a film sensitive film. Uri tells it like it is. And that’s what makes it interesting. Director Aditya Dhar has not made an apologetic namby-pamby film. This is the hardcore stuff, with Vicky Kaushal playing a soldier out to get blood. Khoon ka badla… Jai Hind! Release date: 11 January
Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi
The very fact that this project had to go through a journey of struggle almost as enormous the one that the Queen Of Jhansi undertook, makes it an interesting project. With two directors, Krish Jagarlamudi and, ahem, Kangana Ranaut, the film could well be more hysterical than historical but still worth the wait. Release Date: 25 January.
Bihar ’s world-renowned mathematician Anand Kumar is being played by Hrithik Roshan in his first true-life project. We can only hope he doesn’t do Krrish on the well-known maths wizard. Release date: To be announced.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Debutante director Shelley Chopra Dhar brings father Anil Kapoor and daughter Sonam Kapoor Ahuja together for the first time. I am already a game. Release date 1 February.
Director Abhishek Choubey ’s raw real authentic drama takes us away from the filmy dacoit dramas into a credible view of violence in the Chambal Valley. This would be an interesting departure from the formula for the age-long genre of dacoit films. Sushant Singh Rajput will face Manoj Bajpai for the first time. Bajpai is not frazzled. But we hope to be dazzled. Release date: February 8.
Zoya Akhtar’s trippy tale of street rappers brings together Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt for the first time. Need anything more be said? Release date: 14 February.
Sujoy Ghosh brings together the Pink pair Amitabh Bachchan and Tapsee Pannu in what promises to be a hard-hitting revenge drama replete with unforeseen twists and turns. Release date: 8 March
Akshay Kumar returns this time to play Havaldar Ishar Singh in the Battle of Saragarhi. The tale of untold valour and patriotism will connect viscerally with every Indian. This period drama directed by Anurag Singh brings Parineeti Chopra as Akshay’s daughter. Release date 21 March.
The Zoya Factor
With cricket at its background and the fresh-as-a-daisy pair of Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Dulquer Salman in the lead and director Abhishek Sharma (who helmed last year’s surprise success Parmanu ) can this go wrong? Release date: 5 April.
Director Karan Johar brings together Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Dhawan, Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt in the biggest multi starrer since Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Release date: 19 April
Ali Abbas Zafar directs Salman Khan in a film that tracks the life of an ordinary Indian from 1947 to the present day. Remains to be seen if Salman makes history this time. Release date: Eid.
Akshay Kumar goes into outer space. This time he is again navigated by a debutant director Jagat Shakti. He has for company some lovely leading ladies like Vidya Balan, Tapsee Pannu and Sonakshi Sinha. Way to go, Mr Kumar. Release date 15 August.
Recreating the Batla House terror encounter in 2018 director Nikhil Advani has the newly-converted patriotic leading man John Abraham attempting an out-of-the-box film. Release date: 15 August.
Hrithik Roshan-Tiger Shroff untitled starrer
The combats between these two sinewy stars prompts me to suggest the title Paisa Vasool for this actioner directed by Siddharth Anand to be released on October 2.
Varun Dhawan-Katrina Kaif untitled starrer:
Remo D’Souza directs this never-before pair in a dance face-off that promises to blow the screen apart. Wow. Release date: 8 November.