BOLLYWOOD 2015- THE YEAR SO FAR

By Sharada Iyer

{Reproducing my article which appeared in the Khaleej Times-India Independence Day, Special Report, 15th August, 2015}

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE ?  By Sharada Iyer

Bollywood hits are breaking records and entertaining audiences with power-packed performances and music this year…

The year came up with an assortment of films spanning a variety of genres. Piku, Bajrangi Bhaijan, ABCD 2, Margarita With A Straw, NH 10, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Baby, Gabbar Is Back, Dum Lagaake Haisha, Ek Paheli Leela, Badlapur, Dil Dhadakne Do, Shamitabh, etc. are some of the films which created a stir with their novel storylines, star-cast and the unique issues they dealt with.

THE NEWSMAKERS

Just when Salman Khan’s fans were expecting to see him in another one of his usual action-packed avatars, he stunned everyone with a refined performance as a simpleton with a heart of gold in Bajrangi Bhaijan and hardly has any fight scenes to boast about. Director Kabir Khan takes us through a mesmerizing journey of human emotions across India and Pakistan to deliver a sensitive masterpiece that rises above language, religious as well as border politics and connects all human beings with the powerful thread of love. Salman’s compelling charisma in an unusual role, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s outstanding acting and above all child-artiste Harshaali’s angelic innocence tug our heart and leave us moist-eyed in many scenes. After crossing the Rs 250-crore mark in India alone, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is breaking all records and inching close to the Rs 500-crore mark worldwide.

Director Shoojit Sircar turned out to be a man of extraordinary guts. Not only did he choose a strange topic like ‘constipation’ for his film Piku and proceed to weave a story of a father-daughter relationship around it, he also managed to get the unbelievable star cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Irfaan Khan to act in it. The natural and humorous dialogues, the vividly etched out characters and outstanding performances all add up to make it an enjoyable experience.

The Kangna Ranaut –Madhavan starrer Tanu Weds Manu Returns, where she plays a double role with great panache became the first heroine-oriented film to cross the Rs 100-crore mark. After her superb performance in Queen last year, she manages to steal our hearts once again, this time in twin-avatar. While she is brilliant in both the roles, it is as the short-haired Haryanavi athlete with jutting teeth that she excels and proves that she is ready to take on any role in her films and give our male stars a run for their money.

Kalki Koechlin’s brilliant performance in Margarita With a Straw deserves a special mention. In the role of the wheelchair-bound youngster suffering from cerebral palsy she brings a touching sincerity to the character and is ably supported by the seasoned actress Revathy who plays her mother and a newcomer Sayani Gupta.

NH10 takes us on a gripping and gritty ride when a seemingly innocent road-trip turns into a nightmare for a young urban couple.  Produced and acted by Anushka Sharma, this taut and riveting thriller has some disturbing and violent scenes which depict the inhuman rules still existing for women in villages and brings to light the chilling truth behind such brutality. Deepti Naval in a small role is brilliant in the film.

Zoya Akhthar’s Dil Dhadakne Do takes us on an enjoyable cruise with a dysfunctional family with good performances from the entire cast especially from Shefali Shah and Ranveer Singh. Priyanka Chopra shows a lot of guts to play Ranveer’s sister after playing his lover in Gunday last year.

The Varun Dhawan-Shraddha Kapoor starrer ABCD 2 also managed to enter the Rs 100-crore club and had some excellently choreographed dance sequences. It traces the journey of an Indian dance troupe from the backstreets of a Mumbai suburb, their rise to fame, sudden downfall and then their heroic attempt to seek vindication by regaining their lost glory and pride.

Kamal Hassan’s younger daughter Akshara Hassan made her debut in Shamitabh and creditably held her own while sharing screen space with none other than Amitabh Bachchan and South-superstar Dhanush. In the role of a con-woman who tricks all the would-be grooms and their greedy families, Sonam was perfectly cast in in Dolly Ki Doli. Newcomer Bhumi Pedneka rwas superb in Dum Lagaake Haisha and proved that to make the industry and audience take notice of you size-zero and designer wardrobe are not essential. Ayushmann Khurrana also delivered  an endearingly restrained performance in the film.

Badlapur was a thrilling revenge drama laced with superb performances from Varun Dhawan and Nawazuddin Siddique with able support from Huma Qureshi , Radhika Apte, Divya Dutta and Yami Gautam. Akshay Kumar delivered two brilliant films – Baby and Gabbar is Back.  Both showcased him in action-packed avatar and he was in full-form.

‘Baahubali- The Beginning’-a Telugu film dubbed in Hindi is a fantasy epic that combines Hollywood’s scale of grandeur with an inherently Indian tale of good and evil, using computer-generated imagery to depict ancient kingdoms and bloody wars. It charmed millions of Hindi-speaking moviegoers last month and startled the Indian film industry by crossing the mark of Rs 450-crore at the worldwide box office on its third Wednesday. It showed the power of the regional films and the kind of competition they can give to Bollywood stars.

After getting rave reviews from critics and fans alike in the Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu versions, the recently released Drishyam starring Ajay Devgn and Tabu is already in the news for its gripping plot and brilliant performances from these two.

MUSIC SCENE:

2015 so far has been a excellent year with some outstanding tracks from many of the films released. Starting from Badlapur and Roy in the beginning of the year up to the recently released Bajrangi Bhaijan, the songs covered various genres and the music directors with maximum chartbusters to their credit were the duo of Sachin-Jigar followed by Pritam, Jeet Ganguly, Ankit Tiwari and Amaal Mallik.

Some of the top songs of the year were Meet Bros Anjjan’s Punjabi superhit ‘Chittiyan Kalayiyaan ve …’ (Kanika Kapoor), ‘Suraj Dooba Hai Yaaron…’(Aditi Singh Sharma and Arijit Singh), ‘Tu Hai Ke Nahi…’ (Ankit Tiwari) , ‘Bezubaan…’ (Vishal Dadlani and Anushka Manchanda) , ‘Jeena Jeena…’ (Atif Aslam), ‘Jee Karda…’(Divya Kumar), ‘Judaai…’ (Arijit and Rekha Bharadwaj), ‘Khamoshiyaan…’ (Arijit Singh), ‘Tu Jo Mila…’ (KK), ‘Bhar Do Jholi…’ (Adnan Sami), ‘ ‘Zindagi Kuchh to Bata…’  (Zubin Nautiyal),Banno Tera Swagger Laage Sexy…’ (Brijesh Shandllya and Swati Sharma) , ‘Tu jo Hain…’ (Ankit Tiwari) , and ‘Chil Gaye Naina…’ (Kanika Kapoor) .

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE UPCOMING RELEASES:

Akshay Kumar has two films lined up-an action drama Brothers based on Mixed Martial Arts with Siddharth Malhotra playing his brother and a comedy- Singh is Bling directed by Prabhudeva. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan makes a comeback with director Sanjay Gupta’s thriller Jazba in which she teams up Irfaan Khan and Shabana Azmi.  Director Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale will see the magical pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol once again. The film also stars Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon .

Shahid Kapoor pairs up with Alia Bhatt to form a fresh romantic pair in Shaandaar directed by Vikas Behl. Katti Batti is a romantic comedy about live-in relationships and stars Kangna Ranaut and Imran Khan in lead roles.

Calendar Girls, directed by Madhur Bhandarkar is the story of five girls and their emotional journey of struggle and courage in the glamorous world of modelling and fashion.  Tamasha is an upcoming romantic film directed by Imtiaz Ali stars Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in lead roles. After the debacle of both Roy and Bombay Velvet, Ranbir is pinning his hopes on this one.

Salman Khan will be seen in a double role in Sooraj Bharjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Sonam Kapoor is the lead opposite him. Saif Khan will pair up with Katrina Kaif in Kabir Khan’s next venture Phantom, which promises to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Ketan Mehta’s biopic Manjhi – The Mountain Man tells the incredible story of a poor labourer Dashrath Manjhi, who took 22 years to single-handedly carve a path out of a mountain in the Gehlour hills, Bihar, to lay a road. The brilliant actor Nawazuddin Siddique will play the lead.

The fag-end of the year will see two major releases-Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum-opus Bajirao Mastani starring Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone-Priyanka Chopra and is based on the life of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I,his first wife Kashibai and his second wife Mastani. Director Neeraj Vora comes up with the laugh-riot Hera Pheri 3, the third instalment in the series. Shot extensively in Las Vegas, Dubai, Macau and Mumbai, the film retains Paresh Rawal and Suneil Shetty but Akshay Kumar has been replaced by John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan.

All in all, the second half also has an exciting mix of stories to offer…

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7 thoughts on “BOLLYWOOD 2015- THE YEAR SO FAR

  1. A delectable update of the offerings from the world’s largest Dream Factory – Bollywood. Wonder if there are not-so-popular ones which would have been well made but might have sunk without a trace?!

    Great to know that this piece has been published in the Khaleej Times. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, a film with excellent performances from Paresh Rawal and Annu Kapoor and far superior to the overhyped PK, but in the absence of proper marketing/promotional campaign failed to get any audience and died a quiet death…

      Liked by 1 person

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