Bollywood bonanza
Romance, thrillers, period dramas and much more is in Hindi cinema’s pipeline this year, 

Watch out for Ashutosh Gowariker’s historical romance Jodhaa-Akbar and Rajkumar Santoshi’s Halla Bol
Watch out for Ashutosh Gowariker’s historical romance Jodhaa-Akbar and Rajkumar Santoshi’s Halla Bol

The year 2007 gave Bollywood a parting hit in Taare Zameen Par, Aamir Khan’s directorial debut about a child with learning disability. The golden run is likely to continue in 2008 too with the New Year releases promising a bouquet of romance, thrillers and period dramas. The first mega release of the year is Sahara One Motion Pictures’ My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves. It will introduce newcomer Nikhil Dwivedi, who is already being billed as a Rs 1 crore star.

Directed by National Award winner E. Niwas, the film boasts of three other National Award winners — Mithun Chakraborty, Anupam Kher and Pawan Malhotra and has Amrita Rao as the leading lady. The actress is riding high on the success of Vivah. In the same week, Halla Bol will mark the return of maverick director Rajkumar Santoshi, who was burrowing after Family, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar, bit the dust.

This time Santoshi has teamed up two veterans — Pankaj Kapur and Ajay Devgan. The film, inspired by murdered theatre activist Safdar Hashmi, sends a social message. It urges people to raise their voice against injustice.

At the end of the first month of the year, Rohit Shetty of Golmaal — Fun Unlimited fame will serve another comic recipe garnished with thrills. Titled Sunday, the film stars Shetty’s favourite actor Ajay Devgan, along with Irrfan Khan and Ayesha Takia.

In the second week of February, Ashutosh Gowariker’s most awaited historical romance Jodhaa-Akbar will be unveiled. Hrithik Roshan, Bollywood’s superhero, will be seen romancing Aishwarya Rai as the Mughal emperor Akbar. Aishwarya plays Jodha.

The slick thriller Race follows. Directed by director duo Abbas-Mustan and produced by TIPS Films, the film boasts of an ensemble of stars, Saif Ali Khan, Akhshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy. Another offering from the Tips stable is Kismat Konnection, which has Shahid Kapur and Vidya Balan in the lead roles. Aziz Mirza has wielded the megaphone for the film.

The months ahead will also see Venus Records & Tapes Pvt. Ltd unspool a series of films starting with Maan Gaye Mughal E Azam. Directed by Sanjay Chhel, it stars the hit pair of Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose again. The irrepressible Paresh Rawal will lead the cast, which will also feature huge talents like Pawan Malhotra.

Besides, White Feather films will release Woodstock Villa that will introduce Sikandar Kher — son of Anupam and Kirron Kher.

Muddassar Aziz’s Dulha Mil Gaya and Rumi Jaffrey’s God Tussi Great Ho are also in the assembly line.

The first half of the year will be dominated by Ajay Devgan, who will release his home production U, Me Aur Hum in April. Ajay stars with his wife Kajol in the movie.

In the same month, Harry Baweja’s sci-fi Love Story 2050 which is also his son Harman’s launch pad, will hit the marquee. Also, Yash Raj Films’ first release of the year Tashan will open in 2008. Starring Saif and Kareena, the film is directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya.

It will be followed by Ravi Chopra’s production Bhootnath and Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar Raj, a sequel to Sarkar.

The year 2008 will also see the launch of Kambakth Ishq. Directed by Sabir Khan, it is from the successful team of Sajid Nadiadwala and Akshay Kumar who gave the hit Heyy Babyy. Kareena Kapoor, who is the highest paid actress in Bollywood, will be cast opposite Akshay Kumar in the film that seems to be a blockbuster in the making.

After the talked about Shootout In Lokhandwala and the innovative Dus Kahaniyan, Sanjay Gupta’s White Feather Films will continue to tread the uncharted path in Pankh and Alibaug. Bipasha Basu plays the female lead in Pankh, which also introduces Maradona Rebello and Sudipto Chattopadhyay. — IANS