The year 2018 was a bag of mixed surprises. Where character actor Ayushmann Khurana continued to retain his position as the poster boy for offbeat cinema (courtesy Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho), Vicky Kaushal came out on top as the breakout star of 2018 with an interesting series of movies that deserve to be archived and watched over and over again. From playing an army officer in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi to playing the loyal, sentimental sidekick in Raj Kumar Hirani’s Sanju and blowing everyone’s socks off, to starring in two more Netflix hits of the year – Love Per Square Foot and Lust Stories, Kaushal gave the stars a run for their money. Quite literally, considering the Khan trinity faced a dud year both in terms of critics’ appreciation as well as box office numbers, given the audience’s relentless demand for content-driven films.
This was also the year that saw star kids Jahnvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan make impressive debuts in Dhadak and Kedarnath respectively. And the industry tanking its money (yet again) in a bid to compete with Hollywood, by producing movies such as Thugs of Hindostan, Race 3 and Zero. Not to mention movies like Padmaavat, Stree, Gold and Parmaanu which struck gold at the box office. 2018 also saw movies like Manto, Padman and Soorma, which, although didn’t succeed in breaking records, moved hearts and were well-received by a considerable section of the junta.
Come 2019, Bollywood promises to treat us to bigger, better movies riding high on the wave of good content. Close to 35 Hindi movies are releasing this year, but I’ve got you covered here with a list of 14 most anticipated Bollywood releases of 2019:
- Gully Boy
Directed by Zoya Akhtar, Gully Boy is based on rapper Vivian Fernandez (better known by his stage name Divine) and Naved Sheikh aka Naezy. The movie will set out to explore the young Divine’s love for rap, his tryst with society’s notions and the struggles he has to go through to transcend the limitations put forth by his class. While Ranveer Singh rocked the big screen with his last blockbuster hits Padmaavat and Simmba, and Alia Bhatt made a mark with Raazi, they’re both set to make Gully Boy kick some ass.
P.S. If for once, you don’t want to watch the film for Bhatt, but Ranveer Singh’s badass rapping, well, I don’t blame you!
Scheduled release: 14th February, 2019
2. Super 30
A Vikas Bahl directorial, Super 30 is based on Anand Kumar, hailing from Patna, and one of the most sought after mathematicians and educationalists of the country. Super 30 is his initiative that selects 30 IIT aspirants each year from economically backward sections and trains them to crack IIT-JEE exams, one of the toughest (after the UPSC, of course) to write. After a rather lukewarm Kaabil, people have been desperately waiting for Hrithik Roshan’s next blockbuster – and Super 30 seems like it.
P.S. The film has in the past year itself got mired in two separate controversies – sexual harassment claims against director Vikas Bahl and charges of deceit against Anand Kumar. While Bahl has resumed working on the post-production of Super 30, the charges against Kumar suggest the film might not be called a biopic anymore. Nevertheless, given its premise and the first look of the movie (read: a gritty, bearded Hrithik Roshan), I can’t wait to catch this on the big screen.
Scheduled release: 26th July, 2019
Directed by Ayan Mukerji and produced by Karan Johar, Brahmastra is set to be a triology spread over the next 10 years. The premise is simple – ‘a romantic fairytale in supernatural format’ but a novel one to be attempted in Bolly land. Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt form the star cast of Brahmastra.
While Thugs of Hindostan, despite all the hoopla, wasn’t one of Amitabh’s feel-good-about-later-performances, this Karan Johar production looks like it will help Sr. Bachchan get right back on track. Ranbir Kapoor whose career (literally) got revived with Sanju, seems to be yet again on a winning spree as Brahmastra seems all set to break records.
Scheduled release: 20th December, 2019
An Anurag Singh directorial, Kesari is set in the Battle of Saragarhi. While Akshay Kumar is playing Havildar Ishar Singh, the man who fought for his daughter’s respect, Parineeti Chopra will play the female lead. After Akshay’s Gold and the earnest Padman last year, it is needless to say how eager we are for Kesari. On the other hand, while Parineeti’s Namaste England didn’t get the box office collections soaring, Kesari seems like it could be her turning point.
Scheduled release: 21st March, 2019
5. Operation Khukri
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, Operation Khukri looks like the kind of comeback a director as stellar as Gowariker would make. The story revolves around a UN peacekeeping mission involving soldiers in Sierra Leone. Based on real-life Operation Khukri that focused on rescuing people from the RUF (Revolutionary United Front), it is set during the 2000s. With Shah Rukh Khan, Rajkumar Rao, Jackie Shroffa and Ayushman Khurrana, Operation Khukri has a lot of star power AND a solid plot coming together to blow our minds!
P.S. If you’re thinking how it would feel watching SRK yet again in the army avtar (after the 90s ‘Fauji’ and the 2012 ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, trust me, you’re not alone! *wink wink*
Scheduled release: 2019
6. Ek ladki ko Dekha to Aisa Laga
A Shelly Chopra Dhar directorial, Ek Ladki ko Dekha to Aisa Laga is a beautiful romance story with a slight twist. Almost like a pun on the original song from the movie ‘1942 A Love Story’, it has been touted as the most unexpected love story of the year. Revolving around homosexuality and the life of a simple girl from a middle-class household, this movie is going to be both hilarious and life-changing at the same time. Neerja actress Sonam Kapoor is playing the protagonist, with Rajkummar Rao is playing her friend? Love? Admirer? All in one? We don’t know, we’ll have to catch it on the 70mm to find that out isn’t it?
P.S. The dashing, uber cool for his age Anil Kapoor will be paired with Juhi Chawla. How lovely is that!
Scheduled release: 1st February, 2019
7. Mental Hai Kya
A Prakash Kovelamudi directorial, Mental Hai Kya is a dark humor film. The movie revolves around a girl who hallucinates (or maybe not) and a boy who supposedly tries to trap her (or maybe not), as per Kangana Ranaut. While Ranaut’s last film Simran did not create much of a buzz, Mental Hai Kya does sound attention-grabbing. After all, what’s the fun in always being sane? Stree starrer Rajkumar Rao will take the male protagonist’s role here.
Scheduled release: 29th March, 2019
Directed by Abhjit Pansey, Thackeray is all about the life of Bal Keshav Thackeray and the birth of Shiv Sena, a right-wing Marathi party under his tutelage. The film chronicles the life of the firebrand journalist turned politician who remains a Marathi legacy to this date, and a role model for the youth of Maharashtra. While Manto didn’t do very well at the box office, Nawazuddin Siddiqui won enough hearts with his intense performance to make Thackeray his next big hit.
Scheduled release: 25th January, 2019M
9. Mission Mangal
Helmed by Jagan Shakti, Mission Mangal is hyped as India’s first space film. It revolves around India’s Mars Mission, specifically focusing on the women engineers who helped make the mission a success. The star cast boasts of Akshay Kumar, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Vidya Balan, and Sharman Joshi (who will, hopefully, be able to erase people’s memories of his last tortured performance in Kaashi). While Tapsee’s Manmarziyaan wasn’t impressive, she’s all set for a massive comeback with Mission Mangal.
P.S. Even before hitting the screens, the movie has been sued by Radha Bharadwaj for copyright infringement of her 2016 script ‘Space MOMs’.
Scheduled release: 15th August, 2019
10. Luka Chuppi
Directed by Laxman Utekar, Luka Chuppi on the face of it seems like a generic romance story, and yet, the fresh pairing is what’s getting my attention. A television reporter in Mathura, played by Kartik Aryan, falls for a headstrong Ramona, played by Kriti Sanon. While Kartik Aryan won hearts with his cackling performance in Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety, Kriti Sanon charmed many a fan with the low-budget yet all-heart Bareilly Ki Barfi. If you’re a sweet rom-com fan, this could be your movie of the year.
Scheduled release: 1st March, 2019
A Sujoy Ghosh directorial, Badla is a remake of the Spanish film Contratiempo, translating to ‘The Invisible Guest’. Falling in the crime-thriller genre, it explores the story of a businessman arrested for murdering his ex-wife. The star cast includes superstar Amitabh Bhachchan and Tapsee Pannu, reuniting after a brilliant act together in Ghosh’s Pink. Do we need any more reasons to cheer?
Scheduled release: 8th March, 2019
Helmed by Krish Jagarlamudi, the movie depicts the life of Rani Lakshmibai, the Queen of Jhansi who led the Indian Rebellion of 1857 after the death of her husband. Kangana Ranaut is the lead protagonist, as well as the director for patches of the movie. While her last movie Simran wasn’t what people had hoped for, Manikarnika already looks like it could cross the 100 crore-mark at the box office.
Scheduled release: 25th January, 2019
Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, the Dangal director is all set to entertain you with his latest comedy film Chhichhore. While the storyline of the movie isn’t revealed yet, rumors are that the shooting is happening in the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Sushant Singh Rajput, after a lukewarm performance in Kedarnath, is starring in Chhichhore along with Shraddha Kapoor. While Shraddha’s Batti Gul Meter Chalu was an abominable flop and Stree came to her rescue, Chhochhore might just be the push she needs right now to break even.
After Kartik-Kriti, this is a fresh pairing I am excited to watch! Not to mention, the rather amusing title of the movie 😀
Scheduled release: 30th August, 2019
14. The Zoya Factor
An Abhishek Sharma directorial, The Zoya Factor is based on a novel of the same name by Anuja Chauhan. The plot of the film revolves around an advertising firm executive member who eventually becomes the lucky charm for the Indian Cricket Team. The protagonist, Zoya, will be essayed by Sonam Kapoor. Dulquer Salmaan, a South Indian actor will be portraying the male protagonist.
Besides the fact that Anuja Chauhan happens to be one of my favorite chick-lit authors, I am doubly excited about Dulquer Salman being a part of this project. Dulquer gave an outstanding performance in his Bollywood debut Karwaan (2018) as the disgruntled and rather lost but an extreme Good Samaritan Avinas. I can only imagine the sass he’s going to bring to his character in The Zoya Factor.
Scheduled release: 5 April 2019
There are a number of other big-budget movies all set to entertain us this year. What’s on your watch list? Comment below!