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Hindi films to watch out for in 2023: ‘Pathaan’ and ‘Tiger 3’ to ‘Khufiya’

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Big names, intriguing titles, riveting subjects, and curious collaborations define the slate of Hindi films in the New Year. One of the highlights of 2022 was Shah Rukh Khan’s pulsating cameo in  Brahmastra. With three films —  Pathaan, Jawan, and  Dunki — lined up in 2023, the star is set to get over this unprecedented lull in his career.

In  Pathaan, Shah Rukh is making an entry into Yash Raj’s action-thriller universe with Deepika Padukone and controversy in tow. In  Jawan, he is collaborating with bright, young Tamil director Atlee on a subject that is about everyman’s revenge and has Vijay Sethupati and Nayanthara alongside him. In  Dunki, he is joining hands with Rajkumar Hirani for the first time in what is easily the collaboration of the year.

Like SRK, Salman Khan also has a lot at stake after a series of duds. So, he has reserved two major festivals with  Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan releasing on Eid, and  Tiger 3 on Deepavali.

Ranbir Kapoor is collaborating with director Luv Ranjan, known for  Pyar Ka Punchnama series, on a quirky romantic comedy called  Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar where he is paired with Shraddha Kapoor. Later in the year, he will be seen in  Animal directed by Telugu filmmaker Sandeep Reddy Vanga.

Akshay Kumar will continue to deliver remakes of south hits; the next is  Selfiee, an official remake of the Malayalam film  Driving Licence. Meanwhile, Ajay Devgn will be seen in  Bholaa, a remake of Tamil hit  Kaithi and Karthik Aaryan’s next big release is  Shehzada, an official remake of Telugu super-hit  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.

However, one of the most awaited casting coups of 2023 is that of Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupati in Sriram Raghavan’s Merry Christmas. Not to forget Prabhas playing Lord Ram in Om Raut’s retelling of the Ramayana and Prithviraj Sukumaran joining Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff in Ali Abbas Zafar’s Chhote Miyan Bade Miyan.

Meanwhile, the battle of political narratives will continue with the National Award-winning filmmaker Raj Kumar Santoshi’s  Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh scheduled to release this Republic Day, followed by Randeep Hooda’s  Swatantra Veer Savarkar, Kangana Ranaut’s  Emergency and Vivek Agnihotri’s  The Vaccine War on Independence Day. We might also get to see the biopic of Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Pankaj Tripathi playing the former Prime Minister.

From Kuttey to Dunki, the industry’s love for animals is apparent in the choice of titles! Moreover, Victor Banerjee’s Lakadbaggha is about an animal lover who turns into a vigilante to counter the illegal animal trade; lead actor Anshuman Jha describes it as his ‘love letter to dogs’.

Here are some interesting titles to look out for in 2023 in order of their scheduled release dates:

Kuttey

The year begins with a black action comedy that sees a pack of top dogs drooling over some meaty stuff. Aasmaan Bhardwaj, son of director Vishal Bhardwaj, takes up the charge of directing a rich ensemble cast that has Arjun Kapoor, Tabu, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kumud Mishra, and Naseeruddin Shah keen on walking away with the biggest share of the pie.

Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat

Taking a break from thrillers, director Anurag Kashyap is coming with a romantic musical about young love. Starring Alaya F and debutant Karan Mehta, it is about how set beliefs and prejudices affect youngsters seeking love. With some interesting tunes by Amit Trivedi, Anurag believes love will bring in the revolution. Around Valentine’s Day?

Maidaan

After the fever of FIFA World Cup, director Amit Sharma promises to make us relive the golden era of Indian football through this biographical sketch of legendary Indian coach Syed Abdul Rahim. Amit who gave us the absolutely-lovable  Badhaai Ho, is switching his game with the sports biopic that is headlined by Ajay Devgn in the titular role. Priyamani has been cast opposite him, and one of the highlights is expected to be A R Rahman’s music.

Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani

Seven years after he directed  Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Karan Johar is returning to direct yet another romantic drama with a long and interesting title.  Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani is led by the electric pair of Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt and has an equally amazing supporting cast that includes Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, and Shabana Azmi.

Bawaal

Director Nitesh Tiwari of  Dangal fame joins hands with big-ticket producer Sajid Nadiadwala to create a love story between an ordinary boy and a beautiful girl. Starring Varun Dhawan and Jahnvi Kapoor, the film’s high-octane action sequences shot in European countries have already created a buzz.

Animal

The gangster drama starring Ranbir Kapoor is about turbulent relationships. Directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga of  Kabir Singh fame, the film has Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol in supporting roles and has Rashmika Mandanna as the female lead.

Khufiya

The spy thriller based on Amar Bhushan’s espionage novel  Nowhere to Return marks the return of filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj after a five-year break for his third major collaboration with Tabu. Those who have read Bhushan’s novel would know that the lead character is a man, but Vishal has changed the gender of the protagonist so that he could cast his muse.

Tiger 3

Out of the two festival releases of Salman Khan, the third installment of the  Tiger franchise directed by Maneesh Sharma seems more compelling. Written by Aditya Chopra, Neelesh Misra and Shridhar Raghavan, the spy-thriller will see Salman once again joining hands with Katrina Kaif, while Emraan Hashmi is the new entry to the den.

Sam Bahadur

One of the foremost storytellers of our times, Meghna Gulzar is back to tell the tale of one of the most revered but little-known figures of modern India. The film follows the life and times of Sam Manekshaw, the Chief of Army Staff who was the architect of India’s rousing victory over Pakistan in 1971. Starring the talented Vicky Kaushal in the lead, the film also has Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh in important roles.

Dunki

More than two decades after Shah Rukh Khan said no to  Munnabhai MBBS, he joins hands with filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. Both are known for their quirky sense of humour.

Said to be about the illegal ‘donkey flights’ that Indians take to immigrate to the US via Canada, the film is co-produced by Khan which means that Hirani is working outside the banner of producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra. In another first, Khan is paired with Taapsee Pannu who delivered a couple of powerful performances in 2022.

Also in the fray:

Laapataa Ladies

Director Kiran Rao has filmed the mess that is created after two brides go missing from a running train in rural India.

The Archies

Zoya Akhtar promises to transport the young generation to the magical town of Riverdale with the Indian adaptation of the popular comic. Set in the Anglo-Indian community, the Netflix musical drama will see a new generation of actors from film families making their debut. People are curious to know whether Agastya Nanda as Archie has imbibed the poise of his maternal grandfather Amitabh Bachchan, if Suhana Khan as Veronica has inherited the charm of her father Shah Rukh Khan, or Khushi Kapoor as Betty has the grace of her mother Sridevi.

Jee Le Zaraa

Masters of filming road trips with rich, urban metrosexuals, siblings Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, and their long-time collaborator Reema Kagti, return with yet another cinematic journey that celebrates friendship. This time with three dynamic girls played by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Alia Bhatt, and Katrina Kaif. How the dates of the three most wanted actors match will decide whether the film makes it to theatres in 2023. 



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