Every new year brings with itself new hopes. And from a cinephile point of view, we hope to see fresh and great films. So, making a list of most anticipated movies is always exciting. More often than not, most of the films on anticipated list will end up disappointing us — we know that from our past experiences — but at least for now we all can bask in the glory of unknown. With that said, here are the 20 most anticipated Bollywood movies of 2017.
Release Date: 23rd June
Director: Kabir Khan
Starring: Salman Khan, Zhu Zhu, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub
Why Anticipate? If we consider Kabir Khan’s filmography, ‘Kabul Express’ (about war-torn Afghanistan) remains his most honest film and the news of him making a film on 1962 Indo-China war gives an impression that he has the required ability to pull it off. Given he lends it the same honesty which he did to ‘Kabul Express’ without falling prey to the trappings of directing a superstar.
Release Date: 7th April
Director: Rahul Bose
Starring: Rahul Bose, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Heeba Shah
Why Anticipate? : “The Superstar of Indian Arthouse Cinema” as called by Time, Bose is one of the few serious actors working out of India today, and we are excited to see what he brings to the table with his directorial venture. The man is no novice to filmmaking, having won the John Schlesinger Award for his debut feature ‘Everybody Says I’m Fine!’ at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Also, the plot synopsis – the story of the youngest girl ever to climb Mount Everest – sounds quite interesting.
18. Jolly LLB 2
Release Date: 10th February
Director: Subhash Kapoor
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Mishra, Huma Qureshi
Why Anticipate? It was highly criminal of the production house to let Arshad Warsi go in favour of a more bankable star for the sequel. For Akshay Kumar, it will be a little tricky to fill in the shoes of a lawyer from Uttar Pradesh, but he has time and again proved his mettle in various films. Let’s hope that Subhash Kapoor and Akshay manage to deliver on the expectations and the sequel makes its predecessor sufficiently proud. Annu Kapoor will be a highlight as his previous outing as a lawyer in ‘Aitraaz’ was sharp.
Release Date: 14th July
Director: Raja Krishna Menon
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Sobhita Dhulipala, Padmapriya
Why Anticipate? : Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’ isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, but it still is a very well made feel-good movie, and it would be interesting to see how it is adapted into an Indian setting. Raja Krishna Menon impressed us last year with ‘Airlift’ and it remains to be seen if he can recreate the magic.
Release Date: 13th January
Director: Shlok Sharma
Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shweta Tripathi
Why Anticipate? After a long battle with CBFC, ‘Haraamkhor’ will hit the screens on 13th January, 2017. Shlok Sharma’s debut has managed to generate the much needed buzz with its quirky trailer which promises genuine earthiness and exciting unpredictability. Shweta Tripathi’s (the girl from ‘Masaan’) pairing with Indie cinema’s blue eyed boy Nawazuddin has the right amount of spark plastered all over it.
Release Date: 25th January
Director: Rahul Dholakia
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mahira Khan
Why Anticipate? Shah Rukh teaming up with Rahul Dholakia (director of ‘Parzania’) is unusually compelling. Shah Rukh in an attempt to get his game right is ready to experiment and we are all for it. The makers have denied the strong rumours that Raees is based on Abdul Latif’s life which makes it even more interesting because the era it is set in strongly suggests otherwise. Another factor which has sent the mercury soaring is the presence of none other than Nawazuddin who plays an investigative officer determined to take down the nexus of Raees. It has all the makings of a runaway hit, it better not flounder.
14. Toilet Ek Prem Katha
Release Date: 2nd June
Director: Sree Narayan Singh
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar
Why Anticipate? The film’s storyline appears to be a bit similar to a Tamil film ‘Joker’ which released last year to heavy critical acclaim. Since there is no confirmation from the makers regarding the inspiration, we would refrain from calling it a remake. Nonetheless, the casting of Akshay Kumar with Bhumi Pednekar is enough to leave us grinning with joy.
13. Hindi Medium
Release Date: 31st March
Director: Saket Choudhary
Starring: Irrfan, Deepak Dobriyal, Saba Qamar
Why Anticipate? Saket Choudhary (‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’ fame) is helming this project which is about a couple who try to find their place among Delhi’s elite. It has Irrfan and Deepak Dobriyal in it who will share the screen space after 12 long years. Let’s leave it at that.
Release Date: 1st September
Director: Milan Luthria
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Ileana D’Cruz
Why Anticipate? : Luthria has been a hit or miss – his last feature ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara’ was a colossal disappointment, but we still believe he is a talented filmmaker and hope ‘Baadshaho’ will go more along the lines of ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbai’ and ‘The Dirty Picture’, two of his finest works.
Release Date: 24th March
Director: Anshai Lal
Starring: Anushka Sharma, Diljit Dosanjh, Suraj Sharma
Why Anticipate? Anushka Sharma turned producer with an impressive ‘NH10’ and this will be the second film in her kitty as a maker. It is a romantic comedy set in Punjab. The film is being directed by Anshai Lal who has assisted on credible films like ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’, ‘Chak De India’ and ‘Dostana’. We can safely expect decent entertainment out of this one.
Release Date: 15th August
Director: Neeraj Pandey
Starring: Akshay Kumar
Why Anticipate? : Neeraj Pandey-Akshay Kumar duo is probably the biggest actor-director combo in Bollywood today; both their previous collaborations (‘Special 26’ and ‘Baby’) have clicked with the masses and the critics, and this promises to be no different.
9. A Death in the Gunj
Release Date: TBA
Director: Konkona Sen Sharma
Starring: Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey, Gulshan Devaiah, Om Puri, Tillotama Shome, Jim Sarbh, Vikrant Massey (Ranvir Singh’s friend in ‘Lootera’)
Why Anticipate? Konkona Sen will be following in her mother’s footsteps by debuting as a director with this movie. Abhishek Chaubey and well sought after casting director Honey Trehan will launch their production company with this flick. The film is about an excursion which goes horribly wrong for a family. It premiered at Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) to rave reviews and critical acclaim. You have our curiosity as well as our attention Konkona.
8. Rani Padmavati
Release Date: 17th November
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone
Why Anticipate? Bhansali and team swept us off our feet with ‘Bajirao Mastani’. With ‘Rani Padmavati’, the stakes as well as the expectations will be even higher. Ranveer Singh (who was exceptional as Bajirao) plays Alaudin Khilji, a ruler from Delhi who invades Mewar to capture Ratan Singh’s wife, the exquisite Padmavati (Deepika Padukone). Ratan Singh is being played by Shahid Kapoor – his first collaboration with Bhansali. Exciting enough!
Release Date: 15th September
Director: Hansal Mehta
Starring: Kangana Ranaut
Why Anticipate? : Hansal Mehta’s last feature ‘Aligarh’ was a regular fixture in most of the “best of” lists of 2016, and the talented director returns with a drama starring Kangana Ranaut. Not much about the film is known, but considering the roll that Mehta is on with ‘Shahid’, ‘City Lights’ and ‘Aligarh’, we are looking forward to this one.
Release Date: February (tentative)
Director: Vikramaditya Motwani
Starring: Rajkummar Rao, Geetanjali Thapa
Why Anticipate? : ‘Trapped’ got a standing ovation and rave reviews when in it premiered at the Jio Mami Mumbai Film Festival this year, and considering that Motwani is the man helming the flick, we aren’t surprised. A survival drama set in Mumbai, this movie is being compared to ‘Cast Away’ and ‘127 Hours’, and we hope it lives up to the expectations.
5. Secret Superstar
Release Date: 4th August
Director: Advait Chandan
Starring: Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij, Aamir Khan
Why Anticipate? : The only reason why this movie finds a mention in this list is because it an Aamir Khan Productions feature, starring Khan (albeit probably not in the lead). Now if you are wondering why this matters, take a look at the movies produced by Aamir Khan Productions till date – ‘Lagaan’, ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’, ‘Peepli Live’, ‘Dhobi Ghat’, ‘Delhi Belly’, ‘Talaash’ and ‘Dangal’. You get the idea, don’t you?
4. Jagga Jasoos
Release Date: 7th April
Director: Anurag Basu
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Saurabh Shukla, Saswata Chatterjee
Why Anticipate? Did you watch the trailer? ‘Jagga Jasoos’ brings back fond memories of ‘Barfi’ but also appears distinct at the same time. It is a romantic musical with adventure written all over it. Jagga has been in the making for the longest time and its delay raised suspicion of the unfavourable kind. Its rushes however have restored some faith. Eagerly waiting this one and hoping that we don’t get served with another ‘Barfi’ because the law of diminishing returns holds true even now.
Release Date: December (tentative)
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor
Why Anticipate? : It is Rajkumar Hirani film – What more reason do we need! One of the finest and most prolific directors working today in Bollywood, Hirani is an institution all by himself. Add to that, he is wading into a serious biopic on his close friend Sanjay Dutt, who happens to be one of the most controversial and colorful superstars in Bollywood history, and we can’t wait for this to come out.
Release Date: 11th August
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sayani Gupta
Why Anticipate: ? Imtiaz Ali is one of the most loved filmmakers working out of India today, and commands a huge cult following. While his last feature ‘Tamasha’ might have opened to a polarizing response (largely positive), his teaming up with Shah Rukh Khan for the first time is quite exciting to say the least. Let’s hope, he comes out with another gem.
Release Date: 24th February
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Starring: Kangana Ranaut, Shahid Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan
Why Anticipate? : Vishal Bhardwaj will don the director’s hat again with ‘Rangoon’, this time with a ‘Casablanca’-esque love triangle set during the World War II. One of our favorite Bollywood directors, Bhardwaj’s last feature ‘Haider’ is one of the finest films of this decade, and with a legend like Matthew Robbins writing the screenplay and the talented Kangana Ranaut in the lead, we feel that Bhardwaj will not disappoint.
Read More: The 10 Best Bollywood Movies of 2016