HINDI MOVIE PreviewS
“102 Not Out” Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Jimit Trivedi; directed by Umesh Shukla; music by Salim-Sulaiman.
Based on a Gujarati play written by Saumya Joshi, this comedy brings together two Indian cinema stalwarts after 27 years. Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor play father and son for the first time. Bachchan is the 102 years young, Dattatraya Vakharia, who believes in living life to the fullest. His goal is to break the world’s record of oldest living man, held by a 118-year-old Chinese man. To that end, Dattatraya wants to live a stress-free life. However, there is one hindrance, his son Babulal, played by Kapoor. At 75, Babulal seems content with a life of old age stuck in drudgery. Dattatraya must find ways to change his son’s gloomy demeanor so that he doesn’t become a hindrance to breaking the record. This journey changes them and their relationship. Expect emotion and commotion. Watch for an upbeat number sung by Bachchan and Kapoor.
“Raazi” Starring Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapoor, Shishir Sharma; directed by Meghna Gulzar; music by Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy.
We loved Meghna Gulzar’s directorial debut, “Filhaal” (2002), which she also wrote, worth the watch if you haven’t seen it. She also directed the murder mystery “Talwar,” based on true events. This film, adapted from Harinder Sikka’s novel “Calling Sehmat,” tells the true story of a young Indian spy who was married to a Pakistani Army officer during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Alia Bhatt is consistently proving her acting talent. “Udta Punjab,” “Dear Zindagi” and “Badrinath Ki Dulhania” are just some recent examples. Here, Bhatt plays Sehmat, an Indian girl facing extraordinary circumstances as she endures demanding training to prepare for her undercover task. After her marriage to an officer in the Pakistani Army, played by Vicky Kaushal, Sehmat moves to Pakistan. As war is imminent, her mission is to spy for valuable information for Indian intelligence. Rajit Kapoor plays her patriotic father. Bhatt’s real life mother, Soni Razdan, is the mom. Kudos to the filmmakers for bringing this story to light, we’re looking forward to this one.
“Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran” Starring John Abraham, Diana Penty, Boman Irani; directed by Abhishek Sharma; music by Sachin-Jigar.
The Indian Army conducted a nuclear bomb test explosion at Pokhran in 1998. The film tells the story of a team of officers responsible for this covert operation. Leading the dedicated brave team is army officer Captain Ashwat Raina, played by John Abraham. Operation Shakti was carried out while India faced tremendous international pressure not to go forward with the tests. Diana Penty plays Captain Ambalika. This event may not get discussed much as the details are not known but it put India on the course to become a nuclear power. It was shot in Delhi, Mumbai and the Pokhran, Rajasthan, and produced by Abraham whose production company brought us the acclaimed “Vicky Donor” and “Madras Café.” The makers say it’s a tribute to the men and women who selflessly serve the country expecting no accolades in return.
“Blackmail” Starring Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Divya Dutta, Arunoday Singh, Omi Vaidya; directed by Abhinay Deo; music by Amit Trivedi, Divine, Guru Randhawa and Baadshah.
The director of the spy thriller “Force 2” and the comedy “Delhi Belly,” for which he won the Filmfare award for best debut director in 2011, delivers this dark comedy featuring an ensemble cast. The versatile Irrfan Khan plays a middle-aged married man named Dev and Kirti Kulhari portrays his wife Reena. Dev’s seemingly boring routine life takes an unexpected turn after he finds out his wife is having an affair. Choosing an unpredictable way to deal with that discovery, Dev decides to blackmail the other man for money. Unfortunately for him, the plan goes awry in a most crazy way. Watch for Urmila Matondkar, who makes a special appearance in the item song “Bewafa beauty.” Khan had revealed in March he was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor and would be starting treatment. Along with his many fans, we wish him well.
“October” Starring Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, Gitanjali Rao; directed by Shoojit Sircar; music by Shantanu Moitra.
The successful director of “Pink,” “Piku,” “Madras Café” and “Vicky Donor” takes on a different genre with “October.” Varun Dhawan stars as Dan, a young hotel management student working for a five-star hotel as part of its management trainee program. Banita Sandhu makes her debut as Shiuli, a fellow trainee at the hotel. They and several friends share their everyday ups and downs. Career-focused Dan’s life is disoriented after Shiuli meets with a traumatic accident and the first thing she says upon regaining consciousness is his name. Dan and Shiuli's lives forge together in an unusual bond, unlike most 21-year-olds. The emotional connection between them goes through a transformation and leads to an awakening. The makers say “October” is not a love story, but rather a story about love.
“Baazaar” Starring Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Chitrangada Singh, Rohan Mehra; directed by Gauravv K. Chawla; music by Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi.
Produced and written by Nikkhil Advani, who directed the hit “Kal Ho Na Ho,” this drama is set against the high-stakes backdrop of the Mumbai stock market. Saif Ali Khan plays a ruthless street smart businessman, the antagonist. Khan reportedly took Gujarati lessons for this role. Yesteryear actor Vinod Mehra’s son, Rohan Mehra, makes his debut as the hero. Reports say Khan appreciates playing well-written powerful characters, even if they are negative. Chitrangada Singh plays his wife Mandira. Last seen in “Padman,” Radhika Apte plays an ambitious financial analyst. Plot details are scarce; the makers say it’s a story of ambition, revenge, friendship and passion. But more than anything, a story of a city of dreams called Mumbai.