Hindi movie previews
By SHEPHALI J. RELE
“Mili” Starring Janhvi Kapoor, Sunny Kaushal, Manoj Pahwa; directed by Mathukutty Xavier; music by A.R. Rahman.
This survival thriller is a Hindi remake of the 2019 Malayalam language film “Helen,” which won the National Award for best debut film by Mathukutty Xavier. In the Hindi remake, Janhvi Kapoor stars in the title role as a young nurse who lives with her doting father. Manoj Pahwa plays her father, Mr. Naudiyal, who isn’t too keen on her wishes to travel abroad one day. Mili also works in a mall fast food joint and has a boyfriend, Sameer, played by Sunny Kaushal. One night, while taking her home, they are stopped by police. The next day, Mili never reaches home after her shift. A frantic search begins and her father suspects Sameer’s involvement in her disappearance. Meanwhile, Mili has accidently been locked in the freezer at work and she must fight to stay alive as the temperature slowly drops. The Malayalam original was a wonderful film. With the same director at the helm, this version should also resonate.
“Uunchai” Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Danny Denzongpa, Parineeti Chopra, Neena Gupta, Sarika, Nafisa Ali Sodhi; directed by Sooraj Barjatya; music by Amit Trivedi.
This Rajshri production features an ensemble star cast and promises to be a complete family entertainer. The story revolves around four longtime friends played by Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani and Danny Denzongpa. After Danny’s character suddenly dies, the others plan to honor his unfulfilled lifelong dream to climb Mount Everest. Despite obvious hurdles, including their age and health issues, they are determined in their goal. Parineeti Chopra plays Shraddha, their guide, on the trek. Neena Gupta, Sarika and Nafisa Ali are featured in supporting roles. Scenic filming locations include Nepal, Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Lucknow and Kanpur. The makers call the adventure a celebration of friendship, “a personal, emotional and spiritual journey as they battle their physical limitations and discover the true meaning of freedom.”
“Maja Ma” Starring Madhuri Dixit, Gajraj Rao, Ritwik Bhomik, Barkha Singh, Srishti Shrivastava, Rajit Kapur, Simone Singh, Sheeba Chaddha, Ninad Kamat; directed by Anand Tiwari.
This Madhuri Dixit entertainer is the first Indian original film commissioned by Amazon Prime Video. The streamer says several more are planned, including Telugu and Tamil films. Madhuri Dixit stars as Pallavi, a strong Gujarati middle-class mother of two, who teaches dance. Ritwik Bhomik (from “Bandish Bandits”) is her doting son, Tejas, and Gajraj Rao plays her simple husband. Tejas is engaged to Esha, a rich NRI whose parents agree to the match but only after much drama. At the last minute, an unsavory rumor about Pallavi threatens the engagement. The conflict tests relationships and beliefs as she is forced to confront her past and tries to make things right. The makers say the film is “the right mix of entertainment, laughter, drama, sorrow, understanding and misunderstanding,” and, of course, colorful song and dance. Watch it on Prime Video starting Oct. 6.
“Goodbye” Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rashmika Mandanna, Neena Gupta, Sunil Gover, Pavail Gulati, Ashish Vidyarthi; written and directed by Vikas Bahl; music by Amit Trivedi.
The heartwarming story about life, family and relationships centers on the Bhalla family coming to terms with sudden death of the mother. Amitabh Bachchan stars as the father who wishes to perform all traditional last rites after his wife, played by Neena Gupta, passes. Popular Telugu actress Rashmika Mandanna makes her Hindi film debut as his daughter Tara who questions the ancient practices. Her brothers also seem indifferent. When the family reunites for the funeral, there is drama, dysfunction, comedy and the celebration of life in every circumstance. Ektaa Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures is one of the film’s producers.
“Ram Setu” Starring Akshay Kumar, Jacqueline Fernandez, Nushratt Bharuccha, Satyadev Kancharana; directed by Abhishek Sharma.
This action-adventure film stars Akshay Kumar who’s seen wearing glasses and sporting long hair as archeologist Aryan Kulshrestha. The story involves his search to find if the bridge to Lanka, built by Ram’s Vanara army, is myth or reality. While specific plot details haven’t been revealed, the protagonist has only three days to save the Ram Setu before evil forces destroy it. In Indian mythology, the Ram Setu or bridge was built so Lord Ram could reach Lanka to rescue his wife Sita. Also known as Adam’s Bridge, the Ram Setu is a 30-mile chain of limestone shoals between Rameswaram on India’s southeast coast and Mannar Island near Sri Lanka’s northwest coast. Expect high-voltage stunts and scenic locales, including underwater diving. After a theatrical release, the film will stream on Amazon Prime Video.
“Brahmãstra Part One: Shiva” Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna Akkineni; written and directed by Ayan Mukerji; music by Pritam.
The first part of a planned trilogy, this much awaited action fantasy creates what the makers say is India’s first original cinematic universe – the Astraverse. Set in modern times with roots in Indian mythology, the premise features a secret society called the Brahmānsh, Amitabh Bhachchan plays Guru, their leader. They have protected many divine ‘Astras’ (weapons) created in ancient India and kept them safe-guarded from the world for generations. The most powerful of these weapons, named after the most powerful weapon of the Gods, the Brahmāstra, is waking up, thanks to a mysterious dark force threatening to destroy the universe. Ranbir Kapoor stars as the protagonist Shiva, a DJ on the brink of love with Isha played by Alia Bhatt. Their world is shaken when Shiva learns of his mysterious link to the Brahmānsh and the Brahmāstra. He discovers the truth about his strange connection with the element of fire and its power. This leads to adventures into the world of the Astras and his destiny as the divine hero of the universe. Expect action-packed storytelling with themes of good vs. evil, love and hope featuring never-seen-before visual spectacles. The movie will be released in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada in premium format screens, including IMAX.
“Vikram Vedha” Starring Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Rohit Saraf, Yogita Bihani and Sharib Hashmi; directed by Pushkar-Gayatri; music by Vishal-Shekhar.
This action thriller is a remake of the popular 2017 Tamil film of the same name originally made by the directing duo. It showcases the face-off between a tough police officer who sets out to track down and kill an equally tough gangster. Saif Ali Khan stars as the determined cop Vikram, and Hrithik Roshan portrays the ruthless gangster Vedha. The film underlines an intense battle on the perceptions between good and evil. Radhika Apte plays Vikram’s wife and Rohit Saraf is Vedha’s brother. The movie releases on Sept. 30.
“Darlings” Starring Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah, Vijay Varma, Roshan Mathew; directed by Jasmeet K Reen; music by Vishal Bhardwaj.
This quirky thriller stars Alia Bhatt as Badru and Shefali Shah as her mother. Fighting against unique circumstances, they struggle to find their place in Mumbai. Vijay Varma plays Humza, Badru’s volatile husband. Badru hopes Humza will reform when he stops drinking but does a predator ever really change? When his rage eventually goes too far, she takes matters into her own hands leading to some darkly comic situations. Expect power packed performances from the mother-daughter duo. “Darlings” is produced by Alia Bhatt (Eternal Sunshine) and Gauri Khan (Red Chilles Entertainment) and premieres Aug. 5 on Netflix.
“Laal Singh Chaddha” Starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mona Singh, Naga Chaitanya; directed by Advait Chandan; music by Pritam.
This official remake of “Forrest Gump” was almost two decades in the making. Atul Kulkarni wrote the adapted screenplay. Aamir Khan stars in the title role, Mona Singh plays his mother. She teaches her young son self-confidence and that he can accomplish anything without limits. Kareena Kapoor Khan stars as Rupa, his love interest. Events of India’s history unfold through the eyes of Laal Singh. The makers describe it as “a simple man on an extraordinary journey.” Filmed in over 100 locations, including Chandigarh, Kolkata, Kerala, Jaisalmer, Goa, Srinagar and Ladakh, it features a soulful soundtrack.