|Rani Mukherjee and Amitabh Bachchan in Black
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Storyline: A fitting tribute to the spirit of Hellen Keller, the film revolves around the unique relationship between a blind-deaf-mute girl and her never-say-die teacher.
Released on: February 4
City run: In week 13
Rated: Great opening, hit in the metros after positive worth-of-mouth publicity
Plus point: Bachchan and Rani act out a human drama with a difference. 'Black was quite an extraordinary experience. (For Sanjay) To make Black after the colourful and grand Devdas is a great departure. That's a sign of a genius,' says Amitabh Bachchan.
Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Boman Irani, Atul Kulkarni
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Storyline: A peek into the high-flying party life of Mumbai through the eyes of a journalist.
Released on: January 21
City run: Nine weeks
Rated: Average opening, surprise pick-up and hit in metros, average elsewhere
Plus points: Bhandarkar's roving, and often intrusive, camera, a novel theme and effortless performances. 'The honesty of the effort shines through in every frame,' says Boman Irani.
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Shamita Shetty, Udita Goswami
Director: Mohit Suri
Storyline: A broken marriage in the first few reels, an extra-marital relationship in the next few, and a gripping thriller from there on.
Released on: March 25
City run: Six weeks
Rated: Slow opening, hit in the metros, average elsewhere
Plus point: The Bhatt formula of making small-budget (Rs 3-4 crore) thrillers. 'The director and producer used the sex thing to create hype around the film, to make the audiences come to the halls. They always knew, once the audiences came to the theatres, they would love the film,' says Udita Goswami.
|Salman Khan and Sneha Ullal in Lucky
Lucky ' No Time For Love
Cast: Salman Khan, Sneha Ullal, Mithun Chakraborty
Director: Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru
Storyline: A fairytale set in the pristine locations of Russia, where a schoolgirl and an older man fall in love while on the run.
Released on: April 8
City run: In week five
Rated: Fabulous opening, semi-hit in the metros, good elsewhere
Plus point: Salman Khan still rocks at the box-office, especially with Ash II for company. 'Lucky is a love story with a fable quality,' say Rao and Sapru.
|Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar in Waqt
Waqt ' The Race Against Time
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra
Director: Vipul Shah
Storyline: A family drama where a super-rich dad suddenly realises that he has to make his son realise the importance of money before his time (he has a fatal disease) runs out.
Released on: April 22
City run: In week three
Rated: Amazing opening, hit in metros and abroad, good elsewhere
Plus point: Families are booking tickets in bulk to laugh in the first half and cry in the second. 'It is an honest film about emotions. We are real. The relationships are real' Everybody who loves someone fears losing him or her,' says Akshay Kumar.
|Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri in My Brother... Nikhil
Not to forget
A throwback to the turbulent times of the Sixties through three different mindscapes make Sudhir Mishra's Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi one of the best films to come out from India in recent times, while the honesty of My Brother' Nikhil tosses up a fresh perspective to the persistent problem named AIDS.
The first four months have been a downer for Tollywood. Of the dozen releases, the mythical potboiler Devi is reportedly doing brisk business in the suburbs. But tinsel town, as we know it, is still waiting for its first hit of the year. Here's focusing on the five most talked-about films that have sailed through this tepid season.
|Koushik Sen and Churni Ganguly in Shunyo e Bukey
Shunyo e Bukey
Cast: Koushik Sen, Churni Ganguly, Tota Roy Chowdhury
Director: Kaushik Ganguly
Storyline: After love at first sight, artist Koushik discovers on his wedding night that wife Churni is flat-chested. As the marriage sours, Tota steps in to win the woman's heart and steal a march over his friend.
Released on: April 15
Run: Fourth week at Nandan and the two INOXes.
Rated: Above average, say the serpentine queues at Nandan
Plus point: Pre-release hype coupled with a controversial subject is pulling in the college crowds. 'Nandan is doing daily business of around Rs 75,000. On weekends, it is touching Rs 85,000. Talks are on with Mumbai-based Shringar Films for a nationwide release,' says Kaushik Ganguly.
Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Dipankar De, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Rituparna Sengupta, Raima Sen, Parambrata Chatterjee
Director: Sandip Ray
Storyline: A family of five and a guest are stranded in a desolate cottage in the hills when a landslide snaps all sources of water, food and electricity.
Released on: April 15
Run: Fourth week at Priya and the multiplexes
Rated: Average, faring better than Shunyo e Bukey at the two INOXes
Minus point: Something's missing, say some. The drama isn't taut, say others. 'Not all films can be a Bombaiyer Bombete,' counters Sandip Ray. 'It has been a dream production but I am not satisfied with the distribution. Publicity has really been very low.'
|Koel Mullick and Jeet
Cast: Jeet, Koel Mullick, Ranjit Mullick
Director: Probhat Roy
Storyline: Hired by realtor Ranjit Mullick to put some touts in place, village boy Jeet falls for the polished and petite daughter of his employer
Released on: April 15
Run: Fourth week in the city and its outskirts
Rated: Above average, expected to have a steady run
Plus point: Much of the charm in Probhat Roy's comeback film after three years comes from the rustic hero adapting to the ways of the world. Plus, the proven screen chemistry of Jeet and Koel. 'I have packed in everything a family would want to watch together ' comedy, emotion and drama,' says Roy.
Cast: Prosenjit, Ranjit Mullick, Jisshu Sengupta, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Arunima Ghosh
Director: Haranath Chakraborty
Storyline: Fighting against a corrupt social set-up, Prosenjit flits in and out of six different looks to beat the bad men.
Released on: February 4
Run: A little more than two months in the city. Still on in the suburbs
Minus point: Prosenjit's role-swapping didn't work with his fans, despite the smart editing and sleek frames.
Cast: Mithun Chakraborty, Rambha
Director: T.L.V. Prasad
Storyline: Mithun romances damsel-in-distress Rambha in between kicks and punches
Released on: January 14
Run: More than three months in the city and suburbs
Rated: Above average
Plus point: Lush South India locales, sharp camera work and Bollywood beauty Rambha's oomph, not to forget the Mithun-TLV Prasad combo. 'Cheeta is the remake of a hit South Indian film with a good budget,' says Shyamal Dutta of EIMPA.
Watch out for…
Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan and Sanjay Dutt
Why watch: The celluloid adaptation of Sarat
Chandra Chattopadhyay's saga is set in Calcutta of 1960s
Director: Amol Palekar
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee. Cameos by Amitabh Bachchan and Juhi Chawla
Why watch: Palekar goes mainstream with this film based on a folk tale about a woman who falls in love with a ghost
Director: Rituparno Ghosh
Cast: Jackie Shroff, Abhishek Bachchan, Soha Ali Khan and Rupa Ganguly
Why watch: Ghosh gets a Bollywood line-up for this intricate period piece set in 19th century Bengal
Joddha (tentatively titled)
Director: Ravi Kinnagi
Cast: Mithun Chakraborty, Jeet, Debasree Roy and Koel Mullick
Why watch: The Jeet-Mithun combo is sure to pack in more punch than usual