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HALF-YEAR HITS

1Film: Rang De Basanti

Starring: Aamir Khan, Alice Patten, Siddharth, Kunal Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan, Atul Kulkarni, Sharman Joshi and Madhavan

Hit highlights: 'Zindagi jeene ke do hi tareeke hain' Ek jo ho raha hai hone do, bardaasht karte raho' Ya zimmedari uthao use badalne ki'

Once DJ and gang took up that responsibility, patriotism got a new name and a blockbuster was born. Adopting a topical theme of corruption and plane crash, Rang De looked at the bigger picture of how only the youth can make a country perfect. Writer-director Rakeysh Mehra had promised: 'You'll surely come out of the halls thinking.'

The film was fun, provoked thought and marked the return of A.R. Rahman to his best. Aye saala...

2 Film: Fanaa

Starring: Aamir Khan, Kajol

Hit highlights: When you pair two of the biggest stars for the first time (one making a comeback after five years and the other riding the Rang De wave), have one of them kill the other at the end and yet register record business, you know you have done something right.

Director Kunal Kohli wisely dedicated the first half of what is essentially a thriller to the romance of Rehaan Qadri and Zooni Ali Beg.

And how can you possibly not respond to Aamir whispering to a gorgeous-looking Kajol, 'Hai jo seene mein qaid dariya woh chhoot jayega' Hai itna dard ki tera daman bheeg jayega''

3 Film: Phir Hera Pheri

Starring: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Bipasha Basu, Rimii

Hit highlights: Successful sequels were alien to Bollywood till Raju, Shyam and Babubhai returned. A new director, a new storyline and new heroines meant new interest in the franchise. Director Neeraj Vora's promise of PHP being 'twice better than the first' didn't fall flat as audiences kept rolling in the aisles, laughing.

While action stars Akshay and Suniel raised a few laughs, it was Paresh Rawal with his thick lens and hunchback gait that did the trick yet again. His big question was: 'Phir hera pheri karne ka ki nahin karne ka' The answer' A resounding yes, loud enough for Vora and company to plan the next episode in the lives of these three men in a chawl.

4 Film: Malamaal Weekly

Starring: Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Riteish, Rajpal Yadav, Reema Sen

Hit highlights: No regular hero-heroine, no running around trees, not even the slow-mo dhishum-dhishum, yet Priyadarshan's 'most realistic comedy' was able to piggyback on two of the best actors on Indian screen to become the first surprise hit of the year.

Between them, Paresh Rawal and Om Puri made the screen come alive with some remarkable repartees and clean humour. In an age of Bachchans and Khans, to score with Puri and Paresh is, as a Sidhuism would go, as big as the face of Dhoni's bat (not after the Windies washout, though).

5 Film: Gangster

Starring: Shiney Ahuja, Emraan Hashmi, Kangna

Hit highlights: Take four chartbusters, dice in one great debut, stir in a typical Bhatt controversy and mix one specialist kisser and, voila, you have another sleeper hit from Vishesh Films. Shiney Ahuja made Abu Salem (if at all) his very own as he scampered through the streets of Seoul with a rugged vulnerability. With a bag-full of medicines and chemotherapy sessions to contend with, writer-director Anurag Basu waved the 'Bengalis in Bollywood' baton yet again.

fast forward: JULY-DEC

Krrish

Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Naseeruddin Shah
Why: One week old, India’s first superhero has what it takes to emerge as one of the big hits of the year. Completing his hit hat-trick with director papa Rakesh Roshan, Hrithik will return later on the other side of the law in Dhoom 2

Omkara

Starring: Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Viveik Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Bipasha Basu, Naseeruddin Shah
Why: Director Vishal Bhardwaj’s understanding of Shakespeare and his ability to place the Bard’s boys in today’s India makes this Othello adaptation irresistible. Maqbool might have lost out on stars, but Omkara has all the right people to impress the crowd and the connoisseur

Salaam-e-Ishq

Starring: Salman Khan, John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Govinda, Akshaye Khanna, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Ayesha Takia, Juhi Chawla, Perizaad Zorabian
Why: Kal Ho Naa Ho director Nikhil Advani seems best suited to handle the desi version of Love Actually with a star cast good enough to be an industry on its own. Plus, music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Don

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal
Why: The Farhan Akhtar-Shah Rukh combo is an exciting prospect by itself and when you have them trying to remake the Big B classic, there’s no reason why two generations won’t turn up to watch the double act from King Khan. Plus, Kareena doing a Helen with Yeh mera dil.

KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan
Why: If there’s one film that can’t go wrong then this is it. Not only should it break domestic box-office records, Karan Johar’s latest magnum opus should topple his K3G mark abroad too

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