Saawariya: Sanjay Leela Bhansaliís first stab at young love features the two most talked-about newcomers since Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor. Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor are all set to create a unique magic on screen. Saawariya will transport audiences back to the arcadian romance of Raj Kapoor. The music, ambience and the glamour augur well for the future of cinema on young love. Salman Khan and Rani Mukherjee are joined by the two veteran actresses, Begum Para and Zohra Sehgal, in this opulent ode to that hoary feeling called love.
Guru: Our Maniís worth... Guru showcases Abhishek Bachchan as a Gujarati dreamer who goes from age 20 to age 60. Junior put on oodles of weight to get the gait right. The Ash-Abhi pair which has so far come a cropper at the box-office, is expected to come alive in Maniís expert hands. Madhavan and Vidya Balan make significant appearances in this eagerly awaited bio-pic.
Salaam-e-Ishq: Nikhil Advaniís ode to love has four gorgeous couples nibbling into that thing called love. The highlight is Karan Joharís voice on the phone announcing himself to the star-struck Priyanka Chopra, Main Karan Johar bol raha hoon.í Faint or float! After Kal Ho Na Ho and Karan, Nikhil needs to prove himself.
Metro: After Gangster, we would wade through knee-deep slush to see what Anurag Basu has up his sleeve. Metro brings together one of the most interesting ensemble casts on this side of OmkaraÖFrom Shilpa Shetty to Kangana Ranaut, Kay Kay Menon to Shiney Ahuja the entire film has been done in the rain! Looks like 2007 will be the year of romance on celluloid.
Life Mein Kabhi Kabhi: A few glimpses of this energetic tribute to the disenchantments of youth, and you know Vikram Bhatt is on a comeback trail. The story of five friends, played by Dino Morea, Aftab Shivdasani, Sammir Dattani, Nauheed Cyrusi and debutante Anjori Alagh adopts the episodic formatÖso much in vogue in 2007. Check out Salaam-e-Ishq, N. Chandraís Breaking News, Nisha Chainaniís Mumbai Marathon and Samir Karnikís Mera Bharat Mahaan.
Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom: Shaad Aliís third film goes to London to shoot the never-before team of Bobby Deol, Abhishek and Preity Zinta. The theme is being kept completely under wraps. But Shaad is making a romantic comedy with dollops of bizarre humour. The redoubtable Big B plays the sutradhar.
Chak De: Shah Rukh Khanís only release in 2007 (unless Farah Khan wraps up her Om Shanti Om) will feature him as an embittered coach of an all-girlsí hockey team in this Yash Raj Film directed by Shimit Amin whose Ab Tak Chhappan for Ram Gopal Varma invented a new language for cinema on encounter killings, goes for a frothier tone to suit the glam banner.
Pradeep Sarkarís Untitled Film: Jaya Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Rani Mukherjee and Konkona Sensharma form a family of four in this intricately woven family drama that shuttles between Varanasi and Mumbai. Abhishek Bachchan and Kunal Kapoor are the love interests.
Ram Gopal Varma ke Sholay: Curiosity will run higher as Ramuís much-discussed film approaches its culmination. Inside information insists Amitabh Bachchan as Gabbar and Sushmita Sen as the widow are going to be the highlights of the film. Urmila Matondkar films the item number, Mehbooba mehbooba, as soon she returns from her New Year holiday. Also worth a dekko would be Ramuís Nishabd where he says he has completely changed his style of storytelling to capture a 60-plus Big B besotted by a 20-minus Jiah Khan. Weíve had many male Khan superstars. But no female Khan to reckon with.
No Smoking: Vishal Bhardwaj teams up with Anurag Kashyap. John Abraham plays a guy struggling to break out of a bad habit.
Mukhbiir: Mani Shankar takes the espionage genre into uncharted territory to tell the story of a 19-year- old government informer who is forced to change his identity so often he forgets who he is. Reality drama hits the spy genre in this stark and hard-hitting drama with a career-making performance by Sammir Dattani.
Tara Rum Pum Pum: Saif and Rani together again after Hum Tum. Siddharth Anand directs this Yash Raj Film which was shot entirely in New York.
Jodha Akbar: Ashutosh Gowarikerís lavish historical promises to present Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai in shades that Dhoom: 2 couldnít have imagined. The perfectionist that he is, Gowariker is sparing no pains to make the costume drama authentic yet gripping.
Shaka Lala Boom Boom: Suneel Darshan does his own Amadeus. Bobby Deol is the senior musician jealous of his talented protege, Upen Patel. Kangana is the belle of contention.
Eklavya: Vidhu Vinod Chopraís intriguing thriller has a jigsaw feel to the flow from the real to the reel. The enchanting cast includes Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan. But most important, it brings together Chopra and the Big B. The director waited 17 years for this.
Halla Bol: Inspired by Aamir Khanís Narmada campaign, Rajkumar Santoshi directs this film about a film actor Ajay Devganís commitment towards society and the people. The treatment of the serious theme is forever light-hearted and therefore bound to have a massy impact.
Namaste London: Vipul Shah makes Katrina Kaif do a Saira Banu in this contemporary interpretation of Manoj Kumarís Purab Aur Paschim about an Indian wife who learns all about Bharatiya sabhyaata from her angelic husband. Doesnít Akshay Kumar love playing the cuture-conscious haloed martyr!
Just Married: Meghna Gulzarís marital comedy looks at marriage between a cluster of couples from different age groups. Reema Kagtiís Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd also goes into the same territory.
Shootout At Lokhandvala : Inspired by the real-life encounter between cops and terrorists in an apartment building, Apoorva Lakhia pushes the envelope to create a stylised docu-drama where time ticks like a bomb. The cast features the two Bachchans, Amitabh and Abhishek, and Sunjay Dutt with Amrita Singh.
Traffic Signal: Madhur Bhandarkar gets raw and real once again. He takes a long hard look at the grit of the street people in Mumbai. An multistar cast comprising 45 theatre and film actors lend to the film the docu look of Mira Nairís Salaam Bombay! and Alejandro Gonzales Innarituís Babel.
Subhash K. Jha