Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola – 2013's first big release

2012 was the Year of the 100 crore film — some got there and some just crashed and burned trying. The three Khans – Salman, SRK and Aamir - had releases in 2012 and maintained their ruling status in the business with profitable numbers, with Salman outdoing everyone at the box office with his massive hits – Ek Tha Tiger in August and Dabangg 2 in December.

2013 seems like the Year of the Script & Story, the biggest casualties in 2012’s biggest films, going by the year’s first release. Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola will be the year’s first release, hitting theatres on 11 January.

Directed by the multi-faceted writer-director-musician Vishal Bhardwaj, it stars Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma in leading parts along with Shabana Azmi and Pankaj Kapur. The film is set in a village, Mandola, and has the three principal characters engaged in each other’s lives in a comical, thrilling and romantic way.

10 things about the film that you want to know:

1. Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma are paired for the first time in a film, both having made their film debuts in 2008.

2. This is Vishal Bhardwaj’s seventh film as director after Makdee (2002), Maqbool (2003), The Blue Umbrella (2005), Omkara (2006), Kaminey (2009, and Saat Khoon Maaf (2011).

3. Matru.. too, like Vishal’s earlier films, has been written and directed by him and he’s composed the music too. But this time around, Vishal has sung a song too called Khamokha, a love ballad which has been written by Gulzar.

4. Harry Mandola (Pankaj Kapur) is a millionaire alcoholic, living in the village of Mandola, who has an Oxford-educated daughter Bijlee (Anushka Sharma) with a Man Friday sort of Delhi-educated boy, Matru (Imran Khan), in their midst. A local politician, referred to as Mantriji (Shabana Azmi), is highly revered in the area and Mandola wants his daughter to marry her son. This is the general plot line of the film that looks very promising on the entertainment front, from its trailers.

5. Possibly after Amar Akbar Anthony back in 1977, a mainstream Hindi film has its principal cast in the title of a film — Matru (Imran Khan), Bijlee (Anuskha Sharma), and Mandola (Pankaj Kapur).

6.: Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is Imran’s ninth film after his debut in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na in 2008 and Anushka’s seventh film after her debut in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, also in 2008.

Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma. Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost

7. Imran and Anushka share a wicked sense of humour off screen and are good friends in the real sense of the very abused term in Bollywood.

8. This is the third time Pankaj Kapur is working with Vishal, having worked with him in The Blue Umbrella, Maqbool and now, Matru..

9. Matru.. is already a highly anticipated release, not only because it is Vishal’s film, but also with it’s quirky trailers that have a rustic edge to them, including the dialogue and songs. Fox Star Studios and Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures have partnered with TabCab to promote the film with 200 cabs branded with saucy dialogues from the film, including the popular Kachcha one.

10. Matru... releases three days before Imran’s big 30th birthday.

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