Shehzada to Pathan: 5 films that promise to revive cinemas

From Alia Bhatt's Gangubai Kathiawadi and Shah Rukh Khan's Pathan, here are some of the films you'll be watching in 2022.

Subhash K Jha January 20, 2022 17:11:25 IST
Shehzada to Pathan: 5 films that promise to revive cinemas

It couldn’t get any worse for the movie-theatre business. With almost every film released in movie theatres post-lockdown taking a plunge at the box office, is it time for movie theatres to shut down shutters, at least until the pandemic is declared neutralised? Not so fast! There is a slew of releases all set to revive the movie business with their sassy content and rousing entertainment quotient. Here are 5 of the purported blockbusters that can only be seen on the large screen.

Shehzada:

Shehzada to Pathan 5 films that promise to revive cinemas

Although Kartik Aaryan has featured in a remake of a Korean film (The Terror Live which streamed on Netflix as Dhamaka in November 2021) he has never been a part of the South Indian remake. That’s about to change. Shehzada whose release had been announced for 4 November 2022, is a remake of Allu Arjun’s January 2020 Telugu blockbuster Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo. This is Allu Arjun’s biggest hit of his career so far. Kartik’s version Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo would be radically different from its Telugu version. Shehzada takes the core idea of Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and turns it into something completely different. Kartik and Shehzada director Rohit Dhawan have had many brainstorming sessions on the remake. And they both agree. Shehzada will please Kartik’s fans. But the superhit song from the original Butta Bomma will be part of the Hindi remake. So fans of the song can breathe a sigh of relief. Kartik’s co-star in Shehzada is Kriti Sanon with whom he earlier shared superhit space in Lukka Chuppi.The original film starred Pooja Hegde with Allu Arjun.

Prithviraj:

Akshay Kumar as the Rajput warrior who sweeps the beauteous Samyukta(debutante Manushi Chillar) off her feet, literally, whisks her off on a horse at a swayamvar and still finds time to combat and defeat the Islamic warrior Muhhamad Ghori, played by Manav Vij. Contrary to what you have read, Sanjay Dutt doesn’t play the villain in this AUTHENTIC historical directed by Dr. Chandrapraksh Dwivedi who is known to never compromise on historical facts. Release date undecided.

Pathan:

Shah Rukh Khan for the first time since the ominously titled Zero in December 2018. Do we need to say anything more? The film was directed by Siddharth Anand who once made namby-pamby romcoms with his best friend Ranbir Kapoor (Bachna Ae Hasennon, Anjaana-Anjaani) has reinvented himself as a blockbuster action director after War. Pathan and Shah Rukh Khan can only take him further. And just to keep the adrenaline racing, Deepika Padukone is doing all her stunts herself, and Salman Khan in a cameo. I am already queuing up. No no official release date as yet.

RRR:  

S S Rajamouli…. Baahubali !!! Do we need to say anything more? This will be the  Spiderman No Way Home of 2022, although on the minus side, Ramcharan Teja and NTR Jr, the two lads looming over the lush stunts, have a zero market in the cow belt. But then, who knew Prabhas before Baahubali? Rajamouli’s trademark grandeur and incredible storytelling prowess are the two heroes of this breathlessly awaited film. RRR is all set to become a blockbuster. It is packed with a designer patriotism with the two heroes playing friends on the opposite of the empirical fence, confronting one another’s allegiance and eventually joining hands to annihilate the common enemy. So will RRR match the epic grandeur of Baahubali? The answer to that is a firm no. Why should it? Baahubali belonged to the kitschy kingdom of Hindu mythology. RRR is Rajamouli’s depiction of the British Empire where the sun never set. But star-sons are a different matter. Two of the most illustrious star sons Ramcharan Teja and NTR Jr take on the might of the British Empire, represented by villainous-looking senior citizens, one of whom dares to physically assault Alia Bhatt. The 3 ‘R’s stands for Raama Roudra Rushitam, Rise Revolt Revenge. Jai Hind to that. Release date undecided.

Gangubai Kathiawadi:

Because it’s Sanjay Leela Bhansali. This means something extraordinary. This time Bhansali moves out of his comfort zone. Abandoning the epic opulence of Devdas, Bajirao Mastani, and Padmaavat he has carved a no-flab slinky and sinewy gangster epic which is not dark and dingy but great fun to watch. Alia Bhatt’s career will move to the next level with this. Don’t expect Rajamouli’s RRR to do anything for her career. Though she plays a gangster in Gangubai Kathiawadi, Alia Bhatt doesn’t resort to one swear word, not one reference to a mother’s or a sister’s anatomy. And yet there is something inherently menacing in Alia’s transformation from the angelic parts she has played so far (even the spy in Raazi seemed shy to hurt a fly, even if the fly was Pakistani). Alia is intrinsically good-natured and sophisticated. To get her to be fully into this boorish backstreet mode of a badass brothel siren is no easy matter. Alia seems to get into the accent, body language, and her space in the period pace comfortably. The mesmeric photography merges the mobocracy of the 1960s in Mumbai’s redlight area Kamathipura with the autocracy of one woman who dared to have more balls than her male criminal colleagues. Alia Bhatt ticks all the boxes for an award-winning performance. She is gutsy and unabashed. She isn’t afraid to get out of her comfort zone. Her transition from brothel crimelord to a hardcore politician is achieved with a fluency that is indicative of a master moviemaker at work. I don’t know about you. But as a diehard fan of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s work, I can’t wait for you to see the film. Expected Release Date: February 18.

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at SubhashK_Jha.

 

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