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Friday, January 09, 2015

With great performances, gripping plots and directorial skills to look forward to, 2015 promises to treat us to a host of exciting and memorable films. Dev Goswami & Yamini Walia bring you a list of some of the most anticipated films of the year

Releasing in March

Science-fiction fans have something to look forward to with Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie just around the corner. Blompkamp, the writer and director of the much-acclaimed District 9, tells the story of a gifted, one-of-a-kind robot who is stolen and raised by a dysfunctional human family. The film stars Sharlto Copley, Hugh Chapman, Sigourney Weaver and Dev Patel and promises a unique depiction of the relationship between robots and humans.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Releasing in April

Do we need to explain why this film is part of our list? The first Avengers film was a big hit and featured excellent performances, comical scenes (read: The Hulk smashing Loki all over the place) and memorable action sequences. The sequel will see Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johanson and Jeremy Reener reprise their roles to engage in thrilling action sequences, in the second installment of this Marvel franchisee. The trailer of the film has already increased expectations — if you haven’t already seen it, catch it before the film releases.
Releasing in June

Two words, and perhaps countless memories — Ari Gold. The popular TV series Entourage, might be the story of  Vincent Chase, E, Turtle and Johnny Drama, but over its eight seasons, it was the eccentric talent agent Ari Gold (played by Jeremy Piven), who turned out to be the most memorable character. The film, which has been directed and co-written by Doug Ellis, the show’s creator, is one of the most anticipated films of 2015. The recently released trailer has gotten us really excited!

Black Mass
Releasing in September

A true story of the relationship between USA’s FBI and the Irish mob, Black Mass was inspired by Whitney Bulgar’s life. Bulgar was a gangster, who turned out to be an informant, whom the FBI later tried to exterminate. His story has already been the inspiration behind films such as The Departed and The Town, and in Black Mass, his character will be essayed by Johnny Depp. The film has been directed by Scott Cooper and is based on a book by Dick Lehr.

Releasing in November

James Bond is back and this time, he’s rocking a drastically different avatar. Featuring rebooted versions of M and Moneypenny, one of the USPs of Spectre is the return of Sam Mendes, who directed Skyfall. The film also marks the return of Daniel Craig, who is making a quick ascent on the list of the best Bond actors with his portrayal of agent 007, and stars Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, and Monica Bellucci.   

Furious 7
Releasing in April

Okay, we’ll be honest — the Fast and Furious series lost steam early in its third avatar. However, the only reason Furious 7 finds a place on this list is because it will serve as a tribute to the late Paul Walker, one of the lead actors of the franchisee, who passed away in a tragic car crash last year. Directed by James Wan, known for horror films such as Insidious and The Conjuring, Furious 7 will see Jason Statham making his entry into the series as the antagonist who seeks revenge against the Toretto clan for his brother’s death.

St. James Place
Releasing in October

Featuring a stellar combination of Steven Spielberg as the director, the Coen brothers as writers and Tom Hanks as lead actor, St. James Place is a Cold War film based on the true story of James Donovan, an attorney who was recruited by the CIA to secure the release of a crashed spy plane pilot from  Soviet Russia. The film has the potential to be a spy thriller of epic proportions and with the dramatic Cold War setting, it’s one that we’re eagerly awaiting.   

Releasing in November/ December

Martin Scorsese’s Silence is the story of Jesuit priests in 17th century Japan. The film follows the account of a priest (played by Andrew Garfield) who is on a mission to find his mentor, who is believed to have renounced his faith. The subject of the film — religion — is something that Scorsese hasn’t addressed in previous films and though it could be controversial, with one of the best directors of our generation helming the project, it certainly is a must-watch.

The Revenant
Releasing in December

Leonardo DiCaprio is back with another western, this time directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. The film also stars Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson, and is an interesting, and slightly strange, story of a man who is attacked by a bear and hires two mercenaries to watch him die and bury him. However, they abandon him, he recovers, and then resolves to hunt them down. It is believed that DiCaprio postponed a planned sabbatical for this film, and that in itself has generated a lot of hype. 

Knight of Cups
Releasing in To be announced

While there isn’t a lot of information available about the plot of this drama, what we do know, is that the film follows the story of a man caught in the temptations and excesses of Hollywood. The film is directed by Terrence Malik, who is known for his trippy visuals and dream-like storytelling methods. Malik also directed Tree of Life, which is considered to be one of the best films of the last decade. In Knight of Cups, he will be directing Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Freida Pinto and Isabelle Lucas.

Releasing in January

Directed by Neeraj Panday of A Wednesday  fame, Baby stars Akshay Kumar, Tapsee Pannu, Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggupati and Sushant Singh Rajput in lead roles. If the star cast isn’t enough to spike your curiosity, check out the posters and character sketches, which have already generated quite a  buzz. The thriller doesn’t feature a single song, but apart from that not much has been revealed about the plot. All we can say is that you’ll be seeing the khiladi perform some magnificent stunts!

Releasing in February

Roy is one of the most anticipated films of 2015, because it features a love triangle between interesting characters played by Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Jacqueline Fernandez. Ranbir will be seen essaying the role of a mysterious thief, while Arjun will play a filmmaker and Jacqueline will be seen in a double role. Not much has been revealed about the plot, but the trailer of the film has already raised excitement. Roy marks the début of director Vikramajit Singh, who was initially touted to direct a film starring Ranbir and Deepika Padukone, which failed to take off.

Releasing in February

Yes, Shamitabh does star Amitabh Bachchan! What’s even better is that this film marks the return of the successful pairing of director R. Balki and Amitabh Bachchan. It also stars Dhanush and marks the début of Kamal Haasan’s daughter, Akshara Hassan. Several reputed directors such as Rajkumar Hirani, Javed Akhtar, Karan Johar, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, Gauri Shinde and Ekta Kapoor will be seen in special appearances in the film.

When March

NH10 is actress Anushka Sharma’s production company, Clean Slate Films’ first release. The thriller is based on a couple’s road trip gone awry and stars Anushka in the lead role opposite Neil Bhoopalam. NH10 is directed by Navdeep Singh, who is known for the critically acclaimed film, Manorama Six Feet Under. We can’t wait to see how the trip pans out.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy
Releasing in April

Bollywood seems to have a serious fixation with the thriller genre this year! Another one in the pipeline is Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, which stars Sushant Singh Rajput. The film has been directed by Dibakar Banerjee and is produced by Aditya Chopra in association with Yash Raj Films and Dibakar Banerjee Productions. The film is based on the character Byomkesh Bakshi, which was created by the Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. If the first look of the film is anything to go by, it seems quite promising and we’re sure that after directing films such as Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Love, Sex aur Dhokha, Dibakar won’t let audiences down.

Dil Dhadkne Do
Releasing in June

Director Zoya Akhtar has managed to bring together a brilliant cast, comprising of Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar, Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah, in Dil Dhadakne Do. With such talented actors at the helm, the film has piqued everyone’s interest. The plot revolves around a dysfunctional Punjabi family on a cruise trip. While Priyanka will play Ranveer’s sister, Anushka will be portraying his love interest. Sonam Kapoor will also be seen in a small role.

Releasing in April

After delivering hits such as New York and Ek Tha Tiger, director Kabir Khan is back with Phantom. The film stars Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif in lead roles and revolves around global terrorism. Both Saif and Katrina will be playing secret agents. The film has been shot in exotic locations across the world, including Lebanon, Turkey and Jammu & Kashmir.

Bombay Velvet
Releasing in May

With Bombay Velvet, Anurag Kashyap is all set to direct mainstream actors Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in lead roles. What’s even more exciting is that the film will see director Karan Johar in a negative role for the first time. The film is based on historian Gyan Prakash’s book Mumbai Fables. Bombay Velvet is set in the Mumbai of the 1960s and tells the story of a boxer, Johnny Balraj, and an aspiring jazz singer, Rosie. It showcases the clash between  their hopes and dreams and their individual realities. The film also marks Raveena Tandon’s silver screen comeback.

Releasing in August

Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Fan is directed by Maneesh Sharma of Band Baaja Baaraat fame. The film has been produced by Yash Raj Films and also stars Vaani Kapoor and Ileana D’Cruz in lead roles. The soundtrack of the film has been composed by musical-maestro A.R. Rehman and includes duets by singers such as Kumar Sanu, Lata Mageshkar and Shreya Ghoshal. Shah Rukh will be seen in a double role in the film, portraying the character of a superstar (himself) and his fan! With big stars such as Shah Rukh Khan, A.R. Rahman and Lata Mangeshkar associated with the film, Fan looks quite promising.

Bajirao Mastani
Releasing in December

Bajirao Mastani seems to be Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s pet project and has been in the news for several years. Initially meant to star Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in lead roles, the film now stars Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, and is finally set to release this year. The historical romance narrates the story of the Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao I and his second wife Mastani. The actors have undergone rigorous training for the film — Ranveer has shaved his head, while  Priyanka has been training in a dialect of Marathi that was spoken during the time of the ascension of the Peshwas.

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