(Updated: September 11) It was a disappointing first half with Bollywood spinning barely a handful of watchable films this year (Raazi, Mukkabaaz). Commercially, Sanju and Padmaavat were the biggest grossers. Netflix’s Valentine release Love Per Square Foot was an admirable effort with no rough edges. Besides which, Hindi cinema didn’t have much to offer. One of the biggest accomplishments of 2018, if not in films, was Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap’s web series Sacred Games, which is also streaming on Netflix.
Here’s what’s lined up for the latter half that’ll hopefully make up for the lost year in movies:
1. Sui Dhaaga (September 28)
After the success of Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), director-producer duo Sharat Katariya, Maneesh Sharma will come together for another story from the heartlands of India.
The Yash Raj production will see Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma (who had initially turned down the offer) pair up for the first time.
Sui Dhaaga is set to release September 28, 2018.
[Tidbit: The makers had initially approached Ranbir Kapoor for the lead]
2. Manmarziyan (September 14)
Anurag Kashyap’s fourth project this year (after Mukkabaaz, Lust Stories, Sacred Games) is Anand L Rai’s next starring Vicky Kaushal, Tapsee Pannu, Abhishek Bachchan.
Co-produced by Phantom Films, Manmarziyan‘s trailer has already created enough buzz.
It’ll be interesting to see Kashyap, popular for his ‘violence and gore’ brand of cinema, handle a light, romantic comedy.
3. Pataakha (September 28)
The versatile Vishal Bhardwaj returns with an adaptation of renowned writer Charan Singh Pathik’s short story Pataakha this time.
The Rajasthan-set comedy drama brings together Dangal girl Sanya Malhotra and TV actor Radhika Madan, who play the two warring sisters.
The film also stars comedian Sunil Grover and Vijay Raaz.
With all the expectations the trailer has set, hopefully this one will live up to its title.
4. Manto (September 21)
One of the most controversial writers of the post-independence era, Saadat Hasan Manto has been the subject of as much scrutiny as admiration.
But how well do we know the man from the writer?
Nandita Das’ sophomore effort (after Firaaq in 2008) is a biographical drama on the Indo-Pakistani writer, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role.
After premiering and winning over the critics at Cannes 2018, the film is all set for release on September 21, 2018.
Manto features an ensemble cast — Rasika Duggal, Shashank Arora, Ranvir Shorey, Javed Akhtar — with Rishi Kapoor in a brief appearance.
5. Andhadhun (October 5)
Writer-director Sriram Raghavan, known best for his docu-fiction on the serial killer Raman Raghav and his most recent outing Badlapur is now gearing up for his next.
A mystery thriller starring Ayushmann Khurana and Radhika Apte, Andhadhun is set to hit the theatres October 5, 2018.
Ayushmann plays a vision-impaired pianist in the film, which also stars Tabu in an important role.
6 .Tumbbad (October 12)
In the making for 6 years, director Rahi Anil Barve’s Tumbbad will finally see the light of day early next month.
Set in the 1920s, the horror-fantasy film starring Sohum Shah (of Ship of Theseus) will release under Anand L Rai’s banner, his second this year.
Anand Gandhi (SOT director) is executive producer and creative director on the film.
In August 2018, it became the first Indian film to open the prestigious Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week.
In India, it opens on October 12 in four languages – Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.
7. Thugs of Hindostan (Nov 7)
Yash Raj’s most expensive film (production budget ₹210 crore) till date, Thugs of Hindustan is an action-adventure drama starring Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif.
Set in pre-independent India, the film is based on Philip Meadows Taylor’s 1839 novel Confessions of a Thug.
8. Zero (December 21)
We’ll wrap up 2018 with another film from Anand L. Rai, the much awaited Zero starring Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma.
Written by Himanshu Sharma [known for Tanu Weds Manu (2011 & 2015) and Raanjhanaa (2013)], Zero is a romantic comedy where Shahrukh plays a dwarf.
The film will mark late Sridevi’s last appearance on screen.
After Kai Po Che (2013), Abhishek Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput will reunite for Kedarnath which has created enough buzz over its release date. After much back and forth, the release has now been pushed to early next year. A love story set against the backdrop of a pilgrimage, Kedarnath stars Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara Ali Khan opposite Sushant.