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Bollywood to sizzle post IPL

india Updated: Apr 23, 2010 13:06 IST
Hiren Kotwani

HousefullThe first quarter has gone by and we’re still looking for that elusive certified hit. Over the last month-and-a-half, the third season of the Indian Premiere League has kept people glued to their TV sets. But after the grand finale on Sunday, a bouquet of summer releases are getting set to hit the screens, starting with Housefull on April 30.

Sajid Nadiadwala’s story of a loser, featuring Akshay Kumar in the company of two ex-wives, a soon-to-be wife and an easily seduced nanny, will be followed by Yash Raj Films’ Badmaash Company, Rakesh Roshan’s Kites, Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti and Mani Ratnam’s Raavan. “Add Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife to the list and we have around Rs 350 crore at stake at the box-office till June,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra.

Upbeat about these ‘biggies’, Mehra says, “People are starved for good entertainment and these films are eagerly awaited by the audience.” Vinod Mirani, editor, Box Office India, however, doesn’t think that the summer vacation is any guarantee to draw a full house. “Earlier, parents would send kids to the movies when they were bored. Now they have computer games like the Play Station or Xbox that they are hooked to.

Movie watching is becoming an expensive pastime; kids no longer catch a film every other day,” he reasons, adding that almost 90 per cent of the movies fail commercially. “The hit-flop ratio has remained unchanged over the last four years,” sighs Mehra.

BADMAASH COMPANY
What it’s about...

Set in the 1990s, the film revolves around four youngsters who get together to start an import business of all that yuppie Indians long for. They find a way to beat the system and make their venture a success. All is well until the maverick entrepreneurs are forced to shut shop. Can they come up with yet another plan to bring back the business?
USP: According to first-time director Parmeet Sethi, the film’s aces are the subjects that it revolves around — scams, loving, losing and above all, earning respect. “My film has style and soul and that is an irresistible combination,” he asserts.

HOUSEFULL
What it’s about...
The story starts with a jinxed Aarush (Kumar) who believes that his luck will change once he finds his true love. In his quest for that, he resorts to some falsehoods. And as one lie leads to another, the comedy of errors escalates into chaos, leading to a hilarious climax.
USP: Director Sajid Khan believes that his film will provide the kind of wholesome entertainment that we last saw in 3 Idiots. “The stars are looking good, the hype has been great and my name too could be a draw,” he says without modesty.

IT’S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE
What it’s about...
A comical fairy-tale look at the life of a Punjabi mother-daughter (Azmi-Khan) duo in West London. Billed as A Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Shaun Of The Dead, the film is about the extreme lengths a woman can go to find a match for her daughter.
USP: Independence of mind and action of the female protagonist could very well be an important aspect of Gurinder Chadha’s film. “Marriage is uppermost in almost every Indian’s mind. From the time a girl is born, she is being moulded into a perfect bride,” says the director, adding, “She’s groomed as someone else’s appendage rather than someone with her own identity. In my films, though, a woman is shown to be more than just a daughter, wife and mother, she’s someone who does what she wants to do, as opposed to what she’s told to do.”
Trade Talk: “After ghastly ghost films like Click, Rokk and Phoonk 2, people are now running scared of spirits,” remarks Mehra. “But this one looks like a decent film. And given a choice, I’ll see It’s A Wonderful Afterlife before the Shahid -Anushka movie that releases on the same day.”

KITES
What it’s about...
The only thing keeping this young man alive in the harsh Mexican dessert is his search for the love of his life, who is engaged to another man. A love story that goes beyond borders and cultures, and defies every rule of relationships.
USP:Kites fly against the wind… the stronger the wind blows, the higher the kites fly.” says Rakesh Roshan, adding, “The stronger the opposition becomes, the stronger is the love between two individuals. That’s the highlight of Kites.”
Trade Talk: Kites has the deadly combination of three Roshans — Rakesh, Hrithik and Rajesh — and Anurag Basu, whom Rakesh Roshan had described as India’s best screenplay writer,” enthuses Nahta. It is expected to take a bumper opening because it’s Hrithik’s first film in two years.

RAJNEETI
What it’s about...
Reported to be an adaptation of the Mahabharata, the film is a family drama set against the backdrop of central India’s politics. It revolves around a fiercely contested election campaign that brings money and power together, with treachery and manipulation used as weapons. As the conflict-ridden characters canvass for votes, love and friendship become mere baits, and relationships are sacrificed at the altar of political alignments.
USP: According to Prakash Jha, the story of young people venturing into politics is the film’s selling point. “Running parallel is a great emotional story of a family caught in the cesspool of politics,” he adds.
Trade Talk: The biggest multi-starrer in recent times, Vinod Mirani says that though the buzz about the movie is strong political awareness in India varies in regions. “In the north, people are more politically conscious, but down South, only local politics matter. In the West, citizens are only focused on making money,” he explains.

RAAVAN
What it’s about...
Reported as a modern day Ramayana with political undertones, the film revolves around the kidnapping of a top cop’s wife by a Naxal leader. Accompanied by a cop Laxman and a contemporary Hanuman, Ram goes in search of Raavan and his wife. The film was simultaneously shot in
Hindi and Tamil.
USP: Vikram, who plays Ram in the Hindi version and Raavan in the Tamil one, says, “You may walk into the theatre thinking it is a take on the epi — you may even find parallels — but when you walk out, you’d have forgotten the connection,” adding that, that’s exactly what happened to him after he completed shooting.
Trade Talk: AR Rahman’s music and the pairing of Abhishek and Aishwarya for the first time after Guru, has already raised expectations. “But given that Abhishek plays the title role and abducts another man’s wife I might have had certain reservations about the film. But with Mani at the helm, I’m certain the twist in the casting will be accepted. That fact that Abhishek hasn’t played a hero in a while — even in Paa, he played a strong supporting role — could work to the film’s advantage,” maintains Mehra.