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13 films you can’t miss in 2018: Padmavati, Mary Magdalene, Hey Jude, Dutt biopic and more

Across Bollywood, Hollywood, and Indian regional cinema, we list the movies we are looking forward to in 2018.

bollywood Updated: Jan 02, 2018 11:41 IST
Hindustan Times
Padmavati,October,Thugs of Hindostan
While Padmavati has been the centre of controversies for months, Rajkumar Hirani;s Sanjay Dutt biopic may turn out to be one of the best entertainers from Bollywood in 2018.

Even as the New Year begins on Monday, filmmakers across industries are gearing up for some major releases in 2018. From Salman Khan’s debut in a negative character with Race 3 to Shah Rukh Khan’s film with Anand L Rai and Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan, Amitabh Bachchan’s 102 Not Out and Akshay Kumar’s Padman, almost all stars have announced the release dates of their 2018 offerings.

Major films releasing in 2018

Jan-March: January begins with Saif Ali Khan’s quirky Kaalakandi, followed by a box office clash of Padman and Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary on Republic Day. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati (now titled Padmavat) will most likely see a February release, and Sudhir Mishra’s Daasdev will also hit theatres in same month. John Abraham’s Parmanu, Anushka Sharma’s Pari and Rani Mukherjee’s Hichki will also release in February. The major release in March will be Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanjay Dutt biopic, starring Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role.

Starring Manoj Bajpayee and Sidharth Malhotra in lead roles, Aiyaary will be one of the initial major releases in 2018.

April-June: April will see two major releases - Shoojit Sircar’s October, starring Varun Dhawan, and Kangana Ranaut’s ambitious project, Manikarnika. Alia Bhatt’s Raazi and Sonam Kapoor-Kareena Kapoor-starrer Veere Di Wedding will hit the theatres in May. Salman’s Race 3 and Aishwarya Rai’s Fanne Khan will release in June.

July-Sept: Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter’s Dhadak will hit the theatres in July. Dibakar Banerjee’s Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and Akshay Kumar’s Gold will release in August. Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan’s Sui Dhaaga will release in September.

Oct-Dec: October is likely to see the release of Vishal Bhardwaj’s film based on Catherine Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy’s book, ‘The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight’. Aamir’s Thugs of Hindostan and Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 will hit the theatres in November while Sara Ali Khan’s debut film, Kedarnath, is set for a December 2018 release.

Our recommendations:

Across Bollywood, Hollywood and Indian regional cinema, we list the movies you can look forward to in 2018.

Rohit Vats, who reviews Bollywood films for HT, is looking forward to the following:

October: Shoojit Sircar has had four releases so far as director: Yahaan, Vicky Donor, Madras Cafe and Piku. These films are proof enough of his latent potential. At present, there are few directors who can blend practicality and idealism better than Sircar.

Varun Dhawan in the first look from October. (Twitter/Varun Dhawan)

His next film, October, which features Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu, is going to be a love story set in the mountains. It’s up to Sircar to challenge Dhawan to go beyond what he did in Badlapur - where he really showed potential. October will release in April.

Thugs Of Hindostan: Aamir Khan is probably the biggest showman in Bollywood right now. With Dangal, he has redefined himself, and to some extent, the kind of content superstars should aim at.

In Thugs Of Hindostan, he is collaborating with Amitabh Bachchan. Can it get any bigger than this? The stills that have so far been released from director Vijay Krishna Acharya’s upcoming film suggest how beautiful can it be.

Rohan Naahar, who reviews Hollywood films for HT, is looking forward to the following:

The House that Jack Built: Lars von Trier directing a ‘70s-set serial killer movie starring Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman and Bruno Ganz, inspired by von Trier’s belief that ‘life is evil and soulless’, could either be the best movie of the year, or the worst.

Either way, a combination like this doesn’t come around too often.


The Death and Life of John F Donovan:
For his first English-language film, Canadian director Xavier Dolan has assembled his finest cast yet - Kit Harington, Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman, Jacob Tremblay, Susan Sarandon - and a story that sounds like it could be quite controversial.

It’s about the iffy relationship between a TV actor and an 11-year-old boy that results in the actor’s career (and life) ending. A decade later, the young boy revisits the relationship.

Jyoti Sharma Bawa, who covers Hollywood and Bollywood for HT, is looking forward to the following:

Padmavat: This film has gone beyond being a Sanjay Leela Bhansali spectacle, it has become a precedent. As the film drops an ‘i’ and becomes Padmavat, it is yet to be seen if the various bans and fatwas - or whatever its kosher right-wing equivalent is in India - will be rolled back.

Deepika plays Rajput queen in Bhansali’s Padmavat.

The film has established that film industry and creativity can take a beating if the mob is against it. What does it mean for the future? No saying Sexy and Durga in the same breath, no making films on Hindu queens - real or imaginary, and definitely nothing to do with sexuality. Stick to sanskaars and hagiographies, please.

The Post

Steven Spielberg brings another tour de force that is especially relevant in the Trump era. Meryl Streep as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee are in top form in this crisp retelling of the Pentagon Papers story.

Soumya Srivastava, who reviews Hollywood films for HT, is looking forward to the following:


Ocean’s 8: The Ghostbusters reboot couldn’t manage good reviews from critics or audiences, more due to the execution than the star cast. We have since long waited for something to fill the void and remind the fanboys, once and for all, that women aren’t the problem.

The Ocean’s series will soon add another, very cherished member to the family with the fourth part in the series. Unlike the previous three films, this one will not see George Clooney, Matt Damon or Brad Pitt in the lead but similar, very talented female actors. Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and the mighty Rihanna will rob Anne Hathaway at the MET Gala in the classic Ocean’s way.

For too long, we have relied on superhero films for our monthly dose of awesome, and quite frankly, the CGI monsters and the uncaring destruction of New York is getting boring now. Maybe a slick heist movie could bring a fresh change.

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald: No one really expected 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to turn out as amazing as it did. It had the same innocence, bravery and the perseverance to fight against evil with friendships and empathy that we adored in the original Harry Potter films.

2018 promises a second part to the series with Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore, and many are calling it a worthy choice already (while protesting the casting of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald).

So far, we only have a cast photo and not even a trailer to really know what to expect from the film. However, considering our excitement over all things from the Potterverse, we will line up outside the theatre for the first show.

The second film will see the return of Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller and more.

Sweta Kaushal, who reviews Bollywood films for HT, is looking forward to the following:

Daasdev: Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra has given us sensitive films like Khoya Khoya Chand, Inkaar and Hazaron Khwahishein Aisi. With his upcoming film being touted as a ‘reverse’ take on Sarat Chandra’s Devdas, expectations are high.

Richa plays Paro and Aditi essays the role of Chandramukhi aka Chandni in the film.

The film, set in the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh, is a love saga amidst political upheavals. Starring Richa Chadha, Rahul Bhat and Aditi Rao Hydari, Daasdev is a romantic thriller that talks about addiction of power and love. Daasdev is also written by Mishra, the same person who began his tinsletown journey co-writing the best political satire in Hindi cinema - Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron.

Dutt biopic: Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani is making a biopic on his dear friend and actor Sanjay Dutt. Given Dutt’s life, which has been more of a roller-coaster ride, and Hirani’s expertise in marrying social messages with entertainment, here’s a complete package on offer.

Ranbir Kapoor, one of the finest actors of his generation, plays Dutt while he has Anushka Sharma, Manisha Koirala, Paresh Rawal and Sonam Kapoor for company in the movie. Stills leaked from the sets have already raised hopes of Ranbir looking exactly like Sanju Baba in his various stages of life.

Priyanka Sundar, who reviews Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu films for HT, is looking forward to the following

2018 is a special year for South Indian film industry as quite a few anticipated movies of some big stars are releasing this year. From 2.0 to Mohanlal’s Odiyan, there are many films I would like to watch. However, the two films I am looking forward to are Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Dhruva Natchathiram, starring Vikram and Ritu Varma, and Shyamaprasad’s Hey Jude, starring Nivin Pauly and Trisha.

Dhruva Natchathiram: This is a Tamil action thriller and, so far, two teasers have been released online. Both look impressive. Vikram as John has fascinated me, and I would like to know who he is hell-bent on saving and to what lengths this man will go. I am also excited to watch the action choreography in this film.

Vikram’s Dhruva Natchathiram is being made on an international scale a la the Bourne series, and the film is likely to feature Amitabh Bachchan in a pivotal role.

Hey Jude: This film is the exact opposite - all soft with quirky characters and a quirkier story. I can’t wait to see how actor Nivin Pauly and Trisha come together onscreen.
A special mention has to be made about the Savitri biopic titled Mahanati in Telugu, which is expected to release in 2018.

Nivedita Mishra, who covers regional cinema for HT, is looking forward to the following

Padmavat: Like many in India, I can’t wait to watch Padmavat. First, the story itself is so engrossing - a fearless queen who stands up to a ‘tyrant’ and goes down fighting the only way she can in the circumstances (jauhar). One is keen to see what Sanjay Leela Bhansali has done with the story. If the trailer is anything to go by, the performances of Deepika and Shahid look sincere. However, one is curious about how the director has shown Alauddin Khilji. Second, there is also a keenness to revisit the legends associated with Mewar - the bravery associated with Rajputs is largely for the heroes this land has produced. Ranga Sanga, Rana Pratap, bhakti saint and poetess Meera bai and, of course, Rani Padmini belong to this region.

Deepika plays Padmavati while Ranveer Singh essays the role of Alauddin Khilji in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film.

Mary Magdalene: The other film I am keen on watching is the Rooney Mara-starrer Mary Magdalene, one of the most iconic figures from the Bible. Her devotion for Jesus is often talked about. However, she remains one of the most enigmatic and often misunderstood spiritual figures in world history. The fact that Rooney plays her onscreen adds to the allure. Remember her scintillating performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

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First Published: Jan 02, 2018 09:35 IST