We’ve bid Year 2011 goodbye. We’ve welcomed the New Year. While last year was quite good for the industry in terms of numbers, the expectations for the new year are huge. That’s because there are a number of exciting films due for release in 2012. The reasons for the excitement are varied – the buzz around the films is good, the star cast is exciting, the directors are promising, the canvas of the films is big, the first look is brilliant…

In fact, at times when one has to predict which would be the films to watch out for in the coming year, one has to use his hunch and fall back upon the talk in the trade circles around the films currently being shot in the studios or being planned in the story sitting rooms. It’s a tough call to zero in upon the must-watch films of Year 2012 but let us attempt to list down those that appear the truly promising ones, which would set the audience’s adrenaline flowing when their release dates approach.

Talaash

Aamir Khan In Talaash
Aamir Khan in Talaash

Anything Aamir Khan touches turns to gold. His Midas touch even made an irreverent and obscenely bold film like Delhi Belly and an art film like Dhobi Ghat success stories. Of course, Talaash is neither irreverent cinema nor is it anything close to art cinema, which makes the excitement level go several notches higher. Ask the television channels which were falling over one another to get hold of the satellite rights of the Aamir starrer. Finally, the film’s satellite rights went for a price that is rumoured to be in the region of Rs. 40 crore, one of the highest ever. And this, more than six months before its release in June 2012. Reema Kagti, who had directed Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., directs this film written by her jointly with Zoya Akhtar. But with no offence meant to anyone, nobody else really matters when it is an Aamir starrer.

Ek Tha Tiger

Salman Khan in Ek Tha Tiger
Salman Khan in Ek Tha Tiger

Salman Khan is on such a career high that his films command the best openings these days. And in an age where the first weekend business of a film matters the most for its ultimate box-office verdict, any Salman starrer would be red hot from the distributors’ point of view. Add to this, the fact that the film is being produced by Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra and that it would be released on Eid 2012 and you can almost hear the cash registers ringing loudly. Salman has made the box-office go berserk on Eid for three consecutive years (Bodyguard in 2011, Dabangg in 2010 and Wanted in 2009) and there’s no reason why the Muslim festival should be any different in 2012 when the public’s darling, Salman bhai, has a release. The extraordinary title value (likening Salman to a tiger), Katrina Kaif as his leading lady and the directorial reins in the hands of a sensitive filmmaker like Kabir Khan (New York, Kabul Express) are bonus points about Ek Tha Tiger, which can’t be overlooked.

Yash Chopra’s untitled film

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan

From the man who understands love stories like no one else does, the film should come as a perfect Diwali bonanza. Doesn’t matter if it is without a name (his Veer Zaara got the name as late as when it went for censorship, that too, only because the censor authorities refused to view the film till it was titled), doesn’t matter if the shooting still hasn’t started, doesn’t matter if nobody knows what the film is all about, the very fact that Yash Chopra would be directing Shah Rukh Khan yet again is enough to prompt cinema buffs to mark their diaries for a Diwali outing next year. Katrina Kaif will be seen with Shah Rukh for the first time ever in this love story which co-stars Anushka Sharma.

Dabangg 2

Abhinav Kashyap may have turned down the offer to make the sequel of his own Dabangg but that does not take away everything from the second part – and that, simply because the first part was adored by the masses and the classes alike. Salman actually reclaimed his position with this 2010 release produced by younger brother Arbaaz Khan. With the sequel, Arbaaz will try his hand at direction but you can be sure, big brother Salman will always be at hand to guide him. After all, Dabangg is too precious a brand to be wasted, so the entire Khan khandaan will put their best foot forward to deliver a truly wonderful Christmas gift to the public. Considering that the sequel has still not gone on the floors and also given that it stars the moody and unpredictable Salman, one would have had reservations about its release in 2012 but the confidence is born out of the fact that Salman himself requested Aamir Khan and Aditya Chopra to move their Dhoom:3 ahead and leave the Christmas week for his Dabangg sequel, a request both sportingly heeded to when they postponed their Dhoom:2 sequel to year 2013.

Bol Bachchan

Rohit Shetty may be unhappy because he didn’t get the title Bol Bachan (meaning a person who exaggerates or indulges in unnecessary talk), but he will ensure that he makes his audience happy once again. After all, he has his reputation of delivering hits and super-hits (Singham, Golmaal 3) to live up to. Rohit and Ajay Devgan have proven to be a deadly box-office combination time and again (Golmaal: Fun Unlimited, Golmaal Returns, All The Best, Golmaal 3, Singham) and that’s also a reason to expect Bol Bachchan to work wonders at the ticket windows. You can safely assume that Rohit would have only enhanced Amol Palekar’s Golmaal, of which BB is a remake. And yes, if you think the title Bol Bachchan is not quite as good as Bol Bachan, you stand corrected. For, reliable reports suggest that the character Abhishek Bachchan plays in the two-hero project is called Abhishek Bachchan. Doesn’t Bol Bachchan now seem appropriate?

Agneepath

Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra Rishi Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt in Agneepath
Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra Rishi Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt in Agneepath

Before its release, a film’s trailers and music come in most handy for people to decide whether they should or should not see the film. And on both these counts, Karan Johar’s Agneepath scores. The first trailer created such an impression on the minds of the public that a great initial for the film was assured. Then came the super-hit Chikni chameli song picturised on Katrina Kaif, which had the guys drooling. The second trailer of the film followed in quick succession and it only served to make the public actually salivate for the remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s film of the same title. Hrithik Roshan seems so intense in the trailers, Sanjay Dutt, so menacing. Debut-making director Karan Malhotra should make place in his house for truck-loads of bouquets this Republic Day when Agneepath would set the screens ablaze with an opening which would probably be historic.

Student Of The Year

Student Of The Year
Student Of The Year

It may introduce three newcomers but this campus tale is bound to become hot by the time it hits the screens next year, and that’s because it is being directed by Karan Johar. Remember his last campus film, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which was also his debut directorial venture? Karan understands the youth so beautifully that his films are like staple diet for them. Trust him for making a box-office bonanza out of rank newcomers Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Aaliya Bhatt. A bonanza not just for the Indian box-office but for the Overseas circuit as well. After all, like Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra’s films, Karan’s films have also always been adored by the Indians and Asians living abroad.

Race 2

The Race sequel, directed by Abbas-Mustan, will definitely be a film to watch out for and not just because Race was such an intriguing and successful suspense thriller. Since the sequel is also being produced by Tips, you can be sure that its music will be a big plus point and that the film will be heavily promoted to ensure big numbers at the box-office. Akshaye Khanna, who had died in Race, will, obviously not be a part of the sequel which will star John Abraham, besides the two heroes (Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan) from the first part. Deepika Padukone, Ameesha Patel and Jacqueline Fernandez are the leading ladies.

Barfi!

Ranbir Kapoor In Barfi!
Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi!

Ranbir Kapoor has been a darling of the public ever since his first film, Saawariya, was released and declared a bomb. But after his sterling performance in Rockstar, he is in a different league altogether. Rockstar may have gone down well with only a section of the youngsters, but even those who did not think much of the Imtiaz Ali film were decided that Ranbir was awesome in the film. The Kapoor boy’s next film, therefore, will have the public waiting with bated breath. Barfi! is an unusual title for a film but one hopes, it would have the usual staple ingredients of a commercial blockbuster. Anurag Basu directs the film which co-stars Priyanka Chopra and model Ileana D’cruz.

Housefull 2

There are so many sequels slated for release next year that 2012 may well be called the year of sequels. Another sequel which is eagerly awaited is Sajid Khan’s Housefull 2. His Housefull in 2010 had come as a breather for Akshay Kumar who was going through a flop patch in his career. Much hasn’t changed for Akshay after Housefull because the number of duds he has delivered has exceeded the number of successes. Maybe, Housefull 2 can bring back the housefull sign boards out for the cinemas this year. Besides Akshay, the sequel stars John Abraham, Ritesh Deshmukh, Asin, Jacqueline Fernandez and Shazahn Padamsee.

Once Upon A Time In Mumbai 2

This is one sequel for which the paying public would be waiting with bated breath. After all, the retro film won people’s hearts like few films did in 2010. Director Milan Luthria, writer Rajat Aroraa and producer Ekta Kapoor collaborate once again in this sequel which will star Akshay Kumar in the male lead. Ajay Devgan, who had done a swell job in the first part, will not be a part of the sequel for the simple reason that the character he played in the film, died in the climax. Had this been a TV serial of Ekta Kapoor, she could’ve brought the character back to life but the audience of films is different from that of television serials!

Jodi Breakers

R.Madhavan, Bipasha Basu In Jodi Breakers
Bipasha Basu, R.Madhavan in Jodi Breakers

It’s a film about which not too many are aware but to quote someone who has seen the rushes of this “sweet film”, it has “the potential to become the Tanu Weds Manu of 2012 and not just because it stars ‘Manu’ R. Madhavan”. If what he says turns out to be true, this film about two divorce lawyers may well become the most unexpected success story of the new year. It is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2012 and it stars Bipasha Basu as Madhavan’s leading lady. Reportedly, the Kunwara song of Jodi Breakers would be a chartbuster.

Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum

Tusshar Kapoor, Ritesh Deshmukh Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum
Tusshar Kapoor and Ritesh Deshmukh in Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum

This sequel to Kyaa Kool Hai Hum (which was released in 2005) may be coming after a long gap of seven years but that won’t take away from the fact that the first part was among the earliest sex comedies of the 2000s. Like the first part, the sequel will also see Tusshar and Ritesh Deshmukh tickling the audience’s funny bone. Neha Sharma and Sarah Jane-Dias will play the leading ladies in the film being directed by Sachin Yardi who had written Kyaa Kool Hai Hum alongwith Pankaj Trivedi.

English Vinglish

Sreedevi stages a comeback with this film directed by debutante Gauri Shinde, wife of Balki. All this about the women-in-command project is bound to catch the audience’s fancy when it nears release this year.

Agent Vinod

Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod
Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod

Saif Ali Khan’s home production in which he teams up over again with Eros. The two had given Love Aaj Kal. That itself should excite the public. Real-life girlfriend Kareena Kapoor as Saif’s leading lady should be an added advantage in the Sriram Raghavan film.

Chaar Din Ki Chandni

Tusshar Kapoor in Chaar Din Ki Chandni
Tusshar Kapoor and Kulraj Randhawa in Chaar Din Ki Chandni

Samir Karnik tickled the funny bone in Yamla Pagla Deewana last year. The trailer of his new film suggests, he just might repeat the feat this year. Due on March 9.

Department

Amitabh Bachchan in Department
Amitabh Bachchan in Department

Ram Gopal Varma directs Sanjay Dutt after years. They came together in the dud called Daud, after which who ran away from whom is not clear. But they’ll definitely not repeat the Daud mistakes. There is Amitabh Bachchan too in the film.

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu
Kareena Kapoor with Imran Khan in Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

Dubbed as a cute city flick, this film stars Karrena Kapoor with the only Khan she has never worked with earlier – Imran.

Ferrari Ki Sawaari

Sharman Joshi in Ferrari Ki Sawaari
Sharman Joshi in Ferrari Ki Sawaari

If any film with Rajkumar Hirani’s name in its credit titles spells magic at the ticket windows, this Ferrari is all set for a magical spell because it is riding on Hirani’s name. It is directed by his assistant, Rajesh Mapuskar, and stars Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani.

Shootout At Wadala

In the age of sequels, here comes a prequel. Sanjay Gupta directs a bevy of stars including Anil Kapoor, John Abraham and Tusshar in the prequel to Shootout At Lokhandwala which, incidentally, was produced by him and directed by Apoorva Lakhia.

Rowdy Rathore

UTV, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Prabhu Devaa make for strange bedfellows, but routine is out, the unusual is in. And so, Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha’s Rowdy Rathore becomes eagerly awaited.

Joker

Sonakshi Sinha, Akshay Kumar in Joker
Sonakshi Sinha, Akshay Kumar in Joker

For all his barbs at Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One, Shirish Kunder had better deliver in his own film, Joker. Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha star in the 30th August release.

Dangerous Ishq

If Karisma Kapoor chose Dangerous Ishq to come back to facing the cameras over all the other offers made to her, there must be something special about the Vikram Bhatt film. It spans several lives of the protagonists. It will release in 3D splendour.

Shanghai

Dibakar Banerjee’s films have a certain air about them, which defies convention. And that’s what makes them interesting. Add Abhay Deol and Emraan Hashmi to the film and the fare becomes even more exciting.

Son Of Sardar

Ajay Devgan’s first brush with the Sardar’s turban in The Legend Of Bhagat Singh may have been brushed aside by the paying public but that doesn’t mean, he won’t get a fair second chance. Son Of Sardar will release on 30th November.

Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya

Genelia d'souza, Ritesh Deshmukh Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya
Genelia D'souza & Ritesh Deshmukh in Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya

The timing of the film’s release couldn’t be better. Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia D’souza will seal their love in real life in early February and their reel love story will unfold on the screens in February-end.

Bittoo Boss

Bittoo Boss
Bittoo Boss

Kumar Mangat proved with Pyaar Ka Punchnama that you don’t necessarily need big names to make a successful film. He tries it again with the equally bold Bittoo Boss, which narrates a story seen through a wedding videographer’s eyes.

Jannat 2

Jannat was about cricket betting but Jannat 2 will deal with arms trading. Bhatt’s blue-eyed boy, Emraan Hashmi, leads the cast of the sequel too, slated for release on 11th May.

Raaz 3

Vikram Bhatt returns to the Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt camp after a decade. The three Bhatts created magic with Raaz, so why shouldn’t they repeat it with Raaz 3? Will the Emraan-Bipasha-Jacqueline starrer come on 30th August, as scheduled? That’s not the only raaz.

Ghayal Returns

Sunny Deol returns in the Ghayal sequel but not with Rajkumar Santoshi. It is Rahul Rawail calling the shots in the sequel.

Kahaani

Vidya Balan In Kahaani
Vidya Balan in Kahaani

After Vidya Balan’s memorably shocking act in The Dirty Picture, this Vidya starrer should generate some anticipation among the audience. After all, she plays the lead role yet again in a woman-oriented project.

Of course, the above list does not profess to be an exhaustive list. A Friday can throw up any surprise so that a film least expected to make a mark at the box-office can end up scoring well. That also keeps the industry and its people going. So, in effect, it is not just the aforementioned films, which are awaited with bated breath. There may be several more films which may generate heat among the paying public as their release dates approach. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the audience actually looks forward to films as also to every mysterious Friday!

Komal Nahta, the Editor of Koimoi.com, is Bollywood’s most trusted trade analyst & film reviewer. You can follow him on Twitter and check out his Video Blog.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Ek Tha Tiger & Talaash looks invincible right now. Dabangg 2 & Yash Chopra’s next with SRK also looks good. Check this link of Most Awaited Movies 2012. Ranking looks accurate.

  2. wonder why ther is no shahid kapoors next film wid kunal kohli n chennai expres in d list …? .hope for a clarification , pls

  3. now this will be back to akshay vs every others khans n devgans used to be like back in 2005-2009 akshay rule the box office n going to rule back again in 2012 he will surely beat all off the above movies akshay simply rocks and all of his movies are going to be hit…….looking forward to akki moivies…..

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