With a dozen-odd high voltage films in 22 weeks, Bollywood drama is going to be at its zenith. Harshikaa Udasi takes a look at the line-up

The hits in the first half of 2013 were an eclectic mix: the urbane slice-of-life Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, the set-in-Benares Raanjhanaa, the thriller Race 2, the tragi-romance Aashiqui 2 or the biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Each of these set the box office on fire. But it is the second half, precisely the last five months that holds the promise of one blockbuster after another. Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar will be seen battling it out at the theatres.

August 2

Chennai Express: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone

Director: Rohit Shetty

Story: Common man boards train from Mumbai to Rameswaram. Falls in love with don’s daughter.

It’s Rohit Shetty’s first film minus Ajay Devgn. It’s SRK’s first film with Rohit Shetty. Both of them (amply supported by Deepika) have over-indulged in some strange version of Tamil. We’ll have to wait and watch what that premise spells out for the film’s fate. Rohit is a very successful director. SRK has a point to prove with his last outing Jab Tak Hai Jaan not meeting his box office standards.

August 15

Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara: Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan, Sonakshi Sinha

Director: Milan Luthria

Story: Gangster from the 80s in Mumbai (maybe Dawood) falls in love with a rising starlet. His biggest rival is in his own camp. Also features an old flame, other gangsters and a cop.

OUATIMD. Any movie that requires an abbreviation long enough to form a word makes interest dwindle! To be fair, the first part had some drama to engage in but the buzz around this film is weaker than the first since the focus of the marketing at least is on the love triangle rather than the underworld. Akshay and Sonakshi get together for the third time after the super hit Rowdy Rathore and the super disaster Joker. Imran Khan tries hard to look like a rugged gangster.

August 23

Madras Cafe: John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Story: Indian intelligence agent meets an international reporter while on a mission. Uncovers conspiracy.

While many will remember his social comedy Vicky Donor for years to come, do remember that Shoojit is the same guy who gave us the sensitive Yahaan (2005). John Abraham has decided to place his bets once more on the director and has co-produced this film too.

August 30

Satyagraha: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpai, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal

Director: Prakash Jha

Story: Who can handle things when the middle class of India rises to rebel?

Prakash Jha is back with his trusted lieutenants to paint another picture of the social milieu of the country. The big question is: Has he or has he not made a judgmental statement on Anna Hazare and his tribe? We’ll wait to watch.

September 20

Phata Poster Nikhla Hero: Shahid Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz

Director: Rajkumar Santoshi

Story: Wannabe actor becomes a super cop instead in this zany comedy.

Appears to be an interesting premise and it is refreshing to see Shahid Kapoor after a break. However, the flavour of the director’s Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani seems to be looming large over the film.

October 2

Besharam: Ranbir Kapoor

Director: Abhinav Kashyap

Story: Nothing known more than the film’s tagline, ‘Na sammaan ka moh, na apmaan ka bhay’ loosely translated as ‘No want for respect, no fear of disrespect’.

This one comes from the original Dabanng director Abhinav Kashyap who gave the nation a new place to hang their sunglasses and dialogues that would make some turn crimson with rage. People are anticipating this one to be Ranbir’s first ever rowdy, street-rogue sort of movie directly aimed at a blockbuster hit.

November 4

Krrish 3: Hirthik Roshan, Vivek Oberoi, Priyanka Chopra, Kangna Ranaut

Director: Rakesh Roshan

Story: Takes forward the story of Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish.

Huge expectations for the second sequel of this sci-fi superhero adventure series. The film is also being made in the 3D format. Nothing is known of the plot except that the villain will be as powerful as the hero and that mutants are reportedly part of the storyline. Now this one we got to see!

November 29

Bullet Raja: Saif Ali Khan, Sonakshi/ Rambo Rajkumar: Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi

Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia/Prabhudeva

Story: Based on Uttar Pradesh mafia/Unknown

Could this be for real? The current statuses of these films reveal that they will release on the same day. There is too much complexity in this. Both are action films and both star Sonakshi Sinha. Also neither of the lead actors has given a successful action film before. Can’t overlook the Kareena connection either!

December 25

Dhoom 3: Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Katrina Kaif

Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya

Story: Under wraps.

Aamir’s association with the action thriller has made it more interesting than ever. The film is being readied in the IMAX format too making it the first Bollywood film to release so. Aamir has reportedly trained for parkour and ballet dancing and everything in between for his role. The only hitch? The director may have written all the Dhoom films but has to his credit a disaster named Tashan.

Keep a tab on these dates as well and pick up your gems:

September 6: Apoorva Lakhia-directed Zanjeer (remake) starring Ram Charan, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt

November 15: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram Leela (modern-day Romeo-Juliet) starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone

November 22: Punit Malhotra’s Gori Tere Pyaar Mein (romcom) starring Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan

December 6: Saket Chaudhary-directed Shaadi Ke Side Effects (sequel) starring Farhan Akhtar, Vidya Balan

December 13: Abhishek Chaubey-directed Dedh Ishqiya (sequel) starring Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi