Hindi films to watch out for in 2024: From ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Fighter’ to ‘Metro... In Dino’

After an action-packed 2023, Hindi cinema promises a rich assortment of genres in 2024

January 03, 2024 04:04 pm | Updated January 04, 2024 05:22 pm IST

Katrina Kaif in ‘Merry Christmas’, Hrithik Roshan in ‘Fighter’ and team ‘Metro... In Dino’

Katrina Kaif in ‘Merry Christmas’, Hrithik Roshan in ‘Fighter’ and team ‘Metro... In Dino’

If the title is what attracts you to a film, 2024 has plenty to evoke curiosity. Agra, Berlin, and Tehran.... it seems this year Hindi cinema will take us on new journeys – internal and external. Titles like 695 and Emergency suggest that the past can be weaponised for propaganda. The mere presence of Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi in one frame is enough to hook us to the ticket window. So does the unbridled swagger of Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone or the sheer malleability of Pankaj Tripathi to become a real-life personality. Biopics of a champion Paralympian and visually impaired entrepreneur instill hope that our movies are getting inclusive. That Karan Johar is also backing unalloyed action entertainers makes one wonder about the future of Bollywood romance. Is our hero angry again? Does he have a social cause? Will the enticing synopsis yield a fulfilling harvest? With expectations and apprehensions, here is a lowdown on what’s on the cards in the leap year.

Pan-Indian wave

‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’, starring Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff, will hit the screens worldwide on Eid, 2024

‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’, starring Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff, will hit the screens worldwide on Eid, 2024

If in 2023, a couple of Bollywood stars delivered pan-Indian hits, this year seems to belong to the southern galaxy with Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2, Rajinikanth’s Vettaiyan, Prabhas-Deepika Padukone-starrer Kalki 2098 AD, Allu Arjun’s Pushpa: The Rule and Rakshit Shetty’s Kantara: Chapter 1lined up for release. Kamal is making a comeback as the vigilante Senapathy out to finish a fresh spurt in corruption. Vettaiyan will see Rajini with his friend Amitabh Bachchan. Senior Bachchan will also be seen in Nag Ashwin’s futuristic Kalki. Suriya is making his pan-Indian move with Kanguva. Reports suggest that it will be dubbed in more languages than those that exist in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Mohanlal’s Barroz is also an exciting prospect as he is turning to direction with a spectacle about a guardian who has been protecting the treasure of Vasco da Gama. From Bollywood, Akshay Kumar joins hands with Tiger Shroff in the reimagined version of Bade Miyan Chote Miyandirected by Ali Abbas Zafar. Mounted on a lavish scale and dubbed in South Indian languages, the Eid release has Malayalam star Prithviraj Sukumaran playing the antagonist.

Also Read | The best Hindi films of 2023: ‘12th Fail’ and ‘Jawan’ to ‘Rocky Aur Rani..’

Curious combo

After having missed a date with Catholic Christmas, director Sriram Raghavan will say Merry Christmas after the Orthodox mark the holy day with a film that is unorthodox in its casting and concept. The thriller puts together two strangers played by Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi on a Christmas night that is anything but merry. Sriram tweaks the idea of a pan-Indian film by bringing together two top names from the Hindi and Tamil film industry in his neo-noir zone that is not just about the number of seats filled.

Vasan Bala, another purveyor of the unforeseen, teams up with Alia Bhatt in a Dharma production to create a violent action drama that has brother-sister love at its core. Co-produced by Alia herself, the twist seems to be that the sister is out to protect the brother.

Another curious case of casting is The Crew where Kareena Kapoor, Tabu, and Kriti Sanon combine for a dramedy with the aviation industry as the backdrop.

Then Kabir Khan casts Kartik Aaryan to tell the inspirational tale of Murlikant Petkar, India’s first Paralympic gold medallist in Chandu Champion.

Known for spy thrillers, director Neeraj Pandey sets up a romantic drama called Auron Main Kahan Dum Tha with Ajay Devgn and Tabu in the lead. Another interesting combination is Rajkummar Rao in a Dharma Production curiously titled Mr & Mrs Mahi with Jahnvi Kapoor.

Festival specials

Rahul Roy in a still from Agra’

Rahul Roy in a still from Agra’

The year has a long list of films that found praise at various film festivals in 2023 and are now waiting for the common man’s verdict. There is Varun Grover’s All India Rank, a slice-of-life drama about a boy who is sent away from home to prepare for the gruelling IIT exam. Then there is Kanu Behl’s Agra which deals with patriarchy and sexual repression. Also in the queue is Atul Sabharwal’s Berlin, a spy flick rooted in reality and Anurag Kashyap will continue with his metamorphosis with Kennedy. Starring Sunny Leone and Rahul Bhat, it is about an ex-cop seeking redemption and some sleep after working for a corrupt system. Kiran Rao is returning after a long break with Laapataa Ladies. Set in the hinterland, it deals with the mess that is created after two brides get lost on a train.

Action attraction

Exactly a year after Pathaan, director Siddharth Anand has come up with another action entertainer. Described as India’s biggest aerial action venture, this time Hrithik Roshan is serenading a vivacious Deepika Padukone. Or is it the other way around? Whatever it is, the visuals of the stars are drool-worthy as they are killing it with their dance moves as well as with the slo-mo strut on the tarmac. Sidharth Malhotra is also playing a soldier who saves a plane from hijack in Yodha. In the action season, you can’t keep out Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty. The duo is returning with the third instalment of Singham on Independence Day. Not to forget John Abraham’s geopolitical thriller Tehran, which addresses the Russia-Ukraine war and the Palestine conflict and Vidyut Jammwal’s Crakk at the world of underground sports.

Political capital

Pankaj Tripathi as Atal Bihari Vajpayee in ‘Main Atal Hoon’

Pankaj Tripathi as Atal Bihari Vajpayee in ‘Main Atal Hoon’ | Photo Credit: @TripathiiPankaj/Twitter

In the run-up to Lok Sabha polls, some canvassing will be seen on screen as well. First up is the much-anticipated Main Atal Hoon, a biographical sketch of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Directed by Ravi Jadhav, the highlight is Pankaj Tripathi’s transformation into a stalwart of right-wing politics. Then there is Kangana Ranaut’s take on Emergency where again the focus is on the competent actor’s portrayal of Indira Gandhi. Then there are some provocative titles like 695 and Godhara which seem to have been mounted to cash on the narrative around the upcoming Ram Temple and the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Forgotten heroes

Watch out for Rajkummar Rao’s portrayal of Srikanth Bolla, a visually-impaired industrialist in Sri, and Vicky Kaushal as Chhatrapati Samabhaji Maharaj in the period drama, Chhaava. Not to forget Diljit Dosanjh playing Punjabi folk hero Amar Singh Chamkila in the Imtiaz Ali film that will release on Netflix.

Striking sequels

Apart from the big slate sequels, there are some unexpected ones as well lined up this year. Seventeen years after he mounted Life in a Metro, Anurag Basu revisits contemporary relationships in big cities with Metro... In Dino. It has a stellar ensemble cast lead by Ali Fazal, Kay Kay Menon, Konkona Sen Sharma, Sara Ali Khan and Rahul Bose.

Peeved by Netflix not releasing his subversive three-generational drama, Dibakar Banerjee mounts a sequel of Love Sex Aur Dhoka to look at love in the times of Artificial Intelligence. Amar Kaushik takes forward the story of a witch who captures men in the middle of the night with the much-awaited sequel to Stree. Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar refuses to slow down as he takes the Welcome franchise to the jungle towards the end of the year.

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