The Pulp Pit

Bollywood in 2018: An A to Z guide

The concise B-Town dictionary of all that should make news in the year ahead.

 |  The Pulp Pit  |  6-minute read |   31-12-2017
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A for Akshay Kumar

He has scored lately with content-driven films that are high on patriotism and social message. The year ahead will see Akshay stick to the formula with Padman and Gold. He also renders a wacky spin to his superstardom as the sinister villain in Rajinikanth’s 2.0.

akshay_123117041853.jpgAkshay Kumar in 2.0

B for biopics

In 2018, Ranbir Kapoor essays Sanjay Dutt, Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Manto while Hrithik Roshan enacts pioneering educationist Anand Kumar in Super 30. Akshay Kumar is cast as hockey legend Balbir Singh in Gold while Kangana Ranaut plays Rani Laxmi Bai in Manikarnika. Biopics are here to stay.

mani_123117042050.jpgKangana Ranaut in Manikarnika

C for controversies

What's a big film without a big controversy? Lately, almost every major film including Padmavati, Tiger Zinda Hai, Raees, Tubelight and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has been in the eye of a storm. Rest assured, several major releases in 2018 will face protests and bans.

sara_123117042241.jpegSara Ali Khan in Kedarnath

D for debutants

Sridevi's daughter Janhvi Kapoor debuts opposite Shahid Kapoor’s stepbrother Ishaan Khattar in Dhadak, while Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara will be launched in Kedarnath. Sunny Deol directs son Karan’s first film Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, while Suniel Shetty’s son Ahan debuts in Sajid Nadiadwala’s yet-untitled film.

E for exitic locales 

While the trend of shooting in exotic locales abroad continues with several biggies such as Thugs Of Hindostan, 2.0, Race 3 and Krrish 4, films such as Abhishek Kapoor’s Kedarnath fall back on unexplored terrain within India for shooting spots.

anushka-pari_123117042613.jpgFirst look of Pari

F for fear factor

First-look stills of Anushka Sharma’s home production, Pari, have seemed discomforting, with the buzz suggesting the February release is not for the fainthearted. Vikram Bhatt’s period horror flick 1921, starring Zareen Khan, will try raising the fear factor in January.

prabhas_123117042729.jpgPrabhas

G for gross collections

Ultimately, gross collections will matter. The buzz will wholly be about which film earned what at the box-office. Watch out for Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar’s 2.0, Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan’s Thugs Of Hindostan, Salman Khan’s Eid release Race 3, Ranbir Kapoor’s Sanju, Ranveer Singh’s Simmba, Hrithik Roshan’s Krrish 4 and the Prabhas-starrer Saaho.

H for heartland stories 

Smalltowns have been the flavour of Bollywood scriptwriters lately and the trend will continue in 2018. Heartland India finds a resonance in films across genres, such as Anurag Kashyap’s boxing flick Mukkabaaz, the romantic tragedy, Dhadak, and Yash Raj Films production Sui Dhaaga.

mukka_123117042954.jpgPoster of Mukkabaaz

I for image makeover 

Stars are increasingly looking to evade image trap. Teenybopper star Varun Dhawan makes a realistic move with Shoojit Sirkar’s October. Shah Rukh Khan plays a dwarf in Aanand L Rai’s untitled film. Ajay Devgan turns a loverboy in Luv Ranjan’s next.

kumkum_123117043351.jpgA still from Kumkum Bhagya

J for jaded TV

The small screen will continue fumbling for focus and there is hardly any sign of change for the better. The focus of desi soaps remains on regressive melodrama, never mind if the winning formula shifts from saas-bahu themes to plots that highlight smalltown girls.

K for Khan factor

B-Town is still Khan Town, and the picture won’t change in 2018. Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan will continue reigning. Aamir’s Thugs Of Hindostan, Salman’s Race 3 and SRK’s untitled film with Aanand L Rai should vie for big records.

veere_123117043529.jpgPoster of Veere Di Wedding

L for laughter dose

Bollywood's annual roster is never complete without comedies. While big-budget nonsensical flicks will rake in the big moolah, medium-budget fun flicks aimed at the multiplex audience will continue to be popular. Next year has Kaalakandi, Nanu Ki Jaanu and Veere Di Wedding coming up among modestly-helmed comedies.

M for masala flicks

While reinvention will always happen, the good old masala movie will not go away. Dhoom 3 maker Vijay Krishna Acharya does a new-age formula revamp in Thugs Of Hindostan while Rohit Shetty brings back his trademark action-comedy flavour in Simmba.

N for neo-realism

Hindi cinema’s approach towards serving entertainment is increasingly getting believable, with makers of realistic entertainers finding a solid market lately. In 2018, watch out for Dibakar Banerjee’s Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, Vishal Bharadwaj’s next starring Deepika Padukone, Shoojit Sirkar’s October and Sharat Katariya’s Sui Dhaaga: Made In India.

radhika_123117043758.jpgRadhika Apte

O for offbeat stars 

Offbeat cinema creates its own hierarchy of stars, and lately there has been a happy inflow of super-talented artists who have managed to carve a niche for themselves among urban audiences, notably Rajkummar Rao, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Irrfan, Kalki Koechlin and Radhika Apte.

P for patriotic flicks

B-town has traditionally thrived on subjects that celebrate nationalism and the year coming up has several patriotic films across genres. Watch out for Neeraj Pandey’s drama Aiyaari, the Akshay Kumar-starrer hockey flick Gold, and John Abraham’s thriller Parmanu.

padma_123117043905.jpg

Q for queens of bollywood

So far, heroine-oriented films were made on modest budgets. In 2018, Padmavati (Padmavat) starring Deepika Padukone in the title role and the Kangana Ranaut-toplined Manikarnika will aim to break the box-office glass ceiling. Veere Di Wedding starring Kareena and Sonam Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan in Fanne Khan will also be worth a note.

hichki_123117044852.jpgRani Mukerji in Hichki

R for return to screen 

Several top stars return to the screen after a hiatus. The big comeback is Rajinikanth’s, with the much-hyped 2.0, sequel to his 2010 blockbuster Enthiran (Robot in Hindi). Rani Mukerji in Hichki and Madhuri Dixit in Total Dhamaal will also be back.

S for sequels 

Big money rides on various sequels set to release next year. Chief among these are 2.0, Krrish 4, Race 3, Baaghi 2, Sadak 2, Namastey Canada, Total Dhamaal and Hate Story 4. Sequels of No Entry, Kick and Dabangg are also in the pipeline.

T for Twitter frenzy 

Social media has taken over the popular mindset, and films nowadays often garner more numbers by way of hits for online promos than moolah at the box-office. Stars will continue to be active on Twitter, even as the medium becomes vital to stay in the limelight.

alia_123117044051.jpgAlia Bhatt and vicky Kaushal

U for unusual pairing

Every year brings a few unprecedented screen pairings that defy stereotypes. In 2018, popular heartthrob Alia Bhatt will pair with Masaan actor Vicky Kaushal in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi. Box-office demigod Akshay Kumar teams up with the very arty Radhika Apte in Padman.

V for VFX

Filmmakers in India are finally learning to spend on special effects the right way. Gone are the days when tacky CGI ruled in Indian cinema. Cutting-edge tech-specs will be better than ever before in films such as 2.0, Saaho, Thugs Of Hindostan and SRK’s upcoming release where he plays a dwarf.

priyanka_123117045109.jpgPriyanka Chopra and Rebel Wilson

W for westside trek

Desi stars continue exploring Hollywood pastures. Deepika Padukone has been confirmed as heroine of xXx 4 while Priyanka Chopra has roles in Isn’t It Romantic? and A Kid Like Jake. Irrfan will be seen in The Wicked Path and Puzzle.

X for X-factor

Fans, media and filmmakers alike look for just that one elusive thing in the end. Whether an artist courts success in commercial films or art cinema, the deal is to exude plenty of X-factor on screen. Bollywood’s search for X-factor is always on.

Y for youth power 

Themes, stars, directors and technicians are getting younger by the day. Producers know that youth power is what drives ticket sales in show business, so young minds will continue to get scope to push the envelope on Bollywood entertainment.

Z for zero-impact gimmicks 

There will always a section in B-Town that is more interested in making news through gimmicks on social media than through their work. The likes of Kamaal R Khan, Poonam Pandey and Sofia Hayat cannot be wished away. Their antics will continue next year, too. 

Also read: Why 2018 looks like a promising year for Indian sports

Writer

Vinayak Chakravorty Vinayak Chakravorty @vinayak25

Film critic, Mail Today

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