A look back at the films that took us back to cinema halls and the larger-than-life entertainers we are looking forward to watching
It is no exaggeration to say that the past two years have challenged the entertainment business like never before and yet amid the gloom, a few rays of sunshine cheered exhibitors, the audiences and distributors. Here is a look at some of the films that revived the magic of big screen entertainment and made us look forward to the films that are all set to release this year after many delays.
Chehre: From the time, veteran producer Anand Pandit announced this film, there was a ripple of excitement in the trade circles as this was the first time that Amitabh Bachchan was teaming up with Emran Hashmi and a powerful ensemble cast of veterans. The genre of a mystery thriller was also intriguing and the initial reports about an extensive shoot in the unexplored locales of Slovakia, a one take, long monologue by Bachchan and a stirring title sequence, created an even stronger buzz. Pandit was convinced right from the onset that the film was meant for the big screen and despite repeated pandemic induced delays, he delighted distributors and audiences alike when he okayed a theatrical release of the film on 27 August 2021. The Rumy Jafry directorial also starred Krystle D’Souza, Rhea Chakraborty, Siddhanth Kapoor, Annu Kapoor, Alexx O’Nell, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Raghubir Yadav in pivotal roles.
Master: This Tamil action thriller written and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, released in theatres on 13 January 2021, a day before Pongal and brought much festive cheer to the audiences and the makers. Produced by Xavier Britto, the film starring Vijay, Vijay Sethupathi, Malavika Mohanan, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj, Andrea Jeremiah, Arjun Das and Gouri G, revisited the time tested theme of the clash between good vs evil. The film was always expected to be a blockbuster but its initial theatrical release date (9 April 2020) was postponed due to COVID-19. The makers patiently waited for a safe time to release the film in theatres and when it did hit the big screen, it became the first Indian film to occupy the first position in the global box office . It also became one of the highest grossing Tamil films and has been praised for rejuvenating theatrical entertainment.
Bell Bottom: After a long theatrical lull, this Pooja Entertainment biggie became the first major film to hit the theatres on August 19, 2021. The highjack drama headlined by Akshay Kumar generated a wave of excitement among the theatregoers and exhibitors alike. Revolving around a nail biting hostage rescue mission, the Ranjit M Tewari directorial also starred Lara Dutta, Vaani Kapoor and Huma Qureshi and was shot during the pandemic in Scotland and London. The film according to the producers was supposed to ‘unlock’ theatres and they did achieve that because many long-delayed productions are now all set to hit the big screen.
No Time to Die: The long wait is over and the next instalment of the James Bond franchise is all set to release in India on September 30. After multiple delays, the potential blockbuster’s impending arrival in theatres has elated Indian fans. ‘No Time To Die’ stars Daniel Craig in his last appearance as Bond and is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. It also stars Oscar winning star Rami Malek as the villain Lucifer Safin, Lea Seydoux as Bond’s love interest – Dr. Madeleine Swann (from Spectre) and Lashana Lynch who is slated to be the first female 007 in the next film. Ben Whishaw plays MI6 quartermaster Q and Ralph Fiennes plays the MI6 chief M. The film traces Bond’s departure from secret service and features stunning action sequences shot all over the world. Needless to say, September 30 can’t come soon enough when the film will be released in English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bhojpuri and Bengali.
The Matrix: Resurrections : The thrilling trailer of ‘The Matrix: Resurrections’ has whetted the appetite of fans who have waited since 2003 for the fourth instalment of this cult franchise. The highly anticipated film will be releasing in India on the same day as the United States, which is on December 22, 2021. The film promises to reboot and enhance the heartstopping action and engaging philosphical subtext of the previous hits and stars Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity. An additonal attraction for Indian fans is Priyanka Chopra who was seen in the trailer, reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland! The film is directed by Lana Wachowski and also stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris and Christina Ricci.