Jai Ho, Gunday, Hasee Toh Phasee, Highway, Main Tera Hero and P.K. among the most awaited films  of 2014

After several hits and flops in the year that went by, take a look at what to expect in the New Year

2013 has come and gone. The first six months of the New Year has an interesting crop of releases coming up, some hotly anticipated and some not. It is a reflection on the mediocrity that Bollywood has so successfully slipped into that Cineswami’s most anticipated film of 2014’s quarters one and two is a revamped version of the greatest film that the industry has yet produced. January 3 release Sholay 3D will see Jai, Veeru, Thakur, Basanti, Gabbar and gang return to cinema in three-dimensional glory in a spanking new print. It remains to be seen if a whole new generation of cine-goers will thrill to Ramesh Sippy’s masterpiece.

January 17 will see the release of Ashim Ahluwalia’s 2012 Cannes selection Miss Lovely. The slow burner, set in the schlock horror world of 80s sleaze filmmaking, will not be for all tastes, and certainly not for the hordes who will show up on January 24 for a glimpse of Salman Khan in Jai Ho. A remake of Chiranjeevi starrer Stalin, Jai Ho looks flat and insipid, but given that we are in a crucial election year and the film has strong political overtones, it could work beyond the core Salman Khan fan base.

February 7 sees two contrasting releases. Dishkiyaoon will be interesting solely to see two pieces of wood squaring off against each other – Sunny Deol and Harman Baweja (Who? Exactly.) Far more interesting is the offspring of the unlikely marriage between foes turned friends Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap – Hasee Toh Phasee. The gorgeous Parineeti Chopra can do no wrong these days and it will be interesting to see if Sidharth Malhotra continues to display the early promise of Student Of The Year.

Valentine’s Day will feature Gunday, a bromance between Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor, with Priyanka Chopra thrown in to provide a triangle and the always-excellent Irrfan Khan lending lustre to the proceedings. More than anything else, the film also is an ode to the Bachchan (Big B, not his flop son) of the 70s with imagery from Deewar, Trishul and Kaala Patthar on display.

Imtiaz Ali launched Abhay Deol with Socha Na Tha. Today he is a superstar director in his own right having relaunched Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor with Jab We Met, rejuvenated Saif Ali Khan’s career with Love Aaj Kal and reinforced Ranbir Kapoor’s with Rockstar. Randeep Hooda will be hoping that Ali will finally give him that much needed mainstream Bollywood boost with February 21 release Highway. The very next week, on February 28, Kangana Ranaut gets a makeover with Queen and Farhan Akhtar will find out whether post Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, audiences will accept him again as a solo hero in Shaadi Ke Side Effects. He of course has the vast expanses of Vidya Balloon for company.

March 7 will see the remake of superhit Malayalam movie Traffic face off against Madhuri Dixit-Nene’s latest attempt at a comeback, Gulaab Gang. March 14 will see if Ayushmaan Khuraana continues to charm audiences in Bewakoofian. After the debacle of Bullett Raja, Saif Ali Khan hopes that the audience will give him a Happy Ending on March 28. The release of Youngistaan on the same day would have been unremarkable under normal circumstances but on this occasion it is rendered poignant because it features Farooq Shaikh in one of his last screen roles.

Student Of The Year alumnus Varun Dhawan, along with Ileana Dcruz and Nargis Fakhri, will brave the might of the IPL on April 4 with Main Tera Hero. On May 1, when IPL fatigue would have set in, Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Prabhu Dheva and co will hopefully face title copyright infringement from Hollywood for Action Jackson. The film will clash with Akshay Kumar’s Thuppakki remake, Holiday. The peerless Parineeti Chopra will be seen on May 9 alongside Aashiqui 2’s Aditya Roy Kapur in Daawat-E-Ishq. The odd looking Tiger Shroff will hope to avoid Mahakshay ‘Mimoh’ Chakraborty’s Bollywood fate with his launch vehicle Heropanti on May 16.

Aamir Khan + Rajkumar Hirani = P.K. on June 6. Enough said.