The pandemic has decisively changed the palate of the Indian audience and in 2022, filmmakers will have to do all they can to cater to their need for unconventional, stimulating and vibrant entertainment that defies language and regional barriers.
We pick some films that could achieve exactly that with their offbeat themes and fresh approach to storytelling.
Gangubai Kathiawadi: This is a biographical crime drama directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and produced by him along with Jayantilal Gada. Based on a true story featured in S. Hussain Zaidi's book 'Mafia Queens of Mumbai,' it narrates how a young girl is transformed by circumstances into the steely, ruthless Gangubai, who becomes the queen of the red light area of Kamathipura. The makers, well aware of the film's potential are also dubbing it in Telugu. The film will open worldwide on 18 February 2022 and stars Alia Bhatt, Vijay Raaz, Indira Tiwari, and Seema Pahwa along with Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi in extended cameos .
Laal Singh Chaddha: How would an autistic man filter history, relationships, personal challenges and life-altering events? 'Laal Singh Chaddha', a comedy-drama directed by Advait Chandan and starring Aamir Khan in the titular role will answer this question on 14 April 2022. An official adaptation of the 1994 Tom Hanks starrer 'Forrest Gump', and based on the screenplay written by Eric Roth and Atul Kulkarni, the film is produced by Aamir Khan Productions, Viacom18 Studios and Paramount Pictures. The film also stars Kareena Kapoor and Naga Chaitanya and is truly a pan Indian story, having been filmed in more than 100 locations in the country.
Zombivli: Yoodlee Films has already carved a rather big niche across OTT platforms with multi-lingual, contemporary stories and now they are creating content for the big screen that promises to push even more boundaries in 2022. 'Zombivli', Marathi cinema’s first horror comedy with zombies, is one such film. The film ostensibly about a young married couple living in one of the busiest suburbs of Mumbai, imagines a Zombie induced havoc that both unsettles us and induces us to laugh at the extraordinary circumstances. How a motley crowd of people come together to counter this battalion of flesh-eating zombies makes for really engaging cinema. 'Zombivli' is directed by Aditya Sarpotdar and stars Amey Wagh, Vaidehi Parshurami and Lalit Prabhakar.
RRR: RRR is scheduled to release theatrically on 7 January 2022 in Telugu along with the dubbed versions in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and and even foreign languages. The makers obviously are not just keen to go pan-Indian but global. In keeping with its scale, the film will be released in IMAX, 3D, and Dolby Cinema. The period action drama, set in 1920, is directed by S. S. Rajamouli, and produced by D. V. V. Danayya of DVV Entertainments. The film stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt and Olivia Morris while Samuthirakani, Alison Doody, Ray Stevenson and Shriya Saran play supporting roles.
Padavettu: To create a cinema of intention that also holds the attention of a diverse audience, Yoodlee Films has come on board to produce the Malayalam film 'Padavettu'. According to the makers, the film "portrays the relentless pursuit of the layman, the oppressed section of society who is in a constant struggle and fight to reclaim their unique identity and rightful place in a world meant for all." Co-produced by Sunny Wayne, the film is directed by Liju Krishna and stars popular Malayalam star Nivin Pauly, Aditi Balan, and Manju Warrier. The political drama has been shot in Maloor in Kannur – Kerala, with nearly a thousand locals lending their presence to the film.