20 talking points from world of entertainment in 2020

Mumbai: Actors Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh at the launch of writer-producer Twinkle Khanna’s book “Pyjamas Are Forgiving” in Mumbai on Sept 7, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) With a new year on the calendar, it’s time to go trendspotting. Here’s a quick look at all that should grab the eyeballs from the world of entertainment in 2020.

As of now, he has his eyes on two major festival dates, having lined up a big film on Eid as well as Diwali 2020. While he starts off his year on a regular Friday in March with “Sooryavanshi”, Akshay looks set to go on collision with Salman Khan on Eid. While Salman has mentioned “Radhe” for the festival, the trade says Akshay plans to release “Laxmmi Bomb” on the same date. And although Diwali 2019 wasn’t that great for “Housefull 4”, he will be back on India’s biggest festival this year with the historical drama “Prithviraj”.

Having scored clear box-office winners that have also impressed critics over seven consecutive films now, any film starring Ayushmann automatically becomes a newsmaker. In 2020, he will play a gay character in “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan” and also team up with Amitabh Bachchan in Shoojit Sircar’s “Gulabo Sitabo”. Looks like a surefire strategy to extend his strike rate to nine consecutive winners!

These days, you don’t necessarily need a film release to be popular. Ask Priyanka and Nick, Deepika and Ranveer, or Alia and Ranbir. In a nation obsessed with filmstars, the simple act of posting a picture on Instagram can guarantee much more mileage than the months of labour that shooting for a film entails. Sunny Leone, Shraddha Kapoor, and Sonam Kapoor continue to be darlings of the nation simply by intelligent utilisation of the power of social media, as do Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar.

Deepika Padukone in “Chhapak”, Alia Bhatt in “Gangubai Kathiawadi”, Kangana Ranaut in “Panga” and “Thalaivi”, Kriti Sanon in “Mimi” and Kiara Advani in “Indoo Ki Jawaani” are but only a few heroine-centric films that will continue the wave of projects that present strong and authentic women to actresses and also celebrate the spirit of womanhood.

With “83”, Ranveer Singh aims at taking the biopic formula to the next level. He plays Kapil Dev, captain of the team that won the cricket World Cup for the first time in 1983. It was an epochal moment for Indian sports, and also a major boost to the spirit of nationalism. Director Kabir Khan should clinch a sureshot winner when the film releases on April 10.

Star couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt has always been in the news for some reason or the other. But 2020 will probably keep them in the news a little more than before. It is time, after all, for people to witness chemistry on screen, when “Brahmastra” releases.

Will Varun Dhawan tie the knot with girlfriend Natasha Dalal? Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt actually get married this year? And — the question that never goes out of fashion — will Salman Khan finally, finally tie the knot? If 2018 saw the weddings of Priyanka-Nick, Ranveer-Deepika and Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja, then 2019 has been the year when rumours of romances sustained the gossip vine. Malaika Arora and Arjun Kapoor made their relationship public, while Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar’s love grew stronger. Will 2020 see some power shaadis?

Mahesh Bhatt will direct both daughters, Alia and Pooja, together in “Sadak 2” his return to direction for the first time two decades, since “Zakhm” in 1999. “Sadak 2” opens in July, 2020.

After fighting neuroendocrine tumour, Irrfan Khan is back in action. He will be on the big screen after almost three years in “Angrezi Medium”, which is scheduled to release in March. Directed by Homi Adajania and co-starring Kareena Kapoor, the movie is a sequel to the multiplex hit, “Hindi Medium”.

Although most of Bollywood’s biggest grossers at the box-office are still out-and-out commercial biggies (think “War”, “Dabangg 3” or “Kabir Singh”), the volume of the small, content-driven film has increased gradually over the years. In a multiplex-centric market, content is king, and modestly-mounted films such as “Article 15”, “Bala” and “Uri” prove that fact. Small, content-driven fare will continue to dominate most Fridays in 2020, too.

Ex-Miss World Manushi Chillar makes her debut opposite Akshay Kumar in the mega-budget period drama “Prithviraj”, while Shalini Pandey is Ranveer Singh’s heroine in “Jayeshbhai Jordaar”. National Award-winner Keerthi Suresh will be seen opposite Ajay Devgn in the sports drama “Maidaan”. Krystle D’souza, who has made her mark on TV, makes her debut in the Amitabh Bachchan-Emraan Hashmi-starrer “Chehre”. There are Bollywood’s industry kids, too, lined up for debut. Sunil Shetty’s son Ahan Shetty (“Tadap”), Chunky Pandey’ son Ahan Pandey (project yet to be declared), Pooja Bedi’s daughter Alaia F. (“Jawaani Jaaneman”), and Katrina Kaif’s sister Isabelle Kaif (“Kwatha”) will be seen on the Hindi screen for the first time this year.

This year, there are two films lined up, which will have 3D prints — “Street Dancer 3D” and “Tanhaji”. Although Bollywood has been trying time and again to come up with great 3D entertainment, budgetary constraints normally bar the creation of perfect entertainers in the expensive format. With evolving technology on their side, can ‘Street Dancer” and “Tanhaji” break the jinx?

Sadly, these will dominate the music scene, no matter what. We all know how obsessed Bollywood is now with remixes these days. The year of 2020 also seems to give the audience the same dose of recreations. Actor Saif Ali Khan is all set to give his fans some ’90s nostalgia as he will be recreating his hit song “Ole ole” from movie “Yeh Dillagi”. The revamped version, which has been composed by Tanishk Bagchi and sung by Yash Narvekar, will feature in Saif and Tabu-starrer upcoming film “Jawaani Jaaneman”.

Spearhedead by Punjabi pop stars, non-film music has become more robust than ever. If B Praak, Dhwani Bhanushali, Darshan Rawal, and The Doorbeens went from strength to strength, they will be back next year with many more new songs in the non-film genre, which has opened up again with the advent of growing streaming facilities. Even top Bollywood playback stars such as Arijit Singh and Neha Kakkar cannot resist getting into non-film mood once in a while.

Gal Gadot will be back as Wonder Woman with edgier action for a new battle with new villains. The much-awaited “Wonder Woman 1984”, a sequel of the megahit 2017 DC film, is one of the most anticipated films of 2020. The film, directed by Patty Jenkins, comes with tag line “A new era of wonder begins”, and it will be interesting to watch what era will usher in with the movie. It is scheduled to open on June 5, 2020.

After years of anticipation, Marvel Studios will finally release a solo “Black Widow” movie, redefining the superhero universe with women power in focus. The film will bring back Scarlett Johansson in the avatar of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow as she traces her past to solve puzzle of her life. It marks the beginning of Marvel’s Phase 4. The film is slated to release in India on April 30, 2020 — a day before its release in the US.

Will “No Time To Die” really be Daniel Craig’s last outing as James Bond? Will the film introduce a new James Bond? Will there be a female James Bond? Will it present first black Bond? All these questions will be answered with the release of 25th Bond film. Directed by new-age maverick and Emmy-winner Cary Joji Fukunaga, the film will open in April.

Visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan will return with some mindbending drama in his much-hyped “Tenet”. Described as an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage, the movie comes with a time travel twist as Robert Pattinson’s character and John David Washington’s character try to stop an event before the time runs out. Mumbai plays an important role in the spy drama. Also starring actress Dimple Kapadia, the film will release in July.

Disney Plus intensified streaming wars internationally with its launch in November last year. The war will heat up with the platform entering Indian market. The service is expected to arrive in India in the second half of 2020, post the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament. There will be no separate app as the whole catalog will be available on Hotstar.

India will be on the radar of American streaming service Netflix, with plans to invest Rs 3,000 crore on producing exclusive content in India in the immediate future. Star power is going to be one of the most important driving forces for the platform. Bollywood biggies such as Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma are associated with the platform to create content.

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