As the curtain comes down on 2022, Roshmila Bhattacharya flashbacks to some of the year's news-makers and events.
- Part 1: A for Alia Bhatt
- Part 2: Jacqueline's Con Call
- Part 3: Malaika-Arjun's 'M' Word
P: PUSHPA BLOOMS PAN-INDIA
Allu Arjun has become a national craze after his Telugu action thriller, Pushpa: The Rise -- in a first for the actor -- was dubbed and released simultaneously in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada.
The film has already notched up a triple century at the worldwide box-office.
The makers have rolled with the sequel, Pushpa: The Rule, which brings back Allu Arjun's sandalwood smuggler and Fahadh Faasil who appears towards the end of Part 1 as the main antagonist.
Rashmika Mandana, who has since entered the galaxy of Bollywood's brightest stars, also returns in Part 2 while Samantha, who sizzled in the special appearance song Oo Antava, has bagged BAFTA-winning director Philip John's film Arrangements of Love in which she plays a bi-sexual spy.
Pushpa is one of the most watched films of the year, Allu Arjun's now iconic dialogue, 'Pushpa naam sunkar flower samjhi kya? Flower nahin fire hai mein' and his now-famous signature gesture, aped across the country.
Q: QUEEN IN AN EMERGENCY
After retracing J Jayalalithaa's journey into politics in Thalaivii, Kangana Ranaut is now putting the finishing touches to Emergency, directed and produced by her, in which she plays Indira Gandhi.
The film releases next year, with KR also flying high as an IAF pilot in Tejas.
She has also bagged the sequel of Rajanikanth's horror comedy, Chandramukhi and announced Manikarnika Returns: The Legend of Didda.
R: RANVEER IN THE RAW
After a condom ad in 2014, Ranveer Singh stripped down to his skin eight years later for an international magazine which described him as 'the last Bollywood superstar'.
The photo session inevitably whipped up a storm of protesting memes, with social media users covering up the cover boy online, and an NGO in Indore urging people to donate clothes for him.
The founder of another NGO, Lalit Tekchandani, filed an FIR for four counts of non-bailable offences, inviting a maximum punishment of five years, while lawyer Vedika Chaubey went to the Mumbai police with a written application, also declaring on national television, 'We can see him bum.'
Ranveer later stated that the photographs had been tampered with and denied uploading one of them in which his private parts are allegedly visible.
Phew, that's what happens when Adam returns to Eden in the raw!
S: SOUTH STRIKES
Not just RRR and Pushpa: The Rise, other invaders from down South crashed the language barrier to shake up Bollywood's bastion.
Made on a budget of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion), KGF: Chapter 2, earned many multiples over worldwide, with Chapter 3 continuing Rocky's story.
Another Kannada hit, Rishab Shetty's horror-thriller Kantara, grossed Rs 400 crore (Rs 4 billion) in global ticket sales.
Mani Ratnam's Tamil historical drama, Ponniyin Selvan, planned in two parts with Part 1 reuniting the Raavan jodi, Aishwarya Bachchan and Vikram, has earned over Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion); Part 2 arrives in 2023.
Vikram, Kamal Haasan and Vijay Sethupathi's action thriller, has done a business of Rs 400 crore (Rs 4 billion).
Also well appreciated was Major, Bheemla Nayak, Vikrant Rona, Don, Bimbisara, Bheeshma Parvan, Jana Gana Mana, Sita Raman and 777 Charlie among many other South films.
Given the mass appeal of these films, Bollywood is looking to the South for inspiration.
Ranveer Singh is a lawyer by day and a vigilante by night in Shanker's Aparichit, the Hindi remake of Vikram's 2005 Tamil psychological thriller Anniyan.
Allu Arjun's 2020 Telugu blockbuster Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is the film behind Kartik Aaryan's upcoming Shehzada.
Sanya Malhotra and Manushi Chiller are stirring up the Malayalam hit The Great Indian Kitchen while Varun Dhawan features in the Hindi adaptation of the Tamil murder mystery Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru with the original director Karthick Naren at the helm.
Akshay Kumar has 'borrowed' Suriya's National Award-wining Tamil blockbuster Soorarai Pottru while Ajay Devgn's next directorial Bholaa is inspired by the 2019 Tamil hit Kaithi.
Atlee brings together Shah Rukh Khan and Vijay Sethupathi in Jawan while Sandeep Vanga Redyy brings out the Animal in Ranbir Kapoor.
With Prabhas and Saif Ali Khan playing Ram and Raavan in Adipurish, it's clear regional cinema has graduated to becoming high-impact Indian cinema.
T: TWO MUCH
The two big Hindi blockbusters of 2022, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Drishyam 2, have carried forward a saleable concept successfully.
However, Tiger Shroff could not recreate the magic of his debut film with Heropanti 2 nor could Khuda Hafiz: Chapter 2 make the same impact as the original.
That's not stopping Divya Khosla Kumar from returning almost a decade later with her 2014 coming-of-age love story Yaariyan and Raaj Shaandilyaa is bringing back his Dream Girl, Ayushmann Khurrana.
Akshay Kumar is set to 'blue' us off with OMG – Oh My God! 2 and Anurag Basu is chugging ahead with a Life… In A Metro sequel.
Apne 2, Gadar 2, Kick 2, Ishq Vishk Rebound have all been announced while Tiger 3 and Fukrey 3 are ready and waiting.
U: UUNCHAI @ 80
At 80, Amitabh Bachchan was the busiest actor in 2022 with six films -- Jhund, Runway 34, Brahmastra Part 1m-- Shiva, Goodbye, Uunchai and the Gujarati Fakt Mahilao Maate.
He also hosted KBC 14, made a music video, Mitra Re Reprise, besides endorsing several brands, guesting events and buzzing on the social media,
And even though the acting baton has been handed to grandson Agastya, Big B will continue to remain busy in 2023, with the sci-fi adventure Project K with Deepika Padukone and Prabhas, the Hindi remake of Robert De Niro's 2015 buddy comedy-drama The Intern and R Balki's sports drama, Ghoomer, with son Abhishek.
There's also a romcom, Ishq Chakallas, a Hindi-Tamil bilingual The Great Man, the fantasy action-drama, Wisdom for Heroes, with Franco Nero and Murray McArthur and Krrish 4 with Hrithik Roshan.
Also, Bachchan Back to the Beginning, the film fest that commemorated his 80th, will be travelling not just across the country, but the globe too.
- Part 5: Flashback 2022: Zero Returns