As dispiriting the ongoing pandemic is, the beginning of a brand new year inspires an atmosphere of hope and excitement.
With any luck, Bollywood will get back on its feet again and give us much to awe and amaze about.
On that optimistic note, Sukanya Verma lists 10 Hindi movie things she is looking forward to in 2022.
Depth and Deepika
There's something instantly attractive about Gehraiyaan'S aesthetic.
A mere glimpse of its intimacy across movie stills, teaser promo and a hint of a melody showcasing a scorching Deepika Padukone alongside Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ananya Pandey has piqued my curiosity for Shakun Batra's third film and sublime take on complicated, chaotic adult relationships.
Considering his impressive track record (Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Kapoor & Sons), there's good reason to.
Brahmastra *finally* releasing
It's been an awfully long wait but if all goes well we might live to see real-life couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt romance each other on silver screen later this year.
Long-in-the-making movies rarely live up to the hype, here's hoping Ayan Mukerji's ambitious, home-grown superhero fantasy co-starring Amitabh Bachchan and Nagarjuna shatters that myth.
Ranveer's Gujju avatar
Say what you will about Ranveer Singh's wild wardrobe, the actor in him fires on all cylinders.
After that astonishing transformation into cricketer Kapil Dev in '83, it will be a hoot to watch him in and as Jayeshbhai Jordaar wherein a naturally loud persona portrays a fictionally loud character.
Ayushmann Khurrana in action mode!
After working on a series of films addressing social and sexual issues, the talented actor and singer is ready to break out of the monotony and deliver some action and thrills in films like Action Hero and Anek.
Fans of the quintessential Ayushmann genre need not fret.
There's Anubhuti Kashyap's quirky social Doctor G too, where our man plays, but of course, a gynaecologist.
Desi Forrest Gump
Aamir Khan's releases are so few and far between that they are always a cause to celebrate.
Although I am yet to recover from the disastrous Thugs of Hindostan and terribly sceptic about Bollywood remaking cherished classics, I simply have to see how Aamir interprets Tom Hanks's Oscar-winning role.
Shah Rukh Khan on silver screen
Speaking of Khans, it feels like forever since King Khan graced celluloid.
His last release Zero came out in 2018.
Unfortunately, it tanked and the superstar took time out to be with his family, mull over his next project and deal with personal crisis.
Good news is he is back on the sets, working on Siddharth Anand's high-octane action masala called Pathan co-starring Deepika Padukone and John Abraham.
Glammed-up Vikram Vedha
I am both looking forward to AND dreading the remake of this ingenious retelling of a mythology as well as smashing ode to raw, robust jugalbandi.
The encouraging bit is that the original director duo Pushkar-Gayathri are at the helm.
Also, both its leading men, Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan, are in terrific form and have come a long way since their last face-off in the utterly forgettable Na Tum Jaane Na Hum.
But the downer is Bollywood’s tendency to get all Bollywood.
Varun Dhawan in experimental mode (Badlapur, October, Sui Dhaaga) is seldom a reason for complain. Who knows his furry transformation in Bhediya results in serious howls and hilarity?
Let's just hope it doesn't go Rahul Roy's Junoon way.
But with Stree-fame Amar Kaushik in charge, there's reason to feel upbeat.
Madhuri's OTT debut
The actress is far too significant to be squandered away judging talent-based reality shows.
If Raveena Tandon, Sushmita Sen and Pooja Bhatt could rediscover themselves on OTT, imagine what an actress of Madhuri Dixit's calibre can do? Her upcoming show on Netflix, Finding Anamika where she conveys the anxieties of her professional and personal life is a step in the right direction.
Chips off the old block?
Shashi Kapoor's grandson Zahan in Hansal Mehta's Faraaz, Irrfan's son Babil in Anvita Dutt's Qala and YRF Web series The Railway Men, Vishal Bhardwaj's son Aasman's directorial debut Kuttey whose ensemble cast includes Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu, Konkona Sensharma, Arjun Kapoor, Radhika Madan, Kumud Mishra, Shardul Bhardwaj -- all three have famous blood running through their veins.
Yet in place of conventional launches, they have all opted for unique subjects and distinct paths to showcase their individuality and skill before an unsparing audience.
Colour me intrigued.
A Christmas gift from Sriram Raghavan!
When Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupati team up for the first time under Sriram Raghavan's keen direction for some cool, offbeat, thrilling, we-don't-know-a-thing-but-are-going-crazy-speculating-anyway brand of entertainment, you shut up and anticipate.