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2019 second half preview: What's new, what's hot, what's not

With the second half of 2019 upon us, here is a rundown of what you can expect at the Hindi box office.

Sonal Pandya

The first half of 2019 brought some surprises (Uri: The Surgical Strike and Kabir Singh spring to mind) while others made their mark (Gully Boy, Luka Chuppi).

As June comes to an end and July beckons, we take a look at what lies ahead for the second half of the year at the cinema. We espy plenty of multi-starrers, but enough intriguing subjects to pull audiences to the theatres. From the real-life story of the Mars orbiter mission to the Hindi adaptation of The Fault In Our Stars, there is variety for everyone. So, what will you line up for in the coming months? (Please note that release dates are subject to change.)


Release date: 5 July
Director: Mangesh Hadawale
Cast: Meezaan, Sharmin Segal

The romantic drama introduces two new faces with industry connections. Meezaan is a third-generation actor, being the son of Jaaved Jaaferi and grandson of Jagdeep. Sharmin is the daughter of editor Bella Segal and the niece of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Directed by Mangesh Hadawale, this contemporary love story sees Shiva (Meezaan) and Astha (Segal) from two different cultures fall for each other. The result is volatile. While we don't have too many expectations from the film, the curiosity factor always rises when two newcomers are being launched.

Super 30

Release date: 12 July
Director: Vikas Bahl
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur, Amit Sadh, Pankaj Tripathi

The biopic has had so much negative press during production. First there was the flip-flop on whether the film is based on Anand Kumar’s life (it is), then the issue of whether Bahl would get director’s credit after the allegations of sexual abuse against him by several women (he did). Leading man Hrithik Roshan has also been in the news for his continuing battle with former co-star Kangana Ranaut, and a possible estrangement with his sister, Sunaina.

Super 30, like Why Cheat India (2019), looks at the booming field of coaching institutes and training students for prestigious entrance exams, like IIT-JEE. The latter was a hit-and-miss. So, will audiences claim exam fatigue on this too? Time will tell.

Arjun Patiala

Release date: 19 July
Director: Rohit Jugraj
Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Kriti Sanon, Varun Sharma, Ronit Roy

This upcoming comedy features the new pairing of Diljit Dosanjh and Kriti Sanon. Director Rohit Jugraj, who has previously worked with Dosanjh in Punjabi cinema, plays to the star’s strengths, featuring him as a police officer and working on his excellent timing. The trailer promises an out-and-out madcap comedy, with sidekick Varun Sharma as Onida Singh. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and maybe that’s a good thing. We all need some mindless laughter in our lives once in a while.

Mental Hai Kya

Release date: 26 July
Director: Prakash Kovelamudi
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Kangana Ranaut

Rajkummar Rao and Kangana Ranaut, who last starred together in Queen (2014), reunite in Prakash Kovelamudi’s black comedy, written by his wife Kanika Dhillon. The two leads play warring neighbours who try to make life difficult for each other. It will be amazing to see these powerhouse performers get together again.

The film has come under fire from mental health organizations for being derogatory to those with mental illness. We will have to wait and see if the film proves its detractors wrong.

Khandaani Shafakhana

Release date: 2 August
Director: Shilpi Dasgupta
Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Sharma, Annu Kapoor, Badshah

An inherited sex clinic, dwindling customers, and a complaining brother. Sonakshi Sinha’s Baby Bedi has to deal with plenty in this slice-of-life film, and she is determined to succeed despite the circumstances. So she unites with a music star, played by Badshah, who is also a client, to help get the word out. Addressing sexual inadequacies head on, this comedy picks up from where Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017) left off.

Jabariya Jodi

Release date: 2 August
Director: Prashant Singh
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Aparshakti Khurana, Sanjay Mishra, Jaaved Jaaferi

In another case of former co-stars reuniting, the stars of Hasee Toh Phasee (2014), Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra, come back together for Jabariya Jodi. The film, directed by first-time filmmaker Prashant Singh, is set in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, and features Malhotra as a man who abducts grooms for brides' families. Chopra plays a young woman whose path crosses Malhotra's. This comedy project has seen plenty of delays, and we hope it doesn’t get stale by the time it is released.

Batla House

Release date: 15 August
Director: Nikkhil Advani
Cast: John Abraham, Mrunal Thakur

The John Abraham-starrer sure has its work cut out. It goes up against two heavyweights — the long-awaited action thriller Saaho and the multi-starrer Mission Mangal. After Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran (2018) and Romeo Akbar Walter (2019), John takes on yet another avatar, this time as a police officer involved in an encounter with terrorists at Batla House. The operation ends in controversy and he has to defend his actions.

Mission Mangal

Release date: 15 August
Director: Jagan Shakti
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menon, Kirti Kulhari, Sharman Joshi

The film was first announced last November with a stellar cast. This mission to Mars is built on the shoulders of woman scientists, so we are really keen to see how this all unfolds on the big screen.

Mission Mangal also features the Independence Day man, Akshay Kumar, who rules on this holiday. We are expecting a full-on emotional ride (with a heavy dose of patriotism) as the probe orbits around the red planet.


Release date: 15 August
Director: Sujeeth
Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Jackie Shroff, Mahesh Manjrekar, Mandira Bedi, Chunky Pandey

The Baahubali films made Prabhas an international name, and with the multilingual action thriller Saaho he will, hopefully, be a crossover star. The actor is accompanied by a whole cast of names familiar in the Hindi industry from Jackie Shroff to Shraddha Kapoor.

Will the laconic star and actor build on the success of Baahubali. We certainly hope so, as the action sequences from the teaser have only whetted our appetite!


Release date: 30 August
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor, Varun Sharma, Prateik Babbar, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Navin Polishetty, Tushar Pandey, Saharsh Shukla

Following the massive success of Dangal (2016) with Aamir Khan, Nitesh Tiwari is returning to the director’s chair with this film set in an engineering college. With no superstars, the film follows a former batch of students from the 1990s to the present day. The film’s tagline seems to suggest that the group doesn’t change much, despite the decades. We are keeping our fingers crossed this one does not disappoint us.

Made In China

Release date: 30 August
Director: Mikhil Musale
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Mouni Roy, Boman Irani

Actor Rajkummar Rao as a Gujarati businessman in China? Yes, please. Last year, the actor entertained us as ‘Manish Malhotra from Chanderi’ in Stree (2018). This year, he takes us to China and tries to sell his wares. Joining him will be Mouni Roy (as his wife) and Boman Irani in director Mikhil Musale’s Hindi debut. We have always felt that Rajkummar Rao needs to explore his comic side more, and this feels like a step in the right direction.

Commando 3

Release date: 6 September
Director: Aditya Datt
Cast: Vidyut Jammwal, Adah Sharma, Angira Dhar, Gulshan Devaiah

The one-man army, played by action star Vidyut Jammwal, returns in this third instalment of the franchise series. This time, he will go up against an antagonist played by Gulshan Devaiah.

The Commando series, surprisingly, have been well-received by audiences. This time, though, the action and the scenario needs to be kicked up a notch to survive. Will Jammwal be lucky the third time around? His other action film of 2019, Chuck Russell’s Junglee (2019), did not fare well. The pressure is on.

Laal Kaptaan

Release date: 6 September
Director: Navdeep Singh
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Zoya Hussain, Manav Vij

Actor Saif Ali Khan dons a brand new avatar as a vengeful sadhu in Navdeep Singh’s Laal Kaptaan. Earlier named Hunter, the film is set in the 18th century and also features Zoya Hussain, Manav Vij, Deepak Dobriyal and Neeraj Kabi. Khan has reinvented himself so many times in his career, it’s always interesting to see what the actor turns to. Between this, Netflix’s Sacred Games and Jawaani Jaaneman, he is certainly not in danger of repeating himself.

Dream Girl

Release date: 13 September
Director: Raaj Shaandilyaa
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Nushrat Bharucha

What will actor Ayushmann Khurrana do next? For his upcoming film Dream Girl, it looks like the actor goes drag, as Lokesh and Lajwanti. Teaming up with actress Nushrat Bharucha and his Vicky Donor (2012) co-star Annu Kapoor, the actor looks to extend his winning streak at the box office. The comedy, set in Mathura, is the directorial debut of Raaj Shaandilyaa.


Release date: 20 September
Director: Nagraj Manjule
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan

For Nagraj Manjule’s first directorial venture in Hindi, the filmmaker picked none other than veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan. He plays a character taken from Vijay Barse’s life. The retired sports teacher from Nagpur founded the Slum Soccer programme and inspired countless young people. An added draw for the film, Manjule's Sairat (2016) stars Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar are said to be making an appearance in the film.

The Zoya Factor

Release date: 20 September
Director: Abhishek Sharma
Cast: Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Dulquer Salmaan

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Dulquer Salmaan are put together for the first time for The Zoya Factor (2019) which pits them together as Zoya, an advertising professional, and Nikhil, captain of the Indian national team. While Sonam was seen recently in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019), Dulquer will be acting in his second Hindi film after Karwaan (2018). Like we said before, this romantic drama, based on the best-selling novel by Anuja Chauhan, looks perfect for a country that loves both cinema and cricket.


Release date: 2 October
Director: Milap Zaveri
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Rakul Preet Singh, Tara Sutaria

Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh also reunite after Ek Villain (2014) in this intense love story. The film has roped in actresses Rakul Preet Singh and Tara Sutaria to round out the cast. Deshmukh, interestingly, plays a dwarf who is an antagonist in the film. Meanwhile, Malhotra looks to be the brooding hero.

Will the two actors recreate the success of their last film together, directed by Mohit Suri? We are sure they would love a crystal ball to find out yes or no.

The Sky Is Pink

Release date: 11 October
Director: Shonali Bose
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim, Rohit Saraf

It’s safe to say that all eyes are trained on Priyanka Chopra’s return to Hindi cinema. She was due to return with Bharat (2019), but she chose marriage and common sense over that film. Shonali Bose’s emotional real-life drama is the story of the Chaudhary family whose daughter, Aisha, was born with an immuno-deficiency disorder and died at age 19. Co-starring Zaira Wasim as Aisha and Farhan Akhtar as Chopra’s husband, the film looks like it’s going to make us weep buckets.

Housefull 4

Release date: 25 October
Director: Farhad Samji
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon, Riteish Deshmukh, Kriti Kharbanda, Bobby Deol, Pooja Hegde, Chunky Pandey, Boman Irani, Rana Daggubati

One of Hindi cinema’s longest running franchises is still going strong and will release its fourth instalment this Diwali. Farhad Samji replaced Sajid Khan and Rana Daggubati replaced Nana Patekar in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against them last year. But the comedy film looks to soldier on and present its cast in wackier situations than before.

The ensemble cast, with a mix of familiar and new faces, certainly seems to be having a blast in behind-the-scenes stills. All you need is laughter and the Housefull 4 crew seems to have it in spades.

Saand Ki Aankh

Release date: 25 October
Director: Tushar Hiranandani
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha, Vineet Kumar Singh

Normally we would be so excited to see Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar act together as sisters-in-law in Tushar Hiranandani’s directorial debut Saand Ki Aankh. The actresses play ageing shooters who take up the sport in their sixties and become champions. For once, instead of ageing Pannu and Pednekar, we wish the makers had hired actresses who were actually in their sixties to enact real-life champions Chandro and Prakashi Tomar. It's a real missed opportunity.


Release date: 8 November
Director: Anees Bazmee
Cast: Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Ileana D'Cruz, Arshad Warsi, Pulkit Samrat, Kriti Kharbanda, Urvashi Rautela, Saurabh Shukla

After scoring big with the ensemble comedy Total Dhamaal (2019) earlier in the year, actor Anil Kapoor joins an all-star cast for Anees Bazmee’s next. The action comedy has been shot largely in the UK and will contain the usual Bazmee brand of humour. But with Housefull 4 arriving just two weeks before this film, will the audience be laughed out? Or will it be seeking out more laughs? The makers will surely hope it’s the latter.

Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship

Release date: 15 November
Director: Bhanu Pratap Singh
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar

Everyone wants to jump on the horror bandwagon, including Dharma Productions, it seems. The banner, led by Karan Johar, presents a new ‘horror’ franchise starring current favourite, actor Vicky Kaushal, and Bhumi Pednekar. The first-look poster featured the actor being terrorized by someone or something. Will his good looks save him this time? Let’s hope so. There’s a Part Two on the horizon somewhere.


Release date: 22 November
Director: Amar Kaushik
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam, Jaaved Jafferi

Amar Kaushik’s second film after the surprise blockbuster Stree (2018) is keenly awaited for many reasons. One is to see Kaushik’s mettle after his debut film. Another is to see if actor Ayushmann Khurrana is really a box-office magnet after Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017). If this and Dream Girl do well, it will set forth a run for Khurrana rivalling those of Rajendra Kumar and Rajesh Khanna in their heyday.

The subject already has us intrigued, it features Khurrana as a prematurely balding man while Pednekar is a woman fighting against skin discrimination. Yami Gautam joins the mix as a film star.

Dil Bechara

Release date: 29 November
Director: Mukesh Chhabra
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi, Saif Ali Khan

First titled Kizie Aur Manny, casting director Mukesh Chhabra's directorial debut was renamed Dil Bechara this February. The love story has been adapted from John Green's bestselling novel The Fault In Our Stars and the popular 2014 Hollywood film with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. Here, Chhabra introduces a new face, Sanjana Sanghi, with actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Like The Sky Is Pink, we are bracing ourselves for tears. Bring some tissues.

Jawaani Jaaneman

Release date: 29 November
Director: Nitin Kakkar
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Alaia F

Currently being shot in London, England, Nitin Kakkar’s Jawaani Jaaneman features Saif Ali Khan as a father and Alaia F (daughter of Pooja Bedi) as his daughter. Tabu is also on board in a yet unknown role. We don’t know much about the film, but so far it looks promising.


Release date: 6 December
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Kriti Sanon, Kabir Bedi, Zeenat Aman

We will admit to some apprehension about Ashutosh Gowariker’s Panipat. The filmmaker’s previous work, Mohenjo Daro (2016), does not bring back fond memories. Remember the crocodile?

However, Gowariker's forte is historicals and this film traces the third battle of Panipat in 1761 between the Marathas and the Afghans. Sanjay Dutt is the king of Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Abdali, while Arjun Kapoor (in a brand new look) is Sadashivrao Bhau. Kriti Sanon plays Kapoor’s wife Parvatibai.

Pati Patni Aur Woh

Release date: 6 December
Director: Mudassar Aziz
Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Bhumi Pednekar, Ananya Panday

In this next-gen remake of the 1978 film, Kartik Aaryan is the pati, Bhumi Pednekar the patni, and newbie Ananya Panday is the other woman. Mudassar Aziz directs the trio in the eternal love triangle.

Aaryan and Pednekar play a newly married couple whose marriage is tested by the arrival of Panday. Of course, the institution of marriage will be played for laughs here. Like Ayushmann Khurrana, Aaryan is also a box-office favourite. Can he make it a hat-trick after Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (2018) and Luka Chuppi (2019)?

Dabangg 3

Release date: 20 December
Director: Prabhu Deva
Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan, Mahie Gill, Sudeep

Salman Khan’s old reliable, Chulbul Pandey, returns for another outing this December. After the debacle of Race 3 (2018) and the lukewarm response to Bharat (2019), Khan is treading on familiar ground with the third instalment of the Dabangg series. Actor Prabhu Deva picks up the director’s baton this time and South star Sudeep has been cast as Khan's antagonist. Despite the familiar tropes, we are not so sure the excitement is quite the same for round three.

Good News

Release date: 27 December
Director: Raj Mehta
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh, Kiara Advani

The last film of the year, like 2018, belongs to Dharma Productions. A formidable star cast of Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani comes together in a story about surrogacy. Arriving just a week after Dabanng 3, the Good News team hopes to bring audiences to the theatres with a feel-good film by first-time filmmaker Raj Mehta. Let’s see if it sneaks through and steals the thunder of another big-budget film, just as Simmba did last year to Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero.