2015 has been the greatest year for Indian Indie films globally with Dum laga ke Haisha, Masaan, Titli, Thithi, Killa, Chauthi Koot among so many others and the most mainstream filmmakers have given content-driven hits in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Baby, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, NH10, Tamasha and so so many more and the biggest blockbuster ever in India turned out to be a Southern India produce in Baahubali. Will 2016 be one up at the movies? We make a list of films we are looking forward to in this year.


The year begins with Bikas Mishra’s well travelled & appreciated film with Sanjay Suri & Tannishtha Chatterjee leading with extremely strong performances. The film has won big with the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the 13th Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles 2015 (IFFLA) and Golden Gateway of India for Best Film (India Gold) at 16th Mumbai Film Festival 2014. Bikas Mishra, formerly of Dearcinema.com & Manish Mundra of Drishyam with Onir’s Antilock films is almost a guarantee card in itself to be amazing cinema.



Bejoy Nambiar directs this edge of seat thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Aditi Rao Hydari, John Abraham which is written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra & Abhijat Joshi and also produced by Chopra & Rajkumar Hirani. The film has been awaited since the first teaser came out in 2015. Chopra had the idea of two chess players and a thriller back in 1984, it will be interesting to see what it turns out to be.


Akshay Kumar and the charming Nimrat Kaur who makes her second outing after The Lunchbox (and her stint with Homeland series) feature in this film. The Raja Krishnan Menon directed film based on the biggest evacuation of Indians based in Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war in itself is something you would be proud of watching.


Like Airlift, Neerja is based on a true heroic story of Neerja Bhanot a 23-year-old Indian senior crew member during the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi. Sonam Kapoor plays the lead role accompanied by Shabana Azmi. The film also marks the debut of Shekhar Ravijani of the Vishal-Shekhar musical duo. Watch it for the story of the youngest Ashok Chakra winner giving away her life to protect the passengers on board.


Vicky Kaushal will be back in this musical based in and around Punjab, India after one of the strongest debut of 2015 and Varun Grover has penned lyrics. He wrote for Vicky’s debut Masaan too and his writing just added a tonne of weight to the final product so we want to know what happens with this one. Mozez Singh directs and has co written the film with Thani (Bombay Velvet). And icing on the cake , we can’t wait for Sarah Jane Dias to be back on screen after Angry Indian Goddesses.


Nawazuddin’s intensity, Shweta Tripathi’s gullibility (Masaan), Jasleen Royal’s Music and Shlok Sharma’s rawness (remember ‘Tubelight ka chand’ ?). The film was shot in less than 3 weeks and has been travelling the festivals since 2015 and NYIFF gave the best actor award to Nawazuddin in 2015. It portrays the tussle between innocent and forbidden love. All in all you need to watch this film for every single person in the film and specially the Director Shlok Sharma who has assisted the likes of Vishal Bhardwaj & Anurag Kashyap for almost over a decade before getting his first full length feature ready for release in April 2016.

Ki & Ka

First off – R Balki & Amitabh Bachchan cannot disappoint in terms of content & performances. Jaya Bachchan comes back on screen with Big B & Kareena Kapoor after K3G and there is Arjun Kapoor in the mix too. The film is a rom-com about roles & responsibilities set for genders in a relationship and it should be interesting to find out what Balki does of it.

Dhoni: The Untold Story

More than the casting of Sushant Singh Rajput as M S Dhoni accompanied by Kiara Advani & Anupam Kher. We are most excited about the biopic being directed by the dynamic director Neeraj Pandey. And who doesn’t want to know captain cool’s untold story?


What is better than SRK playing (almost) himself in a film? SRK playing a 20-something fan of the other self in the film. Maneesh Sharma directs this wonder project for YRF. Book your tickets already.


Harshwardhan Kapoor’s much anticipated debut in a ROM directed film written by the legendary Gulzar is a modern take on Mirza – Sahiba’s love story and no one else knows Mirza & Sahiba like Gulzar Saab. Also, this is the first time Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra directs four debutants in all lead roles. We spoke with Pawel Dyllus & ROM about the films and they are extremely excited. Also, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy perform the best in a ROM film and we desperately want some great music from them now.



Omung Kumar (Mary Kom) directing yet another biopic on the sufferings of Sarabjit is a good enough reason, add to it Aishwarya Rai playing the strong willed sister of Sarabjit in the film who kept fighting for her brother’s return to India till his last breath. This emotional and frustrating chapter in history is definitely something to look forward to.


Jagga Jasoos

It’s been a long way home. This film has been in the air for ever and we need more of Govinda after the minimal but power packed performance in Kill Dill & Happy Ending besides Katrina & Ranbir’s onscreen chemistry. And Anurag Basu & Ranbir’s chemistry after Barfi brings in a lot of weight to this long awaited film.

Udta Punjab

Abhishek Choubey (Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya), Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor is a media circus delight and add Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh to the mix and you have all the makings of a rustic, undercurrent blockbuster. Anurag Kashyap produces and Amit Trivedi makes the music – we have our fingers crossed.


SRK, Nawzuddin, Mahira Khan. The teaser poster has increased the anticipation for the film and SRK plays a bootlegger while Nawaz plays a good cop. Enough said.

Mohenjo Daro

Hrithik Roshan in an epic adventure set possibly in 2600 BC, A R Rahman’s music, Ashutosh Gowarikar directs. We want to watch this for Ashutosh’s experiment with a civilization of which not much is known.


Neeraj Pandey is enough of a reason to watch a film. He is probably the best thriller director of India whose mix of  indie style filmmaking and mainstream like canvas is extremely attractive. Also, if  A Wednesday is not enough of a statement Akshay & Neeraj created the nail biting Special 26 & Baby together and it will be exciting to see if Rustom is one up.


Salman Khan’s all bulked up for this story of a North Indian wrestler. You know you want to watch it.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Karan Johar says,  “I have never had, in my entire career, a film that has come to me so fast, so organically and so from within.” If that’s not enough you’d want to experience the casting coop for the love triangle in Ranbir, Aishwarya & Anushka Sharma.


Ajay Devgn directs one of his most expensive projects ever. He has not been successful as a director so far but he has been extremely excited about this project which he is currently filming in Bulgaria. You can never not expect something extraordinary from Devgn and that’s exactly we are doing.


Long time in the making. If this one really goes on the floor and starts turning out into a real film, starring Varun & Alia we are watching it.


Aamir Khan Christmases are the best Christmases. In this biopic he will portray Mahavir Singh Phogat, a wrestler who coached his two daughters to Commonwealth medals and Aamir Khan is already in character and you might blow up in anticipation too.


Special Mentions

Ghayal Once Again – Because – Sunny Deol’s dhaai kilo kaa haath

Chalk N Duster – Because – Education system in India needs to be discussed in detail

Saala Khadoos – Because – You don’t get many Madhwan releases in a decade.

Fitoor – Because – a Bollywood adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations

Jai Gangajal – Because Priyanka Chopra plays a bad ass cops & Prakash Jha acts.

Kapoor & Sons – Shakun Batra directs his second with Aalia with Fawad Khan coming back after Khoobsurat accompanied by Sid Malhotra & Rishi Kapoor.

Azhar – Because – Controversy, Balaji, Hashmi, Azharuddin and Cricket.

Dhishoom – Because – Rohit Dhawan, John Abraham, Varun Dhawan and Akshaye Khanna comes back.

Badshaho – Because – Ajay Devgn & Milan Luthria come together.

Note: This list includes films that have already been announced to be releasing next year. Which ones are you really looking forward to? You need to let us know and if we are as excited about the film as you are, we will add it to the mix.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this POV/BLOG are the personal opinions of the author. PANDOLIN is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing on the POV/BLOG  do not reflect the views of PANDOLIN and PANDOLIN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

UPDATED on 6 Jan 2016