And we are off to a fabulous start in January with a slew of promising films throughout the opening month of 2020 featuring superstars and newcomers all looking towards a promising future.

Bhangra  Pa Le (3 January): Putting to rest baseless rumours that this sparkling homage to the Bhangra dance-form was  going straight to the OTT platform, producers  RSVP have lined up  this sprightly film as the first theatrical release of 2020. Vicky Kaushal’s kid brother Sunny Kaushal will be seen locked in a fierce Bhangra competition with newcomer Rukshar. Lots of colour, music and warmth promised. 

Sab Kushal Mangal (3 January): Featuring two debutant star kids. Ravi Kissan’s daughter Riva with Padmini Kolhapure’s son Priyaank. The redoubtable Akshaye Khanna joins in this small town rom-com where politics meets romance meets the politics of romance. Veteran producer Nitin Manmohan’s daughter Prachi makes her debut as an independent producer. Put your hands together for bright new talent.

Chhapaak (10 January): Meghna Gulzar directs Deepika Padukone in the true-life story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Aggarwal. Going by the explosive results of casting Alia Bhatt in her previous work Raazi, Ms Gulzar has another critical and commercial winner on hand.

Darbar (10 January): The inviolable Rajinikanth teams up with Tamil cinema’s most successful director Murugadoss for a fast-paced Khaki actioner. Can’t get any bigger than this…Or can it?

Tanhaji (10 January): Ajay Devgn plays the title role in this strongly nationalistic costume drama.  Mrs Devgn, Kajol joins in the mission to resurrect an unsung hero. Director Om Raut knows his job. If only the narrative doesn’t fly off into spurts of fantasy.

Jai Mummy Di (17 January):  Luv Ranjan the hit director of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (and also the discoverer of Kartik Aryan) gives us a small town comedy directed by newcomer Navjot Gulati about a pair of lovers Sunny Singh and Sonnalli Seygall (yes, that’s how she spells her name) and their warring Mummys played by Poonam Dhillon and SSupriya Pathak. Clearly the Moms will take cent stage in this seemingly fun comedy.

Panga (24 January): Another female director the gently persuasive Ashwini Iyer Tiwary, telling another story of a true-life female hero. This time it is a kabbaddi player played by the fearless Kangana Ranaut.  The film will raise several issues pertaining to a woman’s right to pursue her dreams and career after marriage and motherhood. It would be a close call at the National awards between Kangana’s kabaddi and Deepika’s acid attack. 

Street Dancer 3D (24 January):  Varun Dhawan is Indian, Shradha Kapoor is Pakistani and they will dance against each other until the two countries shake hands. Well, at least that’s the spirit of this feisty dance film directed by dance specialist Remo d’Souza . Prabhudheva who makes it a point to be part of Remo’s cinema pops up to prop up Varun’s dance moves. More success guaranteed to Prabhu this time than Dabangg 2.

Chhalang (30 January):  Hansal Mehta returns to the quirky comic kingdom with Rajkummar Rao his own Robert De Niro. Producer Luv Ranjan’s favourite heroine Nushrat Bharucha joins in. The result promises to be pure magic.

Happy Hardy & Heer (30 January): Himesh Reshammiya never gives up. He is back romancing the tone. Singing and wooing PYT Sonia Mann. This is Himesh’s first double role. Isn’t that exciting!

Jawani Jaan-e-Mann (January 30): Saif Ali Khan plays a middle aged man with a roving eye. Tabu plays a calm mysterious character. Pooja Bedi’s daughter Alaia makes her debut. Why do I get the feeling this would be similar to 2019’s Ajay Devgan starrer De De Pyar De?

Gul Makai (January 30): Newcomer Reem Sheikh plays Malala Yousafzai. Need anything more be said?