That India is the world's largest film producer is a fact we're all aware of. But because of various factors, such as the obsession with the star system and the media's tendency to assign coverage to what is already popular, we often don't hear much about a number of movies that get made, find distribution, release, and then — more often than not — slink quietly out of theatres.
While big-budget and star-helmed films like Sultan have the luxury of solo releases, thanks to its lead Salman Khan's enormous star power and hefty marketing budgets, smaller films have to rely on good word-of-mouth to find audiences.
Take, for instance, this Friday (August 5), which may just be the most movie-crowded weekend of 2016 so far. No less than seven Hindi films are releasing in theatres across the country. This includes:
Budhia Singh - Born To Run
Originally titled Duronto, this biopic on Oriya marathon runner Budhia Singh, who famously ran from Bhubaneswar to Puri in sweltering heat at the age of four, won the National Award for Best Children's Film earlier this year. Directed by Soumendra Padhi, it stars Manoj Bajpayee in the role of Biranchi Das, Budhia's coach.
Apparently India's first ever "thrillex" (that's 'thriller' + 'sex'), Fever marks yet another return for Rajeev Khandelwal in films as a leading man, playing a contract killer here, with Gauhar Khan as his co-star. It also features British TV star Gemma Atkinson and Italian actress Caterina Murino, best known to international audiences for her appearance in the 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale.
The Legend Of Michael Mishra
This zany-looking heartland comedy directed by Manish Jha (Matrubhoomi, Anwar) stars Arshad Warsi, Aditi Rao Hydari, and Boman Irani. Warsi plays Michael Mishra, a "kidnapping specialist" in Bihar, who attempts to reform himself.
Babuji Ek Ticket Bambai
This prostitution drama, starring Rajpal Yadav, Bharti Sharma, Sudha Chandran, Mohan Joshi, Rakesh Bedi, and Milind Gunaji, also releases this Friday.
Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara
Monjoy Joy Mukerji, the son of yesteryear actor-director Joy Mukerji, makes his directorial debut with this relationship drama centered on the lives of young couples, starring a bunch of newcomers.
Moods Of Crime
A thriller about a Mumbai-based psychology teacher and two of her students, all of whom decide to indulge in criminal activities to understand the tendencies of a criminal mind, this film also releases on Friday.
Purab Ki Awaz
This film is also supposed to release this Friday.
Chauthi Koot (Punjabi)
National Award winner Gurvinder Singh (Anhey Ghorey Da Daan) returns this Friday with the theatrical release of his second feature film Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction).
The film, which premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival and competed under the Un Certain Regard category, has won several awards at major film festivals, including the Best Asian Feature Film at last year's Singapore International Film Festival and the Best Film in the India Gold category of last year's Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
Chauthi Koot will be releasing in about 80 screens across the country, which includes 50 in Punjab and 30 in the metros.
Meanwhile, there are two big Hollywood releases this week: the much-awaited DC Comics movie Suicide Squad (starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie) and Paul Greengrass' Jason Bourne (starring Matt Damon). Both films will be released in theatres across the country, dubbed in Hindi as well as local languages.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the country...
The two Tamil releases of this week include Meendum Oru Kadhal Kathai, starring actor-music composer GV Prakash Kumar, and Thirunaal, starring Jiiva and Nayantara.
In the Malayalam industry, there are four releases slated for Friday: the bilingual Malayalam-Telugu film Vismayam (starring Mohanlal), Guppy, Marubhoomiyile Aana, and Ann Maria Kalippilaanu. On the Telugu front, aside from Vismayam, there's also Srirastu Subhamastu. In Kannada films, this week's offerings are Dana Kayonu and Bharjari. Meanwhile, in Punjabi, aside from Chauthi Koot, there's also Gelo, starring Pawan Malhotra and Jaspinder Cheema.
That's a grand total of 19 major releases (that we know of). Phew.
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