News Round-Up: Sadak 2, Manikarnika, and Abbas-Mustan

Well, this is a nice little promising collection of stories on upcoming films!  Everything looks good today.

Sadak 2 CONFIRMED!!!!

Yaaaaay!  Okay “confirmed”, no one has officially tweeted or anything, but it’s next door to that and I am excited enough to take “next door to confirmed” at this point.  Release date November 19 2019, starring Sanjay and Pooja and Alia and Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay rumored to be playing a recovering addict, Alia possibly his daughter.  Wooo!  All of this makes me happy!  Oh, and best of all, Mahesh Bhatt is returning to direct for the first time in years, and the first time he has directed Alia. (story here)

Setting aside all the rest of it, I am excited about Alia and Sanjay in a Bhatt production.  Sanjay hasn’t had a really great role or great performance since his return, and Mahesh Bhatt always brings something special out of him.  Alia, she has done so many glossy films, or intense films, but she hasn’t really done a gritty film, not the way the Bhatts make them.

And I am also excited because I love Sadak 1 and I really hope this is a straight sequel.  Sanjay and Pooja are a couple, Alia is their daughter, she is in love with Aditya Roy Kapur, and Sanjay is struggling with addiction.  Although I would also be happy if this was a remake of Daddy, Alia is Sanjay’s daughter and tries to help him recover, Aditya is her boyfriend, and Pooja is her dead mother in flashback.  That would also have some interesting real life parallels with Sanjay’s story, the way it originally did with Mahesh’s.

(Fictionalized version of Mahesh himself played by Anupam Kher, his daughter played by his real daughter, and her mother played by Mahesh’s second wife, her stepmother.  And it’s really good!)


Manikarnika Spin Creates a Dance

While, this is a nice normal story to come out about an upcoming film.  An epic dance number is being filmed between Kangana and Ankita Lokhande who plays her best friend and top officer, choreographed by Ganesh Acharya, costing 2 or 3 crore.  This is the kind of set story you want to come out, gives the audience just enough details to make them curious and excited (story here)

Of course, the problem is we all know the director is off in Madras working with Vidya Balan.  So this story ends up having an unintended message of “wait, they are filming a big dance number and the director isn’t even in town?  Who’s running this thing?”  I guess they are hoping people will pick up on this story and miss the others, get excited about an expensive dance number and not notice that the film has no director.

Related image

(If you feel like “wait, I know that name”, it’s because she is Sushant’s TV co-star and ex-girlfriend and used to go to all the events with him before they broke up)


Arjun Rampal Produces and Stars with Abbas-Mustan

I am so happy about this!  I want good things for Arjun, I want good things for Abbas-Mustan, and I want good things for me and an Arjun Rampal starring Abbas-Mustan movie is DEFINITELY a good thing for me. (story here)

Abbas-Mustan have been in a low period, they always had about a 50% success rate and kept chugging out movies at the speed of one every 2 years.  They had a hit in 2013 with Race 2 (following the flop Players).  Then they made a comedy with Kapil Sharma which kind of flopped.  And then Machine, to launch one of their sons, which definitely flopped.

So, it was Machine that did it.  They can handle a flop-hit-flop-hit pattern, but flop-hit-flop-flop will kill you.  Anyway, Arjun to the rescue!  And Abbas-Mustan to the rescue of Arjun!  He’s not in great shape either right now.  Not in terrible shape, but not great.  A big glitzy twisted thriller with good songs might be just what he needs to buck up his career.

And a big glitzy twisted thriller is just what I need too!  Race 3 reminded me (and many people) that there is a certain magic only Abbas-Mustan can create.  They are frothy fun, and jaw-dropping twisty, and the music is good and the costumes are good and the actors get to chew scenery and make big speeches in the most gloriously over the top way.  Yaaay!

(More fringed dresses!  I still haven’t gotten over how awesome this one is)

27 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Sadak 2, Manikarnika, and Abbas-Mustan

    • Those are the movies doing promotions, not “making of” announcements. Much more boring.

      On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 10:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  1. This is the first time I see Ankita Lokhande , and she is so pretty.
    And for Manikarnika – do you think the rumour about the song is real? I mean spending so much money on something without director. It’s strange.


    • It’s very strange. It reads like a normal PR announcement, estimated cost, choreographer, a little taste tease for the audience. And meanwhile they whole film is falling apart. It’s like they set up this announcement on schedule weeks back and it is rolling out anyway, even though the story has now become something else entirely.

      And that would also mean this song and everything was scheduled months back. I mean, Ganesh Acharya is good and experienced, he is certainly capable of directing a song himself with a director around. So maybe it was always planned for now, they just thought the rest of the movie would already be finished?

      On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 10:33 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. A.R. Rahman had a teaser for 99 Songs as part of his show last night. Late this year, early next. The audience went crazy for the cast, especially for Manisha Koirala. Can’t wait!


  3. I just saw Stree last night. Amazingly funny!
    Opening night, late night show, It was a full house, and the audience was in stitches throughout!

    It might have a long run ala last summer’s sleeper hits (SMS, BKV, HM).

    My theater only has 2 Showtime a day the whole weekend – 3p & 1030pm – super early and super late. Apparently the theaters and/or distributors weren’t expecting this to be a hit. And yet, there are no other marquee Bollywood/Indian films releasing this weekend, and it’s a 3 day weekend in the usa (Monday is Labor Day), so my only question is… WTH were they thinking??

    Looking fwd to your review of Stree 🙂


      • Yes, and in a big crowd is better, to experience the laughter together. Plus the humor in this movie is universal enough for a global audience to understand and laugh with.


    • Same here! Only playing at one theater in the entire Chicago market, but I went to the 1pm matinee and it was close to sold out. It makes me happy and sad at the same time, because it is the exact same movie (in terms of quality, kind of humor, songs, really everything but cast and genre) as A Gentleman last year and that flopped. So I am happy for Stree, but mad all over again that people didn’t appreciate A Gentleman.

      And review will go up as soon as I finish hanging up laundry to dry.

      On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 3:26 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. What is Kangana doing? Really, she’s just putting me off from watching any of her movies again. There was one interview of AL Rai where he said that Kangana needs to take reponsibility if she wants the power of something to that effect.
    Stree’s opening numbers are really good – amazing how A Gentleman didn’t get it despite having big stars (I loved it) Is this the new world? A good trailer with striking performances will get you a good opening.
    Anyhow did you watch this? I love Ayushman, and hoping this one does well.


    • I’m looking forward to getting the figures and talking about the Stree box office, because I want to argue that it succeeded BECAUSE it had no stars. A Gentleman got written off by the kind of sophisticated multiplex audience who might enjoy it thanks to the cast and the promotional campaign. The trailer was brilliant, better than Stree (I think).

      And thanks for the trailer! What a fun idea, the possibilities for a filmmaker of playing what what is seen and unseen are enormous.

      On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 7:49 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Perfect timing! I am writing my reviews now, they will be ready by the time you come out.

          Also, having grown old in the ways of Indian movies in theaters, I can tell you that an empty theater during previews can turn into a half full theater by ten minutes into the movie.

          On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 8:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I think you are underestimating Shraddha’s stardom. She became really popular due to movies like Aashiqui 2, Ek Villain, ABCD 2, and Bhaagi. Even though she’s not known for her acting, she’s still a pretty popular face.


        • I also have a sense that she is more open and friendly towards the audience than other actresses? This really isn’t based on much, just that it seems like she has done more casual and open interviews instead of serious about Art interviews, and I know she does friendly appearances in other movies. Just generally a nice approachable feeling star instead of an untouchable star.

          On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 11:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Actually if you look at opening numbers for all the young stars, their biggest openers were with Shraddha. I don’t think it’s because of Shraddha but I do feel like she’s also a part of it in a way. Yeah, I guess that’s a good way to put it. She does do a good number of special appearances, especially when compared her contemporaries. She gives off a really nice and friendly vibe in interviews. Like you’d want to watch her movies because she seems like such a sweet person.

            Recently, I was watching an interview for Sui Dhaaga with Varun and Anushka and it seemed really weird. Varun was being himself and being half silly and half serious but Anushka on the other hand was being quite serious. It just seemed off that Anushka was trying to be serious in what was supposed to be fun interview.


          • Yes! That’s what it is! All the young actresses seem so afraid of being silly, they always have to be serious. I can see where it is coming from, they don’t want to risk being dismissed as just a silly woman, but it makes them so solemn seeming. Especially when the young actors (Varun, Ranveer, Tiger, even Ayushmann) seem to be having so much fun.

            And yes, the big openings are come from the big fun youthful movies, which have to be promoted in a big fun youthful way. And if Taapsee Pannu, for instance, isn’t willing to go on a talk show and joke around, then she really wouldn’t be right for the role and wouldn’t help the film make money.

            On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 11:24 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Yeah, that makes sense! I feel like Alia has the best balance of being silly versus being serious in the actresses I’ve noticed.

            Good point about the openings! Maybe that’s why Jacqueline gets so many of the big fun movies. Because she’s willing to promote the movie in the right way. Actually, Taapsee was really fun in the Judwaa 2 promotions so I think she could pull it off. Especially if promoting with energetic people like Varun and Jacqueline.


  5. Going by the Bhatt camp’s previous record,I don’t think Sadak 2 will be a straightup sequel.Alia’s performance in Udta Punjab was plenty gritty.Manikarnika seems headed for disaster barring a miracle.Has there ever been a (successful) Indian period movie without a solid romance at the core?


    • There haven’t been that many successful period films at all, have there? If we are thinking of simple historical and not Epic, there’s Umrao Jaan and I am sure other Muslim socials that were about the characters more than a romance. 1984 in the Punjabi market, there was a romance but it wasn’t about that, it was about 1984. Rang De Basanti, sort of. Legend of Bhagat Singh.

      But on the Epic level, Asoka failed, and Urumi only did so-so. Those had romances but it wasn’t the center of it. Rudhramadevi, but I don’t think it did that well either? Mangal Panday of course was an epic flop. I think maybe it’s not the romance though, it’s more that there has to be some universal connection with the story, something that brings it forward to the present day so we can connect. Yeah, I have a bad feeling about Manikarnika too. I had a good feeling when Krish was in charge, because his last national award winning historical was about caste and class and tricky issues like that which are relevant to the present day, along with historic battles. You could take Manikarnika and make it a statement on widows, on women, on stuff like that. But I don’t know if that is what the film is going to be now.

      On Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 3:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I’m talking pre 1900s.Manikarnika is more in the style of Jodhaa Akbar, Bajirao Mastani,Mughal-e-azam like epic historicals..All of them have a love story tucked in somewhere with the popular stars of the time.I’m sure Manikarnika has one too.But alas no major stars.Indian audience-much as I would like it otherwise-won’t accept a historical without a love story. Even the failed films like Ashoka and Urumi got that part right.


        • It would be so easy too! All you need is a major star for one song and two scenes to be her husband in flashback. scatter the scenes and song through out the film (at her lowest moment, she remembers her true love, like that), and it is enough of a taste to keep the audience going. In a way it is easier that she is a widow for most of the action, it means the romance doesn’t need to take up a lot of screen time.

          On Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 9:29 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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