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Esha Deol plays bhoot in “Darling.”

“Darling”: Starring Esha Deol, Fardeen Khan, Isha Koppikar, Zakir Hussain; directed by Ram Gopal Varma; music by Pritam.

Don’t let the title fool you. Director Ram Gopal Varma is back with a ghost story, a genre he knows well. Fardeen Khan plays Aditya, a successful career man with a loving, traditional wife, played by Isha Koppikar. In addition, he has a stunning girlfriend at work played by Esha Deol. With some clever lies, he manages to balance life with these two women. All seemed well until his girlfriend is pregnant. When Aditya reveals to her that he would never consider leaving his wife, she flies into a rage and is accidentally killed in the argument. Although frightened, he disposes of her body and returns home thinking the worst is over. Unfortunately for Aditya, the nightmare is just beginning. His girlfriend is back as a ghost with a vengeance. She will stop at nothing in her pursuit for payback. Reports say Deol got so involved with her ghostly character that she scared herself out of doing the movie’s Tamil version.

Arshad Warsi, second from right, and gang star in the comic caper “Dhamaal.”

“Dhamaal”: Starring Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey, Riteish Deshmukh, Aashish Chaudhary, Asrani, Tiku Talsania, Aftab Shivdasani, Sohail Khan; directed by Indra Kumar; music by Adnan Sami.

This comic caper revolves around four friends. Riteish Deshmukh is Roy, who thinks he’s the world’s best detective. Javed Jaffrey is Manav, the biggest joker in the world and his older brother Aditya, played by Arshad Warsi, has the brains of the bunch. Completing the group is Boman, played by Aashish Chaudhary, who’s scared of everything especially his father. The four live and work together doing small con jobs. They think their lives are made when one day a dying man named Bose tells them about hidden millions. However, their misfortunes are now starting. Apparently, Police Inspector Kabir Nayak, played by Sanjay Dutt, had been chasing Bose for years. Upon finding him dead, Nayak starts questioning the suspicious group found near the body. A series of mishaps follow as all are thrust into comical but dangerous situations in the hunt for the hidden riches.

Fardeen Khan, left, Riteish Deshmukh, Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan star in “Heyy Babyy.”

“Dhol”: Starring Om Puri, Tusshar Kapoor, Rajpal Yadav, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Khemu, Tanushree Dutta; directed by Priyadarshan; music by Pritam.

After “Bhagam Bhag,” director Priyadarshan is back with yet another fun-filled comedy. This film also revolves around four good-natured but ambitionless friends who have similar outlooks on life and leisure. Sam, Pakya, Maru and Goti all want riches and success without any work or effort. The childish gang comes up with various get-rich- quick schemes only to be disappointed when they fail. Their latest plan is to marry a pretty rich girl and live the good life. And just then, such a girl played by Tanushree Dutta, moves into the neighborhood. Each guy tries different methods to win her affection. Doing so, some secrets are revealed and confusion ensues. A crime and murder mystery also is thrown into the chaos. Director Priyadarshan is optimistic about “Dhol” and reports say he considers it one of his best written plots.


Darshan Jariwala is Gandhi and Akshaye Khanna plays his son in “Gandhi My Father.”

“Gandhi My Father”: Starring Darshan Jariwala, Akshaye Khanna, Bhumika Chawla, Shefali Shah, Daniel Janks; directed by Feroz Abbas Khan; music composed by Piyush Kanojia.

Mahatma Gandhi’s role in India’s freedom struggle is known to everyone. But not everyone has knowledge of Gandhi as a family man and father. This film tells the story of Gandhi’s turbulent relationship with Harilal, his eldest son who lived in his father’s shadows during India’s freedom movement. Veteran stage actor, Darshan Jariwala reprises the role of Mahatma from the play “Mahatma vs Gandhi” on which this film is based. After his aspirations to study law in England were discouraged, Harilal, played by Akshaye Khanna, rebelled and tried to seek his own identity. Harilal converted to Islam, offending his father who felt he converted for material gains not out of belief. He later returned to Hinduism. Shefali Shah plays Kasturba, caught in the middle between her devotion to Gandhiji and her love for her son. After a life full of self-destruction, Harilal died a homeless alcoholic months after his father. This poignant film is directed by veteran theatre artist Feroz Abbas Khan and produced by Anil Kapoor.

Shah Rukh Khan plays a hockey coach in “Chak De India.”

“Chak De India”: Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Malvade, Tanya Abrol, Sandia Furtado, Lalhmingkimi Khiangte, Shubhi Mehta, Arya Menon; directed by Shimit Amin; music by Salim-Suleiman.

This highly anticipated release from Yash Chopra stars Shah Rukh Khan as Kabir, a former hockey player-turned-coach to a feisty team of girls training to win the World Cup. Troubled with past sorrows, Kabir’s only desire is to see his country’s flag held high during the hockey competition. Newcomer Vidya Malvade plays Vidya, a girl who wants nothing more than her parents consent to play. The team eventually makes it to the World Cup where their exercise regime is being telecast on a reality show. The girls’ determination, dignity and skills are put to the test as they strive to make their nation proud. For Kabir, it’s a chance to reclaim lost honor. Shot at various locations in Australia, the producers gave out tickets to watch the shooting. This way they got a full stadium as hockey spectators. The film will have its world premiere in London kicking off a festival called India Now celebrating the growing ties between India and London. The director Shimit Amin previously made the gritty “Ab Tak Chhappan.”

Fardeen Khan, left, Riteish Deshmukh, Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan star in “Heyy Babyy.”

“Heyy Babyy”: Starring Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Fardeen Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Boman Irani; directed by Sajid Khan; music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

What happens when three handsome bachelors must deal with the realities of parenthood? Reminiscent of the Hollywood film “Three Men and a Baby,” this masala entertainer stars Vidya Balan as Esha, the mother who refuses to marry her child’s father because she believes he’s unfit. Akshay Kumar, Fardeen Khan, and Riteish Deshmukh are Aroush, Al and Tanmay, three guys living it up and having fun in Sydney, Australia. Their non-stop partying comes to a halt when a bouncing bundle of joy lands on their doorstep. Before long, the carefree “men about town” are transformed into loving fathers. Choreographer turned director, Farah Khan’s brother Sajid Khan tries his hand at direction, with his sister handling the choreography. The makers promise drama, comedy, tears, romance and a special highlight, a song sequence with superstar Shah Rukh Khan.


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