By Hindustan Times
Romance, action, comedy, real life stories... Bollywood is geared up with an interesting line-up of releases in 2011, starring big names like Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan and Ajay Devgn who have more than one film on offer. Vidya Balan, a perfect combination of beauty and talent, will start the New Year on a serious note with No One Killed Jessica. Based on the murder of ramp model Jessica Lall, the film directed by Rajkumar Gupta, is releasing Jan 7. It also has another powerful performer, Rani Mukerji.
Vidya will be seen in another real life story Dirty Pictures, a biopic inspired by the southern sex symbol Silk Smitha's tragic life.
The serious mood will soon be dispelled by the release of fun flicks Turning 30 and Yamla Pagla Deewana. While the former, starring Gul Panag, is an effort to entertain audiences through the story of a 30-plus single woman and her woes, the latter will see the three Deols - Dharmendra and his actor sons Sunny and Bobby Deol indulging in funny antics.
None other than Bollywood perfectionist Aamir Khan will appear in his wife Kiran Rao's directorial debut Dhobi Ghat, about the city of Mumbai and four ordinary people whose lives intersect and become forever altered as they journey through longing, loneliness, loss and love. Releasing Jan 21, it also features Prateik Babbar, Monica Dogra and Kriti Malhotra.
Aamir is expected to appear on screen again at the end of the year in Reema Kagti's yet-to-be-titled movie.
Madhur Bhandarkar's first comedy Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji will wrap up the first month of the year. The National Award-winning filmmaker, known for making hard-hitting movies, forays into comedy with Ajay Devgn and a host of other actors such as Emraan Hashmi, Omi Vaidya, Shazahn Padamsee and Shruti Haasan.
Ajay, who had the maximum releases in 2010 and has been named the most profitable male actor of the year, once again has the highest number of releases in the new year - Tezz, Rohit Shetty's remake of Tamil hit Singham, Aarakshan, Rascals, and Shetty's Diwali comedy with Abhishek Bachchan.
It was not a favourable year for Akshay Kumar, but he may climb up on the hits list with his first release of the year "Patiala House". His role is inspired by the first Sikh cricketer in the English team, Monty Singh Panesar, and the promos look promising. In the latter part of the year, Akshay has several releases lined up - Thank You, Desi Boyz, Joker and Housefull 2.
2010 was a National Award year for Priyanka Chopra, but this beauty queen couldn't give any big hit. The glamorous actress, who shocked and surprised her fans with her zara hatke performances in "Fashion" and "Kaminey", will be seen as a femme fatale in Saat Khoon Maaf. It seems the actress is trying to make her body of work versatile as her next release Barfee will see her as deaf and dumb.
Just like January, the second month will also end with a smile with the release of the comedy Tanu Weds Manu that has R. Madhavan and Kangana Ranaut.
Abhishek Bachchan was appreciated as freedom fighter Surjya Sen in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se, but the film couldn't create a buzz at the box office. In March, the actor will return with the thriller Game that will hopefully have a better fate at the ticket window. His other releases are Players and Rohit Shetty's Diwali comedy.
Sunny Khanna, director of Mumbai-based production and distribution house Watch Tower International, said: "It will be perhaps for the first time that all the biggies will have multiple releases in one year in 2011. But the major point is the corporates have again got the movies at extreme prices and they are going to bleed. Let's see how much the audiences will spend this time."
There are other big stars with multiple releases in 2011, but the dates are not finalised yet.
Shah Rukh Khan will have two releases, Don 2 and Ra.One, as well as the animation movie "Koochie Koochie Hota Hain" where he has given the voiceover.
Saif Ali Khan's long-awaited home production Agent Vinod, which will see him in the lead, will hit the screens. He will also be seen playing an important role in "Aarakshan".
Salman Khan is expected to repeat the success of Dabangg with three releases in 2011 - Ready, My Love Story and Bodyguard.
His Kites couldn't fly high, but the actor is set to prove his worth with Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and the remake of Agneepath.
Ranbir Kapoor, who emerged as a dark horse, thanks to his performance as a scheming politician in "Raajneeti", will take his versatility to another level with "Rockstar" and "Barfee".
While John Abraham will be seen in the Hindi remake of Tamil action cop drama Kaakha Kaakha and two sequels Dostana 2 and Housefull 2, Sanjay Dutt will feature in Rascals and Double Dhamaal.
It wasn't a great year for Sonam Kapoor, but she bagged three projects - Thank You, Mausam and Players" - all coming in the new year.
Katrina Kaif will entertain her fans with her roles in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan.
Kareena Kapoor has Shah Rukh's home production Ra.One and her boyfriend Saif's movie Agent Vinod as well as Short Term Shaadi in her kitty.
Imran Khan, Aamir Khan's nephew, is a good actor, but it seems lady luck is eluding him. He may turn the tide with three releases - Delhi Belly, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Short Term Shaadi.