The coronavirus induced lockdown led to the postponement of almost all big films across the world and the Hindi film industry was no exception. However, while new release dates of most Hollywood films were announced immediately, Bollywood didn’t do that. But finally, with the country in Unlock Phase and many markets gradually opening up outside, Bollywood has decided to take the plunge.
Last week, Reliance Entertainment announced that two of its most awaited films, ‘Sooryavanshi’ and ’83’, will be releasing at the end of 2020. While ‘Sooryavanshi’ will be releasing on Diwali, ’83’ will arrive during Christmas. Both are big-ticket films and are expected to work big time.
‘Sooryavashi’ stars Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif and is a bit of Rohit Shetty’s much loved cop universe. The trailer was unveiled in the first week of March at a time when it was to release on March 24. It was met with a great response. What’s more, Akshay’s character of Sooryavanshi is also joined by Singham (Ajay Devgn) and Simmba (Ranveer Singh) and their chemistry, visible in the trailer, had added to the hype.
’83’, meanwhile, is based on Indian cricket team’s unbelievable victory at the 1983 World Cup against the invincible West Indies team. It stars Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev and also features Deepika Padukone, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Boman Irani, Pankaj Tripathi, Ammy Virk and others. Directed by Kabir Khan, it was to release on April 10. Its trailer isn’t out but there’s lot of buzz and it’s sure to translate into healthy box office numbers.
Of course, a section of the industry and moviegoers are apprehensive. The number of coronavirus cases reported in India stand at 850, 358 and currently, on an average, 20,000 cases are being added daily. No one knows whether there will be a considerable decline of cases by Diwali. Also, theatres in the country have not resumed operations and no one knows if it will be allowed to restart anytime soon. Even if cinema halls are allowed to operate, how many people would actually come is a question.
However, there are also many who are optimistic. The Hollywood biggie ‘Tenet’, directed by Christopher Nolan, will release on August 12. If this film works and manage to pull audiences in India and elsewhere, it will give an indication that viewers are indeed comfortable to watch films in theatres. Also, many feel that moviegoers would be so bored sitting at home and watching films online that they would be desperate to come back to cinemas by the time ‘Sooryavanshi’ and ‘83′ release.