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Movie Magic

Jan/06/2024 / by team-seema

Plenty of blockbusters are lined up for 2024. Here are five to look out for to start the year with a bang.

This year’s movie lineup is diverse and cinematic, promising excitement in so many languages and genres. These five films releasing in the coming months feature plenty of star power and tons of action.

Lal Salaam (Tamil)

The year kicks off with Lal Salaam, releasing just in time for Pongal celebrations. The film has superstar Rajinikanth in a special appearance and is directed by his daughter Aishwarya Rajinikanth. The film stars Vishnu Vishal and Vikranth and is a sports drama. You can also expect a cameo appearance by cricketer and former India captain Kapil Dev. 

Fighter (Hindi)

With a new on-screen couple (Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan), Fighter is an action film set against the backdrop of the air force. The forever-young Anil Kapoor also has a key role. Releasing a day before India’s Republic Day, you will be mesmerized by the stunning locales of Kashmir and Assam, as well as thrilling fighter plane scenes. 

Devara: Part 1 (Telugu)

Hindi film actor Janhvi Kapoor ventures into Telugu films with Devara: Part 1. N. T. Rama Rao Jr. plays the lead, while Saif Ali Khan plays the main antagonist. Releasing early April, this pan-India project will be available in multiple Indian languages and will have a second part to do justice to its broad canvas and detailed storytelling. 

Nayab (Hindu/Urdu)

The big-screen debut of famous Pakistani TV actor Yumna Zaidi, Nayab tells the story of an aspiring female cricketer in Karachi. A light family and sports drama, the film is likely to draw fans across borders. Being a woman-centric film, the feature offers an inspiring story for young women (and their families) in the subcontinent. 

Pushpa 2: The Rule (Telugu)

Any South Asian film list would be incomplete without the mention of an Allu Arjun feature. Set for an Independence Day release (August), Pushpa 2: The Rule is a sequel to the hit film Pushpa: The Rise (2021). The plot revolves around red sandalwood smuggling, documenting the arc of Pushpa Raj, played by Arjun.  

Notable Sequel Releases

Sanju Weds Geetha 2 (Kannada)

Stree 2 (Hindi)

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 3 (Hindi)

Love Sex Aur Dhokha 2 (Hindi)

Ni Main Sass Kuttni 2 (Punjabi)

Kantara 2 (Kannada)

[Box] Comeback Season

Last year was a resurgent year for Hindi cinema. In 2023, Hindi films contributed 44% to India’s annual gross box office collections, up from 33% in 2022, and 19% in 2021.

[Story 2]

Breakout Stars

Three young South Asian stars lighting up the screen on TV and in film

Although the numbers are getting incrementally better, South Asian representation in U.S. film and television is still paltry, especially for women. Gracenote Inclusion Analytics reported an increase of portrayals of South Asian in both television and film. While South Asian men garnered 2.3%, South Asian women still only scored .3%. However, thanks in part to the visibility of actresses like Mindy Kaling and Prianka Chopra, more South Asian women are breaking through to the mainstream. Here are two up-and-coming South Asian stars who made the most of 2023.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
Last spring, audiences rooted for Devi to choose a love interest in the long-awaited final season of Never Have I Ever, a comedy series created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher that first aired on Netflix in April 2020. And the show’s 22-year-old star, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who grew up in Toronto, was just about everywhere you looked. She credits so much of her early success to having the opportunity to see South Asian faces on screen while she was growing up. She told TODAY:  “When I saw Mindy [Kaling] on screen, Kelly in The Office, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, she’s Tamil. Wow, that’s so cool!’ So in that way I felt seen. But she was still an adult woman and I was 8, you know, so you can only relate so much.”

What’s next: In addition to working toward her degree in human rights and equity studies, she is marking her film debut, Ramakrishnan will star in the upcoming Netflix romantic comedy The Netherfield Girls, a contemporary adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Geraldine Viswanathan

Born in Newcastle, Australia, 28-year-old Geraldine Viswanathan first gained attention for her comedic role in the 2018 movie Blockers, quickly followed by her starring performance in the 2019 indie film Hala, in which she plays a Muslim teen trying to balance her family, cultural, and religious obligations with her desire to be an American teenager. Last year, she starred in Apple TV’s The Beanie Bubble, starring as Maya, the character inspired by the real-life entrepreneur/inventor who helped bring the Beanie Baby craze to life.

What’s next: Drive-Away Dolls, directed by Ethan Coen and starring Geraldine Viswanathan, Margaret Qualley, Matt Damon, and Pedro Pascal, is set to release February 23 after the SAG/AFTRA strike pushed its debut into 2024.


Oh Happy Day

Ghee Happy, an animated show on Netflix, is an ode to Indian culture

Ghee Happy is a children’s animated series developed by Netflix, created by Sanjay Patel. The show is known for its colorful and vibrant animation, which explores Hindu mythology and Indian culture in a kid-friendly and entertaining manner.

Ghee Happy features anthropomorphic characters inspired by Hindu deities, folklore, and mythology, providing a delightful and educational experience for young audiences. Sanjay Patel, the creator, is acclaimed for his previous work with Pixar Animation Studios, and Ghee Happy reflects his unique blend of artistic creativity and cultural storytelling. The series is a celebration of diversity and a charming introduction to Indian traditions for children around the world.


Show on the Road

Ballimaaraan: The Piyush Mishra Project is hitting the U.S. tour circuit this winter

Ballimaaraan: The Piyush Mishra Project is a live concert with a full band and will be touring the United States from January 2024. It is a musical homage to the doyen of Urdu poetry, Mirza Ghalib

The tour is slated to hit 12 cities across the U.S. featuring the lyricist, actor, writer, and vocalist Piyush Mishra. The tour will kick off on January 28, 2024, in Washington, followed by multiple stops across various cities, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, San Jose, Dallas, and New Jersey, with more cities going to be added soon.

Ballimaaraan: The Piyush Mishra Project is a musical collective that defies traditional genre boundaries and time constraints, weaving together a unique auditory experience. Mishra’s ensemble has evocative narratives, diverse musical compositions, and spellbinding live presentations.

With a fusion of innovative sounds and profound storytelling, Ballimaaraan dabbles in the landscape of contemporary music and performance arts. The band’s genre-bending music is a fusion of retro with contemporary tunes and has a youthful, rebellious vibe. Known for its powerful and free-flowing lyrics, the music feels like an engaging conversation. Since its inception in 2016, songs like Aarambh, Husna, Ghar, and many others have grown in popularity.

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