Tom Cruise, Ajay Devgn, Mohanlal and Humayun Saaed will battle it out at the box office this Eid Al Adha as 16 movies line up for release in the UAE, across six languages. While Hollywood leads the charge with American Made and Logan Lucky, Bollywood has two film readying for release, including Devgn’s Baadshaho and Ayushmann Khurrana’s Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. Meanwhile, fans of Mohanlal will cheer as the Malayalam film Velipadinte Pusthakam will also release. Pakistan is represented by Punjab Nahin Jaungi.
Here are all the flicks to watch out for.
From the director of Annabelle, John R. Leonetti’s latest horror film shows its lead actor Joey King playing the 17-year-old Clare, who is barely making it through in high school until her father, Jonathon Shannon (Ryan Phillippe) gifts her a music box with the ability to grant its owner’s wishes. Much to her surprise, her first wish turns into reality as she wishes for the resident bully to rot away. She goes on to make wishes that make her the ‘cool kid’ in school, but fails to realise until its too late that there are consequences as well.
Puriyatha Puthir (Tamil)
If you are in the mood for mind games, then check out the Tamil psychological thriller Puriyatha Puthir starring Vijay Sethupathi and Gayathrie in lead roles. Directed by Ranjit Jeyakodi, the trailer was released with no dialogues, but do show visuals of a woman named Meera who is unwittingly drawn into a supernatural mystery. Sethupathi, the hero, is trying to unravel this puzzle. If this movie turns out to be a hit, it will be a box office hat trick for Sethupathi.
Watch out for the action and dialogue in this film, based on real-life events from the mid ‘70s, when Indian royal families’ homes were raided by police to seize undeclared wealth. Rani Gitanjali’s (Ileana D’Cruz) palace in Rajasthan is raided and gold, jewellery and antiques are discovered. The riches are transported to Delhi via train. She relies on the crook Bhawani Singh (Ajay Devgn) to recover it with the help of his gang, which features Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (Hindi)
Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana rose to fame with his critically acclaimed debut film Vicky Donor, based on the sensitive topic of sperm donation. His latest film deals with fertility issues. Khurrana plays Mudit, a salesman, who is arranged to marry Sugandha, played by Bhumi Pednekar. Problems arise in their relationship, which forms the crux of the story. The duo last appeared together in the Indian National Award-winning film, Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015).
Punjab Nahi Jaungi (Urdu)
Expect a full-on entertainer featuring romance, dance and heartfelt dialogues in this love story featuring the unlikely Humayun Saeed and Mehwish Hayat. Fawad and Amal have the blessings of their families to marry, but the city girl won’t hear of it. Fawad rises to the challenge to win the love of Amal and bring her to Punjab so they can be together. The trailer has already crossed more than 2.5 million views on YouTube.
Al Kanz (Arabic)
Taking us through Egypt’s Pharaonic era, the Mamluk era, and the first half of the 20th century, this Arabic film, starring Mohammad Sa’ad, Mohammad Ramadan and Hend Sabry, shows clerics abusing their powers for political gain. As generations go by, their luck finally runs out.
Director Doug Liman and Tom Cruise, who last worked together in the sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow, reunite in this biographical film based on the life of US pilot, Barry Seal. During the ‘80s, and at the end of the Cold War, Seal is recruited by the CIA to tackle threats by communists in Central America. However, along the way, he gets involved with the Medellin drug cartel.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
The sequel to The Nut Job (2014) features a voice-over cast of Jackie Chan, Katherine Heigl and comedian Gabriel Iglesias. The trio play a group of animals led by Surly the squirrel (Will Arnett) who try to save their home from getting bulldozed to make way for a money-generating amusement park.
The Dragon Spell
This film is Ukraine’s first full-length 3D animation. The story is based on Little Nicky’s battle against a dragon, a fight seen as clearly one-sided by Nicky’s strongman father. It’s up to Nicky to defeat the dragon and return to his magical world.
Actors Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play Jimmy and Clyde, two brothers who are facing a financial unstable condition. The duo plan to rob a Nascar race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a motorsports complex where Jimmy used to work. They take the help of Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), a convicted safecracker. The trio go through a series of complications and a comedy of errors to eventually loot the Speedway.
Velipadinte Pusthakam (Malayalam)
Malayali superstar Mohanlal plays Professor Michael Idikkula, a newly appointed vice-principal of a college who has such an unusual teaching style that results in his students calling him Dracula. However, as time passes, his methods bring about a positive change on the campus because of his relationship with his students.
Paisa Vasool (Telugu)
Director Puri Jagannadh, who also helmed Amitabh Bachchan’s 2011 film Bbuddah... Hoga Terra Baap, brings gravity-defying action, comedy and a vivid soundtrack to Nandamuri Balakrishna’s 101st cinematic outing. The movie also stars Shriya Saran and Vikramjeet Virk. The potboiler will release in the UAE on Friday.
One Heart: The A.R. Rahman Concert Film
The award-winning music composer’s life is documented in this film, spanning 25 years. See unseen footage from his early days in the music industry, with the musician picking 15 of his best works to feature in a special story. In a comprehensive interview, A.R. Rahman also talks about his band who joined him on his US tour.
Edhay Fi Thailand (Arabic)
Ahmad Saleh returns in another madcap comedy. Edhay travels as a translator to Thailand with his family and friend Hosni. Unfortunately, the holiday doesn’t go as planned. His family is kidnapped by a Thai gang, so Hosni and Edhay go about staging a rescue.
This Marvel TV series has been shot entirely in Imax and will screen its first episode in cinemas this Eid. The adventure sees the royal family of Inhumans splintered by a military coup. They barely escape to Hawaii where their interactions with the human race may not only save them, but Earth itself.
El Khalya is an Egyptian action movie which tells the story of Seif, a special operations officer who plots to destroy a terrorist cell. The film stars Ahmad Ezz, Samer El Masrei and Mohammad Mamdouh. The film’s premiere will take place at Novo Cinemas, Dubai Festival City on Wednesday, with stars in attendance.
— Viraj Asher is an intern with Gulf News.