Indian cinema is full off the tried and tested romantic musicals, but sometimes, it gets too old. A good thriller is hard to make, and perhaps that’s why many filmmakers shy away from it. But if done correctly, a plot twisting thriller can go on to be more successful than the generic Bollywood movie. That’s not to say India doesn’t have its fair share of amazing mind bending movies. We’re glad these exist, and here are 10 Indian films that will have you at the edge of your seat.
1. Gupt: The Hidden Truth
This film follows the story of Sahil (Bobby Deol) who is accused of murdering his stepfather. In an attempt to prove his innocence, this films keeps us guessing till the climax, which for your sake, I’m not going to write much about. Highly regarded as one of the pinnacles of mystery thrillers, Gupt: The Hidden Truth is a must watch.
Kahaani portrays a pregnant woman (Vidya Balan) in search of her missing husband. Taking us all over Kolkata in a series of twists and turns, Kahaani is highly lauded for Vidya Balan’s performance and the end that no one saw coming. This movie keeps its audience engaged all throughout, making the climax even more spectacular.
A very well executed psychological thriller starring Amir Khan, I like to consider this movie as Kahaani’s younger sibling. What most people don’t know is that this movie’s script took a very long time to write, and by the time it was done, Kahaani had released, which had a similar ending to Talaash. And as such, the ending had to be rewritten, and some of the scenes, reshot. Even though the film hit such a bump, the ending made perfect sense, putting together all the pieces in a way no one except the writers could have imagined.
4. Karthik Calling Karthik
I love it when we get to see mainstream actors finally act in serious thrillers. Karthik calling Karthik is a film starring Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone, and follows the story of a introverted fellow, who suddenly finds the courage to speak up and land the job he wanted, and the girl he was after. But such a drastic change in character starts to unfurl as he starts getting mysterious phone calls. The plot only thickens, and it seems like our protagonist is two different people. The climax pieces together the the plotlines, and the reveal is truly a shocker.
5. A Wednesday
An amazingly well made film, A Wednesday has a new take on the terrorist demanding something from the authorities and threatening to cause harm if not met. But all is not what it seems in this nail biting thriller. Naseeruddin Shah perfectly plays an unnamed character, behind one phone call which brings a whole city to its knees.
Ram Gopal Varma truly took a risk with this movie, but it ended up paying BIG. His previous film Satya was a hit, and when the trailer for Kaun was released, almost everyone had the same thought, that this a very unlikely next move for a director. They were all proved wrong when the film released, and everyone was left aghast after such a climax. This film takes us all for a ride, setting up an ending we all could expect, but when the big reveal happens, almost no one had seen that coming. The question ‘Kaun?’ is finally answered.
7. Manorama Six Feet Under
A very underrated film, Manorama tells the story of a writer trying to solve a murder case, in pursuit of fame and money. A slow film, the ending it totally worth it as the reveal that the case is more than just any old murder, and the journey getting there finally makes sense.
Another crime thriller, Ronit Roy’s gritty performance in Ugly was brilliant. Based around a kidnapping, this movie takes even its own characters for a spin as they are as clueless as the viewers. Desperately trying to win battles, the war is lost. All I can say about the ending is, the irony is palpable.
I was surprised when I found out such a film was made in the 60s, also directed by Yash Chopra who is known for his romances! Quite possibly setting the benchmark for crime thrillers in India, Ittefaq stars Rajesh Khanna as a painter wrongly accused of murdering his wife, and the what ensues will truly have you at the edge of your seat.
Last but not the least, we have another crime thriller, starring another mainstream actor. Ajay Devgn stars in the Hindi version of this film which has been made in 5 languages, each one a hit. How could the same story be a hit so many times, you may ask. Well because it’s so compelling, that’s why. It shows how far one would go for his family. The slow reveals and plot twists in this movie will leave your jaws hanging.