With most movies speaking of crime in India in the late eighties and nineties, one remembers the crime capers movies in Bollywood. Unfortunately, there are not many crime caper movies, and most of the crime centric movies that exist spoke more about the emotional turmoil of the criminal and how they came to become a criminal. You see hedonism is still a foreign aspect to Bollywood. However, this does not mean that are no crime centric movies in Bollywood. Here is a list of the top three crime centric movies, which basically changed the way the world looked at Bollywood movies.
This movie is apparently the one that launched and re-launched the careers of at least three actors, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff. Nana Patekar was a lesser known actor at that time, but yet had proved that he had the acting chops to carry off the role of an easily angered don who was scared of fire. Anil Kapoor needed a shot in the arm to boost his career that was about to be sandwiched between lover boy and elder brother. Jackie Shroff needed something to prove people that Subhash Ghai had actually made the right decision launching him as the big hearted ruffian and Nana Patekar wanted to make his mark in mainstream cinema.
The movie is one of the most slickly made Bollywood movies, and you will not find the usual song and dance routine, but will instead welcome the songs and dances when they come – because you are so overwhelmed by the happenings onscreen.
Scenes to Note: Nana Patekar’s fit when he sees fire and the climax where Jackie Shroff kills him by basically locking him up in a room full of fire. Another scene of note is where their friend, a police officer is shot at the Kabootar Khana, a place where pigeons are fed. Before you say that it is inspired from Quentin Tarantino, we guys didn’t even know him back then.
Dayavan is one of those cult classics that had everything in it. The action, the emotion, the pathos of a person who has been born into the world of crime and succumbs to it, everything is portrayed on screen by one of the finest actors this side of the Arabian Sea, Kamal Hassan. The movie has been remade and made in several languages all over India, and is one of the best screenplays and storylines in modern cinema.
Scenes to Note: Scene where Dayavan first kills a police officer. Scene where his wife falls down from the balcony and the end sequence where Dayavan is killed by the mad son of the police officer he had killed as a young man.
While Parinda and Dayavan were critical and cult hits in their time, Agneepath is something that I still remembered today, with many people memorizing the dialogue. This movie saw many things happening – it was another booster shot to Amitabh Bachchan’s career, people agreeing that Mithun Chakraborthy can act, and basically gave Bollywood the license to make movies on the crime infested world of that time. The movie is said to have petered down when it was first launched, and it was only later that people understood what the movie was all about.
These are the three movies that had the guts to challenge the mentality back then, and many would agree that movies like Johnny Gaddar, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai and even Shootout at Lokhandwala wouldn’t have been possible if these movies had not made the first mark.