A Dozen Whodunits

            At a time when we are without a choice forced to keep away from the multiplex cinema centers and are yet brought up on a diet of Hindi films, we can now get popcorn made at home and settle to more comfortable seats. Here is a watch of a dozen thrillers, not that they are a match to the virus but are such a favoured alternative. Needless to state the lists may vary but these are surely watchable:

  1. Samay:  This Sushmita Sen film has a very high style quotient and you are unlikely to guess the culprit. The under rated actor is a police officer and is arguably better than the more successful ladies who have got into the Khaki uniform. A part of the scheme is to catch the clues that the killer is leaving behind.
  2.  Bees Saal Baad: With a script inspired by an Arthur Conon Doyle story The Hound of Baskervilles you can bet this will keep you engaged and entertained. Add to this the presence of Waheeda Rehman, a debut making Biswajit and above all haunting music from Hemant Kumar, you can remain humming Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil for days.
  3. Gumnaam: It is a moot point whether you would like to compliment the film maker Raja Nawathe or its music director(s) Shankar Jaikishan. This is a textbook thriller with the camera lingering on persons as possible suspects till they become victims and the final session the killer arrives.  Add to this the Mehmood comedy who had more takers then.
  4. Ek Rukha Hua Faisla: Not many would associate Basu Chaterjee with this genre of cinema. A very crisp narrative. What it may lack in originality (inspired by a classic from the West) Basu gives it that tight script dealing with the verdict on the killer. Watch it and you will be tempted to revisit it.
  5. Dhund: With a brilliant antihero performance from Danny in a classic case of domestic violence as a cripplled husband of Zeenat Aman in a ‘small film’ from BR Chopra who would believe that the nice guy is not so nice. To those who remember the Zeenat days this film is another reminder how the lady was style written all over.
  6. Ittefaq: This BR Chopra film was an intended quickie when a big film was getting delayed. Younger brother Yash was making his last film for the banner, had a young and not yet a favourite at the box office Rajesh Khanna teamed up with Nanda. The goodie goodie image of heroine helped the film no end. Remade with differing degrees of failure, this original is a good thriller.
  7. Kanoon: Like the earlier listed film this too came from the same camp and, also at a time when films sold on the strength of their music albums went bold without a song. This court room drama points out strong evidence against the judge trying a murder case. It simply cannot be. Where is the catch? Watch.
  8. Josh: This Raj Sippy film is a thriller which has the kingpin extracting dole from beggars and making merry. Two journalists are out to investigate. This film starring Amjad Khan, Sarika, Vidya Sinha will sure surprise you at the end. The trick was partly in the cast.
  9. Teesri Manzil: Rare would one find a film which on its own stream find itself to a list of thrillers and musicals. This surely does. Nazir Hussain moves away from SJ and Dev Anand. Vijay Anand steps in to direct Shammi Kapoor (the only time) and Asha Parekh in this thriller. Good suspense. Great songs. Popular to this day.
  10. Mera Saaya: Raj Khosla stepped in to make some thrillers like Woh Kaun Thi but the film that will make it to the list is this film on who is the real wife and who is the dacoit. Watch Sadhana belt some amazing Lata numbers (and Asha) and Sunil Dutt the go to man when court room dramas were part of the script.
  11. Kahani: This Sujay Gosh thriller has Vidya Balan on an investigative (?) trip on the streets of Kolkotta. Extremely well edited (a must for a good thriller). More contemporary and recent in the minds of the viewers and certainly worth a revisit.
  12. Khamosh: Awesome thriller starring the likes of Naseruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Amol Palekar and Pankaj Kapoor, this virtual assembly of the brilliant is treated brilliantly by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. This is a must see for those who like this genre. Yeh Nahi Dekha To Kya Dekha?

L. Ravichander

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *