Posted on July 10, 2020 at 8:19 pm

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The Timeline of How Gambling Seeped into Indian Cinema

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Gambling has been illegal in India since even before we got our independence. And though only two states in India allow full-fledged gambling, the laws regarding this issue in most parts of the country are as unclear as ever. Reading these facts you’d think that it would be impossible for gambling to make any mark on India’s biggest entertainment outlet — Bollywood.


However, gambling itself is a rather exciting activity. The combination of skill and competition with odds and randomness creates electric energy during casino games. You can get a taste of that electricity too on mobile casinos listed at Hot Mobile Casino. Combine these qualities with the drama and intensity brought along by good acting and directing and you can see why movies like Casino Royale, Casino, Ocean’s 11, Rounders, and The Hangover are so popular. Naturally, even Bollywood dipped its toes in gambling movies. And things have never been the same ever since. Here are the five top gambling movies in India.


Gambler (1971)


Gambler is a Bollywood thriller film directed by Amarjeet. The movie revolves around Raja, a young boy abandoned by his biological mother who grows up with Master. However, Master is a criminal don and card-sharp who asks Raja to work with him on a commission basis. Raja then learns all that he can about cards and quits working with the Master.


He successfully employs himself and earns considerable wealth and success. He falls in love with a beautiful Chandra Gangaram and proposes to marry her. However, he faces roadblocks as her father wants her to marry the UK settled Ram Mehta. Before Raja can act on this, he’s charged with the murder of Master and thrown into jail. The movie then reaches its climax in the courtroom where he learns about his past and parents. Starring big names like Dev Anand, Zaheeda Hussain, and Shatrughan Sinha, the movie found great success at the box office.


The Great Gambler (1979)


The Great Gambler (known in Hindi as Sabse Bada Zuari) has as many highs and lows in its real-life story as it has in its movie story. It’s an action thriller film that did quite poorly at the box office despite performing decently in Mumbai. The movie went on to attain cult status later. The movie’s unique standing came from its basis on international gangsters, spies, and secret agents from intelligence agencies belonging in various countries. Director Shakti Samanta showcased its roots well by shooting the movie in international locations like Lisbon, Cairo, Rome, and Venice. All Indian scenes were shot in Goa.


The Great Gambler is widely appreciated for its direction, action, and cinematography. The movie stars Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role as Jai, an expert gambler who has never lost a game and decides to use his skills to help an underworld don. Other actors include Zeenat Aman, Madan Puri, Neetu Singh, and Jagdish Raj.


Jannat (2008)


Jannat is a crime romance film that received a positive response from critics and did very well at the box office. It’s directed by Kinal Deshmukh and produced by Mukesh Bhatt. The story follows Arjun, a street-smart youngster who doesn’t skip a chance to make a quick buck. He comes across a girl called Zoya who’s looking at an expensive ring inside a glass case. When he breaks the glass to get the ring, he’s arrested then let go with a warning.


However, this doesn’t stop him from wanting to become rich and provide a better life for Zoya. His life then spirals into becoming a successful bookie, working for a don, and crossing paths with the cops on several occasions. Though we don’t want to spoil the movie for you, we can tell you that it puts a spotlight on the fact that no matter how good the intentions, unlawful actions are always wrong. Jannat stars Emraan Hashmi, Sonal Chauhan, and Sameer Kochhar.


Striker (2010)


Striker is an action drama film directed, written, and produced by Chandan Arora. From its borrowed name, you can guess that the movie is focused on the indoor board game, carom. The main character, Suryakant Sarang, has had a rough childhood. But in the absence of proper schooling due to poor health, his elder brother introduces him to carrom. Suryakant takes to it immediately and masters the game.


We follow his adventures through life as he goes through even more hardships but uses his carrom skill and virtues like patience and cool attitude to come on the other side. Though the film performed poorly at the Indian box office, it received critical acclaim despite having a one-week theatrical run. Striker also became the first movie in history to premiere on YouTube the same day as its theatrical release. The movie garnered 800,000 views in the first 2 weeks.


Teen Patti (2010)


The latest film on this list, Teen Patti came out in the same month as the previous one. Directed by Leena Yadav, the movie stars powerhouses like Amitabh Bachchan, Ben Kingsley, Shraddha Kapoor, and R. Madhavan.


Teen Patti goes from an innocent mathematical experiment on a theory to a life-threatening situation in which our main characters lose their money, get blackmailed, become greedy about money, change into different people, and even start betraying each other.

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