While many have attempted Gangster dramas over the years longing to ace the ruthless brutality on screen. Only a few have managed to make a lasting impact on the audience.
Although the audience for gangster dramas is niche. And some films have broken the barriers to make a strong impact on the audience to achieve the cult classic status.
As Satya marked its 25th anniversary recently bringing the spotlight back on gangster dramas. Here’s a list of some of the most iconic films in the genre over the years:
In the age of romance and star-driven films, Ram Gopal Varma presented the raw, rustic and rooted story of Satya in 1998. Starring actors like Manoj Bajpayee, J D Chakravarthy, Paresh Rawal, Shefali Shah and Urmila Matondkar amongst others. The high-on performance film offered a realistic approach to criminal narratives, marking itself in the history of Best Gangster dramas of Indian Cinema’s history.
1999 witnessed Sanjay Dutt delivering an iconic character, that till date marks to be amongst his finest performances with Vaastav. Loosely based on the life of Chota Rajan, Vaastav. It is etched in people’s minds for its hard-hitting scenes and iconic dialogues.
Ram Gopal Varma had probably found the right pulse of the audience for gangster dramas as 2002’s Company was met with an even bigger rage. With solid performances from Ajay Devgn, Vivek Oberoi and Mohanlal amongst others. The film was inspired by the underworld dominance in Mumbai in the 90s.
• Once Upon A Time in Mumbai:
Following the aftermath of Bombay Bombings of 1993, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai gives an insight into the rise of terror and underworld in the financial capital of India. With power-packed performances by Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi. This gangster drama reimagined Mumbai in the 90s grabbing its place amongst the most successful and popular films of the genre.
• Gangs of Wasseypur:
One of the most loved gangster dramas of the Indian Cinema, the two-part film has a loyal and dedicated fan base across quarters. Set against the backdrop of coal mafia in Dhanbad, the film series portrays the power struggles and vengeance between three crime families in a span of over six decades. With powerful performances by Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Richa Chadha and Huma Qureshi amongst others, Gangs of Wasseypur has attained the status of a cult classic.
While the original film starring Amitabh Bachchan gave the iconic dialogue “Vijay Dinanath Chauhan”. The remake starring Hrithik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt achieved a wider audience and commercial success. Narrating the tale of vengeance, Agneepath traces the story of Vijay who seeks revenge of his father’s humiliation and murder by Kaancha Cheena. With brilliant performances by Hrithik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt, Agneepath is one of the most popular gangster dramas of Indian Cinema.
• Vikram Vedha:
Unfolding layers of his versatility, Hrithik Roshan took the daring step of transforming himself into the rugged, rustic yet charming character of Vedha. Playing a ruthless gangster, Hrithik’s Vedha also presented a composed and moral demeanour that found a place in audience’s hearts. Redefining the character, Hrithik Roshan added dark humour and quirky touch to the menacing gangster. Emerging amongst the most critically acclaimed films of the past year, Vikram Vedha has been earning praises for Hrithik Roshan’s character once again from the audience with the digital release.