Did the 3-minute trailer of Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 give you the creeps? Did the ‘pocket-maar’ joke on the captive school kid twist your insides? Did the last shot of a manic Nawazuddin Siddique looking out of the window (screen shot below) make you wish you had a grip on your imagination?
While you wait to get tickets for Kashyap’s June 24th release, scroll through some of Bollywood’s best and worst films on serial killers that have played out in cinemas.
1. Red Rose
Red Rose has an out-of-the-box plot for a Hindi film from the 80s featuring none other than Rajesh Khanna in the lead as a misogynistic tycoon who rapes and kills women of ‘dubious’ character. The film was a remake of the hit Tamil film titled Sigappu Rojakkal, which won the Filmfare Best Actor award for Kamal Haasan. Unfortunately the Hindi version didn’t help the sinking superstar Rajesh Khanna in any way. You can get a detailed description of Red Rose on Memsaab’s blog.
A kohl-eyed Ashutosh Rana gave nightmares to many a girl in the 1990s by playing a serial rapist and killer in this Sanjay Dutt and Kajol starrer. Kajol plays a double-role as twin sisters, one of whom gets raped and murdered by Rana. Horrors include Rana smashing a huge slab of ice on a helpless Kajol’s head. A blind Dutt helps the heroine track down her sister’s murderer. Totally average.
Loosely (read extremely loosely) inspired by Jonathan Demme’s chilling The Silence of the Lambs, this Preity Zinta, Akshay Kumar film was directed by Tanuja Chandra. Well, Chandra is no Demme, Preity is no Jodie Foster and Akshay definitely is no Anthony Hopkins. But Sangharsh did manage to establish Ashutosh Rana’s credentials as an on-screen perv once again, as he played the psychopathic, cannibalistic Kali worshipper who kidnaps and sacrifices children, scarring the audience.
4. Murder 2
The Bhatts totally mutliated Na Hong-jin’s slick South Korean thriller The Chaser to make this one. It was an ‘unofficial’ remake so the cheeky cine-vigilante duo of Sudhish Kamath and Mihir Fadnavis gifted a copy of Murder 2 to Na Hong-jin while he was in Mumbai for the city’s film festival in 2011.
Despite the presence of Emraan Hashmi and Jacqueline Fernandez, it was once again the antagonist who shone in this one. Prashan Narayanan played the psychopathic killer who went around making prostitutes ‘disappear’ and got some rave reviews.
The best of the lot, Ram Gopal Varma’s Kaun, written by Anurag Kashyap was a terrific thriller which played against the rules, featuring Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpayee and Sushant Singh. 3 strangers in a house on a stormy night – that’s all it took for Varma and Kashyap to keep the audience glued to their seats in this psychological drama. The visual of Urmila humming to herself in the rain while sitting on the edge of the terrace in the film’s climax remains etched.
6. The Stoneman Murders
Like Raman Raghav 2.0, this film too is based on a real serial killer who haunted the streets of Mumbai in the mid-80s. His victims were usually the homeless poor who slept on the streets. His brutal modus-operandi was to smash the heads of his unsuspecting victims with a huge single block of stone. Manish Gupta’s underrated film recreates Mumbai of the 80s and delivers a gripping narrative with an awesome performance by Kay Kay Menon.
7. Ek Villain
Arguably the worst of the lot and another ‘unofficial’ remake of a South Korean film. Ek Villain seems to have been lifted from I Saw the Devil minus Bollywood’s mandatory romantic track with Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor. However, Riteish Deshmukh got some attention for this one by playing the henpecked husband who turns into a psychotic serial killer and ‘silences’ ladies who ill-treat him. This ‘thriller’ was a drag and some of the scenes involving Mumbai’s cops were unintentionally hilarious. One of the meanest reactions to Ek Villain that I heard was about Shraddha Kapoor being so bad and irritating that she deserved to be ‘silenced’ in the film.