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You pick up your favourite movie from the world of crime

Crime movies and listed

The Telegraph Published 29.11.23, 11:42 AM

My favourite Holly/Bolly film based on the underworld is Once Upon A Time in Mumbai (2010). Boasting a huge star cast, the film explored the rise of two of the most formidable gangsters, Dawood Ibrahim and Haji Mastan, inhabiting and operating in the city of ambitions, Mumbai. Conventionally a gangster’s life is centred around his desire to assert his domination over his rivals. Thus was creatively covered in the film, with a rare insight into their philanthropic activities which ultimately paved the way for their success. I must also praise the film’s spectacular cinematography, capturing the essence of the classic Bombay flawlessly through the lens. As a whole, it is an engaging film running high on action, romance and desires, packed with a vibrant collection of songs reliving the nostalgia of the ’70’s as well as providing a solid dose of entertainment. (Which is your favourite Holly/Bolly film based on the underworld? ... September 15) Aayman Anwar Ali

Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut Reservoir Dogs (1992) is an underworld film that really moved me. Tarantino, a master of the neo-noir crime genre known for capturing the aesthetics of violence, develops many aspects of his style in this independently made heist film: non-linear storytelling, ensemble cast, parody and black humour. Bereft of the extravagance of his later works, Reservoir Dogs showcases human dilemmas faced even by criminals trained to kill. After a failed heist in which they are ambushed by the police, a gang of robbers suspect there is a spy in their midst. Code-named after colours, one of them, called Orange (played by Tim Roth), is injured in the heist, and the others tend to him while capturing and torturing a police officer for information. Many gang members suspect Orange of being an undercover cop, but Mr White (played by Harvey Keitel) protects him steadfastly. Most of the robbers are killed through police action or in the infighting that ensues. In the last scene of the film, as the police threaten to break in, Orange confesses to White that he is, in fact, a cop. Betrayed and devastated, White puts a gun to his head but cannot bring himself to shoot. The police enter and warn him to drop his gun, but White neither drops the gun nor shoots, and tears run down his face until he himself is gunned down by the police. The human drama of this last scene is so brilliantly set up, and comes so unexpectedly after all the black comedy, that it is the primary reason for my love of Reservoir Dogs. Dhee Sankar


My favourite Bollywood film based on the underworld is Company, a fictionalised adaptation of the famous Dawood-Chhota Rajan camaraderie and their subsequent fallout. Company put on display the modus operandi of the Maximum City’s top gangsters and Varma’s genius painted the world of crime on celluloid. The film’s elegance was supplied by actor Ajay Devgn’s smouldering presence and actor Vivek Oberoi’s attitude. The rivalry between Dawood Ibrahim and Chota Rajan who were once very close before falling out over the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai, provided the foundation for the organisation. The film starts with a panoramic shot of Mumbai with a hawk flying around and sets the tone for the racy underworld saga. RGV touches upon the gangster-cop nexus as well as its influence on film industry. Varma intricately crafts a drama that is subtle, makes perfect sense and is engrossing from start to finish. Roshni Ojha

My favourite would be The Godfather. It is one of the most revered movies of all time and this movie will intrigue you by its astounding depiction of the mafia and immerse you into its world from the very beginning by its technical and narrative aspects. Based on the Mario Puzo novel of the same name, The Godfather spans ten years and chronicles the history of the Corleone family under its patriarch, Vito Corleone, a respected mafia don nicknamed the Godfather. It is an incredibly well made movie with Francis Ford Coppola’s direction being nothing short of astounding.The movie has brilliant cinematography, starstudded cast, score, suspense and plot twists that capture the imagination of audiences of all ages. Adishree Ghosh My favourite film based on the underworld is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Gangubai Kathiawadi starring Alia Bhatt in the eponymous role. A 16-yearold dreamy-eyed Ganga who hails from an affluent Kathiawad family, elopes with her boyfriend to Mumbai to become a Bollywood actress as he had promised her. But fate takes a nasty turn for Ganga when he sells her to a brothel and she is forced to become a prostitute by its owner. Rechristened as Gangu, she is thereafter brutally assaulted by a man but she gets justice when a mafia leader Rahim Lala (Ajay Devgn) listens to her plea and becomes her brother. After the death of the brothel’s owner, she rules the brothel and is compassionate towards other prostitutes. Gradually she becomes Gangubai, a politician who speaks for women’s rights. Despite staying connected with underworld business, she fights for the right to education for children of prostitutes and asks the world to respect prostitutes for their profession instead of looking down upon them. Gangubai Kathiawadi is conceptually different from other underworld films that explore the underbelly of society. It captures the painful lives of prostitutes, their sacrifices for love and their struggle for basic human rights behind the façade of the underworld. Sikrity Ghosh My favorite Hollywood film based on the underworld is the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction. It is directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth and Ving Rhames. The movie tells four intertwining tales of crime and violence in Los Angeles, California. It features a nonlinear narrative style and contains a host of pop culture references. Pulp Fiction is considered one of the greatest films ever made. It is a must-watch. Kushangkur Das My favourite Bolly film based on the underworld is the 1999 blockbuster movie Vaastav: The Reality. In this cult movie, filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar fantastically portrayed the underworld of Mumbai. The movie’s story revolves around Raghu (Sanjay Dutt) who accidentally committed a murder and then became a gangster. Although the entire film was engaging, its deeply impactful and heart-touching climax in which Raghu is asking his mother to kill him and his mother does the same is just unforgettable. Basides the gripping storyline and the solid performance of Sanjay Dutt, another thing which I always enjoy about this movie whenever I watch it is its melodious songs. Sourish Misra

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