Here's a a look at the top-10 Bollywood spies in recent times.
Bollywood spies have traditionally been an intriguing lot. Back in time, Jeetendra had played one in Farz while lesser known Mahendra Sandhu too had featured as a spy in Agent Vinod (1977).
During the four decades gone by, quite a few other actors have played a spy or an undercover agent in several espionage thrillers.
Last year, Alia Bhatt played an Indian spy in Raazi. This year, John Abraham will be taking a journey to Pakistan as a spy in Romeo Akbar Walter. Let's take a look at the top-10 Bollywood spies in recent times.
John Abraham - Romeo Akbar Walter and Madras Cafe
Abraham is not new when it comes to playing an undercover agent or a spy. He had enacted one such part quite well in Madras Cafe where he had to stop an assassination. The film was a success and now the actor would be seen in Robbie Grewal-directed Romeo Akbar Walter where he plays three characters. The thriller is set during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Alia Bhatt - Raazi
Not many would have expected Bhatt to play a spy. That was the beauty of the characterization in this Meghna Gulzar directed film. As a young woman who is planted into a Pakistani army household as a newlywed wife, Alia Bhatt brought the right balance of realism and heroism into play. The film was a blockbuster at the box office.
Salman Khan - Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai
If Khan has to play a spy, it has to come with an excess of swag. That was indeed the case with Ek Tha Tiger as well as its sequel Tiger Zinda Hai. Out and out 'masala' entertainers coming from the house of Yash Raj Films, the films turned out to be blockbusters. Incidentally, even Katrina Kaif played a Pakistani spy in both these films.
Akshay Kumar - Baby
Director Neeraj Pandey came up with one of his finest films in the form of Baby. He loves to make thrillers and that was apparent in this film where Kumar played a no-nonsense spy. The superstar came up with an excellent act in the film which had its plot centred on a mission of bringing a terrorist back from the Gulf to India. Baby is one of the most memorable spy films.
Hrithik Roshan - Bang Bang
A fun 'masala' entertainer which had Roshan playing more of a quintessential Bollywood hero than a conventional spy that one is used to seeing in films belonging to this genre, Bang Bang was a good success at the box office. One of those rare spy films where the leading man turned into a dancing genius, it boasted of a couple of chartbuster dance numbers too.
Taapsee Pannu - Naam Shabana and Baby
While Pannu had played a spy in Baby already, a spin-off around her characterization led to a full-fledged movie in the form of Naam Shabana. The film was a chronicle of a young woman's journey from being a simple girl to a spy. Pannu did quite well in this film which also had Kumar return in a special appearance avatar.
Irrfan Khan - D-Day
One of the finest spy thrillers ever to come out of Bollywood, D-Day was directed by Nikkhil Advani and boasted of an ensemble cast. The part played by Irrfan Khan is the most memorable from the film as it had the actor not just enter Pakistan as a spy but also get married there and have a family. He brought in just the right kind of emotions coming into play in this film.
Saif Ali Khan - Phantom and Agent Vinod
Saif Ali Khan likes to be on the edgy side of affairs and though neither of his attempts at playing a spy worked commercially, he did well as an actor. Agent Vinod was a comic book affair and had Andhadhun director Sriram Raghavan attempt something big. On the other hand, Kabir Khan delivered a blockbuster in Ek Tha Tiger but could not replicate the success with Phantom.
Sunny Deol - The Hero
After the all-time blockbuster success of Gadar - Ek Prem Katha, Sunny Deol and director Anil Sharma returned with The Hero, which had the actor play a spy. A major highlight of the film was Sunny Deol being seen in various get ups and avatars. The film did have its moments, especially its noteworthy action sequences, but could not cover the distance after a good opening.
Kamal Haasan - Vishwaroop I and II
Considering the fact that Vishwaroop I was not a major success, especially in Hindi, it was surprising that the film's sequel was actually released. Haasan did well as the actor and director in the first part but went totally haywire in the sequel. That said, from the core characterization perspective, one has to give it to Haasan for going authentic as a spy.(Joginder Tuteja is a trade expert and film critic, and loves to talk and write about anything that is related to films. Views are personal)The Great Diwali Discount!
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