If there is no action, there is no energy or there is no kick in life! Same goes for Cinema where Hollywood and Korean cinema have taken the lead internationally with the former taking the lead in Style and the latter in Gore.
Well, in India…we do have style but treated in various forms, along with our flying casts and so on. Rest have ended up being sheer TV or torrent stuff. Within the Hindi audience, many South Indian action films have ended up being dubbed and found a place where some of them have done well for their style and substance both. But yes, in both sides…we do have some of the classic action films having realism and even good Masala too!
Following is the list of the Top 10 Indian Action Films:
1. GANGS OF WASSEYPUR (2012/Hindi/Anurag Kashyap): This revenge drama indeed deserves top place for it’s grit, gore, ‘golis’ and ‘gaalis’. With sheer “Desi” realism and adding Hollyw
ood and Latin-American style, the film followed the real-life Coal Mafia in Bihar and a showcased a gang-war between two sides which also had revenge-factor embedded in it, having every character with shades of grey. The film, which was screened at the Director’s Fortnight section in the Cannes Film Festival 2012 churned out some of the household names like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rajkummar Rao and Vineet Kumaar Singh. The film enjoys a major cult following presently
2. SATYA (1998/ Hindi/ Ram Gopal Varma):
Showcasing the Mumbai Underworld from the perspective of a person coming from nowhere, “Satya” showcased the best of Underworld based on real-life incidents and had all ingredients, such as comedy, romance, drama in between. The gangsters and police personnel both were equally shown as victims of circumstances and with shades of grey. The film was a launchpad for Anurag Kashyap who co-scripted the film and Manoj Bajpayee became a nationwide rage after the blockbuster success of the film.
3. SHOLAY (1975/ Hindi/ Ramesh Sippy):
You certainly imagine this list without this film. Having the treatment of a Western Spaghetti film, this revenge-thriller rode high on it’s characters, dialogues, stunts, moments and even songs which are even now widely remembered by the audience today. The film follows one Landlord (Sanjeev Kumar), who hires two small-time goons (Amitabh Bachchan and Dharamendra) to nab a notorious dacoit Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan). Scripted by the classic duo of Salim-Javed, the film is today also seen with equal enthusiasm.
4. SHIVA (1990/ Telugu/ Ram Gopal Varma):
A Ram Gopal Varma classic having one of the leading stars of South Akkineni Nagarjuna, the film showcased a youngster struck in Youth politics. One of the cult classics, the film is remembered for it’s fresh theme, scoring (Illayaraja) and technical splendor. The film was so popular in Hindi that the cassettes having it’s dialogues saw a huge sale after its release!
5. BAAHUBALI (2015/ Telugu/ SS Rajmouli):
Right from the beginning, the film grips you well and with every stunt the lead actor (Prabhas) makes and kills the baddies, you are filled with intense joy no matter what. The National Award winning Costliest Indian feature film made till date, the period-action blockbuster was loaded with grand sets, well-beefed up actors, excellent technical work and the stunts which was another highlight of the film.
6. DON (1978/ Hindi/Chandra Barot):
Well, SRK version was good but it actually lacked the substance which this film had! Starring Superstar Amitabh Bachchan and it’s classic storyline and execution by the director’s collaboration with Salim-Javed with excellent thrills and chills and great characters…Uhhh, enough said…and who can forget ‘Khaike Paan Banaras Wala” and the seducive “Yeh Mera Dil”?
7. PADAYAPPA (1999/ Tamil/ KS Ravikumar):
Rajini Sir and not in this list? You must be kidding! Considered mostly as his best Action film of his career, the film starred Rajinikanth as an mechanical engineer who plays a pivotal role in regaining the charm of his and his family’s honour. Loaded with action, thrills and chills, “Padayappa”s dialogues and even score (A. R. Rahman) enjoys a huge following among Tamils across the world!
8. GHAYAL (1990/ Hindi/ Rajkumar Santoshi):
The “Dhai-kilo Ka Haath” was well-showcased in the film by one and only Sunny Deol, who by then had become the Action Hero of Bollywood before the “Khans” and “Khiladis” had started making their own place. His machismo and stunts gained a huge following in the film based on a a man’s revenge on a villainous businessman. The film also graced the actor with a Special Jury Award at the 1991 National Film Awards!
9. KHAKEE (2004/ Hindi/ Rajkumar Santoshi):
A powerpacked cast, a killer scripting, brilliant cinematography and excellent execution….what else do you want? The film follows a team of few police personnel who are bringing back a nabbed ‘terrorist’ and the entire story revolves around their rest of their journey. Killer performances, fresh scripting and stylish action sequences makes “Khakee” one of the best action classics made in Hindi cinema.
10. PUDHUPETTAI (2006/ Tamil/ Selvaraghavan):
One of the classic gangster thriller films in Tamil cinema, this film came up as a break as terms of picturization as well as performances where the director’s brother Dhanush gave one of his career bests. The film enjoys a cult following among the masses in South for it’s real-life depiction and crackling one-liners.