Best 9 Vigilante Movies Made in Indian Cinema

Apart from ‘Bhavesh Joshi Superhero’, there are some good vigilante movies in our cinema. We’ve listed nine best movies in the category that’ll make you cheer for the rebel with a cause. Read on to know more.

By Saurav Ray

Jun 2, 2018

With its worldwide release on June 1, ‘Bhavesh Joshi Superhero’ becomes the latest entrant into the category of vigilante movies in the Indian cinema.

A vigilante is a person or a group of people who take the law into their own hands to do the ‘right’ thing for the society. Although they use violence to achieve their objectives, revenge isn’t on their agenda. Their main motive is to avenge wrongdoings in the society by keeping themselves on the line of fire and living on the edge.

While Hollywood keeps on proliferating vigilante movies such as Batman series, The Equalizer series, Jack Reacher series, at an alarming pace, Bollywood is far behind in making such movies.

Let’s have a look on nine vigilante movies that the domestic cinema industry managed to pull off:

Madaari (2016):

Director- Nishikant Kamat

Cast- Irrfan Khan, Vishesh Bansal, Jimmy Sheirgill, Tushar Dalvi, Nitesh Pandey, Sadhil Kapoor

When a common man loses his patience, the devil shivers. The movie shows the extent to which a common man can go when he’s taken for a ride. After losing his only son to a mishap owing to the faulty construction of a bridge, the protagonist kidnaps the only son of a top minister and is caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse. He, however, offers to release the boy only if the minister complies with his demands and do exactly as he’s told. “Will he succeed in his mission or not?” will keep you riveted till the climax and the revelations of the minister will show the ugly truth in Indian politics.

Rocky Handsome (2016):

Director- Nishikant Kamat

Cast- John Abraham, Diya Chalwad, Shruti Haasan, Nishikant Kamat, Sharad Kelkar

How exciting will it be to watch John Abraham in an action-packed avatar, ruthlessly stabbing baddies to death with dexterity, agility and panache? If you’re a fan of John Wick style of movies, this movie is for you! This is a story of an ex-army officer cum trained assassin who turns into a vigilante not by choice but by the force of circumstances to save his friendly little neighbour from the clutches of human organ traffickers and drug mafia. In his attempt to find and save the girl, he eliminates everyone who had a role in the kidnapping of the girl.

Gabbar Is Back (2015):

Director- Krish

Cast- Akshay Kumar, Shruti Haasan, Suman Talwar, Sunil Grover, Jaideep Ahlawat, Kareena Kapoor Khan

To provide you with the context, the title is borrowed from the infamous antagonist ‘Gabbar Singh’, played by late Amjad Khan, in the iconic 1975 movie ‘Sholay’. Hard to forget him, isn’t it? In this movie, however, the protagonist leverages the most dreaded villain’s name to strike fear into the hearts and minds of the corrupt and decadent officials and expose them to the world.

Ungli (2014):

Director- Rensil D`Silva

Cast- Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda, Kangana Ranaut, Neha Dhupia, Angad Bedi, Neil Bhoopalam, Sanjay Dutt

A vigilante gang of four people, under the name of ‘Ungli gang’, have surprised and shocked Mumbaikars by tracking corrupt people and teaching them lessons in their own unique styles. Their unconventional way of fighting crime forces an experienced Assistant Commissioner of Police to entrust an amoral junior police officer with the duty to join the gang undercover and help the force to nab the gang. The events unfolding next is interesting and will keep you hooked till the end.

A Wednesday (2008):

Director- Neeraj Pandey

Cast- Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Aamir Bashir

It’s one of the best movies in the recent times and it renders a strong message to the enemy of the state to never take the silence of the common folks as a sign of weakness. If you’ve had watched the movie, you’d remember the line “we are resilient by force … not by choice” and it tells us that one should not push a common man too far, for the consequence can be devastating. The plot is about a man who brings the entire Mumbai police to its knees as he demands the release of four terrorists or he’ll detonate bombs in various parts of the city.

Kanthaswamy/Shiva – The Superhero (2009):

Director- Susi Ganeshan

Cast- Vikram, Shriya Saran, Prabhu Ganesan, Krishna, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukesh Tiwari, Mansoor Ali Khan, Vadivelu

The movie is about an upright Income Tax officer who moonlights as a feathered-caped crusader, disguised as an anthropomorphic rooster, all out against corruption and resolves to punish the corrupt and hooligans. The Tamil language movie was made on a budget of Rs 400 million and it grossed a whopping Rs 850 million, making it a super hit.

Anniyan/Aparichit (2005):

Director- S Shankar

Cast- Vikram, Sadha, Vivek, Prakash Raj

If you’ve had seen the movie, you’ll assert that it’s one of the best performances of Tamil superstar Vikram, won’t you? Especially the titular character of a vigilante. The plot is about a common orthodox Brahmin man, an obscure lawyer by the day, who are traumatized by seeing the wrongdoings around him every day, while his other personality of the vigilante takes over him to punish the wrongdoers. The movie bagged six State Film Awards, eight Filmfare Awards and a National Award in the Special Effects category.

Shahenshah (1988):

Director- Tinnu Anand

Cast- Amitabh Bachchan, Meenakshi Seshadri, Amrish Puri, Pran, Jagdeep

The movie gave us one of the most iconic and dramatic lines in Bollywood –“Rishtey mein to hum tumhare baap hote hain … naam hai Shahenshah” and it revolves around a corrupt officer who maintains a dual life, becoming a crime-busting vigilante in the darkness. His only motive is to eliminate the evildoers from the city so that he can pay a perfect tribute to his deceased father, who was killed by one antisocial element.

Badrinath (2011):

Director- V. V. Vinayak

Cast- Allu Arjun, Tamannaah, Prakash Raj

Watching the protagonist training under his spiritual and martial arts guru will remind you of a young Bruce Wayne mentored by Ra’s al Ghul in ‘Batman Begins’, making you believe it’s the Indianized version of the superhero flick. The protagonist in the movie is trained to become a super-vigilante so that he can protect one of the most revered temples from terrorist attacks.

After watching these movies you can’t stop cheering for the vigilante protagonists even though the means they apply to balance the scales of justice is often questionable and illegal. But as the saying goes “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

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