Bollywood has many mystery films that are incredibly watchable for a cosy weekend. To be honest, life itself is the biggest mystery of all, but in case our own existential crises isn't enough for you, you can always watch a mystery movie and indulge in some on-screen escapism. In an effort to find a film for everyone (do you like vintage noir? Cool. Camp? Cool cool, got that too), we've gathered 10 favorites that you simply can't go wrong with — and all of which have impressive plot twists that will make you go wow!
Here is the list of Top 10 Bollywood Mystery Movies:
1. Woh Kaun Thi?
This Sadhana and Manoj Kumar starrer will leave you spell-bound. This movie helmed by Raj Khosla, is considered one of India's finest suspense thrillers. Shot in Pahalgam, and with haunting music composed by Madan Mohan, Woh Kaun Thi is the story of Dr. Anand played by Manoj Kumar who is on the verge of inheriting a fortune. However, the fortune can only be inherited if he is of sound mind. His plans of inheriting the fortune go awry, when he meets the mysterious Sandhya. What happens next forms the crux of the story. After the success of Woh Kaun Thi, Raj Khosla and Sadhana collaborated on more suspense thrillers - Mera Saaya and Anita.
Yet another Manoj Kumar starrer makes it to the list of mystery films. Starring Nanda, Helen, Mehmood, Pran and Madan Puri, Gumnaam had a stellar starcast. Music by Shankar-Jaikishan, and directed by Raja Nawathe, Gumnaam is one of greatest mystery films ever made in Bollywood. It is an adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel 'And Then There Were None'.
3. Teesri Manzil
Teesri Manzil is one of India's favourite whodunnits. Starring Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh, the movie has a bit of romance, suspense, thriller and mind-blowing music by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Helen has a brief role, but it is interesting. The movie is directed by Vijay Anand and follows the life of heartthrob Rocky played by Shammi Kapoor. His girlfriend, Roopa commits suicide and her sister played by Asha Parekh wants to avenge her death by punishing Rocky. But life has other plans as they fall in love and try to find the hidden truth behind Roopa's death.
Starring the beautiful Waheeda Rehman and Biswajeet, this movie is one of the most underrated films belonging to the mystery genre. The movie was not a hit as Bees Saal Baad, which was also directed by Biren Nag. The movie developed a cult status over the years and is based on the Daphne Du Murier's novel 'Rebecca'. The movie is based on the disappearance and supernatural sightings of Biswajeet's first wife, Poonam which trouble his second wife, Rajeshwari played by Waheeda. For over five decades people did not know the name of the actress who played Poonam as her face was hidden throughout the film. In a recent interview Biswajeet revealed it to be an Anglo-Indian actress, Thelma.
A Nanda movie makes it to the list again. This movie has one of the finest performances by Rajesh Khanna. One more thing to be noted about this movie is that Ittefaq has no songs. Rajesh Khanna plays a psychologically troubled man who is charged with the murder of his wife. A remake starring Siddharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshaye Khanna was made in 2017, but it didn't grab as many eyeballs as the original film.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra's small-budget whodunnit Khamosh featured some of the best actors we've ever had - Amol Palekar, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapur. As the film had an unconventional plot , no distributor bought it. Chopra showed the film to many persons but no one was interested in releasing it. After more than a year, he decided to distribute it himself. He rented Regal cinema hall in Colaba, Bombay and showed the film there. He could afford only one print of the film where it ran for many weeks.
Gupt is also one of the most loved and watched murder mysteries made in Bollywood. Starring Bobby Deol, Kajol and Manisha Koirala, Gupt is the story of how love can turn into obsession. Bobby Deol is arrested for murdering his step-father, but he is innocent and he will stop at nothing to prove his innocence. How he breaks out of jail and finds the real murderer is the crux of the story. Gupt also has one of the best music albums ever made in Bollywood. Viju Shah created his magic once again with the music in this movie.
8. 100 Days
This Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Jackie Shroff starrer is one of the most underrated mystery thrillers of all times. Madhuri Dixit has extra sensory perception and can see events happening in the future. However, she is unable to solve the mystery behind her own sister's disappearance many years ago. Jaaved Jaffery has a surprising role, and this movie definitely deserves to be on your weekend binge list.
This Kareena Kapoor-Aamir Khan-Rani Mukerji starrer was a sleeper hit. It may not have earned much at the box-office but people loved Kareena's acting in it. Even though the climax is a dampener, we will still rate it as one of the most loved mystery thriller films. Aamir-Rani's son has died and there is a drunken-driving case that he has to solve. How he does it forms the rest of the story. It is further reported that most of the filming got the inspiration from the 2010 Hollywood film starring Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole.
Written by Advaita Kala and Vidya Balan starring in the lead role, that was pretty much a winning combination. Set in the beautiful locales of Kolkata, this movie pays an homage to the cultural city. A pregnant woman is in search of her lost husband, but there is something sinister at play. Critics praised the screenplay, the cinematography and the performances of the lead actors. Following critical acclaim and word-of-mouth publicity, the film earned ₹1.04 billion (US$14 million) worldwide in 50 days. The film won several awards, including three National Film Awards. The latter included trophies for Best Director (Ghosh) and Best Actress (Vidya).