Top 5 Bollywood Films on Terrorism You Must Not Miss

Gritty, raw and well-made, these are five films on the subject that had the critics and the box office raving about them
Top 5 Bollywood Films on Terrorism You Must Not Miss

Arjun Kapoor


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Arjun Kapoor’s India’s Most Wanted opened this week to great reviews (unfortunately it didn’t get a release in the UAE) which gives a whole new swing  to the  theme  of global terrorism. It is brave and vigorous, compelling and  gripping, authentic and nerve-wracking. This would be  the best  time to rewind to the  best films on  terror attacks to be filmed  in Bollywood.

Black Friday (2007): 

Recreating  the events leading  up to the ‘Bombay’ blasts (there was  no Mumbai back then)  on 12 March 1993, Anurag Kashyap’s clenched  drama  on the second-worst terror attack in Mumbai is a source of constant shock. On each viewing, you will come across  new  facets to the dark  diabolic characters  plotting a conspiracy that  still boggles the  mind. The extraordinary cast adds considerably to the palate of pulsating action. Watch out especially for Pavan Malhotra as Tiger Memon, K K Menon as inspector Rakesh Maria and Aditya Shrivastava Badshah Khan. Oh, didn’t I tell you? This film for once names and shames real-life terrorists. That even the gutsy India’s Most Wanted 12  years later  is  unable to do.


One  of the earliest  films  to define the codes of terrorism in cinematic language,  Roja mixed the romance of Rahman’s melodies with the booming of the guns in  the Kashmir valley when honeymooner Madhoo finds her  husband kidnapped by a terrorist. The film was a huge success on release. There is a lyricism, an opposite of Kashyap’s rawness, that defines Mani Ratnam’s  view on  terrorism. This is more  David Lean  than Quentin Tarantino. The real  star of  the  show is Rahman’s music. A masterly music score in a  film  about terrorism is a bit  of  an irony.

A  Wednesday(2008): 

Naseeruddin Shah  played the common  man  with explosive  ideas  of justice , pun  intended.  Though  the film appears  lopsided and  a little misguided in its sympathy  for  the  purported  terrorist , what comes  through  is  the  sense  of  rigorous  self-loathing in an individual that leads  to  acts  of  terror even in  the common man. Director Neeraj Pandey also directed  that  fine robust commercial film on terrorism called  Baby. But  A Wednesday remains  his most  convincing and  compelling terror treatise.


Long before cross-border terrorism, there was the Khalistan movement in Punjab. Gulzar’s Maachis is a lean mean parable on militancy with an innocent Chandrachur Singh being sucked into Punjab militancy. The incandescent Tabu played his beloved who follows him into the darkness to spread her own radiance. Who can forget Tabu emoting to Lata Mangeshkar’s immortal lines of homesickness Paani pani re? The song is anthem for all the youth who have strayed into militancy. Come back home.

India’s Most  Wanted(2019): 

Rajkumar Gupta’s lithe raw and  kinetic  film of  a super-heroism on  an  evangelical level where  four  unarmed men  selflessly decide to  nab India’s most wanted  terrorist even if it means losing their  lives.  Why did they decide to apprehend such a dangerous terrorist without any help from official channels? For the same reason that Edmund Hillary climbed the Himalaya. Because it was there. This is the bravest film on terrorism and unsung brave hearts who fought it out thanklessly.