While most people across the globe usually associate Indian cinema with the only Bollywood, the reality is extreme opposite.
A multilingual and multicultural country like India has a film industry catering to a certain group of people in a certain language in several parts of the country.
Among all of them, if there is one industry, that has refused to bow down to the general conventions of filmmaking and has constantly experimented with unconventional themes, that is Bangla language film industry.
Thriller genre being one of the specialties of Bangla filmmakers, let’s look at a few best suspense thriller of Bengali Cinema.
List of Best Bengali Suspense Thrillers of All Time
Baishe Srabon (2011)
Helmed by ace filmmaker Srijit Mukherjee, Baishe Srabon arrived in theatres in 2011 and swept everybody off their feet with its sheer technical brilliance and gripping storytelling. The poetic film featured two police officers and two journalists on the trail of a psychopath who has been active throughout Kolkata. The man loves poetry and this gives the film a certain distinct charm and class. The film was featured in several national and international film festivals and earned accolades when it was released theatrically. It remains one of the most critically and commercially acclaimed Bengali films of this decade.
Satyajit Ray made dozens of films that have been regarded as all-time classics of the Bangla film industry and yet some of them remain quite anonymous. Chiriyakhana being one prime example of this, the film followed the story of the legendary fictional detective named Byomkesh Bakshi. The story gets triggered when one of Bakshi’s best friends Dr. Nishanth gets murdered and Byomkesh sets out on a mission to reveal the true identity of the killer. Somehow the film did not do well when it was released as it was considered to be very complex by Indian industry standards. But over time, the film has made its way into the list of best collaborations between superstar Uttam Kumar and Ray.
Chotushkone is another Srijit Mukherjee masterpiece that deserves a mention on the list. The film told the story of four young filmmakers who are on the verge to make their debut film, containing four different stories. They go to the outskirts of Kolkata to meet the producers of their film and a chain of events unveils which culminates with a shocking revelation. Mukherjee became the recipient of a National Award for best director the film which turned out to be a major commercial and critical success when it came out.
Sonar Kella (1974)
Among the vast filmography of Satyajit Ray, there is this gem of a film starring Soumitra Chatterjee. The film was a retelling of a short story from the Feluda series written by Satyajit Ray himself. Private detective Feluda and his cousin are hired by a wealthy man to take care of his gifted son who has seen a treasure hidden in his visions. Feluda, along with his comrade sets out on the search for the treasure and as they go about it, several layers of the story get unfolded, reaching a chilling conclusion. The film also made waves across the United States and was released by the title The Golden Fortress and did a decent business there as well. Sonar Kella is one of the Best Bengali Suspense Thriller Movies of All Time.
Sabar Oparey (1955)
Sabar Upare is one of the all-time cult classic Bengali films made in the golden era of Bengali films. Piloted by Agradoot, the film told the story about a young man who sets out to prove his father’s innocence when his mother tells him that he was wrongly incarcerated in Patna. Starring critically acclaimed actors such as Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen in main roles, the film was based on the novel Beyond This Place. The film was further remade in Hindi by the title Kala Pani, which also turned out to be a major hit.
Nobel Chor (2012)
Nobel Chor is a Bengali film starring veteran Hindi/Bengali film actor Mithun Chakraborty. The film told the story of a middle-aged man named Bhanu, played by Mithun, who sets out to solve the mystery of stolen novel of Rabindranath Tagore from Shanti Niketan. The film centers entirely around Bhanu and his tryst with Tagore’s teachings and how they guide him through life. The film received an official selection for BFI London Film Festival and also starred Soumitra Chatterjee in a key role.
A Death in the Gunj (2016)
A Death in the Gunj was the directorial debut for the acclaimed actress Konkona Sen Sharma. Widely regarded as one of the best Indian films of 2016, the film focused on the tale of Shutu, a simpleton as he gets stuck between a family reunion, full of some bully characters. As the holidays progress, the audiences get to feel furthermore about Shutu and how he is slowly being torn apart psychologically by his very own family. The film won many nominations at the Filmfare Awards and Konkona went home with the award for the Best Debut director.
Ebar Shabor (2015)
Based on the famous short story Rin, the film was directed by Arindam Sil, who turned to director after forging a successful career in line producing. The mystery thriller film is centered on the unfortunate murder of a young woman named Mitali Ghosh. After starting as a genuine murder mystery, the film becomes a political and social thriller exposing the ugly facades of the high society lot of Kolkata. The film’s success compelled the producers and the director to come up with a sequel titled Eagoler Chokh, which turned out to be another major success.
Eagoler Chokh (2016)
The direct sequel to Ebar Shabor, the film further dives deeper into the psyche of our leading man ACP Shabor Dasgupta as he goes through the investigation of yet another murder. The film further hits hard on the fragile social and cultural conundrums of the Bengali high society, especially a rich entrepreneur named Bishan Roy. The film was another roaring box office and critical success and further established director Arindam Sil as one highly competitive director.
Badshahi Angti (2014)
Director Sandip Ray helmed this thriller film which was based on a Satyajit Ray novel of the same name. Taking forward the Feluda legend, the film had Abir Chatterjee as Feluda and made waves across the Bangla speaking belt. Known for their quality taste when it comes to films, the Bengali audience loved the film and made it one of the biggest hits of the year. The film follows the tale of Feluda and his cousin Topse as they set out to solve the mystery about a missing ring that belonged to the emperor. The film was appreciated for its technical finesse and the storyline that had equal amounts of drama and mystery.
Also Read: Best Bollywood Suspense Movies
Royal Bengal Rahasya (2011)
Another masterpiece from Sandip Ray, this film also an adaptation of a Satyajit Ray novel of the same name. Sabyasachi Chakrabarty took on the role of Feluda this time and was accompanied by Saheb Bhattacharya as Topshe. The story begins when Feluda and some of his friends are invited over by a rich friend of them who happens to be a hunter. As everybody else thinks that a tiger had killed him, Feluda doesn’t assume that. The entire film revolves around him trying his best to catch the real murderer, but the chase isn’t very easy this time around.
Abar Byomkesh (2011)
Byomkesh Bakshi has been to the Bengali literature and films as Sherlock Holmes has been to American and English literature and cinema. Before the Hindi film based on Byomkesh Bakshi came out, this classic telling of the detective’s story made its way onto the silver screen in 2011 and made waves. Directed by Anjan Dutt, the film told the story about Byomkesh as he is ill and still takes up a case, where he had to find the culprit behind a stolen photograph. The film becomes layered and detailed as the time passes by and by the end of it, it registers as one of the most chilling accounts of cases of Bakshi.
Thana Theke Aschi (2010)
Thana Theke Aschi was a remake of the original film made in 1965, which starred Bengali superstar Uttam Kumar in the leading role. Written and directed by Saran Dutta, the film turned out to be one of the best-regarded films of the year. The mystery thriller told the story of a policeman who is invited to attend the wedding of a rich businessman. A suicide case happens somewhere else and now the cop has to find the connections between the two events and land upon a conclusion.
One of the most recent additions to the list is this independent psychological thriller named Khoj, helmed by Arka Ganguly. Police inspector Shyam Bose goes to investigate a house which is said to be haunted as screams are heard from the top floor from time to time. But the owner of the house doesn’t let the police enter and says that it is his sick wife who screams due to pain incited by injections. The suspicions lead to a thorough research and give rise to some of the most chilling scenes ever filmed in Bengali cinema.
Ahilya Short film (2015)
This is a slightly odd entry on the list but definitely deserves a space here. Director Sujoy Ghosh, best known for directing and writing the acclaimed film Kahaani takes on the mythological story of Ahilya and turns it around perfectly molding it in a contemporary setting. The film starred Soumitra Chatterjee and Radhika Apte in the leading roles. The film followed the tale of a cop who investigates the missing of some people and enters an artist’s house while on the pursuit. The chilling climax of the film can be hailed as one of the most shocking climaxes ever conjured up.
Also Read: Best Malayalam Movies of All Time
Now, share which one is your Favorite Bengali Suspense Thriller Film, you can also share any missing Bengali Suspense Thriller Movies in the comment section of this page.