15+ Brilliantly Crafted Indian Neo-Noir Films You Must Watch Once


99 bollywood movie 2009

Well, not so popular in terms of success, yet 99 truly deserves to be on the list, owing to its plot. The film stars Kunal Khemu, Soha Ali Khan, Boman Irani, and Vinod Khanna in the lead roles. 99 is based on original facts and is set around the India-South Africa Cricket betting scandal in 1999. The film follows the story of two men from different cities, who feel that they always get stuck at 99 and couldn’t score a century. In short, they believe that all their hard work and efforts go in vain right when they are about to reach the target.


Ishqiya Vidya Balan neo Noir

Another film on our list is Ishqiya. The movie is best known for its dark theme apart from the brilliant performance by Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, and Arshad Warsi. Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, the film is a black comedy that revolves around a revenge plot by the character portrayed by Vidya Balan with the help of Khalujan and Babban, two criminals played by Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi respectively.


Shahid Kapoor Double Role in Kaminey

Directed by Vishal Bharadwaj, Kaminey is a thriller film that tells us the story about two twin brothers, one with a stutter and the other with a lisp, both played by Shahid Kapoor. The film basically shows the rivalry between the two brothers involved directly or indirectly with the Mumbai Underworld. The film also stars Priyanka Chopra and Amol Gupte in important roles. The film received accolades from all over the country and it enjoys a cult status even today.

Raman Raghav 2.0

Raman Raghav 2 movie neo noir

Based on the real-life notorious serial killer Raman Raghav, the film Raman Raghav 2.0 stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the psycho serial killer Raman, while Vicky Kaushal plays the cop Raghav. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, the film displays cruelty in the wild form with brutal killings by Nawaz’s character to show the mental state of the antagonist.


Badlapur neo noir bollywood film

Well, there have been hundreds of revenge-themed films made in Bollywood but none could come close to the brutality or cruelty of Badlapur. Varun Dhawan is seen coming out of his shell with this film, portraying a mature but aggressive and violent role as Raghu. The film follows the story of Raghu’s violent rage against Liak, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who is responsible for the death of Raghu’s wife Misha and his son Robin. While on his violent rampage, Raghu doesn’t follow any moral compass, but becomes more brutal, which makes us wonder whether who’s the real antagonist in the film.



Based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Maqbool is directed by Vishal Bharadwaj. The film stars Irrfan Khan and Tabu in the lead roles, whereas the supporting cast includes a talent pool of Pankaj Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, and Om Puri. The storyline of the film is same as the play with some changes to suit the Indian audiences. It’s a must watch film for some of the best performances and brilliant direction.

Being Cyrus

Being Cyrus saif ali khan film

Being Cyrus is an English language Indian film starring Saif Ali Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Dimple Kapadia in the lead roles. The film follows the story of Sethna family, a Parsi family living in Panchgani as well as Cyrus Mistry, played by Saif Ali Khan, who visits their house to become the apprentice of Dinshaw, the retired sculptor and the elder son of the Sethna family. However, there’s a dark twist about Cyrus that unveils as you watch the film.

Ek Haseena Thi

Ek Haseena Thi

Here’s another revenge story that fits rightly into our list of best Indian neo-noir films. Directed by Sriram Raghavan, Ek Haseena Thi is a revenge film starring Urmila Matondkar and Saif Ali Khan in the lead roles. The film follows the life of Sarika Mathur, played by Urmila Matondkar, who ends up on the wrong side of the crime when she is caught with illegal arms. She ends up in the brutal jail life and becomes a completely different person whose only aim in life is to get revenge against her boyfriend Karan, who was the real mastermind behind the arms deal and the main culprit who betrays her to save himself. The rest of the film shows the way she gets her final revenge.


upendra Kannada film starring upendra and raveena tondon

Upendra is a Kannada film that will keep you glued on to your seats throughout the film. Well, it may not attract the modern day youth, but you should watch the film for the way it narrates the story as well as tries to give an important life lesson for all.

Rajeesh Nair is a true Gizmofreak and an addictive movie buff. He blogs at LifeBlender.com – a lifestyle Blogzine which focuses on general life related topics of the 21st Century.


  1. movies4forever

    Well, I have a say, nice list of neo noir (Bollywood) movies. And I think No Smoking is one of the best. Really glad you wrote about it.

  2. Kesar

    What about movies ‘Vikram Vedha’ & ‘Mufti?