Psychopaths are real and films based on such characters could give the audience a better perception about such people in real life.
While there have been films featuring some famous villains in Bollywood, all of them were about evil-minded characters who had some hidden agendas for their acts. Psychopaths, on the other hand, are different and they will leave no stones unturned to create chaos and most of the times to achieve their goal.
Since from the beginning, Bollywood has stayed away from producing films featuring psychopaths. There have been a lot of psychological thriller films throughout Bollywood history but the films based on psychopaths began only in the 90s. Despite not being a favorite theme for most filmmakers, few of them have taken up the mantle to produce such films. However, such films are very few when compared to the number of action, romance, and comedy films produced by Bollywood year after year.
Best Bollywood Films on Psychopaths
The psychopathic element of the character in most Bollywood films about psychopaths isn’t explored in the industry. In our list too, you will see a lot of films focusing on a sadistic lover who is a psychopath and would do everything to get the girl he desires.
Still, you will see a lot of variety in many films listed here and these films will give you a quick idea about psychopaths in general.
So, without any further ado, let’s check out the list.
Shahrukh Khan’s career took off with an anti-hero image in 1993 thriller film Baazigar but his breakthrough film was Darr. His persona as Rahul, an obsessed psychopath lover in the film became the most memorable roles in Bollywood history. It also opened the doors for Shahrukh Khan in the Yashraj family.
Also Read: Best Bollywood Movies Directed by Yash Chopra
Although an unfortunate year for India and Sanjay Dutt, the timing of the1993 psychological thriller film Khalnayak was perfect for the filmmakers. Sanjay Dutt was in jail at the time of the release and that added to the film’s publicity as Dutt played a psychopathic terrorist in Khalnayak.
Agni Sakshi (1996)
Based on the Hollywood film Sleeping with the Enemy, the 1996 Bollywood psychological thriller film Agni Sakshi makes it to our list, thanks to the brilliant performance of Nana Patekar, as an abusive husband with the psychopathic tendency.
Sangharsh is 1999 psychological thriller film starring Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta in the lead roles. However, the film gained popularity for Ashutosh Rana’s spectacular performance as a religious fanatic kidnapping young boys for sacrifice.
Deewangee is a 2002 psychological thriller film featuring an obsessive lover who plays the innocent card to get what he desires. Directed by Anees Bazmee, the film has Ajay Devgn in a negative role for the first time playing the obsessive lover. The story of the film is inspired by Richard Gere’s 1996 film Primal Fear.
Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997)
Gupt: The Hidden Truth is an interesting crime thriller film with an unbelievable twist in the end. I don’t wish to spoil the fun if you haven’t watched the film already. Directed by Rajiv Rai, the film tells the story of Sahil Sinha who is convicted falsely for his father’s murder. When the real killer is caught, everyone is shocked and that becomes the true essence of the film.
Also Read: Movies with Twisted Ending
Raman Raghav 2.0.
While all the films on the list are based on fictional characters, here’s 2016 neo-noir psychological thriller film Raman Raghav 2.0. based on a real-life serial killer named Raman Rahav. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, the film features Nawazuddin Siddique in the titular character.
Also Read: Neo-noir Movies by Indian Cinema
Anjaam is yet another Shahrukh Khan starrer psychological thriller of the 1990s. The film again features King Khan in a psychopathic obsessive character who uses his evil tactics to get the girl he desires. Directed by Rahul Rawail, the film also stars Madhuri Dixit as the female protagonist paired opposite the antagonist.
Daraar is one of the many Bollywood films based on Julia Roberts thriller Sleeping With the Enemy. The film features Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla in the lead pair, whereas the debutant Arbaaz Khan plays the lead antagonist. Directed by Abbas-Mustan, Arbaaz Khan’s portrayal of a possessive husband got him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role.
Dushman is a 1998 film that revolves around a young girl who has lost her twin sister recently. After her sister is raped and murdered by a sadistic rapist and killer, she vows revenge against him. Whether she is successful or not forms the rest of the story. The film is directed by Tanuja Chandra and features Kajol as the lead protagonist whereas Ashutosh Rana plays the sadistic serial killer. Sanjay Dutt also plays a smaller yet significant role in the film.
Murder 2 (2011)
Murder 2 is the second installment in the Murder series. The film is basically as quasi-sequel to 2004 erotic thriller Murder. The film tells the story of a serial killer who tortures and kills prostitutes. The film features Emraan Hashmi as an ex-police officer, whereas Prashant Narayanan plays the psychopath killer. It’s also one of Bollywood’s first and only horror-slasher film.
Kaun is an interesting psychological horror thriller film directed by Ram Gopal Verma. The film is entirely shot inside a house and revolves around three characters only. The true essence of the film is the surprise element and the suspense that is revealed in the end. Kaun will keep you guessing throughout the film and when you realize the truth at the end, you will be appalled knowing what just happened.
Ek Villain (2014)
Ek Villain is a romantic love story with a psychopathic twist. Directed by Mohit Suri, the film features Siddharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor as the lead pair. The film basically begins with a young girl killed by a serial killer. Her husband, who used to be a hardcore gangster in the past, vows to find and kill the sadistic murderer to avenge his wife’s death. The film also stars Riteish Deshmukh as the lead antagonist.
The Stoneman Murders (2009)
The Stoneman Murders is loosely based on the real life Stoneman serial killer who murdered the footpath dwellers with a stone. As the case, in reality, was never solved, the filmmaker weaves a fictional story around the real incidents and portrays a suspense thriller film featuring Kay Kay Menon and Arbaaz Khan in the lead roles. As the story unfolds, it is still unclear about the real culprit and the true motives behind Stoneman killings.
Dastak is a psychological thriller film starring Sushmita Sen as herself. Directed by Mahesh Bhatt, the film is also Sushmita Sen’s debut film. The film tells the story of a psychopathic genius played by Sharad Kapoor whose obsessive love towards the Miss Universe takes him on a killing rampage. When he kidnaps the beautiful diva, she tries everything and eventually takes a violent step to get out of his clutches.
Tum – A Dangerous Obsession (2004)
Tum – A Dangerous Obsession is a 2004 erotic thriller film starring Manisha Koirala, Karan Nath, and Rajat Kapoor in the lead roles. The film basically revolves around the obsession of a young man towards an older married woman after a one night stand. The psychopath lover is played by Karan Nath, whereas Manisha Koirala plays the married woman.
Also Read: Bollywood Films on Murder Mysteries.
Khal-Naaikaa is a vengeful story of a widow who becomes a part of a happy family as the governess. However, nobody has a clue that the governess is her to avenge her husband’s death as she blames them to be responsible for destroying her happy married life. Directed by Saawan Kumar, the film features Anu Aggarwal in the titular character, whereas Jayaprada and Jeetendra play the happy couple.
Over to you!
Bollywood is not known for films based on psychopaths. Hence, I am sure you will be surprised to find this list. I believe that Bollywood should experiment with this topic in films and build such characters drawn from real life, so the audience senses the reality and assesses if a kid or someone is developing psychopathic tendencies.