There haven’t been many Hindi movies with really good twist endings. But it is understandable why. Twist endings are not easy to execute. If the twist in the ending doesn’t work, forget it, the whole film will be dismissed by the audiences. And that’s both the risk and the challenge. On top of that, filmmakers have to ensure that they don’t get too carried away and in the end all the floating pieces should perfectly fit together so that everything makes sense. Today, we have compiled a list of Bollywood movies where the twist ending actually works:
16. Shagird (2011)
The story is a tale of backstabbing and double-crossing. The movie has a Wannabe gangster, a police officer ready to look aside for a few bucks and an honest man trying to be a Police officer. ‘Shagird’ is a riveting tale of doing the right thing and failing in the face of greed. The movie is grey and the characters are as real as their real life counterparts. Presence of Nana Patekaras the senior inspector definitely elevates the film. The climax is completely unexpected and will you surprised. You will also realize that in the moment of truth, the greed of the man wins over his humanity.
15. Karthik Calling Karthik (2010)
The story revolves around Karthik Narayan (Farhan Akhtar) and a sudden turn of events in his life. He happens to be an introvert who can neither face his arrogant boss or confess his feelings towards the girls he love or even complain for the little things that bother him. He just bottles them up. Until one day, when it becomes too much for him and he develops this strong personality that makes him do anything and everything he wanted to. But it comes at a price, he starts hallucinating and it seems like he has a personality disorder. Things are beyond normal for him and he keeps running from himself. But the question is how far can you go when you are your own enemy? The climax of the movie answers that.
14. Table No. 21 (2013)
Though the movie is a little far-fetched with its storyline but deals with a strong issue of “Bullying”. People tend to make fun on other’s expense and don’t realise the extent of damage it can have on those people. A couple is on their vacation and it seems that they needed it more than they initially thought. They won the vacation through a contest and meet the man behind the contest. The man invites them to play a game and this game topples their lives. It becomes evident to them that their vacation was no luck but a setup and they are in big trouble. This game shall be the test of their lives. But why is the man troubling this very couple? The ending of the movie answers that and it is something that no one would have expected.
13. The Stoneman Murders (2009)
It is based on the real life Stoneman serial killings that made headlines in the early 1980s in Bombay and the movie justifies it dramatically. The movie went unnoticed and didn’t get a lot of audience as it lacked the backing of a studio or a mega star cast. It is a brilliantly directed movie and every scene creates restlessness. The murders shown in the movie are eerie and makes the audience restless because of the nature of the killings. It is one of those movies that doesn’t have a lot of characters yet guessing the killer is not easy, and that makes the movie even more thrilling. The ending scene is a nail biter not only for its suspense but also for the way the killer is revealed. To imagine that such killers exist is a scary thought in itself.
12. Paanch (2003)
‘Paanch’ is the debut film of director Anurag Kashyap. It is about five friends and their wild living. They happen to be a band but they are jobless. And the jobs they do get don’t fulfill their thirst for drugs and alcohol. Every character is a lost cause and its only their friendship that is keeping them together. The movie seems like a story of youth gone wrong in drug abuse but there’s more. They plan a kidnapping and eventually running away. But the thing that had kept them going ceases to be. Their friendship seems like it cannot handle the burden of greed and starts to give in. But the plot is not as obvious as it seems. The ending of the movie has two layers of suspense; the plan that is beneath everything and the eventual madness that destroyed everything.
11. Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)
This black and white classic set the benchmark for the suspense thrillers. Dr Anand (Manoj Kumar) has recently inherited a good amount of wealth but he would only be able to get it if he is deemed fit mentally as his family has had an infamous past of mentally ill people. Around the same time he starts seeing a very mysterious spooky woman. His girlfriend dies tragically and hence he gets married to a girl who looks exactly like the mysterious girl. This leaves him awestruck. Simultaneously, things happen when he realises that the mysterious woman has been dead for a while. He starts doubting his mind and everyone around. The movie builds the tension very methodically with an ending that will leave you awestruck.
10. Talaash (2012)
‘Talaash’ had a different ending initially. It is rumoured that the end of the movie was on the similar lines of the movie ‘Kahaani’. But the movie took around 5 years to be made and ‘Kahaani’ had already been made by then and was a huge success. Hence, the makers of the movie had to change the entire ending of the movie and also had to re shoot some of the earlier scenes. Yet, the ending did justice to the movie and the story, and was as intriguing as it could be. Also, given the circumstances of the changes the movie had to go through, makes the ending even more special.
9. A Wednesday (2008)
The movie starts of with a regular plot where the Police is being asked to release four militants or else four bombs that have been meticulously planted would blow off. The plot seems simple but the Unnamed Man (Naseeruddin Shah) doesn’t seem like the regular arbitrator. All those apprehensions are substantiated when the militants released are killed rather than rescued by the Unnamed Man. The Plot thickens. The audience hasn’t taken any sides as of now. But then the unnamed man reveals that his son was killed in the Mumbai train bombings of 2006. And this is his way of making things right. Now the audience is presumably on his side. But what remains to be seen is that whether the man will be caught by the Mumbai police commissioner Prakash Rathod (Anupam Kher)? And if he is caught what shall become of him?
8. Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)
This movie went under the radar and I don’t think a lot of people have seen it. ‘Manorama Six Feet Under’ is a thrilling ride from start to finish. Loosely inspired from ‘Chinatown’, the film revolves around a writer who becomes a detective as the banality of his life disappoints him and he thinks solving the case would get him fame and money. Hence, he embarks on a journey to solve this mystery wherein he discovers there is more to the story than just a murder. You might might the proceedings a little slow, but the ending is worth the wait!
7. Drishyam (2015)
The most amazing aspect about ‘Drishyam’ other than its ending is the fact that it has already been made in five languages and every one of them has had a huge success. This says a lot about how well-written the film is. The movie deals with an ordinary family entangled in extra ordinary circumstances. The family gets charged with murder and all they have is the support of the people and circumstantial evidences. Their story is fool-proof and yet somehow it doesn’t tick the boxes. Something seems a miss. The family successfully creates a facade of their innocence. The audience is aware of the fact that the family is guilty but understands the circumstances of their crime. But it remains to be seen if they can actually get away with the notion of “A Perfect Crime”.
6. Khakee (2004)
‘Khakee’ is one of the smartest — if not the smartest — cop dramas ever made in Hindi Cinema. A film so compact that it will leave you gasping for breath. A near perfect knit story of a team of police officials who put their life on the line to accomplish a dangerous mission only to find out that the very system which assigned them the job are against them completing it. A shocking twist ending to boot, ‘Khakee’ deserved numerous laurels but it remains a mystery as to how such a stunning suspense thriller got lost in oblivion and never became a constituent of film conversations.
5. Ittefaq (1969)
‘Ittefaq’ is easily one of the best crime thrillers ever made in hindi cinema. Possibly, the best. Yet, surprisingly, not many have seen the film. Why ? Because in 1960s, thrillers were uncommon; especially, films like ‘Ittefaq’ — a song-less film with a “killer” ending. Truth be told, ‘Ittefaq’ was much ahead of its time — it was a brave on the part of B.R. Films to even make this film. What’s even more surprising is that Yash Chopra, the so-called “king of romances”, is the director of the film. I know Yash Chopra has made some great romantic films, but to me, ‘Ittefaq’ will remain among his topmost work. It’s pity that he didn’t attempt to make any thriller up until ‘Darr’ — which is no where close to the perfection that ‘Ittefaq’ is.
4. Kaun? (1999)
Ram Gopal Varma caught people off-guard when the trailer of ‘Kaun?’ aired for the first time. Honestly, it was a bit surprising that he had made such a low key film in the follow up to his wildly acclaimed ‘Satya’. As the trailer goes, Kaun had only three actors – Urmila Matondakar, Manoj Bajpai and some creep (the gifted Sushant Singh) – and people were relatively unsure about what to expect from it. On papers, it had nothing to boast off but therein lied Varma’s genius. Upon its release, audience had their jaws dropped. It was an exceptionally well written taut thriller by Kashyap which was translated onto the screen by Varma’s craft and Sandeep Chowta’s background score. A hair raising mystery thriller with a mother of all twists.
3. Ugly (2014)
‘Ugly’ is a tale of people trying to take advantage of a situation. People trying to fight battles and in the process losing the War. It is about a girl getting kidnapped but in hindsight it is about so much more. The ending of the movie is as ironical as humanity can be. It mirrors greed. The kidnapping of the girl leads the characters to some unchartered territories of their lives. Ronit Roy as Shoumik Bose just blows away the audience by his grit. The girl is found dead in the end but not because of one person but because of every one of them. It is not that her parents did not love her or the police did not care or the kidnappers got very greedy. It’s just that they got into a fight with the wrong person, every single time. The ending is not only shocking, it is also painful.
2. Kahaani (2012)
‘Kahaani’ is remembered for two things: The brilliant performance of Vidya Balan and the climax of the movie. These two things were the foundation of the movie and they did not disappoint. There is hardly anyone who hasn’t seen the movie but for those who haven’t , well the movie is about the story of a pregnant woman trying to find her husband in the city of Kolkata. Nobody helps her thinking her husband is dead except a Police Inspector who admires her tenacity and goes out of his way to help her. But later the story reveals that Vidya’s character is not what she claims to be and there is a whole other side to her.
1. Gupt (1997)
This movie is a guide for any film maker on “how to make a suspense thriller”. The film never reveals its intentions and keeps the audiences guessing till the end. When ‘Gupt’ came out, action and romantic movies were ruling the roost in Bollywood. Bobby Deol was an up-and-coming actor but nothing to write home about. Kajol and Manisha Koirala, on the other hand, were possibly at the peak of their careers. And if you have seen the film and know the climax, you will know what a masterful casting it was. Nobody would have expected [SPOLIER ALERT] Kajol to be the killer. Kudos to her for agreeing to be a part of the film. Just in terms of the shock value that the ending of ‘Gupt’ generates, I don’t think any film comes close.
Read More: Best Hindi Suspense Movies