8 Thrillers Like Sriram Raghavan’s Merry Christmas You Must See

In the directorial hands of Sriram Raghavan, ‘Merry Christmas’ transports us to an older time in Mumbai where two strangers, Albert (Vijay Sethupathi) and Maria (Katrina Kaif), bond on Christmas Eve, only to be pulled into a whirlwind of crime and romance. Albert is out on a stroll after learning of his mother’s demise. His path crosses with that of Maria, who has been stood up by her date. Feeling a spark as their eyes meet, the two embark on a nostalgia-inducing romantic journey for the evening, ending up at Maria’s apartment.

The slow-burn romance abruptly gives way to a murder mystery as Albert finds himself at the center of a crime scene the next day. The film is based on the French novel ‘Le Monte-charge,’ and exhibits arthouse movie vibes with its cinematography, as even background elements and objects seem to become characters in the film. With stellar performances, vibrant backdrops, and a refreshing pace, the eclectic sequences reinvigorate our love for cinema, leaving us wanting to appreciate more mystery thriller movies like ‘Merry Christmas.’

8. Badla (2019)

Under the direction of Sujoy Ghosh, ‘Badla’ narrates a gripping murder mystery that involves a successful entrepreneur waking up in a locked hotel room beside her murdered lover. Naina Sethi (Taapsee Pannu) seeks the help of a seasoned lawyer, Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan), after being accused of killing her lover. While Naina asserts her innocence, Badal suspects she may be hiding critical details from him. Through a series of intense interrogations, the layers of deceit slowly unravel, revealing unexpected twists and turns. Much like ‘Merry Christmas,’ the movie features clever storytelling, an intricate plot, and well-hidden secrets.

7. Only God Forgives (2013)

With Nicolas Winding Refn in the director’s chair, ‘Only God Forgives’ is a dark and brooding neo-noir thriller set in the seedy underworld of Bangkok. The story follows Julian (Ryan Gosling), a drug smuggler and nightclub owner who becomes embroiled in a cycle of violence and revenge after his brother is murdered. As Julian seeks vengeance for his brother’s death, he is drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with Chang, a mysterious and ruthless police lieutenant known as the Angel of Vengeance.

Their confrontation escalates into a brutal and bloody showdown, revealing hidden secrets and dark truths about Julian’s past. With its striking visuals, ominous atmosphere, and intense performances, ‘Only God Forgives’ will immerse enthusiasts of Sriram Raghavan’s work in its morally ambiguous world. Both films sport a neo-noir style and a pace that allows one to soak in their story and ambiance.

6. Body Heat (1981)

With Lawrence Kasdan at the helm, ‘Body Heat’ takes us to a sweltering Florida town that witnesses a plot of lust, crime, and mystery. The narrative revolves around Ned Racine, a charming but morally dubious lawyer, who becomes entangled in a dangerous affair with Matty Walker, a seductive femme fatale. As their passion ignites, Matty lures Ned into a scheme to murder her wealthy husband, leading to a tumultuous series of events between the three. With steamy romance, intricate plot twists, and a palpable sense of tension, much like ‘Merry Christmas,’ the film pays homage to classic film noir while adding its own modern twist.

5. Talaash: The Answer Lies Within (2012)

Directed by Reema Kagti, ‘Talaash: The Answer Lies Within’ follows Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan), a troubled police officer who is haunted by the death of his young son in a tragic accident. As Shekhawat investigates a mysterious car accident involving a famous actor and a sex worker named Rosie (Kareena Kapoor Khan), he finds himself drawn into a deceitful cover-up of the incident with vested interests and clandestine figures.

Along the way, he grapples with his own grief and guilt while unveiling the secrets hidden beneath the surface of Mumbai’s bustling streets. With its atmospheric cinematography, memorable performances, and twisting mystery, the film is sure to be added to the watchlist by fans of ‘Merry Christmas.’

4. Basic Instinct (1992)

With director Paul Verhoeven at the helm, ‘Basic Instinct’ introduces us to Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), who becomes embroiled in a complex murder investigation involving a seductive and enigmatic novelist, Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone). As Curran delves deeper into the case, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to Tramell, whose manipulative and seductive behavior raises questions about her innocence. With each twist and turn, Curran’s obsession with Tramell grows, blurring the lines between truth and deception.

Like Albert with Maria in ‘Merry Christmas,’ Curran’s attraction to Tramell hampers his judgment in connecting her possible involvement with the crime. Those who appreciate Sriram Raghavan’s work will be taken in by Verhoeven’s stylish direction and Stone’s unforgettable performance. The film is highlighted by its tantalizing blend of suspense, sexuality, and psychological intrigue, making it a timeless classic in the thriller genre.

3. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

A Peter Greenaway directorial, ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’ is a provocative and visually stunning film set in a lavish restaurant run by a tyrannical mobster named Albert Spica. Spica’s abusive behavior towards his wife, Georgina, leads her into a clandestine affair with a bookish diner named Michael. As the affair intensifies, the lovers engage in secret rendezvous within the restaurant’s elaborate corridors and hidden chambers. Meanwhile, tensions escalate between Spica and his rivals, culminating in a shocking and grisly climax.

Enthusiasts of ‘Merry Christmas’ will be enamored by the film’s bold and audacious storytelling, sumptuous cinematography, and biting social commentary on power, corruption, and desire. This visually striking and intellectually stimulating film offers a unique cinematic experience that lingers long after the credits roll.

2. Drishyam (2015)

Directed by Nishikant Kamat, ‘Drishyam’ presents an incredibly compelling mind game between a simple family man and a powerful police officer, as the two engage their wits in swaying a murder investigation. Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn) is a cable TV operator living in a small village with his family. When his family becomes the prime suspect in the murder investigation of the son of a powerful and corrupt police officer, Vijay’s world turns upside down. Desperate to protect his family, he meticulously plans an intricate cover-up, relying on his wits and knowledge gained from movies.

As the police investigation intensifies, Vijay’s cunning strategies are put to the test, leading to a high-stakes game of cat and mouse between him and the victim’s relentless mother, Inspector-General of Police Meera Deshmukh. Fans of ‘Merry Christmas’ will be enthralled by the masterful storytelling, brilliant performances, and unpredictable plot twists in ‘Drishyam,’ a standout thriller in Indian cinema.

1. Andhadhun (2018)

Masterfully directed by Sriram Raghavan, ‘Andhadhun’ weaves a suspenseful and intriguing tale around a musician feigning blindness, an affair that leads to murder, and its tumultuous cover-up. Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a talented pianist but pretends to be blind to add a unique touch to his work. One fateful night, Akash witnesses a shocking crime but keeps up his pretense, fearing for his safety.

As the increasingly suspicious culprits and police investigators close in around him, the film takes us through tense yet hilarious moments. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, ‘Andhadhun’ will enthrall those who liked ‘Merry Christmas’ as it is a widely acclaimed work originating from the same director. With its exquisitely crafted story, phenomenal performances, and darkly comedic undertones, this film is a must-watch for fans of cinema.

Read More: Merry Christmas Ending Explained: What Happens to Maria and Albert?