Going by the number of military intelligence and espionage films Bollywood is churning out, it looks like the industry's spy loving phase is far from over.
The Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff-starrer War, which releases tomorrow, promises to be a high-intensity clash between two elite operatives. In the desi digital space too, spy stories have made a debut with Amazon Prime and Netflix's respective recent releases The Family Man and Bard of Blood.
And why not? It's drama, action and intrigue against the backdrop of patriotism and national service – a sure shot formula to capture audiences' attention that has filmmakers belting out spy stories in succession.
A hot Bollywood favourite in the Sixties, the genre reemerged actively in 2012. Saif Ali Khan became Agent Vinod, Vidya Balan was the unassuming undercover agent in Kahaani, and Salman Khan turned RAW agent in the massively successful Ek Tha Tiger. In the last few years, plots focused of various facets of the intelligence network and their committed operatives have been explored in 2013's Madras Cafe and D-Day, Baby and Phantom released in 2015, Naam Shabana (2017) and Raazi (2018). Earlier this year, Arjun Kapoor's India’s Most Wanted and Romeo Akbar Walter starring John Abraham have made it to the roster of films about intelligence personnel.
Contemporary desi espionage films have become more thorough, representational and detail-oriented than the earlier attempts where the world of secret intelligence was fluid with a steady interchangeability between spies and undercover agents from the CBI and CID. But what these films lacked in authenticity, they made up in imagination and entertainment. Here's a look at some of the major and obscure Bolly spy movies.