Marvel Studios have created a sensation all around the world with their insanely ambitious project, Avengers: Infinity War. People all over the globe are raving about the movie and it has already broken all records worldwide. At the last count it had garnered Rs 213 crore in the India market alone. Worldwide, it has earned some 1.6 billion dollars. That’s insane earnings alright. The film managed to bring a massive number of 23 superheroes to share the screen space and still keep it intensely gripping. Marvel Studios have performed the task of bringing the favourite comic book characters to life, a job which a decade ago seemed impossible.
Superhero films have always intrigued movie-goers right from the beginning. The thrill of watching a man with enhanced abilities going around fighting and protecting the ordinary citizens has always fascinated the audience. From the web shooting Spider-Man to the brooding caped crusader Batman, we have all been fans of these superheroes and have secretly wished to be bestowed with some superpower! Surprisingly,
Bollywood has also ventured out to explore the superhero genre a few times. We too have a fair share of superheroes we can count on to save the planet from getting destroyed! Bollywood has managed to break the idea of a stereotypical masala flick as more and more makers are trying out this kind of films. While a lot of these films did not fare so well, some of them have become iconic in their own rights and given another muscular, sharp-witted, swift superhero for the kids to look up to. Here is a list of the most memorable superheroes in Bollywood!
1. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero (2018)
This is the latest film to join the superhero bandwagon and comes out on May 25. The film revolves around a young man who is determined to do the right thing and challenges anyone who resorts to illegal means. When he faces obstacles from the corrupt authorities, he becomes determined to bring justice and undergoes rigorous training. After much trial and error, what emerges is a vigilante hell bent on overthrowing corruption. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and produced under the banner of Phantom films, the film stars Anil Kapoor’s son Harshvardhan Kapoor in the lead role. Harsh would surely want to put the failure of his debut film Mirzya behind him. Expectations from the film are already set high as it has been a while since the superhero genre has been attempted again in India. Director Motwane has already delivered critically acclaimed films like Trapped and Udaan and we are all excited about him venturing out in this category.
2. A Flying Jatt (2016)
Director-Choreographer Remo D’Souza shifted away from his dance-themed movies and experimented with something new this time. He brought to the big screen his vision of a superhero who is not perfect but is constantly evolving. A superhero who does not instantly know the solution to every predicament but is always willing to help. A superhero who is not the bravest but has a heart of gold. Remo D’Souza handed the mantle of this shy and timid superhero to Tiger Shroff and created a light-hearted family film. This movie brought to the big screen a refreshingly realistic and humorous take on the usually dark and serious superhero movies. Tiger Shroff was the perfect choice for this movie and he essayed the role of a newbie superhero perfectly. Despite his character’s timidness, he fitted the role of a muscular and agile superhero who can rise up to protect the people he loves. The film performed below expectations and could only garner Rs 38.61 crores at the box office.
3. Mr. X (2015)
The Emraan Hashmi starrer film directed by Vikram Bhatt seems to be hugely inspired fromMr. India, as this one too takes on the concept of invisibility. The plot revolves around Raghu who is involved in an accident in a factory which leaves him charred. To recover from the accident, Raghu drinks an untested potion. The potion reacts erratically and turns Raghu invisible to the naked eye and he is only visible under direct sunlight or black light. With his newfound abilities, Raghu becomes a crime-fighting vigilante, who takes on the people who have been harassing him and his loved ones. The film, however, did not impress at the box office and was reviewed negatively by the critics.
4. Ra.One (2011)
Ra.One is one of the most popular superhero movies in Bollywood and rightly so. Having King Khan himself play the role of a superhero is the dream come true of millions of his fans and it was made possible by director Anubhav Sinha. At a budget of Rs 220 crores, Ra.One was one of the most expensive superhero movies ever made in India. Shah Rukh Khan took on the project and his production company Red Chilies focused solely on this film and refused to accept any new projects. The film is about a computer game character who takes on physical form to destroy a player who nearly beat him but quit the game in between. The Visual Effects won the praise from many for this film and even won a national award and a Filmfare award for its technical aspects. However, the film was accused of plagiarism and was said to have taken ideas from movies such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), the Batman series, Iron Man (2008) etc. Shah Rukh Khan denied any plagiarism accusations and said “I got inspired from a lot of superhero movies but the movie is original. In fact, Ra.One will be the first superhero-based movie in the world in which the superhero lives in a family.” The film featured even featured a cameo by Rajinikanth who reprised his character Chitti from his own superhero film, Robot.
5. Drona (2008)
This was a superhero film that delved into the concept of mystical energies. The film starred Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra in lead roles and had Jaya Bachchan playing a supporting character while Kay Kay Menon was the main villain. The film was in the news even before release for the huge amount spent on special effects, martial arts and other fight sequences. Despite its star-studded cast, the film did not fare well at the box office. Made at a budget of Rs 45 Crores, it could recover less than Rs 15 Crores and was announced as a commercial failure.
6. Krrish (2006)
Krrish became an iconic superhero and gave a good competition to the masked vigilantes of Hollywood. This was a sequel to Koi…Mil Gaya which told the story of Rohit Mehra whose father was on the brink on making contact with extraterrestrial life before he was killed in a car accident. The same car accident caused Rohit to have a lower mental capacity as he suffered an injury to his head while in his mother’s womb. Years later Rohit uses his father’s technology and unknowingly summons the aliens. Rohit befriends an alien and gains superpowers from him. Krrish continues the story with Rohit’s son Krrishna who inherits the superpowers from his father and wants to use his powers for a good purpose. Krrish has super strength, ability to leap great heights and flight powers. The film, directed by Rakesh Roshan paired Hrithik with Priyanka Chopra, and became a blockbuster hit. In 2013, a sequel to Krrish called Krrish 3 got released. Apart from Hrithik and Priyanka reprising their roles, the film also had Vivek Oberoi as a super villain and Kangana Ranaut as a shapeshifter. Krrish is the most iconic and beloved superhero in India and the fact that it is played by Hritik Roshan only makes it better. There are plans to make another sequel called Krrish 4 in the pipeline.
7. Ajooba (1991)
After the success of Shahenshah, Amitabh Bachchan returned to the big screen to take the mantle of a superhero yet again in Shashi Kapoor’s Ajooba. This is a story of Ajooba, the masked legend, who was treated as the only protector of the people of Baharistan. Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of Ajooba, the real heir to the kingdom of Baharistan and find his way to the throne. The film was made at a massive budget of Rs 8 Crores at the time and included a star cast of Dimple Kapadia, Sonam, Rishi Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor. The film did not run successfully at the theatres upon its release but later covered its cost through the satellite rights. This film also served as a diplomatic movie to strengthen the relations between the Soviet Union and India as it is co-directed by Gennady Vasilyev and stars many Russian stars.
8. Shahenshah (1988)
The film that gave us the famous dialogue “Rishtey mein hum tumharebaaplagtey hai…naam hai Shahenshah” is the next on our list of superhero film made in Bollywood. This film marked the return of Big B to the silver screen after a hiatus of three years during which the actor ventured into politics. Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of Vijay who is a corrupt officer by day, but turns into a vigilante by night in order to make the city crime free. Directed by Tinnu Anand and written by Big B’s wife Jaya Bachchan, this movie became the second highest grosser that year and was also acclaimed for Bachchan’s mesmerizing performance as a comic policeman and a crime fighting superhero. His body armour and hairstyle as Shahenshah became a rage amongst Amitabh’s fans. It was one of his last big hits when he was still appearing as a leading man. This movie was following the trend of superhero movies set by Mr. India in 1987 and it hit home with its brilliant dialogue and a stellar performance by Amitabh Bachchan.
9. Mr India (1987)
Mr. India is to this date regarded as the best superhero movie ever made in this country. Even today the film is loved by old and young alike. It was directed by Shekhar Kapur and had Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Amrish Puri in the lead roles. Anil Kapoor plays the role of a young man, Arun, who gains possession of a mysterious watch made by his father that allows him to turn invisible to the eye except when seen from a red filter. He uses these new found powers to fight crime and bring justice. He faces his greatest challenge when supervillain Mogambo kidnaps his loved ones and it is upto Arun to save them. The film was the highest grosser in 1987 and gave us one of the most memorable and menacing villains of Bollywood, Mogambo. The line ‘Mogambo Khush Hua’ has gone down in history as one of the most popular dialogue ever. The song Kaatenahikatte picturised on Sridevi and Anil Kapoor is one of the most sensuous songs picturised in India. There were talks of sequels and remakes but nothing materialised. We would love to see a new age Mr India for sure.
10. Superman (1987)
Yes! Believe it or not, we have made our very own Desi Superman film with Puneet Issar essaying the role of our favourite superhero. It adapts the story created by DC comics and gives it an Indian twist. The film tells the story of a young baby from the doomed planet Krypton who is sent to Earth, where he is adopted by an elderly couple in India who name him Shekhar. After growing to an adult and learning about his origins and powers, he tries to stop the evil plans of villain Verma. The film stars Urmila Bhatt, Dharmendra, Sonia Sahni and Ranjeeta Kaur besides Issar and was directed by B. Gupta. The film was a low budget take on the red-caped hero and turned out to be a disaster at the box office with the makers being accused of blatantly having used scenes from the original Christopher Reeves Superman film in the movie.
11. Shiva Ka Insaaf (1985)
One of India’s earliest superhero movies was a 3D movie titled Shiva Ka Insaaf starring Jackie Shroff and Poonam Dhillon in lead roles. The film is about a child who is raised by his father’s friends after his father is killed by a man named Jaffna. The men who raise the child, Bhola, teach him the art of combat. They also provide him with supernatural weapons to help him to avenge his parents’ death. This was one of the first few films to have incorporated the 3D technology in India when it was just starting to emerge.
12. Elaan (1971)
The last title on our list is Elaan which is believed to be the first movie ever to be made in this genre and is said to have hugely inspired the makers of Mr. India. Like Mr India, it had invisibility at its centre. The film’s hero gets a ring which grants him invisibility if he puts the ring in his mouth. The catch is that he has to be completely naked to achieve that. He does turn into a vigilante but has to scramble for clothes every time he wants to be visible, leading to some major slapstick in the process. The film starred Vinod Mehra, Vinod Khanna, Rekha and Madan Puri and was directed by K. Ramanlal. Interestingly, the rights to the film are currently with Shah Rukh Khan’s production company Red Chilies. We wonder if the the actor plans to remake the film anytime soon.