For all the claims (some of them by yours truly) of Bollywood being cliched, there have been movies that also gifted us interesting, surprising, and at times, thoroughly shocking plot twists.
So here’s a look at 26 of the most shocking plot twists from Hindi movies, ranked from the most predictable to the least:
26. Andaaz Apna Apna
Of course in the grand scheme of things, Raveena Karishma hai aur Karishma Raveena hai may not be the biggest plot twist. But it sure as hell was one of the more delightfully comic ones!
A pair of lenses may not be the best secret keeper, but it was enough to keep us intrigued as Ajay Sharma aka Vicky Malhotra went about killing anyone and everyone who stood in his way.
24. Talaash: The Answer Lies Within
Though at the end Talaash seemed less like a thriller and more like a PR exercise to change the way we view ghosts, it did make for an interesting watch.
While the film was a crime thriller and not a suspense drama, the moment Meera, and the audience, discover that Ammaji is actually a villain, was definitely shocking.
Though there were people who guessed the suspense, and the climax was all over the place, Wazir still remains an underrated gem, with fine performances by the entire star cast.
21. Race 1
While its sequels left a lot to be desired, the first film had a killer soundtrack and enough twists and turns, to keep you guessing right till the end. An Abbas-Mustan classic if there ever was one.
By the end of the film, I was still not sure if everything was planned or if it was just an ittefaq. But, it sure was one cool thriller, and the reveal in the song Mehboba Mehbooba is a ‘killer’ plot twist.
The real plot twist was to see Akshaye Khanna play a negative role with such natural ease!
18. Bhool Bhulaiyya
Before Dear Zindagi, it was Bhool Bhulaiyya that tried to address mental health issues and the way they are viewed in India – as superstitions. And the moment it is revealed that Avni, and not Radha, is the real culprit, is shocking, to say the least.
17. Karthik Calling Karthik
Yet another thriller that also tried to address the issue of mental health, Karthik Calling Karthik may have not translated the idea on-screen perfectly, but the plot twist did leave you gasping.
Though not groundbreaking in terms of the storyline, Ittefaq still proved to be a smartly crafted thriller, that kept you on the edge of your seat, right till the end, when the real killer is revealed.
Even though the film didn’t get the attention it deserved, Aankhen is one of Bollywood’s finer heist thrillers, with the ultimate climax!
14. Samay: When Time Strikes
Long before Aarya, Sushmita Sen played the protective mother and badass female lead (who needed no man) in Samay. Inspired by Brad Pitt’s Se7en, the film was not as shocking as the original, but the climax was not one that everyone could predict with ease.
13. Table No. 21
Offering a commentary on the far-reaching effects of bullying and ragging Table No. 21 had enough instance to genuinely creep you out, while the story held your interest long enough for the final reveal.
While it didn’t serve a novel storyline, it was still an entertaining thriller that made for a passable murder mystery.
The passing years may have made the film appear more melodramatic and less thrilling but no one can forget the moment when the actual killer is revealed.
10. Judgementall Hai Kya
Judgementall Hai Kya may have bitten off slightly more than it could chew, but this thriller with mental health as a subject, definitely left you a little blindsided when it revealed the killer. Of course, Ranaut and Rao’s fine performances elevated the film further.
9. Manorama Six Feet Under
Though the film was not a hit at the time of its release, it went on to acquire cult status, thanks to its commentary on society, and of course, its ability to hold your interest despite the slow pace.
8. Woh Kaun Thi?
One of Bollywood’s earliest thrillers, this 1964 black-and-white mystery has stood the test of time to still remain just as suspenseful. And while many TV shows have attempted to use the ‘twin’ reveal as a plot twist, few, if any, have come close to the original.
7. Special 26
After delivering one of the finest directorial debuts with A Wednesday, Neeraj Pandey hit it out of the park with Special 26, yet again. From a crisp plotline to a stellar star cast, this heist thriller had everything going for it.
Drishyam is easily one of the better Hindi adaptations of a Malayalam thriller. Its brilliance lay in the fact that despite having seen the original, the adaptation still held your interest, right till the end when the location of the bodies is revealed.
A film that sent shivers down my spine the first time I saw it, Ugly is one of Kashyap’s finest works to date.
I’m forever surprised by the fact that Buffmaster didn’t get the kind of attention it deserved, because no one, absolutely no one, could have imagined Roy’s last heist to just be a movie, within a movie. Also, what a soundtrack – the remixes and the originals.
Urmila Matondkar delivered one of her career-best performances in Kaun?, and Manoj Bajpayee perfected the depiction of a creepy house-guest. And yet, none could hold a candle to the plot reveal about who was the actual killer.
A female-led thriller that impressed one and all, Kahaani was a game-changer when it came to mainstream cinema. Because finally, the hero of the story, was the story! And Sujoy Ghosh deserves all the applause for actually using pregnancy as a plot twist, instead of just another dramatic point in the story.
Personally, Kahaani and Andhadhun tie for the first position in my books. But that open-ending that convinced you to rewatch the film and figure out the clues is something Raghavan pulled off with aplomb in Andhadhun.
Which plot twist were you shocked by the most? Let us know in the comments section below.