With the election season in India starting from April and people casting their votes. Many political films and web series related to leaders like our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Late NTR, Late Balasaheb Thackeray, Late Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Rahul Gandhi are releasing. We recommend some of the best political thrillers in Bollywood.
Leader, directed by Ram Mukherjee and written by the thespian Dilip Kumar himself and starring in the lead role. It was a box office bomb when it was released in the year 1964. At that time it received negative reviews who thought that it was too controversial. Despite all that it has managed to gain a cult following by being one of the earliest political films in Bollywood.
The film tells the story of a tabloid editor cum law student who gets smitten by a royal princess but gets embroiled in the murder of a politician during elections. Since being a political film surrounded by controversies at that time the production company ”Filmalaya” became bankrupt. Dilip Kumar won the Filmfare for the Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film.
2. Haasil 
No other film has portrayed college politics as real as possible as Tigmanshu Dhulia’s debut film Haasil. The film deals with violent politics by university students in India.
The plot revolves around Anirudh [Jimmy Sheirgill] whose love story with her college-mate Niharika [Hrishita Bhatt] gets embroiled due to a political rivalry between Ranvijay Singh [Irrfan] and Gauri Shankar Pandey [Ashutosh Rana] and how Ranvijay who loves Niharika tries to manipulate Anirudh by indulging in violent politics.
Upon release, the film received positive reviews from critics particularly Irrfan’s performance as Ranvijay Singh was singled out by critics. For his performance, Irrfan received the Filmfare Award for the Best Actor In A Negative Role. Despite all that acclaim and cult following it performed below average at the box office.
3. Shanghai 
Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai starring Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, Prosenjit Chatterjee , Emraan Hashmi is considered a first of its kind a proper political thriller modeled from American political thrillers.
When Dr. Ahmadi [Prosenjit Chatterjee] arrives in India to speak against the ruling party, a conspiracy to hatch his murder is planned in order to retrieve a video from Jogi [Emraan Hashmi] who has evidence against the ruling party.
The film recieved critical acclaim and was also a commercial success at the box office.
4. Raajneeti 
Prakash Jha’s retelling of the epic Mahabharata in a political context was widely appreciated by critics as well as audiences. With a huge star cast comprising Ajay Devgan,Ranbir Kapoor ,Katrina Kaif , Arjun Rampal , Manoj Vajpayee and Nana Patekar the film was a box office succcess
When families are shattered due to politics by Virendra Pratap [Manoj Bajpayee] it is up to Samar Pratap [Ranbir Kapoor] to join hands with his brother Prithviraj Pratap [Arjun Rampal] and Brij Rai [Nana Patekar] to stop Virendra and Sooraj [Ajay Devgan] who unbeknownst is the estranged brother of Samar and Prithvi.
The film was one of the biggest successes of the year 2010 and broke the myth that political films are box office flops in Bollywood.
5. Gulaal 
Anurag Kashyap’s hard-hitting and violent political thriller was based on real political events and a fictional Separatist movement of Rajputana province.
Dilip [Raj Singh Chaudhary] a law aspirant gets into the murky world of politics when he is ragged and abused by Jadwal [Pankaj Jha] and to avenge his friend Ransa [Abhimanyu Singh]’s death. Unaware of this Karan [Aditya Srivastava] and Kiran [Ayesha Mohan] who want to oust Dukey Banna [Kay Kay Menon] who is their stepbrother from heading the Rajputana Movement. A subplot involving Prithvi Banna [Piyush Mishra] and Ardhanariswara who wanted to become musicians is also shown in the film.
When released the film was a box office dud but received strong acclaim from critics for its performances, ending and its screenplay. The film is considered one of the best political films in Indian Cinema and was considered a comeback for Anurag Kashyap who was reeling under the failure of the polarising ”No Smoking”.