All the best casino-themed Bollywood movies to enjoy
Bollywood puts such a gorgeous flair in their movies, that sometimes only the bright, dramatic and predictable Hindi-language films will do. Christened “Bollywood” after the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) where the industry is based, Bollywood is now the world’s largest film industry in terms of output and reach, appealing to movie enthusiasts all over the world.
What’s the draw? Bollywood doesn’t shy away from over-the-top delivery productions. With giddy, swoony romances, elaborate soundtracks, shockingly gorgeous actors and melodramatic plot twists, Bollywood flicks are just plain fun.
Why we love gambling in Bollywood
The heightened emotions and excitement of a great Bollywood film lend beautifully to one of our very favorite tropes: beating the odds at gambling. There’s something borderline magical about the underdog who figures out how to come out on top when the odds are stacked against them.
Teen Patti follows Venkat Subramanyam (Amitabh Bachchan), an unconventional math professor whose thesis on probability can be best demonstrated with the popular Indian card game of Teen Patti (translated as “Three Cards”).
After first testing his theories through online gambling sites, Venkat proves his thesis by roping in three of his star pupils in hopes of winning big. Venkat and his team learn hand signals, don disguises, and soon clean out Mumbai’s illicit card clubs. Naturally, when the mob catches wind of their good fortune, trouble ensues.
Filmmaker/co-writer Leena Yadav delivers a stellar cast, including Bollywood megastar Bachchan and Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley as well as Madhavan, Raima Sen, and Shraddha Kapoor in her film debut. Catching Bachchan and Kingsley together in a film is reason alone to check out Teen Patti, along with the soundtrack by Salim-Sulaiman.
Produced and directed by Chandan Arora, Striker is based on a true story. Born into a poor family, Suryakant Sarang (Siddharth Narayan) is often forced to miss school due to his poor health. To keep the boredom at bay, Surya’s older brother, Chandrakant (Anup Soni), introduces him to carrom, a sport-based tabletop game. Surya is instantly hooked and wins the Junior Carrom Championship at the age of 12.
As Surya grows older, his love for the game takes him to the darker, dangerous territory when he loses all of his money and takes on the underground carrom hustling scene.
Siddharth Narayan is a Bollywood legend, who attracted fans to the critically acclaimed film. Striker was the first-ever Indian film to premiere on YouTube internationally on the same day as its domestic theatrical release.
A huge success worldwide, the 2008 Indian crime romance film Jannat (translated as Heaven) was directed by Kunal Deshmukh and produced by Mukesh Bhatt. Jannat follows Arjun (Emraan Hashmi), a street-smart youngster seeking a quick buck.
Upon a chance meeting with Zoya (Sonal Chauhan), Arjun is instantly smitten. Deciding that he needs to be rich to win Zoya over, Arjun steps up from playing small-time card games to become a bookie, then a runner for the mafia.
Eventually, Arjun moves into the world of match-fixing, continually pursuing bigger, better, faster, and more, until his dizzying rise attracts the attention of the police. Arjun has to now choose between the love of his life, Zoya, and this newfound success and power.
Jannat’s commercial success was amplified by its chart-topping soundtrack. Most notably, Kamran Ahmed wrote, sung and composed the smash hit Judaai, which won him the MTV Breakthrough Artist Award.