Even criminals are human beings, and sometimes, it’s the society around them that is responsible for them going on the wrong side of the law. In films, these circumstances can be shown, and we have come to love anti-hero characters almost as much as we love the traditionally righteous hero.

Let’s take a look at some such instances.


One of Subhash Ghai’s best films, Khalnayak saw Sanjay Dutt come into his own as an actor. The film received a Filmfare nomination for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Film. One of our favourite things about the movie was the title song itself, which describes Dutt’s character as a ‘zulmi bada dukhdayak’.


Shah Rukh Khan immortalized the words, “I love you, K..k..k..Kiran” through this film. It was also one of the most successful stalker films, and SRK’s ability to portray obsessive and mad lover earned all the credit for its success.


Another great gangster film, Sanjay Dutt’s performance as Raghu won him Filmfare award for the Best Actor. Out of all the scenes, the one where he  shows off his gold chain to his mother and says, ‘Pachaas Tola.’


The only 2017 film on this list, Raees sees Shah Rukh Khan play a liquor baron in a state where alcohol is banned. His performance hits all the right notes, and the last scene where he surrenders himself to get killed by Majmudar (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) left us teary-eyed.


Where is the Ram Gopal Verma that gave us films like this? Satya was a terrific film which made people stand up and take notice of Manoj Bajpayee as an actor. The ‘Mumbai Ka King Kaun?’ dialogue that he delivers standing alone on a cliff, is something only Bajpayee could have pulled off convincingly.