Must watch films by Raj Khosla who is known for bringing ‘neo-noir’ style in Indian cinema

Thanks to the director for introducing the Indian cinema to a new genre

Trained in classical music but born with a gift of filmmaking, Raj Khosla was counted among the great directors, producers, and screenwriters of Hindi cinema. From the 1950s till the late 1980s, Khosla revolutionized the face of Indian cinema by introducing the ‘neo-noir’ genre and style of filmmaking. Through this period of filmmaking, while dark crime drama with a unique cinematographic style made him a director ahead of his times both in terms of story and technically, Khosla also came to be known as ‘women’s director’ for showcasing his female leads in their best.

Having worked closely under the guidance of Guru Dutt as his assistant, a reflection of Dutt’s style thus is evident in Khosla’s filmmaking. Though Khosla’s directorial debut Milap, starring Dev Anand and Geeta Bali didn’t work at the box office, it was his second film, C.I.D. that got the ball rolling for the director. With an array of films to his credit, here is a list of a few of his films that we must watch.

This 1956 crime thriller starring Dev Anand, Johnny Walker, and WaheedaRehman was a box office success of the time. Anand as a police inspector investigating a murder case and Rehman playing a suspicious character in her screen debut gave Indian cinema one the ‘best thrillers to have ever come out of Hindi Cinema’. This film was a slick crime thriller that highlighted Khosla’s stylish shot taking and innovative song picturization, something that is said to have passed down from his mentor Guru Dutt.

A 1964 black-and-white psychological mystery thriller starring Sadhana, Manoj Kumar, and Prem Chopra gave the audience a good taste of the genre. The story begins with DrAnand, played by Manoj Kumar, embroiled into one after another spooky event involving Sandhya played by Sadhana. Each frame leads to intriguing scenes eventually taking the audience to a thunderous end revealing the plot.

Anotherthriller starring Sunil Dutt and Sadhana, this film is a remake of the Marathi film Pathlaag. The story begins with Thakur Rakesh Singh, played by Dutt, an affluent descendant of the royalty, a lawyer, and married to Geeta played by Sadhana. The story takes uphill with Singh returning back from London to witness his wife’s death in his hands. However, after a few months of mourning his wife’s death, Singh is greeted with the news of a bandit nabbed by the police who claim to be his wife. Well, the real drama begins here the bandit looks exactly like his dead wife.

Main TulsiTereAangan Ki
Unlike others, this is a drama film based on a Marathi novel titled AshiTujhiPreet by ChandrakantKakodkar. The film stars Nutan, Vinod Khanna and Asha Parekh in lead roles.

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