As the release date of the recently launched streaming platform Spark OTT’s upcoming road thriller venture titled ‘Cab Stories’ (a story of four different people traveling in a cab) was unveiled earlier today (its digital arrival is set for May 28 on Spark OTT), we give you a rundown of drama/thriller-genre films which were narrated by way of featuring a road journey.
A decent number of films spanning multiple genres have been made, revolving around a road journey. The list includes some prominent Indian films such as ‘Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin’, ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, ‘Piku’, ‘Karwaan’ and ‘Chalo Dilli’, to name a few. However, for the sake of sticking to the drama-thriller genre, we have recollected in this article a few good road-drama-thriller films.
One of the earlier and also one of the most underappreciated films to come out in road-drama-thriller category of films is Ram Gopal Varma’s directorial ‘Daud’. With a truly ensemble cast including Sanjay Dutt, Urmila Matondkar, Paresh Rawal, Manoj Bajpayee and Ashish Vidyarthi, the film was essentially an action-comedy with intermittent glimpses of thriller elements. ‘Daud’ followed a thief’s (Sanjay Dutt) assignment to deliver a mysterious package to a sadistic criminal (Paresh Rawal). In his misadventures, he is accompanied by a beautiful but street-smart woman (Urmila Matondkar). The film’s music was given by the legendary A. R. Rahman.
Another film from RGV’s movie factory was the 2002 film ‘Road’ starring an extremely talented cast including Manoj Bajpayee, Vivek Oberoi, and Antara Mali. Helmed by Rajat Mukherjee, the film revolved around a couple, who encounter an eccentric hitchhiker on their way to Jodhpur. Eventually, the couple realizes that they got more than what they had bargained for. Probably an acquired taste but an interesting watch, nevertheless.
There was also a film starring John Abraham and Nana Patekar titled ‘Taxi No. 9 2 11’, where a taxi-cab ride in the film’s beginning played an important role for the rest of the story. The film was directed by Milan Luthria (Director – ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’), produced by Ramesh Sippy and Rohan Sippy while the screenplay was written by Rajat Arora and Sriram Raghavan (Director – ‘Andhadhun’).
Do you remember Abhay Deol’s 2007 film ‘Manorama: Six Feet Under’? The underrated noir film was directed by Navdeep Singh, who, after a hiatus of eight years, had helmed the Anushka Sharma starrer ‘NH 10’. As the title suggests, ‘NH 10’ was a road film, adeptly executed in a thriller format. The film followed a married couple whose leisure trip suddenly takes an unexpected turn, when the husband’s chance encounter with a violent gang makes the road journey their worst nightmare. The hard-hitting film also featured Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumar, and Deepti Naval in prominent roles.
And the last but certainly not the least is Imtiaz Ali’s brilliant road film ‘Highway’. Before featuring in films like ‘Raazi’, ‘Dear Zindagi’ and ‘Gully Boy’, ‘Highway’ was the film that showcased the versatile performer Alia Bhatt’s nuanced acting skills. It is perhaps also Imtiaz Ali’s best (at par with ‘Jab We Met’) and the most undervalued film to date. Adapted from Imtiaz Ali’s own story from the endearing ‘Rishtey’ Zee TV series, ‘Highway’ followed the story of a rich city girl, who gets kidnapped (by Randeep Hooda) but gradually begins to develop a unique, and borderline romantic, bond with her abductor, for reasons mentioned later.
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