Ankhein To Pathaan, India’s Spy Thrillers Through The Ages

New Delhi: Spy thrillers seem to be the flavour of the season when it comes to Hindi films and OTT. There has been a plethora of movies and web series based on RAW agents on secret intelligence missions, some fictional and some real. Much before the latest film ‘Pathaan’ raked in crores, we’ve had our share of spy movies.


A Spy Thriller from 1968, was perhaps the first movie to be made in this genre. Produced and directed by Ramanand Sagar it is one of the pioneers in spy films. Dharmendra plays the quintessential spy. The film was shot in Lebanon and Japan. Ankhein had all the tropes that are often seen in spy movies. The double agents, the femme fatales, the secluded island that holds the key to the mystery and the trickster who has been fooling everyone but is discovered only by the hero. Mala Sinha plays the female lead.

Tiger Zinda Hai

This Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif movie is the sequel to 2012’s spy thriller, Ek Tha Tiger. The story illustrates the life of a RAW agent code-named ‘Tiger’ who gets the assignment of saving a group of Indian nurses from the hands of a terrorist group.


The Alia Bhatt starrer spy flick won the national award for best movie. Alia gave one of her best performances. The story is that of an Indian spy, who gets married to a Pakistani official to collect intel information for the nation.

Naam Shabana

The spin-off movie of Akshay Kumar’s Baby, Naam Shabana is a woman-oriented movie that shows the struggle of a girl named Shabana in her journey of becoming an intel agent. The film traces her back story answering the questions that had sprouted after the first film.

Agent Vinod

Agent Vinod is an action spy movie, which came in 2012. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor were seen in the lead roles. The movie revolves around the secret of the death of Rajan. Agent Vinod goes on a secret mission to find this conspiracy where he meets a Pakistani doctor (Kareena Kapoor), and they both carry out this mission. Prem Chopra, Ravi Kishan, Aadil Hussain, and Ram Kapoor are also in the supporting cast. The movie is set in different locations like Afghanistan and Morocco.


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