Satyajit Ray was a pioneer of science films in India.
By Dileep Thekkethil
As the anticipated Tamil language science fiction thriller film ‘24’, written and directed by Vikram Kumar, starring Suriya, Samantha and Nithya Menen opens in theaters in the US and India today, here’s a look at the top science fiction films made in India.
However, Indian cinema has a lot to improve when it comes to making science fiction films. This doesn’t mean that the country lacks creative people and firms capable of making top notch ones. The perfect example for this is Prime Focus, the Indian company behind the VFX of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which won Academy Award winner for Best Visual Effects.
One major factor that pulls back the industry from making quality science fiction films are budget constraints. Ace Bengali director Satyajit Ray was the pioneer of science fiction films in India. The Alien was a science fiction film under production in the late 1960s, directed by Ray, but eventually the project was cancelled.
Mr. India is considered as the first major sci-fi Indian film, which was a huge success and an inspiration for others to make such films. Over the last few decades, a number of science fiction films got released, but only a very few could garner attention at the box office.
Here are the 10 most notable Indian sci-fi films, regardless of their box office success.
Enthiran, directed by S. Shankar, with Rajinikanth in the lead, tells the story of a scientist and his android humanoid that goes out of its master’s control. The film was a huge success and one of the highest grossing Tamil films.
PK, the sci-fi satirical comedy directed by Rajkumar Hirani with Aamir Khan in the lead role, was a highly successful film. Even though the movie is considered sci-fi, there are only a few scenes that needed intense VFX.
Creature 3D (Hindi)
Creature 3D is India’s first 3D monster sci-fi film, with Bipasha Basu and Pakistani actor Imran Abbas Naqvi in lead roles. The film, directed by Vikram Bhatt, was a big flop receiving poor reviews from critics.
“I” the sci-fi romantic thriller film written and directed by Shankar with actor Vikram in the lead role, was successful at the box office. Vikram played the lead role of a bodybuilder-turned-model who is injected with a strange virus that makes him ugly and horrible. The film was stunning mainly for Vikram’s makeover.
Krrish 3 (Hindi)
Krrish 3 was a superhero sci-fi movie, and a sequel to 2006 movie Krrish. It told the story of Rohit Mehra, a scientist, and his son Krishna “Krrish”, who has some special skills.
Ra One (Hindi)
Ra One was a 2011 superhero film starring Shahrukh Khan as a game character who comes out of the computer to help his creator’s son fight a demon who also comes out of the game. The movie broke a number of opening box office records, though it failed to sustain at the box office after its extended opening weekend.
7aum Arivu (Tamil)
7aum Arivu, the science fiction thriller, directed by A R Murgadoss, starred Suriya in the lead role. The film tells the story of a man whose DNA is cloned with one of his predecessor’s DNA so that he gets the abilities of his ancestor who happens to be a master of martial arts and medical remedies.
Athishayan, the Malayalam sci-fi film directed by Vinayan, starring Master Devadas, was made as an Indian version of the Hollywood sci-fi film Hulk. The film got largely negative reviews, but it was dubbed and released in Hindi as Naya Ajooba in 2009. The film also marked Jackie Shroff’s entry to Malayalam cinema as an eccentric scientist.
Koi… Mil Gaya (Hindi)
Koi…Mil Gaya is a 2003 alien sci-fi film directed by Rakesh Roshan starring his son Hrithik Roshan, Rekha and Preity Zinta. The film tells the story of a mentally ill young boy Rohit Mehra, who encounters an alien who makes him physically and mentally smart and strong. Krrish and Krrish 2 are sequels of this film, which was a blockbuster.
Dasavathaaram, the Tamil science fiction film directed by K. S. Ravikumar, starring Kamal Haasan in 10 different roles, tells how a deadly combination of medicine is used as a bio weapon. The story deals with Chaos theory and Butterfly effect of the events that took place in 12th century Tamil Nadu.