Naagin 4 is upon us. Bollywood loves Naagins, the icchadari variety, at least. Through the seventies to the nineties, we have had several Naagin movies, but that somehow petered down in the bold 20s. But then, Ekta Kapoor came up with her series, Naagin. Since then, its become a staple of the world of television. As we await the fourth season of the blockbuster series, I compile a list of the top Nagin movies ever released.
Not the movie that started it all, but the one that reinvigorated the genre. The Sridevi-Rishi Kapoor starrer was a smash-hit at the box office and also one of the first franchises. The movie had a sequel, Nigahein and gave rise to several other smalltime movies in the same mold.
In the movie, Sridevi is the icchadhari nagin who falls in love with a mortal, a rich businessman named Rajiv. However, an evil tantric, Bhairo Nath (Amrish Puri) wants her to give him the naagmani, so he can become the most powerful man in the world. Sridevi won accolades for her portrayal of a pati-vrata wife and a powerful if a sympathetic keeper of powerful objects. Harmesh Malhotra directs a screenplay by Ravi Kapoor. The original story is by Jagmohan Kapoor.
Watch Nagina for free on YouTube:
This Reena Roy starrer with a multi-star cast is the one that introduced the entire concept of the icchadhari naagin with a literal elaborate song and dance. Along with Reena, the movie starred Jeetendra, Sunil Dutt, Ranjeet, Kabir Bedi, Vinod Mehra, Rekha, Mumtaz and others.
The big star cast sends you in a tizzy. The story’s simple. Four friends are out on a hunt and mistakenly kill a male snake. The female snake promises revenge. As the friends die one by one, they start looking for ways to get out of the curse. Maybe the only movie in which Ranjeet plays a positive role.
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Sheshaag released in 1990 and introduced the icchadari naagin aspect to newer audiences. This time, Rekha and Madhavi played the icchadari nagins and the Danny Dengzongpa played the evil mendicant. Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra and Mandakini were part of the cast as well. K.R Reddy directs the movie.
The story of this movie has a few more layers. Rekha plays a submissive wife, Champa, who looks after her simpleton brother Bhola (Rishi Kapoor). Meanwhile, a powerful mendicant, Aghoori (Danny) is in search of the all-powerful naagmani, but an icchadhari naagin , Banu(Madhavi) won’t let him get his hands on it. She and her companion, Pritam (Jeetendra) are shapeshifting snakes who guard a treasure. Bhola runs into trouble when he saves Banu from Aghoori’s clutches.
The movie’s high on sensuality, with Rekha, Madhavi and Mandakini having a couple of glamor songs and dream sequence songs. Rekha. as usual, makes complete use of her character to dress up in some fantastic costumes and so does Madhavi.
Watch Sheshnaag for free on YouTube:
This is the first Bollywood sequel and is a straightforward one at that. In this movie, Sridevi plays the daughter, Neelam, the original naagin, who later inherits her mother’s powers and battles Bhairon Nath’s brother, Gorakh Nath, who wants the naagmani for himself. In the movie, Rishi Kapoor and Amrish Puri have cameos. There’s an interesting sequence where Bhairo Nath speaks to his brother, Gorakh Nath and tells him not to puruse the Naagmani. Sunny Deol plays the male lead, Anand, another boy who Gorakh Nath kidnaps in his childhood and forces him to get close to Neelam.
Watch Nigahen for free on YouTube:
The most hyped Bollywood about shape-shifting snakes, hands down. After all, the director of this movie was Jennifer Lynch, David Lynch’s daughter. The movie was critically panned. To this day, Jennifer Lynch says that she had no say in the final cut of the movie. In an interview, she said that though she shot the movie, she didn’t edit, color code or do any of the other things that a director does to make a movie theirs.
Mallika Sherawat plays the lead role of a female nagin who’s hounded by a man who thinks she can cure his cancer. The movie has many aspects to it, including avenging exploited women.
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