Bollywood is known for many things. It’s known for huge song and dance numbers that take days to shoot, for its dramatic love stories, for spectacular battles, and glamorous stars. Bollywood is renowned for churning out far more films than its western counterpart Hollywood does. The content of the films is often high stakes, with pressure ramped up at key moments. So, it makes sense that there’s a good range of scenes to reflect this tension. So, what are some of the best of these scenes from Bollywood?
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Why Do We Like Casino Scenes in Bollywood?
The fact that casinos are so universally understood allows them to be used for a variety of scenes in Bollywood films. Most people have some knowledge of classic games, and thanks to the growth of iGaming, many people have played the games themselves.
The fact that the viewer of the films can engage with similar games, such as roulette, poker, and blackjack at Genesis Casino, helps make their inclusion in scenes much more effective. Audiences can watch Amitabh Bachchan use his skills in 1979’s The Great Gambler to evade the underworld, and then go online and play the same games themselves, grounding the film in reality.
Teen Patti (2010)
Leena Yadav’s 2010 film Teen Patti (Three Cards) focuses on math professor Venkat who aims to showcase ground-breaking work on probability through playing the game Teen Patti. The film features Venkat and his students embracing the probability theories and testing them out at various establishments throughout Mumbai.
But as is typical of a high-stakes film such as this, the mob soon begins to suspect Venkat is out to fleece them and not merely trying to prove his thesis. The backdrop adds heightened tension, which culminates in encounters with the underworld. Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley also features.
Bang Bang! (2014)
Based on the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz 2010 film Knight and Day, Bang Bang! is a love story wrapped up in an action movie. The film received positive reviews for the chemistry onscreen between Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif and for featuring scenes that hadn’t been seen in many Hindi-language films before. The film’s pace was also praised, and while some of the critics felt the plot was all style and no substance, most enjoyed the high octane adventure.
The plot revolves around a chase for a diamond in which the stars are swept up in. One of the most striking scenes of the film featured a roulette scene. The tension of the roulette game blended well with the passion of the couple as they tracked down the film’s villain. The scene helped set the scene and gave a James Bond-feel to the action thriller. The film’s chase for a rare diamond and the love story between the leads at times felt as though they were betting on a single number slot against all odds, so the scene fit in well.
Chandan Arora’s Striker stars Siddharth Narayan as Suryakant who hopes to use his skill at the game carrom to rise to the top. After some success in his youth, Suryakant hopes to take on the big boys of carrom but begins wading into ever more dangerous territory. The film focuses on Suryakant himself and how his innate abilities help him not only be successful at playing carrom, but at navigating the drama that life throws his way.
The film used the classic game that many will have played and even aired the entire feature on YouTube at the same time as its cinematic release to help connect audiences and steep the film in realism. It was the first-ever Indian film to be released in this way.
High-stakes scenes can be wrought with tension and incorporating them into an already stressful storyline only compounds this. That’s why they can be so effective at drawing on an audience’s emotion. Add to this the ability for the audience to then engage with similar games themselves, which helps to ground the characters in realism. Bollywood makes so many films every year that some are bound to take aspects of everyday life and add a cinematic twist to them.