Golden Era

Parinda (1989)

Parinda was the first realistic gangster film in Hindi cinema, and it spawned a whole new genre of thrillers. It is a story about two brothers trapped in the gang war, and the conflicting pull of duty and family. Even now, Underworld slang in Bombay borrows from dialogue in this film.

Parinda was a critical and commercial hit, and the official Indian entry for the Oscars that year.

Cast: Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Madhuri Dixit, Anupam Kher



Kishen (Jackie Shroff) the henchman of a psychotic don, Anna (Nana Patekar) tries to keep his younger brother Karan (Anil Kapoor) away from the world of crime by sending him abroad. Karan is best friends with a cop Prakash (Anupam Kher) and in love with his sister Paro (Madhuri Dixit). Karan comes back to Bombay and fixes up to meet Prakash.

Anna’s gang kills Prakash in front of Karan. Karan is shocked to know of his brother’s involvement with Anna’s gang and against Kishen’s wishes joins the gang to get revenge for Prakash’s killing and starts giving tip offs to the rival gang playing one gang off against the other. Kishen gets Karan married to Paro and convinces him to get away from it all but Karan and Paro are brutally killed on their wedding night.

Kishen finally takes revenge for Karan’s death by turning against Anna and setting him ablaze.

Jackie Shroff was awarded the Best Actor award at Filmfare Awards. Superb acting by Nana Patekar as Anna, the underworld boss. Supported by a great cast of Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Suresh Oberoi, Anupam Kher.

The film has an energetic pace, abundant emotional charge and bravura cinematography. Right from the almost lyrical opening introducing the viewer to Bombay, Parinda proves that a slickly well made film can be equally gut wrenching as it also tries to understand the human side of the underworld.

The ambiance of the underworld of Bombay and the gang war sequences both behind and in front of the warfront have rarely been captured better. Shooting on location gives the film its unique Bambaiya flavour and style. The film is a brave effort by director Vinod Chopra to bring a logical sensibility to mainstream Hindi Cinema and to prove that better films can be made within the commercial network and what’s more the film more than succeeds in getting this point across.

The highlight of the film is its technical slickness – the soundtrack, cinematography and the editing. The film is brilliantly shot with dynamic low angle tracking shots, tight close ups and excellent use of the tele-lens. The razor sharp editing keeps the unflagging pace of the film without letting up.

Today there are again efforts in mainstream Hindi Cinema to make realistic films about the underworld – Satya (1998) and Vaastav (1999) to name two good efforts, but cinematically Parinda remains the most powerful of them all.

Other Credits

Written, Produced and Directed by : Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Executive Producer : H.L. Saluja
Story : Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Screenplay : Shivkumar Subramaniam
Dialogue : Imtiaz Hussain
Music : Rahul Dev Burman
Cinematography : Binod Pradhan
Editing : Renu Saluja
Art Direction : Nitin Chandrakant Desai, Nitish Roy
Production Controller : Anil Davda


India’s official entry for 1990 ACADEMY AWARD for Best Foreign Language Film


• Best Direction • Best Screenplay • Best Editing • Best Actor • Best Supporting


• Best Supporting Actor • Best Editing

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