Police sirens following a bunch of gangsters have always caught the fancy of movie-goers. Bollywood filmmakers can't help but get inspired by local mafia activities. Over the years Bollywood has produced some good films about gangsters.

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, who is considered the pioneer of gangster flicks, returns this week with Sarkar Raj. The film is a sequel to the Godfather-inspired Sarkar and stars most of the Bachchan clan — Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya, together for the first time. As if this isn't enough, Varma's next flick is called Contract and depicts the nexus of the mafia and international terrorism.

With a steady dose of mafia flicks on its way, tabloid!
takes a look at Bollywood's 10 best gangster flicks, movies that left a lasting impression with their realistic depiction and raw narrative style.

Deewar (1975)

This is a classic film of two brothers played by Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor, who end up on the opposite sides of the law. Bachchan is superb as a dockyard
worker who joins the underworld to become a smuggler. His role was based on real- life gangster Haji Mastan Mirza. The film became an overnight sensation with its memorable dialogue penned by the writer duo Salim-Javed, and Yash Chopra's path-breaking direction.

Velu Nayagan (Nayagan in Tamil) (1987)

This is originally a Tamil film dubbed in Hindi as Velu Nayagan, a decade after it attained a cult status in Indian cinema. But unfortunately, the audience was already
subjected to a shoddy remake version, Dayavaan, made by Feroze Khan in 1988. This Kamal Hassan starrer is one of Mani Ratnam's most defining pieces of cinema in his
illustrious career. The film is based on a real-life underworld don called Varadarajan Mudaliar, who stood up for south Indians living in Mumbai. This role was played to perfection by Hassan. Nayagan is also listed in Time magazine's All-Time 100 Best Films, which speaks volumes about this great gangster flick.

Parinda (1989)

This film came at a time when inane Bollywood potboilers were ruling the roost. It was promoted as “the most powerful film ever made". For the first time audiences were introduced to realistic underworld gang wars. Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit and Nana Patekar's acting was top-notch. Especially, Patekar was menacing as the
South Indian psychotic gangster.

Agneepath (1990)

“Vijay Dinanath Chauhan... poora naam" — just the way Amitabh Bachchan introduces his character in this film with a modulated voice, enough to make this Scarface-inspired flick enter the top 10 gangster flicks. The film was tailor-made for Amitabh to pitch in a great performance with his kohl-eyed expressions that fetched him his first National Best Actor Award. Danny Denzongpa as a stylish antagonist, Mithun Chakraborty as a coconut seller and Rohini Hattangadi as a principled mother ensured Agneepath was a cut above the rest.

Angaar (1992)

This largely-ignored film is an excellent tale of a common man getting embroiled in the powerful underworld mafia. Kader Khan springs a surprise as the untouchable don,
Jehangir Khan, supported effectively by Nana Patekar as his son suffering from mental complexes. But it was Shroff who stole the show as Jaggu, who locks horns with the
gangsters. It was easily Shroff's best performance. The climax went a bit overboard for an otherwise well-directed gangster flick by Sashilal Nair.

Satya (1998)

Ram Gopal Varma redefined the meaning of gangster flicks with Satya. The film left the audience in a state of shock and awe with its realistic depiction of how gangsters actually operate. For a change the actors playing gangsters looked the part. Manoj Bajpai immortalised the role of Bhiku Mhatre with his sensational performance. This is easily the best Hindi gangster flick. It gave the audience an insight into the psyche of gangsters.

Vaastav (1999)

Sanjay Dutt has played a gangster umpteen times but nothing comes close to his nerve-wracking performance as Raghu Bhai in Vaastav. The screenplay, with a strong
supporting star cast in a tale of rise and fall of a gangster, directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, depicted the true Mumbai crime scene. The climax - Dutt begging his mum (Reema Lagoo) for drugs while his mum, left with no other option, shoots him, is simply mind-blowing.

Company (2002)

Not many knew about corporate crime empires until Varma's Company threw light on the functioning of the mafia. It was an eye-opener to see a structured system in the underworld that can be taught as a case study in business and management schools! The film was about friends who become foes. The real-life underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chota Rajan were played by Ajay Devgan and Viveik Oberoi respectively.

Sarkar (2005)

This is considered as Bollywood's best tribute to Mario Puzo's The Godfather as Ram Gopal Varma captures the essence of the plot by making Amitabh Bachchan and
Abhishek Bachchan play characters based on Vito and Michael Corleone respectively. The film was cleverly Indianised and local flavour was added to the script with the
uncanny resemblance between Big B's character and a Shiv Sena (a regional political outfit) chief. Technically, the film was brilliant.

Apaharan (2006)

This film throws light into the crime scene of the North Indian state of Bihar with a nexus between the gangsters, politicians and cops. The film depicted the harsh reality of an educated youth (Ajay Devgan) forced to join criminal activities under the blessing of a corrupt politician (Nana Patekar), who runs his own parallel government. Prakash Jha's direction deserves full marks and Patekar deservedly walked away with all the Best Villain awards that year.