After the bad guys are captured and the dust has cleared in the 1968 spy thriller Ankhen, secret agent Sunil (Dharmendra) and his partner and love interest Meenakshi Mehta (Mala Sinha) are finally able to spend some personal time together.
While the technologies and techniques have changed quite a bit in the years since Ankhen - a film credited with being a pioneer in Indian spy movies - the idea of a spy who falls in love during a mission continues to inspire Bollywood filmmakers.
In the following five thrillers, the secret agent follows the activities, movements, and plans of his adversary while dealing with the complications of falling in love.
1. Bang Bang
Release Date: 2 October 2014
Director: Siddharth Anand
Music by: Vishal-Shekhar | Background score: Salim-Sulaiman
Producer: Fox Star Studios
Description: Action comedy thriller. When bank receptionist Harleen Sahani (Katrina Kaif) goes on a blind date she meets Rajveer Nanda (Hrithik Roshan) who she thinks is the man of her dreams. She soon discovers that this mysterious man is keeping a secret that people are willing to kill for. Her ordinary world is turned upside down and her life now in danger, she finds herself on the run around the world with Rajveer.
The Spy Falls in Love: Realizing that he has put Harleen's life in danger, Rajveer seeks to ensure that she is kept safe while he completes his mission. But her obstinate nature and the fact that people are gunning for Rajveer makes this difficult. Still, his honesty with her and her trust in him make it easy for this relationship to blossom into love. An official remake of the Hollywood film Night and Day, this film significantly improves on the storyline and action sequences.
2. Ek Tha Tiger
English Translation: "Once There Was A Tiger"
Release Date: 15 August 2012
Director: Kabir Khan
Music by: Sohail Sen, Sajid-Wajid
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Description: Romantic action spy thriller. While on a mission to spy on Professor Anwar Jamaal Kidwai (Roshan Seth) in Ireland, RAW Agent Tiger (Salman Khan) meets Kidwai's housekeeper Zoya (Katrina Kaif) who he befriends to extract information. As he spends more time with her he begins to discover his human side and falls in love with her. When he uncovers a secret about Zoya, she disappears only to reappear at a United Nations foreign minister's conference in Istanbul. Not wanting to be separated again, they disappear together with government agents in hot pursuit.
The Spy Falls in Love: While Tiger seeks to woo Zoya to get closer to Professor Kidwai, he soon finds himself wooed by her. For the first time in his life, he encounters the experience of being in love with someone. As this love challenges his mission - and his life's work - he finds he must choose between love and loyalty. Unable to accept that, Tiger and Zoya decide that they want to live their lives by embracing both.
3. Agent Vinod
Release Date: 23 March 2012
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Music by: Pritam
Producers: Saif Ali Khan, Dinesh Vijan
Description: Agent Vinod (Saif Ali Khan) is on a mission to uncover the relevance of the number 242 in the death of his colleague. When he makes his way to Morocco, he meets Mafia boss David Kazan (Prem Chopra) and his doctor, the beautiful but mysterious Ruby Mendes (Kareena Kapoor). As Vinod gets closer to Ruby, she helps him uncover a series of clues that take them from Marakkesh to Riga, Karachi to Delhi and finally London.
The Spy Falls in Love: Britain has James Bond and India has Agent Vinod. Vinod is suave, sophisticated, and smart. He is also very wary of Ruby ... at first. But as they spend more time together and she lets down her guard to him, he finds himself drawn to her - perhaps because of her outward strength and her inward vulnerability. As they reach the target of the mission and both their lives hang in the balance, Vinod confesses his love.
English Translation: "Destroyed in Love"
Release Date: 26 May 2006
Director: Kunal Kohli
Music by: Jatin-Lalit | Background score: Salim-Sulaiman
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Description: Blind Kashmiri girl Zooni Ali Beg (Kajol) travels with her dance troupe to Delhi to perform for Independence Day. She meets Casanova tour guide Rehan Khan (Aamir Khan) who flirts with her and takes her on a private tour of New Delhi. They fall in love and spend the night together. With Rehan's encouragement, Zooni undergoes surgery to reverse her blindness. After the surgery, Zooni learns that Rehan was a victim of a terrorist bomb blast. Seven years later during a blizzard in Kashmir, a badly injured soldier appears on Zooni's doorstep.
The Spy Falls in Love: While Rehan enjoys flirting with Zooni at first, love is something that he isn't prepared for. But Zooni's beauty, sense of humor, and exuberance are a powerful force. While he feels he can have fun then forget her after she leaves Delhi, he can't let her go. And despite being told that Rehan has died, Zooni can't let go of her memories of him. While life puts huge obstacles in their path, their love remains strong and binding.
5. The Hero: Love Story of a Spy
Release Date: 11 April 2003
Director: Anil Sharma | Written by: Shaktimaan Talwar
Music by: Uttam Singh
Producers: Dhirajlal Shah, Hasmukh Shah, Pravin Shah
Description: Indian RAW agent Arun Sharma (Sunny Deol) is sent to Kashmir to track down the "Operation Nishan" network - led by Ishak Khan (Amrish Puri) - that is attempting to procure a nuclear bomb. He befriends, then falls in love with, the local shepherd girl Reshma (Preity Zinta) who agrees to become a maid in a Pakistani household in order to spy for Arun. Here she comes face-to-face with Khan who discovers she is a spy. With Arun's help, she narrowly escapes, but a devastating act of retribution by Khan separates Arun and Reshma. Not knowing for sure whether Reshma is dead or alive, Arun continues his mission to track down Ishak Khan. As he plays cat-and-mouse with Khan, he unknowingly comes closer to discovering what happened to Reshma.
The Spy Falls in Love: Arun Sharma is honorable and dedicated and Reshma is innocent yet brave and intelligent. Their love story is sincere and timeless - beginning with a friendship then blossoming into unspoken love. Their love puts them in harms way as they give of themselves selflessly to protect each other. When Arun finally professes his love for Reshma, their tragic separation is heartbreaking - but they remain true their love. It is this love that provides the tension and resolution to this entertaining love story of a spy.
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