Before Alia Bhatt's Raazi, here are seven movies with intriguing female spies as protagonists

FP Staff

May,10 2018 18:10:11 IST

Alia Bhatt's Raazi will be hitting the big screens worldwide on Friday, 11 May.

In Raazi, Alia plays the role of Sehmat, a young Indian woman married off to a Pakistani who hails from a family of army-men. Sehmat's father is a true-blue patriot (or so he thinks) and asks his daughter to be the "eyes and ears of India" in the neighbouring country. Rigorous martial arts, shooting and fitness regimes take over and Sehmat is fully equipped to be a spy.

When it comes to spy movies, there are a handful which all of us have definitely watched. Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible franchise, the different James Bond movies, Liam Neeson in Taken, Mike Myers from the Austin Powers movies, and Matt Damon in the Bourne series are just a few of them. But there have been equally iconic, dangerous and memorable female spies.

Before Raazi hits the screens, we'll take a look at some of the most important female spies in movies.

Ingrid Bergman in Notorious (1946)

Ingrid Bergman in Notorious/Image from Twitter.

Ingrid Bergman in Notorious/Image from Twitter.

Legendary actress Ingrid Bergman portrayed some of the most challenging and long-lasting roles in the history of cinema, and playing Alicia Huberman from 1946's Notorious is definitely one such character.

Bergman's Alicia Huberman takes to heavy drinking and being involved with different men following the conviction of her German father for treason against the US. Huberman is then approached by a government agent who asks her to spy on a group of her father's Nazi friends operating out of Rio de Janeiro. A romance starts to develop in her life as she gets too involved in her work.

Anne Parillaud in La Femme Nikita (1990)

Anne Parrilaud in Nikita/Image from Twitter.

Anne Parrilaud in Nikita/Image from Twitter.

Anne Parillaud played the role of Nikita in 1990 movie Le Femme Nikita (also simply called Nikita); an action-thriller written and directed by Luc Besson.

The movie followed the story of a drug-ridden Nikita who fires her gun at a cop while trying to rob a pharmacy. She is then thrown into jail and injected with a substance supposed to be a lethal toxin. But instead of dying, she finds herself in an interrogation room where a French intelligence officer informs her that she can escape execution if she agrees to receive covert government training as an assassin. Nikita accepts, trains rigorously, and returns to society as a seemingly normal civilian, but is secretly an extremely talented killer.

La Femme Nikita was remade in America as Point of No Return, directed by John Badham with Bridget Fonda in the lead. It was also turned into a TV series on the USA cable network in early 1997.

Diane Kruger in Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Diane Kruger in Inglourious Basterds/Image from Twitter.

Diane Kruger in Inglourious Basterds/Image from Twitter.

Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds gave Diane Kruger a role the actress will always be remembered for: Bridget Von Hammersmark.

Inglourious Basterds, set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, revolved around a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish US soldiers. Their deadly plan coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same. The group Jewish Americans, led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), are assisted in their ambitious plan by a popular film star in Nazi Germany who also happens to be working as a spy for the Allies.

The scene in which Bridget Von Hammersmark is introduced is often considered to be one of the best Tarantino ever wrote. A casual conversation in a tavern which turns into a bloody gunfight, Diane Kruger was seen in the scene with actors Michael Fassbender, Gedeon Burkhard and Til Schweiger.

Angelina Jolie in Salt (2010)

Angelina Jolie in Salt/Image from Twitter.

Angelina Jolie in Salt/Image from Twitter.

Angelina Jolie has never shied away from taking up challenging roles. Be it playing Lara Croft or Fox in Wanted, action movies have been Jolie's choice for years now. So when she oped to play a spy in 2010's Salt, the decision wasn't at all surprising.

In Salt, Jolie portrays Evelyn Salt — a highly respected CIA agent. One day, a Russian spy informs them that the President of Russia will be assassinated during his visit to New York City to attend the funeral of the recently deceased US Vice President. The name of the assassin: Evelyn Salt. Concerned about the safety of her husband, who she cannot contact, Salt goes on the run. Her colleagues refuse to accept that she is a mole, but her actions begin to raise doubts. Who is Evelyn Salt? And what is she planning? These questions form the basis of the rest of the movie.

Melissa McCarthy in Spy (2015)

Melissa McCarthy in Spy/Image from Twitter.

Melissa McCarthy in Spy/Image from Twitter.

In the crime-action film Spy, Melissa McCarthy played the role of the spy Susan Cooper.

The story goes something like this: Susan Cooper — an unassuming, desk-bound CIA analyst — is the unsung hero behind the Agency's most dangerous missions. When her partner falls off the grid and another top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global crisis.

The movie was directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaid) and starred Jude Law, Raad Rawi, Jessica Chaffin and Miranda Hart.

Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde (2017)

Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde/Image from Twitter.

Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde/Image from Twitter.

In Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron plays Agent Lorraine Broughton — the crown jewel of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service. Broughton is the epitome of spycraft, sensuality and savagery, and is willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive. She is sent alone into Berlin on an impossible mission: to deliver a priceless dossier out of a destabilized city. Broughton partners with station chief David Percival (played by James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

Theron received praise for her portrayal of a spy and the movie was a global success with a sequel reportedly in the works.

Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow (2018)

Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow/Image from Twitter.

Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow/Image from Twitter.

The latest Jennifer Lawrence movie, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Jason Matthews, saw Jennifer Lawrence in the role of a spy. The movie, which released in the month of March this year, tells the story of a Russian intelligence officer sent to make contact with a CIA agent in the hope of discovering the identity of a mole.

Jennifer Lawrence plays the role of Dominika Egorova — a young Russian intelligence officer assigned to seduce a first-tour CIA agent. This agent, named Nate Nash (played by Joel Edgerton), handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young officers then collide in a charged atmosphere of trade-craft, deception, and inevitably forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but the lives of others as well.

Updated Date: May 10, 2018 18:10 PM