9 best Kalki Koechlin movies that prove she owns every genre

Kalki Koechlin’s movies have solidified her position in the industry and she has proved her mettle with ground-breaking roles. Check out some of her best movies here!

Updated on May 28, 2024  |  09:25 PM IST |  53.7K
Kalki Koechlin
Picture Courtesy: IMDb

Kalki Koechlin, a French actress who grew up in India, has carved a unique path in Hindi cinema. Kalki Koechlin's movies and roles are known for unconventional choices and bold performances and with that the actress garnered critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase. She made her debut with Dev D (2009) showcasing her versatility, playing Chanda, a young woman ostracized by society. 

She followed this with memorable supporting roles in blockbusters like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013). Koechlin's talent extends beyond commercial success. She's played strong leads in independent films like Margarita, With a Straw (2014), earning a National Film Award for her portrayal of a young woman with cerebral palsy. From edgy characters like Sky, the music producer in Gully Boy (2019), to complex roles like Lisa, the mysterious music teacher in Ek Thi Daayan (2013), Koechlin consistently delivers captivating performances. 

9 best Kalki Koechlin movies that will keep you hooked to the edge

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani 

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  • Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, Aditya Roy Kapur, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Madhuri Dixit, Evelyn Sharma
  • Director: Ayan Mukerji
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Movie Genre: Romance, Drama 
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Where to Watch: Netflix

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a coming-of-age story about four friends - Kabir (Ranbir Kapoor), Naina (Deepika Padukone), Aditi (Kalki Koechlin) and Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur). They embark on a life-changing trek, forming a deep bond. The film explores love, friendship, following your dreams, and finding yourself. Kalki Koechlin plays Aditi, the free-spirited friend who adds a touch of humor and adventure to the group. 


Zindgai Na Milegi Dobara

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  • Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval
  • Director:  Zoya Akhtar
  • IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
  • Movie Genre: Comedy, Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Where to Watch: Netflix

Next in Kalki Koechlin’s movie list is Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, three childhood friends, Kabir, Arjun, and Imran, reunite for a bachelor trip to Spain. Kabir is about to marry Natasha (Kalki Koechlin), but the journey forces them to confront fears, chase dreams, and find love. Natasha's independent spirit clashes with Kabir's commitment issues, ultimately leading them to re-evaluate their relationship. 

Gully Boy 

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  • Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Kalki Koechlin, Vijay Raaz, Vijay Varma
  • Director: Zoya Akhtar
  • IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
  • Movie Genre: Musical, Romance
  • Release Year: 2019
  • Where to Watch: Apple TV

Gully Boy follows Murad (played by Ranveer Singh), an aspiring rapper from the Mumbai slums, who finds his voice through music. Kalki Koechlin portrays Sky, a music producer with experience abroad. She mentors Murad, impacting his career and sparking controversy with a complex relationship.  


Dev D

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  • Cast: Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, Mahie Gill, Surekha Sikri, Shlok Sharma
  • Director: Anurag Kashyap
  • IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
  • Movie Genre: Romance, Comedy 
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Where to Watch: Netflix

Kalki Koechlin and Abhay Deol’s movie Dev D is a dark take on Devdas. Dev (played by Abhay Deol), heartbroken, spirals into drugs and self-destruction. Paro (Mahi Gill) remains unattainable, while Chanda (Kalki Koechlin), a young woman ostracized by a sex scandal, becomes his unlikely companion. This is Kalki Koechlin’s first movie and the film explores love, loss, societal expectations, and the consequences of addiction. 


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  • Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, Tillotma Shome, Supriya Pathak
  • Director: Dibakar Banerjee
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Movie Genre: Thriller, Mystery
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Where to Watch: Zee5

Shanghai is a political thriller. Dr. Ahmadi, a social activist, is murdered. Shalini (Kalki Koechlin), his passionate ex-student, suspects foul play. She joins forces with a whistleblower to expose a corrupt land development project that threatens the poor and may be linked to Ahmadi's death. 


Happy Ending 

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  • Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Kalki Koechlin, Govinda, Ranvir Shorey, 
  • Director: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K.
  • IMDb Rating: 5.4/10
  • Movie Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • Release Year: 2014 
  • Where to Watch: Zee5

Happy Ending is a Bollywood rom-com satire. Saif Ali Khan plays Yudi, a struggling writer haunted by exes. Kalki Koechlin portrays Vishakha, Yudi's eccentric dentist ex-girlfriend with stalker tendencies. The film pokes fun at rom-com tropes as Yudi juggles writer's block, a new love interest, and Vishakha's hilarious pursuit. 

Ek Thi Daayan 

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  • Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Huma Qureshi, Kalki Koechlin, Konkona Sen Sharma, Pavan Malhotra, Visshesh Tiwari
  • Director: Kannan Iyer
  • IMDb Rating: 5.7
  • Movie Genre: Horror, Romance
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Where to Watch: Hotstar

Kalki Koechlin and Emraan Hashmi’s movie Ek Thi Daayan is a supernatural thriller where magician Bobo (played by Emraan Hashmi) experiences strange occurrences. Kalki Koechlin plays Lisa Dutt, a mysterious Canadian music teacher suspected of witchcraft, adding another layer to the intrigue surrounding the film's central mystery.


Picture Courtesy: IMDb

  • Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Deepti Naval, Rajit Kapur, Bharti Patel
  • Director: Pushpa Kripalani
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Movie Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2022
  • Where to Watch: YouTube

Goldfish explores a strained mother-daughter bond. Anamika (Kalki Koechlin) returns home to care for her mother, Sadhana (Deepti Naval), diagnosed with dementia. The film navigates estrangement, forgiveness, and the challenges of caregiving as Anamika confronts her past and grapples with their complicated relationship.


A Death In The Gunj 

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  • Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Vikrant Massey, Ranvir Shorey, Tillotma Shome, Jim Sarbh, Om Puri, Tanuja
  • Director: Konkona Sen Sharma 
  • IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
  • Movie Genre: Thriller, Mystery
  • Release Year: 2016
  • Where to Watch: Prime Video

A Death in the Gunj is a period mystery set in 1979.  Abhijat (Vikrant Massey) visits his family for the monsoon, but a dark secret simmers beneath the idyllic facade. Kalki Koechlin portrays Mimi, a seductive and attention-seeking house guest who stirs up tension and plays a part in the unfolding events.

Koechlin is not just an actress; she's a vocal advocate for social causes and a champion for diversity in Indian cinema. Kalki Koechlin’s movies showcase her willingness to push boundaries and challenge stereotypes continues to inspire audiences and filmmakers alike. Whether in mainstream hits or independent gems, Kalki Koechlin leaves a lasting impression with her powerful portrayals and unwavering dedication to her craft.

ALSO READ: 7 best Vaani Kapoor movies that showcase her impressive acting skills

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About The Author

Drenched in the vibrant hues of Bollywood, Rajni Singh is an entertainment journalist with 3 years of experience in the


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