At one point of time in Bollywood, double role used to be the most popular formula that filmmakers resorted to. Almost every top actor has played double role in at least one film in their career. From Ram Aur Shyam (Dilip Kumar), Seeta Aur Geeta (Hema Malini), Chaalbaaz (Sridevi) to Kishen Kanhaiya (Anil Kapoor) they have all been there and done that. Audiences were always happy to see two heroes (in the form of two different characters) at the price of one ticket.
But somewhere in the past decade, the double role formula fizzled out and not many filmmakers exploited twin characters. That changed with Shah Rukh Khan doing a double role in Om Shanti Om, a version of the superhit film Karz. This reincarnation drama had Shah Rukh in the double role of a junior artist in his first life and a superstar in his second.
We glide through an assortment of double roles by our new age actors who have now decided to apply the formula in their upcoming films. We have to wait and watch the success rates of:
And if you see today, the double role concept is back in demand. Just that filmmakers are trying to do away with clichés and trying to incorporate fresher outlooks. Earlier from the two roles, one character was always the shy and easily intimidated types while the other was the fearless and daring kinds. Today directors are attempting new variations in their characterizations. So Shahid Kapoor in Kaminey plays characters with different verbal disorder – one is a lisp and other stammers.
Saif Ali Khan
Imtiaz Ali has a better way of showing two Saif Ali Khans in Love Aaj Kal. The two are not twin brothers or reincarnated avatars. Rather they are not interrelated to each other. They are different characters from different eras, one of whom plays a Sardar.
Bipasha Basu who already played a double role in Dhoom 2 (though the two characters weren’t even remotely connected) is all set to repeat the act in All The Best. Interestingly when Bipasha signed the film, she was simply supposed to play single character of Ajay Devgan’s wife. Director Rohit Shetty was searching for a second female lead for the film opposite Sanjay Dutt whose character is of African origin. When things didn’t work out with Mallika Sherawat and Tabu, Bipasha voluntarily agreed to play the African girl too. Hollywood makeup artists are hired to give her the right look.
Tusshar Kapoor will come up with a double role act in a romantic comedy to be made by Bheja Fry director Sagar Bellary. Interestingly while he plays a double role, he had three heroines cast opposite him. So there’s still one surplus.
Deepika Padukone attempted double role in Chandni Chowk to China. While she looked incredible in both her roles of a Delhi girl and a Chinese agent, the film couldn’t help her much.
Same happened to Akshay Kumar whose film Tasveer 8x10 was one of the most disappointing double role films ever. The way in which the two characters were connected was very corny.
Ranvir Shorey was much better in Mithya were he brought about wide variation in both his characters. Loosely reminiscent of Don, Ranvir was brilliant both as the don and as the struggling actor in the film.
Some of them were successful, some of them were not and some of them we are yet to see. So lets wait and watch how this age old formula of Bollywood works now!