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Bollywood filmmakers latch on the doppelganger story

Published Aug 2, 2021, 9:51 pm IST
Updated Aug 2, 2021, 9:51 pm IST
In the midst of changing viewing patterns, we look at upcoming films which have double roles to see if they still work!
Ranveer Singh
 Ranveer Singh

At a time when the audience is looking for different content and dissing films like the Coolie No.1 remake and Hungama 2 for regressive content from the 70s, Bollywood filmmakers are latching on to another tried-and-tested formula — the doppelganger story. It’s the basis of not one but seven upcoming movies!

Cirkus, directed by Rohit Shetty, stars Ranveer Singh and Varun Sharma in double roles in a comedy of errors. Shraddha Kapoor will essay a similar part in Chaalbaaz in London, the Pankuj Parashar remake of his own film Chaalbaaz inspired by films like Ram Aur Shyam and Seeta Aur Geeta.


The film trade likes the idea

“It is a superhit formula if applied well. A Judwaa 2 and a Dhoom 3 did well despite being double role films. Dhoom 3 was made in 2013 and Ram Aur Shyam in 1967. If the film is made in an entertaining way, it will still work, as Judwaa 2 showed in 2017,” says Atul Mohan of Complete Cinema.

Aditya Roy Kapur recently announced that he was part of the remake of the Arun Vijay starrer Thadam. Shah Rukh Khan, who has played multiple roles in English Babu Desi Mem (triple role), Karan Arjun, Duplicate, Paheli, Om Shanti Om and Don and Fan earlier, will be seen yet again in a double role in Atlee’s new film. And Ranbir plays both father and son in Shamshera. John Abraham too will be seen in a double role in Satyamev Jayate 2.


Interestingly, another film that has a double role — the remake of Satte Pe Satta — to be directed by Farah Khan and produced by Rohit Shetty, has not gone on the floors because Hrithik Roshan did not see merit in it.

Film historians point out that double role films have failed too

“It is not necessary that the audience has to like all double- and triple role movies. Some Amitabh Bachchan double role films were just average grossers. Recently, Baahubali also had a double role. But then there was logic applied and there was no faceoff between the two characters played by Prabhas. As long as these films have logic they may work,” says Imtiaz Baghdadi.


Actors look at such films as a challenge. Arjun Kapoor, who played double roles in films like Aurangazeb and Mubarakan, says “It may sound exciting, but it is not an easy task at all. It is a challenge for any actor and it makes you nervous because you have to play two different people.”

The film that drops next will be Shershaah which has Sidharth Malhotra mainly playing the role of Vikram Batra, but also essaying the role of his twin Vishal.

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad