Feb 04 2016

Stars on double duty 

by   Sonal Pandya

A look at actors who took on the dual responsibility of playing parent and child in the same film

1 Suchitra Sen in Mamta (1966)

Suchitra Sen earlier enacted the same double role of mother and daughter in the 1963 Bengali film Uttar Falguni. Asit Sen who also directed the Bengali feature, Mamta (1966), brought back Sen in the Hindi remake as the young mother Deviyani who has to give up her daughter Suparna  and becomes a courtesan to survive. Her daughter becomes an adept lawyer who takes up her mother's case when she stands accused of killing her husband.

2 Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana (1969)

Director Shakti Samanta's Aradhana (1969) gave Hindi cinema the lead pairing of Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore that ruled through the 1970s. Khanna played the double role of the IAF officer Arun who secretly weds Vandana, played by Tagore, only to die in a plane crash. Vandana is forced to give up her child for adoption and watches him grow up to be an officer, Suraj, just like his father. With iconic songs like 'Mere sapno ki rani' and 'Roop tera mastana' composed by R.D. Burman, Aradhana goes down as one of Rajesh Khanna's most memorable performances.

3 Mehmood in Humjoli (1970)

Ramanna's Humjoli (1970) is often remembered for its fun badminton number, 'Dhal gaya din' with Jeetendra and Leena Chandavarkar. The film is also brings to mind Mehmood's comedic triple role as a grandfather, father and son. Spoofing the three generations of the Kapoor family, he topped off his hilarious performance mimicking Prithviraj, Raj and Randhir Kapoor with the song 'Yeh kaisa aaya zamana' sung by Mukesh, Kishore Kumar and himself.

4 Sharmila Tagore in Mausam (1975)

Gulzar's Mausam fetched Sharmila Tagore her first National Award for Best Actress for her double portrayal of mother and daughter. Tagore played Chanda, a local Darjeeling woman who is abandoned by the worldly Dr. Gill, played by Sanjeev Kumar. He returns later to find her daughter Kajli at a brothel and takes it upon himself to rescue her. Based on an A.J. Cronin's novel, The Judas Tree, Mausam also won the Filmfare Award for Best Film.

5 Amitabh Bachchan in Adalat (1976) and Aakhree Raasta (1986)

The 1970s films of Amitabh Bachchan helped to contribute to his 'Angry Young Man' image. Adalat (1976), directed by Narender Bedi, found Bachchan playing the 'Angry Old Man' as Dharma, a simple farmer who moves to the big city but is framed for smuggling drugs and gold. He vows vengeance on those who have done him wrong. Bachchan, who was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Best Actor, also played Dharma's foreign educated son Raju, who has no idea of his father's struggle. He repeated the experience in 1986's super-hit Aakhree Raasta co-starring Sridevi and Jayapradha.

6 Dilip Kumar in Bairaag (1979)

Dilip Kumar received a Filmfare nomination for Best Actor for his triple portrayal of father, Kailash, and twin brothers, Sanjay and Bholenath in Bairaag (1979). The average run of the film convinced Kumar to go on a five year sabbatical from films. He thereafter turned to character roles. At 54, Bairaag was the last time Dilip Kumar became the leading man.

7 Sridevi in Lamhe (1991) and Khuda Gawah (1992)

This wasn't Sridevi's first double role. She had earlier played dual characters in films like Guru (1989), ChaalBaaz (1989) and Nakabandi (1990), but in Yash Chopra's Lamhe (1991), she took the now iconic roles of Pallavi and Pooja Bhatnagar, both of whom are irrevocably linked with Anil Kapoor's character Viren. In 1992, she appeared opposite Amitabh Bachchan and Nagarjuna in Khuda Gawah as the mother Benazir and her daughter Mehndi.

8 Madhuri Dixit in Sangeet (1992)

Sandwiched between the films Khel (1992) and Dharavi (1993) in which she played herself, Madhuri Dixit took on a double role of mother and daughter in Sangeet (1992). As the selfless mother Nirmala Devi, she would do anything for her daughter Nirmala's happiness, even donate her eyes so she can discover her dreams of becoming a famous singer. Co-starring Jackie Shroff, Sangeet became one of Dixit's lesser known roles of her career due its lackluster performance at the box office.

9 Shah Rukh Khan in English Babu Desi Mem  (1996)

This highly forgettable 1996 film English Babu Desi Mem (1996) was notable for one reason only. Shah Rukh Khan essayed a triple role in the film as father and brothers Hari and Vikram, much like Dilip Kumar did in 1976's Bairang. 1996 was a dismal year for Khan in which all of his four releases did poorly and failed to capitalize on his prior success of his 1995 blockbuster Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

10 Hrithik Roshan in Krrish (2006) and Krrish 3 (2013)

Taking off from where Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) left off, director Rakesh Roshan introduced a new superhero to Indian cinema with Krrish. Hrithik Roshan continued his lovable character from the previous film, Rohit Mehra, and took the dual character of his extraordinary son, Krishna aka Krrish. Playing the developmentally challenged Rohit and the masked avenger, Krrish, Roshan struck a fine balance between the two. The success of Krrish launched a 2013 blockbuster sequel, Krrish 3.