They are caricatures of the
original. A deliberate, concerted attempt by struggling artistes to
recreate the personate of famous Bollywood Stars. Calling themselves
'lookalikes,' they almost appear
like absurdities to the discerning public. 'Lookalikes' or 'Duplicates'
of Indian Film stars are doing good business nowadays. Thanks to the
the television and the burgeoning number of live stage shows, it is
boomtime for artistes who look, behave and talk like famous
So you have the Shatrughan Sinha lookalike, the Dev Anand lookalike and lookalikes of stars as diverse as Prem Chopra, Govinda, Shakti Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Sunny Deol, Amitabh Bachchan and just about anybody who has a large fan following.
The most famous lookalike today is...yeap you guessed it right, Chhote Dev Anand, alias Kishore Bhanushali.
CAN YOU GUESS WHICH ONE IS REAL??
With a mop of hair falling on his forehead, a la Dev Anand Jhatkas and a lilting voice, this clone attracts awed attention with his near-perfect impersonation of the 60s hero. Now if you guys think this is the perfect clone then check this out
Balbir singh with Shatrughan Sinha: Separated at Birth?
Now here is the more apparent lookalike in the industry today, the Shatrughan Sinah clone, real name is Balbir Singh. Interestingly, he is the most senior among the lookalikes in the industry and is sort of a guru for those aspiring to copy other stars. The flock him for guidance and inspiration. He is physically a near-perfect carbon copy of the original except for a couple of inches difference in height, which is not such a giveaway. Even the trademark scar is in the same place. When he passes by, people actually stop him for autographs. Wait wait, I am not done yet, you forgot Govinda? No I didn't, Govinda lookalike, Anand, adores his idol with whome he has even appeared together on stage shows.
Anand: He matches Govinda's dress-sense too!!
But the novelty of aping the masses hero has palled and he now sighs. "I am not happy playing his duplicate any longer. I want to do something different but being junior Govinda is what has made me so popular." Then there is Shashi Kapoor's lookalike,
Riaz Khan: Ignored by the real Shashi Kapoor!
Riaz Khan alias Junior Shashi Kapoor says, "I have got so caught up being Shashi Kapoor for the past twenty years that I don't know who the original me is like." The impersonation is so perfect that an admiring Shabana Azmi once remarked, "I will ask Shashi Kapoor to retire, you can take over."
Viswajeet:Almost like the real Prem Chopra!
Last but not least, there is the famous Villian, Prem Chopra's clone, Viswajeet, the Prem Chopra lookalike is so thrilled. " I feel complimented for God to give me his looks. However, I have more work on hand nowadays playing Prem Chopra than the real Prem Chopra himself."
In most of the cases, the urge to become a lookalike is triggered by constant remarks from friends and acquaintances about their similarity to a certain famous film star. Well you must be thinking, Yeah Yeah, at least they look like actors, True, they do look like actors but think about it, in a way it is scary. You assume someone's famous image so completely and with such authencity that you tend to get trapped into it(some psych majors out there?). It's like living on a borrowed name all the time and when you want to get rid of it, it refuses to let you go. Kishore Bhanushali concurs, "I am a good actor. But now, people only want to give me roles as Dev Anand. I am stamped. I am waiting now for the opportunity to show people what I really am. Sadly, I am tired of people laughing at my act. It is my heart's desire to play a strong, negative role, maybe a villian, but people can only relate to the Dev Anand in me."
So how do the clones score over the originals? Pat came the cheeky reply. "We can imitate the original but the originals cannot immitate us." Well, that is certainly an original way of looking at imitations. We wonder whether the originals would agree.