Mahesh Bhatt is a celebrated and popular filmmaker in the industry for his gritty realism and hard-hitting films. Sadak, Sir, and Criminal were all critically acclaimed films in the 1990s. During this solid run in the realistic film genre, the filmmaker decided to switch paths and direct a masala comedy film titled Duplicate. Whereas in the early days of his career, Shah Rukh Khan was ecstatic about his dual role while filming Duplicate.
During one of his early interviews, while filming the Mahesh Bhatt-directed film, the actor publicly acknowledged that to do justice to a role like that, one must have at least 5-10 years of acting experience. SRK even stated that a double role came to him quicker than he anticipated and that he accepted it sooner than he should have.
The audience discovered the true reason for making the film twenty years later through an old interview in which the director expressly reveals he did it in the hopes of impressing a young Alia Bhatt.
During the interview with the Lehren crew, Mahesh stated, “It’s a film that I am looking forward to show my children,” implying that his earlier films were too violent or dark for children. The director stated that he hoped to impress Alia, who was only four years old at the time. “Children normally don’t get impressed by their parents. The chances are that I might just impress my four-year-old girl Alia by Duplicate,” he said.
Despite his efforts, Duplicate, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, and Sonali Bendre which was released in 1998 failed to make a lasting impression at the box office.
Nearly two decades later, Shah Rukh Khan, who made his debut in 1992, has ruled our hearts as the Baadshah of Bollywood. Despite a few box office setbacks, such as Duplicate, SRK remains one of the world’s most cherished and loved actors.
And Destiny had its own game to play as well. When SRK starred in Duplicate, Alia Bhatt was a four-year-old baby. They had no idea that a few years later, they would end up working together in Dear Zindagi in 2016.
Furthermore, the film was produced by Yash Johar, Karan Johar’s father, and after it was declared a flop, SRK eventually reduced his fees. The film was delayed for two years, but seeing the star in a dual role was well worth the wait, and the film is still well-received by SRK’s fan base.
And Alia, who is hailed as the best young actress of her generation, has featured in a number of critically acclaimed films such as Highway, Raazi, and others, and her upcoming films include Gangubai Kathiawadi, Brahmastra, RRR, and Jee Le Zara.