25 years of Judwaa: Shooting a double role film like that in 1997 wasn’t easy with expensive raw stock

Published on Feb 07, 2022 12:10 AM IST
Judwaa (1997) remains one of the most loved Hindi comedy films, and with names like actor Salman Khan and filmmaker David Dhawan associated with it, actor Dalip Tahil feels it is no surprise
Actor Dalip Tahil played the role of Sanjay Path “S.P.” Malhotra, the father of the twins Raja and Prem in Judwaa.
Actor Dalip Tahil played the role of Sanjay Path “S.P.” Malhotra, the father of the twins Raja and Prem in Judwaa.
ByRishabh Suri

Judwaa (1997) remains one of the most loved Hindi comedy films, and with names like actor Salman Khan and filmmaker David Dhawan associated with it, actor Dalip Tahil feels it is no surprise. Tahil played the role of Sanjay Path “SP” Malhotra, the father of the twins Raja and Prem (played by Khan).

The veteran actor says he was approached by Sajid Nadiadwala, the producer because he had been playing a slew of father roles successfully at that time. “I had worked with David before and Karisma Kapoor too in her debut film Prem Qaidi. It was great fun, and Salman was quite new. It was a pleasure to work with such a fun guy,” he shares.

While his memory is naturally hazy about a 25-year-old film, he does remember Khan paying pranks on Kapoor all the time. “We shot quite a bit of Judwaa in Hyderabad. While there was a lot of hard work happening on David’s set, he creates an atmosphere of relaxation, fun. The film was shot seamlessly,” says Tahil.

At a time when technology wasn’t too advanced, and movies were still shot on raw stock, Dhawan made a tricky film with double role. And Tahil points it out. “It was obviously very tricky. Credit to Salman and David’s confidence that he gave Salman a double role so early in his career. It was a good thing that Dvdid was technologically sound, as he had started his career as a film editor. Then he became a director later. He had a good understanding of how the shooting was going to be for a double role, that’s why he could execute it.”

He praises that people see David’s films and don’t realise that while he makes light hearted films, he has also always been technically sound. “The timing was crucial for these scenes. He was also a producer’s delight because he never shot anything extra, he never wasted eastman coour raw stock, which used to be very expensive. The first thing the producer would have said after hearing a double role was the amount of raw stock being used. That was a big reason David was called a producer’s director,” Tahil says.

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