Running a website about horror films is a terrific experience. It tells you about your country’s history and the culture of entertainment. You come across films that are intriguing and some that are a shocker – like Sanjeev Kumar’s ‘Chehra pe Chehra’. Allow us to elaborate. Sanjeev Kumar is one of the cleanest – if not the cleanest – name in Bollywood. The late actor started his career sometime in the 60s and was in his peak for 2 decades. In the 80s, he started doing character roles. One of his 80s films is the Indian adaptation of the sci-fi novel ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’, which had several A-Listers. ‘Chehre pe Chehra’ stars Sanjeev Kumar, Vinod Mehra, Shatrughan Sinha, Amjad Khan, Sulakshana Pandit and Rekha, among others. It is also interesting that the film-makers confess that this is a adaptation. In the free-loading ’80s, this wasn’t needed.
It is rare for so many A-Listers to come together for a film, one with such a unique concept. Read on:
Chehre Pe Chehra Synopsis:
Dr. Wilson is an eccentric medicine-man but is kind hearted. He lives alone with only his butler and dog for company. He is engaged to marry a Colonel’s daughter. Dr. Wilson has one ambition – to be able to cure a human being’s spirit, like how we operate on a man’s body. Wilson wants to separate the ‘bad’ from a human being’s psychological make-up. To this end, he creates a potion. The atheist doctor tests it on himself.
This creates a person who has Dr. Wilson’s negative attributes, Blackstone. Blackstone creates havoc in the small town that he lives in and changes the social fabric of the town. He sexually molests a dancer that Dr. Wilson had once saved from baddies. He murders one of his female patients, after winning the utmost faith of the patient’s brother. Blackstone interacts with Dr. Wilson’s friends and they have questions about Dr. Wilson and Blackstone. Even his fiance falls prey to Blackstone’s vile plans. How this problem ends forms the rest of the story.
Chehre Pe Chehra Review:
The film is a story that’s adapted from a book, so there’s not much to say about the concept itself. The screenplay is good and keeps the audience interested. What actually stands out is the make-up and effects. These are the best effects we have seen in a Bollywood horror film for that decade. It’d be interesting to know how many hours Sanjeev Kapoor spent to get into the Mr. Hyde persona. This is a pure make-up work with no lights and no smoke to hide any ineptitude or low budget.
This film also has Rekha in one of her most glamorous roles ever. She sizzles on screen as the confident, sensual bar dancer. It is interesting to see that Rekha could display so many emotions in one character. There’s sensuality, there’s naivete, there’s puppy love and a bit more.
Chehre Pe Chehra is so interesting because it is one of the few films that show Goa of the ’80s. It is one of the few films that doesn’t concentrate on the ‘drinks-and-me’ kinda persona Goa has. Of course, a club and a club dancer are a central part of the film, but you know what I mean.
You can watch the film here: