Find out who is responsible for recreating realistic 'looks' for some of the memorable bio-pics in Hindi cinema
Hindi cinema is always on the lookout for a good, real-life story but when the protagonist is iconic or has imprinted mass culture in a significant way, the challenge is to somehow match up to their charisma and unique persona on celluloid. This is where the stylists, make-up gurus, and fitness coaches walk in to wield their magic and transform mere actors into Kapil Dev, Milka Singh, Indira Gandhi, M S Dhoni and Silk Smitha.
Here is our pick of some of these magicians:
Darshan Yewalekar: The image of Kapil Dev in the balcony of Lord's Cricket Ground, lifting the World Cup trophy is indelible in history and in our memories. When Ranveer Singh recreated the same moment in Kabir Khan's film '83,' it not only brought back a wave of nostalgia but also induced goosebumps among the audiences because Singh looked the part, thanks to the Indian skipper's distinct moustache and wavy curls. Rich praise is now being reaped by celebrity hair designer Darshan Yewalekar who worked tirelessly to research old videos and photographs to get the look just right. Yewalekar is also the man who styled the many avatars of Ranveer Singh in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's cinema but this was the first time in their decade-old association that they worked together to mould a character on a living legend.
Samir Jaura: A critical aspect of Farhan Akhtar's performance in 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' was getting the physicality right. Milkha Singh afterall was a lean mean running machine and to be able to look like the legendary Flying Sikh,Farhan dedicated 6 hours every day to intense training for over 13 months and was ably guided in this uphill task by his fitness trainer and sports nutritionist Sameer Jaura. The two worked in tandem to build strength and stamina for the gruelling training and athletic sequences in the film. Improving muscle tone, working on the correct stride and posture along with histrionics helped Farhan do justice to the athlete who recently passed away after valiantly battling COVID-19.
Vikram Gaikwad: The man who transformed Lara Dutta into Indira Gandhi in 'Bellbottom' is none other than National award-winning, veteran make-up artist Vikram Gaikwad. From researching several pictures and videos to studying the most distinct features of the late Prime Minister to using make-up techniques and customised prosthetics, Vikram and his team left no stone unturned to ensure that Lara Dutta looked as convincing as possible. While the actor studied voice modulation and body language from videos, she was ably assisted by the make-up team in getting the 'look' of the Iron Lady right.
Sapna Bhavnani: Sapna is among the most successful hairstylists in the industry and was the woman behind Sushant Singh Rajput's convincing transformation as MS Dhoni in 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story.' Sapna who also styles Dhoni's famous locks, was the perfect choice for the film as she matched the actor's look with specific phases of Dhoni's life and career. She has also worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu, Hrithik Roshan, Virat Kohli, John Abraham, and counting and has a very cutting-edge approach to hairstyling.
Niharika Bhasin: Niharika Bhasin came into prominence when she created the costumes for stars of 'Rock On!!' and then won the National Film Award for Best Costume Design as well as Filmfare Award for 'The Dirty Picture' where she styled Vidya Balan in keeping with the many chapters of the late Silk Smitha's eventful life. It could not have been easy to recreate the popular appeal of a star who starred in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi films and in a career spanning 17 years, appeared in over 450 films. Yet Niharika pulled it off and Vidya Balan too won a National Award for this role.