Prem Chopra – The gentleman villain of bollywood.
Prem Chopra had remained an indispensable figure in bollywood films for more than 40 years. He started his career with positive roles, like the one he played in the film Shahid where Manoj Kumar played the lead role. Prem Chopra did well in the film. But within short period of time his skills as villain was discovered by the directors and he got a landmark role in Raj Khosla’s Woh Kaun Thi and Mera Saya. In both the films, Sadhna had a double role and one of the sisters were used by Prem Chopra for creating ghostly atmosphere against Manoj Kumar and Sunil Dutt respectively in both the films.
In the 60s, as Pran, Ajit, Jeevan, and other villains were playing dominating roles, Prem Chopra had played supporting roles in most of the films. In the 70s, he got the lead roles as villains and developed a style of acting whereby he was categorized as gentleman villain. His successful films included Jugnu opposite Dharmender, Jheel Ke Us Par opposite Dharmender, Gora Aur Kala opposite Rajender Kumar, Kala Sona opposite Firoz Khan, Do Anjane opposite Big B, to name a few.
Raj Kapoor used the famous dialogue for Prem Chopra in the film Bobby, where he said “prem naam hai mera, Prem Chopra”. His performance was well appreciated opposite Pran and Prem Nath. In the 80s, a tradition was evolved in bollywood films, that is casting many villains in the same film. In the film Duniya, Prem Chopra, Pran and Amrish Puri conspired against Dilip Kumar and killed his wife. Dilip Kumar took revenge against all the villains one after the other.
Prem Chopra again significant role in Rajanikant’s film Andha Kanoon. There also he acted with Pran and Danny and were killed by Rajanikant at the end of the film. He appeared in every alternative film during that time. His successful films included Khuddar opposite Big B, Andha Kanoon opposite Big B, to name a few.
Prem Chopra lost his hair. But that did not matter as he took different make ups all along his career. He acted as villain against actors of 4 decades. That requires special mention because a lot of fitness is required to match the heroes of bollywood films.
He even acted opposite Big B’s son Abhishek Bacchan, as a Punjabi truck driver in the film Bunty Aur Bably. It was a positive role and he impressed the viewers with his performance in the film.
Whenever viewers reflect back they find the same Prem Chopra in landmark films in the 60s and 70s like Teesri Manzil, Upkaar, Apradh, and many other films. The viewers expect him to continue his good work in the future too, as his performance in more than 300 films shows his indispensability in the film industry for many generations.