Rahul Roy, the Romcom Hero Who Went The Horror Movie Way

Rahul Roy had an incredible fan base with the release of his movie, Aashiqui. Rahul Roy was also a Bhatt favorite. He went on to star in other Bhatt projects like Junoon, Gumrah, Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayi. Audiences remember him the most for his starring role in Aashiqui. Horror fans love him for his roles in movies like Junoon and Pyaar Ka Saaya.

Today, on the 30th anniversary of the superhit Aashiqui, he revealed that he was also the first option for Shah Rukh Khan’s role in Darr. Film buffs will spend a few minutes thinking about what the Bollywood movie expanse would be if Rahul Roy had indeed played the role. Modern audiences would say that Rahul wouldn’t have lit a light against Shah Rukh’s performance.

Even I agree. Because Rahul Roy wouldn’t be trying to emulate Shah Rukh Khan. If Rahul had said yes, it’d be Rahul Roy doing his best for the role. But this article isn’t about Rahul Roy’s romance and comedy outings. It’s about one his movies – not that one – that created a buzz in the Bollywood movie industry much before its release, Pyaar ka Saaya.

A can sequence replaced the coin sequence:

The movie was about a newly married couple, Avinash (Rahul Roy) and Pooja (Sheeba), separated when Rahul’s character is killed off by a mysterious assailant. Avinash’s spirit returns and tries his best to save Pooja from the same assailants – those who are actually very near to Pooja too.

You can watch Pyaar Ka Saaya On YouTube now:

Think the plot is reminiscent of some other movie? Let me help you, the plot is a scene to scene remake of the iconic Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as the couple and Whoopi Goldberg as the spiritual guru who helps Swayze’s character. In the Bollywood horror movie, Amrita Singh played the role.

Ghost hit theaters in 1990 and Pyaar ka Saaya hit theaters in 1991. Pyaar ka Saaya became the first Bollywood movie to give Bollywood audiences a ghost character they could sympathize with, much like the one Patrick Swayze played in the Hollywood movie, Sam.  In every other Bollywood horror movie until that time, the ghost was someone who had to be defeated, someone who had returned from the dead and couldn’t exact revenge, and was, therefore, preying on everyone else. It’s unfortunate that there’s absolutely no information about Pyaar ka Saaya, apart from the Wiki page that provides bare-bones information.

In retrospect, the project had all the trappings of an unimaginative project. The director was B.Subhash. The most famous movie he ever made was the Hemant Birje starrer Adventures of Tarzan. The biggest movies he did were the Mithun Chakraborthy starrers Disco Dancer and later on, Dance Dance and Commando.

Why Rahul Roy accepted this project as his next movie after Aashiqui is a mystery. There’s always the chance that Rahul Roy signed up and shot this movie before Aashiqui. But then, Roy had one another supernatural movie that came out in the vicinity of that year, Junoon.

Did Roy think of changing his image, from that of a romance hero to someone who’s looking for edgy content? If that’s the reason, I will ask the question every Bollywood horror movie fan would like to ask. Why didn’t he become a production favorite for the Ramsays? They were belting out Bollywood horror movie after movie from 1980s to the late 90s.

A generic ghost-saves-old-people sequence replaced the iconic train sequence:

Ghost became popular because of three sequences. One was with Swayze and Demi Moore having an intimate moment at a Potter’s table. The second was the scene where Sam learns of his power to move things. The third was the final kiss – that kiss that made its way the posters of the movie as well.

For some reason, the director incorporated all these sequences, and that’s what put off so many of Bollywood horror movie audiences. The director, B. Subhash took all the elements of the original Hollywood movie. So, Sheeba did the pottery scene wearing a white, revealing half saree. A can on the street replaced the coin. A generic ghost-helps-old-people scene replaced the iconic train indicator sequences. The iconic kissing scene made its way to Pyaar ka Saaya as well, but with disconcerting CGI.

Bollywood has played with the good ghost concept since then, and the movies were successful. In 1992, Shah Rukh Khan starred in the supernatural movie Ghost, with Naseeruddin Shah playing a don who is trying to clear his name after his death. 1991 also saw the supernatural movie Maa, where a woman tries to save her family from the villains after her death.  Both Maa and Chamatkar were very popular.

Its difficult to know the box office collections of Pyaar ka Saaya. But at least we know of Rahul Roy as the romantic hero who made his foray into Bollywood horror movies.

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About Roy D'Silva 483 Articles
Roy D'Silva loves nicely made horror films,books and series. He has spent a lifetime covering various entertainment beats and has finally found his calling covering the paranormal/supernatural/horror fiction beat.

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