Statutory warning- this review is written by an ardent Sholay fan and hence, is bound to be unreasonably biased towards the cult classic and the way it was! Read on to find out whether the vintage was appreciated after restoration or not…
Utter the words ‘Indian classic movie’ at a public area and somebody will say Sholay in the same minute with child like enthusiasm. Go to anybody who has seen the 1975 blockbuster on 70 mm and ask what they thought of the movie – well, they will probably take a couple of minutes to just relish those grandiose moments and when they are done reliving the film, they will say, ‘Oh! What a great film that was’ in the ‘those were the good ol’ days’ tone.
That’s what Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay is all about. Every character – and I stay adamant at this point – every character has etched a certain picture in our minds that no eraser can rub off. Kudos to the script writers Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar. For all those who don’t own the DVDs and have forgotten about the movie’s charm, let me take you through a brief walk to the world of Sholay and a glimpse of how it looks in 3D…
# The larger than life Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra played Jai and Veeru- the best buddies who can die for each other. The only reason why I introduce them together and not individually, is because it is a cardinal sin to not say Jai and Veeru in the same sentence – one is incomplete without the other and the tale of their friendship is still remembered as the ultimate dosti ki misaal!
The 3D effect: The already larger than life Big B and Dharmendra look even more real and touchable (if you know what I mean). The brownie point goes to the way the coin flip looks and the way bullets fly – right in your face and I swear, you will definitely stretch your hand out to catch the coin!
# The effervescent Hema Malini in the role of innocent Basanti has been the benchmark of a village girl’s character. Her relationship with Dhanno – the horse which pulls her horse cart, the way she dresses, the way she speaks and the classic Yun ki…yeh kaun bola and Chal Dhanno… Aaj teri Basanti ki ijjat ka sawaal hai are only some moments that one can never forget.
The 3D effect: The colours of her dress pop out in a slightly unusual manner and the jungle sequence looks a bit funny in the 3D effect. The brownie point is the way colours fly all over in the Holi ke din sab mil jaate hain song.
# The calm and poised Jaya Bachchan plays Thakur Baldev Singh’s (Sanjeev Kumar) widowed daughter-in-law, Radha . The melancholy of a widow’s life has been put to display in movies before and after Sholay, but none have shown a woman’s agony of losing her lover twice and with such grace.
The 3D effect: The way Radha turns down the light of the lantern slowly, every evening when Jai plays the mouth organ stands out because of the 3D effect. The brownie point is that the slow denial in her action is enhanced because of the changed colour coding and added 3D effect.
# What can one possibly say about Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan) – one of the most epic villains of Indian cinema who made playing villain, the “in” thing. Rumours were, even a long time after Sholay, when Amjad Khan walked into a place, people – especially kids – would still be terrified of him! Now that’s the way to play a character, right folks!
The 3D effect: Watching Gabbar in a 3D avatar is simply delightful. His wickedness, the swinging of his belt, suddenly shooting Kaaliya, his expressions…everything enhances by leaps and bounds. The brownie point? Well, the brownie point is the over all enhancement of his character. The 3D effect and the colour coding have transformed this character into a small movie in itself.
My verdict: There are places in the movie where the three dimensional effects have added to the grandeur of the film and the movie looks even larger, more elaborate and detailed because of the 3D effect. But just like an old book, whose charm lies in it’s rustic pages and the musty smell of the paper, Sholay does not need technology to bring the best out of it.
In fact, the movie might have looked and fared better if it was released in the original format. Why do I say so, you ask? Well, because I ended up concentrating more on the 3D effects than the movie – needless to say that Ketan Mehta’s company Maya Digital, has done a phenomenal job at turning the movie into 3D format. Clap, clap, clap!
For people who have not seen the movie before, they might just end up missing the movie’s essence, and for people who have seen the movie before, they might end up not liking the new feel to their good old Sholay. So go on BollywoodLifers, watch the movie and choose your pick- the classic Sholay or Sholay 3D…
Reviewed by Kritika Ajmani
**** Very good