Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sholay: The Epitome of Bollywood

I just finished watching the IIFAs and Ramesh Sippy won an award for his contribution to cinema. I think there is no doubt that he deserved it. Other than Sholay, he's also done movies like Shaan, Saagar, and Seeta Aur Geeta, all of which are awesome.

Regardless, seeing that made me realize that it had been a good 6+ months since I last saw Sholay. Blasphemy, I know! I decided to correct that by watching it again for the hundredth time. I don't think I need to say how amazing this movie is. As far as I'm concerned, this movie defines Bollywood. If you haven't seen this movie, you DEFINITELY need to get on that and watch it.

There really is no better word to describe this movie than "epic." The dialogues from this movie are still used in everyday life. I'm sure you've heard "itna sanatta kyun hai bhai," "ab tera kya hoga Kaliya," "kitne aadmi the," "bahut nainsaafi hai," or other dialogues from this movie being thrown around. I've been watching this movie for years now and I'm still not over how epic it is. I've also decided that when I get a car, I'm going to name it Dhanno so I can say "chal Dhanno, aaj teri Basanti ki izzat ka sawaal hai" when I'm in a rush to get somewhere.

This movie also shows how a bunch of small coincidences add up to something phenomenal. Danny Denzongpa was supposed to play the role of Gabbar Singh, but he was busy with other movies and so Amjad Khan got the role. I cannot possibly see Danny doing as good a job as Amjad did. I've seen him is a lot of other movies since, and yet he will always be Gabbar Singh for me. Also, Dharmendra was supposed to be Thakur and Sanjeev Kumar was supposed to be Veeru. They switched roles because Dharmendra wanted to play the character opposite Hema Malini, who he ended up marrying. Now try to picture Dharmendra as Thakur. Grey wig, kurta pajaama, shawl, etc. I'm glad they switched roles. Everyone in this movie seemed to be perfectly cast.

Since I'm on the topic of casting, I want to give a special shoutout to Mac Mohan as Sambha. I love Sambha ("arre o Sambha!"). I actually oddly felt bad when he got shot after Jab Tak Hai Jaan just because he was so awesome. There are two more minor yet extremely memorable characters I like. One is Surma Bhopali. He was too good with his "humara naam Surma Bhopali ainvayi nahi hai." The other is our favorite Angrezon ke zamaane ke jailor. Asrani is an extremely talented actor, and he did a great job here too. I think tons of people (including myself of course) have the entire jail segment memorized word for word.

Oh and before I forget, my favorite fun fact about the film: Sholay actually has two endings. I learned this when I rented Sholay from my university's movie library and Gabbar Singh died in the end. I kept trying to convince my friends that he doesn't actually die in the end, but they refused to believe me. I then went to Wikipedia (the best source for anything and everything) and found out that the original cut of the film had Thakur killing Gabbar Singh, but the censor board said they didn't like the fact that a police officer was taking the law into his hands. The ending of the movie was then changed to Thakur getting Gabbar arrested. Both versions are now out on DVD.

There's so much more I could say about this movie just because of how historic and impactful it is, but I'm going to try to stop myself from babbling on now. I hope I've inspired you to watch this movie yet again!

And as some guy (I don't remember who) said during the IIFAs: Here's to friends, family, and films!

Edit: A friend of mine just sent me this gem: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_l17p80Q3Qcs/TPjG-xq6zqI/AAAAAAAAAoQ/634oiD0hLfc/s1600/Gabbar.JPG