Watching Sholay 3D left me equal parts delighted and depressed. Delighted, because the film remains one of the coolest ever made in Bollywood. Each aspect from the cast, to the story, dialogue, and technique makes you want to applaud.
But the film will depress you if you dare compare it with the “products” dished out today in the name of massy entertainers. Sholay is as mainstream as you can get – its beauty is that it’s accessible to everyone. Neither does it categorize itself as an elitist entertainer, nor does it belt out garbage in the name of catering to the lowest denominator. It’s wholesome, is what it is.
And especially with the year gone by, where all our young heroes from Ranbir Kapoor to Shahid Kapur have “tried” regressive films to reach to the audience, it’s depressing to see how cooler things were back then. Maybe I am dwelling in nostalgia.
But one thing’s for sure, you’ll kick yourself for missing this movie experience. Sure, you’ve watched Sholay a dozen times, but when was the last time you sat yourself down and soaked it in from beginning to end?
Also, it’s exhilarating to get the opportunity to watch Sholay on the big screen. I was jittery about the 3D, but thankfully it doesn’t take anything away from the movie. The shots where things are flung in your direction are gimmicky, but the 3D is at its best when it’s invisible, giving you the added depth and bringing the story alive.
The story about an ex-cop who enlists two small thieves to take on a local Goliath (Gabbar Singh) still remains just as immersing. The iconic characters of Jai, Veeru, Basanti, Thakur, Gabbar, and the jailor are simply mesmerizing.
It’s amazing how writer duo Salim-Javed has woven humour (it’s so funny even now), pathos, romance and action into the story. Or conversely has written a story with all these elements. It’s also interesting that they’ve chosen to begin and end the film with a train, making for a powerful symbol.
The best part about the film still remains Jai-Veeru’s equation— the thick-as-thieves (pardon the pun) friends with opposing personalities.
Some of the memorable scenes like ‘Basanti’s introduction’ and ‘Veeru’s soocide’ saw impromptu applause from the audience.
The only thing that seemed a bit “off” was the sound—the echoes, whipping of the horse etcetera were so loud, they were almost distracting.
But you also admire the self-assured, effortless storytelling (director Ramesh Sippy), the writing (Salim-Javed), the nuanced acting by the unparalleled cast (Amitabh Bachchan, Dharamendra, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kapoor, Jaya Bachchan, Amjad Khan are OUTSTANDING), the Spaghetti Western sweep (cinematographer Dwarka Diwecha), and the music (RD Burman).
They don’t make iconic teams like this anymore. Which is why, perhaps, they don’t make films like this anymore. Go, experience!
Rating: Four and a half stars