Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sholay 2D & Sholay 3D: Set for Historical March 2015 Release in Pakistan

If all goes well, Sholay fans in Pakistan will finally get to see the film as it is best experienced - on the 70mm screen. Nadeem Mandviwalla of Mandviwalla Entertainment, a leading Pakistani distributor and exhibitor, plans to release the film in 2D and 3D. The expected release date is March 20, 2015. 

The film will have a limited release at select theaters. Mandviwalla described Sholay with terms such as 'unique' and 'timeless classic'."The magic of watching this movie in theaters is awesome," he added. 

As press reports suggest, most Pakistanis have seen pirated versions of the movie, none has had the fortune of viewing Sholay in a theater. For sheer fun and entertainment, we do hope the fans get their share of cinema. 

We may not be singing yeh dosti yet, but surely you can't grudge Sholay to come between us, would you? Awaiting more news on the historical release. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sholay Director Ramesh Sippy's New Film: Shimla Mirchi

Nearly two decades after his last directorial venture, the Shah Rukh Khan starrer, Zamana Deewana (1995), Sholay director Ramesh Sippy is back. At the time of writing he is filming Shimla Mirchi, starring Basanti alias Hema Malini, the mercurial actor Rajkummar Rao and the refreshing Rakul Preet Singh. No spoilers here, the film is rumoured to be a romantic comedy. We await the release date. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sholay Specials:Asrani's Undying Spirit:ETC Interview with Komal Nahta

The hero is such a magnified presence in commercial Hindi cinema that seldom are other supporting acting talents recognised. One such dreaded label is the 'character actor', often a footnote when cinema history is evoked. If Ben Kingsley or Morgan Freeman had been working in Hindi films, they wouldn't have been as admired as they are. 

In Rohit Shetty's Bol Bachchan (2012) Asrani gets a long overdue tribute, as Prithvi (Ajay Devgan) mentions how Shastri (Asrani) has been doing special appearances for decades. Post the film's release, ETC's Komal Nahta did a nice freewheeling interview with the veteran actor. As you will see in this youtube clip, Asrani has a rumble-tumble way of talking and a spirit to see the humour in everything, be it his first disastrous film, the struggle to get his breakthrough role in Guddi (1971) and finally and inevitably talking about the character he enjoyed playing the most - Angrezo ke zamane ke jailor in Sholay (1975). Asrani also talks in length about the crucial intonations that nailed it and the origins of the role.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Before Sholay: Notable Amitabh Bachchan films (1969 - 1975): Zanjeer

Zanjeer (1973)

A game changer as far as Hindi film formula is concerned, it is no surprise that the angst-ridden lead role was rejected by several leading men of that time. 

Most films of the 60's were blown up fairy tales that never resembled any of the lives that the audience was leading. Until then, the commercial Hindi film hero wooed the girl, danced in gardens, on hill-tops and in discos, drove jeeps, lip-synced melodious songs in a sugar-candy world oblivious to the world of employment, livelihood, corruption and other bare truths. He did become grim in the end reels, just to bash up the villain or turn the tables on him, verbally or in a courtroom. Salim-Javed's script was more than an eye-opener in this stale scenario.

Amitabh's first big solo hero success, it was also to make several film makers churn out similar anti-establishment films (mostly bad and average) for years to come, many of them starring Amitabh, even as the Hindi film industry moved from a resurgent, creative 70's to formulaic, brazen 80's.

Iconic moment
When inspector Vijay Khanna strides into Sher Khan's area post their face-off at the police station, it is the film's revelatory moment, that Amitabh Bachchan had unexpectedly, made it big on celluloid.