Friday, September 13, 2013

Sholay Stills: The Thakur's Shoe...

It is a scene that lasts hardly a second in the censored version of Sholay. Pity for that, for how easily you can miss what the director and the cinematographer do with it. The dark sky is menacing, it is also a take on the day when Gabbar executed Thakur's (Sanjeev Kumar) family. Then there is the nail-stuck shoe and the expression on Thakur's face. 

Calm and composed all through his dealings with Jai and Veeru, rarely showing his wrath, he now bursts open all his accumulated hate. It is also a scene that brings revenge to the fore, and its blind rage of consequences. Also, since this is the censored version, it becomes all the more unbelievable that Thakur Baldev Singh repents and gives up Gabbar in the name of law and order. It is a sane, sombre end, but doesn't go with Thakur's character at all...


  1. I disagree. The censored ending is more with Taku r's character. He is an honorable cop who always does the right thing in a moral fashion. For him, he has every reason to show blind rage, but then his sense of honor is so strong, he does the right thing. Killing Gabbar would have made him descend to the level of a murderer. Not a man who puts honor above all!

    1. Nay, anonymous, nay. The censored / re-shot version was itself filmed under compulsion and coercion. After losing his arms, Thakur was looking for blind revenge not honor. Therefore his insistence to Jai and Veeru on capturing Gabbar alive. Even in the censored version, we see him ready to cut off Gabbar's arms, the police arriving is just a farce.

      Sholay was released in the year of the emergency and the government didn't want an Indian citizen shown as defying the law. Therefore Ramesh Sippy had to shoot the now tamed version.

      Thakur had honor, but not for Gabbar, a man who had maimed him for life. With Gabbar, it was eye for an eye, no mistaking that.