Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sholay Specials: Salim-Javed on Sholay and other things (Video Links)

The  Salim-Javed camaraderie and friendship was more than evident on Rajeev Masand's CNN -IBN interview of the duo post the Sholay 3D release. 

Going down memory lane, Salim Khan revealed how Ramesh Sippy chose Sholay's nebulous idea over Majboor's complete script. The director was looking to make something big and Sholay's initial idea suited Sippy's canvas. The director then gave the go-ahead to the writers to work on Sholay.

It was as the script was been written that Salim-Javed realized that the film can be a huge multi-starrer. For more, hear it from the duo, presented here in four video links:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sholay Specials: Salim-Javed on Sholay 3D

Post a week of the historic Sholay 3D release, two iconic Hindi film writers teamed up again to be interviewed by Rajeev Masand on CNN-IBN. 

On asked for his feedback after watching Sholay 3D, Javed Akhtar said and I quote here:

I had not seen the film since...almost 20 years. Many things I had actually forgotten, so it was really an experience.One must say, in total objectivity, leave aside the fact that we were involved in the picture - it doesn't look like an old film! 

Salim Khan added:

It is an timeless film. Nothing is outdated in this film. Now, when you look back it is no more a film, it is an experience. It has also got its own wonderful story about how it came into existence. It was a mere idea of 15-20 minutes.  

(To be contd.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sholay Dialogue Baazi: Loha Garam Hai...

Carpe Diem as they say, seize the day, do away with procrastination! LOHA GARAM HAI,MAAR DO HATODA...

(For full size poster - click HERE)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sholay Dialogue Baazi: Shayad Khatron Se...

Whatever you do, do it with passion and ensure that you have your daily dose of adventure, as Thakur says:  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Movie Watch: Sholay in 3D: As good as it gets!

Well, for starters Sholay in 3D is totally worth the price of your ticket. Literally speaking, weekdays are your best bet if you intend to pay less (reasonable, not daylight robbery prices) at multiplexes for the same quality. 

Now on to the film. I entered the cinema hall in excitement and just the treatment of the opening steam engine ruckus pretty much killed me. Right from Ramlal waiting at Ramgarh station to Thakur taking a lone walk away from the holi celebrations after narrating the Gabbar episode, the first half is a hoot. It was like watching Sholay for the first time. I laughed again at the Soorma Bhopali, Asrani sections (Jagdeep and Asrani are stellar) and was awed by the train robbery scene - this is where 3D is put to best use. I could also see how the reaction to the unfolding proceedings has changed with age. There is much to decipher now, in the humour, the proverbs and accidental/intentional undertones (The coin, Jai's Veeru talk to Mausi, Jai playing the mouth organ looking up at Basanti, etc.).  

Then, Now
The picture quality has improved ten-fold, the sound quality is just great and one can see various elements from the stand out scenes very clearly.The brown terrain, widespread landscape gets through, giving the characters a great location background. 

It was more than deja vu - the first frame of Amitabh Bachchan tells us why he so fits into the Hindi film hero bill. Amidst Dharmendra (Endearingly goofy) and Sanjeev Kumar (Stylish dialogue and substance), Amitabh's performance has a timeless ease and authority. Hema Malini (perky) and Jaya Bachchan (understated) are good contrasting shades to 'filmy' heroines.

The Radha lamp lighting sequence exudes some spoof vibes, the undertone of attraction it projects seems outdated now.There is still that tug in the heart when Jai dies, the Yeh Dosti sad version doesn't work there now though.Also, the muffled, retro treatment of the song vocals is a downer even while the new remastered, tweaked background music is apt.

By the end, I was expecting the original ending (didn't happen) where Gabbar is killed by Thakur, surely there is no issue in releasing that version now? It still seems queasy and incomplete when the police arrive. It's as if Gabbar will again make his escape and we would have a sequel.

Three odd hours later
Finally, Sholay in 3D is not to be missed on 70mm.Within the tired churn of formula, Sholay attains a rare cinematic vibe, its jokes, drama, and performances still immensely enjoyable. Sholay is ultimately one of the most entertaining Hindi films ever made.

Watch out moments - Sholay in 3D 
  • A close up of the steam engine's wheels.
  • The bullet that sears at us after breaking through handcuffs. 
  • Wood pieces coming apart, flying. 
  • The bike in Yeh Dosti is a closely acquainted character, thanks to 3D.
  • Dhano gets a great side view angle of its head. 
  • The leaves in the Thakur family execution scene.
  • A pigeon's timely flight past the jailor's face. 
  • Thakur's nailed footwear coming down on Gabbar. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sholay in 3D: Preview

I could go on and on about this.

A barren borrowed terrain, collective hoof beat thunder, distant hapless village, a tormenting larger than life bandit/dacoit, unlikely saviours - and an entire array of gun exchange running through it. Among many other things, Sholay is an Indian western and unabashedly so.

Yet there is the very Hindi cinema twang to it, spirit of the nautanki, a playful exaggeration, inexplicable change of heart and elements which we now identify as filmy. Yet, a sense of fortunate cinematic culmination pervades through the marathon running time.

Something extra has been put into Sholay, a wide frame throne that suits the epic treatment.We can clearly see how each scene stands out as an act. There is an attempt in arrangement, careful execution, lopsided bits are few here. Even now, it tells of a director who dared to take the leap. It is another thing that Ramesh Sippy hasn't yet made another film to equal or surpass it in the years to come. We are not complaining, merely playing the objectivity-ridden fan here. 
Finally, Sholay's core are in the endearing characters - the main six and the memorable cameos. Salim-Javed dialogues are its blood and veins.The music is good accompaniment. But to unravel what makes it, after all these years, memorable, is still a mystery. Probably, at the first hint of oblivion, we will finally know - what it was all about.

Until then, long live Sholay.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sholay in 3D: Trailer Stills II

One of the many 3D effects from the film
Another poetic dacoit fall, another hapless horse
Thakur gets a measure of Gabbar's neck
Veeru has his 'Nana Patekar' moment

Chitti aayi hai...: Gabbar reads a letter

Sholay in 3D: Trailer Stills I

The Thakur family execution

Kalia's last moments

Ramgarh's holi revelry has uninvited guests
Jai looks all colours blazing in the 3D version 
A train chugs along

Sholay in 3D: The Latest Offical Trailer

With two days to go for the historic release, the latest Sholay in 3D trailer is doing the rounds on youtube. This trailer is impressively done, with good juxtaposed edit cuts, considering that most of us have seen the 2D version more than once. Click here to watch the trailer.

The RD Burman background music seems to have been tweaked to suit modern aural sensibilities. What looks most pleasing to the eye is the picture quality. Finally Sholay looks brand new in this enhanced print. Why, even if you consider the latest Pen DVD of Sholay, the print is just about OK.

Then there are many of us who were not yet born or (possibly) conceived when the film was first released in 1975 on 70mm stereophonic sound. 
So, bring it on!