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The Radha lamp lighting sequence exudes some spoof vibes, the undertone of attraction it projects seems outdated now.There is still that tug in the heart when Jai dies, the Yeh Dosti sad version doesn't work there now though.Also, the muffled, retro treatment of the song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


  1. are you sure you saw it in 70mm? i really think that's unlikely.

    i thought the release was entirely digital. anyhow, i saw it at a mall (i was away the week of release, and it was barely available the week after), so it was digital, and it was extremely blurry and painful to watch. i've seen it twice on old 35mm prints in the last decade, and there's no comparison.

  2. Yes dear anonymous, with my own thine eyes we sees it in 70mm...we have the tickets stuck on our home collage board to proves its toos...this wasn't blurry at all, the best print I have seen of Sholay. Only the sound quality during the songs was an issue...