One of the most iconic films of Hindi cinema remains to be Sholay that completed 45 years on Saturday.
Released in 1975, Sholay was made by Ramesh Sippy, written by Salim-Javed and featured Hindi cinema superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Hemamalini, Jaya Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Ansari, Jagdeep and AK Hangal.
The film over the years has turned out to become a cult classic. Sholay was also one of those rare stories, where the character of the villain Gabbar Singh was one of the biggest highlights, even during the casting process. It gained immense recognition for its dialogues, music, acting, and the story.
Sippy said to PTI, “When the story came to me he stayed true to its original idea of two guys on the run and their involvement in helping Thakur to avenge the murder of his family by a dreaded dacoit terrorising his village”.
“The colour and characters came into existence later but the basic storyline was in place. Except that the two guys (Jai and Veeru) were from the Army and Sanjeev Kumar’s role of Thakur was of an Army officer, who was changed to a cop,” Sippy told PTI.
“The basic idea was about two young guys (Jai and Veeru) on the run, their love for adventure and how they get involved in this emotional story of Thakur. All the character came into place one-by-one. It took a life of its own as we discussed and moved further in the script,” he added.
The journey of creating Sholay, including scripting and casting, took a little over two years. The shoot started from October 3, 1973 and the film hit the theatres on August 15, 1975.
The 73-year-old filmmaker said he was inspired by Japenese director Akira Kurosawa”s “Seven Samurai” (1954) and American film director John Sturges” “The Magnificent Seven” (1960) – both revolving around saving a village from bandits besides Hindi movies “Khote Sikkay” (1974), “Mera Gaon Mera Desh” (1971) and “Ganga Jamuna” (1961).
The director said they knew that they had a good film in their hands. “We felt that we were making a damn good film but certainly not that 45 years later we would be talking about it. Everyone put their best foot forward. But we didn’t expect this much (love and following). It has become a phenomenon,” he said to PTI.