Sholay: a movie review

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Sholay: a movie review

brotee mukhopadhyay


The 1975 Bollywood block-buster Sholay, a Hindi film of nearly three hours runtime, had surprised everyone by its non-stop presence of 286 weeks in the Minerva, a Mumbai theater. Emotions magnified in a high drama and colorful blending of violence, vengeance, love, romance, sweet and sad music, comic relief and final victory of the good over bad have been instrumental to its unbelievable popularity. Sholay is an unusual Indian film. Its genre reminds us Sergei Leonne’s ‘Spaghetti Westerns’. The rugged and barren landscape of Ramanagaram near Bangalore (Karnataka state of southern India), unpredictable terror of a bandit, determined fight of a former police officer, villagers of some dreamland-like region and the newfound technological brilliance in cinematography by the early seventies of the last century have contributed in unequal proportion to build up the chemistry of success.


Thakur Baldev Singh (Sanjeev Kumar) finds assistance and services of two jailbirds for (Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan) an operation against a formidable bandit Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan) who has a habit of plundering in the remote villages. The jailbirds finally defeat the bandit and the cops takes him to custody. The story has interesting meanderings at different times. In the utterly terrorized territory of a human settlement love larks and Basanti (Hema Malini), a garrulous village girl is tagged to Dharmandra when Radha (Joya Bhaduri), a lone widow in the Thakur Baldev Singh”s family receives the appeal of love from Amitabh Bachchan. The story ends once and before the curtain is drawn the sacrifice of life by Amitabh Bachchan leaves a lasting mark in the mind of the viewers.

Thoughts EvolvedFamily relation and its traditional bindings are things that the Indian people consider important still today. Sholay has been shifted from this familiar spectrum and in this film the relations are such loose as one may opt to disbelieve. Again, the brutality delineated in the celluloid is by any measure beyond the reach of the people of India. Still they have enjoyed the film. This is really astonishing as the bandit Gabbar Singh has become a popular figure and his dialogues in the film are inculcated by number of cinema-goers. If this is an achievement of the film-maker the sociologists should study how the peace-loving and generally non-violent people of India have been experiencing any change within them.


Dharmendra Veeru

Sanjeev Kumar Thakur Baldev Singh

Hema Malini Basanti

Amitabh Bachchan Jai (Jaidev)

Jaya Bhaduri Radha

Amjad Khan Gabbar Singh

A.K. Hangal Imaam Saheb


Producer G.P. Sippy

Music Rahul Dev Burman

Cinematography Dwarka Divecha

Film Editing M.S. Shinde

Production Design Ram Yedekar

Art Direction Ram Yedekar


Filmfare Award M. S. Shinde won for Best editing

At the 50th Filmfare Awards The Best Film of 50 Years

BBC India and internet polls in 1999. “Film of the Millennium”

Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards

Best Actor in Supporting Role – Amjad Khan

Best Cinematographer (Colour)- Dwarka Divecha

Best Art Director – Ram Yadekar


Yeh Dosti Hum NahinTodenge (Happy) Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey

Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin Todenge (Sad) Kishore Kumar

Jab Tak Hain Jaan Lata Mangeshkar

Mehbooba Mehbooba RD Burman

Ek Hasina Jab rooth Jaati Hai Kishore Kumar

Holi ke Din Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar


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