Nisha Kothari as Basanti will ride an autorickshaw in Varma’s Sholay


Ram Gopal Varma’s ambitious remake of the original Sholay has been under fire from various sections of the media as well as from those within the industry too. Recently a member from the Sippy family, the original producers of the film has also filed a law suit against Varma for remaking the film. However Varma seems undeterred by any of these obstacles and is continuing with his new version of Sholay. The film will however have many changes and will be made keeping in mind today’s modern generation and setting. Varma has also finally finalized his protégée Nisha Kothari to play the village belle Basanti enacted by Hema Malini in the original.
Basanti was one of the lovable characters of the film, a smart mouthed, talkative and loud village girl. On the contrary Nisha Kothari has done just a few films and has still to make her presence felt in bollywood. Varma has also decided not to name his character Basanti but instead will name her ‘Ghungroo’. Basanti was also seen on her horse carriage which she called ‘dhanno’ but Varma’s Ghungroo will be seen riding the famous three wheeler, the autorickshaw which she will fondly call ‘Laila’. Sushmita Sen is slated to play the other female lead in the film and her character will be based on Jaya Bachchan’s widowed Radha. But again Sushmita’s character will be known as Devi in Varma’s remake and she will also play a strong willed widow who is seen wearing black clothes. Devi plays a trained nurse who runs a small clinic.

Also in the original Sholay, both the female leads, Radha and Basanti were never known to each other, but Varma plans to have them as close friends in his remake. Varma says “Ghungroo is shown staying in the same locality as Devi, so it’s but natural that her acquaintance with Devi develops into a close friendship.” He further elaborates on the colourful character of Ghungroo saying “Ghungroo would like you to believe she’s a man. Mumbai’s only female auto driver, she knows all the short cuts in the city and easily switches between Marathi, Hindi and English. She stays with her mother, an aggressive hard nosed fisherwoman.” The rickshaw will be the center of attraction when dealing with Ghungroo’s character and hence the interiors of the rickshaw will be adorned with several hangings, a perfume dispenser, animal print upholstery, multi speaker music system and disco lights.

The characters in Varma’s remake of Sholay certainly do seem interesting, but whether the present actors will be able to live up to the earlier image of the characters remains to be seen. Undeterred by any kind of criticism, Varma is boldly moving forth with his plans for the remake of Sholay. Let’s wait and watch for the verdict.


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