Ram Gopal Varma’s Sholay causes a flutter in bollywood
Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay in 1975 is remembered as one of the finest movies to originate from Indian Cinema. This multi starrer had several characters and each and every character has made an indelible impression in the film and even today the characters and their traits are remembered and appreciated by the younger generation of movie lovers. However this time period in bollywood is a period of remakes and hence a brilliant film Sholay is once again being re-done. The film to be directed by Ram Gopal is titled Ram Gopal Varma Ki Sholay. However almost a third of bollywood people feel that Sholay cannot be remade as it is already a perfect film. However Varma has one of the biggest bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan backing him in his project and playing one of the lead characters Gabbar Singh in the film. In fact Amitabh was a part of the original Sholay and played the role of ‘Jai’.
However in spite of negative responses from bollywood, Varma who likes to swim against the tide is going ahead and making his version of Sholay. Most of the cast has already been finalized for the various roles in the film. One of the most infamous characters in the film was Gabbar Singh played by the late Amjad Khan. He immortalized the character with his character’s quirky traits. In the original Sholay, Amitabh had wanted to play the role of Gabbar after hearing the script, but Sippy and writers Javed and Salim felt that he would not suit the character. Danny Dengzogpa was considered for the role too, but ultimately after much deliberation the role went to Amjad Khan.
Amitabh Bachchan played the role of ‘Jai’ in the original Sholay. Earlier actor Shatrughan Sinha was also considered to play the character. In Varma’s version the role will be played by Mohit Ahlawat who has acted in two of Varma’s films James and Shiva both of which were flops. In the original version of Sholay the character of ‘Veeru’ was played by Dharmendra who actually wanted to play the role of Thakur Baldev Singh in the film. However when he heard that ‘Veeru’ gets to be with Basanti, his ladylove offscreen Hema Malini he relented and agreed to play ‘Veeru’. The character of Thakur Baldev Singh was played by Sanjeev Kapoor in the original and in the remake the role will be done by Mohanlal who was also seen in Company. The role of the sassy village belle Basanti played by Hema Malini in the original has not yet been finalized in Varma’s version.
The role of Radha was played by Jaya Bachchan who was paired opposite real life husband Amitabh in the film. Varma was earlier considering Katrina as his Radha, unfortunately though there were rumours that Varma was not too happy with Katrina’s diction and has now approached Sushmita Sen to play the role of this character. Helen gyrated to the famous number ‘Mehbooba’ and was sensational in the original, now Varma has roped in his once famous protégé Urmila Matondkar to gyrate on this dance number. Also other characters like the role of Gabbar Singh’s chief Sambha will be played by Sushant Singh and Soorma Bhopali who provided the comic relief will be played by Rajpal Yadav.
The shooting for Varma’s film has already begun and Gabbar Singh’s new look conceptualized by Varma has also been revealed. Bachchan wears a military jacket with cargo like pants. His look is unkempt with a bit of stubble. He wears a bandana like cloth around his forehead and there is a noticeable scar on his nose. His object of affection will be a scorpion headed stick. However it is not known whether Varma is making a modern day Sholay or just rehashing the original in a new format. Varma has turned out some good films in the past; however this one definitely is a test for the director’s skills. Let’s wait and watch whether his remake of the hit film Sholay lives up to expectations.