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Another 'Sholay' to hit theatres with a social cause
21st Mar 2007 09.00 IST
How about Gabbar Singh of the Sholay fame coming out with a social cause?
A producer from the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh is doing just that by attempting a comic retake of the famous Ramesh Sippy 's Bollywood flick banking on the iconic status of the actors to address a social prejudice.
In ‘Malwa Ke Sholay’ Gabbar Singh falls in love with Basanti and abducts her. Basanti is left with no choice but to marry the dacoit or embrace death because in traditional Indian society from the epic age of Ramayana, women are not accepted back by their families if they happen to spend even a single night away from home.
‘Malwa Ke Sholay’ an experimental comic take on the original blockbuster addressing this social evil is set to hit theatres in the country soon after the world cup matches are over.
At a time when a range of new versions of the Bollywood epic ‘Sholay’ is being made, a remotely known director in Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, Shalindra Sen, is only experimenting with the film's characters for their iconic status to highlight the issue.
Sen claims that although the film was being categorised with other remakes of the original Bollywood epic Sholay by Ramesh Sippy, it has a completely different story.
"Big directors like Ekta Kapoor and Ram Gopal Varma are making ‘Sholay’ but their version is like old wine in a new bottle. But ours is not a remake of the old film. We only have the same characters," he said.
Saas-bahu soaps queen Ekta Kapoor's Bhojpuri remake of the film stars Ravi Kissen as Gabbar and Varma is casting mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan in the role while the story remains unchanged.
"In our film debutant Amol Shrikhande will play Gabbar. The film has all the new actors, who are virtual beginners and our target audience is only Madhya Pradesh. But I am glad that despite our new subject it is being compared with their ambitious projects and we are also getting some publicity," Sen says.
"In ‘Malwa Ke Sholay’, Gabbar is attracted to Basanti and he abducts her after which the maiden has no other choice than to marry him. But Gabbar, filled with guilt, decides to change himself for good while Viru has been set with another girl.
'Thakur', played by Sanjeev Kumar in the original', has both his hands in this version, he says.
"We have tried to show how ‘Sholay's story would have been in Malwa's circumstances. Gender bias is still prevalent in modern India. If a boy comes back home even after 10 years he is welcomed but staying away from family is seen as a blot on a girl's character.
"The issue is serious but it has been given a comic treatment to make the story hilarious for people who are generally stressed and there is not a single scene of violence in it," Sen says.
"The only motto behind the same characters is that ‘Sholay’ has left a deep impact on Indian audiences. Their characterisation was so real that it was very impactful and people remember the movie's dialogues by heart till date. I am trying to benefit," he says.
Sen says the shooting was almost complete but he would wait for the cricket world cup and the exams to be over before the release of the film.
"Earlier, the plan was to release it in April but we would like the exams and the world cup to be over for a better turn out for the movie," he said and adds "if movie does well it would be shown in other parts of the country as well."
Sen says it is a low budget film but shot with complete sincerity keeping in mind the look it should have on the silver screen. "It is very low budget film made in around Rs 18 lakh and we have completed the shooting in just 25 days. We have shot the scenes with just one camera but it appears that the movie has been shot with 10 cameras," he says.
"Besides, our actors were trained in a 20-day workshop held before the movies," he adds. Shrikhande, who is playing Gabbar, said it was a completely hilarious experience shooting and promised that it would be the same for viewers.
"I enjoyed thoroughly playing the character. It is so different from the original Gabbar. I promise even the audiences will like it," he says.
Ram Gopal Varma
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