Vantage point

Friday, November 22, 2002


Yesterday i finished reading "The Making of Classic - Sholay" by Anupama Chopra. The book describes the making of a movie that is the greatest Hindi movie ever made, something like what Casablanca is to Hollywood. People know its dialogues and sequences by heart.

The book is a must read to any Sholay fan (and by that I mean most normal Indians). Chopra writes very well and weaves the whole story beautifully. What is sad though is that the Censor Board made Ramesh Sippy change the ending of the movie. The original ending shows Thakur killing Gabbar with his boots. The censors did not like the idea of an ex-police officer killing so brutally. Those were the days of the Emergency. What they said was law. So the ending had to be changed. Retrospectively, I think it takes away a lot from the movie since Sholay was one film that had NO cliches. The way the Jay-Veeru friendship is handled, the way dacoits are portrayed, the way the villain is shown....I could go on and on.

However it ends with the cliche of the police coming late as usual. Sippy tried to convince the censors that this would be more insulting to the police since they were nowhere to be seen when Gabbar was killing people throughout the movie. But if they had brains, would they be on the Censor Board?

The book is a must read, in fact a must have.