This is Bollywood.
There is no film that has more deeply ingrained itself into the Indian collective consciousness as Ramesh Sippy's epic Eastern Western, Sholay
. Initially a critical and box office failure, the film quickly became the all-time highest grossing film in Indian history thanks almost entirely to word of mouth publicity in 1975. Since then, the film has become a cultural cornerstone, one of those films that everyone can quote from front to back, a film that is referenced in hundreds of other films over the past forty years.
While the film and its cast are revered and have turned from characters on screen to folk heroes, its fate in terms of the physical elements has been less that optimal. For years the film has been available on shoddy full screen DVDs that fail to capture the film's immense scope properly. For years, film archivists have been crying out to restore this, the greatest of Bollywood's blockbusters, to preserve it for future generations. It seems strange that it would take a 3D re-release to make the money men see the value in this preservation, but I'll take what I can get.Sholay
stars two of Bollywood's biggest stars, Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra, at the beginning of their careers. Jai (Bachchan) and Veeru (Dharmendra) are called upon, Seven Samurai
style, to protect a village under siege by the nefarious Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan in a role he'd never outgrow). Along for the ride are '70s Bollywood icons Jaya Bhaduri (the future Mrs. Bachchan and current politician), Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, and the item girl to end all item girls, Helen.
For pure thrills and adventure, you really can't beat Sholay
. The film embodies everything that is great about Bollywood: action, adventure, fantastic music and dances, celebrations, and of course, an epic runtime of roughly 200 minutes. The film's 3D restoration hits theaters on January 4th of 2014, but for those of you not interested in the extra dimension, UTV films assures us that it will screen alongside a restored 2D version in theaters.
Words cannot express how excited I am to be able to see this film on a big screen, hopefully in a pristine restoration. If you ever wanted to know what makes Bollywood great, look no further than Sholay
! Check out the trailer below and get a little taste.
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