Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My experience of watching movie Sholay in 1975 !

I was studying in class 7th at RK Puram Sect 8 in New Delhi. The movie Sholay ran in Plaza, Connaught place. Plaza that time was owned by Shammi Kapoor. I was staying with my cousin sis and brother in law who stayed in Hauz Khas. My Bil worked as officer in CBI, at R.K Puram office. He was professional photographer. His friends knew Dwarka Divecha, the cinematographer of Sholay. They tipped him to see the movie for the visual narration especially the wide angle and long shots, prominently the close ups of the fight scenes in the running train.   

He also knew people in Plaza and got the tickets for Sunday and so we went to see the movie on the third day of its release.  There was hardly any crowd at the theater then, the quietness bugged me and I was not very keen to see the movie. I thought it might be another art movie, insipid and tasteless.  However, the 70 mm cinema scope that was introduced for this movie at Plaza, gave a different experience and it was the most enjoyable film I have ever watched in my life.

Slowly, the mouth of words praise of the movie started spreading and the crowd started soared at the Plaza cinema hall. The movie became a rage in no time. Have you seen Sholay, became the talk of the town. 

Well Sholay was not just a film, it was an event which no one wanted to miss. I still remember seeing the serpentine queue for buying the ticket that started form from Plaza and went beyond Odeon cinema, a distance of more than 1 km. I knew someone in that lane and use to watch this queue that continued for more than six months. Jokingly, i use to boast off, you guys haven't made it up, i have seen the movie long ago.  

I still remember one of my classmates, doing mimicry of Gabar Singh.  Kitne Admi thei, mein ne ap ka namak khya hai, ab goli kha, dichkwoon dichkwoon, his voice, of the gun shots is still fresh in my memory, even though I don’t remember his name. He use to wear specks. 

The effect of Sholay in Indian cinema can be summed as Indian film history can be divided into Sholay BC and Sholay AD. There has never been a more defining film on the Indian screen than Sholay.  

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