Salman, Abhishek remember “Sholay” 40-years later

Mumbai/ New Delhi: Salman Khan watched “Sholay” in his school uniform while Abhishek Bachchan was not even born when it released but the movie, which turns 40 this month, was a defining part of their childhood.

Salman’s father Salim Khan co-wrote the script of the cult movie with Javed Akhtar, starring Amitabh Bachchan as Jai, Dharmendra as Veeru, Hema Malini as Basanti, Amjad Khan as the dreaded Gabbar and Sanjeev Kumar as Thakur in the Ramesh Sippy-directed movie, which released on August 15, 1975.

Recalling his earliest memories about the film, Salman said he attended the premiere with brother Arbaaz in ‘Minerva’ theatre.

“I remember we went to see the premiere of ‘Sholay’. Arbaaz and me were in Scindia school, so we were dressed in our school blazers when our father took us there,” Salman said, adding “the film surprisingly for two weeks was a huge disaster.”

“Apparently, they went back to shoot the climax to make Bachchan saab relive in the movie but after two weeks, it just took it to the next level.

“Sholay” has some of the most memorable dialogues ever written in a Hindi film be it “kitne aadmi the?” by Gabbar, or “Tumhara naam kya hai Basanti?” by Bachchan and Dharmendra’s “Basanti, in kutton ke saamne mat naachna”.

Salman, 49, said this is one film wheere “informatory lines” became hit dialogues. The actor said he always wanted to get lines like “Sholay” in his films.

Abhishek, who was in Delhi to promote his upcoming film “All Is Well”, said he was actually in his “mother’s stomach” when he went for the premiere of “Sholay”.

“The thing I love about ‘Sholay’ is even if you see it today, it’s very contemporary. A lot of films age, I feel ‘Sholay’ is ageless. It is as close to what we can get to a perfect masala potboiler that we have. Even if you see it today, its very believable. It’s an iconic film,” Abhishek, 39, said.

“My entire childhood has been full of hearing stories of Salim-Javed uncle, Ramesh uncle, my parents and those were such wonderful stories. I believe the film was shot over three years. There were great anecdotes.

“Rohan, Ramesh’s son went school with me and we did films together as well. Sholay is the greatest film we have ever made and we are very happy that it is here, 40 years down the line. To make a film that today’s youth can connect with, I think that would be something all of us would aspire to do at some point.