Showing posts with label Anupam Chopra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anupam Chopra. Show all posts

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Sholay: The Making of Classic : Anupama Chopra

Book : Sholay - The Making of Classic
Written by: Anupma Chopra
Publication : Penguin Random House Books, India
Price : 299/-
Pages : 194
ISBN No. : 978-0-14-029970-0

  "There has never been a more defining film on Indian Screen. Indian film history can be divided into Shalay BC and Sholay AD." ............ Shekhar Kapoor.

Sholay: Anupama Chopra
Sholay: Anupama Chopra
Sholay was released on 15 August 1975 and I got the privilege to see it in television on 26 January 1996 after 21 years of it release. I can not recall when I saw this movie in theater, may be I was in my primary classes but when I bought my first tape recorder in 1987, the cassettes I bought was complete dialogue of Sholay which was two cassette set. I bought this book i.e. Sholay - The Making of Classic in Sep. 2018 but it is the most speedily read book by me. I finished this book in two days. Why i am saying this, because it such a cult classic and nostalgic effect on the moviegoers of India. After 45 years it have same magic which remain abated till date.

Anupma Chopra's book gives us inside story of each and every aspect of this film. Watching Sholay is mesmerizing experience like seeing a eternal beauty again and again while reading this book gives us glimpses of soul beneath the glittering skin of Sholay. It gives us first hand account of pain, agony and struggle which remain behind the scene when Sholay was being canned by Ramesh Sippy.
Chapter 1 :- Shayad Khatron se khelne ka shauk ha mujhe is the first chapter which starts with an aspiring actor's wish to get the role in Sholay from G P Sippy, who was connoisseur of film industry at that time after the roaring success of Sita and Gita. That aspiring actor was Amitabh Bacchan who was about to be decimated in film industry after string of flop films. The main lead was alocated to as expected to Dharmendra and Hema Malini who were hit pair of Sita and Gita, AB was trying get his foot hold to third lead actor. then  the flamboyant Shot Gun Shatrughan Sinha comes to the party and Amitabh shift in the background...... A distributor leaned towards Ramesh (Sippy) and whisperedinto his ear: ' yeh hai aap ki casting. Us lambuji ka sochna bhi mat .... ( pg. 11) . Ramesh Sippy at that time considered as highly pampered brat who could gamble in showbiz. At the age of 25 he made unconventional movie where Shammi Kapoor was hero with Hema Malini and lover boy of that era Rajesh Khanaa was in small role. After his success, people were bound to take him seriously as ' everybody wondered.. remebers shashi kapoor, ' yeh ramesh sippy hai kya cheez?... p. 13. This chapter provide the glimpses of changes that were going at that time in Bollywood.

amjad khan, sanjeev kumar
Gabbar with Thakur with Ramesh Sippy

Chapter 2 :- Loha lohe ko kaatata hai  gives us an idea about the development of story of Sholay. A four line story idea which was narrated by Salim Javed. As Anupma Chopra narrates that this story was narrated to Parkash Mehra and Manmohan Desai earlier but ultimately it lands in the lap of Ramesh Sippy who was destined to make something big as his father aspires. Destiny deciddes his heroes and champions, here a struggling duo of writers which have a failed hero and budding dialogue writer teams up with pulpating energy of Ramesh Sippy, the nascent warrior. This team has only one ace in the form of Dharmendera and others are trying to prove themselves. Anupma further elaborates that Gabbar Singh, Amitabh's proposal for veeru to mausi, Leela Mishra were true life characters and events. Amitabh was preffered over Shatrughan, Sanjeev Kumar was chosen over Pran and Danny Denjongpa was finalised for villain. Danny has to backed out from Sholay as he was committed to Dharmatma, a God Father inspired film of Firoze Khan. Salim and Javed paid side roles much more attention with details where A K Hangal, Asraani, Jagdeep were selected for their respective roles. 
sanjeev kumar, ramesh sippy, amjad khan, dharmendra
Star Cast: Sholay

Chapter 3 :- Keemat jo tum chaho, Kaam jo mein chaahun.. Art Director Ram Yedekar, who had Guide and Mera Gaon Mera Desh in his credits, asked to join Sippy's. Ramesh Sippy wanted to deviate his locations from Chambal where lots of movies had been shot. Yedekar zeroed on Ramnagram, near to Bangalore. G P Sippy roped Dwarika Divecha for cinematogaraphy, a short tempered but master of his business who have guts to shout at Dream Girl.. Hema, itna kyun hilti hai ? (p 44)  Aziz Hanif Sheikh was assigned to job of construction manager. R D Burman and Anand Bakshi were given the music command, both of them were emerging in the scene after the success of Amar Prem. 

Chapter 4 :- Mujhe Gabbar Chahiye-Jinda  When Danny Danjongpa backed out from the film, a vaccume was staring at Ramesh Sippy. Amjad Khan, an unknown entity who have an announced but sheved film to his credit was chosen to write a glittering unknown destiny by Salim Javed and Ramesh Sippy backed by his theatrical reputation. Anupma Chopra gives a detailed account of technical hitches and obstacles faced by director to shoot in 70 mm canvas as compared to more conventional 35 mm. Meanwhile Prakash Mehra's Zanjeer released and Amitabh Bachhan had taken his first step to write or rewrite the history of cinema. The Angry Young Man was waiting for throne of  Superstar to be vacated by Lover boy hero of that time. Another dark horse at that time waiting for his flight at airport and he was Gabbar.. the unknown, unnoticed Amjad Khan.

The other chapters are  Loha garam hai -Mar do hathoda, Bahut yaraana lagta hai ,  jo dar gaya so mar gaya,  yeh haath nahin phaansi ka pahanda hai,  Is story main emotion hai-drama hai -tragedi hai.... in these chapters Anupma gives us inside information about the various happenings that had taken at the sets of Sholay. One incident here is that at one time Ramesh Sippy was toying the Idea of dubbing the voice of Amjad Khan. Jim Allen and Gerry Crampton were signed in by Sippy's for action and stunt scenes along with Azeem bhai.

This book is full of interesting inputs of various incidents and stories. If you are a movie bug and admirer of 70's and 80's era of bollywood and you know Macmohan, Viju Khote, Satyen Kappu, Jagdeep, Leela Mishra along with bigwigs of that time, I am sure you will enjoy this book more than any fictional work. This book is written in such a meticulous way that reader completely sink in with writer. Ireally felt that I am just sitting at the set of Sholay and all the trial and turbulence of artists are happening in front of me.

 It was very strange  to me that when I was reading the last chapter Is story main emotion hai-drama hai -tragedi hai... I felt some tears in my eyes. Why? Because this chapter deals with the release of Sholay in different sectors of India. Everybody denounced Sholay as trash.. Ramesh Sippy's emotions and feeling of being dejected are literally written here as lyrical fluidity. It is the public who take its time to assimilate the contents of Sholay and then return to cinema halls. History was created and Sholay characters ruled the mind of Indians there after. Thakur ,Veeru, Jai,  Basanti, Gabbar, Kaalia, Sambha ( who blamed Ramesh Sippy that he has made him a extra in film, but till death he was known as Sambha not as Macmohan) are the characters who literally overshadowed the stars.

Anupama Chopra has done a fabulous job whether it is research, presentation, planning or language.... if you love movies or Sholay, It is as entertaining as movie itself.

anupama chopra
                                                                 Aupama Chopra

Sholay: The Making of Classic : Anupama Chopra

Book : Sholay - The Making of Classic Written by: Anupma Chopra Publication : Penguin Random House Books, India Price : 299/- Pages : 194 IS...