By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Friday, September 29, 2006
Shiva has been a disappointment.
I wanted to make formula film. I was true to my intent. The kind of budget it was made in, my distributors are happy. As for the critics, I compensated for the pain I caused them in watching the film in the pleasure that they got in ripping me apart. So everyone is happy. Having said that I think it was wrong of me to regress into a formula film after having gone so far ahead in Satya, Company and Sarkar. I admit it was a mistake to make Shiva. See, a film is made in a particular state of mind. Shiva was made as an immediate reaction to the failure of James. The whole basis of making Shiva was wrong.
Do you think you might one day admit re-making Sholay was a mistake?
See, the best thing to happen to my Sholay was the flopping of Shiva. It put me on high alert. If Shiva had worked I'd have become complacent. I don't think making an anti-establishment cop flick in Shiva was wrong. The execution and characterizations were too status-quo. In Sholay I'm very clear what I want to do and don't want to do. It has been brewing in my mind for three years. I admit I was being cocky in making Shiva. I thought mera baayen haath ka khel hai, whereas I know how difficult it is to make my own version of Sholay.
A lot of very important people believe Sholay shouldn't be re-made...
Do they? Sorry, I can't oblige them. People don't know what I'm making, so they're just reacting nostalgically. Everyone from Jayaji and Dharamji to my other well-wishers have advised me to stay away from Sholay. Dharamji has apparently said he'd jump off that water tank if I messed up Sholay. Why should he jump off? He should push me off that tank if I mess up with Sholay. I've made humungous preparations! Nothing in my Sholay would be the same as the earlier Sholay. For example there's no Basanti in my Sholay.
What do you mean?
If you remove the tonga and ghagra-choli from Basanti she's just another girl in the plot. A lot of characters in Gabbar's gang will be fleshed out. Sambha is very different. Likewise the first cop who comes to meet Thakur is far more important in my film. My film has a strong police presence because it's set in the city.
A lot of cynics say you're making up the Sholay re-make?
Some said I'm faking it because I don't have the copyrights. 95 percent people have nothing to do, so they create constant hallucinations about other people's work. I'm starting Sholay on 4 October. I'll start with scenes featuring Mr Bachchan as Gabbar Singh. You've no idea how excited Mr Bachchan is.
What kind of get-up will Mr Bachchan sport?
Of course Gabbar has to be terror. So Mr Bachchan will have elaborate get-up. This is such a larger-than-life story. Everyone has to be many sizes larger than life. You'll feel his viciousness. All these years Mr Bachchan has hidden his evil side so well. I want to bring it out on screen. How can anyone be so correct? No one can be so morally perfect.
So you're going ahead with Sholay?
People say I'm not capable of re-making Sholay. I've one consolation for them. Since the critics have already exhausted all their expletives for Shiva, they'd have nothing left to say about Sholay. I think they'll pool their money and hire a gangster to get rid of me. If Allah, Jesus Christ and Vaishno Devi come together to plead against my doing Sholay I'm still be making it. Aage jo hoga wohdekha jayega .