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<i>Sholay</i> shooting from next month

 
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Still from SholayNew Delhi (UNI): After months of talk in the media over whether it would see the light of day, work on the remake of the cult film Sholay, being directed by Ramgopal Verma, will begin later this month. However, rather than a frame-to-frame copy of the Ramesh Sippy's 1975 blockbuster, Ram Gopal Vrma's Sholay will be part of an effort by the filmmaker to revive the "long-forgotten" genre of action films and the "intense angry young man" that characterised the films in the 70s and the 80s. Ending all speculation over the status of the Sholay ramake, Ramgopal Verma has said the shooting the film would begin later this month or early next month. ''Shooting for the remake of Sholay will commence later this month or early next month,''the filmmaker told UNI here.

With the movie's cast, except for Basanti, having been finalised; Ajay Devgan will play Veeru (played in the original by Dharmendra), Mohit Ahlawat the quiet Jai (played by Amitabh Bachchan in the original), Katrina Kaif will play the widow Radha (Jaya Bachchan essayed the role in the 70s classic), Mohanlal being cast for the role of Thakur (played by Sanjeev Kumar in the original) and Sushant Singh cast as Gabbar's henchman, Sambha; Ramgopa, Verma plans to wrap up the film in two month's time. ''I plan to complete the shooting of the film by December. The film will be ready for release early next year,''Verma said during a promotional visit to the capital for his new film Shiva, which releases across the world today.

Though staying true to the original, which introduced the trend of action films in Hindi cinema with its "never-before-seen' action sequences, the new Sholay will be made keeping in view the changed times. So while, the story will be the same, the settings will be different from the original. For Ramgopal Verma, Sholay, following close on the heels of his Shiva, is past of his efforts to revive the genre of action films and the "angry young hero" of the 70s and the 80s. ''The intention of making Shiva , as also the remake of Sholay, is to bring back the intense angry hero who ruled the 70s and the 80s. It was that hero who made films of that era "larger than life" with Amitabh Bachchan leading the brigade and, in varying degrees, Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Mithun Chakraborty and Sunny Deol,''Ramgopal Verma said at the press meet of Shiva in the capital, where the film's lead actors Mohit Ahlawat and Nisha Kothari were also present.

Talking about his new film Shiva, the filmmaker said,''most of us accept injustice mutely. But every once in a while, a rebel comes along who will hit back. Through Shiva, I want to once again catch the spirit of "one man taking on the odds" when his principles and convictions are under threat,''he said. Shiva deals with the story of a young police officer, played by Mohit Alhawat who joins the Mumbai police force and realizes that the real world is far removed from what he had been taught at the police academy. Verma said he felt the need to revive the action genre as the last two decades ''saw these action films almost disappear with their place being taken by "sugar sweet romantic" films with the 'angry young man' being replaced by 'chocolate' heroes''. He said that with a completely updated script and today's technical advances, he sought to capture that element of anger present in all of us.

In this context, he said that James, on an idea level, was a project which was supposed to revive action films. ''However, in course of making it, things went wrong mainly because I didn't pay enough attention in the right direction. I failed in giving the genre the respect it deserved,''Verma says. Dismissing similarities between his latest film Shiva and his first directorial venture by the same name in 1990, which featured South stars Nagarjuna and Amla, Verma said,''both are altogether different films. The 90s Shiva dealt with campus violence and the disillusionment of youth with educational institutions while the new Shiva looks at corruption in the police with a idealist police office fighting the corruption in the system as its protagonist.

Also, while the original was a dark and depressing film, the present Shiva is a triumphantly heroic film.'' So, only the thought and idea in both the films i.e one person's rebellion against the system, are the same but the story is different. Asked what prompted him to make another film on the police force given the fact that many films had been made over the years on an honest police officer fighting the system, the filmmaker said,''it is true that a lot of films on corruption in the police force and a cop rebelling against the system have been made over the years. However, I feel that no matter what the age, the issue remains contemporary. For, the common man's feeling of helplessness and anger against anomalies and corruption in the system are as relevant today as they were three decades ago when 'Zanzeer' was made.'' ''Also, by changing the story, characters and their relationships, it is possible to make your film look different,''Verma said.

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