Okay, fair enough, Ram Gopal Varma did make a mess out of Sholay. And yes, we should let the classics be. But Sholay is one of the few films that we love and admire, and want it to be reinterpreted for every generation. So, for your consideration, pardon our delinquency, we let our mind play truant, and have re-imagined Sholay with a modern cast.
Here, we go.
Ranbir Kapoor as Jai
Ranbir Kapoor is the only actor from the current generation who has the potential to be the next Amitabh Bachchan. From the relaxed indifference that Jai employs to counter Veeru’s melodrama, to the immeasurable affection he displays in the moment of finality, Ranbir has that reservoir of emotions to accomplish it effortlessly.
Ranveer Singh as Veeru
The beefed up body of humour, Ranveer is a rare entity in the regular pack of stars, who knows how to appear human. Matching Veeru’s histrionics, he can be loud, he can be passionate, he can be cocky, he can be funny, and he can pull off the punches to drink the blood out of Gabbar’s herd. Let his muscles ripple with the war cry.
Kamal Haasan as Thakur
Hero ho ya villain, Kamal Haasan has traversed through all possible realms of characters in cinema. Thakur’s rage and revenge is a tricky air to inhabit, and the south star is one of the rare few who has the range to make it believable.
Deepika Padukone as Basanti
She dances well, she is evolving with each film, and she is slowly becoming the modern day rendition of Hindi cinema’s dream girl. Deepika would be an able master of Dhanno, only she shouldn’t look too manicured for the village belle.
Kangana Ranaut as Radha
Kangana, despite having an odd accent, has won our hearts with her cocksure, brimming-with-exuberance performances in two consecutive films. It would be fun to see her in a muted role, channelising the tormented loner within. Also, a silent romance between Ranbir and Kangana, an unexplored coupling, sounds delicious.
Irrfan Khan as Gabbar
A role is yet to be written that Irrfan, the real Khan can’t portray with conviction. Gabbar, with his momentous persona, is a difficult legacy to carry forward, and we can only trust Irrfan with this job. He has played rugged characters before, but Gabbar will give him a new-fangled prospect to reveal brutality and instil fear in our mortal hearts.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Rahim Chacha
Rahim Chacha, despite being a short role, struck a chord because it made us feel the gravity of Gabbar’s meanness in the gentlest way possible. Nawazuddin grabbed our tear ducts in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and it would be interesting to see him portray the grief of an old man.
Govinda as the Jailor
In the main plot, the jailor’s is a role with hardly any consequence but we have come to love this character because it was a standout caricature of Hitler. This writer is torn between Deepak Dobriyal and Govinda, but considering we’ve been deprived of the joy of watching Govinda for a long time, we would perhaps opt for him.
Hrithik & Madhuri in the Mehbooba Mehbooba song
That’s one helluva item song, and Helen and Jalal Agha rocked it in Gabbar’s den. Instead of only sensuousness, this song can do with more gregarious dance steps, and employ two of the best dancers of Hindi cinema. Imagine Hrithik and Madhuri matching steps, one admiring the other, both swaying to RDB’s beats! The world won’t be the same again.
(The writer is a journalist and a screenwriter who believes in the insanity of words, in print or otherwise. Follow him on Twitter: @RanjibMazumder)
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