Movies

Sholay being remade with dwarfs in cast

MUMBAI: Fans of the film Sholay have all reasons to rejoice. The movie is being remade as Aakhri Gabbar with dwarfs between three-to-four feet playing important roles.


This means that people will again see Gabbar Singh, his sidekicks Kaalia and Sambha battle Jay and Veeru in the new film touted to be a comedy thriller. But this time around, all the characters concerned would ride donkeys instead of horses.


Even Dhanno, the beloved immortal mare owned by Basanti, will be a short, female donkey which runs only after firecrackers are lit behind her. And Basanti’s Mausi stands tall at just 3.2 feet. 


Says producer and co-director Riyaz Shaikh, a marquee decorator based in Navi Mumbai, “Undoubtedly, Sholay rules the Indian cinema audiences‘ psyche even 35 years of its release. There have been several attempts to remake it in different forms but none could really capture the charm and essence of the original. I hope my venture will break the jinx.”‘


The idea of making a film hit the 5.5 feet tall Shaikh quite accidentally. A couple of years ago, he ran into an old classmate of his, a dwarf.


"He lamented how they were short-changed in Bollywood, both in terms of roles and money and that his career was not really going places. He asked me to help out. It got me thinking and with the help of Pyarelal (of the famous music-director duo, Laxmikant-Pyarelal), I started working on the project," Shaikh averred.


He said that the new Sholay would be drastically different. “I started by changing the complete image of the entire star cast - instead of tall, hefty persons of the original, I decided to use only dwarfs for all the characters. Since Sholay had a pan-India appeal, I wanted to make Aakhri Gabbar with talented, but virtually unknown artists drawn from all over the country. I hope the people appreciate my experiment," believes Shaikh.


The principal roles in Aakhri Gabbar will be played by Zaheer Shaikh of Akola, Maharashtra (Gabbar Singh), Ajay Navik of Gujarat (paying Jay), Irfan Sheikh of Uttar Pradesh (playing Veeru), Salim Shaikh of Bangalore (playing Thakur) and sidekicks Shivaji Ingle of Thane (Kaalia) and Khalil Sheikh of Mumbai (Sambha).


While Sandhya Gaekwad of Ratnagiri will play the character that was played by Jaya Bhaduri, Basanti‘s character will be essayed by Aashiya Rangrez from Mumbai.

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