As the nation celebrated August 15 with patriotic fervor, the film industry recalled 40 years of SHOLAY, which was released on August 15. 1975.
Regarded as the corner stone of Indian Cinema, SHOLAY owes half its success to its iconic villain Gabbar Singh. Raaga.Com enlightens readers how Ramesh Sippy, the film’s director finally found his dreaded villain Gabbar Singh.
Writers Salim Javed in an interview informed how the role of Gabbar Singh had created a flutter among the artists as everybody from Sanjeev Kumar to Dharmendra to Amitabh Bachchan was hell bent on playing the role when the key actor Danny Denzongpa moved out of the film.
Javed Akhtar said, “Since Danny was the most sought after villain in the early 70’s hence he was the original choice but as he had committed his dates to Feroz Khan for his film DHARMATAMA, hence he backed out from the film as the shooting dates for both films clashed.”
“With Danny out every actor from Sanjeev Kumar to Dharmendra to Amitabh Bachchan tried to persuade Ramesh Sippy to grab the role because the role had shaped up fantastically but Ramesh Sippy was adamant to have someone who could give that ‘extra’ which the role demanded. Hence after a patient effort and desperate search, Salim Khan introduced Amjad Khan to Rameshji,” informed Javed.
Salim Khan recalling the first meeting of Amjad Khan with Ramesh Sippy reminisces, “When I went to Ramesh Sippy’s house with Amjad Sippy, Sippy Sahab was lying on the diwan with his back to the door. Hence from the low angle Amjad Khan appeared larger to him. Besides Amjad Khan’s debonair ‘Pathan’ looks aided with his curly hair and his hoarse baritone startled Sippy Sahab and his eyes glittered. With an utter exhilaration Rameshji exclaimed “I have got my Gabbar Singh!”
True to Ramesh Sippy’s vision and his confidence Amjad Khan who made his debut in the film gave his career best performance that made him immortal.
Till date millions of his fans, do not know his real name but remember his as Gabbar Singh.!
However the younger generation will be shocked to know that despite such an immortal performance Amjad Khan was not give the Best Villain Filmfare Award!!!