“There has never been a more defining film on the Indian screen. Indian film history can be divided into Sholay BC and Sholay AD” - Shekhar Kapoor
Sholay's release in 1975 proved to be a watershed event in the industry. The movie screened for five years at a landmark Mumbai theatre, the longest ever run in India at the time. It's no wonder that owner and managing director of Mandviwalla Entertainment, Nadeem Mandviwalla is now bringing the cult classic to Pakistani cinema screens, over 40 years after its release.
Talking to Dawn.com, Mr. Mandviwalla shares: "Sholay is undoubtedly one of the most unique films of all time; it's a classic that has never been released in the country. Many people have been deprived of the experience of watching it in a cinema so we feel the audience will want to come watch it, given the opportunity."
The pioneering film is an action adventure circling around two petty thieves hired by a police officer to exact revenge on a ruthless bandit. The star-studded cast included Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini and Jaya Bhaduri, among other Bollywood greats.
The movie was remastered last year in 2014 and released in 3D for the new generation of moviebuffs. It will be releasing in 2D and 3D in Pakistan.
Mandviwalla adds, "The movie will not have a wide release. It will be shown at more cinemas but less shows. It's tentatively releasing on 20 March, as 23 March will be a public holiday (on account of Pakistan Day) so people will have a wide array of movies to watch such as Jalaibee and Insurgent, which are also releasing around the same time."
Other movies that have been reworked and released in 3D in Pakistani cinemas such as The Lion King and Titanic didn't garner much attention so it will be interesting to see if Sholay will meet the same fate. For what it's worth, it seems highly unlikely!