Dilwale Dulhanya Le Jayenge and Sholay characterize two master pieces of Indian cinema. Each representative of class and quality film making in their respective decades. The two gave a new dimension to the art of movie making in Bollywood.
Each of these movies has an edge over the rest of the contemporary movies from their respective eras with regard to cinematography, story line, direction, mise en scene. Nay all the facets and dimensions that are necessary to be taken into account to make a movie distinctive and renowned amongst the over hundreds of movies that are produced every year.
On paper each movie’s script might sound a typical love story or one of those many ways of avenging injustice done in past, however what sets these two master pieces apart from the rest are the different aspects on movie making that may so enriched in their outlook that they can be easily seen for more than one time.
The two movies differ with regard to their genre. Dilwale DUlhanya would qualify for a complete romantic cadre while Sholay would depict flares of action comedy, adventure and love as a byproduct in parallel.
Journey from Indian Cinema to Bollywood:
The word Bollywood came about as the Indian Cinematic field saw expansion and globalization. No greater literature work can be traced against the existence of the word Bollywood and it can be safely termed as a product of Indian Cinema following the pattern of commercialism, global trends, and mass release across the globe. The transition has definitely seen transfer of attention from the conventional in house rural background cinema of India to a more vividly sketched urban outlook of 21st day Indians. The existence of the word Bollywood came about into the formal expression of conversation and written formats only in 2005 when Oxford Dictionary enrolled this world into the fold of standardized words that were no more a colloquial expression (Mishra).
Tag line of Dilwale Dulhanya le Jayenge:
Love finds a way amidst all the borders and barriers of cultural differences.
Tagline of Sholay:
Protagonists of Dilwaley Dulhanya Le Jayenge
Male lead: Shahrukh Khan as Raj Malhotra
Female Lead: Kajol as Simran Singh
Amresh Puri as Chaudry Baldev Singh
Run time of D.D.L: 181 minutes
Run time of Sholay: 198 minutes
Trend setting aspect of D.D.L.J:
D.D.L.J is characterized as a pioneer in Bollywood industry as a movie that introduced the concept of shootings and stories of Indians in European lands. It is on this account of events and development that Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Madhava Prasad have mentioned the concept of distinction between the Indian Cinema and Bollywood (RAJADHYAKSHA). D.D.L.J can be safely termed as a trend setter for many more movies that came up with same concept and paid Bollywood dividends in terms of financial gains.
Backed by strong music support, a romance oriented story where events are based on the mobilization of Indians across different cultures whose fates are intertwined by the courtesy of love and interaction.
Shooting Location of D.D.L.J:
Parts of the movie ( song in particular) were shot in England, Maharastra Railway station was used for the train scene at the end, Bern in Switzerland , Historic places such as Trafalgar square and Tower Bridge are two other places of distinction used for shooting.
Bollywood Went Global:
The aforementioned names and mention of venues speaks of the overall mind set and idea behind the movie making. It was the movies like D.D.L.J that gave an idea of exploring international markets with large number of Indians settled and working in Switzerland, England and other major economic hubs of the European continent, shooting it in the streets and cities of Europe and depicting a character based on a young boy who was brought up in the Western society and acts in a flamboyant manner, all these were strong points towards attracting the global movie goers.
IMDB rating of D.D.L.J: 7.9(Imdb)
The plot dimension of D.D.L.J:
The plot of the movie revolves around two characters strictly in first half of the movie and is later on expanded to the family members of the female protagonist. The male protagonist played by Shah Rukh Khan is characterized as Raj who is florid in his manners and maneuvers that can be associated with a young western guy brought up in a traditional Western society. The female lead on other hand Simran is much more focused, composed and serene in her approach towards the society which is representative of any Eastern girl.
Change in distribution patterns:
In case of D.D.L.J it was one of the very few full fledged accounts of promoting and screening of the movie in international theaters. Prior to it the market of every other Bollywood flick would rotate around India and at most the neighboring countries.
Economic aspect of the Industry:
While the 1970s and 1980s decade were mostly oriented around in house production and use of studios and local community areas for shooting, the 90s decade brought about concept of experimenting with global expansions. D.D.L.J was first of many movies in this regard that were abroad and collective positive accolades from both critiques and viewers collectively. With the advent of foreign shoots, parallel releases in India and abroad, stunts and other science fiction projects, overall commercialism has crept into the Indian cinema.
As a result of this expansion, the production costs went high but in turn allowed for more returns on investments, the ultimate outcome resulting in flourishing of the Industry and paving way for Bollywood to become a multibillion dollar industry in times ahead.
Representation of the class:
D.D.L.J represents two classes of society, one the upper higher class Indians that have long settled in foreign land and have established themselves financially. Their views are relatively moderated with passage of time. The second class of society shown is that of the female lead’s family. A socially integrated family that is held by values more than the financial outlook and progress made against the money. Extended family pattern is displayed in the Indian family hailing from the rural part. Unlike Sholay there is no element of outlaws or guns except for the last part which mostly revolves around the anguish of a disgruntled father.
A Mutli flavored cherry:
D.D.L.J may give way to Sholay in this category, while Sholay is a more of a multi segmented viewers find, D.D.L.J would directly appeal to the youth in specific. It may not find great enthusiasts in the old age category unless the viewers are romance genre seasonal buffs. Shooting in foreign places and representing a character from therein directly attracts the viewers from abroad.
Cultural representation in D.D.L.J:
A visible display of cultural affiliations and its subsequent impact on the individuals’ character and behavior is reflected in the movie. The first part of the movie shows what a typical Western society young individual would possess, little regard for values, non serious attitude, flamboyance, partial pretention. The role of Chaudry Baldey Singh played by Amrish Puri shows what an Indian father would actually be like. Distasted with one of the event of Raj in earlier part of the movie, an impression is generated in the mind of Baldey which drags to believe that the young man is devoid of any cultural knowledge and necessary regard for it.
Production and Budget view Point:
Needless to say a movie produced twenty years from now will have a far more larger budget than the one that may be the most expensive movie of its times. The same relationship goes between D.D.L.J and Sholay. Secondly the factor that D.D.L.J was shot in parts of Europe and Sholay was a pure homemade and despite being a commercial project, its budget and overall expenditure was far less than that of D.D.L.J.
Box Office Earnings:
D.D.L.J alone in the foreign box office netted around 150 million rupees this in addition to the thousand million bench mark crossing at home.
Rated as 8.1 on IMDB (Imdb). Sholay is definitely top of the list when it comes to all times hits of Indian Cinema. It holds the honors for being on show in theaters for longest span of time.
Despite being made at a juncture of Indian cinema history when low budget movies would steal the show, Sholay was a project supported by its budget. With overall budget of 15 crore. The value was extremely high figure of spending into a single project at that time. Nothing to regret, the movie turned out to be an all times blockbuster hit and even approximately 40 years after it was rolled out, it remains in parts of India under the cinematic banner of shows for viewers.
Male Lead -1: Dhrmendra as Veeru
Male Lead -2: Amitabh Bachen as Jai
Female Lead: Hema Malni as Basanti
Antagonist: Amjad Khan as Ghabbar Singh
Unlike D.D.L.J, Sholay attracts expanded client bench. The movie offers a mix of multiple genres. It has everything for the platonic romance lovers, friendship lovers, rural background plots searchers, actions lover and suspense and drama lovers. Each character has done sufficient justice to the role assigned and rightly making it one of the most celebrated piece of work in Indian Cinema history.
Nearly four decades after it was rolled out, the movie may be analyzed from multiple segments, one from the view point of cinematic standing of Indian cinema industry at that time, the second from the strength of script and directional view, the third its reflection of the Indian cultural context (Dissanayake and Sahai).
Background co relation:
The background co relation draws the two movies completely at two opposite poles, with Sholay shot against the rural background of Indian rural life and D.D.L.J’s first half going to West.
The entire movie was shot within India unlike D.D.L.J, Ramanagaram near Karnataka holds the honors for the bulk of the shooting of the movie.
Build up of story line is accompanied by excellent acting performances by each of the character. Intensity in not just the characters but the scenes and their plotting is akin to icing on the cake. Each scene is engrained in the flow of the movie and hardly any scene can be spotted that can be thought of disruptive of the sequence and silk smoothness of the overall plot.
Presentation of violence and action is shown in the most professional manner with little disregard for the human element and little show of red color.
Basanti’s profession as working woman along with Simran’s trip abroad takes away the male dominant script element from each and neutralizes the overall impact of gender in each movie.
Representation of Class in Sholay:
Sholay represents a lower class rural population with the two main male leads finding it difficult to find any respectable job, Ghabar Singh is the leader of group of thugs and outlaws that are notoriously famous in the locality and have a grip and control over the helm of affairs. Ghabar Singh and his partners enjoy a say and dominance over the local decision makings. Thakur Baldav Singh is a middle class retired civil servant who is well to do and living a peaceful life but has his scores uneven with his arch rival who cut off his hands.
Dissanayake, Wimal and Malti Sahai. Sholay, a cultural reading. Wiley Eastern, 1992.
FilmiGeek. Sholay (1975). 1 Oct 2006. 18 November 2013 <http://www.filmigeek.net/filmi_geek/2006/10/sholay_1975.html>.
Imdb. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. 10 Oct 2012. 18 Nov 2013 <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112870/>.
Imdb. Sholay. 4 Nov 2010. 18 Nov 2013 <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073707/>.
Mishra, Vijay. "Bollywood Cinema: A Critical Genealogy." 2007.
RAJADHYAKSHA, Ashish. "The ‘Bollywoodization’ of the Indian cinema: cultural nationalism in a global arena." Analysis. 2003.