'Amitabh is not the right choice as Gabbar'

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Author : Sapana Patil Poojary

Salim Khan on Ram Gopal Varma's 'Sholay' and why nothing is ever original

Film writer Salim Khan's contribution to Hindi cinema has been incomparable. Paired with writer Javed Akhtar, the duo as Salim-Javed has delivered some of the biggest hits till date including 'Don' and 'Sholay'. Their films were such a rage that even the new breed of film-makers hasn't been able to resist the idea of remaking them.
While Salim awaits the release of the remake of 'Sholay', he shares his views on 'originality' and the trend that has gripped the clichéd and idea-deficient Bollywood - remaking films.

He says, "Remaking and rehashing has been done for years. We never claimed that 'Sholay' was an original movie. I am not saying we have copied it. But it had many influences. One sees films and reads books and gets ideas. As a writer, I have tried to give it something that will add to its value. We do make films on other films and books. Sometimes we take a few scenes; sometimes the full film."

Interestingly, Salim says even he has never been original. "Everything is influenced by something or the other. I am not original either; several influences have worked on me to make me," he says.
But there is something else too that Salim feels strongly about - the new face of 'Sholay'. He says, "One is killing its vastness by bringing the story into the city. Secondly, Amitabh Bachchan as Gabbar is not the right choice as he has a positive image. I can respect Ram Gopal Varma's point of view if people accept Amitabh as Gabbar and prove me wrong." Salim adds that he sees Ajay Devgan as the ideal choice for the role as 'he has developed into a fine actor."

Once a very busy man, these days Salim is not writing any films. "I need three months of isolation and concentration to write a script'. Since Salim is sure he is going to see the remake, he says, "Comparison with the first version is inevitable. I felt the same when I went to see the new 'Don'. But, I personally feel that the remake of 'Sholay' doesn't deserve the hype it is getting."

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