Bollywood's Most Iconic Characters - Jai, Veeru & the Cast of Sholay

22:20:00

Sholay released in 1975 is considered as an iconic movie. There can't be a discussion about Hindi movies and no mention of Sholay. Writer duo Salim-Javed wrote an exceptionally entertaining magnum opus with characters which were unforgettable and had an instant connect.

Jai is one of the characters which gave Amitabh Bachchan's acting career a new color. Jai was an absolute introvert while Veeru was a completely opposite outgoing personality, these two opposites were shown as the best of friends. And so everything they did became interesting.

Jai is the righteous one, he flips a coin everytime they have to decide something and always chooses head, and the head side was always the moral option. He attached the moral yet difficult options to the head side of the coin, and he is so rigthteous that he has a coin which has head on both the side. So this proves that Jai always want to do the right thing and want people to believe that they have to do it because it they have lost the bet. He is an introvert, but he has lot of sarcasm coupled with quick wit which makes him naturally funny. His one liners like "Tumhara naam kya hai Basanti" are still fresh and remind us of his character who was tired of being with two jabber mouths Veeru and Basanti and yet tolerated them because he loved them both. He is s good friend, he is  good person at heart and he knows no limits to goodness and righteousness, this even though he is a criminal.

Veeru is the outgoing one, more child like and madly in love with Basanti the tangewali. He likes to have fun in whatever he is doing and takes calculated decisions. He is powerful, he fights goons and he is the more macho one out of the two male leads. He doesn't care about what people say, he is so expressive that when he realises Basanti might get married to someone else, he goes on top of a water tank and screams his heart out while he is drunk. He doesn't take life very seriously and so keeps risking it. Veeru is the best friend that everyone wants.

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Basanti is the love interest of Veeru and while opposites attract, she is very much like Veeru. Outgoing and talkitive, fun loving and rebelious. She makes her own decisions and doesn't  believe in gender bias which is showcased by the fact that she is a Tangewali which is not a profession considered for a woman and she learns to fire a gun from Veeru. Falling in love is another taboo she breaks. So in a way Basant's character was breaking all stereotypes that existed in the 1970s era. She was not a coy and shy female lead but a strong, rebelious and crazy one.

Last but not the least the character of Radha essayed by Jaya Bachchan was again a reflection of Jai's character. She was quiet like him, sober like him and decent like him. Here again the writers broke the stereotype that opposites attract. Radha is a widow, Jai fall in love with her persona. There is no lust, there is pure romance through their eyes. This broke the taboo that widows should not have a chance at life Jay falling for her was an attempt by the writers to change the way society looks at widows. Though the love story was developed in the background, with Jai's death in the end, it remained incomplete. May be the love story did not blossomed as it would have created release issues considering Radha was a widow.

The villian Gabbar Singh was beyond anything that audiences had experienced till date. He was voilent and funny at the same time. He cared for his men and killed them at the same time. He lived in the mountains, away from the village yet every villager shivered when his name for uttered, "Beta soja varna Gabbar ajayega" became the line of the century. He was the ghost everyone was afraid of, he was the baddie which made Jai & Veeru the heroes they were. He had a crazy laughter and only one aim, the conquer Ramgad and be the king whom everyone fears and pays respect to. Gabbar is your unconventional hero gone bad.

Thakur on the other hand is a moral policeman who has his hands cut off by Thakur as he rebelled against him. Thakur has lost his arms, but not his will. He is the imperfect man with the perfect plan, his hands are Jai and Veeru. He is sad and angry and Sanjeev Kumar's eyes do complete justice to this epic character. To him his only life aim is to end Gabbar, he joins hands with criminals for that. Thus proving that he is ready to do anything when it comes to revenge.

All in all these characters have become a part of our lives. Sholay will always remain a cult movie and we will always keep going back to the movie no matter what.


Image source : https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/136/318291746_50458e3537_z.jpg?zz=1 (Flickr)

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