It’s always great to watch the epic film Sholay yet again. I’ve watched it at least four times on the big screen, and who knows how often on television and online.

But Sholay 3D did not disappoint. It was wonderful to see bullets, logs of wood and other debris hurtling right at you without warning.

The ‘surround sound’ effect has been enhanced, so you get a far better ‘3D’ aural experience as well. It can be a little disorienting at times, to have the protagonists seen and heard right in front of you, and then when the camera pans on to on of them, the others are heard from elsewhere in the auditorium, often behind you. And it happens very suddenly.   

The music soundtrack has been ‘touched up’ as well, sometimes for the better, sometimes not so convincing. I felt that just a plaintive harmonica from Amitabh’s Jai as Jaya’s Radha extinguishes the lamps on the verandah is far more telling of the widow’s sad life, and adding to the soundtrack here actually takes away from the melancholia. Having said that, the addition of new ‘layers’ of music while leaving the playback singers’ tracks intact does add a certain freshness and contemporariness to the overall soundtrack.

I was very happy to read that some musician acquaintances from Bombay (I recognised Suresh Lalwani, Prabhat Kishore as the credits went up at the end, but there might well have been more) were involved in this soundtrack ‘enhancement’ process. The music credits are always among the very last to go up, so as usual I was the very last to leave the cinema, while it was being prepped for the next show.

Well done all round!

Ab aaya mazaa! (Evil laugh fades away left of screen).

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