lesbiassparrow: (Default)
[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
You know what makes me happy? Sholay, the evergreen classic jewel of Bollywood, that's what. And while people have told me of this wonder for a long, long time, teasing me with mentions of dancing on glass to save one's true love and massive amounts of Hoyay THEY SOMEHOW FAILED TO MENTION THE ARMLESS MAN. How could you miss this bit! He is simply the greatest role that Indian cinema has ever written.

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Sholay is the story of two simple, good-hearted thieves who like to travel on trains while handcuffed to each other. This increases their deep but manly love for each other while also impressing police officers.



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See? That police office looks impressed. Or angry. Maybe he senses that he will end up with no arms later.

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Then they trundle through the Indian countryside singing merrily on their bike. After this bit they climb onto each other and press their manly thighs around each others' necks. I am very sorry I don't have a picture of that bit because the internets let me down. But they sing merrily of their friendship as they do so.

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They are hired by the impressed police officer (who arrested them once back in the day). He has a MYSTERIOUS AND TRAGIC past and wants them to bring some bandit to him. What this past is is revealed in one of the greatest scenes in all of cinema history.

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There's a girl too. She has a horse. Later she has to dance on glass to save her True Love.

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There's some wooing of her by the actor that unleashed the next generation of Deols on us. Despite his role in this great film I am not sure I can forgive him for that.

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But this! MAN, THIS IS WHERE THE MAN WITH NO ARMS IS REVEALED. The thieves are annoyed because he stood there when he could have been helping them fight the bandit and his men. Then as they berate him his blanket blows away and we find out THAT HE HAS NO ARMS.

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Before we find out why he has no arms we have a flashback featuring this kid. Yep, he gets killed along with all of the Man With No Arms' family by the bandit.

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He is upset, as any sensible person would be.

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Then he makes the fatal error of attacking the bandit.

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But he is captured and the bandit, not being a forgiving type, chops off his arms. BOTH OF THEM.

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Here's that scene again in black and white so you can appreciate it. Spurred on by this tale the thieves go and do much manly fighting. And some gypsy camp gets blown up, Helen dances, and The Girl has to dance on glass to save one of the thieves.

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Naturally it all ends in tragic death scenes.

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No! Their love it is no more.

Then in a scene of such greatness that I can barely describe it, the Man With No Arms has his servant make him nailed shoes and then goes and kung-fus the bandit. I cannot properly express the pleasure I got from seeing him sail through the air and pummel the bandit.

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Look! The nailed shoes! THE MOMENT OF JUSTICE! IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS, MY FRIENDS.

Then the bandit dies, other things happen and the surviving thief leaves with The Girl leaving the Man With No Arms in triumph.

Date: 2008-09-11 03:41 am (UTC)
morwen_peredhil: (joker/harley tv - by girlyevil)
From: [personal profile] morwen_peredhil
This may just be the best movie ever. In the top five, at the very least.

Date: 2008-09-11 04:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Stills cannot fully describe its awesomeness. The scene where the Man With No Arms is revealed alone was worth the price of the DVD.

Date: 2008-09-11 04:52 am (UTC)
morwen_peredhil: (joker/harley tv - by girlyevil)
From: [personal profile] morwen_peredhil
I haven't seen that, but I saw the dancing-on-glass scene when [livejournal.com profile] dangermousie posted it a while back. GLORIOUS!

Date: 2008-09-11 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calixa.livejournal.com
It's even more amazing in words.

Date: 2008-09-11 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calixa.livejournal.com
By words I clearly mean pictures.

Date: 2008-09-11 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
You should see it in action. Nothing prepared me for the awesomeness of Sholay especially the Man With No Arms. He is my favourite Bollywood character ever.

Date: 2008-09-11 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lage-nom-ai.livejournal.com
Wait. So are they not always handcuffed? Like, they can uncuff at will?

AWESOME.

I totally want to ride in a sidecar, handcuffed to the motorcycle driver.

Date: 2008-09-11 04:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Actually in the handcuffed bit they'd been arrested. But they seem to like it a lot.

The sidecar/motorbike scenes were brilliant. They climbed on each other! And it wasn't stuntmen but the actors climbing and cavorting on the bike; in 70s Bollywood you had to be tough.

Date: 2008-09-11 05:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] namastenancy.livejournal.com
Brilliant commentary from a movie that clearly has greatness written all over it. Or in it. On on us. Whatever!

Date: 2008-09-12 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I can only hope this has moved you to experience its many glorious wonders.

Date: 2008-09-11 06:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nyssa23.livejournal.com
This is relevant to my interests. And also looks fucking awesome. Especially the manly singing and dancing parts.

Date: 2008-09-12 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Sholay is relevant to everyone's interests! And the singing on the motorbike is awesome. As it the dancing on glass. But no one, no one, can top THE MAN WITH NO ARMS.

Date: 2008-09-11 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fivil.livejournal.com
The Armless Man is technically a spoiler. But only technically. :D

And yes, Thakur does pwn.

Mmm, I love Sholay. I totally love Dharmendra's goofy drunken idiot Veeru and Amitabh's cool-as-something-really-cool Jai. BFF4lyfe.

And the girls!! Basanti is my favourite Hindi film character ever.

Date: 2008-09-12 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I figure that I owe it to world to tell them of the armless man, even if it is a spoiler of sorts. HE IS TOO AWESOME TO BE HIDDEN ANY LONGER. I cannot even think of Basanti as all he has taken all the room in my mind.

Date: 2008-09-11 10:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chelseagirl47.livejournal.com
I think I need to see this, primarily for the nailed-shoes no-arms Kung Fu triumph.

Wow.

Date: 2008-09-12 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I put off seeing this film for far too long because I did not believe it could be so glorious. And it's all worth seeing, from the singing motorcycle shenanigans to the dancing on glass to the armless kung fu. SO GOOD.

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