52. Sholay (1975) — This is one cool film, even with its inherent violence. Was not bored during a single one of its 204 minutes — a rare feat for a movie! Now I know where the sound “dhisun-dhisun” comes from and what Goodness Gracious Me’s “I knew that …” was inspired by, hee. Also, a certain motorcycle ride in Bunty aur Babli, and I’m sure I’ll identify many more connections to other movies henceforth. What a team, Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan. What fine acting, Jaya Bhaduri, what jolly emoting, Hema Malini. Sanjeev Kumar’s compressed fury and Amjed Khan’s insanely weird bestial nature stick in the mind. I wriggled my toes during laugh-out-loud moments and curled ’em tight during the OTT but strangely never smack-right-in-your-face bloodletting — I suppose it’s because every drop of blood shed had a purpose. The filmmaker reined himself in and made a remarkably restrained film for its subject matter. He was assured enough to let there be silence and let things unfold in good time. The movie being made in 1975 meant there were some outre Bollywoodian plot points and conventions but here they were compelling in their own way and hugely entertaining. The horses were doing incredible stunts left and right, but centrestage was a certain Dhanno — to whom homage was paid in Main Hoon Na’s nutty trishaw chase scene. The powerful moments were many, from the harpy-like screeching of an abandoned swing to the panic-driven dancing on hellfire by Basanti. The light moments were aplenty, from Jai’s verbal roll-of-the-eyes at his friend’s faux-emotional antics to Veeru’s drunken suicide attempt from a water tank. My favourite moments were Jai and Veeru’s hilarious twirling of the prison informer and officer round their collective little finger (“the pis-TOL is now behind you!” “dhisun, dhisun.”) and their crazy romp through the hapless countryside in the song “Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge” (“This friendship we’ll never abandon”).