Where did you watch Sholay? Who is your favourite character? How many of Gabbar Singh’s henchmen can you name? Questions like this about Ramesh Sippy’s 1975 hit have been a part of our cultural fabric and many a trivia evening, not to mention innumerable spoofs and copies, over the last 38 years. And now, in order to make one of the greatest Bollywood films of all time accessible to a new generation, in order to preserve the film, its producers have remounted, restored and reinvented it in 3D.

The story of a former policeman seeking vengeance on the feared bandit Gabbar Singh with the help of two small-time crooks is well known. Jai and Veeru’s bromance, immortalized in the song ‘Yeh Dosti’, is unarguable and Amjad Khan’s rendition of the menacing Gabbar Singh is the stuff of folklore.

But does it all work in 2014, and in 3D? Mostly yes. The characters are electric; the dialogue still packs a punch; and the songs are crackling. But you also note that Asrani has mimicked his own jailer act repeatedly after Sholay and Hema Malini’s verbal excess act as Basanti, charming three decades ago, is now jarring. In 3D, the occasional projectile makes you involuntarily whoop and jump in your seat. However, Sholay’s running length, 3 hours and 18 minutes, is challenging in the 2010s.

Sholay 3D released in theatres on Friday.

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