Here’s why Dilip Kumar did not play Thakur in ‘Sholay'

Here’s why Dilip Kumar refused to play Thakur in ‘Sholay’

Dilip Kumar was offered the role of Thakur in Sholay. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

It is no secret that Sholay is considered to be one of the greatest Indian movies of all time. The film, directed by ace filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, revolved around the rivalry between the brave police officer Thakur Baldev Singh (Sanjeev Kumar) and notorious dacoit Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan) and hit the right notes with its solid presentation. While everyone knows about the positive response to the masala classic, what not many are aware of is that ‘Hari Bhai’ was not the first choice to play Thakur on the big screen. The character was offered to the legendary Dilip Kumar but the original ‘King Khan’ turned it down as he felt that it was a bit one dimensional.

Following this, the role went to Sanjeev Kumar who took it up and the rest is history. The underrated star delivered a rocking performance and cemented his position in the history books. The character was later played by Jeetendra in the Bhojpuri movie Gabbar Singh but ‘Jeetuji’ failed to make a similar impact. Mollywood hero Mohanlal played a similar character in the Ram Gopal Varma-helmed Aag but proved to be no match for the Aandhi actor. Moreover, the film received unflattering reviews and tanked at the box office. Many feel, these events prove that Sanjeev Kumar is irreplaceable.

Coming to the present, Sanjeev Kumar is no longer with us but he lives on through his work. His much-loved film Pati Patni Aur Woh was recently remade with Kartik Aaryan in the lead.

On the other hand, ‘Yusuf Saab’ retired from films after Qilla and this marked the end of an era. The thespian is currently spending time with his wife Saira Banu. The likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Kamal Haasan have often described him a source of inspiration.

Credit: Lehren Retro

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