Sholay is a classical Indian film produced in the year 1975 that hit the arena with great popularity. It explores a number of themes but of unique spectacle in my scrutiny are illegal quests as ways of seeking justice. I view this as a great shortcoming in the whole classical film but in several instances we see two of the main personalities (Thakur and Gabbar) seeking revenge by means that cannot be justified by the rule of the law. When Gabbar, the notorious criminal breaks out from jail, he is very furious about the man who put him to prison and seeks to find vengeance. Probably, he committed another fault that landed him to prison; thus he feels discriminated and consequently wishes to seek his own revenge on the person who caused this pain on him. The event that follows is where Gabbar and his gang storm the household of Thakur assassinating every member of the family except Thakur’s daughter-in law, Radha. Again it is Gabbar who chopped off the hands of the ex-policeman, Thakur, whose family had been terribly wiped out. The revenge does not make things better as this exacerbates fire of hatred that leads to other unlawful events unfolding.
Thakur, the expoliceman goes to prison to seek for the service of two bandits “Jai and Veeru” and the two accept his proposal at a cost. The reason as to why Thakur buys the two criminals is to seek revenge using his hands for the demise caused by his adversary. He doesn’t seek the help of the power such as the police concerning the issue since he deeply desire to revenge. Through his influence, he aids the release of two criminals although they had not completed their sentences. This however, shows the misuse of supremacy in our present-day setting whereby those with influence employ it to achieve their own gratifications. He goes to the extent of bribing them so that they get to him Gabbar alive but not lifeless. “Tum Gabbar Singh ko nahin maaroge! Tum yahan Gabbar ko pakarke mere hawaale karne aaye ho. Zinda!”(These are words spoken by Thakur when he made the order concerning Gabbar)” His desire for revenge is so immense to the extent that he wants to prove to Gabbar that he can still outsmart him regardless of the point that he does not have hands. He promises the two thugs great reward for the successful achievement of his mission.
The film very clearly brings to limelight the cause of violence to our streets, villages and towns mostly involving powerful persons. Its exposes the illegal background of the dealings that results to murdering of scores of guiltless people, caught in the mix-up when two opposing sides are fighting. This is evident when Gabber starts killing innocent villagers in trying to scare Thakur to stop pursuing after him. Eventually the thugs (Jai and Veeru) start engaging in romantic relationships with local women: where Veeru falls for Basanti and Jai falls for His bosses’ daughter in law who is a widow. Eventually, the regulation of law almost comes in control when Jai is killed and Gabbar is arrested by the police although the aftermath of the criminal events is not very clear while at the hands of the authorities. Summarily, Sholay shows a pitfall in maintaining order while following the right channels as opposed to criminal mechanisms for revenge. It also openly shows the weakness of the structures in tracking crime and weak institutions to which such great responsibity of maintaining law and order is bestowed upon. This is an example of what happens all around humanity.