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Where have the horses gone?

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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If one leaves aside the brief frame in which Imran Khan mounted a horse in JAANE TU YA JAANE NA, horses have literally gone off the screen as far as the Hindi films are concerned. At a time when the World Cinema, the movie channel is proposing a feast of western movies it would be an opportune moment to go down memory lane with the horses. The qualifier has to be entered here in the sense that horses did find a prominent place in JODHA AKBAR, but it was a historical film and therefore a situational necessity. Otherwise in normal films, with a normal background, horses have just walked into the oblivion.

Horses indeed evoke a nostalgia and passion, but do the motorbikes; the speed monsters of the present time also invoke same kind of passion? Unlikely. If one were to be given a choice of viewing a film shot through and through with the adventures on a motorbike or on a horseback, horses should win hands down. In the Indian cinema the legend as far as horse films is concerned has to be SHOLAY. No other film has invoked the passion and paid tribute to the beauty of horse in such an eloquent manner as this magnum opus of Indian cinema SHOLAY did. SHOLAY even had a dialogue about the horses, which had become a flash point between Gabbar Singh and Thakur, and as a result of which Thakur had to loose his hands as well. The dialogue was “Yeh Haath lagaam pakad kar ghode ko bhi bitha sakte hain ...

Interestingly enough around the same time one more film was released, KHOTTE SIKKAY made by Narinder Bedi, which also had elaborate usage of horses but it could not succeed at the box office, and therefore remains forgotten.

Among the current crop of stars the most interesting debuts where horses played an important role was that by Sunny Deol in BETAAB. No such debut followed thence, that had used horse as a backdrop to accentuate the machismo of the hero. Talking about machismo, the raw sensuality that was generated by using horses was done with a finesse not to be repeated again by Feroze Khan in JAANBAAZ. Interestingly enough this film could be taken as the film, which started turning the tide in favour of the motorbikes as the favorite toy of the hero.
Among the stars of yester years the actor who was literally identified with the horses was Dharmendra and the scores of films that he did in his second innings had an organic association with the horses in one form or the other, and his most evocative association with the horses was in GHULAMI along with Vinod Khanna. The concept of machismo as a matter of fact that originated with Clint Eastwood and his saga with the horses.

With the changing times and the changing scenarios, horses may have been replaced, but the raw energy and the passion that a horse invokes cannot be replicated in the same intensity by a motorbike. May be, with looming inflation, one could se horses making an entry once again on the silver screen to revive the era of adventure and ride into the realm of unknown.



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