Stuntwoman Reshma Pathan gets ‘limelight in ‘The Sholay Girl’

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Aditya Sarpotdar’s film about Reshma Pathan, the woman who performed Hema Malini’s stunts in Ramesh Sippy’s classic will be out on Zee5 on March 8, 2019.

In Ramesh Sippy’s 1975 Bollywood classic Sholaywhen Hema Malini’s horse cart-borne Basanti narrowly escaped Gabbar Singh’s goons after a hair-raising chase, another woman’s life was actually in danger. Reshma Pathan, who was Malini’s stunt double in the film, had a dramatic fall during the shoot when the horse cart hit a rock and was flung into the air. A couple of days later, Pathan was back on set and filming risky sequences again.

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Pathan has also worked as a body double for Sridevi, Dimple Kapadia and Meenakshi Seshadri in the 1970s and ’80s, but like most others in her profession, her contribution to the industry has remained behind the scenes. An upcoming film hopes to change that. Aditya Sarpotdar’s The Sholay Girl is a biopic of Pathan and will be released on the streaming platform Zee5 on March 8. The film stars Bidita Bag (Babumoshai Bandookbaaz) as Reshma Pathan.

Sarpotdar, whose credits include the Marathi films Classmates (2015), Faster Fene (2017) and Mauli (2019), said the idea behind The Sholay Girl was to celebrate Women’s Day in a different way. When the producers approached him with a clutch of stories about path-breaking women, Pathan’s piqued his interest, he told “We have never actually seen how the life of stunt people are in the film industry, especially stunt women,” he said. “Also Reshma Pathan’s story was very exciting and had a lot of drama.”

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