top of page

Face-off and Sholay: A comparison

I have seen Face off 9 times, 8 of those times in a theatre.

Why do these two Films bear a comparison?

I think in Gabbar Singh and Castor Troy, we have the two most formidable antagonists in cinema history.

There is no one else who comes to my mind, at least.

So let us make an attempt to compare the two Films.

Let me make it clear that ,my assumption here is that the protagonist in Sholay is the Thakur (Sanjeev Kumar) and not Jai-Veeru who are simply assisting him

Protagonist’s motivation

The Thakur (Sanjeev Kumar) loses his family.

Sean Archer (John Travolta) loses his son.


In Sholay, the escape of Gabbar Singh is simply stated by a 3rd person. There is no need to show the espcae because this is of no interet to the audience.

In Face-off, on the other hand, the escape has to be clearly shown, otherwise the audience will not understand it.

Protagonist pushed to the wall

In Sholay, Gabbar Singh’s cuts off the Thakur’s hands.

In Face Off, John Travolta (Castor Troy as Sean Archer), acquires Sean Archer’s body and kills off the specialist doctor. There is no hope left for Nicholas Cage (Sean Archer as Castor Troy).

Prop used as set-up and pay-off

In Sholay it was the trick coin with heads on both sides.

In Face Off, Castory Troy (John Travolta) gives a flick knife to (Sean Archer’s daughter) for her protection. Finally, in the climax scene, the daughter shoves the knife in his own thigh at a crucial moment.

Yes, yes, this is not an exact comparion. Nevettheless.

Beginning of Final denouement

In Sholay, the beginning of the climax is after Basanti is kidnapped by Gabbar Singh.

In Face Off, the climax comes after the funeral ceremony of police chief Victor Lazarro, Sean Archer’s boss, played by Harve Presnell.

Pre-climax In 'Face Off', in the scene where the FBI led by John Travolta (as Castor Troy) attacks Castor Troy's hideout, objective No. 1 of the scene is to 'save the kid, Adam'.

In 'Sholay' Objective No. 1 of the scene after Jai storms Gabbar Singh's den, is 'to save Basanti'.


In Face Off, the climax is stretched and stretched and stretched, with a battery of action sequences.

In Sholay, an extended action sequence is not possible, because unfortunately the Thakur has lost his hands, which is why he enlists the help of Jai-Veeru.

I’d very much like to know what you think of this.

What else can you think of vis a vis Sholay and Face Off.


bottom of page