Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983)
Director: Kundan Shah; Writer: Ranjit Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, Sudhir Mishra, Kundan Shah; Producer: Nfdc India; Cinematographer: Binod Pradhan; Editor: Renu Saluja; Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Bhakti Bharve, Om Puri, Satish Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, Neena Gupta, Deepak Qazir, Rajesh Puri, Zafar Sanjari, Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Duration: 02:11:42; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 40.074; Saturation: 0.226; Lightness: 0.229; Volume: 0.165; Cuts per Minute: 10.265; Words per Minute: 48.620
Summary: Extraordinary slapstick comedy, a genre almost
unknown in Indian cinema since Kishore
Kumar’s early films. Two bumbling
photographers, Vinod Chopra (N. Shah) and
Sudhir Mishra (Baswani), are employed by
Shobha (Bharve), the editor of a scandal sheet,
Khabardar. They have to spy on millionaire
property developer Tarneja (Kapoor) and
police commissioner D’Mello (S. Shah). The
photographers uncover dirty business between
Tarneja and his equally unsavoury rival Ahuja
(O. Puri). The commissioner is killed by one of
the builders who, as a result, wins the contract
to build a flyover that collapses shortly
afterwards. The photographers get hold of
D’Mello’s corpse in order to prove that he was
murdered, but they lose it, which gives rise to
an extended sequence where everyone chases
everyone else. In the end, the photographers
are framed for the collapse of the fly-over. The
film, set in the same early 80s of e.g. Anand
Patwardhan’s documentary Hamara Shaher
(1985), refers directly to specific corrupt
Bombay politicians of the period. The collapse
of the flyover, shown in a video clip in the film,
is in fact footage of the actual Byculla Bridge in
Bombay which collapsed shortly before the
film was made. Commissioner D’Mello refers to
the then police chief Julio Ribeiro (who
appears in the Advertising Club meeting in
Patwardhan’s documentary), Tarneja and Ahuja
are a composite picture of Bombay’s biggest
builder Raheja, while the Shobha who runs a
scandal sheet is an allusion to Shobha
Kilachand, aka Shobha De, former editor of a
film gossip and city magazine. In addition, the
film repeatedly refers to e.g. Antonioni’s Blow
Up (1966) and to New Indian Cinema,
including some of Shah’s former FTII
colleagues: film-makers Vinod Chopra (on
whose Sazaaye Maut, 1981, Shah had been a
production manager) and Sudhir Mishra, who
lend their names to the photographer duo. The
Albert Pinto code-word of the two amateur
sleuths refers to Saeed Mirza’s film (1980).
Large posters of Kumar Shahani’s Maya
Darpan (1972) and Mani Kaul’s Uski Roti
(1969) can be seen pasted on the walls during
the chase. The film was a mild commercial
success and influenced mainly a brand of TV
comedy (cf. Shah’s TV series Yeh Jo Hai
Zindagi, 1985, and one he made together with
Mirza, Nukkad, 1987).
T: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, 1983 Kundan Shah
PPF Slum Rehabilitation
Khada Parsi statue
The gutter is evoked again in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, which shares much of the cast from Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho.
The press conference takes place on the city's highest building also built by the Tarneja Empire. (filmed on the terrace of the BSNL building.
A bizarre quote by J.R.D Tata on a banner: I think it wrong for a businessman to run politics, wrong for him to play a political role.
Seen below are the Flora Fountain and Hutatma Chowk monuments, the Taj Hotel, the Gateway of India, the Prince of Wales museum, the Stock exchange and the Lions Gate docks. The camera pans to reveal the Oval maidan expanse, the High Court, University of Bombay, Mantralaya, and Nariman Point and Backbay Reclamation.
Camera tilts down from the art deco building of Marine Drive, to a mass of people on their daily commute to and from work crossing the Cross maidan.
Khada Parsi Statue
Under the Byculla bridge at night. Khada Parsi looks the other way. A corpse is found and then lost. Posters for Uski Roti, Gaman, Maya Darpan, Chirutha, and Shodh plastered on the flyover girders.
The Uski Roti, Maya Darpan, Chirutha, Pratidwandi and Calcutta 71 posters in the background
News reader Sarita Sethi reads the sensational headlines. Justice Lentin's Historic verdict. Chief Minister Antulay's resignation. Byculla bridge collapses. Kerkar committee appointed. Remediation of news and events that happened between 1980 and 1982.
Byculla flyover collapse
Actuality footage of the Byculla Bridge collapse was filmed by Kundan Shah and Cinematographer Binod Pradhan Long before the script of Jaane Bhi do Yaaron
was being developed.
Mahabharata scene begins