Saturday, May 5, 2007

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron: A comedy classic

The first time I saw this movie was immediately when it was released, and it struck a deep chord in me that time itself. I was very impressed, partly because there were so many scenes in the film when I could not stop laughing. At the end of the movie, the feeling was that I really would not mind seeing it again; and I have seen it again many times since then. The movie was made in 1983 by Kundan Shah, and was a low budget movie, costing not more than 10 lakhs, it had numeous characters, but really did not require any extravagant scenes or big sets or big stars.
Starring a host of comedy stars, Naseeruddin Shah (not a comedy star), Ravi Baswani, Satish Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, and so on, one never got an impression that there were too many characters in the plot. In addition, the story about a murder and incidents related to that was treated in a manner that was extremely comic. Even now, now too many people will remember the story, but they will remember incidents such as 'thoda khao, thoda pheko', and the Mahabharta scene in a very different light.
Story: Naseeruddin and Ravi are two photographers, pretty bumbling ones, as you would expect in a comedy. They get an assignment from the editor, Shobha of an activist magazine Khabardar. As a part of this, they find out that one of the biggest builders in Bombay, Taneja is trying to get Municipal Commissioner D'Mello (Satish Shah) to favour him by paying money, but D'Mello takes money from Ahuja (Om Puri). Taneja murders D'Mello, and how do they find this ? This is from a chance photograph, enlarged.
They try to locate the body, but it disappears. There is then a merry go around around the corpse, and that forms the rest of the movie. There are many comic scenes, with the corpse in a coffin being chased on the road (the coffin is on wheels), Ahuja being drunk and not recognizing D'Mello as a corpse, or the Mahabharta scene. That scene is a killer, and very very entertaining.
This movie is worth watching, and keeping.

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