Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jaane Bhi do, a movie like this will never come again !!!!...

Very occasionally does it happen that some of the finest talents in any particular field (let alone film-making) come together to pitch in their collective expertise and create a product. Usually, such a collaboration leads to an outcome that falls way short of the sky-high expectations from it. However, in the rarest of rare cases, the outcome is nothing short of spectacular and becomes close to immortal. In 1983, a fresh batch of out-going students from the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) got together, persuaded their alma mater to fund a movie on a less than shoe-string budget and came out with a movie that is universally regarded to be one of the finest ever to grace Indian cinema.

Surely, the names that came together to create that cult classic called 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron' is staggering. A bunch of remarkable actors (Naseer, Ravi Baswani, Bhakti Barve, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapoor, Satish Shah et al ) and equally adept technicians (Kundan Shah, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Binod Pradhan, Sudhir Mishra and Renu Saluja to name a few) blended beautifully to carve out a masterpiece of a movie (am sure it will appear on any movie buffs top 10 movies of all times). And if ever can one movie define a whole genre, then surely JBDY epitomizes the black comedy genre. In fact, making subtle comedies (as opposed to the usual slapstick fare) is such a risky business than there have less than a handful of such movies that Bollywood has made !! . Which makes you marvel even more at the subtle references throughout the film to social life and the corruption therein. For me, the greatest beauty of JBDY is that while you are bursting at the seams with laughter one moment, the next scene immediately drives home the pathos associated with living life as a common man amidst a web of deceit and corruption. For example, sample this: the climax of the movie, as everyone knows, is that classic 'Draupadi-Vastraharan' scene from the Mahabharat (kudos to Kundan Shah and Sudhir Mishra for this gem of an idea and for its execution that led to a scene that is unparalleled in movie annals). Now this scene of course, gets you ROTFL (to use the SMS lingo ;-). But after that climax is the final scene when the two protagonists are shown walking on the streets of Mumbai dressed as prisoners with 'Hum Honge Kaamyaab' in the background !! . That scene causes a lump-in-the-throat moment, reminding the viewer that finally it is the common man who always ends up on the losing side while everyone else goes scot-free (in fact, kudos again to Kundan and Sudhir for ending the movie this way instead of the run-of-the-mill ending in which the conspirators go to jail and the protagonists become heroes).

The other endearing aspect of JBDY is the liberal references to real-life characters (Bhakti Barve's character named and modelled on Shobhaa De) and incidents (the flyover collapse in the movie mirrored the collapse of the Byculla flyover in the 80s). These make it easier for everyone to identify with the movie. Also the subtleties in the movie are impossible to ignore, for e.g. the corrupt builder bribing the BMC commissioner while high up on the pickup crane and looking down on the slums of the city, the dog peeing on the street in the opening scene illustrating the plight of the common man etc etc. The power of the screenplay along with the performances make Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron a must-see for generations to come !!.


** ROTFL: Rolling on the floor in laughter


Femin Susan said...

Your blog is really interesting... Good Luck...keep writing.
Blessings to you and your family…….

Amit Gokhale said...


Thanks !!!

PH said...

Agreed 100%. Even now I use that dialogue "Yeh kya ho raha hai beta Duryodhan", when I am totally lost and perplexed in a big group. Hee hee ... dont know if others get the reference or not. But I have a good laugh with myself. :)

Amit Gokhale said...

@ PH..

Another memorable line is .... 'Shaant raho gadhadhaari Bheem !!' ;-)