Relive the comic relief
Kundan Shah's Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro re-releases, nearly 30 years after it first left the country in splits during the the days of the single-screen movie hall. We relive the madness, with a few interesting tidbits about this cult classic that introduced an entirely different genre in Hindi films in the 1980s
About the script
>> The film was Kundan Shah’s first full-length film and was financed and produced by NFDC.
>> This comedy was produced by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and was already sold to distributors in all territories, on its very first screening — thus creating a record.
>> Sudhir Mishra and Kundan Shah jointly wrote the script for the film. Shah won the script competition organised by NFDC.
About the film’s plot
>> In the film, jokes are made at everyone, from the former Maharashtra Chief Minister A.R. Antulay, to the flyover that collapsed in Byculla in 1981 (and about which till today, the public know little or nothing); the quintessential havaldar to the editor of scandal sheets.
>> Made on a budget of R7.5 lakh, the film had no violence, no song-and-dance routines, no cabarets and no vulgarity. It started a refreshing, new trend and was known for it’s the striking absence of any sort of sentimentalism.
The characters and locales
>> The film spoofed at the actual turn of events in the completion of the old Byculla flyover.
>> In the chase scenes, 16mm was used so it had to be done in actual speed. There were only two shots in 35 mm. The trolley shot of the skyscraper building under construction and the press conference atop the OCS (now VSNL building) building in Fort, Mumbai.
>> The park where the midnight mock horror scene is shot is wittingly named Antonioni Park - in deference to Blow Up where a corpse appears and disappears under comical circumstances.
>> The Indian Express printing press is used as thee backdrop for many scenes in the Khabardar newspaper office.
>> Real-life newsreader Sarita Sethi was used as the newscaster for DD News.
>> The Veermata Jijabai Udyan (Byculla Zoo/ Rani Baug) was extensively used for the funny scenes.
National Film Archives of India, Pune