Director: Kundan Shah
Screenplay: Kundan Shah, Sudhir Mishra, Satish Kaushik, Ranjit Kapoor
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapoor, Satish Shah, Bhakti Barve, Satish Kaushik, Neena Gupta, Deepak Qazir, Rajesh Puri, Zafar Sanjari, Ashok Banthia, Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Awards: Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role, Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, a 1983 dark comedy with one of the funniest sequences in movie history, is a sarcastic take on the evergreen subject of corruption which will always stay relevant. With the tag of good vs evil, it ends on an uncomfortable yet strikingly true note.
It is a story of two photographers, Vinod and Sudhir, who set out to make an honest living. Shobha (Bhakti Barve), the shrewd and hypocrite editor of Khabardar newspaper, manipulates them to fulfill her objective of blackmailing the ambitious builder Tarneja (Pankaj Kapur). Tarneja believes Business ka ek hi matlab hota hai. Doosre ka nuksaan aur apna fayda. Kanoon aam aadmi ke liye hai. In order to get his tenders passed, Tarneja and his chamchaas, Ashok (Satish Kaushik) and Priya (Neena Gupta), bribe the greedy Commissioner D’Mello (Satish Shah) with cash, estate and “Swiss choco cake”. Tarneja’s competition is Ahuja (Om Puri). The creepy and bewda Ahuja baits the Commissioner with more money. The latter is more than willing to comply. Tarneja gets to know of this and murders D’Mello. Vinod and Sudhir accidentally discover a picture that shows Tarneja murdering someone. Both of them find the dead body which turns out to be that of D’Mello. After a series of confusions, goof-ups and eye-openers, Vinod and Sudhir resolve to take the dead body and hand it over to the police. But D’Mello is chased in burkhas and Mahabharata costumes by Tarneja, Ahuja and Shobhaji.
What follows is the epic finale during an on-going stage recital of the mythological Mahabharta. Some of the rib tickling dialogues from the scene:
“ Nahi, Draupadi jaisi Sati nari ko dekhkar maine cheer haran ka idea drop kar diya hai. Jai ho, aisi Sati nari ki jai ho.”
“Abbe sale, kehde cheer harne ko!”
” Draupadi tere akele ki nahi hai. Hum sab shareholder hain.”
“Magar bade bhai ke vachchan ki aagya ka palan karna hi padega
Abbe natak main aisa likha hai.
Ahuja: Palan to humne kabhi apne baap ki aagya ka nahi kiya. Tu cheez kya hai?”
“Dhanush tod diya. Teen rupaye ka nuksaan kar diya. Main nahi karta natak watak. Bhaad mein jao tum sab.”
What is brilliant about Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is that even after three decades of its release, it is still one of the finest Hindi movies made on such a stark and dark subject, with a budget of only 7 lakhs rupees. It is regarded as a cult classic. With a varied and wonderfully talented starcast, not a single song and an outstanding background score by Vanraj Bhatia, it is a must watch for all.