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Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
DIRECTOR: Kundan Shah
CAST: Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Pankaj Kapur, Satish Shah, Om Puri, Nina Gupta,
This is a film I know backwards, and I'm sure many of you do, too. So why I am writing this? Because Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro has re-released in a bright, digitally restored print this week, and it is completely worth your while, as much as it was when it came out in 1983. If not more.
The story of Vinod and Sudhir, young, idealistic photographers who run into a gaggle of crooks — greedy builder Tarneja, another of his ilk, the very dead Ahuja, the corrupt commissioner D'Mello, the too- upright journalist Shobha, and a bunch of others in the very cult film that Kundan Shah made has never been out-of-sight, out-of-mind. If anything, its cult-ness, if you like, has only increased over the years because it is the only film that Hindi cinema has made whose comic edges have been tinged with so much black. As far as I'm concerned, there really has been no other serious contender for the black comedy throne.
I watched it again this morning, and I was laughing all over again. Laughing and realising that JBDY will never lose relevance: as long as there is corruption and venal officials and a handful of people trying to fight the system, we will always want to see this film.