In 1983, when Kundan Shah’s political satire, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, released, it was met with a lukewarm response. The film was perhaps ahead of its times, proved by the subsequent cult status it would attain. Twenty-nine years later, the film starring Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri, among others, is considered one of the best Bollywood films of all time. Director’s Rare, a wing of cinema chain PVR that screens independent and critically acclaimed films, is now set to bring it back to screens around the country on October 26. And judging by the buzz it’s generated on Facebook, the second coming might get a bigger reception.
The film has been restored by the NFDC (National Film Development Corporation) and PVR has converted the analogue print to digital. “Analogue prints deteriorate over time, and analogue projectors are nearly obsolete. Converting to digital 2k output improves the film and sound quality,” says Shiladitya Bora, head of PVR Director’s Rare. To explain the technical aspect, 2k is a 20,000 lumens (a measure of emitted light) output. Your average home or college projector has 3-4,000 lumens output.
Building a niche
In the one year that Director’s Rare has been around (it completes a year in October), they have released 11 movies. The most popular ones have been the indie film Love, Wrinkle-Free (it sold 8,000 tickets) and the documentary Supermen of Malegaon (6,000 tickets). Bora expects Jaane Bhi... to do even better. “We’ll release it in 25-30 screens around the country and we’re expecting over 30,000 people,” he says. Play by year So far, all of Director’s Rare’s promotions have been through word-of-mouth and social media. As they complete a year, they are looking to start a dedicated website (in a couple of weeks) and focus more on promotions. Bora adds, “We’ll also show more immediate films, picking from festivals like Osian’s and the Mumbai Film Festival.”
Advance booking for Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro starts September 25 onwards, on pvrcinemas.com