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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

Jaane Bhi... success still surprises Kundan Shah

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro has completed 25 years of its release on Tuesday. And director Kundan Shah, who is busy scripting its sequel, says the original could never have been made with independent producers.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2008 16:40 IST

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, one of the most brilliantly made political satires in Hindi cinema, completed 25 years of its release Tuesday. But director Kundan Shah, who is busy scripting its sequel, says the original could never have been made with independent producers.

Shah says if things go according to plan, he will make the second instalment with all the actors who worked in the original.

"I am writing part two and I plan to make it with the same actors. Part two will be set in the current political and social scenario. It will have to match up to the success of the original," Shah told IANS on phone from Kerala.

Produced by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), the film was made at a meagre budget of Rs.725,000.

Asked why he never revisited the genre in the last 25 years, Shah explained: "I made this film with the NFDC. We must give credit to the script committee of the NFDC for giving the script a chance.

"But it is very difficult to make a film like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron outside the NFDC. You can't make a film like this with independent producers."

The film about two simple and honest photographers - Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Vaswani - who witness a murder and get dragged into the corrupt real estate circle where politicians and bureaucrats are involved, was replete with slapstick humour. It went on to attain cult status.

Some of the funniest scenes include a drunk Om Puri trying to help Satish Shah's dead body to start his 'car', which is actually a coffin, and a famous Ramlila scene.

All the actors, including Pankaj Kapur, Om Puri, Satish Shah, Neena Gupta and Satish Kaushik, who shared some incredibly funny scenes in the film, have carved niches for themselves in filmdom since then.

"When I was making the film, I never thought it would be such an acclaimed movie. Every filmmaker has some dreams and this film has given me more than I dreamt of. It surpassed my expectations. It has also given a lot to the entire cast and crew and its success is beyond their imagination too," said Shah.

"After making this film I moved to television and worked there for seven years. I returned with Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. I have written a story about a prostitute and it is also a political satire. The story is about a prostitute on the run who enters the vortex of by-elections and ends up becoming a chief minister," said Shah.

He is talking to an actress to play the role, but refused to divulge the name.

Going down memory lane, Shah said: "When I decided to make Jaane Bhi..., I applied for a loan of Rs.400,000. But later the NFDC decided to fund it. The initial budget of the movie was Rs.685,000 but the production cost went up and finally it was made at a budget of Rs.725,000."

Recalling the box office results, Shah said: "The film came and went, but it did earn profit. However, the film grew bigger and bigger with time. At that time it was screened at the Tashkent Film Festival."

But Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro was not so popular with the foreign audience.

"It has got more appreciation in India. It was liked by the Indian diaspora, but didn't go down well with the foreign audience," said Shah.