‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ was made on shoestring budget, a serendipity that became a cult

Vastavam web: Kundan Shah’s “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro” was made on a shoestring budget and had its origin in the struggles of his friends two FTII graduates who ended up opening a photo studio in Hyderabad.The 1983 cult classic came into being “by chance” for Shah, who died of cardiac arrest today.”I had not seen that film (One Wonderful Sunday) but I was inspired by the idea and was trying to write a screenplay.
‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ happened in between. By very, what you call, chance of circumstance,” Shah recalled in an interview with ‘NFDCCinemasofIndia’ in 2012.There were not many opportunities when Shah graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune in 1976.”So we formed a commune –a group of cinematographers , editors and others — because we knew the struggle was going to be grim. We had based it in Hyderabad. Eventually, everyone dispersed and even I returned to Mumbai.”
Only two of Shah’s friend stayed back Ravi Ojha, a direction student and Rajendra Shaw. They ended up opening a photo studio.”So, he was laughing and I was also in splits all through the night. The next morning when I got up, although I was working on the script inspired by Kurusawa, I told Ravi that I could see a film in this (his story) and wanted to attempt a film on two photographers,” Shah recalled.
“Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro” mixed comedy with themes of corruption and unemployment that lifted the modest National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) production into one of the best dark comedies in Indian cinema.The film featured actors Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur, Satish Kaushik, Satish Shah, Neena Gupta, Bhakti Bharve and Deepak Qazir.