wiki:Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron

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Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron

aka Who Pays the Piper 1983 143’(130’) col Hindi d/s Kundan Shah pc NFDC co-s Sudhir Mishra dial Ranjit Kapoor, Satish Kaushik c Binod Pradhan m Vanraj Bhatia lp Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Bhakti Bharve, Om Puri, Satish Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, Neena Gupta, Deepak Qazir, Rajesh Puri, Zafar Sanjari, Vidhu Vinod Chopra Extraordinary slapstick comedy, a genre almost unknown in Indian cinema since Kishore Kumar’s early films. Two bumbling photographers, Vinod Chopra (N. Shah) and Sudhir Mishra (Baswani), are employed by Shobha (Bharve), the editor of a scandal sheet, Khabardar. They have to spy on millionaire property developer Tarneja (Kapoor) and police commissioner D’Mello (S. Shah). The photographers uncover dirty business between Tarneja and his equally unsavoury rival Ahuja (O. Puri). The commissioner is killed by one of the builders who, as a result, wins the contract to build a flyover that collapses shortly afterwards. The photographers get hold of D’Mello’s corpse in order to prove that he was murdered, but they lose it, which gives rise to an extended sequence where everyone chases everyone else. In the end, the photographers are framed for the collapse of the fly-over. The film, set in the same early 80s of e.g. Anand Patwardhan’s documentary Hamara Shaher (1985), refers directly to specific corrupt Bombay politicians of the period. The collapse of the flyover, shown in a video clip in the film, is in fact footage of the actual Byculla Bridge in Bombay which collapsed shortly before the film was made. Commissioner D’Mello refers to the then police chief Julio Ribeiro (who appears in the Advertising Club meeting in Patwardhan’s documentary), Tarneja and Ahuja are a composite picture of Bombay’s biggest builder Raheja, while the Shobha who runs a scandal sheet is an allusion to Shobha Kilachand, aka Shobha De, former editor of a film gossip and city magazine. In addition, the film repeatedly refers to e.g. Antonioni’s Blow Up (1966) and to New Indian Cinema, including some of Shah’s former FTII colleagues: film-makers Vinod Chopra (on whose Sazaaye Maut, 1981, Shah had been a production manager) and Sudhir Mishra, who lend their names to the photographer duo. The Albert Pinto code-word of the two amateur sleuths refers to Saeed Mirza’s film (1980). Large posters of Kumar Shahani’s Maya Darpan (1972) and Mani Kaul’s Uski Roti (1969) can be seen pasted on the walls during the chase. The film was a mild commercial success and influenced mainly a brand of TV comedy (cf. Shah’s TV series Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, 1985, and one he made together with Mirza, Nukkad, 1987).

Film