I am careful about a lot of lists, or claiming to know the best in music or movies or even food, but this one I will take a shot at and say that Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (JBDY) is my favouritest movie ever.
I had seen it in my college days and at that time, it already was nearly five years since release, and saw this several times after wards, but each time would be as great a viewing as the first time.
Its hard to describe the movie – is it a madcap comedy, a showcase of the best talents, superior direction, great dialogues, storytelling, at a higher plane being a tirade against media, corruption, property magnates, the angst of 70s and 80s captured brilliantly.
In terms of talent, its possible the single biggest congregation of the best talents from theatre, tv and films ever seen – all of them unknown when it was launched, but went on to successful careers eventually. Besides the lead actors, everyone from Satish Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Om Puri, Satish Kaushik, Neena Gupta, Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra etc. and in the background support from actors like Anita Kanwal, Rohini Hattangadi, Anupam Kher etc.
There’s quite a lot of trivia one could look up given that it got cult status – my favourite being that the character of the editor in the movie was named ‘Shobha’after Shobha De (then Kilachand nee Rajadhyaksha) – as much reviled then as a bitchy editor of the film magazine Stardust.
The curse of making the best movies ever is that you cannot reproduce the success ever – or even come remotely close. Kundan Shah made a lot of other movies, but JBDY stands alone.