'Jaane Bhi...' stood test of time: Om Puri (Interview)

New Delhi, Oct 31 There was so little money that the film crew would sleep on the ground without any pillow or mattress, remembers Om Puri about the shooting of "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro". Little did they know that the film would go on to become a cult b

Wednesday, October 31, 2012   |  Copyright: IANS  |  Comments 0 Comments  |  480 Views

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) There was so little money that the film crew would sleep on the ground without any pillow or mattress, remembers Om Puri about the shooting of "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro". Little did they know that the film would go on to become a cult black comedy and be re-released 29 years later.

The 1983 film releases across theatres Friday. Om Puri, who plays the perpetually inebriated builder Ahuja, says they had never imagined the film would become a classic.

"We were shooting for the film in Alibaug. Since we had very little money to shoot, we couldn't afford to spend too much.

"We used to sleep on the ground without any pillow or mattress. But it was really fun working on the film as all the actors and the crew members shared a great rapport with one another," the 62-year-old actor told IANS.

"We never thought that 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro' would become a cult film. I believe the satirical humour, and the social satire on the state of the nation at that time clicked with the audience. The film stood the test of the time because it had a meaningful humour," Puri said.

He believes the film will be watched again, a different experience this time even for those who had seen it many times earlier.

"It's great to hear that the film is releasing again. Though most of the people have seen it many times before, I believe it would be a different experience of watching it on the theatre screen."

Made on a shoestring budget, the film featured Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Baswani as two honest photographers, who witness a murder and are dragged into the murky world of real estate deal with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats working hand in glove with each other.

Through the protagonists, director Kundan Shah tried to unearth the corruption in the system that time. All these years later, the theme continues to be as relevant.

Recalling how he worked on his look, Puri said: "While shooting for the film, I asked Kundan Shah if I can wear goggles and he said, 'Why not?' So I got those goggles from a small shop at the place we were shooting at.

"I wore goggles throughout the shoot, even when the 'Mahabharata' scene was being shot. Kundan Shah felt I was fooling around and angrily said, 'Why are you wearing goggles now?' I told him what's wrong in wearing them during the scene because this is how my character is in the film and it goes with look. He then understood and it came out to be the most interesting part of the entire scene."

The cast also included creative people like Pankaj Kapur, Satish Shah, Bhakti Barve and Neena Gupta.

"We used to improvise a lot in between scenes, especially during the 'Mahabharata' scene, though I would say most of it was from the script," he added.

He misses doing films like "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro".

"I really miss such kind of films as they are not being made any longer. Today I don't see any other film that has humour with a meaning."

(Priyanka Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])


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