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Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (Seriously Funny Since 1983) - By Jai Arjun Singh (Book Review By Bobby Sing)
12 Feb, 2014 | Articles on Cinema / NOSTALGIA, BOOK REVIEWS, VINTAGE MAGAZINES & MORE

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro - Book Review By Bobby Sing

Books written on cult movies after decades of their initial release always have an amusing account of a journey back in time with many inside stories and unknown facts related with the film’s making. So following the same pattern, Jay Arjun Singh also writes his absorbing book on one of the most famous comedy movies of Hindi Cinema i.e. JAANE BHI DO YAARO, but with a unique difference.
Beginning with the initial stages of its basic idea, conception & writing, the book interestingly reveals how the film was actually made, under what circumstances and in what kind of a miniscule budget, along with loads of interesting anecdotes, shooting instances, disagreements, problems and help taken from various personal sources by its entire cast. Hence it is indeed an essential read for everyone who loves this cult classic since decades and has lost counts of the times he must have watched JBDY in this digital age of DVDs, youtube, personal hard disk storage and numerous Television channels.
But moving ahead than all the normal requisites of such a nostalgic book written on a cult venture, the attempt successfully manages to stand apart due to its four unique merits and the last 50 pages in particular, giving the viewer an entirely different perspective on the epic unexpectedly.
1. Firstly, as a very rare feature, it gives you the exact references of several additional scenes of its original script, which were earlier written & shot too, but were later deleted due to various reasons and are presently not in existence in any format for us to cherish. For instance, sequences such as Vinod & Sudhir chatting with a talking Gorilla in a godown and Anupam Kher’s cameo playing the half blind Disco Killer, which was supposed to be his debut performance, a year before the release of SAARANSH in 1984.
2. In its last section titled POST-PRODUCTION, the book specifically describes the contribution of an EDITOR in film-making and how he or she can entirely re-write the film on the editing table with just two scissor-hands, with or without the consent of its actual director. And to say the truth, Editing is indeed an important skill, which still remains the most ignored, less talked about and an unrecognized art (department) in the eyes of our Indian audience, quite sadly.
3. Thirdly, the best part of the book comes in its last 40 pages beginning from the chapter POST-MORTEM, wherein the writer quite insightfully goes through a painful process of asking two bold questions related to its cult status that, Why director Kundan Shah couldn’t make another movie even close to this trendsetter in his entire career post JBDY and further Why Hindi Cinema also couldn’t create another such hilarious, classic satire in the last three decades, despite having so much talent around. 
Further Jai Arjun Singh surprisingly states few minor goof-ups in the film too which were rarely discussed or mentioned before in any other article, book or site, criticizing it hard. And that’s precisely, what completes the book in totality as I strongly felt.
4. Lastly but most importantly, Jai puts up another very relevant and debatable question in the end that looking at the current social scenario we are living in, full of communal tension, religious hatred and a race to prove one community better than the other………Will it be possible for a JAANE BHI DO YAARO kind of film to release today with all those clear religious references in its major comic scenes? Or in other words, would the religious fanatics of the present world allow a film to use a Dead Body as an element of fun, a Coffin with a Cross treated as a new sports car model, a wreath taken as the car’s steering wheel, a dead body dressed in a Burqa taken for a ride, the mythological reference of Mahabharta and Draupadi dealt in a funny way, Emperor Akbar entering the tale of Mahabharta like a morning walker and finally no Lord Krishna entering in a Draupadi Cheer Haran scene being played on the stage in a typically weird or hilarious mode.
No doubt, the question is bang on and yes a comedy film having such clear religious references is sure going to face a rough weather and pretty strong opposition by various organisations existing today, marketing their own distinctive religions like a super market product. The noteworthy point shamelessly depicts our waning sense of humor and diminishing level of understanding of a cultural or religious satire, witnessed in the last three decades. And actually its this final chapter of the book only (raising a crucial doubt on its part two being currently planned) which straightaway takes it to a different platform altogether, proving its better edge than the others undoubtedly.
Summing up, I felt only one point missing in its concluding pages when it doesn’t make any mention of Raj Kumar Santoshi’s ANDAZ APNA APNA while considering the other similar attempts made in the comic genre post JAANE BHI DO YAARO. Now though AAA cannot be called a social satire as JBDY, but still the Aamir-Salman starrer sure deserved to be there with a special mention as it is in fact crowned as the second most famous, mad Hindi comedy made in the recent times by one and all (also revolving around two young protagonists as in JBYD).
However, the missing reference doesn’t take away anything from the effort made in merit terms and it still remains a must have in your personal libraries as a book which is both fun to read as well as an intelligent analysis of one of the most cherished comic venture in the history of Hindi Cinema. So do go for it as your next weekend read essentially and have a great time with the lovingly innocent Sudhir and Vinod once again.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (Seriously Funny Since 1983) – By Jai Arjun Singh
Published by Harper-Collins India (2010) – Pages 270 (Small Size Paperback)

Tags : Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (Seriously Funny Since 1983) By Jai Arjun Singh, Book Review By Bobby Sing, Books On Cinema Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, JBDY Book Review, Books on Cinema, Article on Cinema By Bobby Sing
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