Director: Kundan Shah
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Bhakti Barve
Plot: Vinod (Naseeruddin Shah) and Sudhir (Ravi Baswani) are two professional photographers trying to start a photo studio. The first real assignment that they get, from the activist magazine Khabardar exposes them to shady dealings, corruption and murder.
The films was inspired by two of Kundan's friends from his FTII, Pune days, Rajendra Shorey and Ravi Ojha. Unable to find good work in the film industry as it wasn't in great shape those days, the duo opened a photo development shop. Ravi visited Kundan one night and they discussed the grim struggle they faced in their job.
The entire film's budget was an abysmal Rs. 7,00,000. The two who got paid the highest were the director and the only star of the show, Naseeruddin Shah. They both got paid Rs. 15000 for their parts in the film. Even Ravi Baswani, despite his large role in the film, only got paid Rs. 6000.
Naseeruddin Shah had plenty of pet peeves with the lack of logic in the script. Kundan changed the entire second half of the script to make it seem a bit more believable. However, when he showed it to Satish Kaushik, he said the logic would make the entire film sink. In fact, his exact analogy was 'Right now, your script is like snow, it can still float. But if you add all this logic together it will get too tight and the snow will become ice. Then your film is sure to sink.' With that, Kundan reverted to his original script.
Due to the small budget of the film Naseer had to bring his own Nikon camera to use as a prop for his character who was a photographer. Towards the end of the shooting he lost his camera while shooting at a railway station. Shah forgot the camera on one of the benches, and never found it. The director Kundan bought a new camera for him after shooting wrapped.
Anupam Kher was cast as a 'disco killer' in the film, a gangster who eliminated his victims while he danced. All his scenes were shot, but discarded from the final cut at the editing stage.
The two lead characters in the movie are named after the two assistants in the movie, Sudhir Mishra and Vidhu Vinod Chopra, both of whom went on to become well-known Hindi movie directors.
There is a reference by Vinod (Naseeruddin Shah) early in the movie, to borrowing money from Kundan Shah. Kundan Shah is the name of the director.
The movie was inspired by British film Blow Up(1966) and the director included scenes to pay homage to it. The park where the two photographers shoot a dancing monkey is named Antonioni Park, after the director of 'Blow-Up', Michelangelo Antonioni. The photo of the monkey is blown up and it leads to the discovery of a murder.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro was released in only four theatres on the first day in Mumbai
Initially the director wasn’t in favour of Om Puri shooting the legendary Mahabharat scene with his goggles on, but the veteran actor managed to convince him.
The film was entirely funded by the National Film Development Corporation of India(NFDC)
In a recent interview, Om Puri revealed that the food for the shooting unit came from Kundan Shah’s house. The director had hired a cook who would make lauki and dal everyday
Most of the cast such as Satish Shah, Om Puri, Neena Gupta, Satish Kaushik and Paankaj KApur acted in the film as a favour to the director Kundan Shah who they knew from his FTII(Film and Television Institute of India) days
Vidhu Vinod Chopra was the production controller of this movie and also played a brief cameo as Dushaasan in the iconic Mahabharat scene
The character of Shobha Sen who is the editor of a sleazy magazine played in the movie by Bhakti Bharve. The role is based on Shobha De who was editor of Stardust.
The Mshabharat scene was largely improvised by the characterd while shooting.
Naseer admitted that he did not expect the movie would be a hit and was difficult to work with. He would often refuse to do some scenes because he found them illogical and the director Kundan Shah and co-star Ravi Baswani would have to convince him to complete the shooting.
Naseer mentioned that this film along with Masoom(1983) and Monsoon Wedding(2001) are his most popular films and he still gets asked about them while interacting with fans throughout the world.
Santish Kaushik who played secretary to Tarneja wrote the dialogues for this film.