Part satire and part slapstick , its a perfect blend of subtle and in your face humour. But the story it tells is not that of mirth. Its a story of corrupt contractors, politicians, press who have nothing but individual gains as their foremost priority. Its also a story of two idealistic but naive (interesting thing to note is all idealistic individuals are naive and often inhabit a world which is far from reality) photographers, who think that their actions can make a difference and ultimately fall prey to the forces that they tried to take on. Its also a story of a dead body, which has to undergo such travails that probably the soul which departed from the body would have been more comfortable in fires of hell than what its body experienced in the mortal world.
Based entirely on the current and true situations , I often wondered how this movie got released without anybody (read politicians and other sleazy individuals on whose actions the script was based on) raising an objection to ban it. One more surprise to me was how NFDC produced it?. Being a central run agency how could it agree to produce a script, which was taking on the society and its rulers. Either the then administrators of NFDC did truly believe in good cinema or did not even bother to check the script.
A lot has been said about about the various scenes and the moments in the movie which evoke laugh, anger at the system, cynicism and whole lot of other feelings. But the last scene where in the protagonists walk on the streets of Mumbai in jail garb with "Hum Honge Kaamyaab" playing in the background sums up the entire movie for me and also highlights how relevant it is even after all these years.
Almost all everyone associated with the movie have went on and made a name for themselves. Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur,Satish Shah,Ravi Baswani,Sathish Kaushik, Vidhu Vinod Chopra,Sudhir Mishra, Binod Pradhan, Renu Saluja, Neena Gupta and many others made it big in one or many fields of television and movies. Its ironical though that the director Kundan Shah could not repeat the same creative brilliance in any of his later offerings.
But as Naseer says in this excellent piece of reminiscence, lets just thank Kundan that this film happened
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia