The Cult of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (Part 2 : Vinod Chopra)

In a previous article, we discussed about one of the two ADs of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (and as mentioned before, the name of the two lead characters were taken from the two ADs), so after a small discourse about Sudhir Mishra, we present to you a post about Vinod from Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron

Presently one of the richest men in the film Industry
Although Sudhir Mishra did not have a formal film education, Vinod is a graduate from FTII. Early in his career he had a penchant for thrillers, and he made his first feature film called 'Saza-e-Maut' with his awesome FTII classmate (Naseeruddin Shah). He has directed 6 films and produced some of the most successful films of all times. Off the screen, he had a huge role in the creation of Suketu Mehta's book Maximum City. And keeping in with the format of the previous article, we would like to introduce Vinod Chopra the director (and not just the producer of one of the most heart-warming feel good film franchise of our country) using his films

1. Khamosh

Personally, this is my favourite Vinod Chopra film, but then I am partial to thrillers and murder mysteries.
This is one of the stories where all the major players are sequestered together in an idyllic location which is kind of isolated from the rest of the world, and hence makes the elimination (literally) of the victims and suspects more intriguing.

Another interesting aspect of the movie was that Amol Palekar, Shabana Azmi and Soni Razdan played fictitious versions of themselves, as in Amol Palekar was 'Amol Palekar - the actor', which added a layer of meta-humour to the story. Besides, the movie also starred Pankaj Kapoor, Pavan Malhotra and Sudhir Mishra. It was a taut thriller of roughly a 100 minutes, and the best part is that it is available in its entirety on youtube (to reveal more about the plot would be to reveal too much)

2. Parinda

If you haven't watched Parinda yet, you have missed out on an important chapter of underworld films. This was one of first films to de-glamourise the 'gangsta life', and showed gangster bosses to be what they were truly in real life, medium level businessmen who ran factories and lived in cramped houses in Dadar's Kabootarkhana area (instead of living in huge mansions with sliding doors and pool tables and lava lamps, although that is awesome too)

Parinda was a critically and commercially successful film, it won numerous filmfare and national awards. Three mustachioed men together in a film have not been able to replicate its awesomeness since, and despite the somewhat flawed ending, this is one of the best and realistic movies about the mid-level echelons of Mumbai Mafia.

Also, you can watch it for this song -

3. 1942 A Love Story

This film was set in a kind of parallel universe pre-Independence India, almost in the same vain as the swash-buckling 'Mard', but this film was not about a one-man's superhuman struggle against the gora log. It had a well etched out story set in those troubling times.

Although this poster made no Goddamned sense
Vinod Chopra was adept at creating a period piece, and succeeded admirably in perfecting the 'look and fee' of the locations and blending the story with the tiring times that the protagonist faced. There was an amount of in-your-face patriotism, but I guess it is excusable in a movie that portrays a very stark picture of 'noose happy' gora log.

Also, this was the last film in which RD Burman provided the music.

Sadly, none of the films directed by Vinod Chopra have had the impact that these three have had. Kareeb was a flop in every sense of the word, Mission Kashmir was a film which could have been good, and Eklavya was made with the sole intention of the director to cast Amitabh Bachchan in a lead role.

PS : Coming soon - Part 3 : Pankaj Kapoor


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