Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ was made today

(Originally written for and published on PassionForCinema.com on August 5, 2010)

Dharmveer Bharti’s epic novel ‘Gunaahon Ka Devta’ had more than the obvious (psychological!) effects on me: I decided to make a movie titled ‘Seema’ (name of the female protagonist). So I designed a poster for it and played casting director and my friend Vikas did the same and then we compared notes. I don’t remember my list but I remember that my cast had better actors than his and I never let him forget it.

Ravi Baswani’s untimely demise put a lot of focus back on ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’. This movie was released one year after I was born and I remember literally (yes, literally) Rolling On The Floor Laughing (ROTFL in SMS lingo!) when I watched it on TV in mid-90s. Watching the CNN-IBN special on the movie left me a bit nostalgic and geared up to take this as a new project for playing casting director. Once again Vikas was roped in for the challenge and he was game.

We had to select an entirely new cast, with no actor from the original movie. The physical resemblance though not THE most important criterion, is still one of the points to be kept in mind. Also actors should be playing their age. So even though a young actor can be made up 40 year old, it will be great if he/she plays a character that suits his/her age and personality.

Keeping these points in mind here is the cast that we have proposed for “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” if it was made today.

Vinod Chopra: Nasseruddin Shah. Proposed: Irfan Khan (2nd choice: Kay Kay Menon)

Vikas suggested Irfan’s name and I agreed (much to his surprise!). But Irfan is a superb actor and his style of comedy is what I feel is just right for a satirical film like this. But my second choice is KK Menon and more I try to visualize him in different scenes, more I get convinced that he will be as good if not better than Irfan. Tough choice here!

Sudhir Mishra: Ravi Baswani. Proposed: Sharman Joshi

To express the quirkiness that Baswani did with his twitching eyes would be a difficult task for Sharman but both Vikas and I think he will be perfect side kick for Vinod Chopra. Physical resemblance apart Sharman’s comic timing is what I am banking on for this role.

Commissioner D’Mello: Satish Shah. Proposed: Boman Irani

Giving him a role that needs him to act as corpse half the time? I know it’s criminal wastage of talent but then thinking of the other half I can’t really imagine anyone else and that says a lot about Satish Shah’s portrayal of the role! Boman Irani is a great actor and he will truly rock in this role.

Shobha Sen: Bhakti Barve. Proposed: Konkona Sen Sharma

Konkona is a fabulous actor and I believe she will be able to portray the ruthless (and flirty when needed) editor perfectly. Physically too she matches Bhakti Barve to the T.

Ahuja: Om Puri. Proposed: Pawan Malhotra (2nd choice: Manoj Vajpayee/Rajesh Vivek)

This is what I believe is my casting coup! Vikas suggested Manoj Vajpayee and then Rajesh Vivek. But it is not as confusing as it seems due to three names doing the rounds here because I am convinced that Pawan is the perfect fit for this character. It’s a pleasure to watch him on screen and not only is sure to match Om Puri in acting skills but also will in appearance (of those times). Vikas doesn’t agree but I am adamant.

Tarneja: Pankaj Kapoor. Proposed: Manoj Pahwa (2nd choice: Manu Rishi)

Paresh Rawal seems to be obvious choice but I have reservations against his strong Gujarati/Marathi accent which kinda typecasts his style of acting. Manoj Pahwa is a veteran in such roles and this role seems to be tailor made for him. Second choice Manu Rishi was the pleasant surprise in “Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!” and though we haven’t seen much of him lately, I believe he will be able to pull off this very important role well.

Tarneja’s secretary Priya: Neena Gupta. Proposed: Neha Dhupia

There were various contenders for the role of this Indian version of dumb blonde secretary. Celina Jetly, Riya Sen, Rimi Sen and most of the new 1-film wonder actresses but I pick Neha Dhupia because she is a better actress among this brigade.

Tarneja’s PA Ashok: Satish Kaushik. Proposed: Vijay Maurya

Satish Kaushik played whining buffoon to a hilt but Vijay Maurya is already getting featured in people’s favorite actors lists! Even though physical resemblance is being somewhat ignored here, I think Maurya will easily pull this one off.

Asst. Municipal Commissioner Srivastav: Deepak Qazir. Proposed: Deepak Dobriyal

Deepak is one of the finest actors around and versatility could be his middle name. I have seen him in ‘Omkara’ and ‘Delhi 6′ and his ability to look his character makes him one of the most dependable actors around. I believe he will better the original performance by his senior namesake.

Assistant Editor Kamdar: Rajesh Puri. Proposed: Rajpal Yadav

Rajpal Yadav is a very competent actor but he is not doing his reputation any good by joining Priyadarshan’s Institute of Shout Acting (yes Priyan has taken loud acting to a whole new level!). But even though Vikas is not very keen on Yadav, I think he will be a good addition to team and his comic timing could be a great asset in the Mahabharat sequence.

This is the cast that I believe will do justice to one of my most favorite films of all times. You are free to disagree and recommend your favorite actors for these roles. What are you waiting for, jump to the comment form now!