Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. That was the first thought that flashed across many a Bollywood-addled mind on Sunday morning when news of the Ultadanga flyover collapse filtered out.
Yes, the flyover collapse at the Ultadanga crossing early on Sunday morning is an instant throwback to the flyover collapse in Kundan Shah’s 1983 classic.
In the black comedy, Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Baswani play bumbling photo-journalists out to expose the dirty dealings involving builders Tarneja (Pankaj Kapur) and Ahuja (Om Puri) and municipal commissioner D’Mello (Satish Shah).
The fraud builders bribe — and eventually kill — the commissioner to win the tender for building a flyover. At the inauguration of the flyover, Tarneja announces in his speech: “Aage jaake log iss flyover ke neeche ghar basaenge”, little knowing that the flyover would soon collapse, killing people living below the bridge.
The official reason? The builder “had mixed cement in sand instead of mixing sand in cement”!
In Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, director Shah had used footage of the Byculla bridge which had collapsed shortly before the film was made. That was shown as a TV news clip.
Nobody was killed on Sunday in the Ultadanga flyover collapse, only because the bizarre accident occurred too early in the day for traffic.
Now, with one stretch of the flank from the airport to the Bypass gone missing, the mind-the-gap Ultadanga flyover is a flashback to another dramatic cinematic moment — from the 1994 Hollywood action thriller, Speed.
With Sandra Bullock at the wheel and Keanu Reeves egging her on, a giant bus jumps over a gap in an unfinished highway at full speed. To whoops of delight from the passengers.
No action replay in Ultadanga, please!