ENTERTAINMENT  :   Bollywood : In Focus

Bollywood recycling: Remixes & titles inspired by old songs

Saturday , 26 December 2015

When it comes to trends, there are some which catch on really quickly and seem to last forever in Bollywood. One such trend that picked up rapidly was the use of old hit movie songs, as titles for films. The best directors and producers have conceded to have been inspired to use movie songs, as titles for their films. Prominent among them are – Ayaan Mukherjee’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani; Sudhir Mishra’s Khoya Khoya Chand; Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya; Dil Vil Pyar Vyaar; Dum Maaro Dum; Ramaiya Vastavaiya; Aa Dekshe Zara; Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na; Chalte Chalte; Kuch Na Kaho or Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Jee and even My Name is Anthony Gonsalves. Even the latest Salman Khan-starrer by Sooraj Barjatya, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015), has been inspired by Meera’s bhajan, ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’.


It was producer-director, Aditya Chopra, who started popularising the fad of using old film songs for the title of his films right from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) from the hit movie Chor Machaye Shor (1974), to Bachna Aye Haseeno from Hum Kisise Kum Nahi (1977). Also, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007) or the latest Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), have all been inspired by old film songs.

Title issues

Director John Matthew Matthan of Sarforsh (1999) fame quips, “We have to keep constantly inventing new titles for our films. We definitely have a dearth of titles in Bollywood. Before you can register a title, you realize that somebody else has already registered the title earlier. When I titled my debut venture – Sarfarosh, I had to make sure that nobody else had registered the title. English titles are safe, and also cater to the script of the film. I think somebody should start a website with new names and titles for movies now. It would make things easier for us.”

Actor director Sajid Khan laughs and says “When we register a title it is because it tells you the story of the film in a gist. My debut venture, Heyy Babyy (2007), was based on a baby. Yes, it’s difficult to get titles and one looks at old films songs because they sound good too.”  Undoubtedly, the recall value and popularity of an old song seems to work in the film makers’ favour too!

Old Wine, New Bottle

Another trend that is very popular is the remaking of old songs into new ones. They are being reinvented and remixed to make an entirely new song.  Budgets for the video shoots are lavish and they are shot at exotic locales. The promotions for these are also over the top! Recently, Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor came forward to reprise Mahesh Bhatt’s hit Aashiqui’s (1990) song, ‘Dheere dheere se mere zindagi mein aana.’ They shot the song in Turkey, giving it an entirely new look. Bhushan Kumar the scion of T-Series says, “It’s a great time to recreate and reinvent old songs with a modern touch. Honey Singh gave Dheere Dheere, a new twist, and people loved it. The songs are popular and when we had Sonam and Hrithik in the video, people went berserk. It’s trending the charts.”

Bhushan Kumar’s sisters Khushali and Tulsi have remixed an old song ‘Mainu Ishq Da Lag Gaya Rog’ from Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi (1991), as a new single. “When we decided to use the song, my brother Bhushan Kumar was fascinated, and gave us all the support. Yes it was fun doing the songs and giving it an entirely new look. We enjoyed doing it,” say the Kumar sisters.

Director Rohan Sippy who had not only used the famous song of Dev Anand’s film Hare Rama Hare Krishna’s  (1971),‘Dum Maro Dum’ as the title for his film but also used the remixed version of the song for the film, says, “I love old songs. When you watch films and western films too, they use old songs. The mood gets pepped up. Music has always been a part of our culture. Bhushan has wonderful songs in his catalogue. I recently bumped into actor Mehmood’s daughter, and she thanked me for reviving her father’s song. That’s the kind of reaction you get” says Rohan Sippy.

There are few people who disagree with this new trend “I think classics should be left untouched” says Salman Khan, “whether it’s a song or a film it’s already created a place in the hearts of the audiences. I for one would never touch a classic.”

Director Karan Johar agrees, “I grew up watching films of vintage directors, like Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt and that has left an indelible mark on me. I can’t hold a candle to any of them! Our films don’t have the brilliance or the passion they had for celluloid.”

Whether it is a dearth of ideas or just a matter of, ‘getting inspired’, these trends are here to stay in Bollywood. After all, it is a well-known quote, that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!”