The Big, Bad Bollywood Name Game

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When you come across film titles like Angels With Dirty Faces, Gone With The Wind, Where Angels Fear To Tread, Bad Day At Black Rock or High Noon it is sure to raise your curiosity.

You may or may not see it but you would at least check whether it is worth your while to watch it or at least download it for future use. Don’t judge a book by the cover, so goes the saying. So does the same apply to movies too?

Fortunately all the above films were hits, some even mega hits.

But there is no thumb rule when it comes to attractive titles. With the movie business turning into churning out films day in and day out, titles have gotten a bit difficult.

Bollywood is a case in point. The films barrage has given a real headache to those who think up titles.

How many more Hera Pheri, Baazi, Dilwale, Baaghi or Dostana are we going to have over the next few years? Bollywood moghuls know that good titles may sell even if the content is rubbish.

With paucity of new ideas and an increasing tilt towards slick cinematography and songs as long as 12-15 minutes with the works, titles are assuming greater importance in commercial cinema these dayas.

But you have to hand it to the Bollywood guys for their inventiveness. Having lost ideas somewhere in the 1990s, they used film songs as part of the title.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan was lifted from a Sholay song, Koi Mil Gaya from a song from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Bachna Ae Haseeno from Hum Kissi Se Kam Nahi.

Bollywood tends to respond in numbers. So a barrage of film song titles appeared but they could not hide the poor content. Then came the English twist to some films. There was Murder, a big hit. Along with it came The Train, which didn’t do well.

The Train was also a 1970 hit movie starring Rajesh Khanna and Nanda.

Films with names like No Problem, Action Replayy, Kites, Housefull, Toilet, I Hate Luv Storys, Kites, No One Killed Jessica among many others performed with mixed results. However, Bollywood also had its share of great titles. Geet Gaya Patharone, Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti, Yeh Raat Phir Na Ayegi, Phir Wohi Raat and Kora Kagaz were great films with super titles.

There was a creativity which went into these titles and showed the kind of commitment to all aspects of cinema from the director. The Greatest Showman, Raj Kapoor, always sat with his team and went through each and every aspect of the film.

He made sure that he was with Mukesh, Shanker Jaikishen, Shailendra and others at recordings to ensure the songs were they way he wanted. Faults were reduced to the minimum. The films were smooth and there were no cuts or jumps.

At the same time, the titles of his films were meaningful. Awara, Shree 420, Sangam, Mera Naam Joker,  Chori Chori and Barsaat were good films with nice titles.

But there was one Marathi filmmaker and actor whose films did very well at the box office despite its outrageous titles.

The late Dada Kondke often restored to vulgarity and was the Master of Innuendos. He wasn’t the best looking star there was but he made up with his unique brand of acting. He even entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of Silver Jubilee movies.

Andla Marto Dola, Tumcha Aamcha Jamla, Bot Lavin Tithe Gudgudalya, Andheri Raat Mein Diya Tere Haath Mein anyone?



#All views expressed in this article are the author’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them. 

Babu Kalyanpur

Babu Kalyanpur, ( Consulting Editor) has rich experience in both sports and business journalism. Babu has led news desks in Pune and Bahrain and writes extensively on his passion, sports and business besides current affairs and matters of importance to Pune.

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