Old is gold: Bollywood is totally obsessed with retro songs

  • Shara Ashraf, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 03, 2015 01:35 IST

Bollywood’s obsession with picking up song lines as movie titles is only growing stronger. A bevy of recent film titles are inspired by songs from retro films. While Abbas-Mustan’s latest film, Kis Kisko Pyar Karoon is inspired by a song from Tumse Achha Kaun Hai (1969), Baar Baar Dekho directed by Nitya Mehra is inspired by another classic song Bar Bar Dekho, Hazar Baar Dekho from China Town (1962). Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is also named after a song from C.I.D (1956). Another recent film directed by Mohit Suri, Hamari Adhuri Kahani, picked up its name from the more recent Bheegi Bheegi Si Hai Raaten from Gangster (2006).

Listen to Tumse Achha Kaun Hai here

Filmmakers say it’s the recall value of the song that makes such titles click. “There are songs that never die. No matter how old they are, they remain in our subconscious. Naming films on classic songs establishes an emotional connect with people. It also helps revive the timeless treasures of Indian cinema,” says director Abbas Burmawalla. Director Mohit Suri too, says that songs make for good movie titles. “Songs always resonate longer than films. My film (Hamari Adhuri Kahani) was about unrequited love, so the name made perfect sense to me,” he says.

Listen to Baar Baar Dekho here

However, some believe that song-inspired titles are a no-success formula. “DDLJ sparked off this trend. With a song based title, it’s easy for the film to get noticed. It also saves the producers from the headache of choosing a name But the film could also enter the risky zone, the way Ek Hasina Thi (2004) did,” says director Subhash Ghai. Some also believe such titles reflect a lack of imagination among filmmakers. Trade expert Amod Mehra says, “It’s sheer laziness. It shows a ‘kuch bhi chalta hai’ attiude. There’s an absence of creativity. Retro songs have faded from our memories, and the younger generation doesn’t know about them unless they do a Google search, so there is no point naming films after them. Also, often there is hardly any sync in the title and the storyline.” “It would be nice to see filmmakers come up with meaningful, original titles,” adds Mehra.

Listen to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil here

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