The names of Bollywood movies have always followed several noteworthy trends over the years — if they have been long sometimes, they have been very short at other occassions. Many other film names have a tag line attached to them.
However, going by the list of movies released in the past year, it seems that Bollywood movie names now drive inspiraton from popular bollywood songs. The latest in the list is the Saif-Rani starrer Ta R Rum Pum, which hits the theatres on April 27.
The list is long
Here’s a dekko — Kuch Naa Kaho, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Na Tum Jano Na Hum, Chalte Chalte, Ek Hasina Thi, Ahista Ahista, Rang De Basanti and Salaam-e-Ishq, are some of the films that have over the last two or three years been named after popular Bollywood numbers.
If the appellation KANK owes its origin to the Kishore Kumar hit Chalte chalte from the film Chalte Chalte, Kuch Naa Kaho derives its name from the Kumar Sanu-Lata Mangeshkar’s number in 1942 A Love Story. Forthcoming releases such as My Name is Anthony Gonzalves, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Khoya Khoya Chaand, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Aaja Nachley and Hum Laakh Chuupayen Pyaar Magar are all part of this trend.
Finding comfort in hits
People in the industry put it down to “recall value”. The songs used are all-time hits and instantly strike a chord. “Famous poets and lyricists have a resonance value. The audience identifies with the words they have penned,” says filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, who has named his forthcoming venture Khoya Khoya Chaand.
However, the title also has to be relevant to the story. Mishra’s project about a girl’s quest for the lost moon, for instance, validates its name. Similarly, Arjun Sablok’s Na Tum Jano Na Hum starring Hrithik Roshan and Esha Deol is about the love story of a boy and a girl who didn’t know each other until circumstances decreed otherwise.
Doesn’t this title also borrow from the lyrics of a song by Lucky Ali in Hrithik Roshan’s debut film Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai? “Yes, it does. The advantage is that the title puts you in a space where you almost know what the story is going to be. That helps,” explains Sablok.
The title’s importance in providing a background to the story rather than telling the story itself is significant to composer Vishal Dadlani of the Vishal-Shekhar duo that scores the music for Ta Ra Rum Pum.
Then there are titles that are meaningless, such as Ta Ra Rum Pum or Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, which don’t say much about the movie. Such names can give an indication of the feel of the film, explains Dadlani. With composers increasingly joining the naming team, titles have begun to speak of the tenor of the films.
However, there is a disadvantage. A known title makes it difficult for composers and directors to create title songs. “You should never compete with a classic,” says Shankar Mahadevan.
“The recall value works here in a negative way. When you are composing the title song the famous one haunts you,” says Sablok.
Whatever the motivation, the classics are amazing ear candy.