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What's in a name?

More than a dozen upcoming films have repetitive names. Diganta Guha does a round-up.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 12:15 IST

Golmaal, Rocky, Ahista Ahista, Babul, Don, Jaanemann, Daag — Shades of Love, Aap Ki Khatir - the common factor among these films? They are all being released this year. They are also names of films that have been released in the past. Other than Don - which is a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer that released in 1976 - the rest are different stories altogether.

Familiar tags
There are some titles that have been repeated over and over again. We have had two Babuls in the past, the Dilip Kumar starrer (1950) and the forgettable one with Upasana Singh and Gyan Shivpuri from the Barjatiyas in 1986. There was a Janeman  (without the extra ‘a’ and ‘n’ with Dev Anand and Hema Malini that hit theatres in 1976) and we have had three Daags  in the past, in 1952, 1973 and 1999. Similarly, there was an Aap Ki Khatir in 1977 with Vinod Khanna and Rekha. Earlier this year we had Dosti, Ankahee and Shaadi Se Pehle, which are repeats of names of films made in the past.

The new Golmaal  is slated for July release

No new phenomenon

This is not a new phenomenon. There has been more than one

Waqt, Ajnabee, Aankhen, Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, Julie, Sheesha, Kalyug, Farz, Karz



, among others. Some names seem to be hot favourites.

Shaadi Se Pehle

(1947, 1980 and 2006),


(1946, 1958, 1967, 1994)


(1952, 1973, 1999),


(1952, 1986 and 2005),

Chori Chori

(1956, 1974 and 2003) and


(1950, 1968, 1993 and 2002), among others.

Director’s take
Are we running short of names? Why are we going for old titles over and over again? Most directors keep it simple  - “The title fits the script.” Says director Vipul Shah of Waqt  and Aankhen  fame, “When I was making Aankhen, I thought it could only be called that and not Sholay.” Agrees Ravi Chopra, the director of Baghban  and Babul, “There is no sentimental attachment with any title. I am sentimentally attached to the script and if the title goes with it, we go ahead.” But there is another view. “The directors basically want to capitalise on the recall value. This is part of their marketing strategy,” says a senior PR person associated with some of the biggest banners in Bollywood. Trade expert Taran Adarsh feels that filmmakers prefer to go for titles that can be easily deciphered by the masses. “There has to be some kind of respectability from the point of view of the masses. In this regard old titles come into play,” he says.

What's in a name?
Does this strategy make a difference at the box office?  Probably not. Some films have worked, most haven’t. The successes include Jeet, Aankhen (1968 and 1993), Daag  (1973), Waqt  and Baghban. The average ones include Julie, Aankhen (2003), Humraaz, Ajnabee and Daag, (1999). Most of them have sunk without a trace like Kranti, Barsaat, Karz, Farz, HKKN, Deewaar — Let’s bring our heroes home.

At the end of the day, we conclude, it is the film that matters and not the title.