Why Heroine and not Abhinetri? Tracking Bollywoods film titles

By Hindustan Times

Not just for the sequels and the remakes Hindi films are known to have a plethora of titles shared by more than one film over the decades. And the current trend of using a lot of English titles is as much an option to bypass this shortfall in inspiration as it is to be ??"contemporary"?? and global.
After all, Heroine sounds so much trendier and universally-accepted than Abhinetri! Nevertheless, Bollywood will always continue to repeat titles for films in the years to come.

The purpose of this piece is not to enumerate all the cases, which would take space enough for a booklet, but to delve into some of the interesting and lighter side of this business of repeating titles, which in many ways is unique to Hindi cinema, mainly because of the quantum of films dished out and the limitations of commonly understood Hindi and Urdu, for Hindi films have to appeal from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and likewise the breadth of the country. Hollywood and regional films are barely known to do so, except with remakes.

Under convention, a producer must renew his registration of a title in 10 years to prevent another filmmaker from using his filmâ??s name, unless of course they part with it for commercial or friendly considerations. And so we wonder whether any title other than Wanted would have worked as well for Salman Khanâ??s first turnaround film in 2009 had the maker of the 1987 Mithun Chakraborty-Tina Munim flop not parted with it! Letâ??s also think of the all-time cult film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (the title suggested by Kirron Kher from the chartbuster of the 1974 blockbuster Chor Machaye Shor). Hardly anyone is aware that this was already the title of a C-grade film censored in 1980, but never released! Of course, the spelling was different â?? a common point in such cases, as a Roman interpretation of Hindi and Urdu words.

Speaking of cult blockbusters, Chor Machaye Shor itself, which put Shashi Kapoor and composer Ravindra Jain in the big league, was used for a 2002 David Dhawan non-starter. Dhawan has been a master at repeating many titles, including that of another cult film Hum Kisise Kum Naheen with the last wordâ??s spelling changed to Nahin. He has smartly bypassed Subhash Ghai and Manmohan Desai by using their B.O. smashers Hero and Coolie with a suffix â?? No.1! To give the Dhawan his due, both his movies Hero No.1 and Coolie No.1 too were huge hits, but piquantly, they had taken the central plots not from these originals but from two Hrishikesh Mukherjee films, Bawarchi and Golmaal respectively. And the Golmaal saga is too well-known as the beginning of Rohit Shettyâ??s completely different comic franchise, while Shetty officially remade Mukherjeeâ??s comedy as Bol Bachchan!

So we have the same titles for different stories and different ones for the same plot! And this happens only in Bollywood! Like Dhawan reprising Pyar Kiye Jaa as Haseena Maan Jaayegi and mixing the original Haseena (The 1969 Prakash Mehra hit debut) with Do Phool to create his career-biggest hit, the 1993 Aankhen!

Aankhen (also spelt in two of the four versions as Ankhen) has quite a history. The first film (1950), a social, introduced Madan Mohan, the second (1968) was a spy saga, the third (Dhawanâ??s 1993 film) was a screwball caper, while the last (in 2002 with Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar) a thriller. But each film had an interesting common point â?? at least one comic situational song! Eerily also, each of the three Andazs (1949, 1971, 1994) and Anaris (1959, 1975, 1994) have starred a Kapoor in the cast. Coming once ag