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Cheesy, colloquial flavour in B'wood film titles

Radhika Bhirani
19 April 2013

New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) Sample these: "Revolver Rani", "Rajkumar Rambo", "Fukrey" and "Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi". Creative and colloquial Bollywood film titles are keeping movie audiences, especially the masses, as intrigued as filmmakers want them to be.

It seems Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 2012 production "Rowdy Rathore" set the pace for filmmakers to explore such titles, which were once confined to B or C-grade films. Hence, now there's a "Bullet Raja", albeit with stars like Saif Ali Khan and Sonakshi Sinha playing the lead.

Bhansali recently said he is "glad other directors have started using these titles".

"Nothing cheesy about it. People erupt with ecstasy at such titles," he said, adding that "it's a wonderful thing to go back to these titles".

Film historian S.M.M. Ausaja points out how these catchy titles have been in use in Bollywood since the 1930s.

"They have been parallel to stunt films. Remember Fearless Nadia's 'Hunterwali'? Stunt films faded around the 1960s as mainstream commercial cinema took over and hence, these titles started fading as well," Ausaja told IANS.

"Even mainstream heroes kept away from playing the sword-wielding macho men. Dilip Kumar was perhaps one of the first stars to take a sword-wielding role in 'Aan' in the 1950s. These films are niche, but have a cult following," he added.

No wonder a "Rowdy Rathore", starring Bollywood's 'khiladiyon ka khiladi' Akshay Kumar, ended up minting over Rs.100 crore at the box office.

Among such forthcoming films is "Revolver Rani", directed by Sai Kabir and co-produced by Tigmanshu Dhulia and Rahul Mittra. It features Kangna Ranaut in an action-packed role.

Dhulia is also directing "Bullet Raja", another movie set to have rustic stunts in a story based out of Uttar Pradesh and dealing with the underworld.

Why such titles?

"I like guns. I like action. I like to make macho films. I couldn't do that before because that was the time for love stories, now it's my turn," Dhulia, who is busy shooting the movie in Lucknow, had earlier told IANS.

So while some are attempts to capture the essence of the movie in their titles, others are moving away from the quintessential titles loaded with the tried-and-tested words - "pyaar", "khiladi", "insaaf" and "dil".

It's the age of a "Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola", a "Mere Dad Ki Maruti" or even a "Jayanta Bhai Ki Luv Story".

Something as street slang-like as "Nautanki Saala", "Ghanchakkar", "Lootera", "Besharam" or "Fukrey" and even something as mundane as the term "Rabba Main Kya Karoon" are catching the fancy of filmmakers.

Then, there are also funny films like "Hum Hai Raahi CAR Ke" and "Phata Poster Nikla Hero".

"They are intriguing. Plus there's a dearth of titles. The titles of iconic films like 'Devdas' and several Amitabh Bachchan movies have been used over and over again. And there has also been a bombardment of words like 'majboor', 'ishq', 'pyaar'... So one tries to look for titles that are catchy. There's a novelty value attached to it," Ausaja explained.

The year 2012 too saw a slew of films with funky titles - "Gali Gali Chor Hai", "Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya", "Chaar Din Ki Chandni", "Bumboo", "Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi", "Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baki Hai", "Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi", "Jeena Hai Toh Thok Daal" and "Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana".

Bollywood also saw a phase when movie titles were taken word by word from popular songs.

(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at radhika.b@ians.in)

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