PrevNext

The name game of Bollywood film titles

A look at Hindi films that have had to shed their first choice and opt for a new name

Those in the know are aware that anyone can register the title of a film. Often, a film’s title is registered by a producer but his movie doesn’t even make it to the floors. Another filmmaker opting to make a film with the same name then has to wage a battle in the court to be able to do so. And then there are times when it’s not the copyright laws that compel a filmmaker to change his/her film’s title. For instance, a Hollywood production house recently asked Prabhu Dheva to change the name of his film, 'Action Jackson', within a period of 48 hours. HitList tells you about films that had to undergo a name change.

'Total Siyapaa'

'Total Siyapaa'
'Total Siyapaa'

Initial title: 'Aman Ki Asha'
Director: E. Niwas
Release: March 2014
Lowdown: Starring Pakistani actor Ali Zafar and Yami Gautam in lead roles, the film’s makers wanted to name it 'Aman Ki Asha' in order to make the most of the Indo-Pak angle. However, when the media groups owning the original title objected to the development, the producers of this romcom were left with no choice but to opt for a new title.

John Abraham’s as yet untitled film

'Hamara Bajaj'
'Hamara Bajaj'

Initial title: 'Hamara Bajaj'
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Release: 2014
Lowdown:
In September last year, the Bombay High Court granted a permanent injunction prohibiting John Abraham’s production house from using 'Hamara Bajaj' as the title of its film. Since then, this Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer has remained untitled.

'Madras Cafe'

'Madras Cafe'
'Madras Cafe'

Initial title: 'Jaffna'
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Release: August 2013
Lowdown: Since most of the covert operations shown in the film are set in the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna, this John Abraham-starring thriller was originally titled 'Jaffna'. Later, it was changed to 'Madras Café'. This title took its cue from the fact that the plot to kill Rajiv Gandhi – which forms an important part of the storyline in the film — was hatched inside a cafe.

'Jai Ho'

'Jai Ho'
'Jai Ho'

Initial title: 'Mental'
Director: Sohail Khan
Release: January 2014
Lowdown: Salman Khan’s first full-fledged film in more than a year originally had a different title. Apparently, the makers of this film were keen on ditching the title, 'Mental', as they weren’t comfortable with the negative connotations associated with it. Besides, the timing being close to Republic Day, it made more sense to capitalise on patriotic fervour.

'Singh Saab the Great'

'Singh Saab the Great'
'Singh Saab the Great'

Initial title: 'Singh Sahib'
Director: Anil Sharma
Release: December 2013
Lowdown: In September last year, a Sikh organisation objected to the film’s title. The organisation pointed out that the title 'Singh Sahib' can be used only by the Jathedars of Akal Takht, head Granthi and Granthis of the Darbar Sahib, or by a person upon whom the Akal Takht has bestowed such a title.

'LP Se PM Tak'

'LP Se PM Tak'
'LP Se PM Tak'

Initial title: 'Masquerade'
Director: Kundan Shah
Release: March 2014
Lowdown: The 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron' director originally planned to cast Mallika Sherawat in this film. Later on, not only did he change the cast, but he also decided to ditch the title. It now marks the Bollywood debut of Meenakshi Dixit. According to trade sources, the P in the new title is a reference to sex worker and the change in the title was an attempt to suit the story well.

'Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara!'

'Once Upon ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara!'
'Once Upon ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara!'

Initial title: 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Again'
Director: Milan Luthria
Release: August 2013
Lowdown: If a film is fated to be unsuccessful, it will be so - no matter one’s reliance on numerology or astrology. An example reiterating this would be the ill-fated Ekta Kapoor production, 'Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara' which had an extra ‘a’ and an unnecessary ‘y’ added in the title.

'Goliyon Ki Raasleela - Ram-Leela'

'Goliyon Ki Raasleela - Ram-Leela'
'Goliyon Ki Raasleela - Ram-Leela'

Initial title: 'Ram Leela'
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Release: November 2013
Lowdown: This colourful saga, featuring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, had its share of controversies — which, in turn, helped it garner some free publicity — owing to its title. The title was first changed
from 'Ram Leela' to 'Ram-Leela' before makers decided to go with the title, 'Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela'.

'Phantom'

'Phantom'
'Phantom'

Initial title: 'Daniyal Khan'
Director: Kabir Khan
Release: December 2014
Lowdown: Starring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif for the first time together, 'Phantom' is supposed to be a cross-country film with the plot spanning India, Lebanon, USA and UK. Since Saif is playing a character that goes by the name 'Daniyal Khan', this was also its working title but it was changed apparently due to religious reasons.

'R... Rajkumar'

'R... Rajkumar'
'R... Rajkumar'

Initial name: 'Rambo Rajkumar'
Director: Prabhu Deva
Release: December 2013
Lowdown: Prabhu Dheva’s first choice for this film was 'Rambo Rajkumar'. But with the makers of the Rambo film series holding copyrights to the title, Prabhu Dheva had to change to 'R…Rajkumar'.

'Main Aur Charles'

'I am Charles'
'Main Aur Charles'

Initial title: 'Bad'
Director: Prawal Raman
Release: March 2014
Lowdown: As soon as this movie was announced, the industry was buzzing with rumours that Randeep Hooda’s role is inspired by real-life conman, Charles Sohbraj. Initially, the makers denied merit in such talk. But the new title seems to hint otherwise.

'Heroine'

'Heroine'
'Heroine'

Initial title: 'Abhinetri'
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Release: September 2012
Lowdown: No specific reason was given for the change in this film’s title. Perhaps the makers wanted the film to have a trendier name. Nevertheless, the film bombed at the box-office.

'Children of War'

'Children of War'
'Children of War'

Initial title: 'The Bastard Child'
Director: Mrityunjay Devvrat
Release: 2014    
Lowdown: Focussing on the Bangladesh War of 1971, this film attempts to showcase tribulations that the womenfolk and children went through at the hands of the army. With the Censor Board unhappy with the original title — even deeming it inappropriate — the film is now called 'Children of War'.

476 Views

You May Like

0 Comments

    Leave a Reply