William Shakespeare’s ‘What’s in a name?’ is a quote that we all use quite often. But little did the renowned poet and playwright must have known that his quote might not be applicable in every aspect of life.
Off late, our Bollywood filmmakers are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to promoting their films. They are resorting to everything, right from investing huge sums in promotional materials to making sure they are bombarding the audience with enough reminders that their films are releasing and ‘one can go and watch it in their nearest theatres’ asap (oh god… what a cliched line it is!)
In their quest to outsmart their contemporaries, our filmmakers these days are putting very little to no effort in coming up with some really catchy yet a relevant title for their films. While one should not judge a book by its cover or a film by its title, but don’t you think it does matter?
Well, we all were eager about the announcement of Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff’s upcoming film. There were speculations that the film is tentatively titled Hrithik Vs Tiger (duhh?) but then the makers ended up naming it ‘War’! (Yash Raj can you tell who came up with this brilliant title? Well, that person surely deserves a hike)
So just because your lead heroes are pitched against each other, you name your film ‘War’? I guess in this case, keeping the title ‘Hrithik Vs Tiger’ would have made more sense. Then we have Nitesh Tiwari’s recently released ‘Chhichhore’, a friend who watched the film shared that though the film is extremely good, however, its title could have been better, something more in sync with its message. And that made me wonder, why the makers have so little regard for their project’s title?
Shoojit Sircar’s poignant film was simply named ‘October’. Salman’s blockbuster film directed by Sajid Nadiadwala was named ‘Kick’ and Vishal Bhardwaj’s last film was titled ‘Pataakha’. One of his earlier films was titled ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’. Reema Kagti’s sports drama starring Akshay Kumar in the lead was titled ‘Gold’.
Then we have Luv Ranjan’s ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ (this certainly takes the cake away). With these kinds of titles, it seems like filmmakers most certainly prefer a bizarre title over a relevant one.
The most amusing thing is the maker’s obsession with English titles for Hindi films! Sample this- ‘The Zoya Factor’, ‘The Sky Is Pink’, ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’, ‘Why Cheat India’, ‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’, ‘Student of the Year 2’, ‘Bang Bang’, ‘Welcome Back’, ‘Bombay Velvet’, ‘Action Replayy’, ‘Knock Out’, ‘I Hate Luv Storys’, ‘Kites’, ‘Housefull’, ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’, ‘Peepli Live’…oh the list is endless. Does having an English title help in selling their film? Perhaps it might be having an impact on grabbing the audience’s attention but can’t we have Hindi titles that actually resonates with the film’s plot?
Thankfully we do have some sensible films who have marvellous names. Like from the recent ones, take Sonam Kapoor’s ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’. It was really very smart decision by the makers to use this popular songs’ title for their film, as its story revolved around Sonam coming out as a lesbian to her conservative Punjabi family. We have always thought about this song from a man’s point of view, so it was very clever of the makers to convey that its time we start looking at things from different perspectives.
We have several other films like ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota‘, ‘Hichki’,’Love Per Square Foot’, ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and the National Award-winning film ‘Andhadhun’ which are the perfect examples of how a good story can be packaged brilliantly and presented with an apt title.
For all those still wondering ‘What’s in a name’? Well, then had it not been that important, then why would Shakespeare have signed the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ play (from where this famous quote is derived) under his name? After all, we all know who that quote belongs to!
Apart from a brilliant script, a good title is another (if not the most important) thing which can help in increasing the intrigue value of a film. And believe it or not, it does play a part in the film’s succes.