Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chitrahaar: Songs that have become Films

Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Daag – The Fire and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge started three different trends.
QSQT was the first film to have a hugely popular abbreviation. Daag was the first film to have an appendage – The Subtitle. And DDLJ was first film to start the trend of taking its title from a popular song.
Before Nilendu can click on “Post A Comment”, let me hastily clarify that these are probably not the very first movie to do so but definitely the inflection point because after these, an avalanche of that particular trend happened!

When I thought of writing a post on the songs that have gone on to become the title of other films, I realized that it would be a never-ending one as there have been countless examples. In fact, my train of thought started when I was listening to the song Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (from Blackmail) and noticed this line somewhere in the middle - Har shaam aankhon par tera aanchal lehraye / Har raat yaadon ki baarat le aaye… Now does the Nasir Hussain film take its name from this song?

I never research for any of my Bollywood posts and try to write them from whatever I can remember. But this time, I thought I would make an exception.
This is easier said than done because confirmation of any example of film trivia is completely open-ended as far as time is concerned, made much worse by the fact that there is hardly any source for Hindi film research on the ‘net. For example, there is no year-wise filmography that I could find. If anybody does come across one, would he be kind enough to pass it on?
Also, in a futile bid to avoid controversies, it would probably make sense to list down as to what constitutes a song title?
Is it at least three or four words taken from a song?
If yes, does it have to be the first line (mukhda) of the song or would any line do? In the Blackmail song, the three words come bang in the middle of the second stanza… so does that count?
Does the title song of a film count? Which came first – the chicken or the egg?
Oh well, if research had been my strong point, I would have had a Doctor dangling in front of my name – no? Come on, we will try to answer them as we go along!

Firstly, let me junk the Yaadon Ki Baaraat example as it could not have taken its name from the Blackmail song – as both of them released in 1973. It is probably a coincidence that the title was mentioned in the song. I could not find out if there is a lyricist / writer common between the two films in which it could be a lift.

One of the earliest examples – in 1960 – is a film called Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh, obviously inspired by the famous dance number from Awaara (1951). Incidentally, this one (MMKND) is also listed as Prem Chopra’s first movie by IMDb.
The last example (at the time of going to press!) is probably Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

As I had written earlier, the movie, which has the maximum number of songs becoming film titles is Subhash Ghai’s reincarnation drama Karz – with all 5 songs made into films at last count!

Koi Mil Gaya (2003), which took its name from the song in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain (1998) have both won the Filmfare Award for Best Film – as of now, this is the only combination.
Hum Hain Raahi Pyaar Ke (1993) is the first time a film title taken from a song (from Nau Do Gyarah) won the Filmfare for Best Film, narrowly beating the trendsetter (DDLJ) by 2 years.

As far as I can make out, no winner of Filmfare Best Lyrics or Best Female Playback has been made into a film yet.
Of the winners in the Best Male Playback category, there are three:
Na Tum Jano Na Hum (2002) – Kaho Na Pyaar Hain (2000)
Papa Kehte Hain (1996) – QSQT (1988)
Roop Tera Mastana (1972) – Aradhana (1969)

The last mentioned pair indicates that there was only a three-year lag between the original song and the movie, which emerged from it. The first mentioned pair indicates only a two-year lag, which is quite amazing since it takes almost that time to shoot a standard Bollywood movie. Of course, Kaho Na Pyaar Hain was such a big hit that there was a scramble for everything of that film – hero, heroine, director, composer and even the song names!
So, this is probably the shortest time gap between a song and the film inspired by it.

Since we have a short distance winner, maybe we could try to identify the long distance winner as to which film and its original song had the maximum gap between them.
Almost 40 years after Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain (1960) played the song Aa Ab Laut Chalein, Raj Kapoor’s son Rishi made a film of the same name (1999).
Now this 39-year difference is not conclusive considering that Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) was made from a 1970 film (Chor Machaye Shor), at least two decades of difference can be taken as the norm!
For example, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007) was 33 years after 5 Rifles (1974), Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006) was 30 years after Chalte Chalte (1976) and Tara Rum Pum (2007) came 28 years after Baaton Baaton Mein (1979).
So, there might be a longer time gap lurking somewhere out there, which I am depending on the readers to ferret out!

Incidentally, the hit song from Baaton Baaton Mein has inspired two movies from it words – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham / Ta Ra Rum Pum, which (as far as I can think of) is a unique phenomenon.

I can now suggest a double layer song to film transition. That is, a song being made into a film of which there is a song, which is made into another film.
Kamal Amrohi’s Pakeezah (1971) had the famous Chalte Chalte, which was duly made into a film five years later and it catapulted Bappi Lahiri into jewel-encrusted stardom. As mentioned earlier, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna was made from a Chalte Chalte song thirty years later.
To my mind, this is the only example of a double-layer song-to-film transition. Of course, you can crib that two words do not constitute a legit film title but what the hell?

This year, there have 5 releases that have taken their names from songs of yore – Tara Rum Pum, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Salaam-E-Ishq (Muqaddar Ka Sikandar – 1978), Shakalaka Boom Boom (Nayak – 2001) and Kudiyon ka hain Zamaana (Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun – 1994).
If you count ad and film slogans, you can add two more – Pappu Pass Ho Gaya (Cadbury's – 2005) and Chain Kulli ki Main Kulli (Satte Pe Satta – 1982).
There lies the final question – is this the maximum for a year?
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