Does title of a movie contributes to its success

By – Himanshu Guru

The title of a movie contributes a lot to its success. The title is the first identity of a film project that draws the attention of the audience. Sometimes, before releasing the film the title becomes so popular that the new film manages to earn the ‘most awaiting’ tag without any promotion.

Of course, it puts some negative impact as well. Because, once the expectation is high and actual film is not at par, the film becomes unsuccessful. But still, the film manages to pull a good number of audiences to the theatre in the early days of the release of the film. On the other hand, in some cases, though the film is good, it flops in the box office thanks to it’s not so good’ title.

Perhaps that is the reason some times new films are made with a title of an earlier released hit film. Examples are ‘Devdas’, ‘Ramgarh Ke Sholay’(1991), ‘Duplicate Sholay’ (2002), ‘Do Sholay’ (1977) in Hindi films.

In Odia films too we have films like ‘Jaga Hatare Pagha’, ‘Samaya Bada Balaban’ and ‘Gapa Hele Bi Sata’. The title ‘Jaga Hatare Pagha’ of the Mohammed Mahasin directed and Bijaya Mohanty, Uttam Mohanty, Aparajita acted 1985 film was repeated in the Anubhav starrer 2015 film of the same name.

Even the title of the Sisir Mishra directed 1982 film ‘Samaya Bada Balaban’ released recently with the same title. While the earlier one starred Uttam Mohanty, Sriram Panda, Mahsweta Ray, and Bijaya Mohanty, the new film cast Pupinder and Anubha Sourya in the lead roles.

Also, the title of ‘Gapa Hele Bi Sata’, the Nagen Roy directed 1976 film, which is the first colour film in Odia, was used in a new film released a few years back that starred Anubhav and Barsha in the lead roles.

Telling about the use of old titles in new films, Sudhanshu Sahu, Odia film director of films like ‘Swayamsiddha’, ‘Bhanuri’ and ‘College Time’ said, “So far I have not directed a movie that used an old title. Yet, I feel, because the old title is already in the mouths of the audience, the new film can reap out of it. And in reality, too the new films have done well.”

Not only old titles, but even the first line of some old hit songs are also been used as the title of some new films. Like Akashe Ki Ranga Lagila, Mo Kola To Jhulana, Raja Jhia sange heigala bhaba etc. are the first lines of old Oriya films.

When asked about the positive and negative impact of using an old title, Litu Mohanty, director of films like ‘Alar’, ‘Tora Mora Prema Kahani’ said, “Using of an old title as such provides your film some pre-release propaganda. People go on searching how the film is related to the old one and in this way the new film earns publicity without any effort. ‘Daha Balunga’, ‘Balunga Toka’ ‘Mu Danda Balunga’ etc. are the Odia films released in recent years. I feel these films were named keeping in mind the Uttam Mohanty Aparajita starrer 1980 film ‘Danda Baluga’.”

“The Amitabh-Dharmendra starrer blockbuster ‘Sholay’ perhaps is the film, whose title was used for the maximum number of time later. Even some directors wanted to make films with a title including the word ‘Sholay’ but could not succeed and later changed the title. However, these films were highly inspired by the 1975 film. ‘Aag’ made by Ram Gopal Verma in 2007 was almost a remake of the original film,” he added.

Pranay Jethy, a popular executive director of Odia film industry said, “Perhaps after ‘Sholay’ this concept took birth. The film not only was remade with different titles and with almost the same script but a book also got success out of it. “Sholay: The Making of a Classic” is a 2000 book written by Anupama Chopra on the Bollywood classic Sholay (1975). The book was released in 2000 by Penguin Books India. The book is based on the making of the film shooting and won the 2001 National Film Award for Best Book on Cinema.

Even in Odia films after ‘Pilata Bigidigala’, the same title was used to make another film named ‘Jhiata Bigidigala’.”

Also read: Exclusive Mouthwatering Cuisines Of Western Odisha


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