Where is Hindi in titles of Hindi movies?


By Ranjib Mazumder

Over the years Hindi cinema has gone through a radical change in terms of taste, color, appeal and treatment. Now, it also seems it has changed its approach towards movie titles.

From titles like Do Aankhen Barah Haath, Do Bigha Zameen, Abhimaan, etc., earlier, today’s movies have titles like My Name Is Khan, Karthik Calling Karthik, Action Reply, 3 Idiots, Wanted…and the list is endless.

Film-maker R. Balki, whose last release was titled Paa, says, “Today titles are in English because it is considered normal to speak and use English in our daily life. Moreover, the English words used in titles are simple ones and can easily be understood.”

National award-winning film-maker Ujjvwal Chatterjee, who made the controversial movie Escape From Taliban starring Manisha Koirala, says, “English or Hinglish titles are given to enhance the appeal of the film. The present generation feels comfortable in English and if the title has English words in it, they understand it faster than those in chaste Hindi. Having English in the title also makes NRIs feel at ease and sometimes the story also demands the title to be in English. Escape From Taliban was better conveyed in English. But the film Lal Salaam, which I am working on currently, is best conveyed through a Hindi title. So, it also depends on the approach of the film.”

Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra has the final word. He says, “This  trend has a lot to do with film-makers who think in English and, somewhere down the line, it has become their first language. Anyway we Indians use a lot of English in our daily conversations and the urban Indian — which is basically the multiplex crowd — is also bilingual.”

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