Old wine in a new bottle

These days, the upcoming Rohan Sippy directed ‘Dum Maro Dum’ is in the news for all the wrong reasons. It’s not just the dialogue that was mired in controversy. The producers have taken cognizant of the fact that the people of Goa have taken an exception to the film for portraying women in the negative and deleted the concerned dialogues. The other part making news is the title track ‘Dum Maro Dum’, a contemporary take off on the mega classical hit of the same name from the cult classic film ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’. Zeenat Aman who was immortalized in the said song has shown her open displeasure to the explicit added lyrics as well as the raunchy dance moves of Deepika Padukone in the new version.

What is with producers and directors who try to encash on the retro hits by using a new version of it in their films? Do the new versions justify the old hits? We list below a few of the recent songs that had hit Bollywood and compare them to the classical hits.

This game of old wine in the new bottle syndrome started most probably with the film ‘Bluffmaster’ that featured two retro numbers, ‘Sabse Bada Rupaiya’ from the film of the same name and sung by Mehmood and another being ‘Do Aur Do Panch’ once again from the film with the same name. We skip this one since Junior Bachchan ensured that we like these versions thanks to his groovy dance moves. Both old and the new worked well.

‘Mit Jaaye Gum’, the new take off on ‘Dum Maro Dum’ surely must be making even the late legendry R. D. Burman squirm in his grave. Poor Zeenat ha already shown her displeasure with the lyrics and the raunchy moves. Pritam who recreated the music in the new version seems to have got his compositions all wrong with jarring notes thrown in for good measures. While Zeenat spelt coolness with her rendition, Deepika was all about sexiness. ‘Dum Maro Dum’ wins over ‘Mit Jaaye Gum’ any time!

And then there was the ‘Thank You’ version of ‘Pyaar Do Pyar Lo’ sung by Mika Singh and music by Pritam with added lyrics from Amitabh Bhattacharya. This was a take on the song from the film ‘Jaanbaz’ and sung by Sapna Mukherjee to the music of Kalyanji Anandji and lyrics by Indeevar. The naughtiness and the sensuality that Rekha and her dancers ensued was missing from ‘Thank You’.  The new version definitely gets a thumbs down in all aspects.

Before that came ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’ that carried the title track from its predecessor from film ‘Pratigya’. With senior Deol in both the versions along with his sons Sunny and Bobby in the new format, both versions stood out because of the fun element. Musician RDB did justice to the new song composition and increased its peppiness.

‘Parda’ from ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’, a take on ‘Apna Desh’ hit ‘Dunia Mein Logon Ko’ along with ‘Monica’ hit from the film ‘Caravan’, both Asha Bhosle-R D Burman disco duets was instantly accepted by the masses for its sheer intensity. It surely set the dance floor rocking just like its older versions.

Himesh Reshammiya ripped apart two classics with his versions of ‘Ek Hasina Thi’ and ‘Mehmooba Mehbooba’ from the hits of yore ‘Karz’ and ‘Sholay’. Both the new versions were panned by the critics and the audience together. ‘Dhanno’ another song from ‘Housefull’ was based on ‘Apni Toh Jaise Taise’ from ‘Lawaris’. Nothing much to rave about both the songs except for the trademark dance of the Big B.

However, ‘Bachna Ae Haseenon’, the evergreen hit from the film ‘Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin’ was successfully reproduced by Vishal-Shekhar in the new film ‘Bachna Ae Haseenon’ staring Ranbir Kapoor. Sumit Kumar who sang the added lyrics did justice to his father’s song with equal penchant and so did Ranbir matching the intensity of his father’s moves in the classic with his pacy dance in the new version. An equal winner.

Forthcoming film ‘Chalo Dilli’ brings out to the current generation the hit song ‘Laila O Laila’ from the Feroz Khan directed mega hit ‘Qurbani’. The sizzling Zeenat Aman number has been pictures on the hot and sensual Yana Gupta and sung by June Banerjee. The song’s just out in the market and all quite a few appreciations have come its way including from the original star of the song Zeenat Aman herself. We’ll have to wait and watch how it progresses.

But one thing is sure, producers and directors will keep trying to encash on the charms of the retro hits. Comparisons are not at all avoidable. While some may argue originals shouldn’t be tampered with like legendary Dev Anand said about his ‘Dum Maro Dum’, others feel that its time young generations get a dose of the retro hits by making new versions of it to suit their sensibility. The debate is unavoidable. Till then, let the retro remakes flow. Love it or hate it, we can’t ignore it.