Chang­ing the ti­tle of a film just be­fore its re­lease seems to be the lat­est strat­egy to cre­ate hype. In­sid­ers de­code the trend

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja ■

Bol­ly­wood film­mak­ers opt for all pos­si­ble strate­gies to cre­ate hype around their films, ahead of the re­lease. While some go for over-thetop pro­mo­tions, oth­ers cre­ate buzz with the teaser, or the poster of the film. How­ever, re­cent in­stances point to­wards a new trend to get the au­di­ence talk­ing about a film—chang­ing the ti­tle of the film. For in­stance, the Shrad­dha Kapoor-star­rer biopic on Dawood Ibrahim’s sis­ter was ini­tially called Haseena: The Queen of Mum­bai, and the poster cre­ated a lot of noise. Later, the mak­ers an­nounced a fresh re­lease date for the film and a new ti­tle — Haseena Parkar.

“The rea­son we changed the ti­tle of the film was be­cause ours is a bi­og­ra­phy, and we felt that it would be bet­ter for peo­ple out­side Mum­bai to get fa­mil­iar with Haseena Parkar, as she was very well known in this city [Mum­bai] but not out­side of it,” says the film’s direc­tor Apoorva Lakhia.

More re­cently, Huma Qureshi’s in­ter­na­tional de­but, Viceroy’s House, which re­leased in the UK in March this year, changed its ti­tle to Par­ti­tion 1947 ahead of its In­dia re­lease in Au­gust 2017. Bri­tish film­maker Gurinder Chadha, direc­tor of the film, ex­plains, “There are cer­tain things that ap­peal to an In­dian au­di­ence. So Par­ti­tion 1947 is a great ti­tle and in fact, that was the work­ing ti­tle of the film for many years. In Eng­land, they chose Viceroy’s House. But for In­dia, this new ti­tle has a bet­ter con­nect.”

Also, film­maker Im­tiaz Ali’s much-touted project Jab Harry Met Se­jal, star­ring Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma was orig­i­nally ti­tled, The Ring. Film­maker Homi Ada­ja­nia, shares how his first film was Be­ing Cyrus was ear­lier called Akoori (parsi scram­bled eggs). “Some­times a project starts with a non­ti­tle like, say Pro­duc­tion no. 9 or some such, later it gets a work­ing ti­tle and the film starts get­ting iden­ti­fied with this. Once the film is ready, from a mar­ket­ing per­spec­tive the fi­nal ti­tle is cho­sen,” says Ada­ja­nia.

Does the change in name ef­fect the pop­u­lar­ity of a film in any way? Film critic Omar Qureshi opines, “A lot of mak­ers are su­per­sti­tious about giv­ing out their ti­tles. Also, ti­tle se­lec­tion has be­come a mar­ket­ing gim­mick with other stars pitch­ing in to sug­gest ti­tles on so­cial me­dia, which cre­ates a buzz. But at the end the prod­uct is the same and the con­tent mat­ters above any ti­tle.”

In Eng­land, they chose Viceroy’s House. But for In­dia, this new ti­tle has a bet­ter con­nect GURINDER CHADHA, FILM­MAKER

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