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When Retro Songs Make A Re-Entry In The Movies

Last updated on: July 24, 2023 14:51 IST
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Hindi film songs have a long life and versatile character.

They please.

They comfort.

And when used in a different surrounding from its original setting, they acquire an altogether new context.

Recreating Bollywood retro numbers in movies for Antakshri sessions (Maine Pyar Kiya), playful medleys (Lamhe), parodies (Mr India), tributes (Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar) or remixed versions (Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani, Student Of The Year, Queen, Ok Jaanu, Badrinath Ki Dulhania) reintroduce a yesteryear chartbuster to newer audience.

But using snatches of a cult favourite or evergreen classic in its original form for action, comedy or romance can transform the entire vibe of a scene.

Sukanya Verma shows us how.


Beqarar Karke Humein, Jawan

A metro compartment teeming with terror-struck passengers aren't sure how to react to bald, badass Shah Rukh Khan's spontaneous jig against Hemant Kumar's rendition of Bees Saal Baad's sublime melody. Off screen though, the superstar's whimsical turn is all kinds of thrilling.


Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe Ho, Vikram Vedha

Who knew Anari's lilting musings about life and learnings in Mukesh's distinct hum would make for such a groovy background score to Hrithik Roshan pummelling a dozen goons in Vikram Vedha's Hindi remake?


Kitabein Bahut Si, Bala

Ayushmann Khurrana and his social media obsessed sweetheart Yami Gautam taking a TikTok-ish space by storm over a playlist of '90s chart-toppers ranging from Baazigar's Kitaben Bahut Si to Barsaat's Love Tujhe Love highlights '90s love among '90s kids at its peak.


Mitwa, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor living out their ultimate Yash Chopra fantasy by hilariously staging a Chandni-inspired mood and melody is something every starry-eyed romantic will relate to.


Mere Pyaase Man Ki Bahar, Andhadhun

Sriram Raghavan is the master of movie Easter eggs and references. Anil Dhawan's masterstroke casting as a faded star in his acclaimed thriller allows the film-maker to borrow from the actor's actual cinematic history through fresh but forgotten songs of films like Honeymoon and Hawas.


Gazab Ka Hai Din, Masaan

The way to a girl's heart is through her favourite song. Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi's mp3 player evocation of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak's breezy love story bears resemblance to Aamir Khan-Juhi Chawla's innocent romance and, ultimately, tragic ending.


Jaane Kya Tune Kahi, Chup: Revenge of the Artist

When not bumping off movie critics, R Balki's Chup: Revenge of the Artist is an unabashed ode to Guru Dutt's legend embodied in Dulquer Salman's extreme fanboy and creepy romantic feeding off the emotionality of musical gems in Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool.


Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki, Gangs of Wasseypur

Anurag Kashyap's swaggering crime drama spanning across generations uses Bollywood music and movies to convey the passage of time.

But its Kashyap's oddball picks and trademark quirk like the Mithun-starrer Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki's title track for election campaigning, to name a few, which elevate a banal moment into a brilliant one.


Duniya Mein Logon Ko, Kaminey

The sheer longevity and coolness of Rahul Dev Burman's tunes is clear in the countless instances of his songs popping up in contemporary cinema. The zippy, zesty pace of Apna Desh's Duniya Mein Logon Ko in Vishal Bhardwaj's Kaminey is a case in point.


Aa Jaane Jaan, Ishqiya

The seductive oomph of Inteqam's Aa Jaane Jaa by Laxmikant-Pyarelal render Vidya Balan and Arshad Warsi's voyeuristic inquires of Rajesh Sharma's carnal weakness in Abhishek Chaubey's Ishqiya unlocks new levels of teasing.


Nakhrewali, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota

Vasan Balan's love for his school of seniors like Anurag Kashyap, Sriram Raghavan and Vishal Bhardwaj amply reflects in his fondness for pop-culture references.

His wild use of 1956's Nakhrewali from the Kishore Kumar-Vyjayanthimala starrer New Delhi to showcase his heroine's power puff girl prowess and hero's kapow appeal is a case in point.


Monica O My Darling, Monica, O My Darling

Asha Bhosle's tempestuous voice crooning Caravan's iconic number inspires both the sexy title as well as the sinister motives of Vasan Bala's thrilling black comedy.


Kismat Ki Hawa, Ludo

Bhagwan musing over fickle fortunes in Albela's catchy ditty Kismat Ki Hawa Kabhi Naram Kabhi Garam lends the topsy-turvy events of Anurag Basu's wild, volatile portmanteau an edge and wisdom until it becomes one of the characters.


Kajra Mohabbat Wala, Tanu Weds Manu

The timeless spunk and spirit of Kismat's popular duet by Shamshad Begum and Asha Bhosle featuring a cross-dressed duo of Biswajeet and Babita comes alive in Tanu Weds Manu's wedding sangeet shenanigans between Kangana Ranaut and Swara Bhaskar.


Om Shanti Om, Om Shanti Om

Before tossing a chill pill in our direction in Jawan, SRK did a Rishi Kapoor for a droll dream sequence imagining him in the latter's sparkly shoes dancing to the Karz anthem and doffing his hat to both the movie's title as well as the reincarnation theme.


Phasaa, Welcome

Next time when playing passing the parcel with a large group that hopefully doesn't entail a deadly punishment like Feroz Khan's wacky don in Welcome, Bobby's Phasaa could be your go-to number.


Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi

Aamir Khan and Pooja Bhatt's midnight waltz at a car repair shop cuts an irresistibly romantic picture against the backdrop of evergreen Dev Anand's evergreen gem from Nau Do Gyarah.

Guess AK liked the song so much, it became the title of the 1993 entertainer produced by his dad Tahir Hussain, Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke.


Golmaal Hai, Hera Pheri

Suniel Shetty's inbuilt panic alarm goes off to the tune of Golmaal's trippy title song every time Akshay Kumar wants to take the mickey out him in the bantering episodes of Hera Pheri.


Man Dole Mera Tan Dole, Taqdeerwala

Shakti Kapoor taking on Kader Khan's divine bow and arrow onslaught with Bollywood songs, ranging from Nagin to Vijaypath in the final face-off of Taqdeerwala is a memory that's etched in every '90s' lover's memory.


Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya, Andaz Apna Apna

Gold digger Amar, played by Aamir Khan, and his rib tickling responses against Dev Anand's poignant number from Guide made us discover the sheer comic possibilities Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya holds.


Affoo Khudaya, Saajan

Remember a shaving foam-slathered Salman Khan bouncing in his bedroom like a lovestruck monkey to Jab Jab Phool Khile's hysterical Affoo Khudaya -- no different from Shashi Kapoor's smitten antics -- after his dream girl Madhuri Dixit shows up at his house in 1991's blockbuster love triangle?


Aaja Aaja, Chashme Buddoor

Ravi Baswani and Deepti Naval's Bollywood-inspired date may never have actually happened, but its fond, fun memories as reported by our cad hero featuring the twain in recreated versions of everything from Mughal-E-Azam and Qurbani to Teesri Manzil and Milan are fresh in our mind.


Aaja Re Pardesi, Guddi

Originally, Jaya Bhaduri's titular character was to perform a devotional song at the pre-climatic birthday party sequence of Hrishikesh Mukerji's endearing coming-of-age.

Not too happy with the final results, he opted for Aaja Re Pardesi from Bimal Roy's Madhumati, a song from a movie he had edited for a director he regularly collaborated with.

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