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Does changing film titles help?

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Does a film acquire a new dimension and box office potential when it is re-titled?

Download Police force WallpapersThis Friday's release, "Police Force", was originally entitled "Vidroh". The film's makers felt the changed title would provide the long-delayed, extensively re-shot film with a new label and driving force.

But new titles don't always signify a new lease of life for a delayed project.

Shah Rukh Khan's incomplete film "Jadoo" was changed to "Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke" and released. It flopped miserably.

On the other hand, Anurag Basu's "Murder" was to be originally titled "Triangle". Not only did the new title prove lucky for the film but the letter 'M' also came to be considered as lucky for the film fraternity.

The latest in the title-shuffling game is Karan Razdan's long-delayed "Roshni".

After the director's much talked about erotic excursion into "Hawas" and the equally tantalising ready-for-release film "Girlfriend", which goes into the thorny territory of lesbianism, the makers of "Roshni" have suddenly woken up to the potential of their hitherto canned product. The film is now being readied for release with a new title "Rakhail: The Mistress".

Director Razdan is exasperated: "Please understand, I have nothing to do with this change of title, and I'm not in its favour at all. My film is called 'Roshni' and it shall continue to be known by that name in my mind.

"The producers have taken a unilateral decision to rename it in this totally unsuitable and scandalous way. 'Rakhail: The Mistress' is a completely uncalled-for title.

"My film is about three human beings, a husband, wife and another man who comes into her life. If I had my way I'd fight against the new title. But I can't.

"I'm too busy with my new assignments to get into a debate over my first film's title.

"All I hope is that people would see the film and realise there's nothing remotely ritzy about the film."


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