Baaghi 2’s Ek Do Teen is latest in the long list of classic songs that Bollywood has ruined

Karishma Upadhyay

Mar 20, 2018 11:51:13 IST

I said nothing when Nargis Fakhri in Azhar danced to a badly remixed version of the cult classic 'Oye Oye' from Tridev. I held my peace when AR Rahman allowed the makers of Ok Jaanu to tinker with his original 'Humma Humma'. But when Monday morning brought with it the release of a ‘revamped’ version of Madhuri Dixit’s Ek Do Teen, Bollywood had gone too far. Jacqueline Fernandez’s ‘tribute’ to the original Mohini for Baaghi 2 is an abomination that should have never seen the light of day.

I am done with Bollywood’s obsession with regurgitating things we loved decades ago. Don’t get me wrong. Jacqueline is lovely but, let’s be real, she ain’t no Mohini. Nobody but Madhuri can be Mohini. Some songs just need to be left alone. Honestly, is nothing sacred anymore?

Madhuri Dixit and Jacqueline Fernandez's Ek Do Teen. Facebook

Madhuri Dixit and Jacqueline Fernandez's Ek Do Teen. Facebook

Nostalgia is not always a bad thing. Every once in a while, it’s fun to hear or see a reinvented version of something that we already love. Like Ranbir Kapoor dancing to Bachna Ae Haseeno in 2008, almost three decades after his father Rishi Kapoor did in Hum Kisise Kum Naheen; Deepika Padukone’s very edgy 'Mit Jaaye Gham' from Dum Maaro Dum or, more recently, Vidya Balan’s joyful version of Sridevi’s Hawa Hawai.

But Bollywood’s over-saturated remix soundscape mostly prompts nostalgia inspired nausea.

There’s been a deluge of unwanted revivals of old songs in recent years. Apart from Humma Humma, in 2017, we had an almost unrecognisable version of Mohammad Rafi’s 'Gulabi Aankhen' in Noor; Sunny Leone grooved to 'Laila Main Laila' in Raees; Kishore Kumar’s hit 'Saara Zamaana' was rejigged into a techno item number in Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil; Farhan Akhtar and his band of convicts danced to 'Kaavaan Kaavaan' in Lucknow Central; Behen Hogi Teri attempted to 'relive the 80s' with 'Jaanu Meri Jaan'; and Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan went 'Tamma Tamma Again' in Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Even Judwaa 2 had newer versions of 'Tan Tana Tan' and 'Oonchi Hai Building' from the original Salman Khan film.

And this is all just in 2017.

It was almost as if a memo was sent across to directors and music composers (and, I use the term very loosely) that every film needs to have an old song that’s been tampered with. And, there’s a template for these songs – loop a dubstep sample over an old song and get a rapper to spit some rhymes. 'Socha Hai' from Baadshaho, and 'Ittefaq Se' (Raat Baaki) from Ittefaq were the few non-rap remixes from last year and that’s the only positive thing anyone can say about those songs.

We’ve already gone through one cycle of obsessively remixing retro songs. Remember the early 2000s when Kanta Laga, Kaliyon ka Chaman and Bin Tere Sanam was played on a loop on every music channel? While these obscure film songs got a new lease on life thanks to the mixing board, it killed pop music in the country. Now with the nonstop remixing, recreating, reimaging (all euphemisms for “I can’t come up with an original") of old songs, it feels like Bollywood music is the hamster that can never get off the wheel.

It’s embarrassing that some of the biggest names in the world’s largest film industry are desperately clinging to this trend of rehashing past successes to stay relevant.

Perhaps the new 'Ek Do Teen' will bring about the death of remixes but that’s probably just wishful thinking.

Updated Date: Mar 20, 2018 11:51:13 IST