“Pop culture” or popular culture references, the reason “Pulp Fiction” stands as one of the most important and influential movies of all time. Probably this concept of “pop culture reference” is not grasped well by today’s Bollywood commercial film-makers. The way, the eras of Indian music were defined by Mohd. Rafi, Kishor Kumar, Lata Mangeskar, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and many others of the legendary stature, has come to the edge of sinking in its own glory.
Nowadays, the spicy commercial movies of Bollywood have left no chance to ruin and exploit the classics. The lyrics are changed and debauched; the music is criminally adulterated and the visuals, of course, just a bunch of scenes in exotic clubs with barely clad women dancing around, serving no purpose to the meaning of the song. The songs are now rather emotionless, and sensual. It doesn’t by any means pay homage to the cult classics. Quentin Tarantino copies a few scenes from his favourite movies, or as he puts it into words ‘steals from the classics’, is just to remember what impact those movies or sequences had on him and the entire world cinema. Indian indie cinemas or art-house cinemas have so far not let the pride of Indian music down. But movies aimed at grossing milestone of hundreds of crores are left with a very little ethic. Making a catchy, stupid song is no big deal. Just alter a few lines of the lyrics, add effects to make the music sound like it fits in a party and going by the current trend, maybe, sign a contract with Neha Kakkar. The job is all done. Copying classic, old songs never make them famous, they always were famous. The nuance of the old classics is all lost in its copied versions.
For so many years, Indian cinema, especially Bollywood, has been bashed at international stages for not making quality movies. And for a quality movie, music is one of the most important components. A bad song can stunt the efforts put into the movie by the actors, writers, director, and everyone else involved in the process. Until the process of remaking is met with certain care, intent and effort, copying old songs will remain as the golden ticket to shoot movies into new commercial highs, another ignoble way of selling a few more tickets.