We have recently witnessed the huge row over the censorship of the movie Udta Punjab demanded by the Central Board of Film Certification that included a title change. As much as we are glad that this movie has probably got saved from being rechristened, the official orders from Bombay High Court being still pending for Monday, the below 5 movies couldn’t have an escape due to various reasons.
1. Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela
This Sanjay Leela Bhansali romantic-tragedy was previously called just ‘Ram-Leela‘ which, according to some religious groups, would have hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindus since the term ‘Ramleela‘ refers to the folk enactment of the life of Hindu God, Shri Ram and the movie was definitely about not it. After facing stay orders on release from a Mumbai local court and the Delhi High Court, the movie title was changed to Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela.
Apart from this, the community names, Jadeja and Rabari, originally used in the movie, were replaced with Saneda and Rajadi, on being opposed by the Kshatriya community.
2. MSG: The Messenger
Originally named MSG: The Messenger of God, this excuse of a movie, was made by the CBFC to, at the least, omit the term ‘God’ from its title since it could have given rise to communal tensions. In fact, it did face a lot of protests by furious Sikh groups in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana who demanded a ban. Directed and acted in by religious leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, the film’s content was actually more scandalous than its title and attracted a lot of negative reviews.
Just few days before the release, Salon and Beauty Parlour Associations raised an objection to the movie’s original title Billu Barber. According to them, ‘Barber’ is a disparaging term referring to a person’s caste more than profession. Already having commenced on the film’s promotions and being left with no time to coin a completely new name, Shah Rukh Khan, as the head of the production company, had to drop the controversial term from the title. As much as he was upset about the resulting title, he did not want to hurt the sentiments of the people from that profession.
4. Children of War
Based on the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 and the devastation surrounding it, this critically acclaimed movie was supposed to be released with the tile The Bastard Child. However, Indian Motion Picture Producers Association disapproved of the term ‘bastard’ in the title for its release in India. To avoid the risk of delay, the filmmakers agreed to the change the movie title for domestic release while maintaining the original for international release because of course, we know there are other movies made outside India that have the same term in their titles.
Rambo Rajkumar definitely sounds like a more badass title than the new one but when you get slammed by a copyright infringement complaint you’d rather save your ass. When Hollywood producers of the blockbuster series Rambo, starring Sylvester Stallone, opposed the use of the term ‘Rambo’ in the movie’s title, its maker, Prabhu Deva, decided to let go of it except for the starting alphabet, smartly suggesting a ‘fill in the blanks’. So, yup… still a badass! 😉
What do you think about these movie title changes? Do you think they were necessary? Do you know about more such movies that had their titles changed? Please let us know your comments.