We need to stop blaming Indian music makers for lifting songs from the West! Turns out Hollywood filmmakers have a thing for our songs too! Taking the adage – Music knows no boundaries – a tad too seriously, Hollywood has incorporated Bollywood theme pieces into their musical scores time and again and even used desi numbers in their screenplays. Hollywood has tried its hand at everything! Movie makers have transcended all borders to take Bollywood songs to the other side of the world and popularize them too. Here’s a list of eleven Hollywood movies that used Bollywood songs in their screenplay:
11. The Guru: Chori Chori Hum Gori Se
When the 2002 film ‘The Guru’ starring Jimi Mistry in the lead, had the godman singing ‘Chori chori hum gori se pyaar karenge’ from the Aamir Khan-Twinkle Khanna starrer dud ‘Mela’, audiences were left screaming for more! And that was also when other Hollywood directors began exploring the Bollywood music database to add songs to their films to cash in on the Indian subcontinent and connect with the desi audiences better.
10. The Dictator: Mundeya Tu Bach Ke Rahi
While the 2012 political satire with undertones of dark humour, received mixed reviews at the box office, the Sacha Baron Cohen starrer was replete with some hilarious, some offensive, some racist and other over-the-top gags. The film had it all! It even had the comedian Cohen in a twinsie. And when the film’s trailers came out, it also had a remixed version of ‘Mundeya tu bach ke rahi’ featuring Jay-Z and Punjabi MC, which was originally a bhangra number by Labh Janjua.
9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Waada Na Tod
The 2004 movie about two former lovers, whose memories are clinically erased, meet with each other as total strangers onboard a train, without an inkling of their past relationship. The sci-fi starring funnyman Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet had Kumar Gaurav-Rati Agnihotri featured duet ‘Waada na tod’ playing on a stereo, when Joel revisits his past recollections with Clementine, as he undergoes the memory removal procedure. While the duo is seen getting cozy on a couch, Lata Mangeshar’s song from the 1987 film ‘Dil Tujhko Diya’ is heard playing in the background.
8. The Accidental Husband: Mujhe Rang De/Chhalka chhalka re
The 2008 rom-com stars Uma Thurman as an expert-in-love radio presenter, alongside Colin Firth and Jeffery Dean Morgan in central roles. The film is a light take on love, where one wrong advice from Thurman’s character Emma, leads her to marry a man she’s never known. The movie featured opening lines of the song ‘Chhalka chhalka’ from the 2002 film ‘Saathiya’. It also had Thakshak’s ‘Mujhe rang de’ in one of its scenes, where Thurman and Morgan are seen attending a ceremony in their Indian neighbourhood. Surprisingly, the film has loads of Indian references throughout its entire running time, as you can spot a lot of desis in the frames.
7. Ghost World: Jaan Pehchaan Ho
The 2001 film starring Scarlett Johansson was an offbeat Indie film that saw some realistic characters in lifelike situations. Though the movie was touted as a teen flick, its sharp humour and sophistication resonated with teenagers and the elders alike. The dark comedy managed to make a cut above its contemporaries. However, what left an indelible mark on the Indian audiences was the song ‘Jaan pehchaan ho’ from the 1965 mystery movie ‘Gumnaam’. The groovy rock and roll number, along with its visuals were integrated into the film’s opening credits, where characters were also seen imitating the whacky dance moves.
6. Lord of War: Bombay Theme
While A. R. Rahman’s hauntingly serene instrumental piece from the 1995 film ‘Bombay’ still gives us goose bumps, it was used in a Nicolas Cage movie with the same chilling effect. The 2005 film, based on some real-life events, dealt with the illegal arms trade and the big business of war. The war film set in the early 80s, cleverly incorporated Rahman’s ‘Bombay theme’ in one of the scenes. With mostly positive reviews, the film, along with the instrumental piece, is still remembered for its true-to-life representations.