[Opinion] Odia Movies with English Titles – A disturbing trend?

A disastrous trend continues in Odisha’s film industry. ‘Idiot’, ‘Bad Girl’, ‘Good Boy’, ‘Nandini I Love You’, and now ‘Love Master’ – these are all Odia movies with English titles. As if our people promptly reject a movie that comes with its title in Odia..

By Nov 4,2012  5

A disastrous trend continues in Odisha’s film industry. ‘Idiot’, ‘Bad Girl’, ‘Good Boy’, ‘Nandini I Love You’, and now ‘Love Master’ – these are all Odia movies with English titles. As if our people promptly reject a movie that comes with its title in Odia. As if ‘Idiot’ fetched more revenue just because of its English title, and ‘Bokka’ (the word Idiot in Odia) would not have done that.

Last time when I raised this issue on Facebook group, I got such filthy responses that I had to ignore the comment chain. What was appalling was that most of the people in the discussion were Odias (due respect), with disastrous English skills who cyber-bullied the daylights out of me for motives I am yet to decipher. It is a pretty tough call to make out if the moviegoers in Odisha have developed such a taste for themselves that they need the titles only in English even when the movies are in Odia. It is certainly more or less like flaunting a Parker ball pen, only with a Cello Gripper refill inside. But for those who are Odias to the core, this anglicizing trend is disgusting. And truly so!

English might be the lingua franca of success, so what? Does that mean we can ignore our mother tongue that has shaped our thoughts and that of our ancestors? We must not. Many a time I have seen Odia movie directors on TV channels almost begging the audiences to see the new movie which they have come to promote. They do so because the viewership of Odia movies has been fast losing momentum for many reasons, the blatant pseudo-pirating of scripts of movies from other regional languages being one. And in many of these cases, the hosts of such programs have been generous enough not to ask those directors about this question of English titles for Odia movies. I know not what business strategy they follow to garner profit from their projects. What I certainly know is that they have scant regard for their mother tongue. Else why the sham philosophy?  Odia movie, English title?

Let us take a nice example for this case. Keeping in mind the linguistic sensibilities of the general people, the Tamil Nadu government passed legislation a few years back instructing film-makers to title their films only and only in the local language to avail attractive rebates on the payment of entertainment taxes.  The state government and the Industry biggies, please take note!

People, I for one, do not pick a movie only by its title. In fact, that hardly is an important thing to consider while deciding to go to a movie. The cast and crew, the script, the music and songs – these factors play a major role. So shouldn’t we regret that the stalwarts of Odia cinema industry, who boast of contributing so heavily to it, are ignorant of this disastrous trend? The sooner they start caring for their mother tongue, the better.

Contributed by: Arun Dash
Arun works as a technical writer for a Hyderabad based MNC.


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  • dp

    i agree….

  • Jay P

    Odisha has been divided, one group of Hardcore Odias who love everything Odia, and another group of low self esteem-ers who have an urge to cover themselves up with Hindi or English, they indeed feel ashamed with Odia. Those people have no base, they are identity less. And also, maximum movie producers fall in this category, why, because the cover is English, the content is south, and copying is sooo cooool. Copying Odias need to have more self esteem with their base.

  • Ritesh

    The same goes for the over-use of hindi words in Ollywood songs…

  • True that! this is indeed a disastrous trend. As if copying the entire plot from south indian movies was not enough.

  • rakesh

    dear arun…i share the same feelings as you about the topic….but what we should understand is that odia films have become damn popular..10 years ago they used to release only during raja n dussehera…now eve bollywood finds difficult to get a screen in bbsr…these films are a regular entertainment for people who would fear to step insise anyplace where the doors are closed and a/c is on…but dont blame them..if there is anything to blame..its us..the odia language never grew..the vocabulary never grew…can u find anyone who can speak pure odia..if he does 90% people wont understand…films have to be simple…cant make them heavyduty…odia films in pure odia wont find an audience beyond the coastal belt…right now the roots are getting firm…let them grow….we are not alone…even bengali films are in rut….bollywood formulae is everywhere where local lnguage is losing steam…

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