Yes, there has been a trend in recent times where movies are reproducing old Hindi and Punjabi songs such as Saturday Saturday and Main tenu samjhawan in the film Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Tamma tamma in the film Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Humma humma in Ok Jaanu, among others. In my opinion, this is nothing but marketing strategy, where movies try to create a buzz by rearranging old hits songs to attract a larger audience and to promote them on television, on music channels, radio and online platforms.
However, I doubt this strategy really works as it cannot guarantee wider movie viewership even if it succeeds in creating a buzz for the movie. For instance, the songs Humma humma and Kala chashma from the movies Ok Jaanu and Baar Baar Dekho were very popular but the movies that featured them did not manage good numbers at the box office.
India is a land of vivid culture, where songs and dance sequences have always been a great source of entertainment for viewers. Currently, the flavor is all about retro and with songs like Tamma tamma, Laila main laila and so on, the audience is grooving to these tunes every day. Such songs heighten the charm of a movie, and with their pulsating beats, they are ‘old wine in a new bottle’. They are also a great marketing element, with promoters using them as a special attraction as they promise to increase footfalls in movie halls.
Music plays very a important role in films and good music always helps a film open with good numbers. Remixing old super hit songs for a new film helps create hype for a film and therefore in marketing the film. Kaala chashma, Laila mein laila, Tamma tamma, Saturday Saturday, Main tenu samajhawan etc., are a few examples of remixed songs which ensured good openings for their respective films.
The remixed versions of old songs help in the promotion of films if it is done well. Lest we forget, the aural way is the best way to an Indian cine-goers wallet. The song used in the promotion of Tanu Weds Manu became extremely popular, but did not feature in the film. Similarly, with Jabra fan from the film Fan. We had patrons coming up to us with complaints that we had skipped the song to save time; hence we must either screen it or refund the ticket money! These songs help as a hook for the audience (Kala chashma, Laila main laila), or they keep the film in conversation (Humma humma, Haseeno ka deewana) and ensure a good opening day (Roy), at the very least.
It all depends on the situation. When a song does not suit the situation in a film, the older version gets much more appreciation. Not all recreated versions work and those that do are the ones that are justified in the films or are picturised nicely, according to the story. When this happens the song creates curiosity among the audience and they are more likely to watch the film.
The purpose of recreated songs is to build curiosity among the audience. Since the audience is already aware of the old song, they quickly relate to the new version and that is why it is used to market films. Lately, Tamma tamma from Badrinath Ki Dulhania was a super hit and it was promoted well. Madhuri Dixit had promoted this song with Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan. People will watch the film initially because of the song.
To some extent, recreated versions of the classics attract the audience to watch the film. However, if this trend continues, and recreated songs are used in almost every movie, then the charm of such songs will fade. The song should help the film and fit in with the story. Only then will it click with the audience.
Old tunes make you happier than recreated ones. I believe the audience gets attracted to recreated songs only if they are narrated well in the movie. They are largely used for publicity, to build curiosity among the audience. That curiosity brings movie-goers to cinemas but in the end the content of the film is all that matters.