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There is a dearth of new music: Ajay Devgn on remakes

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The Total Dhamaal (2019) actor said composers need to go with their begging bowls in search of quality lyricists.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Actor Ajay Devgn, who will be seen next in Indra Kumar’s Total Dhamaal (2019), has said there are a few old songs good enough to be recreated and admitted that there is a dearth of new music in Hindi cinema.

The actor said he personally still likes the old music, but also revealed how tough it was to get a well written song today. “I come from the earlier generation loved the songs from the 1960s, 1970s. Such lyrics cannot come back. If we want to write a song that has depth, then we are literally looking around carrying our begging bowl, looking for such writers. The fact is that we just have barely two or three good writers today," said Devgn.

Total Dhamaal has a few remakes of popular old songs. One is a Kishore Kumar classic 'Paisa Yeh Paisa' from Karz (1980) and the other 'Mungda', a popular track from Raj N Sippy’s Inkaar (1977).

Speaking to reporters this week about the reason for the paucity of good new songs, he said, "I don't know. Maybe the generation is changing. Maybe they don’t feel or emote that way. But the depth has changed. The way I react to something is very different from how my daughter will react or express. Maybe we are not adapting it [feelings] in lyrics," rued the actor.

Devgn reunites with director Kumar after 15 years for Total Dhamaal. They had last collaborated on Masti (2004) and before that Kumar gave Devgn his first comedy film Ishq (1997).

The actor had started off as an action hero, but he surprised all with his comic act in Ishq.

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Kumar had pointed out how he felt Devgn did better comedy than Aamir Khan in a bank robbery scene from Ishq.

The transition from action to comedy had its own challenges. “I was a little conscious then. That comedy was in a different zone. I was a little awkward. You have your sense of humour, but then you had to adapt to somebody else’s humour. Initially, it was tough but then you start adapting to your own humour. Back then I hadn’t done comedy, and so it was like let’s follow him,” said Devgn.

Ajay Devgn in ishq (1997)

The Raid (2018) actor reminded how comedy was different in the 1980s and 1990s. “In the past, you had a comedian who had a side track. Now both have merged. Earlier, comedy was more physical, but now writing too has become important. You can’t be amusing by just making faces. Today, it is more subtle, poker-faced,” said Devgn.

Comedy alone can’t help an actor sustain, as versatility is the key to stay relevant. Over the years, Devgn has been identified more by the family audience for his comedy in the Golmaal franchise. “I did Golmaal Again (2017), a comedy, then I did Raid, a serious film. Now it is Total Dhamaal, a comedy, then Taanaji, a period film, then I’d like to do a comedy film again. So, I always liked to swap genres,” said the Singham (2011) actor.

Adapting is not just for the actors, but for filmmakers too. Devgn minced no words as he said, "You have to change with the times. Look at the other people’s work, actually, look at the new generation. Look at your children, your children’s friends. If I don’t adapt to what my children think today then I will not be relevant as a father too.”

Total Dhamaal also features Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jaaferi. It will be released on 22 February.