It is now 25 years to one of the biggest hits and an all-time classic, Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! In those days, there were factors due to which films had, what was called, repeat value. In Sholay, the special effects and stereophonic sound, as well as the film’s dialogue, drew repeat footfalls. Deewaar, because of Amitabh Bachchan’s fiery performance as well as the dialogue. In Rajesh Khanna-starrer, Dushman, one song, Vaada Tera vaada, was enough the get the audience back again and again.
There have been many such examples. In fact, this surging popularity of films’ dialogue prompted the music company, Polydor India, to start a new trend of releasing dialogue tracks on cassettes and in the case of Sholay, which had weak music, dialogue cassettes sold many times more than the music album!
All this glory of repeat audience was lost to the piracy when the films were overnight copied on pirated Video Cassettes and released in the market the same day as the film released. There was also no stopping as the piracy moved from Video Cassettes to cable networks and fresh films were beamed right into the households. However, the Rajshris had the advantage of an all India distribution network as well as sub-offices in distant parts.
Hum Aapkke Hain Koun..! was inspired from Rajshri Productions’ earlier small budget home production, Nadiya e Paar (1982), a rural love story. Though the film went generally unnoticed in rest of the country, it was a major hit in parts of UP, especially Eastern UP and Bihar. Released in August 1994, Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! was modernised to suit the prevailing tastes.
Piracy did not affect Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! The company made sure that each print of the film was in the possession of a company appointed security man and the print remained in his possession when not being screened. Also, by that time, the film’s praises had reached a pinnacle and every film lover wanted to catch it at a cinema hall.
The 1980s and 90s films offered a varied fare. While Amitabh Bachchan films dominated till the mid-1980s, the field was also open to films with other stars. However, a new lot of actors made inroads in the 90s with Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Kahn and so on. Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol and Jackie Shroff continued to have their following.
The mainstay of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! was its music and the way it was used in the film. After all, it was not easy to find slots for 14 songs in a film and, then, to justify them. Yet, the music set the tone for the film from the very onset with the title song, Hum aapke hain koun. A slow but melodiously soothing number. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).