Bond meets Bollywood as 007's classic adventures are being re-released in Hindi during 2004...

Bond Meets Bollywood - Hindi Dubbed Releases
2nd January 2004

The familiar catchphrase "Bond, James Bond" will have a new twist to it this year, as globe-trotting agent 007 has been dubbed into Hindi for the first time. "Mera naam Baand. Jaimes Baand" will echo around Bollywood during 2004, as the classic films are being re-released for a new audience.

"The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) is the first of the series to get the treatment, or "Pyar Dushman Se" as it will be known in India, opening today - January 2nd 2004 in cinemas across India.

Right: The new posters for "Pyar Dushman Se"



Fans will not have to wait the usual two year gap between releases however, as "Sone Ka Khazana" (or 1963's "Goldfinger" as it is known to most Bond fans) will hit screens in February 2004 - in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The only Bond film to be set predominantly in India from the 40 year-old series, "Octopussy" will be released in May - including Kabir Bedi, who played Gobinda, dubbing himself in Hindi.

A lot of technology has gone into creating the dubbed versions whereby Bond’s lips will actually synchronise with his Hindi dialogue. So, next time Bond says “ Mera naam Bond, James Bond” on screen, it will be in a language and an accent familiar to the audience.

All the Bond films from "Dr. No" up to an including "Licence To Kill" will be dubbed and re-released during 2004. The films, rights bought over from MGM, aims to tap a large number of Indians who have heard of Ian Fleming's infamous character, but haven not had access to his adventures because of the obvious language barrier.

Left: Kabir Bedi will dub himself in the Hindi version of "Octopussy".

Ashok Amritraj, Indian tennis legend and brother of Vijay Amritraj who co-starred with Roger Moore in "Octopussy", acquired the rights for his production company Ohm Films to re-dub classic Bond titles in the summer of 2003. Kamal Mohan of Ohm Films said, "There’s a huge number of dedicated cinema lovers for whom English is not the first language, 900 million of them, who will forget they are actually watching a dubbed film 20 minutes through the film."

Mohan has planned a 6,000-kilometre promotional road trip starting from Mumbai and traveling across the country to spread the message of the latest Bond films. He adds, "Our effort is not to transliterate what's said on screen but remodel the entire feel and language of the movie. For instance if a scene mentions Bond going for a Mozart concert, obviously the non-English speaking audience is going to wonder who is Mozart? So here, Bond goes to a Bhimsen Joshi show."

The reason for the latest move that involves, besides dubbing, a whole new ad campaign (called "India Ka Bond") and restoration of old negatives, might make commercial sense. As Mohan puts it, the idea germinated with the huge success of the Hindi version of Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park".

"Indians who have thrived on Bollywood obviously love heroes, heroines, fast cars and action. That's what a Bond movie is, with equally grand production qualities. After the theatrical release, we plan on to enter satellite television and then VCD retails," he added.