Why does the movie Inside Man have the Bollywood song Chhaiya Chhaiya in its opening scene?

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    I was watching the movie on a computer and thought the music is coming from another tab in the browser. lol, then realized it is from the movie itself. Just curiosity I paused the movie and googled 'why' and reached here to get the answer. :) Enjoying the movie with the song! Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 23:42

1 Answer 1


In the director's commentary on the DVD, Spike Lee addresses this. Short version; he liked the song so he used it.

When he was teaching film school, a student recommended the film Dil Se.., where the song is originally from. He simply really liked the song, and decided that he wanted to try to use it in a movie at some point.

The specific orchestral arrangement of the song was made specifically for Inside Man.

  • And yes, I did watch the movie for the first time, and checked out the commentary at the beginning, just to answer this question.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 3:26
  • What you say is a version that the director wants you to believe. To me, it's a marketing stunt; after all, India is the biggest market for American films outside of America. Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 8:53

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