Raj Kapoor directs produces and stars as the leading man in Awaara. It is considered by many to be one of the most significant films to have arisen from Indian Cinema during its 100 year history. The story is based on a young man named Raj Raghunath (Kapoor), whose life of poverty and struggle results in him turning to petty crime in order to feed himself and his mother Leela Raghunath (Leela Chitnis). He bumps into his childhood friend Rita (Nargis) whilst committing his next criminal venture. Raj and Rita fall in love and hence he puts an end to his life of crime and manages to acquire a normal job. However, once his employer discovers that Raj has committed criminal activities, they fire him. This ultimately results in Raj turning to his crime mentor Jagga (K.N. Singh) for help. Little does Raj know that Jagga is the man who separated Raj’s mother from his father Judge Raghunath (Prithviraj Kapoor) many years ago. You will have to watch this superb Bollywood classic in order uncover the full story and the subsequent courtroom drama which unfolds.
Awaara is a gripping and entertaining film that will make you fall in love with the black and white era of Bollywood. Raj Kapoor has paid attention to detail with the overall look and style of this film is still impressive to this day. In addition, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas has engineered a simple, yet captivating script and Raj Kapoor wonderfully transfers this story onto screen. One of the most famous scenes in Awaara is the dream sequence, which acted as picturization for the song ‘Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi’. Given that this film was made in the 1950s, Raj Kapoor deserves the highest credit for creating this spectacular scene, which took three months to shoot and is arguably the highlight of the film. Praise is also due for the cinematography, lighting and music that reinforces the entertainment factor with this film.
Raj Kapoor not only directed Awaara with perfection, but he also created a very convincing performance as the male protagonist. Without him as the leading man it can be asserted with confidence that Awaara would not have acquired the cult status that it has today. Nargis looks classy and graceful throughout Awaara as the loveable Rita. She manages to deliver a masala performance in this film by being funny, romantic and dramatic. Though Mother India (1957) is considered to be her most famous film, Awaara is certainly the second greatest film which this fine actress has starred in. Prithviraj Kapoor, Leela Chitnis and K.N. Singh display convincing characters, yet at times they are a little too over-dramatic. However, this should not deter you from viewing Awaara, which is full of astounding moments that will spellbind you.
Awaara is a delightful film that absolutely leaves no stone unturned. Raj Kapoor has competently performed his duties as director, producer and actor in order to give us one of Bollywood’s premier classics. You only have to watch Awaara to appreciate the great cinema that was made in India during the 1950s and the way in which this fascinating country was illustrated through film.
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