In this weekly column, we revisit gems from the golden years of Hindi cinema. This week, we revisit Raj Kapoor’s 1951 movie Awara.

Awara is the story of a person who comes from the opposite facet of the tracks however unbeknownst to him, has been the topic of a merciless experiment of nature vs nurture proper from his beginning. Raj, performed by Raj Kapoor, has grown up within the bylanes of Mumbai and has accepted his awara life-style as the one solution to dwell. When he sings “Gharbaar nahi sansar nahi, mujhse kisi ko pyaar nahi” within the music “Awara Hoon”, he’s not searching for sympathy, however in truth, has made peace with no matter little he has in life.

Unlike many round him, who steal and con to earn cash, Raj has a conscience that’s buried deep underneath the scars of survival that took him from jail to jail all via his teenagers. The conscience rises up when he meets his childhood friend-turned-love curiosity Rita, performed by Nargis, and realises that every one just isn’t misplaced but. The battle of fine vs evil inside him makes for the protagonist’s battle right here.

The central battle of Awara is that of nature vs nurture. Raj’s organic father, Judge Raghunath, performed by his real-life father Prithviraj, separated from his spouse throughout her being pregnant as he was made to imagine that the kid may not be his. This scars his ego deeply as he believes {that a} man’s life is dictated by his lineage. Since there isn’t any solution to eliminate his doubt, he decides to throw out his spouse and he or she finally ends up giving beginning to his child on the streets, actually.

Raj doesn’t know a lot about his father. His mom has informed him that he was a very good man and desires him to be a revered man as effectively, however the system has left him with no different possibility however to steal and con his approach via life. Stuck within the cycle of poverty, he’s rebuked for being an awara even when he decides to stroll the trail of honesty. At one level, Raj even questions his employer that if he’s by no means given an opportunity to earn an trustworthy dwelling, how will he ever develop into a person who can dwell an trustworthy life? India was a reasonably younger nation when Awara launched in 1951 and the movie tells the story which is kind of in sync with the occasions, given the financial situation of the nation.

It is Rita’s presence, at the same time as {a photograph} that reminds Raj of the honest particular person he was as a baby. Which is why it’s essential to look at how she is portrayed via the movie. While her character is proven as an unbiased lady, it’s her portrayal inside her romantic relationship that appears a bit jarring.

In a major scene within the movie, Raj slaps Rita throughout the face as she calls him ‘junglee’. While she says it playfully, he takes it personally and is violently disturbed by it. It is obvious that Raj is a scarred man who has by no means discovered to deal with his insecurities however the way in which he treats Rita feels unjust. But it’s Rita’s response to this example that makes the scene much more uncomfortable. She bows down and surrenders.

The position of a lady on this society was clearly not equal to that of a person. We can’t confidently vouch for this in 2021, so there isn’t any level in difficult this within the early Fifties. For the filmmaker, he has designed Rita as the girl who’s assured, can tackle the world, is a well-educated lawyer however, will bow all the way down to her man when wanted. Nargis has the type of display screen presence on this movie that’s unattainable to disregard. Her chemistry with Raj is palpable and their love story is the type that simply has you rooting for them immediately, till the aforementioned scene, and from then on, you begin questioning Rita’s conditioning on this society that has positioned her beneath a person and has compelled her to tackle a task the place she’s going to by no means be revered the way in which she deserves.

Awara launched the idea of dream sequences in Hindi movies.

Awara was a milestone movie in Raj Kapoor’s profession. The movie was celebrated for its music by Shankar Jaikishan and lyrics by Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. The dream sequence music “Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi”, the primary ever in Hindi cinema, will nonetheless go away you in awe for its imaginative execution. It is claimed that Raj Kapoor’s character right here was an ode to Charlie Chaplin however revisiting the movie now, you realise that though there are just a few similarities, the filmmaker deserves credit score for creating an authentic character that’s deeply embedded within the native milieu.

Awara is about in an period the place climbing out of the vicious cycle of poverty was close to unattainable, and surprisingly sufficient, occasions haven’t modified a lot within the final 70 years.

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Awara is streaming on ShemarooMe.

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