Awaara (1951)

Raj Kapoor directs himself, Prithviraj Kapoor and Nargis in this Bollywood classic where a rejected son is pulled between a life of crime and his love of a society girl.

The first hour of The Vagabond really cooks. We race through the tragedy and childhood of Raj’s downfall and it is Dickensian. Then we get another 100 minutes of star crossed lovers and songs. The injustice and social message is still there but you get the feeling that the only reason the first act moves at such a modern clip is because the star / director was desperate for his protagonist to be at an age where he could play him. What follows ain’t bad but is now creaky. An excellent dream sequence musical number comes out of nowhere. Very popular release in communist countries.

6

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