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13 September 2011

The Greats: Raj Kapoor

14.12.1924 - 02.06.1988
Ranbir Raj Kapoor, born in Peshawar, then undivided India, was the eldest son of theatre doyen Prithviraj Kapoor. Apprenticed to the studios at a very young age, he made his first appearance in a movie called Inquilab, which starred his father and Durga Khote. A few years later, he moved on to assisting director Kidar Sharma. It was Sharma who gave him his first break as hero - in Neel Kamal (1947) opposite another débutante, Madhubala.

Raj Kapoor was an actor by mischance; his whole ambition was geared toward film-making. However, he was a very successful actor, ruling over Hindi filmdom as one of the troika that included Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand. Though he moved on to direction very early in life, and was (mostly) the protagonist in the movies he produced under the RK Banner, he still acted in quite a few movies for outside directors. Quite a few of them were commercial successes, many of them showcased him in ways that were very different from his 'tramp' persona which had come into being with Awara.

1. Teesri Kasam (1966)
Without doubt, Raj Kapoor's finest performance. He is a simple villager, naive and innocent, but there was no Chaplinesque patina gilding his Heeraman.

Heeraman has already got into trouble twice - once, for transporting illegal goods, and after barely escaping the police nets, he vows never to carry anything illegal again. The second time, he carries bamboo - when traders' horses spook from the bamboo in his cart, he takes his second vow - he will never carry bamboo in his cart again. Sometime later, he is given the task of taking a passenger, a nautanki dancer Heerabai to a village fair some 40 miles away. The two very disparate people are attracted to each other; she, to his naive simplicity, and his innate goodness; he, to her beauty and (to him) shining purity. The journey passes comfortably with Heeraman narrating local legends, and singing songs to while away the time. 

It is when they reach the fair that Heeraman realises that Heerabai is seen as a prostitute by the locals. He gets into many fights on her behalf, until Heerabai sets him straight herself. She is no blushing innocent, she is a woman who has been bought and sold many times. He wants her to leave the stage and live a 'respectable' life. She, knowing better, is loth to leave her career, for after all, how long can she pretend to be something she is not? 

In an era that had already begun to experiment with colour - Mehboob Khan's 'Aan' (1952), the first colour , had been released more than a decade before - producer Shailendra (the lyricist) and director (Basu Bhattacharya) were both adamant that Teesri Kasam, based on Phaniswarnath Renu's Maare Gaye Gulfam, would be shot in Black & White. 

Movie lore has it that when Shailendra narrated the story to Raj Kapoor, the latter listened attentively and then asked Shailendra for his paeshgi (advance). Shailendra was crestfallen. He did not have the means to pay Raj Kapoor's market rate; and he was devastated that a friend (his association with RK went back to RK's first film) would treat him thus. A moment later, Raj Kapoor laughed and said "Give me one rupee". And that was his fee for the entire film. Unfortunately, despite sterling performances from the leads, and a scintillating music score from Shankar-Jaikishen, the film sank at the box-office, leaving Shailendra a broken man. It won the National Award for Best Film in 1967, reviving its commercial chances, but Shailendra did not live to see his film's well-deserved success.

For a  much more in-depth review of this film, click here.

2. Jagte Raho (1956)
This film has to be ranked amongst the best of not only Raj Kapoor's performances, but also among the best Hindi films of any time. An allegorical tale that uses darkness and light to rip off the mask of respectability worn by the moral pillars of society, Jagte Raho tells the story of the plight of one man, who, upon coming to the city in search of employment, cannot find a sip of water to quench his thirst. In a beautiful scene that sets the tone for the rest of the movie, he makes friends with a street dog, the only friendly face that he finds, sharing his meal with him. In return (or so it seems), the grateful animal steers him to a water pump - in the middle of a large courtyard in front of a residential building.

The film unwinds slowly over the length of one night, but gains momentum as the protagonist, a simple villager (Raj Kapoor), moves from flat to flat to escape his tormentors who chase him as a thief. And in his seemingly futile attempts, uncovers a multitude of sins / vices, ranging from petty thievery to adultery to alcoholism to counterfieting; he even masquerades as a corpse! Eventually, it is a child's belief in him that gives the villager the courage to walk out amidst the vigilante posse of tenants who are hunting him as a thief. It is ironical then, that no one gives him a passing glance. 

The film was a satirical look at the Bengali society of the time, but it could have been transposed to virtually any teeming metropolis without losing its relevance.  And Raj Kapoor barely had any dialogues in the film - his fear, his pain, and his helplessness were vividly etched on his face, and mirrored in his eyes. This was truly a class act from the master filmmaker, who also had the guts to produce this modern fable. 

With music by Salil Choudhary and directed by Bengali great Shombhu Mitra (who also wrote the story along with fellow Bengali Amit Maitra), the shortened version of this film won the Gran Prix at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. This was the last time Nargis appeared in a RK film.

There is an interesting story that is often told about the making of this film. Shombhu Mitra and Amit Maitra came to Raj Kapoor with the story of Jagte Raho, and wanted him to produce the film. Upon Raj Kapoor agreeing to do so, they asked if he would also be willing to act and direct - whereupon Raj Kapoor is said to have told them, that he would 'either  act or direct' - not both. They wanted him as the protagonist, and he invited Shombhu Mitra to direct him - the end result is what we watched on screen - one of the finest films to have come out of the RK banner, and indeed, one of the finest films of all time; a true 'Classic'.

3. Phir Subah Hogi (1958)
Loosely based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Phir Subah Hogi is probably the most under-rated of Raj Kapoor's performances. The film begins with the usual tropes - a poor law student Ram (Raj Kapoor) makes do with whatever money his mother can afford to send him, and adds to his purse by pawning, if not outright selling his belongings. 

He meets and falls in love with Sohni (Mala Sinha) who is as poor as he is. They are happy together, until, one night, in a bid to save Sohni from an unwanted marriage to a local moneylender, Ram sets out to steal money from the moneylender's safe to pay off Sohni's father's debts, and ends up killing the moneylender when the latter returns home unexpectedly.

This is where  the story really begins as Ram is on the run. He is chased not only by the police, but also by his conscience. Over the next 24 hours, Ram will face not only his own inner demons, but also what he has become - an innocent man is arrested for the crime, and as he is produced in court, Ram has to decide - can he fight his guilt, and overcome his (very human) impulse to stay free?

As a man wracked by guilt, Raj Kapoor gave a performance that should lay to rest any doubts as to his acting ability. As he internalises his emotions, he also successfully portrays the angst of a man who knows the right thing to do, but is unable to do it as it affects his whole life. 

Well directed by Ramesh Saigal, who also wrote the screenplay, the film's music (a sterling score) was by Khayyam; Raj Kapoor was initially insistent that music for the film be scored by his long time associates Shankar-Jaikishen, but lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi put his foot down - only a person who had read the book could do justice to the score . And so, Khayyam had a foot in the door. Raj Kapoor consented, under duress, with one caveat; he would vet each and every tune. Khayyam agreed. But when Raj Kapoor heard the score, he had the grace to admit that Khayyam's score was unmatched. 


4. Shree 420 (1955)
Shree 420 established, very firmly, the 'tramp' persona that Raj Kapoor wore like second skin. The title, referring to the section of the Indian Penal Code that deals with fraud, is that trait of the protagonist, Raj, who has come to Bombay in order to be successful. All he has with him is bundled up in a rag, and his most precious possessions are his B.A. certificate and a gold medal for honesty that was awarded to him in school.

His first attempt at scaring up a ride is unsuccessful; and it shows that though Raj is innately honest, he is not above a bit of chicanery to achieve his goals. His first acquaintance in Bombay is an old beggar, who fearing a potential rival, tries to beat him off with his crutch. Upon learning that Raj is not in the city to beg, but to do an honest day's work, he conducts a mini-interview. "Are you educated?", he asks him. "Are you honest?" "Are you willing to work hard?" Upon hearing answers in the affirmative, the beggar chuckles -"You won't get a job in Bombay." 

He is rescued by a tough, short-tempered banana seller, who, taking pity on him gives him a few bananas for free. Later, she also allows him to sleep on 'their' pavement. Raj's sojourn in the city leads him to an acquaintance, and then love, with the lovely Vidya, a school teacher, and with the sensuous Maya who initiates him into a heady world of luxury and easy money. His head turned, Raj leaves Vidya (knowledge) for Maya (illusion). 

And that is the crux of the film - Raj, with his Japanese shoes, his English trousers, and Russian cap, is an anomaly just as much as his character is a contradiction. He is a man struggling for survival and is willing to do just about anything to achieve material success. How, on the way, he pawns not only his gold medal, but also his own integrity, and how and where redemption awaits him forms the rest of the tale. 

The film's music (Shankar-Jaikishen) took the narrative forward, coming as they did at crucial moments in the plot. When Raj has a few qualms about Vidya leaving, Maya sings Mud mud ke na dekh, mud mud ke (do not look behind you); when Vidya, broken-hearted at Raj's betrayal bids him go away though she still loves him, the scene is emphasised with O jaane wale, mud ke zara dekh ke jaana - self-respecting Vidya will have nought to do with Raj such as he is, but she still loves him, and her weaker inner self begs him to 'look back just once'. 

And the song in the climax is wonderfully picturised - Raj returns to his old friends from whom his wealth had distanced him, and find them singing an ode to love and loss. Raj is watching from a distance as the refrain is carried by a handcart driver, a taangewala, and a milkman to Vidya as she sits desolate outside her home. As she sings of her pain, and her inability to forget her love for him, Raj joins in with the original singers. The prodigal has returned. There is hope yet.

Unlike Jaagte Raho, Shree 420 was a more optimistic look at urban society; there was corruption, and temptation, and vices, but there was also love, integrity and decency. And what a man does or becomes is in his own hands. 

5. Awaara (1951)
Awara introduced a generation of filmgoers to the lovable tramp that became indistinguishable from Raj Kapoor's reel-life persona. However, it wasn't as pronounced as it would come to be in later movies. Here, Raju is not just a tramp; he is a hardcore criminal, ironically thrust into the seamier side of life by his father disowning his mother.


The film opens with a court scene - vagabond Raju is being tried for the attempted murder of Justice Raghunath (Prithivraj Kapoor in full form). When it turns out that Raju has no lawyer to defend him, the court seeks to appoint one, but in walks Rita (Nargis, in a very powerful role), the judge's ward, and Raju's lover. She will fight the case in his defence, thank you very much. The judge glowers, but Rita is unperturbed. And she begins her cross-examination, calling the presiding judge into the witness box, with some of the most powerful lines ever said in (a Hindi film) court - she asks the judge, when, where and why (कब, क्यूं, और कैसे) he abandoned his wife. The power of the dialogues lie not in the words, but in the way they are said. 

And the scene is set for a long flashback. Judge Raghunath's wife (Leela Chitnis) is kidnapped by Jagga (KN Singh), in revenge for having been wrongly sentenced for rape. When he learns that his kidnap victim is pregnant, he is triumphant. The judge will pay, and he, Jagga, will not lay a hand on the woman. A few months later, she is returned unharmed. When Raghunath finds out that she is pregnant, he throws her out of the house. And she, weary and helpless, gives birth to a son, whom she tries to bring up with honesty and integrity. However, Jagga is still around. His twisted mind realises that if he can turn Raju into a criminal, it will complete his vengeance. So quoth he, and so it was. 

Raju meets Rita off and on in his childhood, but a fledgling friendship is destroyed by Raghunath, whose ward she is. They meet again, however, and this time, neither Raghunath's disapproval, barriers of morality, nor Raju's own hesitancy prove barriers to young love. Until Raju steals a necklace that the judge was bringing as a gift to his ward on her birthday. When Rita learns that the man she loves is a thief, she is heartbroken. And Raju withdraws; however, her love means much to him, and he yearns to break free from the chains that hold him back. But Jagga is still there, twisted, vengeful, criminal Jagga, who tells him that the way into crime is a one-way street. 

When Raju finally learns that Jagga was responsible for his parents' estrangement, he kills him, and then goes to Raghunath's mansion to kill him too. There is no love lost between him and his father. And now, his father is presiding over his son's case. Will the bitterness of the past be washed away? Or will he allow his emotions to rule over justice? 

This was a great film from a master director. With his foray into social problems, he wove skeins of romance and tragedy, crime and punishment, nature and nurture, music and drama into a cohesive whole. The movie had great performances from the two leads, whose chemistry on screen reflected their chemistry in real life (it is said). 

The story was anchored by a towering performance from Prithviraj Kapoor as the embittered father who cannot (or will not) see that he made a heinous mistake many years ago. Nargis was wonderful in her role as Rita, an independent young woman, educated, self-willed, and surprisingly modern - she loves Raju and sees nothing wrong in pre-marital sex. (And horror of horrors, she is not even punished for it, except by having to wait for Raju to complete his prison sentence!) She is willing to fight for her man, not by singing Bhajans in a temple and willing God to change him, but by entering the ring, no holds barred. 

Awara cannot be mentioned with a word (or two, or thousand) about its music. Apart from the consistently high quality of his music (everyone agrees that he had a highly developed sense of music, and could play many instruments - and well), the film showcased some of the best picturised songs in hindi films. One was the bar (not a nightclub) sequence where Cuckoo is dancing to the bawdy encouragement of the regulars who are partially or wholly tipsy. The song is overshadowed by their raucous laughter, and their lewd comments. At times, you can hear the conversation and the laughter above the song, which is the way it would be in real life. 

The second, of course, is the famed dream sequence, one of the finest ever picturised - where Raj feels the tug of war between his former life and his aspirations for a better one. He is caught between heaven and hell, as expressed in the brilliant double-sider Tere bina aag yeh chandni / Ghar aaya mera pardesi. It's a song that took three months to shoot, what with its architecture symbolising the steps climbing up to heaven, and the slippery slopes toward hell; a graceful Nargis promising redemption, and a giant KN Singh waiting for Raj to fall. There is a very interesting incident concerning the recording of this song. You can listen to one of the original musicians recount the anecdote, here. It is track number 5.4 on the list.

The refrain of O basanti pavan paagal plays intermittently in the background - a tune that Raj Kapoor would use almost ten years later in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai.

6. Anari (1959)
Anari fell into Hrishikesh Mukherjee's lap, thanks to Raj Kapoor. The latter had seen Hrishida's debut film Musafir and though the film was not a commercial success, was impressed by its director. And Hrishida returned the favour by crafting a simple moral tale of good and evil, with some very against-the-stereotype characterisations - starting with Kapoor. While Raj Kapoor was still playing the honest, intelligent, unemployed young man, Rajkumar, trying to navigate the shoals of a corrupt, materialistic world, it was a characterisation that was shorn of much of the usual mannerisms. 

He runs into Ramnath (Motilal) when he returns a well-filled wallet to the latter; pleased with his honesty, Ramnath gives him a job in his firm. And Rajkumar works there, diligently, not knowing that a consignment of medicines that have been delivered for sale to retail outlets is made of spurious drugs. And more trouble shadows him, as first, he learns that the 'poor ayah' Asha that he loved is actually Arti, this employer's cherished niece. Then his beloved landlady, Mrs D'sa (Lalita Pawar), falls ill, is given the contaminated medicine, and dies. And Rajkumar is arrested for her murder. Will he ever prove his innocence?

Nutan played Asha / Arti, the young niece of the affluent Motilal, and Rajkumar's love interest, who pretends to be poor in order to win his love, only to lose it when the pretence shatters. With Motilal as the uncle with grey shades to his character, and Lalita Pawar as the tart-tongued, kind-hearted landlady, the casting was pitch perfect. And the director, with a firm hand on the histrionics, toned down the entire pitch of the movie, keeping the narrative low-key, even as the story moved down a path of conflict between crass commercial interests and social responsibility, and the ending was happy - with reservations. 

The film won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 1959, and won Raj Kapoor a well-deserved Best Actor award; Lalita Pawar won Filmfare's Best Supporting Actress award, while Shankar-Jaikishen, Shailendra and Mukesh walked away with their awards for Best Music, Best Lyrics, and Best Playback (Male) respectively. 

7. Chori Chori (1956)
Probably one of the first 'Road' movies in Hindi films, Chori Chori was a very faithful adaptation of Frank Capra's It Happened One Night. It was a 'lighter' movie and one that exploited Raj Kapoor's talent for comedy, flashes of which had been glimpsed in his earlier works. And Nargis joined him as the ditzy heiress, Kammo, who is running away from home to marry a man (Pran) who, her father warns her, is a playboy after her wealth. Her father advertises a reward for news of her return - Rs1.25 lakhs.

On her travels, she runs into an impecunious journalist, Sagar, and they detest each other on sight. Despite that, Sagar agrees to help her, if he could have the exclusive scoop on her elopement and marriage. And so they set off, sparring with each other on the way, but eventually falling in love with each other. On the way, they run into a couple who, tempted by the vision of the reward, see Kammo only as a sawa lakh ki lottery. But four days later, Kammo is back home, and her father, seeing the change in his capricious daughter, gives in and agrees to her marriage with her playboy.

Only, Kammo does not seem as enthused about the marriage as she was before; and Sagar visits their home, asking for money, much to Kammo's chagrin. Was Sagar also in search of easy money? 

This was one of the few films in which Manna Dey (and not Mukesh) gave playback for Raj Kapoor. Shankar-Jaikishen came up with a brilliant score in this movie, ranging from the pathos-ridden Rasik balma, to the riproaring All line clear to the softly romantic Aaja sanam, to the frothy Panchchi banoon udti phiroon... and deservedly picked up their first ever trophy for Best Music.

The Raj-Nargis chemistry was as much on display here as in their earlier outings together. Who could have said, seeing them on screen that this film would see the last of the legendary RK-Nargis pairing? Nargis never acted with Raj Kapoor again, except for a cameo in Jagte Raho.
8. Aag (1948) 

Aag was the beginning of the journey for a man who was destined to be known as one of India's greatest directors. Directed when he was still 23, Aag was also the beginning of another partnership - that of Raj and Nargis, the adolescent daughter of Jaddan Bai. She was already a 'star' when Raj approached her mother to sign Nargis for Aag. Aag broke away from many of the accepted conventions of storytelling on screen; the dialogues were less studied, more natural; the hero was not so much a 'hero' in the accepted sense of the word, as a man plagued by his own insecurities, and his need for approval. 

Aag is one long flashback, a plot device that he used again in Awara. The film opens with a wedding. It's night and there is a bejewelled bride (Nigar Sultana) waiting for her new husband. Suddenly, the silence is broken by an agonising scream. Kewal (Raj Kapoor) is badly scarred, and his frightening visage scares the new bride, as she lies sobbing uncontrollably.

Kewal (a young Shashi Kapoor) is enamoured of the theatre, much to the dismay of his mother, and the disapproval of his father who wants him to study well and join the family business of law. His friend and classmate Nimmi is the only one who supports his infatuation; but alas, her father is transferred and she leaves Kewal behind. 

The story repeats itself in college, when his classmate Nirmala (Kamini Kaushal) is forced to leave; her marriage is arranged and she comes to college one last time to take leave of him. When he fails the end-of-the-year exams, Kewal's father is livid; he himself is unrepentant. A chance encounter with a rich theatre owner Rajan (Premnath), gives him the financial backing and moral support to begin his own theatre troupe. 

A new girl (Nargis) comes in for auditions and he renames her 'Nimmi'. As the rehearsals begin, she begins to fall for her young, handsome director. Kewal's interest in her is almost detached, but Rajan, a painter, is enamoured of her waifish beauty. And when Kewal realises that, he sets fire to his own face, disfiguring it - after all, it was his 'beauty' that drew Nimmi to him. Her disgust and shock is hard to hide, and she seeks solace in Rajan's arms.

This is his past; this is the story he narrates to the girl who, unwittingly, unknowingly, has become his bride. What will her reaction be? The ending is illogical, perhaps, but oh, so satisfying on an emotional, gut level! 

The film was made by a very young cast and crew - camera man VN Reddy was the oldest at 27! Raj Kapoor had many differences with his music director, Ram Ganguly during the film's making. And for his next film Barsaat, he picked up a tabla player and a harmonium player from Prithvi Theatres - and a new music duo came to be - Shankar-Jaikishen.

9. Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971)
Directed by son Randhir Kapoor, Kal Aaj Aur Kal narrates the tale of three generations and the ideological clash between the oldest (kal) and the youngest (kal), where the middle generation (aaj) is the unwitting victim. It starred Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor reprising their real life roles as grandfather, father, and son / grandson.

As Ram Kapoor (Raj Kapoor) eagerly awaits his son's (Randhir Kapoor) return from abroad, he manages to persuade his father Diwan Bahadur to leave the village and come live with him. The father and son are great friends and understand each other very well. The problem arises when the grandfather makes his appearance, and is shocked and disgusted at the 'wayward' ways of his only grandson. Neither side is willing to give an inch, and Ram, who understands and empathises with both his father and his son, is torn apart by their constant arguments, and is hard put to play peacemaker. 

It was a decent directorial debut, and Raj Kapoor was in fine fettle as the man caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. His helplessness comes through, as does his love for each of them. The songs weren't all that great, leading me to believe that the son had not inherited the father's sense of melody.

10. Andaz (1949)
Andaz came out a year after Aag. It co-starred Nargis and Dilip Kumar (in his only outing with Raj Kapoor). It brought the issue of platonic friendship between man and woman to the fore. And it was, and remains, a valid question. Where director Mehboob Khan erred was in making it an ideological divide between the 'westernised' society and the 'Indian' one- where a woman will never be friends with a man other than her husband.

Neena (Nargis) is the spoilt, headstrong, charming 'foreign-returned' daughter of a rich businessman (this is important, because it is this that excuses her behaviour; a girl brought up in India would never behave thus!); while out riding on an out-of-control horse, she is rescued by Dilip (Dilip Kumar) with whom she becomes friendly. He often visits her at home, entertaining her with his singing

Neena's father thoroughly disapproves of his daughter's free and easy ways, and warns her about the consequences of her behaviour. Neena is nonplussed. Why would anyone think anything? Alas, Dilip does, mistaking her easy friendliness for love, only to be pulled up short when her fiancé Rajan (Raj Kapoor) arrives. And Neena is in love with him! Dilip bows out gracefully, but Neena, not knowing the reason why, pulls him back into their lives with tragic consequences. This film was probably one of the first 'love-triangles' in Hindi cinema. It is certainly one of the finest. Even with its flaws (and I hated the 'Western = bad, Indian = good" trope, especially meant as it was for women's behaviour), Andaz was still ahead of its time. It's a  film that starts off lightheartedly enough, but descends into darkness as it moves on. 

While Nargis' Neena and Dilip Kumar's Dilip were sympathetic characters, Raj Kapoor's Rajan was such an irritating character on the face of it that one almost willed Neena to throw him over for the more restrained (and gallant) Dilip. His insecurities and his absolute caddishness make Rajan the sort of person whom one loves to hate. 

From his over-the-top lightheartedness in his initial scenes to the way his suspicions unravel, Raj Kapoor played him with a sincerity that made it plausible - his conduct is always as it is shown. He is emotional, he is friendly, welcoming Dilip as Neena's friend. Does he in fact, suspect that Neena is not as innocent as she claims? That she does, in fact, have a soft corner for Dilip? 

Again, this is not to blame Neena. How many of us have bloomed under a mutual attraction, even if we were never to talk about it? How many of us have flirted, quite innocently, without much thought for the ramifications of such conduct? Where the film faltered was in punishing Neena at the end - and oh, such a punishment!

It is easy enough to play a sympathetic character; it's hard to play one who is totally unlikable and still make that character work in that context. Raj Kapoor pulls it off with success. And I must confess that Andaz is the least favourite of my Raj Kapoor roles, but since I disliked him thoroughly in the movie, I can only say he succeeded in doing what his role set out to do.


As you can see from my l-o-o-o-n-g post, I am an unabashed fan of Raj Kapoor's. And I am a bigger fan of his direction than I am of his acting, so wait and watch for a Raj Kapoor post under 'The Masters' series. To those of you who do not like him (and you know who you are! Grrr!), don't say I didn't warn you!

83 comments:

  1. Is that meant for me, Anu? :) I must admit I liked him quite a bit in Jagte Raho and Teesri Kasam, and thought he looked rather dashing in Chori Chori. In fact, I wish he had done many more such roles (the Chori Chori kind) - you know? Films without any social message?? He carried it out quite well. And I must be one of the few who did like Andaz.

    I hated him in Mera Naam Joker and Sangam. And Satyam Shivam Sundaram was, as my father so euphemistically put it, "an old man's wet dream".

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  2. I sneaked in here from dustedoff's hoping to see the 10 raja-rani songs and got a treat with so much interesting material to read :)

    I started liking Raj Kapoor after Teesri Kasam, Jagte Raho and other such films. He looked quite attractive in some films too.
    His 'loving' tramp I don't like at all. Tolerated it in Jis Desh Mein Ganga behti hai because he wasn't in 'charlie chaplin' mode.

    Nice interesting blog, Anu.

    pacifist

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  3. Ruhi, unfortunately I seem to be surrounded by anti-Raj Kapoorites. :( Yes, et tu, brute! And trust you to like Andaz!!

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  4. Aargh! And I forgot to close the html tab!

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  5. Heh! And I am another of those anti-Raj Kapoorites. ;-) Though I freely admit that I really, REALLY like him in some films - Teesri Kasam, Jaagte Raho and Chori Chori are among my favourites (and Shree 420 isn't too bad, although whenever he begins to lapse into that 'lovable tramp' persona, it gets my goat).

    I am not terribly fond of Andaz - and RK's character made me want to poke his eyes out, he was such a ghastly man... but I like the fact that it's not as dated as some of the other films one sees from that period...

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  6. "But I am thinking seriously about it, and I think I am going to take off on your idea for the post. Songs by the raja or rani. Let's see where I can run with that!"

    Yay!! :-D I am looking forward to that!

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  7. Yeah, I know :( What to do? One cannot have everything. I forgive you your tresspasses :))

    And oh, I totally agree with you about Andaz. He was a ghastly character. But isn't it funny / strange that the film is still so, well, 'fresh' for want of a better word??

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  8. You know about my 'weakness' for Raj Kapoor and for his chaplinesque mode. But despite my reservations, I can't say that I don't like any of the movies, which you have mentioned.
    Teesri Kasam is one of my favourite films. Just love it and Raj Kapoor does justice to the role like nobody else. As for the other films, I saw them long time back!
    But you will be surprised, this time when I was in India, I bought a whole collection of films under his direction.
    He surely made some good movies and what is to be admired is, that he had his heart in the right place! He supported lots of people and their causes!

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  9. Heh. *One* RK fan like me. I can die happy. I think.

    I didn't like Andaz simply because of the way the subject was handled. I can understand if the message was that all actions have consequences, but not this whole 'blame the victim' attitude. I mean, Nargis paid. And paid. And paid. For what? For not noticing that Dilip was lattoo over her? Or for flirting with him a little bit? Or for the fact that her husband was an idiot? That whole scene leading up to the murder wanted me to snatch the gun out of her hands and kill RK, and I like RK!!

    I have all the RK movies - the ones he directed, I mean, with the exception of Satyam Shivam Sundaram. I couldn't bear to buy that. Have you seen Boot Polish? And Ab Dilli Door Nahin? He produced some fantastic movies. And everyone talks about how easy it was to direct him - he never played the director on the sets of other directors.

    You can tell I like him a lot, no??

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anu, thank you, thank you, thank you. I fell in love with Raj Kapoor while watching Chori Chori last year; it helps that Rishi is a great Raj Kapoor fan. So are his parents (now you know why he is named Rishi!) I haven't seen Teesri Kasam yet, and have demanded why of my husband! And *he* hasn't seen Teesri Kasam yet, and is demanding 'WHY' of himself! LOL

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  11. I saw this in the morning, but work interfered with my reading it. :( Especially, since I needed some time to be able to absorb the details and the trivia you usually give. What a wonderful post, Anu, and count me in as one of RK's fans. I just want you to know you are not alone! LOL

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  12. Tina, put Teesri Kasam on your to-watch list immediately! It really is worth watching. I didn't know that about Rishi's name, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I know - work has a habit of doing that. :( There is Tina and Harvey to give us company. I stopped feeling lonely when Tina came on board :)) But, more the merrier.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Now, if you hadn't mentioned that you like him, I would never have guessed! ;-)
    *in a whisper* To tell you the truth, I haven't msutered up enough courage to watch the DVDs I bought!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Harvey, I thought I was being discreet. :) Which of the RK films did you buy?

    ReplyDelete
  16. All the ones directed by him, starting from Aag till RTGM

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, good. I have all of his movies, except Satyam Shivam Sundaram. I don't think I would keep it if someone gave it to me for free. Did you know it was to originally star Lata Mangeshkar? He had thought of this movie way back when he was making Barsaat. And when he was casting, there was talk of it being offered to Amitabh Bachchan, but apparently the Kapoor sons put their collective foot down. The male leads in all RK productions have been Kapoors, and they wanted to keep it that way.

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  18. Really, Lata as an actress! Wow, that would have been something!
    I read somewhere that Raj wanted Hema to do the role and she wasn't ready to wear the 'costumes'. And then I read somewhere that Lata was hoping that Hridaynath, her brother would be asked to compose the music and when she returned from a US tour it LP, who were doing it and she was very furious at this fact but she still sang the title song with all vent-up anger!

    Being a Raj Kapoor fan, you must be knowing all this, but just wanted to boast of my 'knowledge'! ;-)

    lata in Satyam Shivam... that was a bombshell!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I didn't know Hema had been offered the role in SSS. I know Zeenat walked into RK's cottage in Chembur dressed in the SSS getup to prove she could be 'tribal'. :)

    As for Hridaynath Mangeshkar composing for SSS, he was indeed offered the film; but for some reason, RK changed his mind and LP were signed on. Lata was furious and said she would not sing; but PT Narendra Sharma said there was no question of anyone *but* Lata singing; and LP, who were her proteges said they wouldn't compose for the film if she didn't sing. And Hridaynath persuaded her not to back out; but the relationship between Lata and RK soured after that incident, though she did continue to sing for RK films.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow.. such an honest list. Thank god u dint include the usual lists in the usual order. you know, for once i thot u had copied my list from IMDB (:P), but after i read it in detail, i was pleasantly surprised.

    One disagreement though, i believe Phir Subha hogi performance was his best
    here is my list:

    http://www.imdb.com/list/J9wEWp4KHsA/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rohit, thanks for stopping by.

    for once i thot u had copied my list from IMDB (:P), but after i read it in detail, I was pleasantly surprised.

    LOL. I don't do 'copy'. Thank you of acquitting me of that. :)

    Truth be told, this is the first that I've heard of the lists on IMDB. I usually go there only to check out some reference point (and that too, with reservations, because IMDB doesn't always get everything right.) I did check out the link that you posted, though.

    As for 'Phir Subah Hogi' being his best performance, let's agree to disagree, shall we? :) After all, that's a very subjective opinion. I liked him in both. I think his 'tramp' persona got in the way of people thinking of him as a good actor, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ohkay... i guess u dint really lyk tht 'copy' thing, dint u? well.. i just meant tht it kind of surprised me tht i finally found sum1 tht knows tht RK was not all about Tramp stuff, nd u have to admit that our top three r way too similar, so just for 14 seconds i felt tht. never mind, forget it nd sorry if i need to say it

    and u r damn right there when u say tht his 'tramp' persona got in the way of people thinking of him as a good actor, unfortunately. i So wish ppl cud have seen Raj Kapoor beyond his Awaras and shree 420s...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ohkay... i guess u dint really lyk tht 'copy' thing, did u? well.. i just meant tht it kind of surprised me tht i finally found sum1 tht knows tht RK was not all about Tramp stuff, nd u have to admit that our top three r way too similar, so just for 14 seconds i felt tht. never mind, forget it nd sorry if i need to say it

    and u r damn right there when u say tht his 'tramp' persona got in the way of people thinking of him as a good actor, unfortunately. i So wish ppl cud have seen Raj Kapoor beyond his Awaras and shree 420s...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Rohit, No, I don't copy, and I have precious little respect for people who do. So, yes, I do not like being accused of it. All that is true - but you had already explained yourself in your original post, so I was happy that you realised, upon further reading, that I hadn't just lifted your list. *IF* I find something that I post 'as is' I credit it, with a link back to the original post, list, blog, website, whatever.

    But no worries. I wasn't angry or anything, if that's what you mean.
    I think we are fine here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yhh but i doubt if we are fine here, otherwise u wudnt have devoted Six lines of ur previous posts explaining. Ok Calm down, i dint know u will feel so offended. I know u dont copy. i just felt it for few seconds and said it. I was not 'accusing' you. That's a BIG word.

    We r both huge Raj Kapoor fans.. so lets make peace.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sigh. I explained because I thought your original post was in good faith (you thought I had lifted your list, you realised I didn't) and I thought you deserved an explanation. That is all. That was a statement of fact. Not because I was angry or upset.

    And yes, I can appreciate that we are both RK fans. :) Let's stick to talking about RK and his films. I'm glad you liked my post.

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  27. ok one last reply coz i feel i also need to 'explain', i just bumped onto this page from google. i dint even see before posting my post that u have created a huge website altogether, i thot u r just another RK fan who made a small webpage and posted some stuff lifted from here and there..

    Its only now that i checked the whole website, i realize that u r maybe some professional writer or something who is least interested in some random list created by some random guy..

    ok this was d last one... after this only RK talk

    ReplyDelete
  28. LOL about the random page. Don't worry. I said we were fine. I really meant it. Yes, I'm a professional writer; but I'm *always* interested in anything to do with films, so even your list, if I'd known about it, would have been interesting to me. I love films. I love RK. I grew up with a father who adored him, and he passed his love on to me. Anyone who wants to discuss RK (or anyone else, or films or film songs) is always welcome on my blog.

    So, welcome to you. I hope you visit again. Not just for RK but for everything else. And you are always welcome to disagree with anything I write. It is good to have different perspectives on things. As you said, 'Peace'.

    And now, I truly hope we are fine. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. NOW u 'actually' sound fine..

    well, its quite d same with me, my admiration for RK has passed onto me from my father, but only 'admiration'.!

    The 'love' that I have for Raj Kapoor is my own addition to my borrowed 'admiration'!

    Alright, looking forward to some more Raj kapoor discussions with u( u will have to xcuse my sms lingo though)

    ReplyDelete
  30. WOW, This is enlightening, all these comments I mean. To be frank, I haven't been fortunate enough to come across any Raj Kapoor fan, and based on the conversation about Raj Kapoor with my friends, acquaintances and the ppl I dont even know, I for once thought that all his achievements as an actor have been long forgotten and ignored (yhh I know that ‘forgotten nd ignored’ sounds painfully filmy nd dramatic).

    You know, with whomever I have talked, they only see Raj Kapoor as a ‘Charlie Chaplin wannabe’!. For them he cud never match up to the likes of Dilip Kumar and Devanand. Talk about surrounded by Anti Raj Kapoorites!!

    But reading the above comments, I feel kind of happy that so many ppl have seen movies like Teesri Kasam and Jagte Raho( no one I personally know has seen these)

    But for some reason, ‘Phir Subha Hogi’ has no mention even here. It was such a big hit back then and a little controversial too, but nobody seems to have seen it!! The thing that I prefer about his performance in PSH over his TK and JR was that he dint have to play someone totally different from himself. No different costumes, different make up, different accent…

    I believe its easier to get noticed in the roles which r not typically herolike. Everyone talks about them. But if you give a great performance in a role which is so common and doesnt require any diverse costumes or particular kind of make-up, that is something more commendable because one can find such roles everywhere, so to stand out amongst such crowded *similar type* of roles is very difficult and requires you to be really skilful.

    ReplyDelete
  31. WOW,, This is enlightening, all these comments I mean. To be frank, I haven't been fortunate enough to come across any Raj Kapoor fan, and based on the conversation about Raj Kapoor with my friends, acquaintances and the ppl I dont even know, I for once thought that all his achievements as an actor have been long forgotten and ignored (yhh I know that ‘forgotten nd ignored’ sounds painfully filmy nd dramatic).

    You know, with whomever I have talked, they only see Raj Kapoor as a ‘Charlie Chaplin wannabe’!. For them he cud never match up to the likes of Dilip Kumar and Devanand.

    But reading the above comments, I feel kind of happy that so many ppl have seen movies like Teesri Kasam and Jagte Raho( no one I personally know has seen these, few hav heard of them rather)

    But for some reason, ‘Phir Subha Hogi’ has no mention even here. It was such a big hit back then and a little controversial too, but nobody seems to have seen it!! The thing that I prefer about his performance in PSH over his TK and JR was that he dint have to play someone totally different from himself. No different costumes, different make up, different accent…

    I believe its easier to get noticed I the roles which r not typically herolike. Everyone talks about them. But if you give a great performance in a role which dint require any diverse costumes or particular kind of make-up, that is something more commendable because one can find such roles everywhere, so to stand out amongst such crowded *similar type* of roles is difficult and requires you to be really skilful

    ReplyDelete
  32. I really do not get the anti-RK movement. :) But then, one could say I'm biased. I have, however, persuaded people to watch Teesri Kasam, Jagte Raho, Chori Chori, Phir Subah Hogi and other such films; mostly, all of them have liked him in those. I would also add Anadi, Parvarish, etc., to the list. I agree that Phir Subah Hogi had him as the average man - with all its attendant flaws. So did Anadi, no? And Barsaat? I liked him in that too.

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  33. Yeah they did but in Phir Subha hogi, there was total absentism of Clownish and funny Raj Kapoor. He was way too real than he was in Anari and Barsaat.

    And about the Anti-RK thing, well.. u know, hardly one buys dvd's of old movies from market. ppl only see old movies on TV and that has what presented Raj Kapoor the way he is presented. All they show is Mera Naam joker and Sangam, though he was not tramp in them, but he was clownish, displaying the mannerisms ppl know him for..." Namaste JI, Main yeh hoon JII, Main woh hoon JII", u know.. tht sort...  so that is why ppl think tht this is all he cud do

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  34. I think the 'tramp' persona became so etched in people's minds that, after a period of time, they could not look beyond that. There are still many, many RK fans out there - two bloggers, who are non-Indian men who love anything to do with RK. :) Keep looking. Or drop by here for a chat about RK anytime.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Well.. i have looked all over and as i said, this is d only place I have found any fans. So dont u xpect me to just disappear after a handful of posts, I am going to bug you with a lot of them

    u said u recommend ur frnds his movies and tht reminds me of how in hostel i used to make my frnds to sit with me and watch RK movies!! u know, they used to b lyk, "bhai tujhe pagalpan chadha hai toh mujhe kyun bhaagidaar bana raha hai" but once the movies got over, they were like completely smitten by Raj Kapoor and it used to make me sooo happy..:)

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  36. You're welcome to post as many comments as you want; these blogs are forums for film lovers to meet and post.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey, Have you seen Aah? You must have, what
    do u think about the movie? You know, I liked the movie but then with any movie,
    the last 10 minutes are something, which can make or break a movie, and Aah’s last
    10 minute were disastrous… it could have been one of the well appreciated movies of Raj Kapoor otherwise. What do u think??

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  38. and Main Nashe Mein Hoon?? Now that was a miserable movie... mala sinha disguising as a man to seduce the 'doosri aurat' in Raj Kapoor's life.... that was ghastly, to say the least!!

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  39. I have seen Aah; the first time I saw it, I liked it. Upon subsequent viewings, I discovered that I really did not like so much self-sacrifice, so much nobility, if it meant keeping someone you love in the dark. It takes away the power to make decisions from her - I'm not much in favour of unilateral decisions. I liked the acting. Also, I think, movies like Aah must be viewed in context of the times in which they were made.

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  40. Now that's one movie I haven't seen! From what you tell me, I'm glad not to have seen it. I'm not a great fan of Mala Sinha at the best of times.

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  41. Exactly.. they have to be seen in the context of the times in which they were made, so in that sense, I was not really paying attention to the unrealistic sacrifices and nobility. So I quite liked it but climax ruined it all.. Does the sick man die or does he live??

    His doctor told the Raj he was a goner halfway through the movie, then changed his mind at the end and told him that the love of his life may be able to bring about a recovery. Now that's what you call putting pressure on a woman!!

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  42. LOL.. yeah.. You know, she actually pretends to be a rich man to show her husband that the other woman in his life is only after his money. 

    She moons the other woman, charms her with her supposedly MANLY charm and makes her 'fall in love' with her(her money rather). Raj Kapoor sees the 2 ladies together(of course one of them he believes to b a man) and realizes tht the other woman was just a Bitch!! 

    I am sure u r confused lyk anything, but blame it on the movie! :P

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  43. Actually, RK was supposed to die in Aah, without ever seeing Nargis again. However, the distributors put pressure on a 'happy ending' and therefore he lived. It's not one of RK's better movies, and it's not even an RK production. I liked it primarily for the chemistry between the leads, though I could have smacked Vijailakshmi for her not wanting to write to RK.

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  44. Good God! Now you have given me more than one reason NOT to see the movie! I'm down and suffering from the 'flu - please do not make it worse with stories such as these! Good God! I'd rather watch a nice movie like Chori Chori or something when I'm in this state.

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  45. Oh u r suffering from flu.. take care huh! Hope u r not in habit like mine of being ur own doctor.. anyways..I'm sure u get well soon.. :)

    btw.. u shudnt have chosen this day to get sick.. thts an insensitive choice!!

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  46. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAJ KAPOOR!!!!!!



    Ohhh how I wish I had some poetic talent so that i cud have written a
    mini-poem for the day... Raj Kapoor would have been 87 today. wish he
    was alive so that we cud have seen him celebrating with his pictures
    splashed all over newspapers and television or maybe an interview as well. I
    was just 2 when RK died, so i was never really aware his existence u
    know... Raj Kapoor has always been a 'passed away' man for me :(



    Senti thoda zyada ho gaya na??... xcuse me for tht!!!

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  47. yhh i know.. it was a flop actually. but it was an RK production, not directed by him, but he produced it

    lol for u wanting to smack Vijaylakshmi... but have pity on her... she hadn't seen him. For her, he seemed to b a Tarzanistic man or something!!

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  48. one more thing Anu... Can you suggest me any online video store or any place rather where i can get a good quality print of Phir Subha Hogi?? The one i have is all glitch and chopped off scenes, terrible resolution as well!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hope u r on a recovery path...hmmm..  achha have u seen Bewafa?? if u haven't, then try to watch it. Nothing great about the movie but it is worth a watch. It has the elusive pairing of Raj Kapoor and Ashok Kumar ofcourse( if u need a reason to watch it). and it is a nice movie anyways. But yes, u will have to watch it in the context of times it was made in.!!

    Good performances by everyone and it is kind of a mystery film(somewhat)...

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  50. Rohit, that's another RK film that I've inexplicably missed. Somehow, with so many good movie to watch, it's difficult to be enthused about bad films. Even for the songs. I'd much rather watch Chori Chori again.

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  51. Honestly? I have no idea. I do not know which version you have; a three-movie version seems to be available on Flipkart, but there is no mention of which company it is.

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  52. I'm sorry. But I didn't choose to fall ill, you see. :(

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  53. haha.. was just joking!! So u were sick all these days?? i hope not. How r u feeling now?

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  54. I have a video cd and i have been thinking to buy it from flipkart as well, but i dont think it wud b any better. Three movies for 32 Rupees!!!... it has to be hopeless i suppose!!

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  55. Noo... Trust me. Yes, it is not a great movie, but its far far from being a bad movie!..... Risk it once!! ;)... If u find it bad, then never ever watch a movie tht i recommend in future... But give it a chance..

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  56. Hey u know, I had seen Chori Chori some years ago, when I was not even a Raj Kapoor fan. i saw it and i liked it and i was a little surprised to see non-tramp Raj Kapoor(till then, even I believed tht he cudnt do nething else). But i still dint pay much attention, those days I was more into high octance thrillers and masala movies. i cared a least for acting u see!!

    But seeing it so high in your list and seeing its mention in many comments on this blog, i decided i wud see it again and i did. And well, what a mature performance given by Raj Kapoor, beautiful.
    Nargis has done a great job but you know, her acting still makes you remind of the 50' style of acting. But with Raj Kapoor, it doesnt really seem to be an acting tht belonged to a long bygone era... It is how a great actor wud act in 2011.
    I know being a Raj Kapoor fan, i may be sounding biased, but i am Raj Kapoor fan for a reason, and the reason is this.

    And u know wat, I have been an RK fan only from last 2 yrs. till then Mera naam joker and sangam were the only movies of his I had ever see, with bits and pieces of his tramp persona from other movies shown on TV. It was in the middle of 2009 when my final yr of colg started and we dint have much to do for first 2 months that I saw Jis Desh mein ganga behti hai, a likeable film. Chori Chori was still fresh in my mind and i was kind of wanting to see more of him(my father's favoritism of him dint really seem encourage me much)  So first thing, I rented Jagte Raho and Anari from a local video store and downloaded Andaz from the Internet.

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  57. In Anari, he just blew my mind. So naturally good in comic scenes and fabulosly expressive and emotive in those two scenes with Lalita Pawar, one where she is accusing him of stealing money and telling him to ask for forgiveness from Jesus and the other when he tells her tht he is leaving the house and pays her money for everything she did for him. I showed that movie to number of my 'unwilling' hostel friends and they were equally impressed(movie watching was a huge timepass 4 us in hostels).
    Andaz was not available anywhere but on Internet, there is a super crisp
    and clear print available. Before I saw it, I liked Raj Kapoor already,
    but wasn't really a fan. I still
    believed that maybe Dilip Kumar was a better actor, so I watched it without any bias. This is the movie that really made me Raj Kapoor fan despite his irritating character. Till he wasnt there in the movie, it was going with its usual pace predictably. Raj Kapoor entered the movie after 40 minutes and enthused such an energy into the movie that it suddenly became more than just watchable. I dont know what other's think, but for me, I believe he completely overshadowed Dilip Kumar in the movie. Raj Kapoor had a tough role to play, he had to be funny, he had to be irritating, he had to be sulking, he had to be a man with liberal thoughts and despite that he had to be full of suspicion for his wife.. I think he performed each dimension to his character to the Tee. With due respect, all Dilip Kumar had to do was to be Romantic.Romantic happy in the first half and Romantic sad in the rest.
    Jagte Raho toh... I dont really need to say much about tht.. u can figure out the effect it can have on a movie buff.
    I realize all this makes for an exhausting read, but I am just sharing my RK admiration with a fellow RK admirer...

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  58. Rohit, with all due respect, I think Dilipsaab was a far better actor. :) Ok, don't kill me - it's just my opinion. RK was a better actor than most people give him credit for being, but he was not a patch on DK. I actually found him irritating in Andaz, but then that was the beauty of the character, and how deeply he entered into it.

    I like him, period. So it really does not matter to me if others are good, or better or worse. Which is also the reason why I can enjoy a Salman Khan movie, and then watch Aamir Khan. :)

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  59. RK's Chori Chori was certainly one of his finest light performances; I wish he had done more of those - the urban comedies. I think he would have been perfect! Which is why I liked him in Awaara; take away that 'tramp' song, and he is a rough urban small-time gangster. I thought he was brilliant! Another one of his unremarked-upon-performances is in the long-derided Mera Naam Joker.

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  60. No, I wont kill you. But well, talking about me, I do not think Raj Kapoor was best because he is my favourite. On the contrary, he is my favourite because i think he was the best. As i told u earlier, I liked Dilip Kumar more than RK, but after i saw other RK movies, I realized how natural he was. Dilip Kumar.. dont mind me but he was loaded with overacting and fake expressions..  Yhh.. another superstar, Amitabh, I wud say was special..

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  61. Exactly, he was hardly a tramp in Awaara. But that one song overshadowed everything else..

    I guess you must be knowing that the 'Time' magazine rated his performance in Awaara as one of the top ten greatest performances of world cinema ever..

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  62. We can always agree to disagree. After all, variety is the spice of life. :)

    Amitabh.... well. :))

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  63. But that one song overshadowed everything else..

    Sad, but true.

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  64. 'I think Dilipsaab was a far better actor.'

    As you might have expected, I have lost my
    sleep over THE statement. I anyways have hardly been sporty enough to accept
    the ‘Agree to disagree’ tag! For me it has always been ‘My way or Wrong way’…….
    Alright, I can imagine u making those faces while reading this! .. m just kidding!! :) :P


     


    On a serious note, I never had problems
    with overacting. ‘Superstars’ have to overact, otherwise they wud just be the
    ‘aankhon ka tara’ of critics.. not the audience as a whole. SRK overacts,
    infact Amitabh overacts many a times too. But these are actors who overact
    because they can act, srk is a real good actor when it really comes down to
    acting, no two ways about it. but Dilip Kumar…..??


    I have seen number of his movies lately and
    I may sound disrespectful but he seemed to me a typical actor of the 50’s who
    hardly knew how to act, as were Devanand and Rajesh Khanna (I am talking of
    ‘heroes’ primarily). I can never imagine Dilip Kumar doing what RK did in Phir
    subha… or jagte raho or tessri kasam. But I can imagine Raj Kapoor doing what
    DK did in madhumati or Devdas or what Devanand did in Kala paani.


     


    Raj Kapoor and then Amitabh were the actors
    who showed ppl that you can ‘act’ and still be superstars. I will give u 1
    example from Andaz. Watch that scene that is just before the entry of Raj
    Kapoor the film, after Nargis sings the song’ koi aane waala hai’. Dilip Kumar
    sees Nargis happy after a long time and then says some poetic dialogues I don’t
    remember really sumthin lyk’ aaj to aasmaan se something ki bearish hogi aur
    farsh pe something phail jayenge” Watch carefully how he delivers those
    dialogues with very evident phoney expressions and then imagine if same
    dialogues were given to Raj Kapoor, how he wud have done tht. PLEASE watch tht
    scene once, its only one of the many examples. PLEASEEEEE.

    Also one scene where Nargis has given birth to a baby and Raj Kapoor meets her on the hospital bed and says Tumhare bagair aisa lag raha hai jaisa main kahin beech sadak pe khada hun, aur mere saara samaan kahin kho gaya hai' Tht dalogue is something lyk tht. Watch carefully how he delivers tht with all the 'Naturalness' in the world. Imagine Dilip Kumar mouthing the same dialogue then.... I understand tht ASSUMING does not make sense, but here it will, trust me!

    PLEASE WATCH THESE TWO SCENES

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  65. Rohit, when I said 'Let's agree to disagree' I meant let's leave aside the matter of who is the better actor and just enjoy our own choices. I'm certainly not going to debate this with you and no amount of watching any scenes is going to make me believe anything other than that Raj  Kapoor is a fine actor, and an often-overlooked one (which I have always believed; I do not need to hit on the head with that fact). But knowing that he is a good actor is not going to change my opinion that Dilipsaab was a far better actor. And that is all it is - my opinion. You are entitled to yours. Therefore, let's agree to disagree.

    Your 'My way or the highway' attitude is not going to win anyone over to your side of the argument. Bashing people over the head with the same thing over and over again is not going to help. Just an opinion. You're free to ignore it.

    ReplyDelete
  66. And oh, someone does not have to 'bad' for someone else to be 'good'. I'm reminded of something that Kamalhaasan (one of the finest actors we have, by the way, in an language) said when he was awarded one of his many National Awards for Best Actor: It does not mean that I am the 'best' actor in the country. It only means that my performance in this film *this* year was considered better (by the jury) than the others who were pitted against me in the same category. It does not take into account the many performances that were not seen by the members of the jury.

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  67. When u talk of the unseen performances getting or not getting recognition, let me remind u tht i mentioned in my comment that I thought Raj Kapoor was best actor when i compare him with the ones who have played 'heroes' in their movie.
    For god sake, u cant xpect me to watch every actor and tht too from every region from India and then decide tht who's my favourite. 
    I only watch hindi cinema, which has had lakhs of actors by now, so I am only considering the 'heroes'. not really naseeruddin shahs and om puris, mayb they r better than him.
    I anyways m not a film critic who has to see all the movies. As a fan, from what I have seen of commercial cinema, Raj Kapoor is best. 

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  68. And about the stuff tht sum1 doesnt have to b bad for sum1 to b gud.. Forget Raj Kapoor, I anyways have tht view 4 dilip kumar and devanand. Just because they r legends, i cant fake likingness.
     Now MALA SINHA is also considered one of the finest actresses in India, but u really havent been kind enuf to her whenever her name has been mentioned in d comments. Why?? rn't u disrespecting her now?? Dilip Kumar was gr8 but Mala Sinha was bad huh? You remind me of tht old school book dictum, "same sex repel each other". and plz dont come with the data tht Dilip Kumar has four filmfare awards to his name and Mala Sinha has none.

    In 2007, Salman Khan was nominated for 'Best Actor' category for his role in partner, while Akshaye Khanna( who perhaps deserved to win) wasnt even nominated. So plz dont give me the award thing

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  69. Liking or disliking Mala Sinha has nothing to do with her acting abilities. (or her gender. There are plenty of actors I do not like as well - Rajendra Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Bharat Bhushan....) I don't like Nanda either. But I don't go around to someone who likes Mala Sinha and / or Nanda and say 'Oh think of Waheeda Rehman in Guide or Teesri Kasam. Could Mala Sinha have done this role? I don't think so - she is overacting.' That is the difference between you and me. I'm not interested in who gets an award. If I like the performance, that is what matters to me.

    You do not have to like Dilip Kumar. Or Dev Anand. Or anybody else. But that does not give you the right to slam me for my opinion that Dilip is a better actor. You can disagree with me. No probs. But to spent a whole post telling me to watch this scene and that scene and saying that DK would have said the same dialogue with phone expressions? *THAT* is headbashing. Because you do NOT know how anyone else would have played that role, because no one else did. Simple.

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  70. Did I ask you to watch Kamalhassan? I paraphrased a remark of his that I found very sensible. Awards mean nothing. Because the judging is subjective. So, for you RK is the best. I have no argument with that statement. Because it is your opinion. Do me the same courtesy of allowing me my opinions. Which is why, *right at the beginning* I said let us agree to disagree. If you cannot do that, then please... I have no wish to continue. Discussion is fine; repeating the same opinion countless times until you get me to agree with you, gets rather frustrating.

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  71. I did what??? slammed ur opinion?? And what's wrong if i asked u to compare. I mean come on..We are not making some 'faisla' here as to who should get Bharat ratan between RK and DK. Its a friendly discussion or 'debate' as u like to put it.
    In friendly conversations, we do tht.. 'yaar agar us movie mein shahrukh ke badle aamir hota na... to aisa hota) Thts wat I did. Why do we have to be so conscious of what we r writing??
    And assuming that we have to be... then why r we writing tht male personalities in Hindi cinema consider actresses as their properties... and tht directly refers to Raj Kapoor and Devanand. I only said Dilip Kumar was a bad actor. Someone almost assasinated Devsaab and Raj Kapoor's character, and u were absolutely with tht!

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  72. Despite of what u think, I only asked u to watch some movies or scenes in the same taste u ask ur friends to watch teesri kasam. If they thot Raj Kapoor was all tramp and not really a good actor, then y did u not agree to disagree?? Why did u persuade them to watch his movies?? To change their opinions, right?? Now if i want you to change ur opinion, why am i evil??

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  73. Alright, Dont make me sound like a creep. Tht statement about assasination character thing is just to compare ur reactions to  what I said and to what harvey said. 
    If my saying tht Dilip kumar was a bad actor and u shud watch this and tht scene evoked such a reaction from u, then this should have been 10 times more provoking for u

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  74. And u say tht if they dont like Raj Kapoor, u dont *keep them* telling watch this watch tht.
    When did i KEPT telling u to watch the scenes?? I only told u once. If u had watched and stil had the same opinion, I wouldnt have been after ur life and bashing ur head to watch more scenes of other movies. I only asked u ONCE.

    And about the my way highway, I am not the kind of defensive guy who wud say sumthing and upon getting an unfavourable response, say "arre yaar mein to mazaak kar raha tha". I was ACTUALLY kidding and tht is whu i say i was kidding. Period.

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  75. Oh, I love Raj Kapoor. :) My grandma's favorite actor. You know, Awaara and Shree 420 were the first B & W movies I saw? They used to show on Zee TV from time to time, and I just used to watch for fun. I wasn't like - BLEH, BLACK AND WHITE, I'M NOT GONNA WATCH, but they were awesome! And I remember once I came back after a shopping trip and my grandma was watching Sangam. Don't ask me how I remember.

    I dunno why people hate him or think he's overrated. He's cute, damn it, he was a GENIUS. He was really good at his craft. I just love his acting and all. Shree 420 is probably one of my all-time favorites. And the songs! If it wasn't for him, there would be no Shailendra, no S-J and no tramp persona.

    Do you think his affair with Nargis was real? My grandma said they were really in love. I love the Raj - Nargis pair too, and you know... I kind of think that he became narcisstic and Satyam Shivam Sundaram and all (OKOK, Dev was at fault too. Geez, Dev, what the hell? Falling in love with Zeenat? Another topic for another day, I suppose. -sigh-) that because he didn't get Nargis and all... I don't know, really. He had a lot of affairs though. (That time we were watching Bollywood Families and the commentator also said Dev had a lot of love affairs. Gosh. o_O Don't want to know, don't need to know.)

    Also, I just watched a bit of Dhool Ka Phool. WHAT THE HELL?! WHAT THE HELLL?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?? WHAT. THE. HELL. ?!!?!?!? ?!? ?!?!?! q?! ?!? ?!?v !? ?!?? He promises to marry Mala and then what, GET MARRIED?!!?! ??!!? WHAAAAAT?!!?!? It wasn't Rajendra's fault, it was whoever wrote the darned script's fault!

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  76. Yes, I love Raj Kapoor. I love him in all his avatars, even if his tramp persona overrode everything else. (Which is a shame, because there was so much more to him than Charlie-Chaplin-wannabe.) To really appreciate RK, watch Jagte Raho, Phir Subah Hogi, Teesri Kasam ... oh, and a host of others. (But then, I'm the wrong person to ask. I'm biased in his favour, what do I know? :))

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  77. I really wanna watch those, we have to watch them when I come over! XD I want to watch... Chori Chori!

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  78. Here. My good turn for the day. :)
    http://www.veoh.com/watch/v10865421mk876rn8

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  79. Permit me to share an interssting article on RK by Aravind Adiga - 'A tale of two artists' - http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-03-03/edit-page/31117421_1_raj-kapoor-archie-comics-charles-dickens

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  80. That's damn funny that he should link to Dickens! Funny-strange, I mean. I had thought to myself that the mirror scene in Shree 420 was so Dickensian - but that was only because PBS' Masterpiece Theatre had a piece on the Ghost of Christmas Past - and I was watching Shree 420 at the same time - and thought the analogy was apt! Of course, Adiga didn't mention the scene at all; he found the pawn shop and the portrait Dickensian - and I didn't. At all. But I like the parallelism of thought.

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