Seminal Cinema Outfit

Classic, Foreign and Rare Film

Required Reading

“The core of the film is the characterization of two, deeply imperfect characters, evading trouble, trying to find solution to a problem, coming close to each other, and as always, the hallmark characteristic of a good film, it is full of sympathy for the characters. Despite the fact it seems dated, slightly thespian, over the top at times.” – Read more at Mad About Movies


“Comparison in cinema is a useless and unreasonable exercise. But here, taking example from two films of the same genre from the same production house and within a span of less than a decade, each winning the Best Director Filmfare Award in their respective years, I want to insist on the essential ingredients of good cinema. This comparison clearly suggests that while Kanoon was an improvement over its script, Ittefaq was only saved by its writing.” – Read more at Cinema is Forever


“With limited characters and the entire drama unfolding almost in one house, the movie has its focus pretty clear and it is one rare movie from its times which has no subplots, no distractions whatsoever. The drama between Dilip and Rekha is the highpoint of the enterprise, with the last thirty minutes being edge of the seat stuff.” – Read more at Recall and Relish

Part I

Part II

Required Reading

“On the face of it, Raj Kapoor’s “Awara” is a typical potboiler with a convoluted plot. In fact, there is so much in the plot that the first twenty minutes of the flashback are hurried through and the viewer is left thinking “woah, what happened there!?”. The device of a speeded-up beginning is something that Manmohan Desai later picked up on and used for his lost and found sagas. It is a shame really because after the confused beginning, there is more to “Awara” than meets the eye. If somebody who did not have much knowledge of Hindi cinema were to give this film a chance, that person would have to be open-minded to venture beyond the beginning and taste the fruits of this classic. Thankfully, the intriguing courtroom scene just before the flashback begins makes us curious to see what happens thereafter.” – Read more at Planet Bollywood


“The superlatives surrounding this 1951 Raj Kapoor movie are a little arresting – most successful Bollywood film, even “most popular film of all times” (link)… I had watched it once, and coming as it did for me after and Shree 420(1955) and Jagte raho (1956), I confess I was a little disappointed. So when I read about the movie’s stunning fortune in the Eastern block, in China, Turkey, and god knows where else, I started wondering: how come it was so successful? What struck the 1950s public as so fascinating? When crowds cheer to that extent, I always think there must be a reason! I decided to watch it again. And that’s when it worked! I had previously thought it was too preoccupied by effects (the special effects of the 1950s!), and that its artistic intention had perhaps been hampered by the impatient desire to demonstrate what the newly Raj Kapoor studios (not even finished: see here) were able to do. I thought it wanted to say too much; that it was weighed down by a certain demonstrative attitude, a certain experimentalism, that it didn’t lift itself out of that psychological and symbolical exercise, and just didn’t reach the skies of perfection I was hoping it would reach! Grace, that was what was missing.” – Read more at Let’s Talk about Bollywood


“Of course, I didn’t understand anything of the film’s deeper story when I watched it as a child, but as I got older I began to recognise the social themes Awara was exploring; the divide between rich and poor, injustice and attitudes to women in society. Later on when I began watching the films of Charlie Chaplin I remember thinking how much the little tramp resembled the one from Awara, not realising which one had really come first.” – Read more at Static Mass

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