Thursday, 2 September 2010
Raj Kapoor's directorial wand almost plays vibgyor tricks. What he started in Awara (I'm talking of his tramp persona) he completes here. But, unlike Raj Raghunath, Ranbir Raj is more complete and special. His transformation from the truthful and hardworking young man from Allahabad to the smart Alec from Peeplinagar is more credible. When he sings Mera joota hain japani (Mukesh) you get a whiff of the candidness with which he walks into the big bad city. Here is a man who is educated, honest and ready to work hard. But such is the system of society that these jewel qualities will hardly fetch him the reward. It takes some time before he learns that he will soon have to sacrifice his integrity to live a decent life; that this candour will cost him his goodness. This transformation is depicted well, is gradual and hence believable. Four years of experience (Awara happened in 1951) surely refined the director in Kapoor.
Accolades for music directors Shankar Jaikishan. They were simply fantastic in this film. Every song is a veritable gilded classic. Be it Pyar hua ikrar, Ichak dana, Mud mud ke na dekh, Dilka haal sune dilwala, ramaiya vastavaiya, Mera joota hain japani or Ae janewaley, the film would have looked empty without them. If the characters and the story are the heart, the songs are definitely the soul.
But the one who stands out the the most is Ranbir Raj (Kapoor used his original name in this classic). When he is good, he is adorable (a bit shabby though, but given his poverty that is inevitable) and sweet. He is self deprecating at times and always ready to forgive and forget. These qualities in fact, enhance his appeal (though sometimes you might he irked by his innate goodness). He has the uncanny ability of laughing at himself (he reveals that he camouflages his sorrows with laughter) and gives himself time to merge into the vein of Bombay. He pursues Vidya with his characteristic charm and doesn't waste a chance to tell her how he feels. In this sweet Raj's portrayal, Kapoor shows his finesse.