Raj Kapoor's Awara, released over half a century ago, is widely regarded as a classic of Indian cinema. With its socialist message, the unprecedented intensity of its central romance, the memorable songs and the hugely popular character of the Vagabond - the tramp as the quintessential 'common man' - the film captured the imagination of a young, independent nation. It also made Raj Kapoor perhaps the most famous Indian in the erstwhile Soviet Union, China and the Middle East.
In this award-winning book, first published in 1992, Gayatri Chatterjee examines every aspect of Awara to try and understand not just its popular and enduring appeal but also its intrinsic merits as pure cinema. By situating it in a historical, social and political context, and decoding key shots, sequences and sons, she analyses the different levels at which the film works.
Containing over 100 photographs, this exhaustive study brilliantly uses a single landmark film to investigate the complex and often fascinating phenomenon of popular cinema in India.
About the Author
Gayatri Chatterjee is an independent scholar working in Film and Cultural Studies, Based in Pune, she teaches in India and has lectured in USA and Europe. Awara was awarded the Swarna Kamal, the President's Gold Medal, for the Best on Cinema. She is also the author of Mother India (2002).
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