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Raj Kapoor, Bollywood's greatest showman

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Raj Kapoor, the name is enough. In his films, screenplay, music, acting, etc. were pretty solid. Created the right mix for substance and masala entertainment! I tend to associate Bollywood's golden age with his tenure as the director esp. from Awaara to Ram Teri Ganga Maili. 

 

 

Which is your favorite Raj Kapoor film as an actor and as a director? 

 

 

Below is a list of Raj Kapoor directed films:

Aag (1948)

Barsaat (1949)

Awaara (1951)

Shree 420 (1955)

Sangam (1964)

Mera Naam Joker (1970)

Bobby (1973)

Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978)

Prem Rog (1982) 

Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985)
 

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23 hours ago, zen said:

Raj Kapoor, the name is enough. In his films, screenplay, music, acting, etc. were pretty solid. Created the right mix for substance and masala entertainment! I tend to associate Bollywood's golden age with his tenure as the director esp. from Awaara to Ram Teri Ganga Maili. 

 

 

Which is your favorite Raj Kapoor film as an actor and as a director? 

 

 

Below is a list of Raj Kapoor directed films:

Aag (1948)

Barsaat (1949)

Awaara (1951)

Shree 420 (1955)

Sangam (1964)

Mera Naam Joker (1970)

Bobby (1973)

Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978)

Prem Rog (1982) 

Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985)
 

Awaara would be my clear no. 1, Mera Naam Joker (1970) is no. 2, and there's a few at roughly same level

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On 1/21/2022 at 12:00 PM, Vijy said:

Awaara would be my clear no. 1, Mera Naam Joker (1970) is no. 2, and there's a few at roughly same level

 

His performance in Awaara is cool as it touches upon various emotions ... Overall, I like his acting in general in songs too ... I have not watched Mera Naam Joker recently so will reserve my judgment on it (probably last watched over a decade ago) 

 

Edited by zen
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5 minutes ago, Mariyam said:

@zen

Chori Chori deserves a mention.

 

My favs are Shree 420, Awaara and Chori Chori.

 

Unbearable ones: Mera naam joker. Chhalia.

 

Chori Chori is a good film with superb songs ... However, I only listed the films directed by Raj Kapoor. As an actor, he has worked in many films 

 

After I watched It Happened One Night (1934), Chori Chori feels okayish 

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Better ATG actor than director/showman. His stature as a filmmaker is overrated because of the songs in his movies being popular.

Awaara is top-notch and he went downhill as a filmmaker like the downhill of RGV/VVC from Satya/Parinda. Didn't he direct Andaz too? I never liked him as a Director.

Sangam is a borefest like MNJ. It is hyped because of the songs which are popular because of a S-J music. From Bobby and even in MNJ he turned into a leech person showing women as a showpiece/sex object. 

 

His best movies as an actor are Teesri Kasam, Andaz (although DK outacted him), Boot Polish and even liked his acting in Anadi . Talentwise I rate DilipKumar, RajK. Dev Anand in that order.

Edited by coffee_rules
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Talking about RK the filmmaker, you get a magical experience in his films where you want to stop everything and watch the film ... I was multitasking - doing something and also listening to some old songs on YT ... As soon as I heard "ishwar satya hai" I stopped what I was doing, and hypothetically listened to the song with full attention ... RK films have that power. He is definitely among my favorite filmmakers of all time from across the globe :hatsoff: 

 

 

 

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I read some tweets on RK's films at the box office adjusted for inflation: 

 

 

 

  • Shree 420 - 618 cr

 

  • Sangam - 760 cr 

 

  • Mera Naam Joker -  951 crore

* 73.1 million tickets were sold in Soviet Union
* This was released in 3 parts

 

  • Bobby would be 1000+ cr 

 

 

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9 hours ago, ravishingravi said:

Mera Naam Joker was ambitious. I watched it as kid in theatres in one of the re-runs in Kolkata. Left a strong impression. 
 


Will try to revisit MNJ in the near future. 

RK’s acted and directed films have their own charm. Once he became a director only, he weaved various social issues and/or passed beautiful messages (which would have been influential during that period) in his films as well: 

 

Bobby - Rich and poor can mix, including getting married. Started a trend of such romantic films. Loosely remade as Maine Pyar Kiya … Mera Naam Joker is a highly acclaimed film now but wasn’t understood well at its release in India. Many people even claimed that RK was finished. RK is said to have remarked that these people do not know what RK is. Bobby followed 

 

Satyam Shivam Sundaram - About the importance of giving more weightage to inner beauty not physical beauty … First half is fairytale like

 

Prem Rog - Widows social life don’t end with the end of their husbands’ lives 

 

Ram Teri Ganga Maili - How innocence gets washed away once you grow up … From what I remember listening to Randhir is that RK got obsessed with the song “Ek Radha, EK Meera” when he heard it at a function. He immediately purchased the song and hired the music director. RK and the music director went to Goa to compose other songs. Based on the songs, RK created the story along the lines of how Ganga is pure when it starts out in the unadulterated mountains, getting dirtier as it interacts more and more with the messy environment on its journey farther. Also an analogy with youth where all kids are pure but as they grow up, the social environment influences them to not remain as “pure” … And then the deeper meaning in line “Ram teri Ganga maili ho gayi papi o ke paap dhote dhote”

 

Genius!!!

 

Edited by zen
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3 hours ago, zen said:


Will try to revisit MNJ in the near future. 

RK’s acted and directed films have their own charm. Once he became a director only, he weaved various social issues and/or passed beautiful messages (which would have been influential during that period) in his films as well: 

 

Bobby - Rich and poor can mix, including getting married. Started a trend of such romantic films. Loosely remade as Maine Pyar Kiya … Mera Naam Joker is a highly acclaimed film now but wasn’t understood well at its release in India. Many people even claimed that RK was finished. RK is said to have remarked that these people do not know what RK is. Bobby followed 

 

Satyam Shivam Sundaram - About the importance of giving more weightage to inner beauty not physical beauty … First half is fairytale like

 

Prem Rog - Widows social life don’t end with the end of their husbands’ lives 

 

Ram Teri Ganga Maili - How innocence gets washed away once you grow up … From what I remember listening to Randhir is that RK got obsessed with the song “Ek Radha, EK Meera” when he heard it at a function. He immediately purchased the song and hired the music director. RK and the music director went to Goa to compose other songs. Based on the songs, RK created the story along the lines of how Ganga is pure when it starts out in the unadulterated mountains, getting dirtier as it interacts more and more with the messy environment on its journey farther. Also an analogy with youth where all kids are pure but as they grow up, the social environment influences them to not remain as “pure” … And then the deeper meaning in line “Ram teri Ganga maili ho gayi papi o ke paap dhote dhote”

 

Genius!!!

 

Raj Kapoor was bankrupt after Mera Naam Joker, for 4 years they (RK khaandaan) were acting for others producers to survive. 

 

Bobby was financed by Haji Mastan, the gangster and that movie resurrected the RK Films Studios and Khaandaan.
 

By his own biographical account, he was influenced by Archie comics for content of Bobby , by the equation of Archie, Betty and Veronica and the class struggle in a western middle class view more comically 

 

 

 

In an Indian movie context, Sujata, in the 60s, depicted this class struggle of rich vs poor for romantic interests, more classier than Bobby. RK was more about fluff that later filmmakers like Subhash Ghai, Suraj Barjatya and Karan Johar copied. 

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2 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:

RK was more about fluff that later filmmakers like Subhash Ghai, Suraj Barjatya and Karan Johar copied. 

 

RK is a mainstream filmmaker specializing in mixing substance with masala entertainment ... Like you said, he mastered quality masala entertainment, influencing various filmmakers 

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12 hours ago, ravishingravi said:

Mera Naam Joker was ambitious. I watched it as kid in theatres in one of the re-runs in Kolkata. Left a strong impression. 
 

it is not only his most ambitious film, but also the most complex, misunderstood and personal film of kapoor's career. My no. 2 pick after awaara

Edited by Vijy
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Talking about films directed by RK, in the 2020s (last 2-3 years), I have seen 4: 

 

  • Awaara & Shree 420: I like to club these two as they share the iconic Raju character. Perfected and demonstrated the Bollywood style of filmmaking. Awaara is relatively serious while Shree 420 is mostly all out fun.
  • Sangam: It is a sophisticated film. The film is relatively less formulaic than those of the period where sad sequences would be followed by comedy sequence featuring specialist comedian (Tun Tun and co). The acting is top notch, oozing style through understatedness of the Rajendra Kumar, and the display of pain using sarcasm by Raj Kapoor once he perceives the situation. Vaijantimala completes the triangle with some good acting displaying both disdain and love eloquently. The finale is mind blowing! 
  • Satyam Shivam Sundaram: Many of its songs are mesmerizing. The first half is fairytale like - a kind of cinderella story where the slippers are replaced with songs. Shashi and Zeenat look good on screen. It has a village atmosphere and integrates flood elements well in the final segment (considering there is no villain to beat in the film unless you want to count Shashi's character as one). Also a psychological study of a beauty obsessed person

 

Will attempt to rewatch others too. 

Edited by zen
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PS To add to my post on Bobby, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Prem Rog, and Ram Teri Ganga Maili ... As discussed they are all love stories told in 4 different ways weaved with different social issues ... Also these are by and large heroine centric. Bobby is more about Dimple's Bobby, SSS is more about Zeenat (Shashi has negative shades), Prem Rog is centered around Padmini, Ram Teri Ganga Maili is centered around Mandakini's character!! 

 

 

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On 1/22/2022 at 2:51 PM, Vijy said:

it is not only his most ambitious film, but also the most complex, misunderstood and personal film of kapoor's career. My no. 2 pick after awaara


How is it misunderstood? Have you watched it recently? Please elaborate. His biography said he fell in love with all his heroines from Nargis, Vyjayanthimala, Padmini and Zeenat. The movie is self-indulgent crap. I don’t know how it can leave strong impression @ravishingravi

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25 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:


How is it misunderstood? Have you watched it recently? Please elaborate. His biography said he fell in love with all his heroines from Nargis, Vyjayanthimala, Padmini and Zeenat. The movie is self-indulgent crap. I don’t know how it can leave strong impression @ravishingravi

I did watch it quite recently, but I don't see what the timing of my watching has anything to do with it. it is misunderstood because it was seen (and still is seen by many) as being titillating and/or mindless entertainment. In actuality, it is quite a nuanced exploration of the various stages of a performer/artist's life, what it means to be a struggling creator (in raju's case, clown), and so on. It is loosely reminiscent of chaplin's "Limelight". Both of these are flawed films (Limelight has fewer flaws), but they explore in depth the ups and downs of an artistic psyche.

 

any movie list is subjective. I wrote it was "My no. 2 pick", not that it should be everyone's no. 2 pick.

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