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Studying Indian Cinema$
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Omar Ahmed

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733681

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733681.001.0001

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Popular Narratives

Popular Narratives

Awaara (The Vagabond, 1951, Dir. Raj Kapoor)

(p.11) Chapter One: Popular Narratives
Studying Indian Cinema

Omar Ahmed

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the cinema of Raj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor's key role in helping to popularise Indian cinema proves to be a worthy starting point in tracing the origins and development of popular narratives and genres. The Kapoor dynasty was paramount in the evolution of mainstream Indian cinema. Indeed, the international success of Awaara (The Vagabond) in 1951 marked the beginning of a decade that would produce some of Indian cinema's most memorable films. The chapter considers a range of areas, comprising of Raj Kapoor's status as an auteur, ideological representations, visual styles ranging from noir to expressionism, the use of song and dance as a narrative tool, and the film's relationship with the wider context of post-partition India under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru.

Keywords:   Raj Kapoor, Indian cinema, popular narratives, popular genres, Awaara, mainstream Indian cinema, auteur, expressionism, post-partition India, Jawaharlal Nehru

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