VOTE: Which Raj Kapoor film should be colourised?
Adding colour to monochrome memories is one of man’s greatest inventions.
Utilising this technology, Bollywood has resurrected glorious classics like Mughal-E-Azam, Naya Daur and Hum Dono re-releasing them in their dazzling new avatar.
And now there’s strong buzz of Raj Kapoor’s 1951 classic, Awara getting the colourised treatment with his sons -- Randhir and Rishi -- seriously pursuing the cause.
This prompted us to ask you, dear readers, which RK film do *you* thing should be re-released in colour? Here’s a look at the charming contenders from Bollywood’s renowned banner.
Raj Kapoor’s directorial debut is an intense, brooding tale of an individual’s ardent wish to stage a play and an enduring attraction towards his childhood sweetheart even as he gets his heart broken repeatedly.
Will the stark mood have the same impact in colour?
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Image: Raj Kapoor in Aag
A romantic saga of two couples set in the hills with abundant song and dance and costumes, Raj Kapoor’s Barsaat co-starring Nargis, Prem Nath and Nimmi is tailor-made for colour.
Wouldn’t you say?
Image: Raj Kapoor and Nargis Dutt in Barsaat
Alternating between the gritty and the glamorous, the surroundings of Awara, it’s magnificent sets and dream sequences are bound to take a new life when shown in colour.
The idea of seeing a sparkling Nargis in Ghar aaya mera pardesi or witnessing her scorching chemistry on the beach with RK in its true colours does sound like a attractive prospect.
Image: Nargis Dutt and Raj Kapoor in Awara
Tragic, troubled romances carry an inherent darkness. The original ending of the RK-Nargis starrer was a bleak one but the filmmaker felt it wouldn’t work so he changed it to a happier one.
The fervour of their romance against picturesque outdoors could do with a brush of colour or two.
Image: Raj Kapoor and Nargis in Aah
Boot Polish (1954)
In this triumph of spirit story, Baby Naaz and Ratan Kumar play a pair of destitute siblings who make a living by polishing shoes and overcome one obstacle after another to get ahead in life.
The internationally acclaimed RK creation relies on the endearing, touching spontaneity of the child actors to leave its mark.
Would you recommend its colourisation?
Image: A scene from Boot Polish
Shree 420 (1955)
From the slums to the mansions, Shree 420 memorably explores the theme of loss of innocence through Raj Kapoor’s turn from tramp to crook.
On the side, Nargis plays the girl next door while Nadira is the smoldering seductress.
Shree 420 has enough grandeur and drama going for it to not work in colour.
Image: Nargis Dutt and Raj Kapoor in Shree 420
Jagte Raho (1956)
Through Jagte Raho, Raj Kapoor points out at the hypocrisy and double standards of a society that’s quick to point out fingers but unwilling to take the blame.
Shot entirely in a neighbourhood, Jagte Raho’s vibrancy comes through its assortment of characters if not colour.
Image: Nargis Dutt and Raj Kapoor in Jagte Raho
Ab Dilli Dur Nahi (1957)
Ab Dilli Dur Nahi is no Boot Polish.
But Master Romi’s idealism as Ratan who sets out on foot to Delhi in a bid to meet then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and seek justice for his father has its moments.
Is that enough to warrantee a colourisation, dear reader?
Image: A scene from Ab Dilli Dur Nahi
Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960)
Before embracing colour in all its vivacity in Sangam, Raj Kapoor’s Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai gets into the realm of dakus, cops and gaon ki goris.
Directed by Kapoor’s long-time cinematographer Radhu Karmakar, the film wears a striking look, which could certainly not hesitate to shine in colour.
Image: Padmini and Raj Kapoor in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai