Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Awaara (1951)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Awaara (1951, India) (aka Tramp, or The Vagabond)

In director Raj Kapoor's acclaimed, blockbuster Hindi-language social drama and musical love story (one of the most successful Bollywood films ever made), commentary focused upon fate and nature (Does fateful predestination or predetermination of social classes exist? If one was once a thief, was one always a thief?):

  • the main characters in a triangle of relationships: embittered Judge Raghunath (Prithviraj Kapoor, the director's real-life father), his estranged criminal son Raj (director Raj Kapoor) - the "Awara" of the film's title who was struggling to reform himself, and Raj's school friend turned love interest Rita (Nargis) - a Ward (or guardian) of the Judge
  • the sparks of love and misunderstanding between Raj and Rita - especially in the scene of Rita changing her clothes on the beach just after swimming, when she claimed that gentlemen wouldn't stare: ("Gentlemen don't barge in when ladies are changing dresses. Don't you know that?"); when he asked about her label for him ("I'm no gentleman"), she teasingly called him junglee ("a savage") and claimed: "I'm not about to give in to your type" - he was deeply offended by her label for him, and roughly grabbed and slapped her: "Savage? I'm a penniless, uneducated tramp! I don't fit into high society. How dare I maul your fragile body with my beastly hands. I told Ma that childhood friends, like childhood days, are gone, never to return. Good of you to have told me my class"; she apologized: "It was a joke, don't get angry," surrendered to him, and they hugged
Heaven-and-Hell Dream Scenario: Rita and Raj
  • the 12-minute long musical dream sequence about the uplifting power of love, and a tug-of war for Raj's soul, set in a heaven-and-hell scenario; heroine Rita was in heavenly clouds singing a love song beckoning to Raj below to join with her and be saved: ("Without you, this moonlight is like fire. Do come....The flute is not melodious without you. This life of mine is a melody of pain. Do come"), while in the dark fires of Hell below, Raj sang: ("This is not life. This is not life. I am burning alive in this fire of life. The arrows of fire run through me. I don't want this hell; I want the flower, the love, the friend. I want the spring..."); he struggled to climb and crawl up steps to be united with an overjoyed Rita (Rita: "My foreigner has returned home. The thirst in my eyes is quenched. You are the pearl of my heart. You are the light of my eyes. You are the remembrance of my childhood. My foreigner has returned home. Now don't go away breaking my heart. Don't leave me crying. You are under the oath of my tears") and they walked together on a circular ascending pathway and then along a glittering, meandering trail; suddenly, Raj's father appeared with a gigantic knife - and Raj immediately fell back to hell as he cried out: "Rita!" - Raj awoke from his dream, screaming for his mother Leela (Leela Chitnis): "Mother, Mother, save me, Mother!"
  • the final sequence - Raj was reconciled with his Judge father and accepted as his legitimate son; Raj was imprisoned in jail for three years for the self-defense murder of bandit Jagga (K.N. Singh) (who had originally sullied Leela's name after kidnapping her, and created doubts in the Judge's mind about their unborn son Raj at the time), and there was hope for a future together for Raj and Rita (they hugged each other through the jail cell bars)

Raj and Rita

Argument Between the Lovers About His "Savage" Nature

Final Sequence: Raj Imprisoned But Hugged by Rita


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