Time magazine has included Raj Kapoor’s 1951 classic ‘Awaara’ among 20 new entries added to its All-Time 100 list of the greatest films made since 1923, the beginning of the prestigious US periodical.
Rethinking the movie masterpieces, Time critic Richard Corliss describes Raj Kapoor as “the great star-auteur of India’s postcolonial golden age of movies – Cary Grant and Cecil B. DeMille in one handsome package.”
“The ’50s films he headlined and directed became huge hits not just in his newly freed homeland but also across the Arab crescent from Indonesia to North Africa,” Time noted.
Kapoor, who modelled his screen persona on Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp, was 26 when he filmed Awaara (The Tramp).
Time calls Awaara as “a glistening showcase for Kapoor and the great India siren Nargis (his lover onscreen and off).”
“And of course it’s a musical, whose main song, Awaara Hoon, by the famed Shanker-Jaikishan duo, soared to the top of the pop charts in India, the USSR and China.”
The original All-Time 100 list published in 2005 included Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy, Mani Ratnam’s Nayakan and Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa.
Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman’s score for Mani Ratnam’s Roja (The Rose), the tale of a woman whose lover is kidnapped by terrorists, was also among 10 Best Soundtracks.
Last week, Time magazine ranked Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 2002 Hindi film Devdas eighth among the ten greatest movies of the millennium (thus far).