Preteen brother and sister, abandoned by their father to care of an abusive prostitute aunt, survive life in an Indian squatters' camp, aided by a friendly cripple, by learning to shine shoes instead of begging.
Sunder Khanna is an orphan and lives a poor lifestyle in India. He is friendly with wealthy Gopal Verma, the only child of Judge Verma; and a wealthy girl named Radha, who is the daughter ... See full summary »
Wearing torn Japanese shoes, English trousers, a red Russian cap, and a Hindustani heart, orphaned Ranbir Raj comes to Bombay to make his fortune. He pawns his gold medal, gambles with the ... See full summary »
Raju is a joker, a clown. It is what he is and what he always shall be. As his life story unfolds in three chapters, from his school days to the circus to the streets, he must always make ... See full summary »
In hopes of improving his lifestyle, a poor peasant re-locates to Bombay virtually penniless. It is late at night and he is thirsty, and he is unable to find water anywhere. A singing drunk... See full summary »
Raju lives as a derelict as a result of being estranged from his bitter father, a district judge, who threw Raju's mother out of the house years ago. Raju shacks up with a Dacoit (... See full summary »
Pran and Gopal are traveling in a convertible in the Indian countryside but the car breaks down. Near Satpur they come across a village and rest there for a few days. While there Gopal ... See full summary »
Nina is the rich and spoiled daughter of a rich businessman. One day while horse-riding she loses control of her horse and is rescued by a young man named Dilip. Dilip instantly takes a ... See full summary »
Kewal (Raj Kapoor) reluctantly accepts his father (Kamal Kapoor)'s demands to continue the family tradition by studying law and become a successful lawyer just like him. However due to a ... See full summary »
As Pandit Shyam Sunder prayed in Bhagwan Shivji's temple on the occasion of Janamashtami, his wife gives birth to a daughter, Rupa, and passes away, leaving her child to bear the brunt of ... See full summary »
Toddlers Belu and Bhola share an uncertain future when their mom dies in the plague, and their dad is imprisoned. They are then left in the uncaring care of Kamla, their aunt, who moonlights as a prostitute. She is cruel,abusive and forces them to take to a life of begging on the local trains, on beaches and crowded areas in Bombay. This is how the toddlers grow up, they want to lead a respectable life, and with the help of bootlegger John, they get a shoe-shine kit and start shining shoes on busy sidewalks and railway platforms. Their circumstances face more uncertainty when Kamla finds out about their new-found profession, beats them up and throws them out of the house. They temporarily seek shelter with John, but when he is arrested, they have to fend for themselves. Things become bad to worse when Bombay enters the monsoon season, when people do not get their shoes shined; then the duo are separated - with Belu ending up with a rich family, and when she asks about Bhola, she is ... Written by
I must admit I've always enjoyed the films of Raj Kapoor especially from his early golden period, but can find his moralising laid on a little heavy at times. He took the best pathos and melodrama from Chaplin and spun it out relentlessly. As in Boot Polish. It's not that I can argue with any of his philosophising and moral instruction, just that history has proved Film itself will never change the social system; it never brings shame to the faces of our Betters, but it probably would just make them wonder how much more they can turn the screws on us. After all, Film represents an entertainment they have paid their paisa or pennies for us to waste production time watching.
Two young children are orphaned and thrown onto the not so tender mercies of their scolding prostitute aunt and nice but drunken uncle in a Mumbai slum. She teaches them to beg for a living, he tries to teach them of the better, honest and more painful way, in their case the complicated profession of polishing other people's boots. It's done very well, and if it wasn't for the comedy and the songs almost neo-realist - RK even makes a fag-in-cheek cameo at the beginning. To beg or not to beg, that is the question - but the pain of surviving the slings and arrows of capitalism goes on and on for the children, although their destitute situation does eventually improve. Baby Naaz must have been very young but she provided a marvellously believable performance. My favourite bit though amidst all the grinding poverty is the energetic comic raag Lapak Jhapak To Aare Badarwa sung by Manna Dey for the uncle and his fellow bald headed companions in jail delicious stuff! I always wondered whether bits like these were particularly edited out in the Russian versions?
Needless to say self-sacrifice and self-effacement bring their reward - so basically it's another rewarding film from RK, an expertly produced moral melodrama.
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