Centenary Of Indian Cinema

Raj Kapoor’s ‘Awaara’ Introduced First Dream Sequence In Indian Cinema

Remember the song Ghar aaya mera pardesi….. from Raj Kapoor‘s cult classic film Awaara (1951). The song and the dance sequence shot as a ‘dream sequence’ by film director Raj Kapoor is a milestone in the annals of Indian cinema. The reason why the sequence is regarded as the most iconic scenes in Indian cinema is because it is the first-ever ‘Dream Sequence’ to be shot in Indian cinema. Secondly, the sets were imposing and magnificent. No filmmaker had ever created such majestic sets and last but not least, the scene brilliantly portrayed the mental trauma of the film’s protagonist (Raj Kapoor) caught between good and evil.

The song is a metaphor cinematically portrayed exceptionally by film director Raj Kapoor. The film’s protagonist Raj (Raj Kapoor) is a convict but after meeting Rita (Nargis) he starts transforming into a good man. However, Jagga (K.N. Singh) a ‘goonda’ forces him to return to crime.  Film director Raj Kapoor represented the mental tug-of-war of Raj into three stages of ‘Earth-Hell-Heaven’. The dream sequence begins with the song Tere Bina Aag Yeh Chandni representing Earth and the second song Mujhko Chahiye Bahar … depicts hell and the last stage is Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi … representing heaven.

The song was shot at RK Studio which Raj Kapoor had built after the success of Barsaat and Awaara was the first film to be shot at RK Studio. The sets were designed by M.R. Achredkar. Since the dream sequence was shot first time on Indian silver screen hence to create the Cloud effect Raj Kapoor had hired the service of a chemist he created the fog using dry ice. Interestingly, the set art design and choreography was done by French dancer Madame Simkie, who was a disciple of the legendary Uday Shankar.

After Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi … dream sequence became popular in Hindi films, other film directors started creating such dream sequences like the hit song Hum kaale hain toh kya hua dilwaale hain ….(Gumnaam, 1967) or Tere khayaalon mein hum…. (Geet Gaaya Pattharon Ne, 1964) or Tu chhupi hai kahaan (Navrang, 1959) etc.

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