With Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor ruled the 1950s
'classic period' of Hindi cinema. His Charlie Chaplinesque
'tramp' character that he often portrayed in classics like,
"Aware" and "Shree 420" was the Indian
everyman, full of hopes, dreams, and also human fallibility.
Raj Kapoor characters were often full of contradictions and
conflicting emotions. They were complex, just like the man
Raj Kapoor's early films were filled with political themes
that leaned towards the socialist and championed human rights
for the common man. During the 50s his films were very popular
in Soviet Russia where he was feted as a celebrity of the
In the 1970s he sensed the importance of youth culture
and the great influence this brand new generation which was
integrating with the 'West' would have on Indian culture.
Raj Kapoor's "Bobby" [1973} was his 'love letter'
to this new India. It is a film that still influences and
informs Bollywood today.
No other Hindi film maker is as celebrated as Raj Kapoor
and much has been written about him. He is the initial source
for a large chunk of what we know of as Bollywood.