Raj Kapoor said he would never forget this film, his directorial debut, ‘because it was the story of youth consumed by the desire for a brighter and more intense life. And all those who flitted like shadows through my own life, giving something, taking something, were in that film.’ The hero is Kewal (Kapoor), a country boy disfigured by a self-inflicted scar on his face who dreams of running a theatre. He is cast out by his father and eventually builds his own theatre where Nimmi (Nargis) becomes a star. Shashi Kapoor plays the part of Raj Kapoor as a young boy. Announcing the baroque imagery of Barsaat (1949) and Awara (1951), Kapoor fills his film with shadows evoking the influence of the Osten/ Wirsching brand of chiaroscuro.
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