Name: Aag (Fire)
Director: Raj Kapoor
Did I watch this recently? Yes
Kewal (Raj Kapoor) despite his efforts cannot become a successful lawyer like his father. Since childhood Kewal has always been preoccupied with theater, after his failure he is thrown out of the house by his father. His childhood romance, Nimmi, is constantly in his memory. He searches for her in other women, even renaming them Nimmi. Rajan (Premnath) becomes a financial backer for Kewal’s theatre production. owever due to a lack of interest in becoming a lawyer and more interest in theatre plays he fails his law exams and is thrown out of the house by his father. Luckily he finds a patron of the arts, Rajan, (Premnath) who will satisfy his theatrical desires. When looking for a leading female star he discovers a beauty made homeless by Partition (Nargis). He renames her Nimmi and the story of Kawal, Nimmi & Rajan forms the rest of the story.
When a viewer watches Aag they compare it to the other early Raj Kapoor films like Chori Chori, Barsaat, Awaara, Anari, Andaaz & Shree 420. Having seen Chori Chori, Awaara and Aag i can say that for me i enjoyed Aag least. Its far too slow and melodramatic for me to compare it to the standard of Awaara & Anari. But I’m not saying the film doesn’t have merits. The film still holds beautiful performance by Raj (I enjoyed it especially when he is talking to his bride).
To sum up Aag would be to say its an interesting watch. Although its slow it has a good message about love and beauty superficiality. Raj Kapoor himself made a comment on his first film: ‘I’ll never forget Aag 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.’
Luckily the film is not too long, so alot of the dragging on melodramatic ‘woe is me’ scenes were not as long as they can be in bollywood films. I was most disappointed in the songs, they were melodious enough but nothing really struck me as emotionally powerful considering that seems to be the theme of this movie. I can’t tell the difference between when Nargis was ‘singing from the soul’ to when she was superficially singing.
Having seen alot of Raj Kapoor from his later days to suddenly shoot back in time to where he is thin and attractive you understand now why the girls love him. Green eyes, charismatic and attractive – this is only intensified for me in Awara. Nagis for me is a wonderful performer, especially between her and Raj the chemistry is always dependably good. But in this movie i felt her performance was melodramatic, but its hard to complain too strongly about Nargis.
Cute thing in this movie is watching Shashi Kapoor (his younger brother and future bollywood star) playing Young Raj Kapoor in the movie. On a more superficial note, thank goodness Nargis embraces less boofy hair in her future roles.
Overall Score: 3/5 Hairy Anil Kapoors – Any fan of Raj Kapoor, Aag is a must see. Its where everything began and of course offers an interesting movie with Nargis. Problem is its the weakest of his movies i’ve seen so far, riddled with melodrama and slow movement. Music is also not that great considering its a theatrical based movie and Raj Kapoor is known for his movie’s great music.