All Hindi film fans are well aware of the glorious history of Indian cinema. Right from where it all started and how exactly has it reached here where it is today. Several people have contributed to it and no single individual can be credited for it. But there are some names in history who, sort of, ruled over the industry during their era. Their performances not only stunned the audiences across the globe but also but also left other contemporaries mesmerized. If we start listing such names right from the inception of this great industry the name which would top the list is none other than the showman Raj Kapoor.
Raj Kapoor’s fame is spread so far and wide that his work speaks for him, so much so that, even till date perhaps there would be no kid in India who watches Indian films yet, doesn’t know about him or his films. The man was a legend and so were his creations. You can rightly call him as the first superstar for Indian folks. Before him no other actor received a fan following of his kind.
During his career he acted in tons of movies. Many of which went beyond being blockbusters. He also directed and produced several of them. One such film which everyone remembers is his 1949 film Barsaat (translated as: Rain). If I am not wrong, Barsaat was the first blockbuster of his career. Today we will be talking about on and off screen facts about this magnificent film.
The story of Barsaat was very heartwarming. Raj Kapoor along with Prem Nath, played the two friends who are rich and flamboyant. RK played a character of a guy named Pran who lived his life by his heart, despite having all the riches in the world. While his friend Gopal (portrayed by Prem Nath) knew exactly what being rich was. He was hardheaded and unsentimental. He neither was romantic by his heart nor did he value what others thought or felt.
The story starts with both the friends going on a holiday in the valley of Kashmir. There, amidst the beauty of nature they meet two beautiful girls Reshma and Neela. Pran falls in love with Reshma gradually and Gopal seems to be generating feelings for Neela but ultimately he turns out to be a Casanova who is nothing more than a womanizer. He even criticizes Pran for his tender feelings towards Reshma. But for Pran things had already got pretty serious. Reshma mattered to him more than anything else in the world.
Time passes by and a moment comes when Pran has to leave Resmha and go home. But he promises that he would come back before the rainy season comes. The rainy season holds a significant importance here. It is a metaphor for separation and pain which Pran and Reshma had to bear in order to achieve their love. Hence the movie is named Barsaat.
This is the period when turbulences creep up in Pran’s and Reshma’s life. Their love faces opposition from parents, they face accidents, and even Reshma’s marriage gets fixed against her choice with a fisherman. But Pran makes it to the valley again in time and they are reunited. The movie ends perfectly in harmony as Gopal realizes his mistake and pleads guilty to Neela, but the realization come to him too late to find his love dead. The film ends with Gopal lighting the funeral of Neela and the long awaited rains downpour.
Every aspect of this film was perfect. The actors, the script, the camerawork, the music, everything was superb. Infact, the music was fabulous and was received with huge applause from the audiences. We are talking about a period when India had just gained freedom from British rule and was having a hard time making a name for itself on the global scale. During these difficult times, films played a major role in motivating the common man and ultimately the whole nation. People could connect themselves to the story of the films and hence they used to love it. RK’s films were very close to reality and that was the factor which clicked for him. Apart from that, RK also had very melodious soundtracks in his films which augmented the film’s success. But in this film, Raj Kapoor had taken a huge risk by taking Shanker-Jaikishan duo as music directors as they were new in the industry and no one knew them before. It was their debut movie and gave them a great lift in their career. They went on to become prominent music directors in Indian film industry. The story and script of Barsaat were written by the famous Ramanand Sagar, the one who made famous religious serials on Ramayana and Shri Krishna, etc. and has also made several hindi movies later on.
This 171 minutes long, black and white classic movie, was release on 21st April, 1949. Later on after 7 years the movie was also translated in Turkish and released in Turkey on 11th January, 1956. The movie was a major blockbuster and broke the record of Ashok Kumar’s Kismet as the highest grossing film and set a new record at box office grossing around Rs. 11,000,000. It was a mammoth figure back then as Indian rupee has inflated a lot since then. This movie is very old it would be very tough to get its tape. But if you get a chance, do watch it. A true classic!