- 2 hr 41 min
Alaap is a Hindi-language Indian film that was released in 1977. The film represents a significant shift from typical Bollywood films of the time, focusing on a subplot of a political activist who works to help those in need. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan as Alok, the politically conscious activist, and Rekha as Rama, the love interest of Alok. Chhayadevi plays the role of Alokâs mother, who is also politically active, and whose strong beliefs have a significant impact on Alok.
The film is set in a small village where Alok returns to visit his family after completing his education. Despite coming from a wealthy family, Alok is drawn to the poverty and inequality that exists in the village. He becomes involved with the local communist party, which is working to improve the lives of the villagers. The party is led by Dhani Ram, played by Om Prakash. Rama is introduced when she tries to commit suicide as a result of the arranged marriage her family has set up for her, and Alok saves her. The two develop a romance throughout the film, which is threatened by their differing political beliefs.
Throughout the movie, Alok becomes more involved with the communist party, much to the annoyance of his wealthy father. As his political involvement deepens, Alokâs family becomes increasingly distant from him. His mother stands by him, but his father is unable to understand his sonâs political beliefs. Alokâs involvement in the party eventually lands him in jail, where he is subjected to brutal torture. The film depicts the inhumane practices in Indian jails during that period.
The political storyline is intertwined with several sub-plots, including a love story between Alok and Rama, the relationship between Alok and his mother, and the tension between Alok and his father. The film also explores the contrast between the wealthy, privileged lives of the upper-class in India, and the extreme poverty experienced by the majority of the population.
The music of Alaap has received critical acclaim over the years. The film's songs were composed by veteran music director Jaidev, and the lyrics were written by poet Hasan Kamal. The soundtrack includes songs such as "Aapki Mehki Huyi Zulf" and "Tere Naina Kyon Bhar aaye" which are still popular today. The music is beautifully composed and adds a depth of emotion to various scenes in the film.
The film's direction is credited to Hrishikesh Mukherjee who is known for his poignant and character-driven films. His direction in Alaap adds depth to the characters, the dialogue, and the themes that are explored in the movie. Despite being released in 1977, Alaap remains a relevant and thought-provoking film, particularly in relation to its insights into the political landscape and class struggles in India. The film offers a stark contrast between the lives of the upper and lower classes, the benefits of education, and the struggle for social justice.
In summary, Alaap is a classic Indian film that offers a unique take on the struggles that arise from political engagement, family conflict, and social justice movements. The direction, acting, and music of the film all work in harmony to create a poignant and moving experience. The film is a valuable reminder of the continuing struggles for social justice in India and the wider world. Alaap is essential viewing for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of Indian cinema, both past and present.