One of the best combinations of song and visuals in Hindi cinema dates back to 1951. Raj Kapoor’s Awara includes what writers Aniruddha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal call in their book Gaata Rahe Mera Dil, 50 Classic Hindi Film Songs “Hindi film’s first ‘music video’”. Filled with Expressionist, Freudian and Calendar art imagery, this two-for-the-price-of-one medley is one of the high points in the uniquely Indian skill of what in the movie trade is called “song picturisation”.
“The dream sequence of Awara, one of the first in Hindi films, is notable for its surrealistic feel and hypnotic quality,” write Bhattacharjee and Vittal. “It could be inferred that Raj probably drew inspiration from sequences in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) and Dali’s bizarre drawings for the dream sequence in Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945). The end result, however, is uniquely Indian, having no precedence in Indian cinema and probably not emulated.”