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Boot Polish [DVD]

Kumari Naaz , Rattan Kumar , Prakash Arora    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 4.93
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Boot Polish [DVD] + Awara [DVD] [1951] [1986] [NTSC] + Mother India [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Kumari Naaz, Rattan Kumar, David Abraham, Chand Burke, Veera
  • Directors: Prakash Arora
  • Writers: Bhanu Pratap
  • Producers: Raj Kapoor
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Punjabi
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Yash Raj
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Dec 2003
  • Run Time: 149 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AP9K5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,911 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By C KHAN
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My husband had seen Boot Polish when he was a child. His Father took him to the cinema in 1958. For years he has raved on about Boot Polish. When I found it on DVD on the Amazon website I couldn't believe my luck. Now having watched the film myself, I can see why it made such a lasting impression on him. The film has lost nothing with age. In my opinion it is awsome. You go through the range of emotions, laughter, anxiety and if you like a good weep, Boot Polish certainly gives you this. The characters are wonderful; it is the sort of movie that you don't want to end. It makes you realise that no matter how bad things are, you have to keep going and good will prevail in the end. The children Belu and Bhola were adorable and John Chacha was fantastic. I wish I had a friend like him and I am pleased that I don't have an Auntie like they did. She would have been at home as the wicked witch of the west in The Wizard of Oz. I shall treasure this fim for ever and will watch it time and time again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-affirming experience 19 Jun 2005
Format:DVD
I saw this film once when I was a student many years ago, and I never forgot it. Now that I've seen it again on DVD, I'm happy to say that my former impression has been confirmed: I loved it just as much on a second viewing, if not more.
Boot Polish is a pure example of Hindi cinema, now commonly known as "Bollywood". It is filled with songs and dances, stylized artifice, idealized characters, myriad sub-plots, and an inspiring message.
Though technically not a musical, the joyous and hypnotic songs on the soundtrack are interwoven into the plot in a way that both enhances the drama and reminds you that it is "also" a movie. The direction is attributed to Prakash Arora, assistant to the "great showman" Raj Kapoor. The story, however, is that Kapoor took one look at the rush print and realized he had made a mistake in assigning it to Arora, then re-shot the entire film himself. It won the 1953/54 Filmfare awards (India's version of the Oscars) for best picture, best supporting actor, and best cinematography.
The story is about the relationship between a ten-year old boy, Bhola (Rhatan Kumar) and his seven-year old sister Belu (Baby Naaz). The children are without parents. They live in a slum area in Bombay with Kamla, a cold and unloving relative, and must beg to stay alive. Bhola and Belu undergo verbal and physical abuse from Kamla when they don't bring home enough money each day. Their only friend is a neighbor, John Chacha (David Ebrahim), who operates a bootlegging business outside the law. John Chacha provides the kids with the emotional warmth they need, and tells them not to beg but to find some work. "Starve, die, but don't beg. Do something with your two hands", he says, and instructs them in the art of polishing shoes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 16 April 2014
By nellie
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this as a gift for someone,not my scene,
so to speak,but she insisted please just look for 5
mins.ok what a really good film and story
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boot Polish 13 Aug 2012
By Rachel McElhany - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Boot Polish, released in 1954, is the story of orphan siblings Bhola and Belu. They live with their mean aunt Kamla, who forces them to beg on the streets for money and beats them if they don't come home with enough. A kindly bootlegger who lives in the same slum teaches them that working and earning money is better than begging. Bhola and Belu buy a shoe polish kit and start shining shoes to make money. Unfortunately, when the rainy season hits business dries up and they must decide whether to swallow their pride and go back to begging or starve.

This movie hits the viewer over the head with the overt message of working is better than begging; it comes close to propaganda. It's a good moral to be hit over the head with though. I think there is a more subtle metaphor at play as well. The film was released when India was still a newly independent nation. The orphans could represent India herself - figuring out how to be self-sufficient and taking pride in it. I'm afraid I haven't learned a lot of details about India's history yet so I can't take the metaphor any further myself but it's interesting to think about.

Boot Polish had spunky Bollywood musical numbers that I loved. They were all catchy and lively, even when the actual song lyrics were melancholy. Belu was just adorable, she reminded me of Shirley Temple. She and Bhola were great actors, especially for being so young.

My one complaint about this film is the English subtitles. They were more of a summary of what the characters were saying rather that a line by line translation. There were whole paragraphs that were obviously not written up on screen. I feel like I would have been drawn deeper into the story if I would have know exactly what the characters were saying - a lot of nuance and emotion was left out with the way the subtitles were done.

If you are intrigued by all things Indian like I am, than this would be a great film for you to watch.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching Social Drama 14 Feb 2007
By Srinidhi Anantharamiah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This film ranks as one of the finest thought provoking social dramas asking how we look at ourselves given the limited resources and choices and faced with overwhelming odds. Raj Kapoor's presentation of the humble lifestyle of two children who wish to overcome the obstacles of abject poverty shows the importance of the spirit of endurance and dedication in the face of adversity. We can learn from children when they try to face challenges in the world created by greedy souls.

I would recommend this film as a lesson in the triumph of the human spirit when facing the evils of man made adversity. We probably can relate to the two youn protaganists of the film in our everyday lives. Life can be unfair, and films such as BOOT POLISH show the more dramatic encounters of what we call the human struggle.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite films 7 May 2006
By Howard Schumann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I saw this film once when I was a student many years ago, and I never forgot it. Now that I've seen it again on DVD, I'm happy to say that my former impression has been confirmed: I loved it just as much on a second viewing, if not more.

Boot Polish is a pure example of Hindi cinema, now commonly known as "Bollywood". It is filled with songs and dances, stylized artifice, idealized characters, myriad sub-plots, and an inspiring message.

Though technically not a musical, the joyous and hypnotic songs on the soundtrack are interwoven into the plot in a way that both enhances the drama and reminds you that it is "also" a movie. The direction is attributed to Prakash Arora, assistant to the "great showman" Raj Kapoor. The story, however, is that Kapoor took one look at the rush print and realized he had made a mistake in assigning it to Arora, then re-shot the entire film himself. It won the 1953/54 Filmfare awards (India's version of the Oscars) for best picture, best supporting actor, and best cinematography.

The story is about the relationship between a ten-year old boy, Bhola (Rhatan Kumar) and his seven-year old sister Belu (Baby Naaz). The children are without parents. They live in a slum area in Bombay with Kamla, a cold and unloving relative, and must beg to stay alive. Bhola and Belu undergo verbal and physical abuse from Kamla when they don't bring home enough money each day. Their only friend is a neighbor, John Chacha (David Ebrahim), who operates a bootlegging business outside the law. John Chacha provides the kids with the emotional warmth they need, and tells them not to beg but to find some work. "Starve, die, but don't beg. Do something with your two hands", he says, and instructs them in the art of polishing shoes.

Bhola and Belu gradually become proficient in their trade and eke out a living, refusing to take alms. Then the monsoon rains come, and their business suffers. In addition, John's arrest takes from them the little love and comfort they had. Beg or die - that is the question that the children must now face.

Some may dismiss the picture as melodrama, but I find it a life-affirming and rich cinematic experience. The love of the children for each other is very real, and their struggle for survival and social respectability is profoundly touching. Filled with positive energy and the "heroic face of innocence," Boot Polish is now more than ever one of my all time favorite films.
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