Mother India (1957)
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 12
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 1
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Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 3,051
Bharat Mata (Mother India) was Indian filmmaker Mehboob Khan's remake of his own 1940 film Aurat (Woman). The intervening years had somewhat altered Mehboob's attitudes towards his characters and their surroundings. In the original Aurat, an Indian mother (Sardar Akhtar) suffers monumentally on behalf of her two sons, much to the disinterest of the rural community where she lives. In the remake, the mother (now played by Nargis) likewise suffers, but her plight now affects her entire village,
Feb 7, 1957 Wide
Feb 25, 2003
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As the mother, Nargis is as resolute as a force of nature, and Mehboob Khan creates tableaux of the family that evoke its fragile unity.
True, there are dull spots and the overripe supporting cast pale beside Nargis' 'force of nature' central performance, but overall it's a wallowy treat.
Often said to have helped set the pattern for the nearly 50 years of Indian film that has followed it.
Put it this way, it's the birth of the Bollywood blockbuster. It should be on every cineaste's must-see list.
The first great Bollywood blockbuster, Mother India (Bharat Mata) a purposefully melodramatic musical, liberally laced with action, wit, humour and also a strongly socialist strain.
The most popular film in Indian history -- it's said to have been playing somewhere in the country every day since its release.
Throughout Mother India, [Mehboob] presents the landscape, the crops, the herds of livestock practically as characters in themselves.
This looks a bit creaky now, but it's a big, entertaining work, with echoes of The Good Earth and Gone With the Wind.
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