Put it this way, it's the birth of the Bollywood blockbuster. It should be on every cineaste's must-see list.
| Original Score: 5/5
Mother India is quintessential popular Hindi cinema.
| Original Score: 3/5
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.
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Often said to have helped set the pattern for the nearly 50 years of Indian film that has followed it.
An outrageous masala of apparently discordant elements.
Throughout Mother India, [Mehboob] presents the landscape, the crops, the herds of livestock practically as characters in themselves.
A gem made in the 'Golden Age' of Indian cinema.
| Original Score: 4/5
This looks a bit creaky now, but it's a big, entertaining work, with echoes of The Good Earth and Gone With the Wind.
The only thing this ponderous Bollywood epic could inspire is matricide.
| Original Score: 1/5