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All Critics (33)
| Top Critics (13)
| Fresh (12)
| Rotten (21)
| DVD (2)
Cotton Mary, Ismail Merchant's second film as a director, puts some interestingly layered material into play, but he can't quite bring it together.
Engrossing from the first frame and written with admirable skill and insight by Alexandra Viets, Cotton Mary is a milestone for Merchant Ivory and a pleasure for the company's admirers.
Nothing is expressed directly; only the curtains move, blowing in the subcontinent wind.
A heavy-handed melodrama whose title character is a symbol with a capital S.
Cotton Mary is uncommonly well-acted and beautifully shot on location in southern India, but it's not exactly riveting.
Merchant's filmmaking is at times wooden and conventional, but Cotton Mary is brought to life by the weirdness of its subject matter and the risks Madhur Jaffrey takes in her brilliant performance.
Shows that Merchant couldn't direct.
An Indian drama about the de-humanizing effects of class-warfare.
There's a definite thrill to be gained from watching elements of genre trash invade such a film.
Cotton Mary suffers from its lack of sympathetic characters, but it is still far from a disaster.
As a serious reflection on the impact of colonial exploitation on both its perpetrators and its victims, it pretty much misses the boat.
Not a fully realized film.
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