Bharat Mata
1957 / 172m - India
Drama, Comedy
Mother India poster


June 03, 2022


I'm not surprised this film is considered by name to be the mother of popular Bollywood cinema. I'm not an expert, not on the films nor the timeline, but I've seen a few modern ones and this film seems a pretty clear template for the later successes of popular Indian cinema.

A young couple struggles to keep their family going, to ease the burden they lend some money from a local loan shark. He keeps upping the interest, when Shyamu loses both of his arms things get really dicey. Shyamu feels ashamed that he's such a burden on his family, so he leaves them behind to fend for themselves.

It's really what you expect from a Bollywood film, but older. Which means, not quite as lush, somewhat slower and possibly even more melodramatic. And long, very long. It's not really the kind of cinema I like to begin with, to just get a more classical version of that made it quite the burden to sit through. I don't doubt the film's status, but it wasn't a very pleasant watch for me.