Do Bigha Zamin
1953 / 131m - India
Two Acres of Land poster


June 03, 2023


An old Bollywood classic that feels more like a neighbor to the work of Satyajit Ray. Don't expect anything bold, bright, and all-encompassing. This is a poverty-based drama that moves relatively slowly for Bollywood norms and sticks to its core genre from beginning to end.

Mahato is a poor farmer. He doesn't have much, but it is just enough to keep him and his family alive. A drought and a subsequent plan to install a mill in the village (in part on Mahato's land) make his life impossible, so he moves to Calcutta where he hopes to earn money as a rickshaw puller.

Indian misery porn isn't my favorite niche, but the cinematography isn't too bad and the performances are relatively decent. Two hours is way too long though, there's nothing here I hadn't seen already countless times before. Still, it wasn't as bad as I expected, but unless you love classic drama, it's not an easy recommendation.