Sunday, March 31, 2013

325. Bharat Mata

Bharat Mata
Mother India
Directed by Mehboob Khan

Well, that was an ordeal.  Not only was my version's subtitles so bad that they were almost laughable, but the film was about three hours long.  Good thing I have an enormous amount of candy from today or I would be in quite a temper.

I was so confused by this movie that I am not even qualified to write a summary.  Hell, I do not even know what genre it was.  There were musical numbers that's purpose is unknown to me because there were no subtitles on the songs.  The score a lot of the times seemed like it could be in a screwball romance; there was a lot of "silly trouble brewing" music.  However, after reading the synopsis, this movie really is depressing as hell and not happy in the slightest.  I am so clueless.

Well, even if I could understand what was going on, the film was way too long and the acting was only okay.  We will just chalk this up to a fail and call it a day.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

India's first Oscar nomination.


  1. I had to read the subtitles along with this, so I think it was a little more clear. But yes, it was very depressing so the upbeat musical numbers seemed out of place. I didn't hate it, it was just way too long.

  2. Oh gosh .. a 24 hour (what? It wasn't?) long movie without subs.. Ordeal is probably a good word. Mind you, most Indian films .. do you need the subtitles? We can work most of them out .. "We are too poor to send you to school son, so you have to work" "We are too poor for the doctor to come to your sister .. Oh, she has died" "Dad has died of something" "Mother has died of overwork" "Aunt has died" "Evil landlord wants money" "The monsoon has wrecked the house" "But what the heck, lets have a brightly costumed party"
    Sorry, that is a very dismissive, and possibly slightly racist comment.. but you get the point I'm trying to make. As ever, there was a heck of a lot of brilliant work in this .. Perhaps the photography (being in colour) wasn't as spellbinding as a Satyajit Ray film ... but it was rather numbingly LONG.And you know me and musicals, so i wasn't even wowed by the singing interludes.

  3. I agree Ray or at least, that has been our experience based on the Book. Definitely way too long, Rachel.

  4. I suppose this was a movie made for an Indian audience. I learned that it is revered there to this day and frequently screened. India is a weird place and I will never understand it.

    1. Yeah the Indian films were pretty inaccessible. Except the Bollywood ones I guess.

  5. Wikipedia says that this is a classic of Indian cinema and still well known to this day. So I asked an Indian friend and she said she'd never heard of it. Sometimes I begin to wonder if I should really believe what's on the internet.

    I'm also beginning to question the health and safety standards in some of these films. First there was the arrows scene in Kumonosu-jo which was apparently filmed just by using a good archer. Then there's the fire scene in this which at one point has an actor buried in a haystack which is set alight on both sides of him. Guess what, both actors involved were hospitalised during its filming.

    Took me ages to find a version with English subtitles that matched. I'm not sure it's fair to really rate a film based upon poor subtitles, let alone none. I can see that it's a good film. The length is only a problem because it's not really my culture so harder to find a personal connection to carry me along.