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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1957 blockbuster - A strong emotional drama.
Mehboob Khan’s blockbuster movie of 1957, Mother India is one of the best Indian classics I have ever seen. Story goes like this.
Radha, a shy, young bride, played by Nargis, comes into Shamu's (Raaj Kumar's) house and learns that her husband's land lies mortgaged. When a greedy uncle, Kanhaiyalal strips Radha and Shamu’s of their land, desperate Radha...
Published on 1 Oct. 2003

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible subtitles
This movie is a classical Indian movie. The most important part of the film is the songs in it. Without understanding the songs one cannot understand the philosophy behind the film. Well guess what? Eros forgot to subtitle the songs.
Published on 10 Aug. 2009 by Mrs. Lina Abraham


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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1957 blockbuster - A strong emotional drama., 1 Oct. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
Mehboob Khan’s blockbuster movie of 1957, Mother India is one of the best Indian classics I have ever seen. Story goes like this.
Radha, a shy, young bride, played by Nargis, comes into Shamu's (Raaj Kumar's) house and learns that her husband's land lies mortgaged. When a greedy uncle, Kanhaiyalal strips Radha and Shamu’s of their land, desperate Radha suggests cultivating a barren, rocky piece of land. But their precious bullock dies and Shamu's hands are crushed while working. Disappointed Shamu leaves home, leaving Radha searching for him.
To survive, Radha prepares the land herself. But a chain of tragedies dashes all her hopes. But a very determined Radha rebuilds her life every time, demonstrating incomparable strength, love and determination to live and to look after her children.
Here more characters (both good and bad) enters the scene, and makes Radha’s life even harder. This movie is about how forgiving a woman can be, and the endless sacrifices she is ready to do for others.
Mother India is a great film that depicts life in rural India of 1950s and how the human spirit holds life together. Great movie.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible subtitles, 10 Aug. 2009
By 
Mrs. Lina Abraham (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
This movie is a classical Indian movie. The most important part of the film is the songs in it. Without understanding the songs one cannot understand the philosophy behind the film. Well guess what? Eros forgot to subtitle the songs.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to the spice and colour of Indian cinema...., 29 May 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
If, like me, you're fairly new to Indian cinema and think, as I did, that it's all singing and dancing Bollywood, here is a brilliant mix of what we might expect and an epic tale that we in the West can really appreciate and enjoy.

I'd only been to the monochrome world of Indian director Satyajit Ray before and frankly, I didn't seem to appreciate those as much as many do. In time, I trust that I will. Mother India, which I bought blind, seemed to be like approaching, say opera, by going to see one that was commercially accessible but maybe not what the purest of critics might approve of. That is was also Oscar nominated in the World cinema category is also testament of how popular and well thought of Mehboob Khan's Indian masterpiece was.

I personally feel that the often quoted "Indian Gone with the Wind" is both somewhat false and misleading. True, its scope and length as well as the beautifully lavish Technicolor (must have been very expensive to make at the time) bear comparison. The central character is no Hindu Vivien Leigh either and even more amiss is that it's not set against a background of War.

The war, indeed, centres around land, land on which to sustain a crop, enough to feed one and one's family. Greedy landowners are the Generals here who cruelly tax their tenants ever harder. Mother Nature herself is also a strict and tempestuous taskmaster as famine and disease strike.

The undoubted stars are the cinematography and the Mother of the title. There is a huge sweep of panoramic camera as harvesting scenes, rivalling that of Russian propaganda films and bright sharp colours fill every frame.

Nargis, as peasant woman, played by actress Radha, tells us the epic story of her life in flashback, charting how, as a young bride, she arrived at a farm mortgaged to an unscrupulous moneylender. Her husband is then injured in an accident and abandons her and their children, Radha perseveres to bring up her sons and cultivate the land.

As is often, so far as I can tell, the case with Indian drama, the family and its issues are paramount and great lengths are taken to explore all moral angles and Mother Earth is no different.

Yes, it does swell into high emotion and near melodrama but that's Indian cinema for you, but equally pathos and despair are equally and dramatically handled. The sound, though, is unfortunately, pretty ropey, breaking up with each sibilant word and with a background of quiet crackles.

One reviewer complained of poor subtitling - on my DVD (confirmed Amazon purchase) they are fine and include the lyrics to the songs, but maybe mine is a later release. The songs add to the narrative, not the other way around and much is dialogue. The singing is usually actually very lyrical and beautiful, so that it's welcomed, which isn't what I had expected to be the case.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY, 1 Aug. 2014
By 
A. M. O'reilly (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
The subtitles flicker constantly and merge over each other to the extent that the entire film is rendered utterly incomprehensible to English-speaking viewers. Very, very disappointed.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mother of all Indian films, 27 Mar. 2008
By 
KN (Lancs. UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
Mother India is probably the greatest film in the history of Indian cinema and looking back it should have got an Academy award in the foreign film category. It depicts the lifelong struggles of Radha, a woman in a rural Indian village that is being oppressed by a greedy money-lender. By enduring her husband's incapacitation and later departure, facing poverty, natural disaster, death of a child and the choice between her son and the law, she demonstrates how women are the pillar on which families and homes are built.

The cast is top drawer; Nargis and Sunil Dutt play the lead roles (they actually tied the knot after this film), with support from Rajendra Kumar, Raaj Kumar and Kanhaiyalal, all excelling under the inspired direction of Mehboob Khan. The music by Naushad is unforgettable with songs that are still played in many households today. On top of that the movie is entirely in colour which is rare for 1950s Indian cinema, but a treat as we can appreciate the vivid colours of Indian dress, dwellings and countryside during that period. They certainly don't make Indian films like this anymore.
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5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding, 20 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
I've looked for this film with english subtitles for years. I saw it twenty years ago on the tv and missed the end. Over the moon when I saw english subtitles. Well worth the wait! Outstanding film, colour, music and acting especially little boy. Don't miss it you'll be thoroughly entertained.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST SEE FILM!!, 16 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
As an Indian have seen it many times. I love the film. The story of a Mothers sacrifice takes it's toll but the mother doesn't give up. I actually bought this DVD for a English friend who wanted to see the film after telling him the story. He loves it too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mother India (1957) (Sub) [DVD] [US Import] [NTSC], 21 May 2014
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Good seller. Lovely movie (with subtitles) which i have seen in my childhood. I loved the film and happy to keep
and have this movie at home. Five stars for excellent movie and great value for money!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic bollywood indian cinema, a poignant storyline and one ..., 8 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
Classic bollywood indian cinema , a poignant storyline and one to add to a collection. Mehboob , well done.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indian 'GONE WITH THE WIND', 30 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Mother India [DVD] (DVD)
This was conceived as an an Indian 'Gone with the wind' in spirit,it was made as a stylish epic on the woes and sufferrings of Indian womanhood and thus reflects the importance of the woman as a matriarch in a culture defined by the matron.

It'S immense popularity also bears witness to the genius of dirwector Mehboob who is able to invent a memorable feminist character and cast it perfectly with Nargis to create a folk tale and also embellishes it with great music[Naushad ] and pristine Technicolor cinematography from the lush rural locales;the peasants and their traditions are shown immaculate realism within stark truth -also the genuine communal attitudes of the villagers are shown in the ambiance of an Indian rural setting in a true reflection of the real Indian farmer and his ordinary life,almost getting into the head of the characters

But it is the trivia and the realism which make this movie great as every set detail and costumes smack of reality as does the floods and the rains and the harvesting scenes ,its a chunk from the heart of an Indian peasant and its simple and pure just like its origonal protagonists.

It's appeal is eternal and it's more popular today then when it was made like 'Sound of music' and 'My fair lady', great story telling with a superb soundtrack.

From the western eye view it is totally removed from Ray's'Pathar panchali' or Kapoor's'Boot polish' as much as 'Sound of music' differs from 'Citizen kane' or 'Gone with the wind' -this is popular art which is both melodramatic and like a great soap opera but it still is great art.
usman latif khawaja-jbz7879
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Mother India [DVD]
Mother India [DVD] by Mehboob Khan (DVD - 2003)
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