Laxmi lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in India along with her husband, Kishtaya, who is a deaf-mute. Both husband and wife work for the wealthy landlord. The landlord's son, Surya... See full summary »

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(story and scenario), (dialogue) (as Pandit Satya Dev Dubey)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Laxmi
Sadhu Meher ...
Kishtaya
Anant Nag ...
Surya
Priya Tendulkar ...
Aga Mohamed Hussain
Mirza Qadirali Baig
Hemant Jeshwant Rao
Satyanarayan ...
(as Master Satyanarayan)
Sesham Raju ...
(as Shesham Raju)
Hameed Rashid
Aslam Akhtar
Syed Yakoob
Jagat Jeevan
Prafullata Natu
Kaleem Siddiqui
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Storyline

Laxmi lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in India along with her husband, Kishtaya, who is a deaf-mute. Both husband and wife work for the wealthy landlord. The landlord's son, Surya, has to cancel his studies and return home to look after the estate, as well as formalize his marriage to Saroj, the girl he was compelled to get married to when he was very young. Shortly thereafter Kishtaya is apprehended stealing toddy from the fields, is severely beaten, left senseless, and when he recovers he absconds, leaving Laxmi alone to fend for herself. Surya finds her attractive and starts an intimate relationship with her, much to the chagrin of the rest of the family. Things only get worse when Saroj moves in to live with Surya - compelling him to make a final decision about a visibly pregnant Laxmi. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Seedling  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Featured in And the Show Goes on: Indian Chapter (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Seduction and the Seedling
12 August 2006 | by (Trinidad not Tobago) – See all my reviews

Ankur is literally one the best Indian movies I have ever seen – actually, it ranks as one of my most favorite films of all time. There is something to be said about the Indian Film Industry – while it has altogether crumbled and become wildly glamorous and crass, many of the Indian movies since the advent of cinema and up until the early eighties were stupendous, thought provoking, and wholly a testament to the power of film.

Ankur takes place in rural Andhra Pradesh, where a young man fights his father's wishes to run the family farm. He loses the battle, as all good boys would, gets married, and takes up agrarian life. His switch to that lifestyle is jarring, and he becomes rapidly bitter and enraged – essentially greed takes a hold of him, and he is unable to control himself in many respects. The story continues, largely focused on his housekeeper, Lakshmi (Azmi), and his relationship with her and the surrounding townspeople. His seemingly consistent life of exerting semi-torture and quasi-love for those he encounters is turned upside down when his wife finally arrives.

The character of Lakshmi – an young, largely oppressed by still happy worker is not at all unlike the realities of life in India (especially at that time). Benegal uses her exceptional beauty as a sort of scaffold for the viewer – not only are we sympathetic to her social predicament, but we are because of who she is, her kind words and fidelity.

The most powerful aspect of the film is the director's play on family dynamic, caste, and power. These themes are so interwoven and densely packed into the film, that it is hard to imagine it all coalescing so beautifully in just under two hours. Benegal's films, sometimes noted in the Indian 'New Wave' movement, are generally as such. There is no doubt that this movie has many aspects that are far ahead of its own time – and far too advanced for the people who watched it when it was released.

Benegal's ability to deal with such vital themes makes the movie all the more amazing. Of course, from a simple entertainment standpoint, the movie is rife with short humor and phenomenal close up shots. In fact, there are many off screen elements to the movie that throw hints at the viewer about what is happening; Benegal almost emulates the great Thomas Hardy, except in film.

RATING: 10/10


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