5.4/10
425
12 user 27 critic

Cotton Mary (1999)

R | | Drama | 17 December 1999 (UK)
A British family is trapped between culture, tradition, and the colonial sins of the past.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lily MacIntosh
...
Cotton Mary
...
John MacIntosh
Sarah Badel ...
Mrs Evans
Riju Bajaj ...
Mugs
Gerson Da Cunha ...
Doctor Correa
...
Mrs Smythe
...
Blossom (Mary's sister)
...
Rosie
...
Mrs Freda Davids
Firdausi Jussawalla ...
Mr. Panamal
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal ...
Matron
Nadira ...
Mattie
Prayag Raj ...
Abraham (as Prayag Raaj)
...
Inspector Ramiji Raj
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Storyline

1954, the Malabar Coast. British and Anglo-Indian identities blur when an English-woman with a neglectful husband births a sickly baby. Cotton Mary, a hospital aide and moralizing Anglophile who claims her father was a British officer, takes over the infant's care and, without a word to the mother, takes the baby daily to her sister to nurse. Mary moves into the English household, taking over more and more duties as she plays on the mother's fatigue and lack of spousal counsel: in effect, Mary colonizes the English household while she pilfers its stores and tells tall tales to her own family. For how long can Mary sustain her rule before the Englishwoman stands on her own feet? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A házvezetőnő  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,680 (USA) (17 March 2000)

Gross:

$299,351 (USA) (20 October 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

As Theresa is walking along with the procession she passes an Indian boy in the crowd who waves at the camera. See more »

Connections

Features Aar-Paar (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Young
Written by Sidney Lippman and Sylvia Dee
Published by Campbell Connelly & Co. Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Sensitive look at complexity of British colonialism
1 July 2000 | by (St John's, NL, Canada) – See all my reviews

A sensitive look at the difficulties faced by a woman in colonial India, during the period when nationalism was starting to set in. The story opens with an India-born Englishwoman who goes into labour, is taken to the hospital, and gives birth to a sickly child. When it turns out that her milk doesn't come in, a nurse with mixed British/Indian heritage takes pity on her, finds a wet nurse, moves into her house, and begins to manipulate the situation to her own advantage.

As the story progresses, the husband's infidelity and disassociation is presented, as is the blindness of the wife, and the racist superiority of the expatriate British community. The Englishwoman's preteen daughter turns out to be the voice of reason who opens the woman's eyes to the situation as it is.

This is a slow-paced visually interesting story that focuses a great deal of attention on nurturing and nursing, and the complexity of a materially richer culture clashing and feeding on a materially poorer one.


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