7.2/10
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Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998)

Dibyanath Chatterji, his bank-employed wife, Sujata, and only child, a son, Brati, live a middle-class existence in Calcutta, West Bengal, India, circa early 1970s. Sujata is a quiet, ... See full summary »

Director:

Govind Nihalani

Writers:

Mahasweta Devi (based on the novel "Hazaar Churashir Ma"), Govind Nihalani (script) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jaya Bhaduri ... Sujata Chatterji
Anupam Kher ... Dibyanath Chatterji (Brati's father)
Seema Biswas ... Somu's mother
Milind Gunaji ... Saroj Pal, Police officer
Joy Sengupta ... Brati Chatterji
Nandita Das ... Nandini Mitra
Bhakti Barve
Kanti Madia Kanti Madia ... (as Kanti Madija)
Vineet Kumar Vineet Kumar
Sandeep Kulkarni
Anupam Shyam
Lalit Parimoo
Atul Tiwari
Milon Mukhopadhyay Milon Mukhopadhyay
Mona Ambegaonkar
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Storyline

Dibyanath Chatterji, his bank-employed wife, Sujata, and only child, a son, Brati, live a middle-class existence in Calcutta, West Bengal, India, circa early 1970s. Sujata is a quiet, devout Hindu, religious, and compassionate woman, and Brati has finished his school and is now attending college. His parents are proud of him, and keep track of his progress. Then their world is shattered during the early hours, when they are informed by the police that Brati has been killed. Dibyanath and Sujata go to identify Brati's body, mourn, lament inconsolably. They know now that their lives will never be the same again - for by the police they will be called the mother and father corpse No. 1084. Sujata struggles to understand Brati's passing, meets his friends one by one, comes to know that Brati had a girlfriend, Nandini Mitra, and that's when she finds out that Brati was part of a rebel group often referred to as "Naxalbari", a militant leftist group. As she delves deeper and deeper into ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

20 March 1998 (India) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Udbhav Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Trivia

based on the 1974 Bengali novel Hajar Churashir Maa written Mahasweta Devi. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Neither political nor melodramatic
11 June 2002 | by renelsonantoniusSee all my reviews

Govind Nihalani's "Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa" served as the opening film of a festival dedicated to Indian films held here recently.As such kind of film event is a rare occasion in our country, so is the film a rare gem.

Given its material (which was adapted from a novel by Mahaswati Deva), the film has the potential of becoming overtly political (like Constantin Costa-Gavras' "Z") or expressly melodramatic (like Regis Wargnier's "Indochine").But it is a fine attribute of the film that it provides just enough background for the viewers to become acquainted with the intense sociopolitical events in India (particularly in West Bengal) in the 1970s---a radical outlawed movement, the "Naxalbari," proves to be major headache for the established leadership---and keeps finely checked and nuanced the thoughts and feelings of the characters that the result is a quietly powerful and moving drama of loss, alienation and enlightenment.

The brutal murder of a radical and forward-thinking son causes for the mother to embark on a journey of self-examination and -discovery---asking questions as to the circumstances that led to her son's untimely death, what made her overlook and take for granted her son's "secret" activities, and seeing in her own family the very things her son had rebelled against (complacent, hypocritical, reactionary and bourgeois attitudes and values in modern society).

The film proceeds on a slow and reflective pace so as to be proper to its conversational approach, which is of such a length that the characters gradually open their minds and hearts to the viewers regarding the lamentable family loss and the state of their society in general.Take careful notice of the scene where the mother visits her son's girlfriend, who is also a member of the movement and where mother and son "meet" one another for the last time.

To be distinguished too are the stunning performances, specially those provided by the actors who played the beleaguered mother, the loving aunt and the ill-fated son.

If you have the opportunity, don't miss "Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa."


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