This social film attacks Bombay's industrial parvenu class, initiating the realist-reformist melodrama as a genre. It tells of the street hawker Devdas, who goes to the city to make his fortune but, once successful, becomes an exploitative cotton mill owner and a callous snob knighted by the British. There is a violent factory worker's revolt. His wife, the kindly Hirabai, is made to suffer and his daughter Rukmini is dishonored.
Sujit R. Varma