‘Maa’ – 1952


Direction: Bimal Roy
Photography: Whirshing
Starring: Leela Chitnis, Bharat Bhushan, Nazir   Hussain, Achla Sachedev, Shyama
Production: Bombay Talkies

Bimal Roy made his Bombay debut with Bombay Talkies’ Maa. The film was said to be a free adaptation of an early Hollywood talkie titled, Over The Hills. Maa was a sentimental saga of the neglect of the elderly by one’s own offsprings. The elder protagonist, Chanderbabu, a retired postmaster, has two sons. The two, Rajan & Bhanu , are poles apart in nature. Rajan, preparing for a legal career, is dominated by his wealthy wife. Bhanu still a student, has espoused the cause of Nationalism. The conflict in the narrative arises when funds are required for the elder son’s entry fee. The father fails to raise this amount. Returning from the village fair, late one night Bhanu is startled by shouts of “thief, thief”. He joins the race only to discover the so-called thief is his father. He exchanges his father’s place. Bhanu is caught and serves a jail term. The engagement with Meena is called off. The father succumbs to this tragedy. Released at last, Bhanu is shocked to see his mother reduced to a maid. He confronts his brother and takes charge of the aged mother with Meena’s help.

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