- 2 hr 17 min
Mahua is a 1969 Indian drama film directed by debutant actor-turned-director M. S. Sathyu. The story focuses on the life of a young couple, Mahua (Anjana Mumtaz) and Brijbhushan (Shiv Kumar), living in a remote village of India. The couple belongs to an indigenous tribe, and their daily lives revolve around hunting, gathering food, and taking care of their community. The movie begins with the tribe gathering around an old man who tells them the story about how their forefathers were forcefully evicted from their land by the Britishers. This sets the tone for the rest of the movie, highlighting themes of oppression, injustice, and the struggles of the marginalized sections of society. Mahua, the female lead, is a strong-willed woman who dreams of a better life for her tribe. On the other hand, her husband, Brijbhushan, is content with their way of life and has no desire for change. The two of them share a love-hate relationship, with their opposing ideologies creating friction in their marriage. The movie takes a turn when a government representative, Pashupati (Premnath Malhotra), arrives in the village to survey the area for a dam construction project. Mahua takes this as an opportunity to plead for the rights of her community as she sees the potential for their land to be taken away once again. Pashupati becomes intrigued by Mahua's pleas and becomes sympathetic towards the tribe's struggles. As time passes, Mahua and Pashupati develop a romantic relationship. Mahua sees this as an opportunity to use Pashupati's influence to fight for her community's rights. In contrast, Brijbhushan becomes increasingly resentful of Pashupati and Mahua's growing relationship. He sees Pashupati as an outsider trying to take away their way of life, while Mahua tries to convince him that Pashupati is their only hope for survival. The film ultimately ends on a tragic note as the government begins the construction of the dam, displacing the tribe from their land once again. Mahua, devastated by the loss, searches for a way to save her people, while Brijbhushan finally sees the error in his ways and becomes a devoted ally to Mahua's cause. Overall, Mahua is a powerful movie that highlights the struggles of marginalized communities in India. The film is a poignant depiction of the conflict between tradition and modernity and the need for balance between the two. The performances by the lead actors, Shiv Kumar and Anjana Mumtaz, are captivating and bring the characters to life, making the audience invest in their story. The movie's direction and cinematography capture the essence of rural India excellently, immersing the viewers in the story's setting. In conclusion, Mahua is a must-watch for anyone interested in Indian cinema, as it touches on themes that are still relevant today, making it a timeless classic.