Sign In  |  Shopping Cart Shopping Cart  |  RSS Subscribe to RSS Feed  
Spirituality & Practice
Search This Site
Find Us On
Follow Me on Pinterest
Sign Up
Conscious Aging Alliance
Conscious Aging Alliance Events
Search Reviews

First Name:

Last Name:



About the Database

Search our database of more than 4,500 film reviews. We have been discovering spiritual meanings in movies for nearly four decades.

Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Cotton Mary
Directed by Ismail Merchant
Universal 03/00 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - scene of sexuality

This intriguing drama is set in post-colonial India during the 1950s. Lily Macintosh (Greta Scacchi), wife of John (James Wilby), a BBC correspondent, gives premature birth to their second child. When she is unable to provide milk for the ailing child, Cotton Mary (Madhur Jaffrey), an Anglo-Indian nurse at the hospital, comes up with a solution. She secretly takes the infant to her sister Blossom (Neena Gupta), a wheelchair-bound wet nurse.

The tightly focused screenplay by Alexandra Viets examines the plight of the mixed-race Anglo-Indian community at a time when many Indians were coming into their own. Thankful for the health of her new child, Lily hires Mary as a nanny. Feeling the need to assert herself, Mary manages to get Joseph (Virendra Saxena), a loyal family retainer, fired. She sees him as nothing more than a "dirty" Indian. However, her bid for control of the household is undercut by her niece Rosie's (Sakina Jaffrey) affair with John Macintosh. In the end, Mary is forced to come to terms with her lowly place in the new India.

Ismail Merchant directs Cotton Mary with a sure hand, vividly orchestrating its portrait of the dehumanizing effects of class warfare. Madhur Jaffrey gives a riveting performance as the snobbish Cotton Mary, a woman whose refusal to see herself for who she really is results in a terrible fall.


Films Now Showing
Recent VHS/DVD Releases

Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
  Email This Review
Share |
Film Awards
The Most Spiritually Literate Films of:
Purchase from: