By Divya Solgama(22 May 2008)
Mahaprithibi is the story of a Bengali middle – class family against the background of the new world order with the defeat of the USSR in the cold war and the unification of Germany. When the elderly mother of a Kolkata family hangs herself, her husband, her youngest son, her mentally unbalanced daughter and her widowed daughter – in – law one is distraught but does not have the courage to read the old woman’s diary. When the eldest son returns from Germany, his anxious questioning brings to light the disorientation experienced by the family and the way world history penetrates into the fabric of individual lives. In the end the daughter, with silent anger and resentment, burns the mother’s diary, unread. With this film director Mrinal Sen returned to his most congenial themes, Kolkata, and to one of his favorite plot formulas - the sudden disappearance of a family member causes the others to reflect on themselves and their lives.