Date of Release: 1980





"This charming fable in the genre of New Indian Cinema brings up the issue of the Indian caste system and its entrenched beliefs from several different perspectives. Once upon a time, the story begins, there was a prince who was taken out of the palace at birth by his evil aunt and thought to have died. Instead, he is adopted and raised by a low-caste couple. His lot in life is one with theirs and when he grows up, he champions his family to stop the suffering they have endured because of their particular caste status -- an action of a true prince. There are two versions of the ending of the ‘ Folk Tale ' with the audience welcome to choose their favorite. Enhanced by interesting costumes and incisive dialogue, the fable combines comedy and social commentary as it moves through its classic tale."
Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

“A delightful didactic fable with sharp Brechtian influences that works on practically all levels. This colourful film is inventive in its costuming, playing, setting and imbuing a comedy parable with digestive statements on authoritarianism and revolt.”
Gene Moskowitz.
(Variety, U.S.A.)

“Entertaining, comic, tragic, socially and politically incisive – the film’s innovative style is a landmark in Indian Cinema.”

“Bhavni Bhavai” : like a lightening red Bhavni Bhavai, the Gujarati Film is very special – inventive, moving and fine grained – the film is so simple, song filled and entertaining that it is well along its way before you recognise it as a tour do farce it actually is."
Khalid Mohammad.
Times of India

As “Committed Cinema”, Bhavni Bhavai demonstrates a refreshingly different approach to a subject which has unfortunately become cliched in our “other cinema” ……….. with the fresh and engaging approach of Bhavni Bhavai, the committed cinema seems to have turned a corner.
Sidharth Basu

A film of unusual style and resonance
Lens Eye

Best realized film ………………………………………
Finest film I saw in India ………………………………
Stunningly photographed film …………………………
Funny, vivid, and engaging, Bhavni Bhavai triumphantly succeeds in being at once sophisticated and accessible, playful and affecting, specifically Indian and universally accessible.
Jim Hobbermann.
(American Film)

"The film picked up a Gujrati folk tale related through the folk bhavai form, moving backwards and forwards though time to narrate a sort of a fairy tale with a moral in the end. In the film, it turned into a beautiful, ironical metaphor on the caste system on the one hand, and a satire on the other".
Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide (The Week / May 31, 1992)