Mataram is the debut production of Vauhini banner and is also
that of pioneering filmmaker BN Reddy. The elaborate melodrama,
based on Reddy's own unpublished short story 'Mangala Sutram',
presented the problems of uneven development in terms of an emotional
conflict between an innocent feudal rural female and a worldly-wise
capitalist urban male.
Raghu (Nagaiah), an unemployed graduate, insists on marrying a village
girl Janaki (Kanchanamala) despite the opposition of his scheming
mother who wants a dowry. Raghu's unemployment problems continue
despite his migration towards city, leaving his wife in the clutches
of her mother-in-law. When Raghu wins a lottery for Rs 5 lakhs and
returns home, he finds his wife and infant son have left.
his mother insists he marry again, Raghu goes to the city and dedicates
himself to social work, including building factories in order to
create employment opportunities. In this his rich female college
friend, provoking gossip around their relationship, assists him.
Raghu's wife, now a poor flower seller, sees her husband with his
new friend and believes he has married. Eventually the misunderstanding
major commercial hit, this film engages the agenda of reform and
nationalistic movements: Raghu names a lottery ticket seller Vande
Matharam, which mean 'Hail to the Mother' and one of the India's
national anthems, and tramples underfoot his 'foreign' degree in
a scene that caused censor problems. The film also introduces numerous
stereotypes, e.g. the suave urban crook and stage-stuck villager
(who marries the Hero's sister).