Swades (2004)

8.3
  • Not Rated
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 2004 (2004-12-17)
  • Running time: 210 min
  • Original Title: Swades: We, the People
  • Voted: 74693
Swades: We, the People is a movie starring Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi, and Kishori Ballal. A successful Indian scientist returns to an Indian village to take his nanny to America with him and in the process rediscovers his roots.
#PersonCharacters
1Shah Rukh KhanMohan Bhargava
2Gayatri JoshiGita
3Kishori BallalKaveri amma
4Smit ShethChiku
  • Take a bow, Ashotosh, Shahrukh and ARR 12/20/2004 12:00:00 AM by bn0809 10

    30 minutes after I had viewed the film on Sat, I was not sure about how I felt about this film. 48 hours hence, I vividly remember most of the scenes and can lucidly state that is truly 'haunting'.

    Swades is not colorful; Shahrukh doesn't appear in a GAP or POLO SPORT; there are no introductory shots; there are no romantic scenes and no fields with yellow Tulip flowers; It may be a tad slow and lengthy; But Swades hits you where your heart hurts the most; patriotic and root feelings of an individual with good intentions overcoming societal obstacle. It's brilliant, heartfelt and touching. The 'We, People' film really makes us feel like it's our film. We see in the film what we see everyday, the places as they are. It's very much contemporary and it's our story.

    Compared to Veer-Zaara, it's light years ahead. Comparisons with Lagaan are bound to be there, but in some ways it's even better than Lagaan. Primarily, for the authenticity and real-life feel unlike Lagaan which was a finely crafted fairly-tale. Lagaan is all about emerging victorious and fighting against the odds. You enjoy it when you see it. Swades is about the conscience trauma of an Indian, urging him to comeback and do something for his country. It haunts you for long enough after the cinema has ended.

    There's a prejudice that the film is about bringing electricity to a small village. It's not. And the most poignant scene in the film, where we see a boy selling water for 25 paisa, hits you hard. Seeing the harsh reality and we'll find it difficult to suppress our tears. It's an answer to the generation of materialistic 'we', who never shy from proclaiming our great culture and tradition, but do nothing for our country.

    The asset of the film is Shahrukh Khan, looking ordinary and real but in an extra-ordinary performance. His most real since 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa' and his career's best. ARR music is soulful and original. The theme song 'Yeh Jo Des Hai Mera' haunts both in terms of its visuals and wordings.

    But above all, it's the good intention and the attention to detail, of director Ashutosh Gowarikar that makes wonders for this truly experimental and moving cinema.

    I can and will definitely view this movie once more, to celebrate it feel and spirit. I can't predict its box office outcome, as the masses love fantasies and escapist cinema. But it's definitely a treat for those who want to see moving and believable films on a large scale. Also if we don't embrace different cinema like this or even 'the torturous but different Musafir' for that matter, we'll continue to get more 'Sarson ka Saag', 'Karva Chauths', 'Maahi Ve' filled designer romance fables from the Chopra-Johar clan!

    Regardless of the box office outcome, take a bow Ashutosh, Shahrukh and ARR!

  • An Excellent Movie with an excellent backdrop 1/11/2005 12:00:00 AM by purnendu 10

    A worth watching Movie by Ashutosh Gowariker.

    Leaves a impression on mind after you have seen the movie.

    Though there are technical faults in the storyline yet those can be left aside on the backdrop of a heart-touching theme. A theme for the people who are leaving their countries / states in search of a better life without realising the fact that they can create a better living environment at home itself.

    An insight on the problems of India whose underdeveloped part is somehow or other responsible for itself for the underdevelopment. The social jinx in the rural India which should have been broken long before are now hampering the progress of the villages.

    The movie is another Gem after Lagaan in the collection of Ashutosh and Indian Cinema as a whole.

    Great Job by Shahrukh. Exquisite appearance by Gayatri. Grand Show by Ashutosh.

    Purnendu

  • coming of age 12/19/2004 12:00:00 AM by sabsinha 7

    Thank god for swades. Its been ever so often that as Indians we have lamblasted the mushy, one track nonsensical movies that were being churned out by bollywood and yearned for something slightly honest and celebral. And now it seems that the moment has arrived. Swades has finally reached the next level of Indian movie-making with the help of ashutosh, srk and rahman where the execution, the concept and the treatment of the film is at least (i can safely assume) close to world standards. There is no point comparing lagaan (the directors 1st movie) to this movie as his earlier venture was purely fiction with no semblance of realism in it. However this movie has so many ingredients of being a pathbreaker for Indian cinema that its almost scary. The feelings and expectations of an nri set aside, it tells the story of middle and upper class India losing touch with the harsh realities of the sufferings of the less fortunate ones all around us (and the fact that we can do very little to change the ongoing scenario is even more glaring and painful). Besides this the movie also deals with the desires and priorities of humans inspite of the trials and tribulations of daily living.

    The maturity of the script, the actors and the score makes it a journey of epic proportions without it looking epic at all. The normalcy of the movie is something which might (and hopefully will) change the way cinema is seen and made in India in the future. One can only hope.

  • Sincere effort with flashes of brilliance 12/23/2004 12:00:00 AM by pathaniav 9

    This is definitely worth watching. The direction is restrained, SRK has acted really well after a long time, and there is a naive yet charming idealism underpinning the movie. It could have been a tad shorter, crisper editing would have helped. BO-wise it is a risky movie - unapologetic in its depiction of poverty and almost childlike in its appeal to NRIs and India's middle class to acknowledge poverty and try to do something about it. Gowarikar's heart is in the right place - the shots with the family unable to pay land rents, and the waterboy were graceful and poignant. My hunch is that regardless of BO fate, this is an important movie and will be referred to for year to come.

  • One of the best films of the year. 12/19/2004 12:00:00 AM by kkd470 7

    Saw it last night with a packed cinema and I must say Ashutosh Gowariker has done it again. Nice storyline, little slow but he knows how to make a thoughtful film. Really made me think about being an NRI.

    Great songs, with A.R Rahman Music of course. The actress Gayatri Joshi played her part very well and she looks very beautiful. Definitely a new star. Shah Rukh Khan well is Shah Rukh Khan, one of the best actors of our times and he can play pretty much any part.

    Best film of the year. Watch it and it will make you think.

    Its not a masala movie.Intelligent and Thought Provoking. 10/10