13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2006
This movie is very timely and articulates the inner turmoil within individuals away from 'home'. The story engages the viewer to answer some deeply buried issues about identity, about the self, about what is important in life. It also highlights the good & the bad aspects of the 'eastern way of living' as opposed to the western values. It is heartening to see great supporting performances that could've been overshadowed by the Shahrukh Khan's screen presence and trade mark performace. Gayatri Joshi brings a certain freshness that warms the spirit. All in all an extremely good movie by Ashutosh Gowarikar backed up by some great music by A. R. Rehman. If you like this movie, also consider Dil Chahta Hai, Lagaan, Sarfarosh, Baghbaan, Khakhee, Rang De Basanti, Virasat, Salaam Namaste, Hum Tum, Veer-Zara, Black, Ashoka and Ghulam. Hope that helps.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2007
This is a story of an Indian man called Mohan Bhargava (played by Shahrukh Khan) who has made it good in the USA, as a scientist working on a geophysical project for NASA. He has also been granted citizenship in the USA. On the way home with a friend, after addressing a press conference of the research findings of his group, he confesses his longing for his roots in the land of his birth. Especially does he miss his erstwhile nurse whom he calls Kaveriamma, who took very good care of him, even better than his parents, who had died earlier in a car crash. He is advised to take a holiday to India and return to the USA with her in tow.
He leaves at once for India, but finds that Kaveriamma has returned to her native village. He makes his way there, in a borrowed caravan and is welcomed by Kaveriamma with open arms. She is, at the time, guardian to a young girl of marriageable age called Gita (played by newcomer Gayatri Joshi) and her brother. The children have been orphaned and the girl works as a teacher in the local school. Mohan gets quickly accepted by the tightly knit village community, not only because of his budding romance with Gita, but also for his open and outgoing nature. He gets to go to the village panchayat (meeting of the village heads with the common folk) and makes a very positive impression, while also raising eyebrows, because of ignoring caste restrictions and intermingling with all and sundry while initiating the development of basic infrastructure, such as an electricity generator and better schooling for the children in the village. By this time, his increasing involvement in the village affairs, has resulted in his extending his intended period of stay by several weeks. His boss requires that he return immediately and reluctantly, he does so. But the call of his country is too much for him and he returns to the village to work for its upliftment.
The performances of the actors, especially the lead role played by SRK lends strong credibility to the film, despite its relatively thin storyline. Those of us who live abroad can truly identify with his dilemma. It is truly an agonizing choice that we face, of returning to help further the welfare of our loved ones at home, or to stay on in the land of milk and honey and cater to our professional ambitions. One derives vicarious satisfaction from Mohan's return to his roots and attending to the well-being of his own kind, and giving them the benefit of his broad based technical knowhow, derived from years of training abroad.
As mentioned earlier, the role of Mohan is well tailored to King Khan's personality. Hé comes out as a sensitive, gentle, softspoken person with a great sense of humour and motivated by strong ideals and deep perceptions. In the service rendered by him to the villagers, he finds a sense of identity, he did not have before. Watching the movie, especially as an NRI; one shares in the suspense and the excitement of the discovery of this identity, and also in its fulfillment. This would hold, even though our own decision, if placed in the same situation, would be quite different.
All in all, this is a movie one does not easily forget. A must see, especially for NRIs.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2006
Good performance from all the stars and a brilliant score by A.R.Rahman. Like the other reviewers I had a feeling if it was aimed at NRIs as it kinda pokes u with a sudden remembrance of home and all the good things about it. The film really has moments where it really touches u...like the train scene where Shah Rukh Khan buys water from the little boy. Definitely worth the buy.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2005
This is an excellent film!
Even if your not a bollywood fan, you should enjoy this movie about self discovery.
Swades takes you on a journey, from NASA to rural India. Its the story of one man ,and his quest to find his place in the word.
It has some loverly songs, dances and sub plots. The film looks great and all the performances are very well done. Not your tipical bollywood, but a realy excellent stand alone experence.
Everyone should see this film at least once.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2005
'Swades: We the People' has been critically eclaimed to be just as good as 'Lagaan.'. It is certainly a nice movie of 2005 but not as good as blockbuster 'Lagaan.' The movie stars A-List Bollywood heart throb, ShahRukh Khan (great performance as always) and newcomer actress, Gayatri Joshi. ShahRukh Khan plays Mohan, a hardworking NASA scientist, living in the U.S. He is just at the peak of his career and has a very successful NASA project in the pipeline. Memories come back to him of his elderly guardian, KaveriAmma, who is a typical symbol of motherhood, who raised him as a child. Mohan is filled with guilt, as to how he left her in India in an elderly institute, just for him to come to the U.S. A great idea of realism is shown here as to how Mohan, influenced by modern, western ideas, left his guardian in a home. Thus, he flees to India in search of his aunt. After a long, adventurous journey, he stumbles upon KaveriAmma in a rundown, rural village, who is being cared for by Geeta (Gayatri Joshi), a reserved female schoolteacher of the village, and her child brother (Chikoo). Gayatri has a very simple role, which she portrays elegantly, and she shows herself to be a very sophisticated actress. A mature film such as this really suits her. Mohan becomes taken by the village, experiencing his roots and highlighting the problems the village and its people are facing. He uses his intelligence, scientific aptitude, Western ideas, empathy and love of people to improve the village. He is later torn between two decisions at the crossroads: whether to return to the U.S, where he has lived for several years and has a very successful job or whether to reside in India with his loving aunt and his new friends of the village. Which one will he choose? Watch the film to find out! The film is a very social and moving one about people and relations, which realistically deals with problems Indian society faces:- the oppressive caste system, child labour, and other overly religious bindings, which keep a country from moving forward. The movie also highlights how Indians who are living in the Western world should not forget their heritage, traditions and values, i.e, how Mohan did. Overall, this is a nice movie, with a simple plot; at times the film does become tiresome and dull, lacking appeal and interest but it does require patience. Locations and scenery bring the movie to life and the song sequences are very good, with "Yeh Tara Woh Tara" being one of the best. Buy this movie now to experience this great, meaningful, moving motion picture!
on 16 May 2012
I'm the kind of person who is usually impressed by movies who most people laugh off or condemn... probably because I look for more than just gunshots and punches. Most people, as soon as I mention this movie and the fact that it's bollywood, look at me as if I'm completely deranged. Well the joke is on them and the great storyline they'll miss.
The first time I watched Swades around 3/4 of the way through on TV I was absolutely hooked by the movie but I had to switch it off because of time constraints. I never forgot the movie and now, around 4 years later I have bought it because I wanted to finish the job properly.
The storyline behind the movie is one that I think a lot of us in the world today need to realise... it's beyond materialistic and doesn't bring religion or racial differences into the movie at all. It is simple a tale of love and finding your roots and doing what really matters to yourself and those closest to you. There's no violence or swearing and by the end of the movie you are really left thinking about what truly matters in life.
I've watched lots of movies... and at times I enjoy to unwind with horrors or action flicks if I don't want to work my brain too hard, but this movie Swades is probably the best and most touching I have ever seen.
on 7 September 2011
This is ok, I like the songs but its definitely not my top SRK movie! But if you like stories about culture and going back to your roots then you will like this movie.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2005
I really enjoyed this movie - SRK's acting is great, and there are some typically enjoyable, moving and schmaltzy Bollywood scenes that will keep you feeling sentimental throughout. "Village India" looks like a small paradise throughout, however, and I suspect that this movie is aimed at the NRI, ex-pat Indian audiences, who probably go through the same feelings that the main character does when thinking about leaving life in the West, and coming 'home'. The messages are mixed, though, and the biggest question seems to be not the differences between NRIs and Indians in India, but the differences of caste, class and financial status that exists in Indian communities. There is some beautiful photography in this film as well. I recommend it.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2007
Shah Rukh Khan was the third choice for this film and it shows at times, first choice was amir khan but Mangal Pandey came to close to the schedule for this and we were robbed of the best actor in Bollywood doing a very good story. the second choice was Hirthik Roshan. Shah Rukh Khan's problem well its not his problem, is that we are to used to seeing him doing love triangle films that when he does do rare film where he might just dirty is clothes he becomes lost like child in a store. and that condems the story, he really is not up to movies like this.shame. the stars are for the story and the rest of the cast.Shah Rukh Khan stick to karan johar.