Swades is a 2004 Indian film set in modern day India, that tackles the issues that development throws up on a grass root level. It is to this India, which is colorful, heterogeneous and complex that Mohan Bhargava (Shah Rukh Khan), a bright young scientist working as a project manager in NASA, returns to on a quest to find his childhood nanny. The film uses the contrast between the highly developed world of NASA, which has been at the forefront of advances in space research, and this world back home in India, which is at the crossroads of development. Mohan's simple quest becomes the journey that every one of us goes through in search of that metaphysical and elusive place called "home".Wikipedia
Personally, I feel Indian audiences are just not ready for a film like Swades. Swades is a magnificent film held together by a series of episodic allegories, vivid social commentary, strong archetypal characters, a poignant love story and a towering performance by Shah Rukh Khan who manages to show dimensions to his acting that only a director like Gowariker could have been able to extenuate and bring to the foreground.
"Swades" is a unique experiment with grassroots realism. It is so politically correct in its propagandist message that initially you wonder if the government of India funded the director's dream.
As for the lead protagonist Khan (brilliant), let’s just say, in an entire career that spans a string of no-brainer, schmaltzy cinema hot off the shelves of Bollywood’s money-making masala stores, this is by far the most significant film he’s done yet. For this is another inspiring account of what self-empowered underdogs can accomplish through sheer zeal and phenomenal focus. I cannot think of a better film for the longest that deserved a stronger recommendation for both touring cinemas of India’s villages, and plush multiplexes of Mumbai or Manhattan. Finally, an honest, fine example of an unfortunately debunked, bastardised term called ‘crossover’.
The movie is much more than about the homecoming of an NRI. It is about his transformation, about the catharsis of emotions that floods his mind when he feels his insignificance in the face of a seemingly insurmountable mountain, and about his desire to bring about change. It is about those little drops of water making the ocean or the little grains of sand that make the land...It takes conviction in one's belief to make a movie like this, to swim against the tide so to say. Gowarikar does it magnificently while sending a message across - stand up and be counted or stand down and be counted out.
Yet, "Swades" is beautiful. Not instantly obvious, but in the many subtle ways that give the entire film its sense of poignancy. Yes it is long, on many occasions very verbose and with a feel and tempo of a well-made documentary on the problems of a backward nation. And yes there is the mandatory love story binding two people from differing worlds towards a common goal but not before they overcome their initial differences! Nothing that has not been seen earlier. But "Swades" is unique. Just as "Laagan" was.
Audience Reviews for Swades
'Swades' is an achievement because despite being as long as three hours and they minutes, it never for once feels over plodding. Yes it is tiring in parts, especially the frustrating bits of NASA. But Shahrukh Khan has a great chemistry with Ashutosh Gowariker and both the storytellers create unique magic.
It is easily one of the best stories to be translated into films this year and unmissable a gem for the same reason. Had the predictability of the plot been more crisp and the trimming been slightly less conventional, this could have been almost a classic. As it is, it is both fun and uplifting at the same time and delightfully joyous. Don't miss it, because it might be one of the best Hindi films you will see this year.
3/5.0March 26, 20
Swades is masterfully directed , perfectly acted and AR Rahman's music in such a simple movie made it a classic.This is a movie made for wider audience anyone from anywhere can watch it.its a thought provoking movie and a real one. Must Watch!!!!!2March 21, 14
This movie is sure shot one of the best but one of the most underrated movies in bollywood.0December 24, 18
Best film ever seen by srk and bollywood0January 12, 17