• Subhash K Jha
    Subhash K Jha


    “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’.

  • Chitra Mahesh
    Chitra Mahesh
    The Hindu


    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.

  • Rohit Murari
    Rohit Murari
    Fully Hyderabad


    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.

  • 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.