This film takes a serious look at the lives of Westernized Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in North America (Whereas Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was about NRIs with Indian hearts, Pardes is ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Arjun Saagar
...
Kishorilal
...
Kusum Ganga (as Mahima Chaudhary)
...
Rajiv (as Apurva Agnihotri)
...
Suraj Dev (Ganga's father)
...
Kulwanti
Padmavati Rao ...
Narmada
Madhuri Bhatia ...
Neeta
...
Dadi Maa
Benu Kalsi ...
Krishna Maa
...
Padma (Paddy)
...
Sharafat Ali (as Pawan Malhotra)
Rakesh Thareja ...
Paul
Ajay Nagrath ...
Dabboo
...
Potla
Edit

Storyline

This film takes a serious look at the lives of Westernized Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in North America (Whereas Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was about NRIs with Indian hearts, Pardes is about Westernized NRIs.) and hence the meaning of the title - "foreign land". Kishorilal is a successful businessman settled in America but still emotionally attached to his motherland - India. So the pardesi comes to India with his "American" son Rajiv to find a suitable '"Indian" girl for him. Kishorilal hopes his soon-to-be daughter in law will instill some Indian values in his extremely westernized son. He finds his daughter in law in Kusum Ganga (a pet Subhash Ghai name just as Chandni was Yash Chopra's favorite for a long time) in the house of his childhood friend Suraj Dev. Mahima Chaudhary makes her debut as Ganga. To finalize the marriage he sends his son along with his foster son Arjun to India. Arjun plays Cupid and returns to America with Kusum and Rajiv. Arjun comes into the movie to get ... Written by Aman Bakhsh

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | kabbadi | bridge | train | singing | See All (24) »

Taglines:

American Dreams... Indian Soul


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Details

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Release Date:

8 December 1997 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Idegen földön  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Subhash Ghai was making this film he had anounced that, this film Pardes is a small film not big films like his previous films like Saudagar & Khalnayak. So the publicity and everything was underplayed. But when this film was ready for release he had promoted this film in a big grand way, as if it was a big film and it suprised everyone. See more »

Goofs

Mahima Chaudhary's picture appears in the front page of the New York Times, but the whole movie is set in Los Angeles, California. See more »

Quotes

Kusum Ganga: [after learning of Rajeev's ex-girlfriend] Everything that happened was wrong, everything! And you're the one responsible!
Arjun Saagar: Me?
Kusum Ganga: Yes, you! Aren't you the one who told me Rajeev is like this, Rajeev is like that.
[reveals intimate pictures of Rajeev and Kelly]
Kusum Ganga: THIS is what Rajeev is like!
Arjun Saagar: Now, Ganaga, you'll have to learn to adjust to these small matters...
Kusum Ganga: A smalll matter? This is a small matter? A small matter? THIS is what you call small! Look, I don't want wan't to live is some palace made of ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The Glimmer Man (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

My First Day In U.S.A.
Written by Anand Bakshi
Composed by Nadeem Saifi and Shravan Rathod
Performed by Hema Sardesai
Courtesy of Tips Cassettes & Records Co.
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User Reviews

Patriotism is great until you stuff your face with it so much that your eyes are too small to see whats in front of you.
12 April 2003 | by (Boston) – See all my reviews

Briefly, the story goes like this. Kishorilal (Amrish Puri) is an NRI whose heart belongs to his homeland, India (or so he says). On a trip back home, he meets his old friend, Alok Nath (forget his name). Kishorilal is impressed with the traditional values his friend has instilled in his daughter, Ganga (Mahima Chawdhry). So he requests Ganga's hand in marriage for his westernized son, Rajiv (Apoorva Agnihotri) who he hopes will become more Indian with Ganga in his life.

To prepare Ganga and her family for Rajiv's visit to India, comes Arjun (Shahrukh Khan), adopted son of Kishorilal. Arjun is a struggling musician who even though has lived in America for a few years is completely Indian at heart. After Rajiv's visit, Ganga is sent off to America to experience and understand the life there before she gets married. There she is entrusted to Rajiv who exposes her to the so called American culture. She is shocked and runs to Arjun for comfort. She begins to get closer to Arjun who is already in love with her.

The elders misinterpret their friendship and with the help of Rajiv's skewed mind label Arjun as the enemy. A highly melodramatic climax leads to an obvious ending.

So whats the problem with Pardes? Why has it raked up so much controversy you ask. Well the answer lies in the director/storyteller of this enterprise, Mr. Subhash Ghai. His portrayal of Americans and Indians living in America is completely one-sided. He shows them as drunk, sexually obsessed individuals with no values or principles.

Mr. Ghai did have a message to send to his audience but somewhere on the way it got lost in all the melodrama. His message was to be careful that we don't let foreign influences ruin what is India's most valuable entity: traditional family values and principles. What he fails to do is show all sides of the coin. There exist people in America, UK and other such countries who hold onto their values, following them to a fault. Also, he should have taken a closer look at India. There are some aspects of Indian culture that are utterly ridiculous, and we might do well to take some advice from outside and NRI's are our link to such changes. The world is not black and white, there's a lot more gray than Mr. Ghai seems to want to acknowledge.

Patriotism is a wonderful thing until you begin to stop using your brain because your blinded by it.

Everything else in the movie is average and sometimes below average. Nadeem-Shravan's music is hummable at points and loud at others. Mahima Chawdhry, the new find is pretty and decent for a newcomer but is guilty of overacting at points. Apoorva Agnihotri, although a good-looker is below average. His dialogue delivery is his downfall. Amrish Puri and Alok Nath are also guilty of overacting. I'm guessing this overdose of melodrama has to do more with the director than the actors. So they are forgiven.

Shahrukh Khan is the saving grace of this film. Coming up with one of his most subtle performances of his career, he is simply outstanding. His silence and subtlety have so much more effect than the rest of the cast's yelling and preaching. He is the only reason I own the DVD of this film. Watch Pardes, if only for the King Khan.


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