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Pardes (1997)

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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 overview, first billed only:
Arjun Saagar
Mahima Chaudhry ...
Kusum Ganga (as Mahima Chaudhary)
Apoorva Agnihotri ...
Rajiv (as Apurva Agnihotri)
Alok Nath ...
Suraj Dev (Ganga's father)
Himani Shivpuri ...
Padmavati Rao ...
Madhuri Bhatia ...
Dina Pathak ...
Dadi Maa
Benu Kalsi ...
Krishna Maa
Smita Jaykar ...
Pavan Malhotra ...
Sharafat Ali (as Pawan Malhotra)
Rakesh Thareja ...
Ajay Nagrath ...
Aditya Narayan ...


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 bahu will instill some Indian values in his extremely westernized beta. He finds his bahu 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 the American-boy to ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


American Dreams... Indian Soul


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Release Date:

8 December 1997 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Idegen földön  »

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Did You Know?


The lead role of 'Ganga' was exclusively written for 'Madhuri Dixit'but madhuri had some issues with Subhash Ghai during filming of 'Khalnayak' so opted out of the movie. See more »


When Ganga is throwing the vase at Arjun the door opens and closes between shots. When Arjun is standing up the door is open but when he ducks down the door is closed and then the door goes back to open when he stands up again. See more »


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 »


References The Glimmer Man (1996) See more »


I Love My India - II
Written by Anand Bakshi
Composed by Nadeem Saifi and Shravan Rathod
Performed by Kavita Krishnamurthy
Courtesy of Tips Cassettes & Records Co.
See more »

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User Reviews

I love my India ? Childish !
11 September 2014 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Pardes (foreign land) is the story of Kishorilaal (Amrish Puri) who is an NRI settled in US but has been nurturing the love for his motherland, i.e., India in his heart despite living away for it. Arjun (Shah Rukh Khan) is his foster son who has grown up with his real son Rajeev (Apoorva Agnihotri). Sorry to find most of his family members including his son as completely coloured in Western culture, Kishorilaal decides to arrange such a bride for his son who is soaked in Indian culture and values that those Samsakaaras and life values reach his son and the generation next as well.

Kishorilaal's quest for such a bride finds a perfect choice in Ganga (Mahima Chaudhary), the daughter of his childhood buddy Suraj (Alok Nath) who is living in India. He sends both Rajeev and Arjun to the house of Suraj to see Ganga and confirm that matrimonial alliance. However after the engagement of Rajeev and Ganga in India, Kishorilaal insists that prior to the wedding Ganga visits US and spends some time with his family in order to familiarize with her in-laws as well as the environment there. And there starts the trouble. Several undesirable things come to Ganga's notice and she has to flee from US with the help of Arjun. Shortly, she is able to find out that Arjun, not Rajeev, deserves to be her life partner. Kishorilaal also realizes that it's incorrect to cut an Indian girl from her roots and compel her to take root in a foreign soil.

The idea behind the movie is definitely good and the conclusion rendered is agreeable. It's a lesson for those parents of Indian girls who feel that by sending their girl abroad through her marriage with an NRI, they will be arranging a happy and prosperous life for her. Even when the boy's family is wealthy and the boy earns well, it may not always be advisable because if the boy has grown up abroad, his personality and psyche must have been groomed according to the environment prevailing there and the girl brought up in India may not be able to adjust with him as well as in the family of the in-laws. Finally, mental adjustment matters the most in the marriage of a girl and not the wealth and the luxuries of her husband or her in-laws. But !

But Subhash Ghai who was considered an expert in making formulaic movies during that period, has not done proper justice to the story idea. To justify his theme and the conclusion of the story, he has taken different points and facets of that to the extremes and reduced many characters (in both the Indian and the foreign milieu) to mere caricatures. Love for India cannot be proved by shouting I Love My India loud (as done through a song of the movie). This love should reflect through understanding the Indian values and way of life. And it's here where this movie falls flat on its face.

There are several ridiculous things in the first half of the movie in which the story moves at a snail's pace. The most ridiculous of them (at which I was beating my head in the cinema hall) is the Kabaddi match played between the two teams who are staking their claims on Ganga in order to take her away as the daughter-in-law of the respective families. The bet is that whosoever wins the match will take away Ganga through her marriage with a boy of the team. Such a laughable stock has been presented in a movie made on such a brilliant theme !

The second half of the movie is fast-paced with many twists and turns but they appear to be imposed to justify the case of the filmmaker and not evolving with naturalness. Personally I don't feel that smoking and drinking make a bad boy. All the same, a good wife is able to make her husband (if otherwise he's nice) get rid of such bad things after marriage also. As far as his promiscuity is concerned, this fact also appears to be suddenly thrown at the face of the audience (as well as the heroine). The boy's father's ignorance of this kind of nature of his son is a serious issue (especially when he's bringing a girl from India to US and allowing her to spend time with his son prior to wedding) which the filmmaker has neglected.

The climax has also been dealt with in the typical Subhash Ghai style which entertains but doesn't impress. The heroine elopes with the hero without any love in her heart for him which doesn't make much sense. In the end, the whole stuff of the movie appears to be something having pious intentions behind but not executed properly and honestly.

This lavishly made movie is technically superior. The only flaw in this regard is its excessive length. The editor and the director should have curtailed its length by at least 30 minutes by removing many unnecessary sequences. The overall form of the movie renders an impression that it was made under the hangover of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995). However every movie cannot become DDLJ even with certain similarities in the story and the lavish style of filmmaking.

All in all, this formula-studded movie which was a box office hit also, is quite entertaining but does not do justice to its noble theme because it deals with the love for one's motherland in a childish manner. The treatment of the subject is melodramatic for a major part of the movie. Love for the motherland should reflect in one's attitude and deeds. It's not possible just by yelling I Love My India from the roof of one's house or by singing and dancing at a song containing these words.

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