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Swami (2007)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 242 users  
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Swami, Radha and their kid shift to Mumbai after selling off their ancestral home in a village. In Mumbai, they get their kid admitted to a school that's patronized by children belonging to... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Swami (as Manoj Bajpai)
...
Radha
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nitin Arora ...
Guest Appearance
...
Narrator
Ashok Beniwal ...
Anand's boss
Alex Bhagat
Bharat ...
Bakshi - Muthu's friend
Deep ...
Pandu - Gotiya's friend
Siddharth Gupta ...
Young Anand
Vijay Kashyap ...
Muthu - Swami's friend
Ameya Pandya ...
Gotiya
Neha Pendse ...
Pooja
Vivek Shaq ...
Waman Pandit - Swami's rural employer (as Vivek Shauq)
Manmeet Singh ...
Manjeet - Muthu's friend
Aryan Thakkar ...
Adarsh - Anand's son
Edit

Storyline

Swami, Radha and their kid shift to Mumbai after selling off their ancestral home in a village. In Mumbai, they get their kid admitted to a school that's patronized by children belonging to affluent families. Everything is going fine until Radha falls ill and is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Swami starts working overtime to raise funds for the operation, but Radha spends the entire amount on a chair that Swami wants to possess so dearly. Radha passes away with just one desire: The kid should settle down in America some day. How Swami works towards that dream is the remainder of the story. Written by Annoymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

8 June 2007 (India)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a major first for any Bollywood movie, the entire background score for the film was recorded before a single shot of the film had been captured on camera. See more »

Soundtracks

Radhe
Lyrics by Sameer
Music by Nitin Arora, Sony Chandy
See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful & Breathtaking
4 September 2007 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

'Swami' really reminds us of the time when simple stories were told so beautifully like in Hrishikesh Mukherjee films. In his directorial debut, Acharya has proved to be a remarkable director. He obviously took the risk of making a 'songless' film with two of the finest actors (Manoj Bajpai and Juhi Chawla), a simple script and minimal special effects. This isn't a big budget flick but in no way does it look outdated. Instead it adds to the films simplicity and gives it a more authentic look. Writers Bhavani Iyer and Muazzam Beg have written a lovely story and Acharya has stayed true to the script without going overboard in his aspects of film-making. One scene that deserves special mention is the one right before the interval when Radha requests Swami to sit on his rocking chair (that she affectionately bought for him) while she's lying on the bed. The zoom-lens focuses on Radha's eyes as we see her fate (note the change in her eyes) and then on Swami's face as we see his expression slowly metamorphoses from a smile. Full credit goes to the director and cinematographer for this brilliantly shot scene. There are several such examples throughout the film.

Swami is an accountant who happily lives in a village with his beloved wife Radha. Never does he refuse any of Radha's wishes and fulfills all her desire. Swami is passionately intrigued by rocking chairs. He only has a what-seems-like-impossible dream of owning one. He also has a habit of collecting 5 rupee coins and names his collection the 'Good Luck' collection. Since Radha wishes for her son to obtain a good education and move to America, the couple shift to Mumbai as soon as the opportunity presents itself. They successfully manage to get their son Anand admitted to a good school. However Radha falls severely ill and the doctor recommends a costly operation. Swami decides to use his 'Good Luck' collection but even that's not enough. He works overtime and almost manages to make the amount until one day he comes home and sees a rocking chair.

Manoj Bajpai's and Juhi Chawla's performances are breathtaking. The two share a very warm and sweet chemistry. Bajpai delivers a somewhat subtle and restrained performance. The actor plays his part with gusto. I'll give you an example of the scene when Swami returns home after his grandson's injury and he notices the absence of his most prized possession. Note the expressions on his face and his body language. No wonder he's one of the finest and 'Swami' is one of his best. One always expects nothing other than an excellent performance from Juhi Chawla but one always sees more than expected. The actress is just mind-blowing and even with her extremely limited screen time in the second half, her presence is there and her brief appearance in the Ganpati Baba sequence is a delight. I don't think any actress can match her presence on screen. Newcomers Maninder and Neha Pendse are commendable while the child actors are adequate. Clearly, Acharya has carefully selected his actors. While some may argue that the sequence with Swami's friends in the park may have been over the top (I also felt the same initially) it shows Swami's social circle. After his son's marriage, Swami retires from his job as an accountant and he meets new friends. I think that provides an important insight into his life as it shows his calmness among friends and that he's more of an introvert. The actors who play his friends are alright (but the Punjabi friend is very over the top).

Acharya is very well know as a choreographer but in Swami there's hardly a dance number. We do see some dances in the Ganpati Baba festival sequence. Yet in that sequence we don't see any synchronized dance. What we see is very natural, just like the way people dance at a celebration. There's hardly any song in the film. The mesmerizing soundtrack perfectly fits the film and most of is relegated to the background. Acharya also makes good use of the music by allowing it to contribute to the scene rather than intrude.

Ganesh Acharya shows tremendous potential as a director and I would like to see more of his directorial work. Unfortunately 'Swami' wasn't a big hit but I hope that doesn't prevent him from making such gems. There are just so many memorable moments in the film that have been so delicately handled like the scenes where Radha and Anand see America for the first time on T.V., Radha telling her husband about moving to the city, Swami looking back at the village house he leaves and Radha holds his hand, Swami finding what he lost (in the final scene). In my opinion, 'Swami' is one of the best films of the year.


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