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Pardes (1997)

Not Rated | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 8 December 1997 (India)
Kishorilal wants an Indian bride for his westernised son. He gets him engaged to Ganga, his friend's daughter, and brings her to USA. But she shares a deeper bond with Arjun, Kishorilal's foster son.

Director:

Subhash Ghai

Writers:

Subhash Ghai (screenplay), Subhash Ghai (story) | 2 more credits »
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shah Rukh Khan ... Arjun Saagar
Mahima Chaudhry ... Kusum Ganga (as Mahima Chaudhary)
Amrish Puri ... Kishorilal
Apoorva Agnihotri ... Rajiv (as Apurva Agnihotri)
Alok Nath ... Suraj Dev (Ganga's father)
Himani Shivpuri ... Kulwanti
Padmavati Rao ... Narmada
Madhuri Bhatia Madhuri Bhatia ... Neeta
Dina Pathak ... Dadi Maa
Benu Kalsi Benu Kalsi ... Krishna Maa
Smita Jaykar ... Padma (Paddy)
Pavan Malhotra ... Sharafat Ali (as Pawan Malhotra)
Rakesh Thareja Rakesh Thareja ... Paul
Ajay Nagrath ... Dabboo
Aditya Narayan ... 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 (25) »

Taglines:

American Dreams... Indian Soul

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

8 December 1997 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Foreign Land See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mukta Arts See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

I Love My India was sampled from Dance of Saraswati by Kitaro. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Friend: [Arjun is frantically playing the piano] You love Ganga
Arjun Saagar: No, I don't love Ganga
Arjun Saagar: Yes you do
Arjun Saagar: I don't!
Friend: You do!
Arjun Saagar: I don't!
Friend: You don't?
Arjun Saagar: I do!
See more »

Connections

Remade as Pelli Kanuka (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Jahan Piya Wahan Main
Written by Anand Bakshi
Composed by Nadeem Saifi and Shravan Rathod
Performed by Shankar Mahadevan and K.S. Chitra
Courtesy of Tips Cassettes & Records Co.
See more »

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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 chutneylixSee 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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