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 fo... Read allKishorilal 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.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.
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.
- Apr 12, 2003