Swades (2004) Poster

(2004)

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Truly made from the heart
ajitmahadevan5 January 2005
Ashutosh Gowariker, has really made this movie straight from the heart. It has none of the ridiculous clichés one is typically used to seeing when one sees a story about an India returning home. He has captured something which perhaps no other Indian movie has - that love for ones country can be strong without making an excessively big deal about it.

It is a long movie. But I think the rather leisurely pace of the movie is required because it gives enough time for the protagonist, Mohan Bhargava, to come to India (with his mineral water and caravan) and start to fall in love with its beauty as well as understand its incongruities which frustrate us all as well. I thought there were three moments in the movie that captured it all

1. The feeling he gets when he starts to land in India. All of us feel it. I do even today. It's called coming home. 2. The mineral water - that is a classic. In fact it is a character of its own throughout the movie and plays its own part! 2. The boy serving water at 25paise to the train passengers and Mohan Bhargava's reaction

I am saddened that Indians both in India and around the world have not liked this movie. It will be remembered as an epic. 2.
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10/10
Take a bow, Ashotosh, Shahrukh and ARR
bn080920 December 2004
30 minutes after I had viewed the film on Sat, I was not sure about how I felt about this film. 48 hours hence, I vividly remember most of the scenes and can lucidly state that is truly 'haunting'.

Swades is not colorful; Shahrukh doesn't appear in a GAP or POLO SPORT; there are no introductory shots; there are no romantic scenes and no fields with yellow Tulip flowers; It may be a tad slow and lengthy; But Swades hits you where your heart hurts the most; patriotic and root feelings of an individual with good intentions overcoming societal obstacle. It's brilliant, heartfelt and touching. The 'We, People' film really makes us feel like it's our film. We see in the film what we see everyday, the places as they are. It's very much contemporary and it's our story.

Compared to Veer-Zaara, it's light years ahead. Comparisons with Lagaan are bound to be there, but in some ways it's even better than Lagaan. Primarily, for the authenticity and real-life feel unlike Lagaan which was a finely crafted fairly-tale. Lagaan is all about emerging victorious and fighting against the odds. You enjoy it when you see it. Swades is about the conscience trauma of an Indian, urging him to comeback and do something for his country. It haunts you for long enough after the cinema has ended.

There's a prejudice that the film is about bringing electricity to a small village. It's not. And the most poignant scene in the film, where we see a boy selling water for 25 paisa, hits you hard. Seeing the harsh reality and we'll find it difficult to suppress our tears. It's an answer to the generation of materialistic 'we', who never shy from proclaiming our great culture and tradition, but do nothing for our country.

The asset of the film is Shahrukh Khan, looking ordinary and real but in an extra-ordinary performance. His most real since 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa' and his career's best. ARR music is soulful and original. The theme song 'Yeh Jo Des Hai Mera' haunts both in terms of its visuals and wordings.

But above all, it's the good intention and the attention to detail, of director Ashutosh Gowarikar that makes wonders for this truly experimental and moving cinema.

I can and will definitely view this movie once more, to celebrate it feel and spirit. I can't predict its box office outcome, as the masses love fantasies and escapist cinema. But it's definitely a treat for those who want to see moving and believable films on a large scale. Also if we don't embrace different cinema like this or even 'the torturous but different Musafir' for that matter, we'll continue to get more 'Sarson ka Saag', 'Karva Chauths', 'Maahi Ve' filled designer romance fables from the Chopra-Johar clan!

Regardless of the box office outcome, take a bow Ashutosh, Shahrukh and ARR!
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10/10
nothing short of a standing ovation ! A marvellous Indian cinematic experience ...
infinityToHeaven18 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Action, Thrillers, Drama, Romance, Comedy, "Crossovers", "Art Cinema" & finally Bollywood cinema. Nothing comes closer to the feeling of watching a good cinema these days & ironic is the fact that seldom there is a genre created for "Good Cinema".

Here comes Swades - Ashutosh Gowariker, post Lagaan,. with an optimism unparalleled with his vision & passion., always aiming at the roots of

traditional movie making. This time, he brings home one of the most humble yet convincing attempts in Indian cinema., with a script just short of a patriotic saga, characters reflecting India TODAY. Set in modern day India but taking a village backdrop, Swades is a film that tackles the issues that every educated upper class, specially the NRIs face today - a sense of belonging, Patriotism & having a realistic image of our country. Depicting through a NASA scientist (NRI) & taken the journey through the annals of an Indian village, a quest for finding his childhood nanny becomes an infinite journey that perhaps everyone of us go through metamorphically ...

in finding an Indian amongst us.

Mohan, (SRK) a successful NRI working in Nasa, realises the bitter truth of loneliness, often seen in today's growing spearation of Indians abroad. He wants to go home, nostalgic in search of his missing childhood & all he can remember last is, he is ashamed of losing contact with his nanny, who he holds with great reverence. (Parents die in an accident when he's young & his nanny has always taken good care of him). In a quest to find her & bring her back to US.,Mohan sets to Delhi in great pursuit & in the interim traces her residence in a distant UP town. What follows later is a series of interestingly woven characters that slowly builds upon a template for the fictional yet realistic characters of this village. The postmaster, a dhaba cook who dreams of opening a "highway dhaba" in US., the playful innocent kids., the beautiful urban educated girl (Gita)., now taking care of his nanny, who has given up everything to teach the children of the village & transform her ideals, the panchayat goons & rajas., the 'weather forecaster', the uneducated rest & of course, the wise nanny.

The next few reels bring us close to humanitarian essentials, questioning the very existence of the Panchayat System in the village, debating the needs of an education System, need for working in unision., & the utter poverty, cultural (dis)beliefs of people. Whats so convincing in this script is how the songs are used as an instrinsic part of the storytelling. Never before I have seen a Hindi movie wherein if songs were removed the movie is annulled !! Yet another reason how visionary ar rahman can be when it comes to sharing the intellect of his directors, not to mention the first class lyrics by javed akhtar. Some of the background tracks are an absolute delight (the funky starting sequence, the funny dhoti scene, the slow moving boat scene, train scene are some of the elements which cannot be fathomed by any other music director in India (or perhaps in the world).

100 minutes pass by & here comes the intermission. The audience stays in silence., no word comes from anybody, see each others faces & probably are asking themselves - "Damn its been more than one & half hour & I just didn't realised it!!!"

-Just one more reason which convinces you, "Good scripts never tell you how long they are ... coz you're IN it!"

Now., Mohan is trying to convince his nanny to come to US & its already getting late as his leave period is getting over. In the interim there's a subtle but very interesting chemistry between Mohan & Gita building up. Not to worry.., this is not those typical filmi kinda romances but shot in subtle nice sequences. Another note which can goto all the Directors, Music Video Directors - You don't need a woman to sport a bikini to look good.., neither you need Aishwairya Rai or Yana Gupta to champion the cause of an "Item No". The very meaning of beauty lies in our own traditional Saree & you will only realise when you see Gita's character & visuals in this movie. PERFECT.

The Plot thickens & now we see the transformation is not only in the villager's to start believing in Mohan's ideals ., in supporting his ideas... but the audience which by now is beginning to be ashamed of .... what we always have taken into granted - Our Patriotism. For instance, the scene where Mohan goes to a local crowded train. Sees a boy selling water for 25p on the pavement & for the first time drinks water in India (Mohan keeps a stack of mineral water at his dispose) is is crafted brilliantly. (not to forget the background score again). There are more than one reasons why this movie is perhaps different from other "patriotic" movies., coz it doesn't try to TEACH you anything. The subtlety, the ironic truth & the bitter, realistic characters makes it all so very close to humanity - you don't need Shah Rukh Khan to tell you this.

You will feel it shamelessly.

Few more days stay & now Mohan is beginning to question the very reason why he has come here, he begins to realise that what is happening is not correct & its a shame that he has not done anything so far to make a transformation.

Will Mohan finally take his nanny/Geeta to US? Does he make any attempt to make a transformation in the village? Well., whats the message the Director wants to convey ..

These are somethings I want YOU to see & appreciate. The brilliant dialogues of "India Vs US" ., "Parampara & culture .. " is just an eye opener to all of us who only tend to take things into granted.,

The performances - I don't quite agree with most people when they say SRK steals the show all the way., I feel Ashutosh steals the show given that he has produced, directed, written & done screenplay for this. Also go due credits to ar rahman, akhtar & all the characters in the film. Mohan's role is author backed & could have possibly been done by Amir, Ajay Devgan or even Anil Kapoor with equal if not a better flair.But yes, whats convincing is that Ashotosh ropes in SRK for this & gets ... what probably is the most honest, *natural* SRK performance ever. For the first time I've seen SRK making a successful attempt to be as convincing as Amir or Kamal Hassan & I would say for once., A star has become an ACTOR!

Yes SRK is definitely different in this film & I'm glad !!! I hope he makes more such films to prove that he is definitely a better actor.

Breaking quite a few clichés of a "run of the mill" bollywood flick, this 3 hour tale raises a few embarrassing questions., which I'm sure every viewer will beg to ask in the transition ..

  • Why are'nt such movies never made in India?


  • How come Shah Rukh has acted so convincingly in a role contrast to his traditional romantic flick?


  • Am I the only one questioning my patriotism right now ?? (well ... err let me see ...)


We blame the Bollywood not knowing that we are a part of encouraging it's cinema ... we only crib about how bad movies are made & we make movies like K3G all time biggest hits. In a country where creativity is the last word in Bollywood, I salute the humblest & honest filmmaker of all - Mr Ashutosh Gowariker to have made this movie cutting all the clichés'

A GREAT FILM MAKER is born ... LETS CELEBRATE.
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A truly beautiful and moving movie.
planktonrules29 August 2021
Mohan (Shah Rukh Khan) is a very successful engineer working for NASA in the States. His job is a very important one and he lives in a lovely apartment overlooking Washington, DC. But despite this, he's been plagued with dreams recently. He keeps thinking about his nanny that helped raise him and how guilty he feels because he left her back in India long ago. Now he's decided to head back to find her and bring her back with him to live in the States.

His route turns out more complicated than he'd thought. While she had lived in a nice nursing home, some time ago, she left and she now apparently resides in a small village in remote northern India. So, Mohan travels there and soon finds her. But this is very early in the film...there are still about 2 1/2 hours to go! So what's next? See the film.

This is a wonderful story, filled with some lovely acting, sweet writing and a lot of characters you can't help but like. I nearly scored this one a 10 and love the film's messages about working to make the world a better place versus working to make one small part of the world a better place. Well worth your time and among the best of SRK's films....which is saying quite a lot!

By the way, imagine this American's surprise when it turned out quite a bit of this Indian film was filmed near where I grew up. Much of the film is set at Goddard Space Flight Center in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. However, it's also confusing because often scenes switch between there and Cape Canaveral...which are about 900 miles apart! And, if you visit Goddard Space Flight Center, there is a decent Indian restaurant nearby...in case you're interested.
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10/10
One of the best films of the year.
kkd47019 December 2004
Saw it last night with a packed cinema and I must say Ashutosh Gowariker has done it again. Nice storyline, little slow but he knows how to make a thoughtful film. Really made me think about being an NRI.

Great songs, with A.R Rahman Music of course. The actress Gayatri Joshi played her part very well and she looks very beautiful. Definitely a new star. Shah Rukh Khan well is Shah Rukh Khan, one of the best actors of our times and he can play pretty much any part.

Best film of the year. Watch it and it will make you think.

Its not a masala movie.Intelligent and Thought Provoking. 10/10
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10/10
A movie that deserved better box office returns and way more mature audience
illumiinati17 December 2020
A simple story of a NASA engineer discovering his roots. And his life transformation narrated in a way that stirs your soul. The experiences that the protagonist goes through and the journey the audience takes with him is a must see for any connoisseur of classic Indian cinema.

I would rate Swades as Ashutosh Gowarikar's best work. And definitely SRK's best performance till date. If I look back and see. The movie had a great story. Screenplay that was brilliant. Ashutosh's direction was perfect. And SRK definitely stood tall in a restrained yet poignant portrayal of Mohan Bhargava. His best performance till date, yet underrated. Kishori Ballal remains etched in your memory as Kaveri amma. Gayatri Joshi is perfectly cast. Sadly she didn't appear in any movie after Swades, atleast nothing notable. An untapped potential. All other actors leave a mark.

Why did it underperform at BO? It came out in 2004. 3 years after the magnum opus Lagaan. There were bound to be comparisons. Both stories had the underlying love for motherland as theme. But were completely in stark contrast in their content. Lagaan, set in British era, was more of a fight about the protagonist and his village's honor. It had a bad guy, his evil intentions and then protagonist and his ideals. A classic underdog story. David vs Goliath. And we love those stories for sure :) Swades on the other hand was more about an individual discovering his roots. His inner journey and conflicts. His choice of leaving a comfortable and cozy life to be with his people. It's a simple story minus the melodrama. But so effectively told that it just wins you over. I think it was the expectations that audience had from Swades that made it underperform. Please do not miss this gem of a movie
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9/10
Sincere effort with flashes of brilliance
pathaniav23 December 2004
This is definitely worth watching. The direction is restrained, SRK has acted really well after a long time, and there is a naive yet charming idealism underpinning the movie. It could have been a tad shorter, crisper editing would have helped. BO-wise it is a risky movie - unapologetic in its depiction of poverty and almost childlike in its appeal to NRIs and India's middle class to acknowledge poverty and try to do something about it. Gowarikar's heart is in the right place - the shots with the family unable to pay land rents, and the waterboy were graceful and poignant. My hunch is that regardless of BO fate, this is an important movie and will be referred to for year to come.
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10/10
coming of age
sabsinha19 December 2004
Thank god for swades. Its been ever so often that as Indians we have lamblasted the mushy, one track nonsensical movies that were being churned out by bollywood and yearned for something slightly honest and celebral. And now it seems that the moment has arrived. Swades has finally reached the next level of Indian movie-making with the help of ashutosh, srk and rahman where the execution, the concept and the treatment of the film is at least (i can safely assume) close to world standards. There is no point comparing lagaan (the directors 1st movie) to this movie as his earlier venture was purely fiction with no semblance of realism in it. However this movie has so many ingredients of being a pathbreaker for Indian cinema that its almost scary. The feelings and expectations of an nri set aside, it tells the story of middle and upper class India losing touch with the harsh realities of the sufferings of the less fortunate ones all around us (and the fact that we can do very little to change the ongoing scenario is even more glaring and painful). Besides this the movie also deals with the desires and priorities of humans inspite of the trials and tribulations of daily living.

The maturity of the script, the actors and the score makes it a journey of epic proportions without it looking epic at all. The normalcy of the movie is something which might (and hopefully will) change the way cinema is seen and made in India in the future. One can only hope.
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9/10
An Individual Can Make A Difference And Have Fun In The Process
museumofdave8 April 2013
I gave this a high rating realizing that it isn't Citizen Kane, nor is it Lawrence of Arabia, but it moved me to tears more than once, and made me laugh frequently, and it tackled important issues and held out the possibility of solutions, something Hollywood films used to do routinely.

Too many Hollywood films in this era are made for kids in search of quick thrills, and that's fine, except the menu lacks balance. A constant diet of guns, explosions and emotional violence certainly doesn't model well as a reflection of the nation, does it? It is refreshing to find a beautifully acted story of a man who feels the magnetic pull of the homeland and struggles with giving up all his hard-earned wealth and glory to commit himself to others--what a novel idea! Name a major recent film that suggests such a thing! Very real third-world problems are graphically delineated, but as in other Bollywood films, there is always time for song and dance, and it's fun to take a break.

I do not claim greatness for this film, but I was highly entertained every minute and admired the craft it took to marry the music, images and story. We used to make films about heroes and creators and except for the recent Lincoln, they remain far and few. Swades reminds me a good deal of Frank Capra films from the 1930's, but with more color, and certainly a good deal more dance.
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9/10
A Better Bollywood
wordsmith_574 October 2009
We have been savoring Bollywood films for the past couple of months and we are definitely enjoying the cultural experience. Swades by far has touched me the most, as it not only combines that happy musical abandonment I have come to enjoy about India films, but this one reaches a new level. Swades manages to include the new aspects of India culture, becoming educated and proving abilities (NASA, no less), but superimposing how parts of India don't even have electricity yet.

It makes me appreciate my lifestyle here in America, yet the culture and traditions that India possesses is something to be a bit wishful for. As the actor playing Mohan said in the movie, America does have its own culture--somehow it doesn't run as deep as what I viewed in the movie.

Enlightening, edifying, and definitely educational. I look forward to sampling more thought-provoking films from India.
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8/10
This is the REAL deal!
bollywoodplusplus22 February 2005
Ashutosh G is to be admired, to take up a subject like this and make a movie, knowing very well that, this is not the real commercial deal. It is unlike the other two mega SRK movies of 2004 (Main Hoon Na, Veer Zara), but this is the REAL stuff ! Obviously if you are expecting SRK to jump around with designer clothes, and colourful songs and dances, this movie is not for you! But on the other hand, if you are aware of the ground reality of India, its people, if you have experienced the rural life, this movie will touch the innermost of you!

Music: ARR has few memorable tunes: 'Yun Hi Chala', 'Yeh Jo Desh Hai Tera', 'Sanwariya Sanwariya', 'Yeh Tara Woh Tara' ! Melody based tunes along the lines of Bombay or Dil Se.

Cinematography: Could have been much better.

The movie is all about its theme. And its highly reflective of the kind of person you are, or life you have led. Not everyone will appreciate the movie as much!

The scenes of the small kid selling water in station, or SRK's rent collection from another village are very thought provoking.

The movie, however, I felt, appeals to NRI crowd more.
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10/10
One of the Greatest masterpieces of the last Two Decades of Hindi Cinema..
prhudedavar_773 January 2014
This movie is without doubt ...one of the greatest Hindi movies ever made.This movies combines with superb direction and amazing performances from all the artists.And Sharukh khan..........he comes up with the outstanding performance and proves that...he is an amazing actor....i feel he is not utilized properly by other directors except few for his talent......hope he does more movies like this.Gayatri was beautiful and perfect and no one could have done better than her.The music and background theme is awesome and hits perfectly to the scenes.I watch this movie at least twice in a year.Truly masterpiece from Auhotosh ans Srk.As few jerks say its boring...i promise it does not bore even for a min....i recommend this Gem of movie to all who love movie which is entertaining as well as thought provoking....and truly inspiring.......watch it least once in lifetime.........Swades :)
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10/10
An Excellent Movie with an excellent backdrop
purnendu11 January 2005
A worth watching Movie by Ashutosh Gowariker.

Leaves a impression on mind after you have seen the movie.

Though there are technical faults in the storyline yet those can be left aside on the backdrop of a heart-touching theme. A theme for the people who are leaving their countries / states in search of a better life without realising the fact that they can create a better living environment at home itself.

An insight on the problems of India whose underdeveloped part is somehow or other responsible for itself for the underdevelopment. The social jinx in the rural India which should have been broken long before are now hampering the progress of the villages.

The movie is another Gem after Lagaan in the collection of Ashutosh and Indian Cinema as a whole.

Great Job by Shahrukh. Exquisite appearance by Gayatri. Grand Show by Ashutosh.

Purnendu
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Different treatment of Patriotism,
misijafz17 December 2004
Definitely a thoughtful movie. Thanks to Gowariker, gives an insight to the rural parts of India, their lifestyle, concise outlook… Different treatment of Patriotism, AG is quick to know the pulse of his viewers,

SRK has done a brilliant job. I'd read, a leading director who commented on him, that he comes in a package with best designers, director, music, best locations on shoot etc. etc…, I strongly recommend him to watch this movie, and would like to know what he could say to this. It was good and a big change to see SRK dancing with children. Star SRK has transformed into character, good!!!. AG has carried simplicity in every angle of the film.

Another good thing is the casting, Ashutosh deserve a big applause for this, all faces were apt for the character. Visuals, music, cinematography in short the whole crew a big applause, you guys had done a wonderful job.

Truly anticipate seeing such movies .
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9/10
Well Done but..
goldbergvariations17 December 2004
This is one of the most thought provoking movies to come out of Bollywood in recent times. I loved the characters of pretty much everyone in the movie but felt that all the good work was little bit undone by the length. Yes, Lagaan was long too but then it had a cricket match running and that was enough to maintain the intensity. However, it has to be said that AR Rehman's background score especially during the scenes when Shahrukh Khan travels by train and boat is nothing short of brilliant.

The movie also fell a little short in that it failed to address all the ideas about India that it raised. However, I am giving it high ratings because the script is good and fresh and the director has done his job passionately.

Its good to see Gowariker doing movies close to his heart and not falling for the "mass-hit" formula which many other promising directors have done.

Prashanth
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9/10
One of Indian Cinema's finest moments!
ariitanywhere4 June 2006
I recently saw 'Swades' for the first time in it's entirety and was just blown away by it's mature and intelligent treatment on the subject of brain drain. Director Ashutosh G has succeeded in making me feeling completely rejuvenated. There are so many magical moments in the movie,to pin them down would be fruitless. It goes to show what conviction, effort and the power of imagination can accomplish when they all come together in such wonderful fashion. The movie has all my favorite elements- simple clean humor, realism, a blend of old and new values,some truly good old fashioned romance and idealism. I was swept away by the lyrical quality to the film. There were many scenes that stood out. The scene where Mohan and Gita meet for the first time was refreshing and witty.The scene where Mohan entertains the village-folk with the powers of his imagination when the movie projector breaks down....the train scene where Mohan witnesses the hardships faced by rural folk up close... It would be a travesty to think that anyone but SRK was born to play Mohan Bhargava. I've never been a SRK fan,given his penchant for safe roles and scripts.But this movie has changed all that for me. I have a new found respect for his talent. Maybe he will go back to playing inane lover boy roles in the future but for me, he will forever be NASA project manager turned rural crusader Mohan Bhargava. His honest,restrained and utterly convincing portrayal of a successful NRI works,and how! This movie reminded me of a lot of things I had forgotten or pushed into the back of my mind. Indian values.Ethics.The unadulterated and intoxicating joy of pure love.Respect for one's elders and nation. I rarely am moved by any recent Hindi movie. To my chagrin, I even got emotional at certain junctures of the film. I'm sure many of you felt the same way,especially those of us living outside the country. I understand that it's quite possible that's its impact is much more since I'm living abroad, but there's no taking away from the fact that this piece of cinema will be remembered and hailed as a classic work....even a few decades down the line. I salute the makers, crew and other technicians who created this movie. We need more cinema like this. It is relevant, entertaining and has a poignant message. Never, ever forget your roots. This movie made me feel proud to be an Indian and what we, as a people,stand for.
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10/10
Absolute MAGIC!!!!!!
folkpoet803 April 2005
Swades is like a fresh breath in today's rotting world of Hindi Movie Business where immortal Classics like Kaagaz ke Phool, Khamoshi, Anand were once made. I have not seen any movie by Shahrukh Khan after 96-97 (apart from Main Hoon Naa, which is another Decent Movie), but I must say only he could have played the role of Mohan in this movie. Just like the next-door guy, he wins everyone's hearts. Gayatri Joshi is simply breathtaking and enthralling and someone who looked simple yet beautiful in the movie (Waheeda Rahman is another one). Director Ashutosh, who started out with SRK in late 80s in the TV show Circus and also starred with him in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, has once again proved that one does not need skin show and gore in a movie to excel. Some of the actors, he has repeated from Lagaan, namely the Postmaster, who is outstanding in his cameo. The guy from Gangaajal was great too.

In the end, this movie will mean very much more to Indians settled outside of India, which may be one of the reasons, it didn't do that well like other commercial movies in India, besides winning laurels. A must see for everyone who liked decent movies. Music was simply beautiful. Too bad the BEST song "Aahista Aahista" was not even featured in the MOVIE. I think this is the only point missed by the director.

There is not much room for Romance between SRK and Gayatri, however, all little moments are simply beautiful and do wonders. GO SEE IT if you haven't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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10/10
Govarikar scores a perfect 10
vgadgil14 July 2005
After a long, long time I saw a Hindi movie which has no villains, but still illustrates vividly the miseries of life, which has no feuding families but still manages to bring out the realities of love, marriage, and adjustments. There are no corrupt politicians but rather heads of the village, with real issues and real ego; but still clearly human; the real people. There are no events for shock values but still the storyline is gripping. Perhaps it is not for teens and young people in twenties, who would rather be in a dream world idolizing a person with super powers. The movie is as realistic as any of my Desi colleagues I meet everyday at work here away from my Swades. Such a simple story but so well presented. After having to watch stupid Hindi TV soaps every evening where women are either screaming or slapping each other and less said about the male roles the better, it was a real nice change to spend yesterday evening watching this beautiful movie with the whole family. I really like movies that leave me in a happy state of mind. This was definitely the one; a rare one; a jewel.
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10/10
realization
anirudh_0923 December 2004
Swades is not just a movie,it is a realization . Each n every people of our country must watch this movie . It is the best movie I have ever seen ( thinking of Mr Satyajit Ray movies also , I have seen all the movies of him ) . It is so down to earth that u don't even think that u are watching a movie . We must realize that we have to do something for this country....

Shahrukh Khan has done one of his best jobs in his lifetime....by selecting the movie as well as performance wise.....all the characters of the movie has done a brilliant job .

Plz watch this beautiful movie at least once .
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10/10
9 years after release still enjoying every bit of the movie
aphaniphani30 October 2013
Some movies in you life are precious, and this is one among them. I am a movie lover and watch every possible movie released. Swades holds a prima-facie among the limited movie collection i have.

I still remember the day when i stood outside the Audio shop in the city next to my village where i traveled over 100km just to get the first copy of the audio cassette, and guess what i grabbed the first cassette that day. Since that day my love for this movie is out of bounds, and still going strong.

Believe i am not a fan of Mr.Shahrukh Khan, but after this movie i really fell in love the way he enacted the play. I never missed the release of this movie and watched it the first day.

The Aftermath ,9 years later, today, i have completed my medicine degree,this movie made me change my mind to stay with my home place, My beloved parents, friends and everyone in my village. I wanted to pursue my masters in US but i am now a changed mind with pursuing the degree in here in my home land , India.

Thanks Mr. Ashutosh for creating this epic master piece. I would be grateful for the rest of my life for this movie you have crafted.

The characters simply have life and they are close to hearts, be it Mohan "NRI" Bhargava or "Gitli" Geeta or the Post Man "Nivaranji" who admires the Email as something out of the world invention, the American dream pursuing "MelaRam". Every one is astounding in performance, that makes this movie a special one that you would never want to forget for the rest of your life.

For all my NRI cousins and friends, do watch this movie and come back buddies, there is more to pursue in here. regards
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10/10
SRKs best ever performance
bonnemere23 June 2005
Bollywood seems to be producing great films again. After a long wait ever since the days of Sholay, Kabhi Kabhi, Trishul, 1942- A love story and of course Lagaan, we are treated to a modern day masterpiece. This film was derided by influential sections of the Indian press who were biased to SRKs other release at the time, Veer Zara, but then still emerged triumphant ! SRks best performance ever...even better than Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na or the Yash Chopra/KAran Johars sweeteners. For a debut performance, Gayatri Joshi gives a very composed performance. Memeorable Scenes: SRK: YOu Indians can't take criticism Kaveriammma: YOU INdians ? SRK: Sorry, us Indians Watch it again and again, too good.
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8/10
Journey from space shuttle to a boat
agrawalmannu29 July 2005
With a name like swades, which seems a little contrived and dated, I didn't think I would like the movie. I may be wrong but maybe it was the name which scared audience away because they thought that they would be getting a boring and a very obvious lecture on nationalism. Also there is a general misconception that this movie is preachy. Now, I agree that maybe couple of scenes like 'bhai sahib kitabon ki izzat karna seekhiye' could have been avoided but I don't think that this movie tries to preach anything. Lecture on nationalism, I think not, so much so that in one scene the protagonist Mohan Bhargava tells the villagers in plain words that he doesn't believe that India is the greatest nation in the world, it has the potential of being the greatest nation but it is not. Lastly, people think that this movie tries to propagate that NRIs should leave their jobs and return to India. Although this movie is inspired by the story of Aravinda Pillalamarri and Ravi Kuchimanchi who returned to India to work on micro-hydel project in Bilgaon but I don't think this movie tries to do that.

What this movie really does is that it shows a mirror to our generation of NRIs and IT consultants who are so caught up in this money making race that they have forgotten how to be a human and feel other's pain. Don't we belong to a generation who just doesn't care about anything else apart from how many cents I will save on Gas if I get this particular credit card? It takes a catastrophe like an earthquake or a tsunami to make us reach for our wallets and that too because it is in our face shown live on our cable TV these days. And then is it not the easiest thing to do; 'sending money'? If to tell you the truth is preachy then this movie is preachy and you can find one million reasons to avoid watching it. After all, who wants to face the truth?

The much talked about train sequence is the climax of the movie and probably one of the best scenes that I have seen. Think about it, there is nothing out of the ordinary that is being shown on the screen. You see small kids selling water or shoe shine everyday on railway platforms or streets without giving any thought. And that is the point. The scene hits you really hard and for that moment you are face to face with the truth in all its ugliness. I still get goose bumps just by thinking about it and that's how powerful that scene is.

Performance wise Shahrukh has excelled and is absolutely the opposite of what you see him in other movies, new girl Gayatri Joshi is good and has done her job well except for, well, the parting scene with Shahrukh in which she spoils everything that she has earned during the whole movie. Rest of the cast is competent and supports the movie well. Songs are unnecessary and could have been completely avoided which also would have shortened the movie to a desirable length.

Direction wise, Ashutosh has what it takes to be a good director but what this movie suffers from is the inconsistency in the style. If you are making a movie with a realistic style, I won't expect a NASA Engineer to interrupt a village Ram Leela with a song of his own. And I agree that this sequence is preachy.

It is sad that this movie wasn't commercially successful and Shahrukh was ignored for the National award but who else can be blamed for this but Shahrukh himself. Diligently and consistently he has destroyed his own image as a serious actor and now no matter how well he performs, nobody takes him seriously. I guess it will take him more movies like this and 'Paheli' to help him build a new image and shed the old one that is doing him more harm than good.

Arguably a very good movie but without a doubt one of the most important movies of our times.
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9/10
A rare master-piece
eh5963-297-96735423 March 2012
People who have only heard of Swades may think the film is a simple story of a man connecting to his roots. It is, but in that simplicity comes a whole lot of baggage. Swades tackles tons of issues in those 3 and a half hours. More importantly, Swades does not bore and keeps the viewers interested in the going-ons (Most of the time). It seems like the viewer is with the protagonist during his journey.

Mohan is a successful scientist working for NASA in America. He has completed the first phase of a big project he has been working on for NASA. However, there has been something bothering him the past few months. He feels he has abandoned his nanny back in India and wants to bring her back. From then starts Mohan's journey, or awakening one can call it...

One viewing of Swades is not enough, in my opinion. The film is too poetic and full of symbolism. There are so many things to note in the movie. SRK's water bottle with him all the time. Him finally drinking water. The whole scene with the movie being screened. A lot of symbolism in the movie which some hard-hitting statements being made. the film tackles issues such as poverty, electricity, government regulations, traditions and various things affecting India. The scene when the villagers compare U.S. and India is surely to raise eye-brows.

The film is a tad bit too long, and that is one of the few flaws in it. Honestly, I don't have any other problem with that.

Music plays a great part in the movie. The songs come at the right time and are brilliant. Lyrics are amazing by Javed Akhter. Technical aspects are first rate! The dialouges are fresh and move you. The story, screenplay is excellent.

Ashutoush Gowariker directs the movie with utter brilliance. It takes guts to make a movie like that and he deserves full marks for direction.

The characters in the movie all act terrifically. Gayatri makes a good debut.

Swades is carried on the shoulders of Shah Rukh Khan and he gives a performance that leaves you spellbound, speechless, just amazed! It's an act that only superb actors like SRK can pull off. Note the scene when the child is selling water by the train - Wow! His character change, his realization - a convincing act all the way.

Overall, one has to give it up to 4 people. A.R Rahman, Ronnie Screwala, Shah Rukh Khan and of course, Ashutoush Gowariker. Thank You for making this master piece.
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8/10
One of Shah Rukh's best
avik-kumar-si15 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Swades marked Ashutosh Gowariker's return as a director after a hugely successful Lagaan.

Swades is about the return of an Indian scientist working at NASA to his childhood village in India and about the incidents that follow next. Shah Rukh Khan stars as the young Indian scientist. The story deals with how this talented young man unexpectedly grows attached to his homeland, becomes concerned about the troubles of the village and also falls in love with a girl from his childhood days.

While Lagaan from Gowariker was massive in scale and scope, Swades is markedly humble. However, the contrast ends there as there is little to choose between the two as both are thoroughly enjoyable, heart-warming and beautiful films.

The tale unfolds slowly in Swades, and before the viewer is aware, he too is wrapped in the world of the villagers with hearts of gold – some ambitious and others proud. Shah Rukh Khan in one of his most remarkable performances delivers a restrained act as the Prodigal Son who is torn between his present perfect life and his roots and past.

The music is beautiful and features multiple soothing numbers while boasting of a rich variety. There is a sweet lullaby, a soft romantic number, one with a nice social message mildly delivered and of course, Ye Jo Des, the emotional conclusion to the tale.
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8/10
sWAYdes TO GOwariker!
ram-00816 February 2005
Swades I saw this movie with really high expectations from Gowariker thanks partly, to the number of Filmfare nominations and I was not let down!! What's New? Science has been blended into a Bollywood movie in the most magnificent way I've ever seen! As an Engineer myself, it was refreshing to see a Bollywood movie explain Science to the masses in a brilliant way! Way to GOwarikar! There was a new face, Gayathri Joshi. Frankly, I was not too pleased with her looks or performance. When I think Gowarikar and I think village belle, the face that flashes in front of my eyes is of course that of Gauri in Lagaan! Albeit, this girl is modern and educated, there are many faces I could fathom, that could have added a greater Jamba boost to this role.

Noticeable: Shahrukh has done a great job, which seems amplified after the cliché'd role and his signature performance in Veer Zaara, which left me wondering whether this guy had a future in my TV screen, but he does! SRK or this film will probably not have the impact that Aamir and Lagaan did, but this movie was a good follow-up by the director. The king Khan has done total justice to his role. AR Rahman has once again delivered when it comes to a Gowarikar movie. Except for the "Baaba Kich Kich taa" repeat in a song and the background music, the other songs were really well executed. "Yeh Taara Woh Taara" was particularly good and reminds us a little bit of "Mitwaa" from Lagaan. The dussera song was also good and reminds you of "Raadha kyon na Jale". Thank god, there was nothing in parallel to "O paalan hare".. looks like the director has taken feedback from Lagaan! I am not getting conclusive about a pattern in here, but Gowarikar in his first two movies has exploited the thrill value very well. The thrill that the audience gets out of the electric meter is great, but no where near when Kachara gets his wickets or Bhuvan hits the winning shot! That's the problem any director has to face by delivering a marvel in his first attempt! But this one has met expectations really well! Verdict: This movie is superb! Definitely worth seeing once! Having lived in a village for 4 days, I can tell that the sequences are so natural! The characters like the "Bijili paati", Kaaveri Amma, the weaver turned farmer, Dadaji, the cook who has done some good comedy, etc. are likely to stay in your mind several days after you have watched the movie. This is the beauty of Gowarikar's movies that attach so much significance to the so-called "lesser important" characters! How can you forget Kachara, Ismail or Guran from Lagaan? The movie is a little drawn out and a little bit on the preaching side, but you've gotta watch it for ARR, SRK and Ashutosh if not anyone else!
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