I usually come to the party a little late, when its about movies and I was really late to join the "Swades" bandwagon. Now I am going to rubbish any movie critic that says "Swades" isnt an entertaining piece of art. Swades is, by any standards, is Shahrukh Khan's most polished performance of his movie career. And if Ashutosh Gowariker set a standard with Lagaan, he has just raised the bar with Swades. The movie as most of us would already know, is about an NRI, Mohan Bhargava (SRK), who happens to be a scientist with NASA, who returns to India in search of his childhood nanny, Kaveri-amma played by Kishori Ballal. His search leads him to a small village in UP, called Charanpur. His experiences in the village, which are a result of his efforts to get his nanny to migrate to the USA with him, make him realise his responsibility towards his nation and give him more than one reason to return to his country. Now this might seem to be a 3 and 1/2 hour moral science lecture to some and for those who can appreciate the emotions that Gowariker has tried to portray through his movie, its a 3 and 1/2 roller coaster ride. I cant help admiring the performances of the support cast, that includes the charming debutante Gayatri Joshi (playing Geeta), Daya Shankar Pandey (Mela Ram) and Rajesh Vivek (Nivaran). They have done a tremendous job in packaging the movie to what it has turned out to be.
Swades, also has an excellent music score, which one could call its only drawback as well. The movie loses its tempo at times, due to inappropriate insertion of song sequences. I must point out though, the attempt to knit the music sequences to the story itself and its pretty obvious that Gowariker hasnt forgot this art which he showed in Lagaan. The athiest in me, was especially pleased the song, "Pal Pal hai Bhari". Now this may seem ironic, but it isnt. The dying moments of the song have Shahrukh Khan saying, "Man se Ravan jo nikale, Ram uske man mein hai". I have believed that it isnt necessary to believe in God or a religion as long as you can keep your mind free of all evils. Religion happens to be a way of life and is a way of bringing peace to a community. Therefore the advocacy of a religion over another and the very advocacy of religion itself, given a human being's ability to cleanse his mind of evil, makes little sense.
Coming back to Swades, I think the movie comes with a very strong message. It is an inspiration to every viewer to live his dream and be the miracle. It shows that nothing is impossible when an inspired individual leads a team. It shows that while we might have a rich culture and heritage, it is no excuse for our inherent shortcomings. It makes us realise that every citizen, no matter how powerless, is responsible towards making his country a better place. No contributions are small and dispensible. Ashutosh Gowariker should be heading for the Oscars again, for a splendid directorial venture, yet again. I would say encore on that count and hope he can bring back the Oscars this time round.
On a more personal note, I dunno if I am falling in love all over again, but I must say this girl is really special. I am trying my best to resist. But it hurts when I do that. Maybe my mind's just playing games with me... once bitten, twice shy, they say... maybe I'll never learn... maybe I will. But "girl" all I wanna say to you, if you're reading this, and know its you I am bloggin about; URABUT!!!