Wow...the only constant reaction to Swades

Few movies make you react differently every time you watch them. Few movies demand that you watch them often, getting something out of them every time. Few movies put things into this much perspective.

Few movies are like Swades (2004). WOW!

Saw it this afternoon after quite a long time. Yes, I have not grown tired of watching it. I don't think I will ever tire of watching it. This is how a movie without an antagonist can still be par excellence.

'Beautiful' is the only word I can use to describe the Ashutosh Gowariker project. My peers might disagree with me on this, but I firmly believe this is among Shah Rukh Khan's finest performances. Gayatri Joshi is fantastic, graceful and elegant in her debut. Wonder why we have not seen her more often, for surely she can act better than most of the wannabes out there. Kishori Ballal is effective as Kaveri maa. But wait, I could go on and on about the performances in this movie, for there are plenty of good ones.

Reviewers in popular media criticized this movie tremendously saying that it did not make for an ideal topic. WAKE UP!

There are countless scenes in the movie that are so perfectly executed, you feel like you're amid the action in a Hindustani village called Charanpur. The most striking of these scenes comes at a train station where a little boy sells glasses of water for 25 cents...if that doesn't make you shed a tear, nothing will.

Speaking of outstanding performances...the soundtrack to this film, by A.R. Rehman, is worth cherishing. Few albums are worth listening to from start to finish. This is one such album (is it just me or was it released around the Ramadan of 2004?). Not only the music -- the lyrics are nothing short of pure genius by Javed Akhtar Saheb. 'Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera', 'Yun Hi Chala Chal Raahi', 'Ahista Ahista', 'Sanwariya Sanwariya', 'Pal Pal Hai Bhaari'. Excellent stuff all round. Honorable mention to the playback singers -- Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Sadhna Sargam, Madhushree, A.R. Rehman -- they are all very very very good.

In any case, before I go on and on about how great this movie is...I just had to post this before the end of the day. Swades is, for me, one of the top five movies of the decade. If you have not seen it yet, you are missing out. If you have seen it, you might want to give it another shot. It will definitely put things in perspective and hopefully inspire you to make a difference, even if it means that you donate to child relief efforts if nothing else.

Here is to India's villages!

Watch it if: you enjoy realism in cinema, you appreciate grace on screen, you want to watch something believable. you appreciate sheer quality of cinema-making.

Definitely watch it if: you are an Indian living in the West. There are several things you will relate to.

Movie website:


Vikash said...

Just stumbled upon this blog and immediately wanted to see what you thought of my favorite film. I am glad to see that we think alike, I thought this was pure genius and since it has premiered I usually watch it once every six months or so (don't want to spoil it) and come away loving it more and more each time!

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Vikash: It's a fantastic film, and you're right -- it's gotten better each time. Here's my extended review:

Thank you for stopping by! Do come again :)