Swades: We, the People (2004)
Pssst, want to check out Swades: We, the People in our new look?
- Our Country
- 210 min.
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One of my favorite Indian films. Most of the problems brought to the fore appeal to a wider audience (read cross-cultural), which is what makes this movie so special. It explores basic tenets of humanity.
Many of the Indian actors are entangled in the cobweb of stardom because of which they tread the known/beaten path. And, understandably so. This movie was a commercial failure -- ironically, inane movies like Veer-Zaara and Main Hoon Na that were released in the same year (also starring Shah Rukh) were immensely successful. So, can't really blame him/others for hitting the screens with more crap!
Regular Indian moviegoers' eyes lit up only when they are served with a whole-platter (heroes, heroines and throw in some oomph, songs, dances, stunts). They view movies as a joy ride -- as a tool to escape from the mundane life -- and not as a reflection of the real-world.
This is the very reason why more and more Indian movies turn out to be crap, which is why foreigners find most of our movies ludicrous and painful.
Having said this, it is noteworthy to mention we do have some exceptional movies - mainly in Bengali and Malayalam with Marathi doing good of late.
For a 3 hour Bollywood travelogue which has perhaps one too many songs. and in which the main action sequence primarily involves a water pump, this is a consistently engaging, sensitive and well acted piece of work that emphasizes culture and family, whilst marking India's readiness to usher in a new age. Often touching, amusing or beautiful, it's worth a watch.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!