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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Swades:5 years onward...

Swades:We, the people(2004)
...aka Desam (2004) (India: Tamil title: dubbed version)
...aka Our Country (2004) (International: English title) (USA)
Swades is a kind of movie which grows bit by bit after watching every time…
Personally,anything good spoken about Swades is less;For me its SRK’s career best till date. I did not watch it with the help of download culture of college but walked into theater for first show. I walk out of the hall being a different person. Three hour feels like a journey for rediscovering of own roots.

A masterpiece in Indian Cinema;Why?
Cinema is an art. Art express truth by false symbols. It tells us about abstract ideas or ground reality through eyes of filmmaker. Film is technical artistic medium. Art provokes our thinking and emotion.The medium can be cinema, literature or painting. It brings a change in our thinking pattern and view of the world. Swades has changed the life of various NRI and they return to India for making it a better place. It pushed a idea of change into practical reality. Change offered by film on society should be fundamental criteria for evaluation of movie. But most critics venture into land of surrealism, not reality.

This movie is simple story devoid of all makeup required for a beauty of movie. It is a cinema of documentary style but simplicity was its high point. It was not well received at box-office as people were not yet over with Lagaan hangover. It connected very well with the NRI audience because it was narrated through their perspective.

Movie deals with problem of India and Indians: We the people.
There are no iconic or mythological representation of hero or villain in this movie. There is no mind twisting plot or hostage situation. The characters are real and no larger than life concept is introduced. It is a story of protagonist return to his native land. His views are evolving by becoming part of the ground realities and a feel of self realization. The conditions surrounding characters are not only in reel life but exist in our real life. Person in the movie turns from a esteemed position to push society for overall development, not only growth of few elite or privileged groups within society.

Mostly in typical bollywood movies, filmmakers tries to issue a problem and then gives a fictional/innovative solution. Most of the solution provided by them are violent and abrupt. Every film exaggerate the situation and points few people as villains. They eliminate them by violent means in the end and establishment of ramrajya/utopia is presented to viewers. Just Pure hypothesis and spoon feed of escapism. There are ups and downs but a consistent gradual change is missing. The world is not simply black or white but has a variable shades of grey in each individual's action or words. It makes the world more puzzling and perplexing choice between right or wrong. Hence, most of the films fails to reflect the facts and became propaganda of fictional solution.

They only move society for revolt against corrupt system. Revolt is not the solution but a zenith phase to dismantle old system. The working of new system will again fall into the persons with different faces but same thinking patterns. An individual revolt against the working system because he has nowhere to run or hide. He is suppressed or tortured and with all resources, hope is taken out from his life. He is pushed for the last option: Revolution. Rebel person lives on fringes and he fights for survival not living. Still the eternal recurrence of problems occur in society because the solutions are not accepted by the people. But a stable society needs to flourish where an individual and his thinking not just exist but also grow.

Several movies left vivid influence on ours life. But they exist just as an idea in the trenches of memory. They are only used in philosophical/cinematic discussion. Only dialogue spitting from commercial films are widely accepted by masses and idea of struggle against unjust system excite the intellects. Talks only,no implementation....

Remember, Swades is the next generation of cinema.Why?
We have to remember that tall peaks are not always better than long plateaus as true greatness must include protracted excellence. Its a consistent and gradual path of self realization.

Swades is the new level of maturity in our views. It tries to reform the society not by guns but by education, awareness and rebuilding infrastructure. The reformation is more essential for growth of society and civilization. It helps in eliminating unjust laws and orthodox tradition by non violent methods. This movie does not enforce mutation but offers a gradual evolution in our view toward cinema, life and everything. It is middle of path movie which is neither artistic nor typical bollywood. It was not a pardesi venture of Brit/American/NRI but swadesi attempt by Mr. Ashutosh Gowariker and heavy accolades to him for his sincere efforts........

For better depth of discussion go through this weblink on pfc.


  1. I agree with you completely, especially the comparison to other Indian movies that suggest reactionary and violent solutions to India's problems.

    Btw, I consider Swades to be one of AR Rahman's finest work.

  2. @vikram,thanks for the comment. Rahman is doing great by any standard but I considered Roja as his best with dil se,RDB,Dekhi 6, taal and meenakshi as finest of his works.
    Commercial Indian film makers are making film for entertainment then claimit as face of indian cinema.Height of hypocrisy.And problems are immense but we shall overcome one day....♫♫♫

    1. One of my favourite movies. One of the factors for my interest in RM.



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