Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Swades - my view

As promised earlier, here is my review on this movie. This post has been lying in my Drafts folder for quite some time now, and I guess it is time to publish it before I begin working on my next post.

A few things that you must know before you continue reading this review.

I do not know Hindi very well. I could make out the meanings of most of the dialogues from the expressions, context, translations from my “interpreter” and my own rudimentary knowledge. There is a high possibility that I might have missed out on some intricate wordplay within the movie which might elevate the movie to a higher level. But I think not. Comparisons are inevitable in reviews. But I shall try to reduce the number of such in my review. Primarily because the objects of comparison would invariably be Tamil movies, and majority of my readers would be ignorant about such.

Also, I shall not compare it with Lagaan at any point simply because I never considered Lagaan a good movie. It was just a typical entertainer with high doses of predictability. Which means that whatever little comparisons I do make in my review would be with those that I consider good movies.

At the outset, Swades is a good movie. I am tempted to say “very good”, but I fight that…with good reason. I definitely do not think it is great. I don’t think there is any need for me to narrate the story as most of you would have either seen the movie, read reviews in the papers or read Akshai’s blog. I came out of the movie hall feeling that I hadn’t seen anything new in the movie. Nothing pathbreaking or earth shattering. But more on the negatives later.

The best part of the movie was SRK’s acting and Rahman’s music. They were well accompanied by sincere performances by most of the co-artistes. There were absolutely no commercial elements characteristic of most Hindi movies, such as an Antakshari, or a marriage ceremony or an item number. The director had made up his mind to give the audience a good movie, and hoped to make money out of that. Sadly though, the average cine-going public’s tastes are a bit more banal. As a result, it may make him rethink his strategy for his next movie. And that would be sadder. Such movies need to be encouraged. But it is easier said than done in a society where most people prefer watching movies in the plush confines of their homes on DVDs and VCDs. If the masses are the only ones making it to the theatres, isn’t it obvious that only those mass-entertaining movies would succeed financially?

The message the movie projects is very sincere and endearing. To be honest, it made me squirm in my seat. The movie should be considered a success if it manages to change the thinking of atleast 1 percent of the population.

The cons – as I said earlier - nothing new. The last few reels of the hero working on a village project was highly reminiscient of K Balachander’s Unnal Mudiyum Thambi. The scene just after the song Yeh Tara Woh Tara where the children of different castes mingle reminded me of the final scene from Suhasini Manirathnam’s Indira. And there were shades of similarity between SRK’s character here and Surya’s character in Mani Rathnam’s Aayitha Ezhuthu.

The heroine, Gayathri Joshi, was one person who didn’t fit a bit into the entire setting. Trouting about in designer sarees and with heavy mascara and lip-stick, she sticks out like a sore thumb. I could be wrong. Maybe she did pay weekly visits to Delhi and bought herself the latest sartorial and cosmetic products. But that doesn’t gel with her character, does it?

In toto (:)), Swades is a good movie. Not to be missed. And please watch it in the theatres.


At 1:15 PM, Blogger Rajneesh said...

In toto? Were you referring to the post below the post that is above?

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Tejaswi said...

Awesome stuff, I actually clicked on "comments" to say the same thing that Raja bhai has guys rock!!!! and so does the pista-colored tie!!!

At 6:56 AM, Blogger Sayesha said...

Agree. Swades touched my heart.


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