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Ashutosh Gowariker wrote, produced, and directed the drama film Swades, which was released in 2004 in India's Hindi language. Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi, and Kishori Ballal play the key characters in the movie. Daya Shankar Pandey, Rajesh Vivek, Lekh Tandon, and Makrand Deshpande play the supporting roles.
The story centres on Mohan Bhargava, a non-resident Indian who works at NASA in the United States as a project manager for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) programme. Mohan moved to the United States to continue his undergraduate education after his parents died in a vehicle accident in India. He continues to worry about Kaveri Amma, a nanny who cared for him as a child at his house in Uttar Pradesh. Kaveri Amma moved into an elderly residence in Delhi after the passing of his parents, where she eventually lost touch with Mohan.
Mohan wants to travel to India and return to the United States with Kaveri Amma. He takes a couple of weeks off and visits India as a result of the recent success of Phase I of his project. When he arrives at the nursing home, he discovers that Kaveri Amma has moved to the village of Charanpur one year ago and is no longer a resident there. Mohan ultimately makes the decision to visit Charanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
He meets Kaveri Amma when he arrives in Charanpur and discovers how Geeta, a childhood friend of his, brought Kaveri Amma to live with her after Mohan's parents passed away. Geeta works arduously to better the villagers' quality of life through education while running a school in Charanpur. Geeta does not appreciate Mohan's presence because she fears that he will leave her and her younger sibling Nandan alone and take Kaveri Amma back to the United States. Mohan is informed by Kaveri Amma that it is her job to marry Geeta first.
Geeta supports gender equality and women's empowerment. This draws Mohan to Geeta, and he joins the effort to support her by promoting education among underprivileged groups and among girls. Slowly, Mohan and Geeta's romance grows. Mohan is tasked by Kaveri Amma to travel to the neighbouring village of Kodi and retrieve money owed to Geeta by a man by the name of Haridas. The trip that Mohan goes on in the novel is very similar to what occurred to Mahatma Gandhi when he returned from South Africa.
When Mohan travels to Kodi, he is moved by the deplorable circumstances that prevent Haridas from feeding his family every day. Haridas explains to Mohan that he switched to tenant farming because his previous occupation as a weaver wasn't providing him with any income. But because of his shift in occupation, the people shunned him and even stopped giving him water for his crops. Mohan recognises the sad state of affairs and learns that many Indian villages still operate in a similar manner as Kodi. With a heavy heart, he goes back to Charanpur and resolves to take action for the benefit of the community.
As a result of his declining health, Dadaji passes away. The GPM project Mohan was working on is approaching a critical point and he needs to return to the United States soon, so NASA officials keep calling him. Kaveri Amma informs him that she would rather remain in Charanpur since, at her age, she would find it challenging to adjust to a new country. Geeta also informs him that she won't move to another nation and would prefer Mohan to remain in India with her and Kaveri Amma.
With a heavy heart, Mohan travels to the United States to finish the project. He yearns to go back to India, yet while in the U.S. he experiences flashbacks about his time there. After his experiment is successfully finished, he departs the United States and returns to India with the goal of working at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, where he may also collaborate with NASA. In the final scene, Mohan is seen remaining in the community and engaging in a wrestling match with his friend Nivaaran close to a temple.
Swades is a critically acclaimed film, with the critics having rave reviews about the movie. It was praised for its screenplay, direction and a storyline that is considered to be ahead of its time. Even though the movie did not do well commercially, it has gained popularity in recent years and is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. It is also considered by many to be Shah Rukh Khan's best performance till date and its popularity is a testament to the claims.
|A R Rahman
|Ashutosh Gowariker Productions
|17 Dec 2004
|Country of Origin
|Ashutosh Gowariker, Sunita Gowariker