“Swades”

The film “Swades” begins with the story of the typical American dream- man comes from foreign country (India in this case) and succeeds in his field. Produced and directed by Oscar-nominated Ashutosh Gowariker, “Swades” is a movie about hope, love, abandonment, and trust. Internationally over its lifetime it has grossed ₹342.6 million and recieved 4.5 stars from Indiatimes Movies

Mohan Bhargava is the protagonist (Shah Rukh Khan), an ordinary immigrant working as a successful project manager at NASA. He longs to see his childhood nanny, Kaveri Amma (Kishori Ballal), who took care of him when he was a youth in India, so he takes a short leave from NASA to venture to his homeland. Upon his arrival, he realizes she has left and sets off to Charanpur. There he meets Gita (Gayatri Joshi), who moved Kaveri in with her after her parents death. Gita fears that he will take Kaveri away from her, but instead she slowly falls for him. As Mohan explores the villages, he notices the rudimentary technology and detrimental separations of the castes and sets out to help. He extends his leave to bring running water to the village after being shunned for helping a certain lower caste man get water. As he does so, he slowly falls for Gita as he watches how caring and kind she is to everyone in the village. She gives back through providing education. Unfortunately, he returns to the US without his love as she refuses to part with her home country, but after finishing his project at NASA, depressed and lonely, travels back to India to be with Gita. He gets a job with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center were he can work alongside NASA and everyone lives happily ever after.

This story was inspired by a Aravinda Pillalamarri and Ravi Kuchimanchi, two foreigners who lived in India and helped build schools in far out villages. They set up pedal-power generators to fuel the off-the-grid centers, making technology and education more accessible for many.

“Swades” takes many twists and turns, but does not follow the expected ending. As the story begins to unfold, most audience members can see Mohan falling in love with Kaveri and bringing her back to America, but that is far from what happens. He falls in love with a different girl and travels across the world for her. The climax and aftermath of the story are very unpredictable, which makes “Swades” very interesting for its extreme length of 3 hours and 23 minutes.

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