Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Swades: What a movie!

Swades was one movie i was looking forward to eagerly, and i easily managed a "first day first show" at Bangalore thanks to:
(1) being totally vela in college
(2) poor crowd response to the movie

And i must admit i was not at all disappointed...this is one of the best movies ever to hit Indian screens in recent times and should stand out as one of the best movies ever made...A Hindi movie which actually makes sense is rare to find in these times...and as predicted by many, Swades is pure Oscar material..more on that in another blog...

The music, by A R Rahman was one of the highlights of the movie...i was hooked on to the music as soon as it was released, and surprisingly, after seeing the movie, i began to apperciate the deep meaning in the songs and their appropriate 'positioning' in the movie. This is the only other Hindi movie (apart from Mughal-e-Azam) in which the lyrics (by Javed Akhtar) made hell a lot of sense and absolutely gelled in with the movie and its theme...

All songs stand out in the movie, and after much thought, i believe the best (in terms of meaning) in the album is posibly the one which was the least likable to the masses - "Pal Pal hai Bhari"...

I am not postin the full lyrics of the song, but mainly talking about the relevance of this song to the movie and its underlying theme...the song is a from a play staged during Dussehra and shows the part when Sita is waiting for Lord Rama in Ashoka Vana, and Rama finally comes to rescue her from the clutches of Ravana, when Ravana's effigy is burnt, thus signifying the victory of good over evil. It is precisely the same message which Shah Rukh Khan tries to convey to the people...through the one paragraph that he sings, which is essentially a major turning part in the movie, if you care to notice. Reproducing the small part which Shah Rukh tells the villagers:

Ram Hi To Karuna Mein Hai,
Shanti Mein Ram Hain..
Ram Hi Hai Ekta Mein,
Pragati Mein Ram Hain..
Ram Bas Bhakton Nahin,
Shatru Ke Bhi Chintan Mein Hain..
Dekh Taj Ke Paap Raavan,
Ram Tere Man Mein Hain..
Ram Tere Man Mein Hain,
Ram Mere Man Mein Hain …
Ram To Ghar Ghar Mein Hain,
Ram Har Aangan Mein Hain..
Man Se Rawan Jo Nikale,
Ram Usake Man Mein Hain …

Roughly translated, it conveys the following meaning: Ram (good) is present in pity, peace, unity and progress. He is not only concerned about his followers, but also about his enemy. And (there is a bit of) Ram is in everyone, so is a bit of Ravana (evil). Ram is in each and every house and household. Whoever is able to remove Ravana from his mind will have Rama in him.
Emphasizing on the last sentence, he tells the villagers to remove all the evil from their minds and bring in good into themselves and their households so that they can live in peace and unity and progress. And by evil, he refers mainly to the self pride of (some) villagers, the caste system still existing in the villages, illiteracy, poverty, and the thought that they are members of one of the greatest civilisations to exist in this world and need not do anything for progress, which is quiet a lot to convey in just a few sentences. (Javed Akhtar, I bow to thee...)

Immediately after this song and the effigy burning is over, the power goes off, and the villagers take it for granted, seeming to like the dark. Thanks to frequent power cuts, the villaegrs had learnt to live with the darkness, and did not do anything much about it. Shah Rukh urges the villagers to build their own electricity generating mechanism, which he volunteers to setup, if the village co-operates. The villagers, not too willingly, agree to this proposal, though they are not too sure about it. This part again has a deeper hidden meaning - it basically draws an analogy between the darkness (same as Ravana/evil) in the lives of the villagers and their inefficient handling of this darkness, because of which they are not progressing. Unless teh villagers themselves get concerned about this and do something about it, there is not going to be any light (progress) in their lives. So, the power generating plant is the first step to progress for the villagers.

I have described just 10 mins of the movie, and this much is what i made out of it. Then imagine the true impact of this 3-hour+ movie! Truly amazing!

More song interpretations to follow...the lyrics are just too good and i m totally jobless!

4 scribbles:

Blogger eV says...

Just thought I shd add this abt the song on Ram being in each of us. "Munna pinna theriyatha payanukkaha kannir vidura manasu irukke, athu thaan kadavul" - as said by Nalla to Anbarasu

10:51 PM  
Blogger DD says...

Why do i have this feeling that i always thought i would get a piece of wisdom from you referring to this movie...

11:10 PM  
Blogger Yaaro says...

Well said! Really loved it and bought myself a copy of the DVD for a whopping £21 pounds (with a weak bank account !)

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous says...

well, must submit - an awesome movie - ever since lagaan.

and its worth £21 -
well i got the movie in DVD-R
an excellent addition to your movies' library

10:08 AM  

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