Picture this... Circa 1950 - Anandmath -A band of patriotic young men and women who had left their hearth and home for the sake of their motherland chanting Vande Mataram in an effort to oust the Britishers out of the country.
Circa 2004 - Swades- An NRI with a cushy job at NASA in search of his roots, struggling to fight the enemy within his country.
Patriotism certainly seems to have come full circle now...Cos its no longer about fighting the enemy outside, but fighting the vices and social evils that plague the Nation today.
This is but very aptly reflected in the movie 'Swades' which explains the dilemma faced by a bright intelligent young scientist when he sees his own country grappling with problems that the developed world has done away with. Gowariker's handling of the subject is impressive and the film surely seems to be a winner.
It is the will to bring about a change however small it may be, in this case, getting electricity to village homes that brings him back to India. As Gandhiji said, "India lies in its villages," so as Indian intellect makes a mark globally with the Silicon Valley, there is a greater need for development to penetrate into the villages.
India might occupy a proud place on the global map, but it has a long way to go as far as bridging the divide between rich and poor is concerned. Steps have to be taken to reduce poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and other social evils such as casteism, communalism, child labour etc.
This is what patriotism is all about today, it is how one can give back to the nation what one has by means of education, wealth or resources. With the change in the mindset of the masses, the concept of patriotism has certainly got transformed. Yeah, Patriotism is not only about fighting the external enemy at the border, but also includes fighting poverty, corruption, unemployment etc which handicap the progress of the country. And it is to this determination that made Sharukh Khan light a bulb in a village with no electricity in Swades. And as Rabindranath Tagore said, "Be a light unto yourself".
King Khan's performance is xcellent, and the movie's overall flavor of Patriotism blended with ARR's truely awesome soothin music sure rocks. Also it happens to be the first Indian film to be actually shot inside the NASA research center at the Launch Pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center of NASA in Florida.
However this techno-savvy movie is not a sci-fi attempt by Gowariker but a sensible thought-provoking film about an intelligent Indian who leaves his country for a better life abroad but later rediscovers his roots and turns back. The film itself has the intensity to be among the best of Bollywood classics and may even catapult the already world-renowned SRK among the league of the best of the best actors across the globe.
--a must_watch for dec--SWADES