Or, Swades. I don’t understand why people are trying to stamp this movie “classy”. The movie is a perfect example of how not to write an opening script — the way to give facts to the viewer and the reasoning, to establish the base of the movie. 50 minutes into the movie, it had not moved an inch!
The directing is mediocre, and script/span is bad. Ashutosh mentioned in an interview that this plot had been in his mind since 1995. But it didn’t show any signs of the fact that it was brewing in his mind for that long! Ashutosh failed to build a supportive plot around the core concept. But for Shah Rukh and the teacher (her opening scenes were good, but then the director lost his way), no other character was developed or supported, not even the cook or the postman.
The coincidence of meeting the girl in the only bookshop/place he goes to, and the fact that she recognises him, and the fact that she understands why he is here, and the fact that she gives him wrong directions, and the fact that she explaines this later to Shah Rukh is the silliest piece of writing from Ashutosh.
Less said about the relevance of the songs, the better. They were stupid. If Ashutosh was producing this movie, he had no compulsion to incorporate songs in it, did he? It shows his inability as a movie maker to judge the overall feel of the movie.
There are three good scenes in the movie. First when Mohan meets Kaveriamma. Simple and natural, well acted. Two, when Shah Rukh (not Mohan Bhargav) talks about Swades in the Panchayat. (The rest of the movie, Shah Rukh has given a good, subtle performance),
and the best scene, and worth watching the movie for is where Mohan, sitting in a 2nd class compartment of a train, buys water from a boy and drinks it. You could feel his thoughts then. And sense the tears build up in his eyes. Excellent scene, the spark of directorial ability can be seen here. Those who thought that Lagaan was a flash in the pan, will have to skip this scene to concretize their theory.