An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Swami: A Movie Synopsis and Review

Synopsis

Set in a village in South India, the film revolves around Swami (Manoj Bajpai) who understands the meaning of compassion, humility and patience. He lives with his wife Radha (Juhi Chawla).

Swami has a childlike fascination for Rs.5 coins, which he loves to collect and swears never to spend them. He also has a long cherished dream of owning a rocking chair. But he never expresses it because he knows he cannot afford it.

Radha discovers Swami’s secret by chance and asks him to use his collection of Rs.5 coins to buy the chair but he refuses.

On the other hand, Radha’s favourite way of passing time is to watch TV. She is thrilled by the visuals of tall buildings, bridges, cars and roads in the US. Her only dream is that her son Anand gets the best education so he can get a job in the US.

She asks Swami to take up a job in Mumbai. He agrees and the family moves to Mumbai. Anand is a bright young boy and has the determination to fulfil his parents’ dreams.

But life’s unpredictability catches up. Radha falls sick and dies. After her death, Swami devotes all his time to his son who finally manages to get a job in the US but refuses to accept the offer because the company does not provide a visa to his father.

Will Anand go to the US and fulfil his mother’s dream? What will happen to Swami?

Synopsis Courtesy: Nowrunning.com

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Review by Praveen Morchhale

Simple story-simple characters and simple narrative and wonderful performance by Manoj Bajpai, Juhi Chawla and child artist makes this touching film even more powerful. This is Cinema. A relief from our so called regular Bollywood films, which provide every weekend full of non sense characters – jumping stories – unbelievable plots – violence and mostly jarring music tracks.

I read few reviews in news paper which seems “influenced” by market leaders if we see the “Filmy Dunia” as industry in business parlance. May be its not their fault. They are used to reviewing Films and not Cinema. When Cinema comes, they see it as Film. What irony for you all critics!

Please spare some room for honest review. Cinema / Film lovers deserve and look at us for that.

Lets talk first story plot. Many critics found story line too simple and linear to have a story around a childhood wish to obtain a chair. Whats wrong in that?
One of the worlds most sensitive cinema makers – Majid Majidi from Iran – made “Children of Heaven” woven around a pair of shoes and made a film which is not only sensitive but reflects a lot about the society, children and we, the grownups. This film is not about a shoes but human dignity and love between brother –sister. Film is one of the top 10 films of the world. Same take this reality- Every film makers in Mumbai swears by “Bi-cycle Thief” but makes some horrible films taking love triangle with great salable starts. Why ? Simply because they don’t have the art of story telling.

When I saw Swami I found the films simplicity and no so called non- filmy plot most influencing factors which makes this film touching, real and effective .
Manoj Bajpai and Juhi Chawla made characters very real like one among us and never comes a moment when you can separate the actors from characters.
Wish we can see more such stunning performance by Manoj Bajpai. Now a days our Mumbai films’ actors more rely on VFS or some kind of camera gimmicks to keep their non-performance or pathetic performance under the carpet. Bhai PUBLIC SAB JANTI HAI……Swami’s lead actors give fresh air..

Can you remember any recent film where camera stays close up for more than 10 seconds on a face of actor ? Dundhate rah jaoge. I can bet..hardly any you would find.

Swami’s Music is sweet.. A sure relief from NASAL Cacophony car scratching music sound track.

Looking at the honest effort to do some thing meaningful, this kind of cinema needs to be patronized by us. Others can fall on NRI ..over seas market.

I recommend you go and watch this film on weekday/weekend I am sure most of you will find it close to your BACHPAN ki Desire…Some fulfilled .some still to come…

After watching the SWAMI, I felt there are few people like Ganesh Acharya who directed this still remains non-filmy at heart to make such sensitive cinema despite being in industry for years.

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