Ashutosh Gowariker started writing Swades at the same time as Lagaan. The latter released first and obviously left the critics and audiences wondering ‘What after Lagaan?’ One of the most defining films of our times, Lagaan had altered the course of modern Indian cinema. Gowariker’s answer was down pat. Nothing better could have followed. It may have taken time for the audience to accept and embrace the film but Swades is inarguably, one of the best made films of our times. Shah Rukh Khan as Mohan Bharghava shone in one of career’s best performances. His subtle, understated style was a delightful break from his larger-than-life onscreen persona. A cult classic, Swades is treasured not just for its impeccable performances but its subject that struck a chord, old-world charm, simple narrative that held us right through the end (despite the three and a half hour runtime) and solid direction.
So for all you Swades fans, here are some scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut. The last one should’ve been kept.
Scene 1: Where Mohan visits a Punjabi family to inquire about Kaveri Amma’s whereabouts
Scene 2: Where Shahrukh sings a lullaby to Chiku
Scene 3: Where Mohan is pretending to sleep and secretly stealing glances at Gita while she goes on as usual with her morning rituals.
Scene 4: Where Gita confides to Chiku about her fear of losing Kaveri Amma
Scene 5: Where Mohan is messing with Fatima Bi about why he wants to take Kaveri Amma with him. It’s hilarious. And Shahrukh, what timings!
But I’ll leave you with one of my most favourite and masterfully done scenes from the film. Where Mohan is struck a painful blow, at the sight of the little boy selling water. His eyes communicate the whirl of emotions he’s overcome by. Any word or dialogue could’ve taken away from that scene.
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