Pardes (1997)

Pardes (1997)

Shah Rukh KhanMahima ChaudhryAmrish PuriApoorva Agnihotri
Subhash Ghai


Pardes (1997) is a Hindi movie. Subhash Ghai has directed this movie. Shah Rukh Khan,Mahima Chaudhry,Amrish Puri,Apoorva Agnihotri are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1997. Pardes (1997) is considered one of the best Drama,Musical,Romance movie in India and around the world.

This film takes a serious look at the lives of Westernized Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in North America (Whereas Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was about NRIs with Indian hearts, Pardes is about Westernized NRIs.) and hence the meaning of the title - "foreign land". Kishorilal is a successful businessman settled in America but still emotionally attached to his motherland - India. So the pardesi comes to India with his "American" son Rajiv to find a suitable '"Indian" girl for him. Kishorilal hopes his soon-to-be daughter in law will instill some Indian values in his extremely westernized son. He finds his daughter in law in Kusum Ganga (a pet Subhash Ghai name just as Chandni was Yash Chopra's favorite for a long time) in the house of his childhood friend Suraj Dev. Mahima Chaudhary makes her debut as Ganga. To finalize the marriage he sends his son along with his foster son Arjun to India. Arjun plays Cupid and returns to America with Kusum and Rajiv. Arjun comes into the movie to get ...


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Pardes (1997) Reviews

  • Travelling to a foreign country with Shahrukh and Mahima...


    Whatever anyone may say about Subhash Ghai's 'Pardes', I personally found it very entertaining, engaging and charming. The film may be slightly stereotypical, it may be a bit incorrect, but should it really matter to me as long as I enjoy it? The portrayal of the US may have been flawed, but the film's issue was in my opinion dealt with convincingly. Besides that, the story was very lovely and the film was according to me believable and moving due to the performances, the music and the overall writing. The film is about a young Indian girl named Ganga who lives in a rural village in India with her extended family. Her father's best friend, Kisohrilal, who's been living in the US for over 20 years, comes to visit them. Kishorilal is immediately charmed by Ganga and wants her to marry his young son Rajiv. Ganga's father agrees to the proposal and soon comes Arjun, Kishorilal's faithful nephew, who is also a good friend of Rajiv, to organise the engagement before Rajiv, who's never been to India, comes to see his bride. Arjun and Ganga befriend each other, but the real trouble starts when Ganga is taken to LA to live with Kishorilal's huge NRI family before marriage. The social, cultural and economical gaps rise, and Ganga finds herself lonely in a world which is very distinct from hers, where no one except for Arjun seems to understand her. There also starts the realisation that Ganga and Arjun are actually in love. The film is according to me beautifully narrated and Subhash Ghai's direction is very good. Technically the film might have been better as the cinematography was not that good. I did not see 'Pardes' as a social film or anything of that sort, but more as a romantic drama, and in that genre it was very well-made. I don't think Ghai tried to show NRIs in a bad light, because such differences and difficulties are to be expected in any kind of transition from one country to another, particularly when moving from a conservative and traditionalistic society like that of India to a liberal country like USA. There were many great and touching moments in the film, my favourite being when Ganga talks to her father in India on the phone and feels very lonely and sad. The romance between Shahrukh Khan and Mahima was very well portrayed and the two had a wonderful chemistry. While discussing Shahrukh Khan's best performances, many seem to overlook his work in 'Pardes', but this is according to me one of the finest performances of his career. As Arjun, he is kindhearted, and atypically subdued, sensitive and extremely vulnerable. Khan played his role with restraint, depth and sincerity rarely seen by actors of his bracket in those days. The film's brightest spot may be the gorgeous Mahima Chaudhary. She is not only one of the most beautiful actresses to have graced the Indian screen, she is also an extremely talented actress. Her smile lightens up the screen, and she is so compelling, moving and charming as the smart, sensible and no-nonsense Ganga that there seems to be nothing easier than to fall in love with her. This is a marvelous performance and easily one of the greatest debuts by an actress in Hindi cinema. Why she did not go on to reach any particular heights in her career is still mystifying. Another newcomer, Aproova Agnihotri, who plays Rajiv, fails to impress here and it was not a good idea to start a career playing an unsympathetic character. Amrish Puri is outstanding as Kishorilal, and the rest of the cast provide good support. Nadeem-Shravan's soundtrack includes some very melodious tracks. I liked Kavita Krishnamurthy's rendition of "I Love My India". This film also marks the breakthrough of Sonu Nigam, who became a star with the song "Dil Deewana". A soulful, melancholic and very romantic song called "Zara Tasveer Se Tu (Meri Mehbooba)" was beautifully sung by Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu. To sum it up, 'Pardes' is a wonderful romantic drama and that is the reason it was appreciated upon release. I recommend 'Pardes', for its story, music and superb star cast, particularly Khan and Mahima.

  • A Brilliant Film!

    sunita bhatoia2001-01-29

    This is an excellent film, Sharukh Khan gives an astounding performance as Arjun, Mahima Choudhary puts a lot of effort in to her character as the chemistry between Mahima and Sharukh shows throughout the film. This is a different film from the others as it concentrates on the differences between countries. The songs in the film are also meaningful and romantic. Overall, this film is one of my favourite films.

  • An Interesting Take on NRI Culture


    Back when it released in 1997, Pardes was a box-office blockbuster because of the presence of Shahrukh Khan, the best-selling music by Nadeem-Shravan, and the excellence director Subhash Ghai. Still, for some reason it is not remembered as fondly as DDLJ, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, or Dil To Pagal Hai - the reason being that it deals with several unpleasant truths about Indian society that the aforementioned films have a tendency to gloss over. It tackles the Indian obsession with Western culture and the elitism of the NRI population in a way that is both entertaining and emotionally moving. There's nothing wrong if the Indian adapts values from Western culture, but to what extent? To the extent of forgetting and deprecating one's own roots? Pardes is a moving tale of the negative effects of emotional and cultural ignorance and isolation and the healing effects of a relationship driven by genuine friendship and goodwill as opposed to greed and lust. The story begins with Ganga (Mahima Chaudhary), a simple Punjabi village girl who catches the attention of her father's friend Kishorilal (Amrish Puri), who wants her to marry his American-raised son Rajiv. Since Rajiv has no interest in marrying an Indian girl, Kishorilal sets Arjun (Shahrukh Khan) off to finish the task of getting the two together, and he succeeds in making the two fall for each other. Rajiv requests that Ganga come to America for a month to become accustomed to American culture, and this is where the drama begins, as Ganga begins to see that Rajiv is not what he appears to be, and Arjun begins to fall in love with Ganga. As one can see, the story is a typical 90's romantic melodrama, the kind that became popular following the success of DDLJ. However, do not be put off by the ordinary story. It is the way in which the story is presented that makes Pardes special. Ace director Subhash Ghai has crafted the scenes and situations of the film in a way that is both entertaining in a dramatic sense and emotionally moving. The first message presented is that of being proud of one's culture. It is not Western culture that is being depicted as "bad" or "immoral"; it is Indian society's and the NRI population's tendency to place it on a pedestal that is being condemned. The scenes with Amrish Puri's materialistic family are meant to highlight the ills of Indian elitism and the family's perception of Western culture as "superior" to embellish their wealthy NRI status. Why should Indians be ashamed of their culture? Why not adapt a value system that takes the best of both worlds? the film asks. Ghai also manages to tackle the opposite side of the coin as well by depicting the gender hypocrisy of Indian society. While Rajiv is allowed to wander around with various girlfriends even while betrothed, Ganga is humiliated and accused of being characterless simply for her innocent friendship with Arjun. The part of the climax scene in which the grandmother stands up for Ganga is yet another example that provides insight into the humiliation women in Indian society are compelled to undergo as a result of their expected subservience. The second message is that of the purity and genuineness of human relationships. The problem with the family in Pardes is that they do not value the benefits of family and togetherness, rather seeing love as a superficial entity devoid of genuine emotion. In one of the most touching scenes in the film, an emotionally deprived Ganga cries to Arjun that she "doesn't want a mansion worth millions, she wants the love of a human being, the kind of love that Arjun gives to others". The kindness and gentility of Arjun and the scenes that show his pure relationship with Ganga are another element that take the film higher. His love for Ganga is not driven by lust for outer beauty. It is driven by a genuine willingness to be there for her as a supportive friend and support her in all circumstances. This definition of love as an emotional rather than physical connection is a truly touching message that is necessary in today's world. Where the film stands out apart from similar films of the mid-to- late 90's is that it doesn't shy away from the ugly side of things; there is no utopian family or chocolate romance. Yet it manages to maintain the same clean, pleasant aura devoid of vulgarity or violence (save for the fight scene at the end) that is suitable for family viewing. In terms of performances, Shahrukh Khan gives one of his best performances along with that in "Swades" and "Chak De India". He is not his usual stereotypical romantic hero, but is instead more mature, restrained and real. He shines in the scenes and gives them greater emotional depth. Mahima Chaudhary is beautiful and endearing as the naive yet headstrong Ganga; she skilfully balances both the vulnerable and strong shades of her character, providing a truly heartwarming performance. Amrish Puri shines as the kind but misguided father figure in a role similar to his in DDLJ, and the supporting cast ranges from decent to pathetic. The technical effects, such as the cinematography and sound, give the film a truly professional look and make it even better. The film is directed at a very brisk pace, and the film does a good job of moving through its 3 hour duration without making you check the time. Nadeem-Shravan's musical score is another highlight of the film, and the songs bear great elegance and musical substance with their deep rhythms and rich melodies. In short, don't be misguided by people's dismissal of "Pardes". If you are willing to accept and acknowledge the bitter truths depicted, you will be able to see something that is truly special.

  • Excellent Movie!


    I watched Pardes about 3 days ago. It was midnight and I had no wish to see a movie which was three hours long. I was going to only see about the first 30 minutes of it but this movie was so good that I watched it all the way through. Many reviewers have said that this film is 'Anti-American' propaganda and 'stereotypes' NRIs. As an NRI myself, I must greatly DISAGREE with conclusions like these. This movie is nothing short of a masterpiece. The exaggerations of Indian morals and of western vices are done for a reason, and a very good reason at that. The director shows the audience the best of India and the worst of America to make the viewer appreciate the Indian culture our parents try to impart to us. Granted, there are some lines that the American 'bad son' (Rajiv) says which are ridiculous and comical, such as: ---------------------------------------------------------------- Paul: We are going to India? To fight? Rajiv: Yes. Paul: But that is not right. Rajiv: Why? Paul: We are not bad people Rajiv, we are good Indians. Rajiv: (While shaking his head) But I am bad, Paul! ----------------------------------------------------------------- In all candor, I don't know of any Americans who speak like this (or of any other human beings for that matter). The movie has hyperbole like this throughout it. However, let us put all the cards on the table at this point..... I know for a fact that many NRIs look upon their homeland with disdain. They won't even visit it, much less want to stay there. But guess what? This movie isn't aimed at that audience. It is aimed at Indians who have not forgotten that without the culture imparted by their motherland, they would never be as successful, nor have the extended families we take for granted. Basically, if you're an ABCD or an NRI with little attachment to India, you won't enjoy this movie, probably because many immigrants adopt the ways of the denizens (just human nature to do so I suppose). Lastly: I'm going to be starting medical school next year and I'll definitely be taking this movie with me. If I should forget who I am......what I am.....I know that I can watch this film and remember. A Hindustani.

  • Patriotism is great until you stuff your face with it so much that your eyes are too small to see whats in front of you.


    Briefly, the story goes like this. Kishorilal (Amrish Puri) is an NRI whose heart belongs to his homeland, India (or so he says). On a trip back home, he meets his old friend, Alok Nath (forget his name). Kishorilal is impressed with the traditional values his friend has instilled in his daughter, Ganga (Mahima Chawdhry). So he requests Ganga's hand in marriage for his westernized son, Rajiv (Apoorva Agnihotri) who he hopes will become more Indian with Ganga in his life. To prepare Ganga and her family for Rajiv's visit to India, comes Arjun (Shahrukh Khan), adopted son of Kishorilal. Arjun is a struggling musician who even though has lived in America for a few years is completely Indian at heart. After Rajiv's visit, Ganga is sent off to America to experience and understand the life there before she gets married. There she is entrusted to Rajiv who exposes her to the so called American culture. She is shocked and runs to Arjun for comfort. She begins to get closer to Arjun who is already in love with her. The elders misinterpret their friendship and with the help of Rajiv's skewed mind label Arjun as the enemy. A highly melodramatic climax leads to an obvious ending. So whats the problem with Pardes? Why has it raked up so much controversy you ask. Well the answer lies in the director/storyteller of this enterprise, Mr. Subhash Ghai. His portrayal of Americans and Indians living in America is completely one-sided. He shows them as drunk, sexually obsessed individuals with no values or principles. Mr. Ghai did have a message to send to his audience but somewhere on the way it got lost in all the melodrama. His message was to be careful that we don't let foreign influences ruin what is India's most valuable entity: traditional family values and principles. What he fails to do is show all sides of the coin. There exist people in America, UK and other such countries who hold onto their values, following them to a fault. Also, he should have taken a closer look at India. There are some aspects of Indian culture that are utterly ridiculous, and we might do well to take some advice from outside and NRI's are our link to such changes. The world is not black and white, there's a lot more gray than Mr. Ghai seems to want to acknowledge. Patriotism is a wonderful thing until you begin to stop using your brain because your blinded by it. Everything else in the movie is average and sometimes below average. Nadeem-Shravan's music is hummable at points and loud at others. Mahima Chawdhry, the new find is pretty and decent for a newcomer but is guilty of overacting at points. Apoorva Agnihotri, although a good-looker is below average. His dialogue delivery is his downfall. Amrish Puri and Alok Nath are also guilty of overacting. I'm guessing this overdose of melodrama has to do more with the director than the actors. So they are forgiven. Shahrukh Khan is the saving grace of this film. Coming up with one of his most subtle performances of his career, he is simply outstanding. His silence and subtlety have so much more effect than the rest of the cast's yelling and preaching. He is the only reason I own the DVD of this film. Watch Pardes, if only for the King Khan.


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