Swami (2007) *HQ*

A simple story of a simple man gives you deja vu feeling of Malgudi Days. Directorial debut of choreographer Ganesh Acharya, Swami, borrows most of the story from his own real life. Manoj Bajpai and Juhi Chawla who are both natural performers help the proceedings. Juhi handles the dreamy eyed, devoted Radha who underplays her fatal illness well, in the process enabling the director to portray the character as the ‘archetypal self sacrificing Indian woman’.

The viewers are introduced to Swami (Manoj Bajpai) a Maharashtrian villager leading a simple life, his beloved South Indian wife Radha (Juhi Chawla) and their bundle of joy, their young son Anand (Siddharth).The pre interval portion explores the dreams and the aspirations of the couple, their moving to Mumbai city striving for a better life, their wanting to live a dream through their son and ultimately the family’s major loss.

The biggest revelation is the child artiste Siddharth Gupta who simply weaves magic on screen. His innocence and cuteness is personified and the honest performance of the little boy strikes a chord. He manages to uplift all the emotional moments and one can’t help but reach out for the tissue box on many occasions. Looking at him one can say, acting is indeed in one’s blood.

The movie is a very simple and touching tale of a middle-class man, his wife and their son. Apparently, Acharya seems not the least besotted with the gloss and glitz of commercial cinema. Rather he believes in tapping the emotive appeal of the medium.
It’s the first half that makes ‘Swami’ and reveals the hitherto unexposed sensitive side of Ganesh Acharya.

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