Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Shwaas (Marathi) - A Breath

Sandeep sawant's shwaas was the official indian entry for oscars last year.And it was judged the Best feature film at the national awards.A low budget marathi movie which created lot of stir. It was the marathi movie to win a swarna kamal after 50 yrs.

---- story----

It tells the story of a small boy Parashuram and his grandfather Parule.Parashuram and his grandfather who come to the city from their home town konkan to get treatment for the kids eye problem. The doctor tells that Parashuram has eye cancer and that his eyes have to be removed. Parule refuses to acknowledge the fact first, rest of the movie is how parule and parashuram acknowledge and accept the reality.


There are 4 main characters in the movie.The grand father parule(Arun Nalavade),the kid Parashuram(Ashwin Chitale), Dr shane(Sandeep Kulkarni) and Asawari(Amruta Subhash, a pretty woman) as a medical social worker.

The movie is realistic at lot of places. Mainly when depicting the plight of how people from village have to deal with the hospital bueracracy. How the illiterates don’t have any help at these big hospitals.CT-SCAN's and declarations forms are all alien to them and for a hospital worker, that villager is one of the thousands of people he deals everyday.I wish there were seperate sections in the big hospitals to help people regarding the medical procedures.Asawari comes as a medical social worker who helps the patient but iam not sure how many people like that really exist.

Good acting by everyone. Especially the kid Ashwin Chitale.He has given a wonderful performance. He has that mischievous and expressive eyes, which are always curious to see the beauty of the world.How can someone go and tell that kid that he wont be able to see the world and that he has to accept it.He won the national award for best child artist in 2003.

Sandeep sawant, courtesy hindu

Sandeep sawanth has done a good job.But there are lot of holes in the movie and he has to improve alot.parashuram and his grand dad are from konkan and the director has captured some wonderful scenery of konkan.Interestingly a serious of konkan scenes showing varying mischiefs of the boy, which are generally shown with songs,is told with just background music.Not sure whether it was intentional or because of lack of funds to make the songs. There is a shot where the boy runs around in the beach shooing hundreds of sea gulls.Blue sea,light yellow sands, whitish gulls and a small boy with a wonderful smile, a beautiful shot.When seeing all those scenes the audience can relate what the boy is going to miss later.

The movie does not do a good vs bad theme.It shows everybody's point of view and we are made to understand both the doctor and patient's perspective nicely.The movie which is told without any big cinematics gets a little bit sentimental and cinematic at the end.The narration is plain and simple and all the characters were good.At times i kind of had a feeling that iam watching a K.Vishwanath Movie.

The music was not that great.Most of the BGM's were total lift offs from various albums and movies.

Marathi movie industry which has to fight with the big brother bollywood, was very proud of this movie.And lot of people where rooting for oscars.Shwaas production cost was an meagre 60 lakhs.The oscar promotion needed lot of money and there were money collection drives for promoting this movie at the oscars.

HUNDREDS of Indian devotees have been donating money to a temple charity over the past three weeks to raise funds for a low-budget movie`s Oscar publicity campaign in the US, one of the producers said.It is part of a nationwide drive to collect about Rs15m (174,888/$334,000) - more than twice what it cost to make the film - which the producers say they need to promote India`s entry for an Oscar nomination before the shortlist is announced in January. more

I think lot of marathi people got carried away on the fact that this marathi movie which won a swarna kamal for there state after 50 yrs will make them proud at the oscars also. But shwaas was a plain movie and was far away to compete against movies like "The sea inside" and "yesterday".So it didn't make it to the final 5.

The movie could have been made as a tear jerker or into an all sensitive and soul stirring movie or a very realistic movie. But shwaas fails on all front and has ended up as a mixture of all.None the less a decent movie worth watching once.

A realistic, plain and sweet movie.

Official website

Shwaas triggers a renaissance

This a honest review about "Swaas". As you said, it is a good movie but worth just one watch. Perhaps it is the funds that failed the director on the technical side. The story was good, and the child and his grand-dad done a good job. Everyone else was just just average. The kid was amazing. Very talented.
thanxs jo
very nice story.
in this connection try this korean movie "The way home". mute grandma and city bred grandson.
enakku pidichudhu...
is it, i will check it out.For a moment i thought you were talking about zhang yimou's.The Road Home.that is also a nice movie.
I think Majid Majidi's Iranian movie "Color of paradise" is also in the same line. That boy was born blind though. Superb cinematography. I thought Iran is full of deserts until I saw this movie.
Iranian movies are always wonderful.Especially abbas kiarostami and majid majidi.There are some other majid majid movies with children characters. "Childrens od Heaven" nice movie, but a little cinematic end."white balloon" another beautiful movie, you will love that small girl.
nice work senthil
the only blog to look upto for offbeat movies
I had heard about Shwaas, but your description was interesting. While I was in Pune, I witnessed numerous marathi stage shows, most of them were simply awesome. The problem with Marathi movies is that they look more like stage shows rather than movies.
Senthil, during last year's Oscars, had heard the name Shwaas doing the rounds. But, did not watch it yet.

Your review gives a clear perspective of what to expect in the movie.


This one was not that bad :).
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