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Ashutosh Gowarikar Productions' SWADES tells the story of Mohan Bhargava (Shah Rukh Khan) a bright young scientist working as a project manager in NASA, who returns to his grass-roots in India on a quest to find his childhood nanny. Mohan's simple quest becomes the journey that every one of us goes through in search of that metaphysical and elusive place called "home". A man with strong individualistic personal beliefs, Mohan goes through a multitude of experiences back home that lead him to make a difference in the lives of everyone around him. The film uses the contrast between the highly developed world of NASA, which has been at the forefront of advances in space research, and this world back home in India, which is at the crossroads of development.
The film has been shot extensively in the village of Charanpur, a small village in Central India, besides three other villages near Wai in the interiors of Maharashtra, where Charanpur was re-created with the expertise of art-director Nitin Desai. But the portions shot at NASA are the ones that everyone is looking forward to considering that it is the first film to have been shot at NASA, with Gowarikar managing to secure an official permission from the space research organization for a 15-day shoot. Locations at the Goddard Space Flight Centre, Washington D.C., and at the Kennedy Space Centre, Cape Canaveral, were selected.
The film will also see Shah Rukh portraying an unusual and challenging role in keeping with his huge range as an actor. Incidentally, Shah Rukh's was the first and only name that came to Ashutosh's mind when he conceived the story of the film. It may be recalled that both Ashutosh and Shah Rukh had embarked on their careers by facing the camera together in a television show titled 'Circus'.
For the role of Gita, the woman who in many ways plays the catalyst in Mohan's emotional and idealistic crossover, Ashutosh wanted an artist who could hold her own in the shadow of an actor and celebrity of the scale of Shah Rukh Khan. Earlier in January, Ashutosh had spotted Gayatri at a media function and her image had stuck in his mind as Swades' Gita. A string of auditions later, she was confirmed for the role.
There is a big expectation about the film considering it is Gowarikas's next film after LAGAAN. Besides Shah Rukh and Gayatri Joshi, who makes her acting debut in films, SWADES stars a whole lot of other talented artistes.
The film has the music of A.R. Rahman, who has composed the score in keeping with the story of the film, besides Javed Akhtar's sensitive lyrics.