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Pardes (film)

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Directed bySubhash Ghai
Produced bySubhash Ghai
Written by
  • Neeraj Pathak
  • Javed Siddiqui
Music byNadeem-Shravan
CinematographyKabir Lal
Edited byRenu Saluja
Distributed byMukta Arts
Release date
  • 8 August 1997 (1997-08-08)
Running time
191 mins
Budget₹10 crore[1]
Box office₹34.83 crore[1]

Amazon.com Logo.png Search Pardes (film) on Amazon. Pardes (

) is a 1997 Indian Hindi-language musical drama film directed, produced, and co-written by Subhash Ghai. Distributed by Mukta Arts, it stars Shah Rukh Khan, newcomers Mahima Chaudhry and Apurva Agnihotri, Alok Nath, and Amrish Puri in leading roles. The film was theatrically released in India on 8 August 1997. It received generally positive reviews, with praise for Khan, Chaudhry, and Agnihotri's performances. Pardes grossed over 490 million (US$6.8 million) worldwide, emerging as a commercial success, and was the fourth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 1997, behind Dil To Pagal Hai (also starring Khan), Border, and Ishq.

The film received a leading 12 nominations at the 43rd Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director for Ghai, and Best Actress for Chaudhry. It won three awards: Best Female Debut for Chaudhry, Best Screenplay for Ghai, and Best Female Playback Singer for Yagnik.

The movie was remade in Telugu as Pelli Kanuka (1998) starring Jagapati Babu, Lakshmi & Banumathi Ramakrishna


A rich NRI businessman, Kishorilal (Amrish Puri), is looking for an Indian bride who will also be a good influence on his wayward westernised son, Rajiv (Apurva Agnihotri). On a visit to India, he is impressed with his friend's daughter, Ganga (Mahima Chaudhary), in whom he sees all the qualities that he hopes to instill in his son.

He decides to orchestrate their match - he first sends his foster son, Arjun (Shah Rukh Khan), to "prepare" Ganga's family, and then sends his son Rajiv to India a week later. Despite initial setbacks owing to their cultural differences, Rajiv and Ganga approve of each other. They are engaged in the village and Ganga flies to the US with Rajiv to get accustomed to American life.

Everything changes almost immediately for Ganga as soon as she lands in the US. She learns that the rest of Kishorilal's family is not so keen on the match, many openly expressing their disapproval of Ganga. She also realizes that Rajiv is not the same person in the US as the one who visited her house in India. Among other things, she discovers his excesses, temper, and secrets of his past affairs. Arjun is the only person she can confide in, though she partly blames him for her situation (having presented an idealized picture of Rajiv before her engagement).

To stop any growing closeness between Arjun and Ganga, Kishorilal is urged by his family to relocate him. He also arranges for Rajiv and Ganga to take a trip together to Las Vegas. Things come to a head, however, when a drunk Rajiv insists Ganga have sex with him in their hotel in Vegas. She refuses (wanting to wait for marriage) to do so because she wants him to follow the Indian rules. Rajiv reveals his contempt for his fellow Indians and terms them "hypocrites" and "stupid" and also disrespects India, which prompts Ganga to slap him. She then cancels the engagement that she was supposed to have with Rajiv by discarding the ring and then demands Rajiv to get out. Furious, he tries to assault her. However, he is overpowered by Ganga, who successfully injures him and manages to escape, before being tracked down by Arjun.

Rajiv informs Kishorilal that Ganga has gone missing, who quickly starts looking for the missing Ganga. However, Arjun eventually finds her, but he finds out that she is crying at a train station with her clothes torn. He tries to persuade her to go back to Kishorilal's home, but she refuses. Arjun promises to protect her and help her get back to her family safely in India. Meanwhile, unaware of the incident at the Vegas hotel, Kishorilal informs Suraj that Arjun eloped with Ganga and Suraj quickly picks up a family sword that hangs on the wall. He tries to kill Arjun for insulting Rajiv. He also tries to kill Ganga for trying to elope with Arjun. However, Arjun saves Ganga by seizing the sword and promises her father to leave and not to return ever again, but the former requests him not to kill Ganga. Ganga says that Arjun is innocent. However, Suraj doesn't trust Ganga and locks her in a horse shed and she is not allowed to explain further. Ganga's younger siblings and grandmother secretly make their way to the horse shed and advise her to elope with Arjun. Ganga realizes that she is in love with Arjun, and with their help, manages to leave home unobserved. By this time, Kishorilal has arrived in India with Rajiv. Ganga finds Arjun at a temple and wants Arjun to admit that he loves her, but Arjun refuses to marry Ganga because he is still loyal to Kishorilal. Ganga is devastated, but before Arjun walks away. Rajiv brings several goons to kill Arjun, but Ganga is able to protect Arjun. However, Arjun and Rajiv eventually clash after Rajiv slaps Ganga. And then Rajiv and his goons beat up Arjun. But they stop when they find Ganga and try to get her, which is when he beats Rajiv up. When he is about to kill Rajiv, his father calls him to come to him and he demands him to tell the truth about why he came to India with Rajiv's promised bride. He accuses Kishorilal of having become a true Westerner after all since his wealth has ruined his compassion and ability to examine the truth when it doesn't match what he wants it to be. He says that he truly loves Ganga and says that he never pursued her and has acted honourably, while Rajiv in every way rejected every honourable action and lied about how Ganga came to have returned so suddenly to India; not only was Ganga unable to merge with Western culture, Western values almost utterly ruined Ganga. Ganga shows everyone the marks inflicted on her shoulder by Rajiv in Vegas, then tells her father she is willing to die by whatever means he chooses; poison, fire, or hunger. Once Kishorilal and Suraj know the truth, they let Arjun marry Ganga. Rajiv is upset about this and tells Kishorilal that he is his son, but he slaps his son. Abandoning any hope of correcting him, he orders him to return to the US. He then announces that Ganga will also return to the US, though this time as Arjun's bride.

A credit montage shows Arjun and Ganga living a happy married life in the US.


  • Shah Rukh Khan as Arjun Sagar, Kishorilal's foster son who is also a talented singer.
  • Mahima Chaudhry as Kusum Ganga, a.k.a.Ganga Rajiv's fiancee to be who falls in love with Arjun.
  • Amrish Puri as Kishorilal a wealthy businessman who lives in America.
  • Apurva Agnihotri as Rajiv, Kishorilal's son and Arjun's foster brother.
  • Alok Nath as Suraj Dev, Ganga's father
  • Padmavathi Rao as Narmada, wife of Suraj Dev
  • Dina Pathak as Suraj's mother
  • Himani Shivpuri as Kulwanti
  • Madhuri Bhatia as Neeta, Rajiv's aunt who despises Ganga.
  • Smita Jaykar as Paddy
  • Pawan Malhotra as Sharafat Ali
  • Prachi Save as Daksha
  • Aditya Narayan as Potla (Ganga's little brother)
  • Ajay Nagrath as Daboo (Ganga's little brother)
  • Samta Sagar as Sonali
  • Subhash Ghai as Singer on the boat (special appearance)
  • Rakesh Thareja as Paul (Rajiv's friend)
  • Ruhshad Nariman Daruwalla (Potla's friend)


Soundtrack album
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelTips Zee Music Company

Buy this album Pardes (film) or listen to it on amazon

The soundtrack was composed by Nadeem-Shravan and the lyrics were penned by Anand Bakshi. Music directors Nadeem-Shravan received a Filmfare nomination for the album and won a Star Screen Award for Best Music Director.

Ghai wanted A. R. Rahman to compose the music of this film, but he was too expensive and didn't fit the budget of the film.[2] However, they collaborated on Ghai's next, Taal.

Track list

No Title Singer(s)
1 "Nahin Hona Tha" Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Hema Sardesai, Sabri Bros.
2 "Meri Mehbooba" Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik
3 "Yeh Dil Deewana" Sonu Nigam, Vocals by Alka Yagnik, Hema Sardesai, Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani
4 "I Love My India" Kavita Krishnamurthy, Hariharan, Aditya Narayan & Shankar Mahadevan
5 "My First Day in USA" Hema Sardesai
6 "Do Dil Mil Rahe Hain" Kumar Sanu
7 "Jahan Piya Wahan Main" K. S. Chitra
8 "I Love My India" (Part 2) Kavita Krishnamurthy
9 "Title Music" Sapna Awasthi, Shankar Mahadevan


Planet Bollywood started their review by saying, "The music of Pardes is one of Nadeem-Shravan's best ever."[citation needed]

Box office[edit]

Pardes grossed ₹34.83 crore in India and $1.7 million (₹6.12 crore) overseas, for a worldwide total of ₹40.95 crore ($11.4 million), against its ₹10 crore budget. It had a worldwide opening weekend of ₹3.4 crore, and grossed ₹6.19 crore in its first week.[1] It is the 4th-highest-grossing film of 1997 worldwide.[3]


It opened on Friday, August 8, 1997, across 210 screens, and earned ₹61 lakh nett on its opening day. It grossed ₹2 crore nett in its opening weekend, and had a first week of ₹3.64 crore nett. The film earned a total of ₹22.83 crore nett, and was declared "Super Hit" by Box Office India.[1] It is the 4th highest-grossing film of 1997 in India.[4]


It earned $1.7 million (₹6.12 crore in 1997) outside India.[1] Overseas, it is the 2nd highest-grossing film of 1997 after Dil To Pagal Hai, which grossed $3.3 million (₹12.04 crore in 1997).[5]

Pardes worldwide collections breakdown
Territory Territory wise Collections break-up
India Nett income:
₹31.83 crore
Entertainment tax:
₹12 crore
Total gross:
₹43.83 crore
(outside India)
$1.7 million (₹6.12 crore in 1997)
Worldwide ₹49.95 crore ($11.4 million)[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Pardes received mixed reviews from critics. Praise was given to the music, however aspects of the script were criticised.[6][7][8]

India Today cites it as one of the first major Bollywood pictures to succeed in the United States.[9]

In their book, New Cosmopolitanisms: South Asians in the US, Gita Rajan and Shailja Sharma view the film as a dichotomous depiction of the good NRI versus bad NRI, with Khan depicting the good immigrant, who assists the rowdy Indian American playboy Rajiv (Apurva Agnihotri), the bad. Khan's character of Arjun is perceived as a metaphor for cosmopolitanism or Indian cultural nationalism in the wider sense, in direct contrast to Rajiv who represents wealthy Westernization and all its negative vices and connotations.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Pardes". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 7 August 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. https://bollyworm.com/features/21-years-of-pardes-when-the-music-triumphed-over-the-films-story/
  3. "Top Worldwide Grossers 1997". Box Office India. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  4. "Top India Total Nett Gross 1997". Box Office India. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  5. "Top Overseas Gross 1997". Box Office India. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  6. "Planet Bollywood: Film Review: Pardes". planetbollywood.com. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. "Pardes". ApunKaChoice. Archived from the original on 26 March 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. Maheshwari, Laya (25 September 2017). "How Bollywood Stereotypes the West". BBC. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  9. "Pardes (1997)". India Today. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  10. Sharma & Rajan 2006, p. 126.

External links[edit]

Template:Subhash Ghai

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