Pardes (film)

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Directed bySubhash Ghai
Produced bySubhash Ghai
Written by
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]

Pardes (transl. foreign land) 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$6.9 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


Rajiv, the son of a wealthy NRI, arrives in India to meet Ganga, his father's friend's daughter, for an arranged marriage. Having lived his entire life in the US, he is unaware of Indian traditions but is helped by his father's foster son, Arjun. Arjun plays the role of matchmaker for the two, helping them fall in love and becoming friends with Ganga in the process. After a brief courtship, Rajiv and Ganga approve of one another. They are engaged and fly off together to the US to marry a month later.

In the US, Ganga immediately faces hostility from Rajiv's westernized family. She starts feeling isolated, and increasingly seeks out Arjun for support and comfort, and to solve her problems. At a party, Ganga is shocked to see Rajiv smoking, drinking, flaunting his wealth and being verbally abusive towards the staff. Later, she finds out about Rajiv's ex-girlfriends and premarital affairs. She angrily confronts Arjun for hiding facts about Rajiv before the engagement.

Arjun talks to Rajiv on behalf of Ganga, but his growing closeness with her is noticed by Rajiv's family. Instead, he is relocated within the US on excuse of business, and Rajiv and Ganga take a trip alone to Las Vegas to mend their relationship. At night in their hotel, Rajiv insists on getting physical with Ganga. Ganga wishes to abstain until marriage, but he gets forceful. She manages to hit him with a lamp, knocking him unconscious before running away. She is declared missing by Rajiv's family, but Arjun manages to find her. When he escorts her back to India, everyone believes he has betrayed Rajiv and eloped with Ganga himself.

In India, Ganga's father throws Arjun out of the house when the two arrive, and locks Ganga up in a room. She is visited by her siblings who are sympathetic towards her. Then all of them, along with Ganga's Grandmother make her realize that her friendship with Arjun is indicative of love, and free her so she can find him. Arjun is headed to his village but is intercepted by Rajiv, who wants revenge. Their fight is broken up by their father, who arrives at the scene with Ganga's family.

Rajiv's father questions Arjun's intentions, leading him to confess that he loves Ganga, but that he never intentionally acted to break her engagement with Rajiv. Ganga lets everyone know about the incident in Las Vegas. Rajiv's father is furious and orders him to return to the US. He offers to take Ganga back to the US so she can marry Arjun instead. In the epilogue, Ganga has married Arjun and lives a happy life with him in the US.



Soundtrack album
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelTips Zee Music Company

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. This was the only album where Nightingale of South India K.S. Chithra sung a Hindi song for Nadeem-Shravan

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 Hema Sardesai, 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. Chithra
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. ^ a b c d e f "Pardes". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 7 August 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  2. ^
  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". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Pardes". ApunKaChoice. Archived from the original on 26 March 2013.
  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]