The film's lessons are too simplistic for anyone but a child. I've seen Disney movies with more thematic and moral complexity. Every problem is rectified, every conflict resolved, usually within minutes. It lacks dramatic tension, it's storytelling at its most basic level. It does have its charms, though. Khan and Joshi make a reasonably believable and likeable couple. The songs are all pretty good. But in the end I was just too disappointed by the lack of narrative sophistication or nuance.
The story is very simple but it's the execution that counts here. For once, almost everything works in a Bollywood movie - the songs, the drama, the couple, even the supporting cast don't ruin it. One of the few Bollywood movies that understand the concept of subtlety.
Apart from the minor absurdity of NASA allowing one of their top scientists to work remotely, from a village in India, this movie is excellent. 'Swades' wrenched at my heart like few other movies have, and it's the kind of story to which NRIs (Non Resident Indians) can identify and connect. 'Swades' almost made me drop everything and go back to India.