Richard Attenborough's Gandhi: Movie Review: Popular Cinema And Gandhi

analytical Essay
3061 words
3061 words

Popular Cinema and Gandhi Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982) is one of the most celebrated movies based on the Gandhian tradition. Apart from the directorial edge and Ben Kingsley’s applauding performance, the movie gave birth to a new tradition in Gandhian studies. Up till 1980 there was no major cinematic contribution to the greatest hero of Indian nation. Indian directors were apprehensive about making a movie on Gandhi, and considering the magnitude of the subject it was expected. The movie, Gandhi, presents a chronologically drawn account of Gandhi’s life. The movie starts with a note at the beginning: “No man's life can be encompassed in one telling. There is no way to give each year its allotted weight, to include each event, each …show more content…

Benegal’s Gandhi is not Attenborough’s ‘saintly’ Gandhi; rather he only strives to be the latter. Benegal’s Gandhi is a bright, hopeful young lawyer who came to South Africa to earn a living. He is neither great nor saintly but he is courageous enough to stand for the right cause. This movie gives a glimpse into the making of a great man; he was not born great but he achieved greatness by adhering to the simple human values. It is an intimate account of the life of Gandhi who worked hard and gave many sacrifices to become a leader. The wife, Kasturba and son, Harilal were the constant reminders of his human side and he learnt that to follow the right path he must give away whatever little he holds dear to himself. Since Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the human counterpart of Mahatma Gandhi, and the movie makes the former its prime subject. Shyam Benegal in an interview said, “It is the young Gandhi we don’t know”. Mahatma Gandhi is known to all with due regard to Attenborough’s film production, the human side of Gandhi which is safely omitted by the director is little known. Benegal’s sees these twenty one years spanning from 1893-1914 as crucial since these were the years Gandhi spent as a human who longed to find his purpose in life, these were the experiments that made him the Mahatma …show more content…

The attempt to assassinate Gandhi echoes the assassination attempts plotted against Hitler (Operation Valkyrie, Operation Spark, et cetera). Gandhi is presented as a shrewd man who is inadvertently responsible for the conflicting interests of the Hindu and Muslim community. Such devices boost Gandhi’s larger-than-life image and its consequences. Gandhi’s ideology was adept in many situations, but gradually it turned burdensome, and Gandhi’s strong will became insufferable. One man’s will was posed against the interests of many others; hence Gandhi’s end was inevitable. Such philosophies are propagated during the course of the movie, and often repeated in order to demythicize the

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the movie covers the time span of 1893 to 1948 in gandhi's life and the struggle for independence in india.
  • Analyzes how jinnah shares a public platform with gandhi at the meeting organised by indian national congress to formally welcome him back on indian soil.
  • Analyzes how benegal's movie makes a shift from the existing image of gandhi, and creates gandhi as the human who was capable of making bad decisions and faltering in his steps that led to greatness.
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