There are various reasons why I would recommend someone watch a film, and in the case of GANDHI, I would call for it to be listed as Recommended Viewing For All due to the powerful messages it conveys. As it tells of the historic moments which lead a country to gain its independence, it shares with us the message of a man whose approach differs greatly to how others have sought the same end.
The movie tells of how Mohandas Gandhi, an India-born, London-educated lawyer fought for the rights of Indians in South Africa and then for the independence of India from Britain. It was interesting to watch his actions and hear his speeches as he convinced and encouraged his fellow Indians to join him in non-violent protest through non-cooperation.
That’s the part of history I knew about.
What I didn’t realize is the massacre which occurred, by the British, which ultimately caused a turning point in terms of the movement. The film depicts what happened in a very straightforward and powerful way. Up until that point, the notion that the people of India would want their independence from Britain logically made sense, wanting the opportunity to rule themselves instead of having government put upon them from individuals who weren’t native to the country, nor shared the same backgrounds. But as the massacre is depicted on screen, it elicits a passionate, emotional response for viewers that helps drive the desire to see Gandhi’s efforts succeed for reasons of more than just logic.
The other thing this film did was to help the viewer better understand some of the tensions between India and Pakistan and the roots from which the conflict stems. Furthermore, the value of Gandhi’s insight and opinion are raised as you see the fallout when it’s not heeded.
Opinions regarding whether or not Ben Kingsley was the right choice for the role because he is not of Indian heritage, he does a phenomenal job in the role, and any accolades the portrayal was given were well earned.
Upon hearing that the film’s run-time exceeds 3 hours, don’t fret. There are enough events covered that things move at a decent pace while covering the situations sufficiently. It’s not a shock to me that Richard Attenborough won the Academy Award for Best Director, and that one of the many other awards Gandhi received was for Best Writing.
My Rating: 95 out of 100