Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, John Mills, Martin Sheen, Ian Charleson, Athol Fugard, Günther Maria Halmer, Saeed Jaffrey, Geraldine James, Alyque Padamsee, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Rohini Hattangadi Update Cast
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"The object of this massive tribute died as he had always lived, without wealth, without property, without official title or office. Mahatma Gandhi was not the commander of armies, nor the ruler of vast lands. He could not boast any scientific achievement or artistic gift. Yet men, governments, dignitaries from all over the world, have joined hands today to pay homage to the little brown man in the loin cloth, who led his country to freedom."
This quote is from the funeral scene in the 1982 film "Gandhi". Richard Attenborough directed this massive epic about the man that freed India. The film opens with Gandhi's assassination. The next scene, his funeral, is one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history. Attenborough managed to recreate Gandhi's funeral on January 31st, 1981, the 33rd anniversary of the actual funeral. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people were on hand to be a part of the filming the recreation. This film was made before CGI (computer generated images), so the funeral scene is probably the last live action crowd of that magnitude that will ever be filmed.
Mahatma Gandhi's message of non-violent resistance is delivered in an interesting and enthralling body of art. This film has made and will make millions of people aware of the little brown man that took on the British Empire and won. "Gandhi" serves both as entertainment and an important historical record of one of the most important figures in history.
Ben Kingsley played Gandhi. He was the perfect for the role. He resembled the real Gandhi. He was young enough to portray Gandhi as a young man. He is a British actor that nailed the British influenced Indian accent. He is a wonderful actor that was patient and humble with such an important part. And he was a relatively unknown actor at the time, so the "big-time actor" persona did not get in the way of viewing the film. He did win both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for best actor, for this role, which I agree he deserved. He became Gandhi.
The cinematography was outstanding. Attenborough filmed "Gandhi" on location in India. The scenes of India are spectacular, and India is very much another character in the film. This film is as much about India itself as it is about Gandhi. Attenborough shows the audience the people of India from its countryside to the vast city of Calcutta. It is suggested by Kingsley, on the DVD, that Attenborough had a difficult time with the elite class in India at the time of filming. They were against the making of such a film by an Englishman. Undeterred by their negative thinking, he persevered to enlist thousands of Indians to help make this film. Every crowd scene, he used real Indians from the area. Attenborough also won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for best direction.
This movie is a must see for everyone. It should be required viewing in high schools, as part of History class. The fight against prejudice will forever be relevant. It is also a beautiful work of art. This movie is not tainted by the embellishment of Hollywood (see "Pearl Harbor" for that). Of course, it would have been hard to screw up a movie about such a great man.
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Gandhi is the biography of a lawyer turned freedom-fighter Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who became the leader of the Indian revolt against the British and drove them out of India using non-violent means.
It starts off in 1893 when Mohandas Gandhi (Ben Kingsley) arrives in South africa and witnesses the hostility and discrimination faced by the non-white communities known as Apartheid. He himself is thrown out of a train at Pietermaritzburg Station on his way to Pretoria because he sat in a 1st class compartment. He decides to fight for equal rights for the Indians and is helped by some important people like Abdullah Khan (Amrish Puri), Jan-Christian Smuts (Athol Fugard), Vince Walker (Martin Sheen), Rev Charlie Andrews (Ian Charleson) and his wife Kasturba (Rohini Hattangadi).
In 1915, when he returned to India, he saw that the Congress Party which was the main rival to the British rule was too moderate in it's approach, he decided to take matters in his own hands and with the help of young Indian leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru (Roshan Seth), Sardar Vallabhai Patel (Saeed Jaffrey), Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Vir Razdan), Kripalani (Anang Desai), Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Alyque Padamsee) etc. even as he is mentored by Gopal Krishna Gokhale (Dr. Shreeram Lagoo), preached non-violent means of rebellion like non-cooperation with the British Government, broke the Salt Law in 1930 in Dandi and began the Quit India movement in 1942 which led to India becoming independent on 15 August 1947.
However, 6 months after India got independence, following a painful partition, with Pakistan being created out of the Muslim dominated areas, he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse. He is therefore known as the Father of the Nation.
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