Gandhi Review

In a society rife with Robin Williams waterworks and Ben Affleck angst, it's nice to have an occasional jolt of truth. Gandhi, while a couple of decades old now, still has that bold-faced honesty which we find so often lacking in many contemporary films.

Gandhi stars Ben Kingsley in a retelling of the life and times of revered Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi, renowned peace lover, sage, and all around worldly wise man. There is little told here that cannot be read in any history book, for Gandhi is not some sort of Hollywood trumped up, Pearl Harbored dramatization of history. Rather, it's just the facts, nothing but truth.

Yet for all its realistic honesty and pure dedication to the truth of the life and times of this amazing man, Gandhi's strength does not come from its script nor from its direction. Its writing is nothing more than a history book, put down on in script form. Its direction, while well done, lacks any noteworthy flair or creativity. Both script and camera serve only as a canvas upon which the masterful Ben Kingsley paints a touchingly lifelike picture of one of the greatest men in history.

Gandhi was a private and humble man, a thing which Kingsley reflects with tender care. His dialogue is not extensive, nor does he engage in long, rambling speeches. His eyes speak humility, his movements speak love. He is the embodiment of everything Gandhi was, or was supposed to have been, without the need for showy displays of acting talent or loudly proclaimed diatribes.

Sometimes, there is nothing more powerful than the truth. No matter how it is delivered, Gandhi is a film of and about truth. By the movie's end, Mohandas Gandhi is reduced to a battered and aged man, resembling more an elderly, green Jedi master than a world-changing leader. But his message is not weakened, nor is its honesty. And for that, Gandhi is a film not to be missed.


Facts and Figures

Run time: 191 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th February 1983

Box Office Worldwide: $77.7M

Budget: $22M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: International Film Investors, National Film Development Corporation of India, Goldcrest Films International, Indo-British, Carolina Bank

Reviews 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Mahatma Gandhi, Rohini Hattangadi as Kasturba Gandhi, as Margaret Bourke-White, as Pandit Nehru, as Nahari, as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Alyque Padamsee as Mohammad Ali Jinnah, as Vince Walker, as Khan, as Reverend Charlie Andrews, as General Dyer, as Mirabehn, Daniel Day-Lewis as Colin, as Lord Irwin, as Judge Broomfield, as Lord Chelmsford, Athol Fugard as General Jan Christiaan Smuts, Dalip Tahil as Zia, G√ľnther Maria Halmer as Dr. Herman Kallenbach, Shreeram Lagoo as Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Terrence Hardiman as Ramsay MacDonald, David Grant as Daniels