It was Richard Attenborough's lifelong dream to bring the life story of Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi to the screen. When it finally reached fruition in 1982, the 188-minute, Oscar-winning Gandhi was one of the most exhaustively thorough biopics ever made.
‘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’
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
cinematography is exquisite on this film. The scenes
Ben Kingsley was the perfect for the role of the little man. He resembled the real Gandhi and he was young enough to portray Gandhi as a young man. He nailed that British influenced Indian accent; 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 he deserved. He became Gandhi.
If we wanted to criticise there would be a few points we could make. Despite boasting a formidable cast of some of
Yet for all its realistic honesty and pure dedication to the truth of the life and times of this amazing man, the films strength does not come from its script, nor from really from its direction. Attenborough as I have already mentioned does an excellent job; but 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.
argue that Kingsley was born to be Ghandi, similarity this is reminiscent of
Gregory Peck playing
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.