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GANDHI: MY FATHER
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
When one has a father of the stature of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi then to make a film on his son who has had a non-distinguishable career is a choice that had not yet been exercised by any of the filmmakers who have tapped on the potential of the name Gandhi to reap dividends. It had to be a director of the stature of Feroze Abbas Khan who by his depiction of Ramayana and Mahabharata made a name for himself, to don the role of Aladdin to uncork the genie corked in the persona of Gandhi and exorcise Gandhi's son Harilal. To present the character of Harilal needs a chutzpah, which only a Feroze Abbas Khan could make. From the promos itself it is evident that the film has a luxe feeling, and an international ambience to it, which would make it worth an experience to view it.
The choice of Akshay Khanna to portray the role of Harilal is also fortuitous as here is an actor who though having made his debut in eighties still is to make a mark that could provide a leap forward ahead of his illustrious father, Vinod Khanna. With a successful father as a reference point to refer to it would always have been easy for Akshay Khanna to slip into the role of Harilal, and GANDHI MY FATHER could turn out to be a significant point of departure in his career, and provide him the leap that he has been waiting for and which continues to elude him.
For an actor of the caliber of Anil Kapoor to start a new phase in his career with a film of this kind is indicative of the point of departure that he also wishes his career to make. The subtle casting of the film seems to be based on the premise that the actors should be subsumed in the characters and not the other way round, as it is the character in question, which has to make a mark.
It is a bold experience in the Indian film making as well, as after a pretty long time an Indian actor has tried to deconstruct a father figure and to remove the sheen of veneer to provide a peep into the persona of personalities who have a nation to contend with. In such kind of an exercise it is the family, which was not given any precedence at all, and this is also the subtle message that the film seems to be conveying in the age where nepotism rules roost and family and filial relations have come to be given prominence over the nation.
When the industry talks about lack of stories this attempt by Anil Kapoor and his company should provide the answer to their refrain that the stories are flying in the air, it is just that the courage has to be mustered to pick the characters from the past and create a magic on celluloid out of them. This is what film industries all over the world do, and this is what Hindi Film industry does only in phases.
With the awareness that has been built on Mahatma Gandhi by LAGE RAHO MUNNA BHAI, especially among the youth, it is a very interesting marketing and awareness making initiative that is being undertaken by Anil Kapoor of addressing the youth about the film. The youth of present generation would be able to empathize with Harilal as this generation is also in the predicament of not being able to find out their fathers when needed. May the sons and the fathers throng together to ignite the passion between their relationships through the characters of HariLal and Gandhi.