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 Gandhi My Father
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Feroze Abbas Khan
 Piyush Kanojia
 Piyush Kanojia
 Akshaye Khanna, Bhoomika Chawla, Shefali Shah, Darshan Jariwala, Daniel Janks.

By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend



View  Gandhi My Father Movie StillsAkshaye Khanna must be one of very few actors in the industry to have gotten a chance to essay a character, hitherto unknown, in a film sensitively handled, considering the subject and emotions involved. After all, such films are not made everyday. Amitabh Bachchan is quoted to have told his son, Abhishek, that it took him 25 years to get a film like BLACK. For an artiste nothing is more creatively satisfying than a good role, felt passionately by the makers, essayed with aplomb. More of Akshaye later.

Letís focus now on Anil Kapoor, the producer. The passion in the project is palpable. That in a way may explain why the talented actor chose to stay behind the camera and put his energy into making one of the most beautiful movies to have come out of Indian cinema. For teenagers, and adults alike, this movie, besides focusing on The Mahatmaís eldest son, Harilal Gandhi, is also a subtle lesson on the sweat and blood that went into fighting for the countryís freedom as well as the partitioning of the country. It also throws light on the gentle freedom fighter and his peace loving ways in all that he did. But for his son, as the tagline rightly suggests, he was a father he never had.

But itís so very easy to become a victim of circumstances, as was the case with Harilal, and put the blame on someone else for your miseries. Harilal is one such man who feels it is his fatherís unspoken code of conduct that curtails his freedom and does not allow him to soar. Even after his wifeís death, he does not bother about his kids, who were taken care of by Gandhi and his wife, Kasturba. He wallows in self pity, submerges himself in alcohol, and prostitution, and dies of penury on the streets of Bombay, six months after his fatherís assassination.

Every detail is finely tuned in every frame. Right from the hair, to the make-up to the costumes, to the props used to enhance the scene, its plain to see the pain that has gone in making the setting as authentic as possible and giving the audience the feel of that particular Ďtime and momentí. The lighting and cinematography along with the body language of each and every actor takes the scenes to another level altogether.




Back to Akshaye Khanna, who plays Harilal Gandhi. In one word, this talented actor who everyone knew was performing much below his potential is outstanding. In trying to describe his brilliance, Iím afraid I may fall short of his genius. So letís leave it at this, that he has portrayed Harilal with sincere innocence that leaves you wondering whether to feel sorry for him or hate him.

View  Gandhi My Father Movie StillsLets not forget Darshan Jariwala, who to my mind, with due apologies to Ben Kingsley, and Richard Attenborough, has been the best onscreen Gandhi. Darshanís eyes are what tilt the scale in his favour; they portray the feelings even before he can speak a word. As for Shefali Shah, who plays Kasturba Gandhi, she matches Darshan, scene for scene, and carries off the moments right from a young mother to an old grandmother with studied ease. Bhumika Chawla, who plays the wife of Harilal, too adds to the strong cast with her performance.

How can we forget the man who made this possible, Feroze Abbas Khan, the writer/director of this classic? Take a bow, Mr Khan and treat us to more scripts like these.

GANDHI MY FATHER is much more than a movie; itís a moving story, told about the father of our nation and his eldest son. Itís also a lesson in history, and the art of making period films.



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