Patience, Persistence and Peace
"Gandhi" is Richard Attenborough's epic look at who Mahatma Gandhi was and what he achieved by being a man of non violence. We see through his patience and peaceful determination he achieved getting India independence. At the same time we also encounter Jinnah and how his commitment to an independent Pakistan also caused Gandhi issues.
Firstly let me apologise for not only the brevity of that synopsis but also for any faults in it for the simple reason I am neither a historian or some one who is that interested in World politics. But that leads me to one hugely important point; I can honestly say that never before have I sat through a movie which lasted 191 minutes and was about historical political events which if it wasn't 11 at night when I finished it I would watched it right away again. And I have watched "Gandhi" again, in fact prior to writing this review I watched it 3 times in a week because this is one of those movies which you can immerse yourself in and become lost.
Now as I said before, I don't do World politics and whilst aware of Mahatma Gandhi and what he achieved I didn't know the details of his life before watching "Gandhi". But whilst no expert now I can genuinely say that not only have I learned something I have a better understanding of what Gandhi achieved and an appreciation for the way he achieved it. That is part of the beauty of this movie because it shows that through patience, persistence and respect Gandhi changed a country and became a loved and respected figure in doing so, although one who of course was not without his enemies as we see right from the opening scenes which dramatize his assassination followed by his funeral.
That leads me to another thing about "Gandhi" and some thing which to be honest makes me a little sad as this is an old fashioned epic where instead of using CGI created crowd scenes this features thousands upon thousands of extras, I believe at the time it had the world record for the number of extras uses. Some may say so what but for me there is an authenticity to an epic movie like this, a quality which no matter how good CGI gets simply can't recreate, it is like those who still prefer the sound of vinyl over digital. I said it makes me sad and that is simply because movies on this scale simply don't get made now and that is a shame.
But of course anyone who has watched "Gandhi" will know that whilst this movie is epic it is also a movie which if it wasn't for Ben Kingsley it wouldn't have been the amazing movie which it is. Having only ever seen old photos and film of the real Mahatma Gandhi it has to be said that Kingsley certainly recreates him and delivers this character which whilst determined also can see the funny side of life. Yes maybe there were sides of the real Gandhi which were not shown in this movie but it is because of Kingsley bringing to life this vision of Gandhi and making the magic of this little man seem so real that you end up almost hypnotised by him.
What this all boils down to is that "Gandhi" is a beautiful and powerful movie which for me is as beautiful now as it ever has been. Yes there are elements of the real Gandhi which are missing from this movie and many of the important characters lack the depth that some would like but this movie does a wonderful job of showing what this little man achieved in a non violent way.