Gandhi My Father – Movie Review

Gandhi My Father - Movie Review“To people he was a father, To his son he was a father he never had” – a perplexing statement isnt it? Well, the whole world is aware of Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle in the freedom of India. Millions of Indians saw a ‘Father’ figure in him, and for these he was ‘bapu’. But how many are aware of his personal sacrifices? How many are aware of the bitter relationship that he shared with his son?

Produced by Anil Kapoor, Gandhi My father tells the story of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Darshan Jariwala) and Kasturba Gandhi’s (Shefali Chhaya) relationship with their eldest son Harilal Karamchand Gandhi (Akshaye Khanna). Veteran Feroz Abbas Khan has directed the film which is based on his play ‘Mahatma vs Harilal’.

In the shadows of the Father of the nation lived his own son Harilal Gandhi, straying in the streets of India like a beggar. Harilal Gandhi is a looser, who fails to live upto the Gandhi surname. A rebellion converting to Islam, converting back to Hinduism as a remorse for his past conduct and finally drinking himself to death 5 months after the death of his great father. Mahatma Gandhi succeded in saving the nation from the British, but failed miserably in saving his son.

Sounds amazing and very interesting, doesnt it? How i wish the execution could do justice. Unfortunately, Gandhi My Father disappoints. The first half of the movie lacks the moments required to carry a historical. The pace in the first hour is sluggish. The narration picks up in the second half with a few brilliantly executed scenes. The railway station scene wherein Harilal gifts his mother a Orange and while the whole crowd that has gathered is cheering the Mahatma his son is cheering his mother, Kasturba Gandhi. Amazingly executed and Akshaye Khanna is in full form in the all important scene.

Technically the movie is strong and director Feroz Abbas Khan deserves credit. Cinematography by David Macdonald is splendid. The pre independence era and the overall look and feel has been captured on celluloid in detail. The background music is first rate.

Akshaye Khanna is brilliant. He has lived the role of Harilal Gandhi. Although not a very meaty role, he is bound to win a lot of accolades for this performance. Darshan Jariwala too has delivered a knockout performance. To state that he is Brilliant as Mahatma Gandhi would be a understatement. Shefali Chhaya excels, yet again. Bhoomika Chawla is good.

To sum things up, Gandhi My Father is a average movie with powerful performances by the lead actors. The movie has its moments but just not enough to carry a historical. Somehow, somewhere there is something lacking. In short Gandhi my father failed to live upto my expectations.

Rating: ★★½☆☆
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7 Comments

  • […] ?Indicine : “To sum things up, Gandhi My Father is a average movie with powerful performances by the lead actors. The movie has its moments but just not enough to carry a historical. Somehow, somewhere there is something lacking. In short Gandhi my father failed to live upto my expectations.” […]

  • The tag line to his son he was a father he never had seems inappropriate as the film shows plenty of times, right from
    when he falls while playing- picking him up and tending to his injury- and supporting his decision, sending him support
    money for his family, allowing him to study…. arranging job for him through his contact, giving him plenty of chances.
    More appropriate would have been Hari was the son gandhi longed to have and never had. How much he wishes his
    son were there during aftermath of partition and even earlier in S. Africa when he asks what he could do to make him stay
    back! Excellent portrayal of all characters by all the actors, but I cant fault Gandhiji as a parent except not recommending
    him for the scholarship to England. It is only a noble person like Gandhiji can be so non-judgemental and accepting of
    all that Hari did. Harilal as the character portrayed just had an enormous chip, made all the wrong choices in life and
    neatly blamed his luck and father for his own erroneous decisions.

  • Dear Sir / Madam,
    Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to write a review of the movie. Now, I?m proud to judge One of the greatest Indian Movies.
    One can easily understand the efforts & study undertaken by Director Mr. Feroz Khan. I?d also like to mention Producer Mr.Anil Kapoor, who as a debut producer dared such an enormous off-beat movie. First of all, let me Congratulate & Thank both of them for this excellent & memorable movie experience.
    Overall movie ?Gandhi-My Father? succeeds well. The first half of the movie, shows us the relation between Harilal & his father Mahatma Gandhi; the up & downs in their relation; the reasons for their differences. While, the second half of the movie, opens the pages of the Harilal?s life after split with Mahatma Gandhi; his lonely life. And, I?ll say, the entire movie shows the awkward position of Kasturba Gandhi between her husband Mohandas Gandhi & her son Harilal.
    All the performances in the movie are outstanding. Not only the individual performances but also the understandings between the characters are mutual. The central character of Mr. Harilal Gandhi played by Akshye Khanna is the best character he has ever portrayed. Akshye have really lived up to the Harilal?s role. The other two most important roles of the film are of Mahatma Gandhi & Kasturba Gandhi played by Darshan Jariwala & Shefali Chhaya, respectively. Mr. Darshan has clearly shown Gandhiji?s mind & thoughts through his expressions. Likewise, Shefali has done a real justice to the character she played. People can actually feel her uneasiness while going through the differences between Gandhiji & Harilal. Bhumika Chawla has tried her level best for the role of Harilal?s wife Gulab. The whole story revolves around these main four characters.
    The dialogues are quite significant in the movie. They are as important as characters of the movie. Especially, dialogues for Gandhiji had to be balanced & fortunately they are. Audience didn?t feel the dialogues like they are sitting for some kind of lecture; this is the strength of the movie.
    Background music plays important role to keep the story moving. The proper use of Flute & Sarangi is really appreciative. The Traditional music during Harilal?s marriage or Durga Festival, also takes the audiences back in those days.
    Now, some negative points. There is zero reference of Gandhi-Kasturba?s three children. There should have been some information about, those three children as well as Harilal?s children, in the end of the movie. The other point is that, no one in the hospital asks (forcibly) the patient about his Father?s name. Instead, they can force him to tell his own name.
    All in all, it?s a must watch movie for every human on this Earth. Even people who don?t stand behind Gandhji?s thoughts, should look for family values; Father-Mother-Son relationship. The movies like this are so rare in many years. These movies are calculated in Qualities & not in Quantities.
    An Oscar winner movie for Indian Film Industry. At last, the everyone in the World must say ?Gandhi-My Father.?

  • This movie excells in its protrayal of the family life of Mahatma Gandhi. Not only is the tumultous relationship between Gandhi and his son, Harilal, revealed, but so is the relationship between Gandhi and his wife, Kasturba, and between mother and son. This window into their family life had been left out of other movies and documentaries.

    The picture of Gandhian tolerance goes well beyond his family members to his acceptance of different religions (Hinduism, Islam etc.), of different castes (including so-called “untouchables”) and even his tolerance for the British (provided they did not rule India). Clearly, Gandhi was a transcendant human who lived selflessly and tirelessly for nation and humanity, and this is a timely reminder, given the recent sexual misrepresentation of this great man in the biographical book called “Great Soul…”.

    In terms of script, directing, and acting, six out of six stars for Anil Kapur and Feroz Khan and many others. This was not an action-oriented movie that only Hollywood consumers understand. The dialogues had depth, the emotions were real, and the settings were authentic. From the lead roles to the small roles of people in everyday life, the acting was unforced and highly compelling.

    It is through such depth, that many lessons come through from this movie: lessons about alcoholism, destitution, moral waywardness, political setbaacks, and ultimate triumphs. The end result is a sense of awe.

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