“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.