Bollywood Tales on Mahatma Gandhi – A Gandhi Jayanti Special
A name that made the British treble, a ‘lathi’ that was against the ahimsa and a man who was a rebel from his formative years, Mahatma Gandhi was a pillar of strength. From fighting the enemies with his theories of ‘Satyagraha’ and the emancipation of the Khadi, Gandhi had revolutionized the historical backdrop on which the Indian ancestry is set.
Being a prominent leader of nationalism in India, he stood out as the leader when it came to the freedom movement for the country. Our ‘Father of the Nation, lovingly called Bapu had not just triggered the Quit India movement but post his demise and assassination and with the rise of the film fraternity, numerous biopic and flicks started to ape Bapu and keep his autobiography as the theme of their movies.
Paying tribute to the legendary fighter, we list down few of the films which had a narration or inclusion of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and soul in some way or the other.
Richard Attenborough’s famous autobiographical flick is a fore runner of sorts when films based on Bapu’s life is considered. The ebst film ever made on Indian independence and the loved freedom fighter, ‘Gandhi’ traced the entire journey of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as he transformed himself in to a global phenomenon. The international film was shot in India and starred veterans Amrish Puri, Om Puri, and Sayeed Jaffrey in pivotal roles. Ben Kingsley delivered one of the finest performances and much to everyone’s delight, he was awarded with an Oscar for his exceptional portrayal.
Hey Ram (2002)
Hey Ram was certainly one of the most technically perfect period dramas, that were shot in a flashback mode. Having the Partition of India and Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination as the backdrop for the film, Kamaal Hassan weaved magic with his story telling power and his acting genes did the remaining trick. Hey Ram, tentatively the last words uttered by Gandhi during his assassination by Nathuram Godse was chosen as the title for the flick. Not just that, this film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Naseeruddin Shah was also India’s entry for the Oscars that year.
Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006)
This 2006 comic caper was anything but slapstick, much due to the subtle social message it passed on to the audiences. A sequel to the rip roaring Munnabhai MBBS, Rajkumar Hirani’s brainchild was bang on perfect in bringing the innocence as well as the stoicness in the principles of Gandhi, a.k.a ‘Gandhigiri’. The Sanjay Dutt starrer created ripples as ahimsa got a new meaning, a different dimension altogether. Dilip Prabhavalkar played the role of Bapu in this contemporary commercial saga to the tee. Sanjay Dutt was brilliant and it was Hirani’s cinematic genius that bore the fruits. The film became a rage and Gandhigiri became the new style statement!
Gandhi My Father (2007)
The tumultuous relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his son, Harilal found its niche and surfaced as the plotline for this 2007 Hindi flick. Anil Kapoor jumped to production with an intricate tale of estranged relationships between the father and son, which was first mentioned in Harilal’s autobiography. Suffering the complexity and strain of the relationship, Harilal’s innate feelings of his own identity being overshadowed by the powerful persona of his father was shown beautifully on screen with Darshan Jariwala and Akshaye Khanna slipping into the shoes of the father and the son respectively. The film did not work well at the box office, much like its predecessors, but got huge critical acclaim.
Gandhi To Hitler (2011)
When an international film ‘Dear Friend Hitler’ was about to release in India, it was renamed as ‘Gandhi to Hitler’. A heart warming story that deals with multiple linguistic letters that Bapu wrote to the Nazi leader during the Second World War when Hitler was busy crusading and excruciating the Jews. The film, that wasn’t that well received, also brought about the multi-faceted differences between India’s Gandhi and Hitler. In spite of a powerful performance from Raghuvir Yadav, who stood out as Hitler, this film was panned by critics all over.
But the question that still caresses the mind is: With a national holiday declaration and partying with friends over some cocktail dinners, are we really paying tribute to the leader, the right way? We’ll leave that to you all!