long since i saw a movie! how did i manage without it ?? don even ask me!!
well i broke my period of filmy celebacy with feroze abbas's my father gandhi, here goes how it was!
anil kapoor productions my father gandhi is a art film to the core. it never boasted to be a comemrcial art house cross-breed , yet one did not expect it to be an out and out doucmentary on the lives of a lesser known gandhi. and that takes away much from an otherwise brilliant film.
the movie is about hiralaal gandhi , the son of the father of the nation, and how he never saw a father in mahatma. the burden of being gandhi's son , ate into the soul of hiralal leading him onto a self destructive path to doom.
the movie is intended to tell hiralal's hitherto unheard story about his troubled relations with his illustrous father. but in effect it ends up espousing gandhi's larger than life figure and staure in the indian history. moreso because hiralals character seems ill-conceived. akshaye khanna as the doomed son of gandhi, manages to scrap thru with a good performance , but then he is seriously impaired by the lack of flesh in the role to dig his teeth into.
the only character apart from gandhi that leaves a mark is shefali chaaya as kasturbha gandhi. a naunced performance , with the electic mix of charm and will, shefali stealsthe show , chewing s up the scenes wid ease.
that brings us to the unintended main character of the film, gandhi. i guess it is difficult , near to impossible for indians to objectively analyse gandhi's character even after 60 yrs of independence. no i am not asking fopr a surgical character assasination , but what i mean to say is in the process of deifying the mahatma we have lost the chance of making him human, real and prevented the masses from making him a role model. this film does throw questions about him and his ideals, but most of the time , it is a tamed and muted protest .
more punch was needed , considering the manner in which gandhi wanted his own dreams to be fulfilled thru his son, int he process killing the ambitions and hopes of a young innocent man. and the eternally slow pace of the film doesnt help either. a subject like this demanded an edge of the seat race emotinal drama, and the director miserable fails at telling the story evenly.
finally , a period film about gandhi and his son , that leaves you with memories of just the good sets and the impressive cinematic styling of running through time without explanations, is a sad attempt at looking at one of the greates icons india has ever had. yet , it is a fresh attempt nevertheless.