The film Gandhi released in 1982 was adopted from the biography of Mahatma Gandhi and unfolds with his fateful assassination of 30th January 1948 as a result of being the go-between on conflicting Muslims and Hindus in India and Pakistan. The film plot quickly goes back to narrating Gandhi’s early life as a practicing attorney. With the setting in South Africa, Gandhi is traveling by train and after he adamantly refusing to surrender his seat in first class coach is thrown out. He is subjected to this segregation because he is an Indian.
This provokes him to organize mass protests for banning of all discriminatory acts and an end to these stereotypes in which all protesters are arrested and later released. In the film, Gandhi is propelled by religious virtues and believes all people are equal before God. The British rule had denigrated the Indians limiting their rights to the extent of not acknowledging their marriage laws. For this reason, he endeavors for the achievement of equality through protests, which strongly do not advocate for violence.
Exploring on racism and other issues that border on prejudice and stereotypes, the film Gandhi delves on the anonymous group of pushing for mass actions and identified by the common clothing, which ultimately implies they are of particular class. The point of this film endeavors to present the struggles of the Indian people from a generalized perspective. In the film the people are depicted as somehow fanatical and indeed they are justified bearing in mind the kind of life they were pushed to in the context of the colonial subordination.
The intense scenes in Gandhi explores on the people’s common life infused with the religious fervor through the advocacy of Gandhi. The cinematic representation in the film of Gandhi is not about presenting the historical Gandhi but the presentation of the life changing circumstances that happened in India. The character of Gandhi does not dwell in his early or private life but dramatizes the public persona that ultimately inspired the Indian people with his realistic and spiritual philosophies.
The camera shots are edited to only bring the speeches, notable occasions, and homilies of Gandhi as a leader that helped the masses result to the non-violence protests without giving up even when they were imprisoned for agitating for their freedom and independence. The scenes well packaging depicts Attenborough’s cinematic exploits and the film win an awards for the best pictures. However, the film implies there are moments of Gandhi’s development in politics but does not delve deep in showing them.
From the scenes of mass actions, the audience cannot fail to notice the contribution raising the social conscientization, which is imperative for the belief in emancipation. Although the film does not dramatize the transformation experience turning the historical moments in the film as just purely aesthetic, there scenes in the film that treat Indian culture and Gandhi as iconic figure. The low angle and the close-up shots magnifies Gandhi as inspirational leader while the long panning shots help show the masses united against the aggression of the British rule.
The mise-en-scene further eclipses the fine details of this biographical film leading to emplotment and characterization in the film. The sounds tracks employed further contextualize film in the Indian culture as well as espousing the euphoria in the social struggle. In conclusion, film Gandhi directed by Attenborough was successful in the biographical genre in which Attenborough’s wit and intellect in depicting Mahatma Gandhi and his leadership role in the non-violent agitation of independence from the British rule. The film is a manifestation of honoring the unique resistance lead by iconic Mahatma Gandhi.
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