Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Gandhi (1982)

Ghandi

Starring Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud & Candice Bergen

Rating 4/10

Ok. I know a film and justice lover shouldn’t say this but… FINALLY it’s over! Yep this is another epic, epic film. Very long at 191 minutes. So much politics and talking and ageing. I feel a lot older now myself.

Gandhi (Kingsley) is an incredible, fearless and stubborn leader. He is driven by an intense desire to do good to everyone without lifting a violent finger. We first meet him when he is approaching the end of his life. We’re then transported back to when he was a lawyer travelling to South Africa. Here he fights the segregation laws and defies government orders, peacefully. He brings such change that on his return to India he is hailed a hero.

Gandhi, born and raised in England feels like he is a stranger in his native land.  When goes back there, Gandhi travels around the country to see what needs changing and how he can help in the fight for independence. This is an incredible part of the film. India is such a beautiful and varied place. I loved the montage of places and people. Gandhi takes this trip with his wife Kasturba Ghandi (Rohini Hattangadi) and Christian minister Reverend Charles Freer Andrews (Ian Charleson from Chariots of Fire).

After his journey, his first act is to call a non-violent non-co-operation campaign; meaning every non-British stops work for one day. This results in some violence and Gandhi’s imprisonment but all for a good cause… onwards and upwards. This massive relatively peaceful protest gets worldwide attention and the British are not happy chappies.

World War II hits and when it is finished the British give Gandhi and his country what they are after; independence. But then a sort of war breaks out between the Hindus and the Muslims. Not the peaceful, happy, joyful place Gandhi had envisioned. So he undertakes one of many  hunger strikes resulting in the quelling of all violence.

In the end India breaks up into 2 countries: Pakistan and India. Gandhi continues to try to bring peace to these two nations but things look dire. Then we are back to the beginning, a shot rings out the screen goes black.

I loved the first half of this film. It was filled with such passion and courage and beauty. But it lost me in the 2nd. I just cannot sit through numerous hunger strikes, political speeches and violence without wanting to nod off. The performances were incredible. Ben Kingsley earned his Best Actor Oscar. He must have worked overtime… geeesh.

There are many impressive actors in this film: John Mills, John Gielgud, Martin Sheen, Candice Bergen. We even get a glimpse of a very young Daniel Day-Lewis. If you have a few hours up your sleeve and you’re all settled in, by all means watch this film. It did win Best Picture and who am I to question that?

Ghandi Trivia:

  • Budget – a healthy $22 million
  • According to the Guiness World Records this film holds the record for the most extras in one scene – over 300 000
  • Kingsley looked so much like Gandhi that many thought he was the great man’s ghost
  • Ben Kingsley’s real name is Krishna Bhanji
  • Ironically Dustin Hoffman turned down the role of Gandhi to star in Tootsie, and lost the Best Actor gong to Kingsley
  • It took Richard Attenborough 18 years to get financing for the film – talk about persistence
And rest. The next 80s Best Picture winner is… envelope please… Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson.
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4 comments on “Best Picture – Gandhi (1982)

  1. Pingback: 1958 Oscar Winners | Guide to be a winner

  2. Pingback: 1982 Oscar Winners | Guide to be a winner

  3. aluminium profile
    November 16, 2011

    Nice post, I am currently writing an article on this topic. If you do not have an objection I might borrow a snippet. In case I do I will note your blog and add a link.

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