Monday, August 06, 2007

Gandhi, My Father

I didn’t get it. Why would anyone want to see a film about a guy who was a failure in almost every facet of life ? He failed in the metric exam thrice, wanted to become a barrister but obviously didn’t have the brains for it, he tried starting a business (twice), failed both times, defrauding his business partners, employer and innocent investors. He changed his religion once, flirted with another before switching back to Hinduism. He spent his last few years as a constantly drunk homeless beggar, who resisted every attempt his father made to reach out to him. Sounds boring, depressing, right ? The movie is no different. Just because the above person happens to be Gandhi’s son doesn’t change anything.

One of the interesting things was watching Gandhiji trying to deal with this issue – imagine you’re the father of the nation, trying to come up with a way to bring down apartheid in SA or the British rule in India – and suddenly you have to find time to deal with a rebellious, indecisive son who obviously is not in the same league as himself. Not easy, and based on the movie I didn’t feel we are able to truly take sides or decide who was in the right or wrong.

Acting was ok throughout, direction / camerawork was good. However we were stuck with a film that lacked appeal or a story that failed to provoke.

Every family has its own black sheep – in this case, a sheep which refused to change colour or fade into the background. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it makes for a good movie – for most of the movie you’re squirming, wondering what idiocy Harilal Gandhi is going to do next. I remember, just a month or so before my son was born, my wife asked me what would I do if he turned out to be an inactive, passive, dunce ? it’s a terrible thought – am thankful to God this never happened – but watching this movie was a bit like watching your worst nightmare come true. I don’t think that could be enjoyable viewing for anyone.


Anonymous said...

Apurv- I liked the movie:) . I think the movie was not just about harilal. It was also about mahatama gandhi and more importantly the relationship between the two. I found the movie interesting where you can play the blame game for harilals disastrous life !

If you want checkout my chakpak review here

moksh juneja said...

I kind of likes the movie.. since you already knew the end. But you wanted to know the journey and how bad can it get between a father-son relationship, you could check out my review of the movie ,

I did like the Akhaye Khanna's performance as well as the huge brand placement - Godrej - in the movie.

abhidilse said...

The Overall impression when i came out after watching the movie was not good...didnt like to watch a failure/gave a depressing feeling but now after so many days i think that it was meant for the parents to view & learn if they can,also for the harilal like ppl who can relate to the story.

Aps i know its not the movie we NorMal ppl will like but maybe with good direction it wud have been better,like for example offhand i can remember 2 points which were unanswered and cud be discussed with respective ppl (i know this is/was a real story but still there wud have been answers for this in books i guess) --

why gandhi was against harilals marrg to bhumika(sorry i cant remember her name) & he very coolly says otherwise i ll have to disown him.

why did bhumika have to leave for india when harilal was in jail.

Though i liked Gandhi's acting with a ever smiling face.
Like mom liked the movie and likes the idea when she read in the newspaper that the movie shud be watched with children.

When i saw Umrao Jaan the new or the old version i atleast came out of the theatre having sympathies for her,but after seeing harilal i didnt feel the same for him.
Aps can u xplain why?