Chennai: The nation gets ready to celebrate 150 years of Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the ‘Father of Nation’. On Gandhi Jayanthi’s eve, let’s take a look at list of films, inspired from the life of Gandhi.
With Ben Kingsley playing Gandhi, the movie directed by Richard Attenborough is a bio-pic on Gandhi and his struggle for Indian independence. The film won eight Oscars and 26 other film awards, including BAFTA, Grammy, Golden Globe and Golden Guild awards. The film covers Gandhi’s life from a defining moment in 1893, as he is thrown off a South African train for being in a whites-only compartment, and concludes with his assassination and funeral in 1948. Although a practising Hindu, Gandhi’s embracing of other faiths, particularly Christianity and Islam, is also depicted.
Written, directed and enacted by Kamal Haasan, Hey Ram was about India’s partition and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. The film is about a protagonist’s journey from religious hatred to love with the theme of the partition of Bengal in the background. This is the story of Saket Ram, as narrated by his grandson. Besides Kamal Haasan, the movie featured Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Vasundhara Das, Atul Kulkarni, Girish Karnad, Saurabh Shukla and Hema Malini. Ilayaraja scored music.
The Making of the Mahatma
Made in 1996, it was a joint Indian – South African produced film about the early life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi during his 21 years in South Africa. The film is based upon the book, The Apprenticeship of a Mahatma, by Fatima Meer (who also wrote the screenplay). Rajit Kapur and Pallavi Joshi played the lead roles. Rajit Kapur won the National Film Award for Best Actor in the year for his performance.
Welcome Back Gandhi
A Balakrishnan directorial, Welcome Back Gandhi featured S Kanagaraj as Gandhi. Composed by Ilayaraja, movie explored how Gandhi might react if he was still alive and visited modern day India. After a 60 years of absence, Gandhi returns to India to resume his Satyagraha Movement. While there, he must deal with the various social, economical and political issues that exist within the country. This forms the movie’s plot.
Lage Raho Munnabhai
A comedy-drama film directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, it was a sequel to Munna Bhai MBBS with Sanjay Dutt reprising his role as Munna Bhai, a Mumbai (Bombay) underworld don. In Lage Raho Munna Bhai, the lead character starts to see the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi. Through his interactions with Gandhi, he begins to practice what he refers to as Gandhigiri (a neologism for Gandhism) to help ordinary people solve their problems.
Gandhi My Father
The film depicted strained relationship between Gandhi and his son. It portrayed how Gandhi’s first-born, Harilal (played by Akshaye Khanna), didn’t inherit his father’s brilliance and strayed towards cheating and embezzlement. The story was about the failure of Gandhi as a father to his own son. Shefali Shetty won Best Actress Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival for the film.