Gandhi My Father
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Gandhi My Father paints the picture of Gandhi's intricate, complex, and strained relationship with son Harilal Gandhi. From the onset, the two had dreams in opposite directions. Harilal wanted to study abroad and become a barrister like his father, while Gandhi hoped that his son would join him and fight for his ideals and causes.When Gandhi doesn’t give Harilal the opportunity to study abroad, it comes as a huge and almost unforgivable blow to Hari. He decides to abandon his father’s vision and leaves South Africa for India where he joins his wife Gulab (Bhoomika Chawla) and kids. He goes back to school to earn his diploma but fails three times in a row and ends in a financial dump. Each of his schemes to make money falls through and he ends up building a horrible reputation for himself, all the while tarnishing his father’s name. Sick of his failure, Gulab returns to her parent’s house with the kids and Hari stumbles and eventually falls. He turns to alcohol for solace and shuffles back and forth between Hinduism and Islam, in a never-ending search for peace. With political tension heating up, the rift between Gandhi and his eldest son grows until it’s beyond repair. This is the story of a man who lived in the enormous shadow of his father, striving to discover his identity.
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Top Customer Reviews
From the outset of the film we get to know Gandhi as a man of very high moral and spiritual principles who firmly and passionately adheres to them both in family life, in his work as a lawyer, and of course later, as India's spiritual and moral leader. And spare a thought for Gandhi's faithful wife who struggled to find a balance between supporting Gandhi's important, self-sacrificing ambitions for the good of all, and the wellbeing and happiness of the family and children. There are many thought-provoking concepts and issues to ponder over and to question as the film touches briefly yet poignantly on the most relevant and deepest matters affecting the family's life. The film does not take sides or judge or condemn anyone, and tells the story of people living through tumultuous decades in a very beautiful and artistic style with brilliant photography, soft colours and soft lighting. It is authentically Indian with quite traditional music, but no song and dance scenes which are the trademark of most `Bollywood' films. This is not such a popular or commercial movie, but a serious and artistic film with as much meaning and depth as the viewer cares to take from it. To underscore the historic significance of the story, authentic newsreel footage is used briefly a few times in this film which heightens the emotional intensity of the story, particularly as it reaches its climax. For a perfect balance of serious history and artistic excellence, "Gandhi My Father" is a special viewing experience, and will linger on in one's memory long afterwards.
This exemplifies Gandhi's consistent behavior toward his son. He simply undermined almost everything he did. Even when Harilal wanted to get married, Gandhi was ready to disown him for marrying too young. [The movie says that Gandhi and his wife were married at age thirteen.] So, this is a heartbreaking movie about a son who ached to win his father's admiration by his own accomplishments, but whose father undermined or denigrated every such effort. Is it any wonder that Harilal passed away, an unrecognizable drunk, only five months after his father was assassinated?