Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom/India, 1982. International Film Investors, National Film Development Corporation of India, Goldcrest Films International, Indo-British, Indo-British Films. Screenplay by John Briley. Cinematography by Ronnie Taylor, Billy Williams. Produced by Richard Attenborough. Music by Ravi Shankar. Production Design by Stuart Craig. Costume Design by Bhanu Athaiya, John Mollo. Film Editing by John Bloom. Academy Awards 1982. Golden Globe Awards 1982. New York Film Critics Awards 1982.
Educational, handsomely produced biography of the great thinker who led India to its independence. Ben Kingsley does an awe-inspiring job of carrying an entire three hour epic in his first major film role, and his performance is what really makes this film tick. The film follows his career from his early days as a lawyer in South Africa to his return to India where he publicly protests England’s colonization and treatment of Indian citizens as slaves. His philosophy of non-violent protest and humble existence would move a nation towards the most peaceful liberation a country has seen, but not without sad consequences for the man himself. Fascinating, filled with marvelous detail, and meticulously directed by Richard Attenborough (who worked decades to get the film made). That said, it’s also a bit long and not everyone will rush to see it, but it’s a good learning experience all the same.