Monday, July 30, 2007

New Yorkers loves Gandhi--My Father

New Yorkers have enjoyed a Hindi film, Gandhi My Father, which was recently screened in New York.

The audience at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) theatre on Friday hardly had any Indian Americans. But they were all glued to the highly emotional drama played out between Mahatma Gandhi and his wayward eldest son Harilal. There were plenty of cheers when the movie ended.

The two-hour film seems to have been made with an international audience in mind. It may not become a blockbuster like Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982), but Gandhi My Father may win awards on the international film circuit.

The difference is that Gandhi dealt with Mahatma the icon while Gandhi My Father brings out the human side of the most well known Indian in the world.

The film's director Feroz Abbas Khan, an acclaimed Indian theatre director whose credits include Mahatma vs Gandhi, has said: "For me to direct this film meant that I would not sacrifice the creative aspect for the commercial ones."

Indeed, despite the presence in the film's cast of two Bollywood stars - Akshaye Khanna as Harilal and Bhoomika Chawla as Harilal's wife Gulab - there are no masala elements.

Akshaye and Bhoomika as well as Darshan Jariwala as the Mahatma and Shefali Shah as Kasturba turn in fine, restrained performances. Photography, design and other production values are all excellent. Gandhi My Father marks Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor's foray into production.

Most importantly, the film is emotionally engaging, even relentless, while managing to be fair to both Gandhi and Harilal. The screenplay builds the film up as a classic clash between convictions, values and family aspirations.

It does say, however, that what Gandhi did for the country and humanity was of greater importance than his unwillingness to particularly forward his son's career because he saw all his associates as his sons.

The film is based on Harilal Gandhi: A Life by Gandhian scholar Chandulal Dalal and is historically factual. The film has Harilal openly rebelling against Gandhi's ideals, converting to Islam, reconverting to Hinduism and being publicly disowned by the Mahatma.

Gandhi My Father is set to be released in India Aug 3.

MoMI will also be screening the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Devdas on August 10 to celebrate the vitality of Indian cinema as part of its World Cinema Showcase series. (Times of India)

I am tired of people lumping Akshaye with Bhumika or putting Darshan before Akshaye. Still, the buzz is building up people! Friday can't come soon enough.


Anonymous said...

Akshaye Khanna will now be known internationally. Hope, the movie works in India too. And, that's very important for me.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Akshaye Khanna should be recognized internationally!!

Anonymous said...

Akshaye Khanna's performance will always stand out as winner even if the movie is not being appreciated like in case of Salaam-e-Ishq and Naqaab!
And, if the audience like the movie, then it will be good for Akshaye Khanna's career! ;)

Anonymous said...

Akshaye is an extra-ordinary actor, by far the best we have had in last 2 decades... much ahead of abhishek bachhans & hrithiks... I pray he gets due credit for his worth

Diksha said...

Akshaye khanna is indeea the most accomplished actor of our time and problably one of the very few finest actors of Indian Cinema history. His movies may not do that good or he may not as popular as SRK or
Salman but actingwise noone can beat him. He is so natrual. He is the born actor.He put all his soul to any characters he plays and make them so lively and lovely. thank god we have atleast one actor who can act without looking like acting...Salut to Akshaye Khanna..