"Nine hours to Rama" depicts the life of Nathuram Godse the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. How Godse planned the assassination is shown in the film. How he became a Hindu activist who (unfairly) blamed Gandhi for the killings of thousands of Hindus by Muslims is revealed in a series of flashbacks. Written by
Nine Hours To Rama tells the story of the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi the founder of the independence movement that led to the creation of India and Pakistan. Many Hindus feel that the latter is more like an unwanted step child that was a byproduct of the birth and thereby hangs a tale of confrontation that has lasted to this day.
Horst Bucholtz plays Nathuram Gotse who actually managed to get up close and personal in 1948 to slay a man many regard as a 20th century saint. Though Gandhi's creed of non-violent resistance worked in getting the British out it wasn't so successful in keeping the Moslem population from creating its own separate state of Pakistan. Those years marked one of the bloodiest conflicts of the last century as Moslems and Hindus both migrated under the guns of war to the boundaries of the new states. Gotse blamed Gandhi for conceding too much to the leader of the Moslem separatists Mohammed Ali Jinnah as did many.
Bucholtz does a good job in playing the fanatic, but personally I think the film is dominated by J.S. Casshyap who gives a remarkable portrayal of the Mahatma. You really do think you're seeing some old newsreel footage of Gandhi in his last years. The Mahatma was not going to compromise, not a bit. Note the frustration of Jose Ferrer as the dedicated police inspector who knows there's a real plot out there, but is helpless as Gandhi will not let him take the slightest kinds of precautions nor will Gandhi alter his schedule. And the scene where Congress Party politician Robert Morley is trying to wangle an endorsement from the Mahatma and Gandhi ever so gently turns him down is very amusing.
Ironic that Nine Hours to Rama came out the year of the assassination of our president in America. Like The Manchurian Candidate, Nine Hours to Rama was deep sixed for a while. If you get a chance to view it, don't pass it up. And definitely see it conjunction with Bhowani Junction and Ben Kingsley's remarkable Gandhi.
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