Mohandas was born in the Gujarati speaking family, had several brothers who jointly owned property in Rajkot. At the age of 13 Mohandas married Kasturba. On attaining maturity he re-located to England, became a Barrister, returned home, and together with Kasturba re-located to South Africa. They returned to India for a few years and this is where they became parents of four sons: Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas. Subsequently, the family returned to South Africa, leaving Harilal alone. As Harilal did not do well in his studies he got married to Gulab without his parents' blessings. Mohandas then invited Harilal to South Africa and on his Secretary's request also invited Gulab, who had recently given birth to a daughter, Rami. Harilal wanted to be a Barrister like his father but found his movements restricted as his father wanted him to actively participate against the Satanist and Racist British regime, leading to Harilal being arrested and imprisoned. Harilal's hopes of becoming a... Written by
Gandhi My Father shows that Harilal is as human as the next man materialistic and believer of instant karma who sadly failed to see the bigger picture his father always attempted to show. Time and again he makes serious attempts to be a good son, husband and a father - however lady luck leaves him in the lurch, always. As time gallops he is engulfed into the vicious circle about thinking the alternative life he could have had.... and gets hopelessly ruined.
The director treads the middle path here. While attempting NOT to de-glorify Mahatma, it goes to depict - all that Harilal wanted was a normal patronising father. Gandhi became Mahatma not only because he brought his principles home, but imposed too. And the price he paid to be "Father of the Nation" was his son. Do the proverbs "Charity becomes at home" and "Set your house in order first" mean anything? Naaah!
Darshan Jariwala:: From TV serials to bagging the role of Gandhi he has come a long way indeed. Probably its hard to wear off Ben Kingsley, hence initially you feel he is not personifying Gandhi well enough. But as Gandhi ages, Mr. Jariwala gets convincing.
Akshaye Khanna:: Gives his best shot to get into the skin of the character
Bhumika:: Impeccable acting, though a short role
Shefali Shetty:: Rock-solid performance
Gandhi My Father - it's a saga of Harilal ceasing to be a Gandhi at the cost of Mohandas becoming Mahatma, and not vice-versa.
Direction is first-rate. Anil Kapoor should be lauded for taking a bold step.
Bollywood is definitely coming of age, however time and again period dramas not fared well at the box-office. Until it finds its niche, this genre is best left to Hollywood or television.
PS: The movie skirts around the father-son relationship, so why go astray and deliberately incorporate a few scenes to depict the greatness of Gandhi?
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