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Gandhi, My Father (2007)

The account of troubled relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his eldest son.

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, (book) (as Chandulal Bhagubhai Dalal) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Kasturba Gandhi (as Shefali Shah)
...
Gulab Gandhi
...
Henry Polak
Ilanit Shapiro ...
Sonja Schlesin (as Illanit Shipiro)
Mithilesh Chaturvedi ...
Zakaria
...
Grieving Fast Food Stall Owner
Bomie E. Dotiwala ...
Photographer (as Bomi Dotiwalla)
...
General Ian Smutts (as Greg Villojen)
Rustom Irani ...
Mahadev Desai
Nayan Shukla ...
Jeevan
Padmesh Rawal ...
Narottamdas
Dharmendra Gohil ...
Harilal's Arya Samaj room-mate
Mona Ambegaonkar ...
Prostitute
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Storyline

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 rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

27 July 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Мой отец Ганди  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£44,242 (UK) (3 August 2007)

Gross:

$240,425 (USA) (17 August 2007)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akshay Khanna was avoiding Anil Kapoor's calls as Anil Kapoor had asked him to play the character of Gandhi later Anil Kapoor sent him a message saying he was joking and he wanted him to play the character of Harilal Gandhi. See more »

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User Reviews

 
In The Comet's Tail: Overcome By The Light
7 May 2016 | by (Quis Ut Deus?) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

What I love about this movie is its refusal to assign blame. Harilal is shown as simply wilting from the beginning under his legendary father's Star. A small scene, at the start, contains the essence of this classic. Mahatma looks approvingly, at first, at Harilal's books; he then discovers that he is reading romances. "Son, put away these childish fantasies and read the biographies of famous men instead." Watch for Harilal's look of being utterly crushed by his father's mild reproof. This is the center of this very sad, tragic masterpiece. See, at the very beginning, Harilal is going to become a barrister just like his father. The break occurs when his father applies his 'everyone is my child' conviction to Harilal while treating a soccer wound. From this point on, as the son walks away disheartened, the slow drift begins. The being over-shone in South Africa is worsened by his wife being sent away without his consent. The movie follows Harilal's existential descent downwards but it is important to grasp that he begins to define himself in direct opposition to his father. We go from wanting to be Gandhi and Gandhi: attorneys at law to his rejecting even his father's Hindu religion. The movie shows the legendary father's confusion with Harilal; why doesn't he want to continue in the fight?

As the movie progresses, a key scene is where the son buys up foreign cloth in direct opposition to his father. Even his wife is stunned at his faithless taking the side of his father's enemies. This continues with his conversion to Islam, his drunken visit to his parents and his visit to the train siding only with his mother. I admired the film for its honesty; Gandhi is perplexed at Harilal. He is portrayed as never understanding his son's need to try and hurt him to revenge upon him being so much lesser to him. My favorite scene is the one at night when Gandhi asks Harilal if he has sinned against him to please forgive him. This shows you that this is not a hit piece upon a global legend. He humbles himself and begs Harilal's forgiveness. It is such a small quiet little scene but the actor conveys the moral majesty of Mohatma Gandhi. It reminded me of my favorite scene in the movie Gandhi where he tells a blood covered Hindu who killed a Muslim child that he must find a Muslim child and raise him to be a Muslim. Like that scene, this director shows you the incredible Light that was within this human Spirit.

Yes, I won't lie to you, it is a most difficult movie to watch. It steadfastly refuses to assign blame, if anything Harilal is subtly adumbrated as being blinded by the power and presence of his father. I thought the actor portraying the son stole the movie. Often, whenever he is in Mohatma's presence Harilal just appears to shrink visually before him. This is the heart of this gem, it was who Gandhi was that destroyed Harilal. As an outsider, I found the movie refreshingly honest about this very sad story. What it was to be in the shadow of a legend. His Light Blinded This Sad Son. A Good Movie. Q.E.D.


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