Sunday, August 5, 2007
This movie is one of the landmark movies made so far in Bollywood.Honestly speaking I never had such expectations for this movie.But it was truly a magical experience.
Story: The movie focuses on the relationship between Mahatma Gandhi(Darshan Jariwala) and his son Harilal Gandhi(Akshaye Khanna).The movie starts by showing June 1948 where Harilal is old and devastated and is taking his last breath in a hospital where he is brought in a terrible state.He is asked his father's name and when he says Bapu..the cops say that he is the father of the nation ...what is your father's name....Nobody recognizes Harilal besides the fact that he is Mahatma Gandhi's son.He is taken to be a roadside drunkard and an orphan and this is what is entered in the police records.
Now the movie is taken into flashback to the year 1902 Rajkot where Harilal is shown.He lives in Rajkot while his parents Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi(Shefali Shah) live in Durban ,South Africa.Here Mahatma Gandhi works as a Barrister and is also concerned about the racial discrimination and uses non violence to fight against that.
The father and son have very different ideologies about leading their lives.Whereas Mahatma Gandhi is an idealist , Harilal wants to succeed in life just like any youngster.However there are quabbles between the father and son very often.Mahatma Gandhi is not happy about the fact that his son has married in Rajkot without caring to ask him.Harilal is called to South Africa to support his father and also complete his law education by sending him to England.Harilal is also made part of the movement of his father against racial discrimination.However one incident makes him change his direction in life.M K Gandhi is given a scholarship to be used for the education of his children.However he finds someone else more worth of it than his own son because he thinks nothing belongs to him and it is for the society.This disturbs Harilal a lot.
Now Harilal wants to lead his own life his own way.He goes back to India to continue with his studies and be with his wife Gulab(Bhoomika Chawla) and children.However on the one end MK Gandhi is gaining immense popularity(He is back to India and active in freedom movement) and on the other end Harilal is only facing failures at each step.The son gets pressurized and complexed under the name of his own father.After sometime Gulab dies,the children are with their grand parents and Harilal becomes a wanderer and is nowhere.He starts drinking,sleeps with prostitutes,changes from Hindu to Muslim,spoils his father's name.MK Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi try their best to transform their son and bring him back but no success.Finally at the end they show the death of Harilal.
The movie successfully takes you in that genre of the Indian Freedom Struggle .It delves into life of the great Mahatma Gandhi who is an epitome of patience,perseverance,peace and strength.He is in himself larger than life.The actor plays the role with full conviction and is excellent.Shefali Shah as Kasturba Gandhi stands out in the movie with a lifetime performance as mother of Harilal.Infact her scenes with Akshaye Khanna are commendable especially when she goes and meets his son.The lady definitely leaves a huge impact.
Akshaye Khanna is extremely good and plays his character exceedingly well.The scene where he calls himself a useless son to a great father really needs an applause.Even the scene where he shouts "Mata Kasturba ki Jai" in the station is outstanding.
The person who deserves maximum credit is the director.What good flow of events and impactful direction.The scenes are well executed with appropriate dialogue.One thing one could point out as a flaw could be the slow pace of the film but when one sees the kind of research that must have gone into the making of the film,I would say the film is remarkable.Another thing good about the movie is that it never leaves focus.The father-son dispute is reflcted upon throughout the entire movie while simultaneoulsy showing the freedom struggle.
I am extremely inspired by the persona of the Father of the Nation and I salute him.