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Mahatma Gandhi is Still Alive on The Big Screen

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly known as Mahatma Gandhi, breathed his last on January 30, 1948

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Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, movies, screens, TV
British actor Ben Kingsley's portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's 1982 Oscar-winning film "Gandhi" is one that is etched on everyone's minds. Wikimedia Commons

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly known as Mahatma Gandhi, breathed his last on January 30, 1948, but he has been brought alive on the big screen several times.

As India is all set to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we take a look at actors who essayed the role of Gandhi with elan.

BEN KINGSLEY in “Gandhi” (1982)

British actor Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough’s 1982 Oscar-winning film “Gandhi” is one that is etched on everyone’s minds.

NASEERUDDIN SHAH in “Hey Ram” (2000)

The Kamal Haasan-starrer film revolved around India’s Partition and the assassination of Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. Interestingly, Naseeruddin had auditioned for the role of Gandhi in Attenborough’s film. The role eventually went to Kingsley. Naseeruddin’s Gandhi in “Hey Ram” didn’t received the acclaim that Kingsley’s effort did, but he was praised for nailing the act and getting the Gujarati accent right.

JS CASHYAP in “Nine Hours To Rama” (1963)

Mark Robson’s English language film is about the nine hours of Nathuram Godse’s life before he assassinated Gandhi. Goidse was essaywed by German actor Horst Buchholz.

ANNU KAPOOR in “Sardar” (1993)

The Ketan Mehta film on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had Annu Kapoor stepping into the shoes of Gandhi. Apart from playing the great Indian leader on the big screen, Annu also lent his voice as narrator to “Khaar” — a docudrama on Gandhi’s Dandi March.

“The Dandi March initiated by Gandhiji was an iconic movement against the British and a milestone in India’s movement for freedom,” Annu said last year.

RAJIT KAPUR in “The Making Of The Mahatma” (1996)

Kapur, popular for playing the Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi on television, played Gandhi in Shyam Benegal’s “The Making of The Mahatma”. His role in the film, fetched him a National Film Award as Best Actor.

Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, movies, screens, TV
As India is all set to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we take a look at actors who essayed the role of Gandhi with elan. Wikimedia Commons

MOHAN GOKHALE in “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar” (2000)

The film didn’t center around him but he managed to make his presence felt in the movie on BR Ambedkar, known mainly for helping the the downtrodden and oppressed classes in India.

DARSHAN JARIWALA IN “Gandhi, My Father” (2007)

His performance in the critically-acclaimed film was lauded by many, including the Indian government that honoured him with a National Award for his effort. “‘Gandhi, My Father’ happened in a curious way. Feroz Abbas Khan (director) had approached me for Gandhi’s role in his famous play ‘Mahatma v/s Gandhi’. I was his first choice. Unfortunately, I was preoccupied with other business interests then, and it was my misfortune that I couldn’t do it. So here I am, playing Gandhi in his directorial debut,” Darshan had said in an interview.

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DILIP PRABHAWALKAR in “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” (2006)

The Sanjay Dutt-starrer was probably one of the most commercial Bollywood films to feature. The film wasn’t just about the great leader but his teachings were highlighted well in the comedy-drama by filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. It showed why Gandhi continues to be relevant even today. Dilip was also honoured with a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his act in the blockbuster.

SURENDRA RAJAN in “The Legend Of Bhagat Singh” (2002); “Veer Savarkar” (2001); “Bose: The Forgotten Hero” (2004)

Few know, but Rajan is the actor to have essayed the Mahatma the maximum number of times. the Bollywood character actor may not be a known face in Hindi films, but his roles as Gandhi in “The Legend Of Bhagat Singh”, Veer Savarkar”, and “Bose” have become his calling cards.

SRIKANTH in “Mahatma” (2009 Telugu film)

The film was about a hooligan whose life sees transformation after he gets to know of Gandhism by chance. Actor Srikanth essyaed the role of the Mahatma. (IANS)

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Bollywood Becomes Better With Geniuses of Hollywood Working on Bollywood Projects

Here's how Hollywood adds sheen to Bollywood biggies

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Bollywood films
After geniuses from Hollywood have started working on bollywood projects, Indian cinema has started becoming better. Lifetime Stock

BY SUGANDHA RAWAL

Did the trailers of “Panipat” and “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior” remind you of “Game Of Thrones”? Or the action of “War” and “Saaho” bring memories of “Mission Impossible”? Well, that’s because the canvas of Bollywood is getting glossier, with the creative geniuses of Hollywood increasingly working on Bollywood projects.

From action gurus, stunt directors, VFX experts, cinematographers, musicians, make-up experts, technicians to physical trainers, talent from the West is being roped in to deliver world-standard content in Hindi films.

The trend of roping in experts from Hollywood is not new, but something which is growing popular with filmmakers acquiring global sensibilities, and the Indian audience getting receptive towards foreign content.

With larger-than-life Hollywood movies, backed up with advanced make-up and technology techniques, high on breathtaking action sequences and on point cinematography, winning hearts in India, Indian filmmakers are updating the look of the project to match up with their foreign counterpart.

Bollywood filmmakers
Talent from the West is being roped in to deliver world-standard content in Bollywood films. Lifetime Stock

Star-driven vehicles such as Salman Khan’s “Tiger Zinda Hai”, “Race 3”, “Bharat”, Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff-starrer “War”, Akshay Kumar’s “Kesari” and Rishi Kapoor’s “Kapoor & Sons” are infused with Hollywood mastery.

“Now that we are used to watching global content, from films to content on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, people have more expectations. They want everything to look good. It makes a difference. The production value, the look and lighting has to be on par with the Hollywood standard. It works well for all as it improves the whole get up of the project,” trade expert Rajesh Thadani told IANS.

According to Thadani, historical projects such ad Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmaavat”, Ashurosh Gowariker’s “Panipat” and the Ajay Devgn-co produced “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior” need to be credited for driving the trend forward.

“Historical films are more into that because all the VFXs are intact,” Thadani added.

Some notables projects with foreign twist include “Kesari” with “Mad Max: Fury Road” stunt coordinator Lawrence Woodward, “Bang Bang” with “Thor” stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong, Sunny Deol’s “Ghayal Once Again” with Hollywood stunt coordinator Dan Bradley, “Krrish” franchise, Prabhas’ “Saaho” with Hollywood stuntmaster Kenny Bates, Taapsee Pannu’s “Naam Shabana” with Hollywood stuntman Cyril Raffaelli and Rishi Kapoor’s “Kapoor & Sons” with makeup artist Greg Cannom.

When not hiring talent from the West, filmmakers are looking out to the foreign world to add Hollywood appeal to the project.

“Our technicians are better trained, our facilities have become better, production values as well as budgets have gone up, and then in many cases we are hiring Hollywood talent. In this case, peer competition goes up and everyone wants to learn new techniques and what eventually happens is that everyone is updated…It benefits the film. The look, sounds, and colours get better, which audience love,” trade expert Girish Johar told IANS, adding that “it used to happen earlier too, but now it is on a wide scale and in larger quantity”.

Bollywood films
When not hiring talent from the West, Bollywood filmmakers are looking out to the foreign world to add Hollywood appeal to the project. Pixabay

Hollywood action director Paul Jennings, who has worked in movies such as “The Dark Knight” and “San Andreas” among many others, says the action spectacle in “War” is on par with films like “Mission Impossible” and “Fast and Furious”.

“What I love about Bollywood is I believe you can push the action a little bit further. You can do things which push the boundaries of believability right to the edge and it means you can end up with more spectacular sequences,” Jennings said, who designed jaw-dropping action sequences for “War”, which is his first Bollywood film.

Famous action director Tom Struthers, who has choreographed action for Christian Bale in “The Dark Night”, for Tom Hardy in “Dunkirk” and Salman in “Tiger Zinda Hai” and “Race 3”, is also impressed with the world of Bollywood.

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“I think Bollywood is in a great place right now. They are experimenting with culturally different professionals in the camera, stunts, action-directing departments,” said Struthers, whose first tryst with Bollywood was with Nikkhil Advani’s 2013 film “D-Day”.

So, it is all about keeping up with Hollywood, and the trend will only grow in the time to come. (IANS)