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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)

Next Story

Everything About Off-Beat Cinema: The Newfangled Trend in Bollywood

Here, Let us know answers of some Frequently asked questions about Off-Beat Cinema

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Cinema
Off-Beat Cinema represents Non-Derivative films, something which the audience has never seen before. Off-Beat Films have Stories which are unique in their own sense, Stories which are less thought and talked about.

By Kashish Rai

 “Cinema in India is like brushing your teeth in the morning, you can’t escape it..”- Shah Rukh Khan 

We all are so much fascinated by movies. Like books, movies have this tendency to take us in a different world. For a long time, we observed likewise familiar stories and scripts in Bollywood Films- Hero romancing a beautiful Heroine, dancing amidst alluring and fantasizing locations or maybe giving the villian a major and dreadful defeat in the end with power-packed action! It has been so because majority of audience in India love Masala films, action films, comedy films and thriller films, But surprisingly, this is not the scenario now.

Bollywood has raised the bar apart from such films so high that now people don’t expect a ‘Raj’ to have a ‘Simran’ in every movie, or a Thakur to kill a Gabbar! People expect something new, which has given rise to “Off-Beat Cinema” in Trend. Earlier, Off-Beat cinema didn’t interest the audience. Such films had to face disappointment on the box office and didn’t recieved much revenue and foot-fall, but now directors chase Off-Beat stories because of their Newness and quality content.

Now Let us know answers of some Frequently asked questions about Off-Beat Cinema.

  • What are Off-Beat Movies?

 Off-Beat Films are Non-Derivative films, something which the audience has never seen before. They have Stories which are unique in their own sense, Stories which are less thought and talked about. Off-Beat Films provide new experience to the users, They are presented in a manner which the audience is not familiar watching. However, Off-Beat Films may not appeal to the masses, but they can make a ginormous impact on certain sections of society.

  • Why are New and Aspiring Directors inclined towards Making Off-Beat Movies?

Predominantly, there have been so many films in Bollywood that have followed a certain prototype, based on staggering homogeneous movies of the past. The audience in contemporary scenario gets more or less pretty much worn-out with those films because of the same storyline which is quite predictable as well, but Off-Beat films take the audience along with them to the places that no other film has taken them before. Such films Interest the audience, mainly youth.

Cinema
Bollywood has raised the bar apart from conventional films so high that now people don’t expect a ‘Raj’ to have a ‘Simran’ in every movie, or a Thakur to kill a Gabbar! People expect something new, which has given rise to “Off-Beat Cinema” in Trend. Pixabay
  • Which are some popular Off-Beat Films that Filmmakers in Bollywood have bought for the audience so far?

 There are many Bollywood films which fall in line-: A Wednesday!, Black Friday, I am Kalam, Dev D, The Lunchbox, Hindi Meduim, Iqbal, Swades, Gangs of Wasseypur, Omkara and the list goes on. Typically, these movies have not been made with an intention of getting blockbuster success, however some Off-Beat films have gained mainstream success in Bollywood.

  • Is every actor and actress suitable for performing roles in Off-Beat Movies?

 Only few actors and actresses are proved to be a suitable match for Off-Beat scripts. Filmmakers generally prefer actors with powerful screen presence and ability to emote Off-Beat roles apart from glitz and glamour. Few actors and actresses have had arduous success in such films, among them highly notable ones are Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ayushmann Khurrana and Richa Chadha. As there are unconventional Movie Genres and scripts in Off-Beat Cinema, actors like them can contribute to the success of such films with relative ease and insightful role-plays.

  • How has Off-Beat Films Helped Indian Filmmakers to think Out of the Box for making Films?

 India is a Nation that thrives on cinema. How the masses consume content has changed significantly because of the newly emerging perspectives and ideas, especially among the Youth. Now with the introduction of Off-Beat content, the filmmakers have got more interested in bringing out these fresh perspectives, content and creative Aesthetic on screen that force people to look at things which only existed among the society and were never brought up. The stereotypical formula started getting vanished and a space started getting free for more creative freedom to be used by the Filmmakers.

Off-Beat Cinema takes the audience along with it to the places that no other film has taken them before. Off-Beat Films Interest the audience, mainly youth. Pixabay

Cinema being the ultimate pervert art didn’t gave us something to desire, but it Indeed made us capable of thinking- How to Desire!

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 There’s still a long way to go for Bollywood in terms of more content oriented Off-Beat Films. It is well understood that the Indian Film Industry is the largest in the world. The Power for making unconventional, unusual, quirky and idiosyncratic films vests in the hands of only Indian Filmmakers, which people tend to see more in near future.