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Ghandi Film Analysis

By skurichina Dec 16, 2012 3014 Words
When I was just 9 years old, I was watching a film with my father and it was the first time when a film had made me cry. The film was “Green Mile”. Since that time I have been fascinated and surrounded myself by films. I always used to say that one day I will make a film, which makes people cry, but for this task I chose a film which not only made me cry, but also changed my view of the world and made me see previously unnoticed things. I’m not saying that it was easy to decide what film to analyse. It took me quite long time to choose. I wanted something extraordinary. I wanted a film that is not only fun to watch and makes think about the raised problem, but also about cultural and ideological meaning. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi once said: "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." These words definitely had an effect on the film selection. It just an expression, but it’s already makes feel optimistic and inspires. Gandhi – one of the brightest XXa. persons, who left unforgettable footprints in India and in all world history. So I decided to choose the film “Gandhi” (producer Richard Attenborough) for a detailed analysis. This film is not based on neutrality or indifference to historical events, pretty ideas or just “dry watching” images, therefore with the intention to convey the idea of understanding and comparison between current prevailing attitudes and alternative way of thinking. Here an alternative way of thinking can be understood as a return to the spiritual perfectionism, by forgetting everyday woes, trying to be independent of "civilization" provided "the advantages” and virtues of the model display to others, because this is the only possible way to present the alternatives. Richard Attenborough’s film "Gandhi" presents a realistic and historical film about the Indian political activist life. "Gandhi" – it’s a biographic drama based on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's life. He was a man who started and led to the death of non-violent movement against British settlers in India in the first twentieth-century hand side. Gandhi's great achievement was that he successfully applied his theories to the masses of people and that’s what made him not only local, but a global hero. It's a film about a man who sought to shatter stereotypes, racial discrimination and other factors. The film is a very clear portrayal of the ordinary people of India. They all appear on long shots in large groups, reflecting their solidarity with barricades and the class to which they belong. They have no individuality, but only act as a mass in support of the right half. Therefore we must not forget that this film is about M. Gandhi and not only about one nation. The film begins with unique views of the Indian country and the author’s introductory words: "No Man's life can be encompassed in one telling ... least of all Gandhi's, whose passage through life was so entwined with his nation's struggle for freedom. There is no way to give each event its allotted weight, to recount the deeds and sacrifice of all the great men and women that he whom India and subsequent publications are reduced owes immense debt. What can be done is that no faithful in spirit to the record of his journey, and to try to find one's way to the heart of the man ..." The beginning composed quite interestingly, unfortunately its starts with the scene when Gandhi is shot during a meeting with people, however it doesn’t reveal the full story. It shows Gandhi's assassination, which took place on 30 January 1948. After the prayer, with the others help, he goes for a walk to meet the people when one man in the crowd shoots him. Director doesn’t let through the eyes the last words of Gandhi. Gandhi said, "Oh, my God" and falls dead. Then next shows massive funeral scene where thousands of people giving it clear that Gandhi's death was a national tragedy. At the funeral procession attended numerous people from around the world occupying respectable positions. To restore this mass funeral scene were invited about 300 thousand additional people. This was one of the most epic scenes of the film. Gandhi's early life in the film is not disclosed. Instead, history is scrolled fifty five years ahead and stops at the life changing event: he was on the train in 1890; he was required to move to a third class from first. No one cared that he had a first-class ticket, because at that time Indian rights in South Africa were very restricted, Indians were minority and there was racial inequality. Mr Gandhi didn’t agree with the request, tried to prove he was right and literally, he was thrown from the train. At that time he was a young lawyer. This is the first episode where Gandhi is shown as a fighter for truth and equality. Gandhi then realized that the law is not for Indians benefit and he decided to start non-violent protest in the name of all Indians in South Africa. Behold, from this point and begins his attempt to deal with the imperialists in accordance with non-violent tactics. Incident on the train was that necessary impetus he needed to step up to fight for racial equality and ultimately to show to the imperialists that their policy is not correct. After some quite distressing actions he recaptures Indian rights in South Africa land, but only for Indians. Local people remain under oppression. After a big victory in South Africa, he was sent back to India, where he was welcomed as a national hero. Here Indians started requesting his help to win back India's independence from the British Empire. So he begins his major and is now widely known non-cooperative non-violent action, which includes almost all of India. Here as well as in South Africa, he is trying to make changes, but here the situation is worse because at every step he was challenged by British imperialists. Gandhi is constantly re-imprisoned and for him it is becoming difficult to work, because it's so not hard to turn people against violence needs. He declares protest immediately after the mass killings of peaceful Indian protestors. The mass killings of protesters in India, I found one of the saddest scenes. Then the director decides to show almost all five minutes, images of women, children and elderly people falling from the cold-blooded soldiers shooting. The most shocking thing was that accused of murder lieutenant was defending his decision, apparently, because the Indians had warning before, but still did not obey the law and continue protest. Gandhi's reaction is one big sorrow and this event marked the film’s turning point. Despite the fact that Gandhi has achieved many successes and changes, but India is still not as he imagined. After all, Gandhi’s carried out anti-imperialist actions become popularity and the British becoming more pressed into a corner. Finally, weakened by the Second World War, the English decide to give independence to India. It is very important and joyful news for the people of India, but their troubles are far from the end. Religious rift between Hindu and Muslims are growing all around the country. Any longer, with disappointing of people’s misunderstanding and blindness, Gandhi starts one more action. This time it is a hunger campaign until people stop fighting. Of course, over time fighting calms down, but with British help, the country divided into two parts according to religion. Part of India, where most Muslims were, was separated and renamed Palestine. People were forced to move to different areas. For the director it was not difficult to show people’s pain of political ambition: long mass journeys to new lands, anger casting on top of each other by throwing stones or anything at hand. Gandhi's last days of his life still trying to reconcile the people, but it becomes incredibly difficult and more and more people are starting to get angry at him. Anger increases until finally, a blinded human comes to Gandhi and kills him. So the film, we can say, ends with the same episode as it starts- an attack on one of the peaceful people in the world. Here we can only try to analyse the typical people thinking, by trying to understand the current situation and attempt to reveal the true roots of hatred. People in the film "Gandhi" are shown as fanatics dedicated to someone. There are a few interesting scenes where people live their ordinary life, people working in the fields, shops at a peaceful dialogue with the neighbours. In spite of everything, life in India ran its own old way, but it was not shown. After all, to show this, was not easy. Everything that the director has revealed was a religious disagreement, interpretation of Gandhi's great work, done in bloody protests. It was not possible to experience the country life in general. Everything seemed more like a war zone. People were shown like certain reactions to one or the other side of fighting actions. As I mentioned, presentation like this of the crowd took its individuality, which I think at least, should have been shown. Generally, the film is not strictly a dry theme; it is more a visual autobiography. It turns out that the film is more willing to show the time and location, where British are invaders, imperialists who do not wish their imperium to be restricted, shamed or defeated. All of the film adaptation leaves no doubt about the justice or different interpretations, just like philosophy of Gandhi. Emphasis of peace, non-violence and unspeakable goodness promotion, attempts to resist imperialist conspiracy, insincerity and bad feelings. It shows what non-violence means, especially when fighting more than one person, but their mass, shows how effective it is. Presentation of evil against the goodness creates a very sharp contrast, which is simply impossible to miss. In essence, the film tells not just about one man's life, but also reveals the majority of colonized Indian political history and its troubles. Watching films you become an analyser and assessor, who gradually see imperialists and globalist’s real face and their desire to control land, people and resources. Despite the fact that the film is released twenty-seven years ago (1982), shown evil thinking and approach is not much different from today. So we can state that people need more time to change, maybe centuries, perhaps a millennium. It seems that the South African and Indian landscapes are very similar, and perhaps because of that the director decides to shoot everything in India. Both locations in the film "Gandhi" are displayed realistically, exactly depicting buildings, the entire architecture, landscape and climate. Era reproduced in film is between 1898 and 1947. This is quite a long time. Products used in line with the details of a depicted times, especially clothing and transportation. For example, the early scenes filmed in South Africa and countryside India was used rickshaws and other vehicles drawn by horses. It seemed not only historically correct, but very antiquarian and that was even possible to think that such measures were genuine and not manufactured specifically for the film. Other details in the film "Gandhi" was exactly right and also was changing along with repeating historical era. For example, the camera used by the Martin Sheen character at the beginning of the film was quite old and very complicated compared to the one that Candace Berman character used, when she interviewed Gandhi of his the last life moments. Clothing was one more serious central detail, which gave an additional sense of the era. Clothes compliance for the representing era was difficult to see just observing Hindu outfit, but the contrast becomes clearer comparing British and other Western clothes during the entire film - from beginning to end. In the film "Gandhi" clothing is one of the issues, but not necessarily by well-established American approach to the popular culture, but rather by what clothing meant for people at the time. It is very important that Gandhi accentuated the importance of clothes, because he understands their symbolic value, while being under colonies oppression. Beginning of the film when the viewer first sees Gandhi, he was dressed just like an ordinary Englishman. He was wearing a suit, which was an old cut; corresponding to the time it is also seemed quite expensive suite which at that time reflected person’s importance, also good example about clothes importance at the times is the American western film “Dead Man” where beginning starts with the man travelling on the train and wearing a suite, which presents his post and excludes him from the all passengers and later on in the film reveals that he’s an accountant. Unfortunately, it didn’t help neither William Blake neither Gandhi on the train. The next Gandhi rejects the English culture and exchanges his clothes to traditional Indian clothing thus protest against the imperialists. This period of popular culture, it was a revolutionary step. Essentially, clothing is important as well by the popular culture according to this film, because the piece of clothing says a lot about it wearing man and of his status in society. For example, the film "Gandhi" in mass scenes is clearly visible difference between the classes. The crowd, which wanted to see Gandhi has often seemed to be poorer, not wear silk scarves; garments weren’t as glamorous as the upper class Indians. It can be said that those who wore more colourful Indian clothes, more scarves - they were richer. The film depicts the British usually wearing more formal clothes, thus demonstrating their power and influence. All these examples of clothing gives lots of information about the oppressors and the oppressed, tells a lot about the social war in the enslaved country. Another interesting example can be seen, when one of the influential Englishman’s daughter (Miss Slade) refuses imposition of Western culture and comes to India to be with Gandhi and accepts Indian culture by wearing traditional Indian garments. Entirely through the clothing she makes very significant political and social statement, in the same way as Gandhi and his followers, who were wearing their own clothes made in their own and very simple way. This was an incredible example of how a man, just changing the garment may accept or reject the imposed culture or approach. It has automatically become a fact that a cloth itself is a kind of political, cultural value and few times very nicely represents in this film. The time interval was replicated really long, so everything has changed, including hairstyles. We can see more attention paid to Martin Sheen's character, which originally appeared as a standard in 1920 hairstyles and later, about 1940 it has changed, like a man of another era with all the right style and not just because the hair was a bit dyed. It was really difficult to find any details that are totally unsuitable for the film era. The various details in the film perfectly reproduce the story. In terms of cinematography, we can say that the work was done properly. The film shows many scenes of mass. This highlights the event’s epicenes, greatness. For example, Gandhi's funeral procession begins with the close-up shooting soldiers marching boots and gradually shifts to a general plan, briefly not forgetting to show in flowers sunken mourn person. All funeral procession for a few seconds displayed from a very height. The whole procession filmed a variety of perspectives, also including important, at the ceremony attended people. When at the beginning of the film is made time jump, after the funeral, a very appropriate approach to Gandhi composed by the transition from long-range plan to form a larger, where Gandhi has shown on the train and reading a book. Whereas the film itself is epic, the director often tries to shoot long shots, covering as much as possible to make easier to imagine the size of the space, where the action is. While it is important not only the distance, quite skilfully used and shooting angle, depending on the situation, location, language or emotions. For example two English policemen with one of the politicians were sitting in the audience, when Gandhi started his speech, shown above, and thus creating the impression that high officials are not so big, while they are sitting in the crowded Muslim and Hindu meeting. There is also often appears a bigger Gandhi's plan, shot from a lower position reflecting his personality’s and speech’s meaning, greatness. The film proved to be very informative, tells at that time in India and South Africa's problems. Director got into deeper reflections and more concentrated in the epic images, specific events and Gandhi's work. I personally didn’t know who Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was, but even now after I saw the film it’s still hard to imagine what the significance his work had to all Indian nations and to the world of non-violence-non-cooperation action and that not everyone knows about it. I began to understand that Gandhi's campaign was not just for India and its people, but for the whole world. I realized how important is to control your feelings and to think over the settled ways of thinking. Finally, Gandhi's life ended very sadly, but I realized that this man has left a clear message to future generations that we must change ourselves; we must see the world and others in different way by refusing to negative feelings. Also I can admit to myself, that I’m very pleased to my film choice for the analysis, because this film inspired me to a new purpose of filmmaking – to make films that not only make you cry, but also change or teach of something. In conclusion, I can only say that the film is more for an audience that appreciates the spirituality and are able to see and accept it, what for us perhaps wouldn’t look quite normal and understandable.

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