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Oscars Challenge #89: Gandhi (1982) Movie Review

It's not new if you know the story of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most influential figures in history. How his contributions and sacrifices led to India's independence from the British, and how he used non-violent protests against them.

This movie is no different from our perspective of Gandhi's contribution to history. But besides his achievements, we also see the human side in that he struggled with his emotions, such as anger and dislike.

Plot Overview

Similar to the plot pattern of Lawrence of Arabia, where the main character was shown how he died at the beginning.

The movie starts with how Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948. Afterward, the film tells his life and story as he becomes an important figure in India and the world.

His initial struggle began when a 23-year-old Gandhi kicked off a South African train after the officials knew he was Indian. Despite having bought a first-class ticket, he was still thrown off. He staged a non-violent protest for the rights of Indians in South Africa, stating that their rights were also equal to the whites. He realized the laws were biased even though you are a well-educated Indian. After a couple of arrests, the government finally submitted and gave some rights to the Indians.

After hearing about his achievements in South Africa, Gandhi was invited back to India. He becomes their national hero for fighting for the rights of Indians. He is urged to participate in the country's fight for independence against the British Empire.

As India's fight for independence was coming to a close, the country faced another trial as World War 2 raged, and Gandhi spent much of his time in prison because he did not support it. At that time, his wife dies, and Gandhi struggles with his grief. He also realizes that even if India gains independence from the British, it will not be over because the country has divided religion.


The legendary Ben Kingsley plays Gandhi. He almost looks like the actual Mahatma Gandhi. He played a remarkable role and did his best to imitate the man. If you compare Ben Kingsley to his other parts, like in Iron Man 3 or Schindler's List, he has a knack for switching into the correct character every time. Also, another soon-to-be great actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, played a minor role in this film.

Gandhi may have been a historical and biographical film, but it also feels like you are watching a National Geographic documentary. It is an incredible experience to understand India's national hero and his contribution to their independence. His acts of non-violent protests were the main point of his fights. The man is an absolute definition of a legend.

The movie has its flaws, especially since there are times that it just felt too slow, but overall it is a fantastic experience. The film's structure starts with a flash-forward from his assassination, and recalling his life and achievements is good.

Overall, Gandhi is a good film if you want to learn more about history through a cinematical experience. It may be a bit long for casual viewers, and they might get bored when the story gets too slow.

A good 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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