film opens with Gandhi's assassination. The next scene, his funeral,
is one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history. Attenborough managed
to recreate Gandhi's funeral on January 31st, 1981, the 33rd anniversary
of the actual funeral. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people were
on hand to be a part of the filming the recreation. This film was made
before CGI, so the funeral scene is probably the last live action crowd
of that magnitude that will ever be filmed. There are definite touches
of the ‘Lean’ in the way the film is made.
cinematography is exquisite on this film. The scenes of India are spectacular,
and India is very much another character in the film. This film is as
much about India itself as it is about Gandhi. Attenborough shows the
audience the people of India from its countryside to the vast city of
Calcutta. It is suggested by Kingsley, on the DVD, that Attenborough
had a difficult time with the elite class in India at the time of filming.
They were against the making of such a film by an Englishman. Undeterred
by their negative thinking, he persevered to enlist thousands of Indians
to help make this film. Every crowd scene, he used real Indians from
the area. Attenborough also won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe
for best direction.
Kingsley was the perfect for the role of the little man. He resembled
the real Gandhi and he was young enough to portray Gandhi as a young
man. He nailed that British influenced Indian accent; he was a relatively
unknown actor at the time, so the "big-time actor" persona
did not get in the way of viewing the film. He did win both the Academy
Award and Golden Globe for best actor, for this role, which he deserved.
He became Gandhi.