If we wanted to criticise there would be a few points we could make. Despite boasting a formidable cast of some of Britain's finest elder statesmen of theatre, including Sir John Gielgud, Sir John Mills and Edward Fox, their characters are not afforded full development. This runs in contrast to the fact that the film is extraordinary long and certainly lends itself to ‘a bit of padding out’. Geraldine James, in particular, is tragically under-used, in fact her entire presence in the film is explained in barely two sentences, therefore we have only the vaguest grasp of how their friendship came about.

Yet for all its realistic honesty and pure dedication to the truth of the life and times of this amazing man, the films strength does not come from its script, nor from really from its direction. Attenborough as I have already mentioned does an excellent job; but both script and camera serve only as a canvas upon which the masterful Ben Kingsley paints a touchingly lifelike picture of one of the greatest men in history.

One could argue that Kingsley was born to be Ghandi, similarity this is reminiscent of Gregory Peck playing Lincoln or Sir Michael Redgrave playing Barnes Wallace, sometimes in rare sparkles of brilliance actors become the characters they are playing – it happens here.

Gandhi was a private and humble man, a thing which Kingsley reflects with tender care. His dialogue is not extensive, nor does he engage in long, rambling speeches. His eyes speak humility, his movements speak love. He is the embodiment of everything Gandhi was, or was supposed to have been, without the need for showy displays of acting talent or loudly proclaimed diatribes.













Main Films                                                 Page 1