Gandhi

Critics Consensus

Director Richard Attenborough is typically sympathetic and sure-handed, but it's Ben Kingsley's magnetic performance that acts as the linchpin for this sprawling, lengthy biopic.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 61

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,831

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Movie Info

This acclaimed biographical drama presents major events in the life of Mohandas Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), the beloved Indian leader who stood against British rule over his country. Dedicated to the concept of nonviolent resistance, Gandhi is initially dismissed by English officials, including the influential Lord Irwin (John Gielgud), but eventually he and his cause become internationally renowned, and his gatherings of passive protest move India towards independence.

Cast & Crew

Ben Kingsley
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Candice Bergen
Margaret Bourke-White
Edward Fox
Gen. Dyer
John Gielgud
Lord Irwin, Viceroy
Trevor Howard
Judge Broomfield
John Mills
Lord Chelmsford, Viceroy
Martin Sheen
Vince Walker
Rohini Hattangadi
Mrs. Kasturba M. Gandhi
Ian Charleson
Rev. Charlie Andrews
Athol Fugard
Gen. Jan Christiaan Smuts
Rani Dubé
Co-Producer
Suresh Jindal
Associate Producer
Michael Stanley-Evans
Executive Producer
George Fenton
Original Music
Ravi Shankar
Original Music
Ronnie Taylor
Cinematographer
Billy Williams
Cinematographer
John Bloom
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Gandhi

Critic Reviews for Gandhi

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (9)

Audience Reviews for Gandhi

  • Dec 01, 2016
    As Einstein said about Gandhi, a quote included at the end of this movie, "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever, in flesh and blood, walked upon this earth." Critics of this film will say that's in part because of the mythologizing of Gandhi, which director Richard Attenborough contributes to by not showing us questionable aspects of Gandhi's personal life, or some of the opinions he held. Just one example of the latter was his very naïve attitude towards Hitler, which I chalk up to the limits of his idealism more than anything else, not evil on his part - but that would have been 'fair ground' for a more accurate and balanced portrayal of the man. However, I have to say, those who focus on these omissions miss all that was absolutely accurate - and truly inspiring - in the film. This epic movie has beautiful shots of India and is beautiful in spirit. Who can possibly not be moved by this great man, whose simplicity and nonviolent approach to oppression and violence inspired Indians and the world? He endures beatings without raising a hand, and his moral rectitude and dignity never waver in dealing with the British, his countrymen, and his peers in the 'Home Rule' movement. He eschews pomp, embraces poverty, and demands authenticity. In testifying in his own defense while on trial, he says simply "Non-cooperation with evil is a duty, and that British rule of India is evil." In speaking with British officials, he says "In the end you will walk out, because 100,000 Englishmen simply cannot control 350 million Indians, if those Indians refuse to cooperate - and that's what we intend to achieve - peaceful, nonviolent, non-cooperation, until you yourselves see the wisdom of leaving." He tries desperately to hold Hindus and Muslims together in the aftermath, but is frail and then is of course assassinated. Perhaps the most difficult to watch or even fathom is the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, which Attenborough shows us right before the intermission. The brutality and cruelty of British Colonel Reginald Dyer is staggering, as was his callousness in the inquiries afterwards - and there is no exaggeration in the film. There are aspects that can be questioned about the film - why a white man was hired to play the part of Gandhi (even though Kingsley is fantastic), why Jinnah was portrayed in too negative a light (possibly due to the influence of the Indian government, who helped sponsor the film), and why Gandhi was overly idealized. It's not perfect, and neither was he. However, the truth is that the man was courageous, enlightened, and an awe-inspiring moral beacon to us all. His words were beautiful - and the film gets all of this right. For companion reading, try 'Mohandas Gandhi Essential Writings', which has a number of fantastic passages, and provides a more complete view of the man. In the meantime, I highly recommend this movie. Just one more quote, in his speech in front of a packed house, which threatens to become violent in the face of unfair new British Laws: "In this cause, I too am prepared to die; but my friends, there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill. Whatever they do to us, we will attack no one, kill no one, but we will not give our fingerprints, not one of us. They will imprison us, they will fine us, they will seize our possessions, but they cannot take away our self-respect if we will not give it to them. ... I am asking you to fight. To fight against their anger, not to provoke it. We will not strike a blow, but we will receive them, and through our pain, we will make them see their injustice, and it will hurt, as all fighting hurts. But we cannot lose. We cannot. They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me - then, they will have my dead body - not my obedience." Hallelujah.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 18, 2013
    A sincere biopic about a most admirable man and enriched by Ben Kingsley's exceptional performance - even if the story is in fact more didactic than really compelling and with Gandhi not as fascinating as a character as the strength of his convictions and accomplishments.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2013
    Although there are parts to Gandhi's early life that are glossed over, this is nonetheless a fitting tribute to a great man. Ben Kingsley's ultimate role and he brought his all to it.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2013
    Ben Kingsley is definitely one of the best actors around..it absolutely shows in this wonderful film.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer

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