11.07.2019 in Review

Gandhi Movie Review

Movies enable the viewers to understand some important aspects of history as well as religion they profess or are interested in. This is the case with the film Gandhi (1982), directed by Richard Attenborough, which describes the story of the spiritual leader, his life and the reasons for becoming the person he was. The movie explains the important ideas of Hinduism, but also provides the audience with a better understanding of Christianity and Islam since Gandhi relied on those denominations as well, and it helps the viewers to comprehend the main essence of the religions as it was envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi. The movie portrays the most significant events in Gandhi’s life like the happenings that led him to becoming the leader he was as well as his acts aimed at bringing unity and understanding between the religions. The most important part of the film, when it comes to the aspect of faith, is the moment when Mahatma Gandhi decided to go on a strike and not eat anything because of the religious tensions. In this part, the viewers can see some of the main ideas the hero has followed and which are extremely significant for Hinduism. With his act, Gandhi emphasized the necessity of providing equality and peace because these things lead to harmony which is essential when speaking about Hinduism. For the hero, religion was the natural acceptance of things such as respecting human beings and the environment, preventing conflicts as well as building healthy relations with the surroundings. Therefore, when Gandhi went on his hunger strike, he strengthened the most important concepts of the religion he professed and, at the same time, showed people how to make a peaceful protest. It was a way to promote his idea of building bridges between individuals who adhere to different faiths without doing any violent acts, but through making a peaceful statement that required strong will and determination. It is important to mention that hunger strike was not only about Hinduism because the movie shows how strongly Gandhi was influenced by Christianity and Islam. Therefore, when he decided to starve himself, it was also something a Muslim or a Christian would do in the same situation. Although the current issues in the world have created an unfavorable stereotype about Muslims often linking them with terrorist groups that use suicide bombers, such acts are alien to Islam. Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful protest, on the other hand, is inherent in this religion. Through this act, he showed that real Islam was peaceful and did not intend to hurt others; moreover, it was also depicted as the force to change oneself. Christianity is represented in the movie, too, because the viewers can see the openness of Gandhi as well as his desire not to judge, but to accept everyone. These principles are connected to the ideas of Jesus Christ. The movie also shows an extremely important moment when Gandhi actually realized all of the issues connected with inequality and the fact that he had to do something about it. In the film, the viewers see how the hero was kicked out of the bus because of the racism which existed toward people from India. At this point, Gandhi’s identity shifted because he was insulted both as a representative of Indian nation as well as a Hindu whose human rights were violated. However, the course he took really correlated with his religion since from the very beginning, he chose to use peaceful means and methods in order to fight injustice, and he never used violence to achieve his goals. It was worth watching the movie because it was filled with the new information and the things to learn. For instance, when the film depicts Mahatma Gandhi opposing division of the country based on the religions professed, the viewers see how the hero was not merely a leader for Indians or Hindu; he was a leader who strongly relied on three different faiths and did not divide people based on their nationality, religion, or race. Quite the opposite, he had many different ideas inside of him, and cared about the human rights and spirituality in a high and pure form without paying too much attention to religious formalities. Therefore, for Mahatma Gandhi, it did not make sense to divide people based on the denominations to which they belong because all the human beings were created by Heaven, and thus, they could not be divided and segregated. After watching the movie, one could start to think about the two last words of Mahatma Gandhi. When he got the fatal shot, he cried: “Oh, God” (Gandhi). To some individuals, this part may be not interesting because using God’s name is something rather common. People tend to say “God” whenever they experience some strong emotions and, especially, when they are scared or surprised. However, in this case, there is a deeper meaning in the hero’s last phrase. When Gandhi said “Oh, God”, his words were showing the emphasis he placed on uniting religions. After all, in Hinduism there are many different deities while Christianity has only one just as Islam has. Therefore, when Mahatma Gandhi exclaimed God’s name, it was also a way to demonstrate that he was not influenced by Hinduism only since he believed in a higher spirit of whom he thought in the last moment of his life. The fact that the hero was shot by Hindu nationalist only strengthens this idea. The nationalists were angry with Gandhi since he went beyond the limitations of one religion and tried to reach to different people learning something from their faiths as well as helping them to see that their search for spirituality can unite them all. Overall, the movie presents an interesting life journey Mahatma Gandhi undertook. The viewers can see his struggle in order to bring change and unify people who appear to have very different views and adhere to diverse faiths. Throughout the film, there is a constant feeling that Gandhi was using the most important and essential parts of world religions in order to make a change and bring peace to the nation. That is why now, he is regarded as a universal example of somebody who loved human beings and the world, and he is the one to whom people from all over the planet should look up.

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