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GANDHI, MY FATHER
Write Dope on Pnuk part 51
In this film they show us the troubled relationship between the Mahatma and his son Hiralal. It ranges from South Africa, where Hiralal did all he could to support and emulate his father, to the gutter in India where he was found dying of alcoholism mere months after Gandhi's own assassination.
In South Africa Hiralal desperately tried to convince Gandhi that he too could become a lawyer, but when his father wouldn't support this aspiration (perhaps he could see the flaws in his son) Hiralal first tries to prove his father wrong, by studying back in India, and then, when he fails, turns away from Gandhi. This cycle repeats as Hiralal tries at other projects only to come unstuck, not always due to his own fault.
Two sequences stand out. In one, Hiralal leaves his house to shout about his failures to his neighbours just as a troupe of actors dressed as characters from 'The Mahabharata' pass, and it is as though the gods themselves look down upon this lad. In another, just after Gandhi is the target of an assassination attempt by hardline Hindus - for his stance against the discrimination suffered by the Untouchables, Hiralal converts to Islam. Gandhi welcomes this if his son is redeemed by faith, though he suspects it is just a ploy to clear his debts.
Not a perfect movie, as it is about half an hour too long. We could have done with less about Gandhi the great man, as the film is about Gandhi the human, Gandhi the family man. So, interesting, but in need of an edit.
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