Gandhi my father - Notepad

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

The movie is supposed to be about Harilal Mohandas Gandhi but ends up becoming about Gandhiji and India's freedom struggle. Though the audience is denied insight into the minds of the characters, they are given some brilliant performances by the lead cast.



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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

The movie tries to portray the relationship between Gandhiji (Darshan Jariwala) and his oldest son, Harilal (Akshaye Khanna).

What Worked

  • A silhoutte scene occurs twice in which Gandhiji and his son are shown meditating/discussing. The visual gives a very serene feel.
  • The Gujrati folk songs sounded really refreshing.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • What were Gandhiji's motivations behind -
    • Not allowing Harilal to get married. Why did he not explain it to Harilal?
    • Accepting Harilal after having said that he would disown him.
    • Not allowing Harilal to do his degree in law? Did he know that Harilal was not capable of it?
  • What were Harilal's motivations behind -
    • Joining Gandhiji's freedom movement more than once.
    • Converting to a Muslim
    • Visiting a prostitute and asking her to talk to him.
  • The discussion about Gandhiji's freedom struggle between Gandhiji and Baa - the questions that Baa was asking sounded too na├»ve in the last few hours of her life. Especially, considering she had been involved in the freedom movement from the beginning.
  • Who was Gandhiji lecturing at the time of partition in the alley, us the audience?


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • The boat scene in which Harilal reads his wife's letter - looked so artificial and out of place, they should have cut it out.
  • All "bindis" and "tilaks" looked like they were marked using a lipstick on the characters' foreheads.
  • There is a scene in which Gandhiji is shown sitting on a couch on a sea-shore. Couch on a sea-shore?!
  • In the scene in which Harilal is drunk after having become a muslim. There is a scene in which there is rain pouring on the street. It looked like it was pouring only on parts of the street!
  • In the same scene a flashlight shines on Harilal's eyes, but his eyes don't cringe one bit.
  • The scene in which Gandhiji is preaching during partition, the set looked very artificial