Gandhi

A Brilliant Look at One of History’s Greatest Practitioners of Nonviolence

What it’s about

A lawyer, Mohandas Gandhi, returns to British India from South Africa. He begins a nationwide campaign of non-violent resistance against the British rule, pressuring Britain to liberate India.

What you will learn from watching it

This film is not a documentary as such of Gandhi it is more a snapshot of his motivations and methods for bringing about independence, but in that is its power.

The majority of texts about Gandhi which that are worth reading are long and detailed, which means they are either unappealing or inaccessible to the majority of people, especially those with only a passing interest.

This film provides the solution to that problem. By presenting what it was Gandhi was fighting for, how he fought for it and what it was he had to overcome to achieve his goal, and presenting all that in an easy to watch narrative, any person can gain a simple understanding of just who Gandhi was.

And that’s what people will gain from watching this film, a basic insight into just who Gandhi was and what it was he fighting for.

Is the story any good

To put it simply, yes. Gandhi’s real-life story in itself is an amazing story, and the way a small part of his story is told in this film captures that brilliance, a fact that both director Richard Attenborough and writer John Briley deserve much credit for.

It is both riveting and gripping throughout, and most definitely does a good job of making clear just how not black-and-white things that we believe should be black-and-white are.

Final words

Whether you are interested in Gandhi as a person or not, this film is still most definitely worth watching even if only for gaining an understanding of the power of nonviolence for bringing about change.

That means, all in all this film gets a big thumbs up from me.

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: John Briley

Genre: biography, drama, historical

Year: 1982

Runtime: 170 minutes

Saving Private Ryan

Visual Masterpiece with the Most Human of Stories

What it’s about

During the Normandy invasion of World War II, Captain John Miller is assigned the task of searching for Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have already been killed in the war.

What you will learn from watching it

This film captures brilliantly just how grim World War II was, meaning if you don’t already understand just how grim war can be then this film makes it abundantly clear.

It also via use of the sole survivor directive which the US military practice shows just how difficult it is to choose which lives to save and which to sacrifice during war.

So there is much we can learn from this film, but this film’s strength is not in its ability to teach us something but more in its ability to make us think, and any film that can make you think has the power to change the way you think. Making this a very compelling watch for any person looking for a film that will help make them think about things in a way they perhaps otherwise would not have done so.

Is the story any good

Visually speaking this film is a masterpiece in the way it presents such a realistic and vivid account of what it was like on the front line during World War II. The opening sequence is especially impressive for its realism, basically Steven Spielberg has knocked it out of the park on the cinematography side of things.

But what makes this film stand out is it has substance to go with those visuals, as it tells an extremely powerful story which asks the question is it right to risk the lives of other soldiers to save one soldier, simply because that one soldier has lost all his siblings. 

And it tells that story in a very good way. Which means yes the story is really good, which means writer Robert Rodat who penned the script has also along with Spielberg in his cinematography knocked it out of the park.

Final words

If you like war films, without a doubt. Even if you dislike war films, as long as you can stomach the grimness it is still likely worth watching because like said from a story perspective it tells a brilliant tale.

That means this film gets a definite thumbs up from me.

Director: Stephen Spielberg

Writer: Robert Rodat

Genre: drama, action, war

Year: 1998

Runtime: 170 minutes