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.

My thoughts

Gandhi’s life was so vast and filled with so many events and narratives that trying to tell his life story in a film would simply be impossible.

But that’s why this film works, it does not try to instead it tries only to give a brief snapshot of his motivations and methods for bringing about independence, specifically focusing on his penchant for using nonviolence. 

And it does this really well, meaning if you wish to know what it was Gandhi was fighting for, how he fought for it and what it was he had to overcome to achieve his goal, this film will give you an insight into the answer while at the same time entertaining you.

Of special note is Ben Kingsley’s performance as Gandhi, which alone makes the film worth watching. All in all a great biopic drama, which is most definitely worth watching which means it gets definite thumbs up from me.

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: John Briley

Genre: biography, drama, historical

Year: 1982

Runtime: 170 minutes

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

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

A film that will make you truly believe

What it’s about

This is the third remake and arguably the best version of a timeless Christmas classic the story of which was first penned by Valentine Davies, and sees a lawyer and a little girl fighting to save Christmas by proving that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.

What you will learn from watching it

​What this film does really well is capture the fact that it is people that make Christmas what it is. People fighting for each other, people uniting with each other, more importantly people willing to believe in each other.

And really that’s what this film is about, the power of belief. And no belief is more important than a child’s belief that he or she has the right to believe what they wish. And that’s what this film does best, show just how important it is for a person to not only be able to believe, but to be allowed to believe.

Is the story any good

What director Les Mayfield along with screenwriters George Seaton and John Hughes perhaps do best is bring the story into the 90s world, many a great story has failed on screen when brought into a modern setting, but this is not one of them.

With excellent performances all round, most notably Mara Wilson as six-year-old Susan Walker, but also Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle this is a film with a story that reaches deep and will most definitely make you believe that Christmas miracles can happen.

Final words

Any person who loves Christmas films will surely appreciate this film, but even those who are indifferent to Christmas films will likely enjoy it. Is it one of the best Christmas films out there, probably not but it does tell one of the best Christmas stories.

That means without a doubt this film gets a solid thumbs up from me.

Director: Les Mayfield

Writer: George Seaton and John Hughes

Genre: fantasy, family

Year: 1994

Runtime: 114 minutes

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

A film that will make you truly believe

What it’s about

To save Christmas a lawyer and a little girl must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.

My thoughts

This is the third remake and arguably the best version of a timeless Christmas classic. With excellent performances all round, most notably Mara Wilson as six-year-old Susan Walker, but also Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle this is a film that will most definitely make you believe that Christmas miracles can happen.

Is it the best Christmas film out there, no. Is it one of the best Christmas stories out there, yes. That makes it definitely worth watching meaning from me it’s a thumbs up.

Director: Les Mayfield

Writer: George Seaton and John Hughes

Genre: fantasy, family

Year: 1994

Runtime: 114 minutes