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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic showcase for blu-ray
This is the review I would have liked before buying this blu-ray title. I was put off by the "Blu-ray/Upscale Comparison" review but wanted the disk so much I took the risk.

I do not understand how that reviewer could detect "little difference" between the blu-ray and DVD versions. Upscaling cannot produce detail which is not in the video signal, only...
Published on 13 May 2009 by Mr. A. N. Thame

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap DVD but possibly not original
This DVD was a bargain - cheaper than a single cinema ticket. The film quality was good and the sound was also good, especially on my surround sound.

However, as the name of the starring actor on the cover was spelled incorrectly (BEM KINGSLEY as opposed to BEN KINGSLEY) it did suggest this was a copy DVD rather than an original......
Published 4 months ago by Arkay


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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic showcase for blu-ray, 13 May 2009
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This is the review I would have liked before buying this blu-ray title. I was put off by the "Blu-ray/Upscale Comparison" review but wanted the disk so much I took the risk.

I do not understand how that reviewer could detect "little difference" between the blu-ray and DVD versions. Upscaling cannot produce detail which is not in the video signal, only interpolate to make the picture smoother.

Ghandi benefits from high definition detail in a variety of types of scene:

1) Close-ups of actors faces when delivering great performances. This movie is an epic and was a phenomenon in its time. Its 8 oscars are an indication that it wasn't just because of its historical importance - there are some great performances. High definition really brings this to life: you see every strand of hair and skin pore. The eyes and muscle tone in the face make performances utterly engaging. For example, the tension in the debriefing scene with Edward Fox after the massacre is positively palpable.

2) Wide vistas (sumptuous, colonial interiors and sweeping, panoramic exteriors) with characters in the distance. Blu-ray enables you to see the actors' performance while on DVD you just know they are there and hear them talking.

3) Complex scenes, such as the opening funeral with a crowd of 400,000 people (how do you upscale that from 720x480?), lavishly ornate colonial interiors and exteriors, and lush Indian landscapes and panoramas.

I was concerned about the age of the film. The opening scene was grainy and my heart sank. However, it was shot in low-light and there's only a handful of shots in the whole 3-hour epic that suffer in this way, a record which is substantially better than films many years younger than Ghandi. Colour is superb, with the sets, costumes and beautiful use of light by Attenborough making Ghandi a visual feast.

This is a wonderful movie and a stunning demonstration of what blu-ray can do. I commend it whole-heartedly to anyone with a blu-ray player.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reviewing the DVD and the film.., 10 July 2004
By 
S. Yogendra "Shefaly" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Gandhi [DVD] [1982] (DVD)
Having watched the film 21st years ago as a young child in India, when it first came out, I was more than keen to acquire it on DVD for keeps. The eulogistic tone of the other reviews may make my review look rather sour, but my review encompasses both the DVD and the film.
The film itself is brilliantly shot and technically flawless, even where the minor creative hand of the director is obvious (the judge Trevor Howard standing in deference to the prisoner, for instance). 20 years in the making, the ensemble of the greatest British and Indian stage actors itself is worth every penny. I wonder how they must have felt working alongside so much greatness and talent..
Watching it again as an adult working in policy and politics, I was almost moved to request Amazon editors to retract my review of Bill Clinton's autobiography as that of the consummate politician. Gandhi was the original politician - complete with a set of unquestionable ideals in truth, violence, women's rights and secularism, a superb delivery, a populist touch and a deep understanding of (and to a large extent, as seen in his many fasts-unto-death, exploitation of) his emotional power over the hoi polloi.
This DVD however did disappoint me in some ways. Some brilliant shots with enormous symbolism have suffered the editor's scissors. E.g. the shot where Gandhi lets float his loincloth to let a poor woman cover her body, shots of the funeral. I remembered them vividly from my childhood and was a tad disappointed.. The newsreel and an original talkie interview are interesting though. Also some dialogue is ironically more effective in the Hindi-dubbing as some viewers might know.
All in all I give it 4 stars for the small disappointments mentioned.. However buy it - it is the only true epic of the 20th century.
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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Soul's Life., 23 Feb 2005
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
It all began simple enough - with the purchase of a first class train ticket by Mr. Mohandas Gandhi, Esq., recently arrived in South Africa, and unaware that as an Indian, he was required to travel third class and not entitled to such a ticket. Literally thrown off the train for his transgression, the young attorney, embodied to perfection by Ben Kingsley, spent a full night sitting on the platform, musing how best to respond to such discrimination. Shortly thereafter, and after consultations with established members of his community, he wrote his first treatises and organized his first demonstrations. And when participants of a protest assembly stood up and proclaimed their willingness to die in the fight against suppression, Gandhi once and for all formulated his doctrine of nonviolent protest: "They may torture my body, break my bones; even kill me. Then they will have my dead body - not my obedience."
Shot largely on four Indian locations, Richard Attenborough's nine-time Oscar-winning biography of Gandhi is a sweeping epic that takes the viewer back to Britain's colonial past, covering all major events of Gandhi's political career from its beginnings in South Africa to the March to the Sea and India's independence, and contrasting the luxurious lifestyle of the foreign rulers with the poverty of those they governed; that India which, as Gandhi soon realized, not only the British didn't understand, but whose population also could not have cared less about the activities of the Indian Congress Party, at the time little more than a group of well-to-do city dwellers mentally and socially almost as far removed from the rest of their country as the British. Twenty years in the making, the movie is clearly reverential of Gandhi's genius, and of the man whose symbolic growth was reverse parallel to his retreat into simplicity, and who for that very reason, and because of his unfaltering commitment to nonviolence on the one hand and India's independence on the other hand, accomplished what only few people would otherwise have thought possible: to convince the world's biggest colonial power to give up the crown jewel among its colonies; and to do so in a gesture of friendship and without civil war. The one aspect of Gandhi's life that falls a bit short here is the effect that his overbearing symbolic status had on his family life, which necessarily had to suffer as a result (unable to cope with his father's fame and chosen lifestyle, Gandhi's eldest son, for example, threw himself into a life of alcoholism and prostitution). But Gandhi is not depicted as a saint, and particularly during his early years, we learn about the struggle that went into the formation of the man who later earned the title "Great Soul" (Mahatma). Even anticipating that he might be killed by an assassin's bullet, Gandhi once said that he would only deserve that title if he could accept that bullet with Rama's (God's) name on his lips: fittingly, the movie begins with his assassination and comes full circle at the end, affirming that Gandhi truly was a Great Soul throughout.
Attenborough found his perfect Gandhi in Ben Kingsley, who not so much plays but truly *is* the Mahatma; from his appearance to the inflection of his voice, attitudes and gestures. Over the year-long struggles to finance the movie, Attenborough's first choices for the role had grown too old to convincingly play the young Gandhi in South Africa, but eventually Michael Attenborough pointed his father to Kingsley, then with the Royal Shakespeare Company, who reportedly won the role by meeting Attenborough in full Gandhi makeup at their first get-together, thus instantly convincing him that he had found his man. Yet, despite his gift for mimicry and his part-Indian heritage, Kingsley nevertheless turned to his Indian costars, particularly Rohini Hattangadi, who plays Gandhi's wife Kasturba, to fine-tune his portrayal; and he recalls in an interview for the movie's DVD release that the skill he found the most difficult to master was to spin and to talk at the same time. The use of the actual British newsreels covering Gandhi's visit to England adds to the movie's sense of authenticity - and emphasizes yet again Ben Kingsley's achievement in transforming himself into the Mahatma.
In fact, his awardwinning performance so overshadows every other actor in the movie that it would be easy to overlook the fine performances of his costars, all of whom contributed to the movie's unique quality - to name but a few, Sir John Gielgud, whom Kingsley praises as "a national treasure" (British viceroy Lord Irwin), Roshan Seth (Pandit Nehru), Martin Sheen (NY Times reporter Vincent Walker), Candice Bergen (People Magazine's Margaret Bourke-White), Ian Charleson (Gandhi's early friend and colaborator Reverend Andrews), Edward Fox (General Dyer, the man responsible for the massacre at Amritsar, who testified at his court-martial that his intention had been to "teach a lesson that would be heard throughout India"); and Trevor Howard as Judge Broomfield, who had to sentence Gandhi to prison for his outright admission that he was guilty of the charge of advocating sedition because of his belief "that non-cooperation with evil is a duty and British rule in India is evil," and who nevertheless rose at Gandhi's entrance into the courtroom instead of making the prisoner rise for him, and commented on the sentence he had to impose that "if ... his Majesty's government should, at some later date, see fit to reduce the term, no one will be better pleased than I."
The movie ends with Gandhi's affirmation that when he despaired, he remembered that "all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers; for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of this: Always." Such a belief may be difficult to hold on to, particularly for us who are so much more fallible than the Mahatma. Yet, this movie eloquently pleads that it is, at least, worth our very best effort.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest men of this world were the simplest., 18 April 2007
Gandhi showed the world that the biggest problems have the simplest solutions.

This movie is Attenborough's gift to the generations to come, to tell them that Gandhi lived in this world, with no weapons but with greatest power; that he was half naked but emperors bowed to him, that he led millions of people to freedom without ever seeking violence; that prayer was his weapon, truth was his path and ahimsa(non-violence) was his strength.

This is the only movie that I watch over and over whenever I find time. One will live with Gandhi through out the movie

and will not realise for a moment that this is a movie. Ben Kingsley did a great job, I think he was perfect fit for this role.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid to behold and moving to experience. Inspiring., 28 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Gandhi [DVD] [1982] (DVD)
"Gandhi" is a truly remarkable film of a truly remarkable story . Visually the film is magnificant, a true epic. Ben Kingsley is simply superb in the role of his life as the simple, modest and reserved man who takes on the might of the British Empire and oppressive regime through peace and humanity. If "Braveheart" was celebrated by Hollywood for the Scots whooping the British then "Gandhi" shows that Oscars can be won and the British beaten within a really outstanding film that does not celebrate the events within it with vulgarity or satisfaction. The film is aware that the occurances within it are shocking. You will bite your nails until they hurt and cry for the pain to end. As a genuine epic this film is the requisite length of a slight over three hours so it will not be to everyone's taste as the pace is slow and peaceful to reflect the subject. However if you are a fan of quality filmmaking and flawless acting and are ready to be moved and amazed by an almost unbelievable account of the man of the century then Gandhi can not be missed. The periods of calm serve only to enhance the character's tranquillity and to heighten the impact of the clashes within the picture. As with "Lawrence of Arabia" this is a film that can only be done justice on DVD and it is on this format that the beauty of the filmmaking is really evident. A must for any serious collection.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic depiction of the Mahatma, 27 May 2002
This review is from: Gandhi [DVD] [1982] (DVD)
Few men in human history have impacted a nation as the Mahatma did. This movie is a glorious depiction of the man and his transition to greatness.
The essence of Gandhi's awakening against injustice in South Africa is well captured. The visuals and emotions of India in the early 20th century are breath taking and deeply inspiring. Scenes like the massacre of 1600 unarmed Indians at Jalianwalagh Bagh by General Dyer followed by his shocking deposition before a British panel; Gandhi's march to filter salt that leads to commoners daring the police as they do likewise and Walker's emotional reporting of the following attrocities; a British judge's dilemna as he sentences Gandhi to jail; Gandhi's stubborn decision to fast unto death that eventually stops strife in newly independent India; and his weak, barely audible interaction with a Hindu who has killed a Muslim child as revenge for his son's death will remain etched in memory forever.
Clearly, the movie celebrates Gandhi, and the Indian freedom struggle is shown centered around him, which may not go down well for those more interested in the latter. The roles of Nehru, Patel and numerous other leaders of the time are frequently undermined. Also, Gandhi's inability to reason with Jinnah and Nehru for the seperation of India at independence is not justified.
Ben Kingsley is superb as the resolute yet obstinate, peace loving and modest Satyagrahi - "The little Indian in a loincloth".
A must see, and a must have.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Soul's Life., 17 Feb 2003
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gandhi [DVD] [1982] (DVD)
It all began simple enough - with the purchase of a first class train ticket by Mr. Mohandas Gandhi, Esq., recently arrived in South Africa, and unaware that as an Indian, he was required to travel third class and not entitled to such a ticket. Literally thrown off the train for his transgression, the young attorney, embodied to perfection by Ben Kingsley, spent a full night sitting on the platform, musing how best to respond to such discrimination. Shortly thereafter, and after consultations with established members of his community, he wrote his first treatises and organized his first demonstrations. And when participants of a protest assembly stood up and proclaimed their willingness to die in the fight against suppression, Gandhi once and for all formulated his doctrine of nonviolent protest: "They may torture my body, break my bones; even kill me. Then they will have my dead body - not my obedience."
Shot largely on four Indian locations, Richard Attenborough's nine-time Oscar-winning biography of Gandhi is a sweeping epic that takes the viewer back to Britain's colonial past, covering all major events of Gandhi's political career from its beginnings in South Africa to the March to the Sea and India's independence, and contrasting the luxurious lifestyle of the foreign rulers with the poverty of those they governed; that India which, as Gandhi soon realized, not only the British didn't understand, but whose population also could not have cared less about the activities of the Indian Congress Party, at the time little more than a group of well-to-do city dwellers mentally and socially almost as far removed from the rest of their country as the British. Twenty years in the making, the movie is clearly reverential of Gandhi's genius, and of the man whose symbolic growth was reverse parallel to his retreat into simplicity, and who for that very reason, and because of his unfaltering commitment to nonviolence on the one hand and India's independence on the other hand, accomplished what only few people would otherwise have thought possible: to convince the world's biggest colonial power to give up the crown jewel among its colonies; and to do so in a gesture of friendship and without civil war. The one aspect of Gandhi's life that falls a bit short here is the effect that his overbearing symbolic status had on his family life, which necessarily had to suffer as a result (unable to cope with his father's fame and chosen lifestyle, Gandhi's eldest son, for example, threw himself into a life of alcoholism and prostitution). But Gandhi is not depicted as a saint, and particularly during his early years, we learn about the struggle that went into the formation of the man who later earned the title "Great Soul" (Mahatma). Even anticipating that he might be killed by an assassin's bullet, Gandhi once said that he would only deserve that title if he could accept that bullet with Rama's (God's) name on his lips: fittingly, the movie begins with his assassination and comes full circle at the end, affirming that Gandhi truly was a Great Soul throughout.
Attenborough found his perfect Gandhi in Ben Kingsley, who not so much plays but truly *is* the Mahatma; from his appearance to the inflection of his voice, attitudes and gestures. Over the year-long struggles to finance the movie, Attenborough's first choices for the role had grown too old to convincingly play the young Gandhi in South Africa, but eventually Michael Attenborough pointed his father to Kingsley, then with the Royal Shakespeare Company, who reportedly won the role by meeting Attenborough in full Gandhi makeup at their first get-together, thus instantly convincing him that he had found his man. Yet, despite his gift for mimicry and his part-Indian heritage, Kingsley nevertheless turned to his Indian costars, particularly Rohini Hattangadi, who plays Gandhi's wife Kasturba, to fine-tune his portrayal; and he recalls in an interview for the movie's DVD release that the skill he found the most difficult to master was to spin and to talk at the same time. The use of the actual British newsreels covering Gandhi's visit to England adds to the movie's sense of authenticity - and emphasizes yet again Ben Kingsley's achievement in transforming himself into the Mahatma.
In fact, his awardwinning performance so overshadows every other actor in the movie that it would be easy to overlook the fine performances of his costars, all of whom contributed to the movie's unique quality - to name but a few, Sir John Gielgud, whom Kingsley praises as "a national treasure" (British viceroy Lord Irwin), Roshan Seth (Pandit Nehru), Martin Sheen (NY Times reporter Vincent Walker), Candice Bergen (People Magazine's Margaret Bourke-White), Ian Charleson (Gandhi's early friend and colaborator Reverend Andrews), Edward Fox (General Dyer, the man responsible for the massacre at Amritsar, who testified at his court-martial that his intention had been to "teach a lesson that would be heard throughout India"); and Trevor Howard as Judge Broomfield, who had to sentence Gandhi to prison for his outright admission that he was guilty of the charge of advocating sedition because of his belief "that non-cooperation with evil is a duty and British rule in India is evil," and who nevertheless rose at Gandhi's entrance into the courtroom instead of making the prisoner rise for him, and commented on the sentence he had to impose that "if ... his Majesty's government should, at some later date, see fit to reduce the term, no one will be better pleased than I."
The movie ends with Gandhi's affirmation that when he despaired, he remembered that "all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers; for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of this: Always." Such a belief may be difficult to hold on to, particularly for us who are so much more fallible than the Mahatma. Yet, this movie eloquently pleads that it is, at least, worth our very best effort.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent portrait of Gandhi, 8 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. P. Datta "Pritthijit" (Stockton on Tees, Teesside) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Gandhi recaptures the historical period of the British Raj. It is an excellent portrait of a spiritual, political and a remarkable man, whose legacy inspired other great leaders like civil right leader Luther King and ex-South African president Nelson Mandela. The movie is an epic and chronological journey of Gandhi's life which includes the shocking trip to South Africa as a lawyer, family life, to his continued imprisonment, endless diplomacy campaigning and his tragic death. This man was truly an inspirational and a shining example to fellow politicians. His legacy continues to live on.

Gandhi is compelling and distressing viewing with so many unpleasant scenes. The scenes are really emotional. Ben Kingsley's acting of the great Indian Gandhi's is credibile and solid. This remarkable man continues to attract global attention and recognition for his historical accomplishments. Even in countries as far as Brazil, Gandhi status is displayed and he represents a symbol of peace. The cinemagraphy is outstanding, with the perfect locations chosen to blend with the British Raj period. The authencity of the actual period is clearly and accurately depicted in the movie. The movie requires immense patient to watch, as the duration is an enduring 3 hours of the great man life. A large bulk of Gandhi's life is incorporated into this movie. It is worth watching to gain valuable insights into this man and develop a solid appreciation and understanding of what propelled this leader to historical status and greatness he achieved so gracefully.

Gandhi truly justifies for its Oscar winning performance, as it contains the ingredients of an outstanding movie, which are already outlined above. Richard Attenborough's movie masterpiece Gandhi is a well delivered and an excellent epic, which takes a journey about a man who was diplomatic and always believed in non violence, no matter the severity of a situation. No one can rewrite the history book, the way this great Indian uniquely achieved with flying colours and in tender harmony. The DVD extras provides further insights into the life of Mahatma Gandhi, including pictures and documnetaties. If a survey poll is reproduced about greatest Indians to emerge, Gandhi without doubt would righteously earn the leading spot as the greatest Indian in my books.

If you are passionate about history and epics, Gandhi will certainly satisfy your taste.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gandhi, 10 Feb 2007
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is a slightly slowed paced, but thoroughly engaging look at the life of Gandhi. It shows how his ideas developed and how revered he was in India and how respected he was by the British. Kingsley is masterly in this role and really makes you believe you are watching Gandhi rather that just a portrayal. The scenery is amazing, as is the direction and although it is a little long, it is a great place to start if you're interested in learning more about this great man.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film, 22 July 2004
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This review is from: Gandhi [DVD] [1982] (DVD)
This is a great film which gives us a good portrayal of Gandhi's life and achievements.
The film portrays Gandhi as an honest, hard working and kind individual who always tried to do the right thing, even when facing overwelming resistance.
If you like the film I would suggest reading his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth, which will give you an insight into his mind.
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