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Reviewing the DVD and the film..,
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This review is from: Gandhi [DVD]  (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.