Thursday, December 08, 2005

Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara

It's quite late in the movie one would realise (disregarding preconceived notions raised from the movie's interesting title and from what one has heard about the film) that Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara's theme comes very close to being a preachy film. It can be defended that all the talk on current "apathetic" generation is nothing but the ramblings of a senile man and not meant to be preachy. But Prof. Uttam Chaudhary (Anupam Kher), the retired Hindi professor and the protagonist of the movie, does thrust some Gandhian ideals on us and quotes recent examples ranging from bombing the twin towers to some tragic incident in Japan (which I fail to recollect). On how we forgot the Gandhian principles (and how "we all killed him and locked him up in the pictures and statues"); if ever we understood them at first place, that is. This doesn't impact us to any extent because it appears as a late offshoot. A tangential take on contemporary violence/destruction doesn't strike hard as the movie wasn't about Gandhian principles till then. This concern of the professor over the current world situation (though we see passing glimpses of the professor disturbed by newspaper headlines about various crimes) seems plain abrupt.
Apart from this quibble, the movie is well made though appearing quite stagey at times. In the beginning, we are introduced to the retired Prof. Uttam Chaudhary, whose forgetfulness is crossing the normal limits of an old man, and his three children. The movie employs quite a number of regular plot devices here - a daughter torn between her own good (professionally too) and her concern over her dad's mental state, her indifferent boyfriend and a failing love affair, a dude who has 'forgotten his roots' and is unable to connect to his father's concerns - but handles all of them with adeptness. The first half revolves around many incidents revealing the professor's increasing forgetfulness because of which the plot sometimes seems to meander pointlessly (like the sequence with a barber). It also revolves around Trisha (Urmila) and the diffculties she is going through to take care of her old father, and that's told in a compelling fashion. At the end of the first half, we get to the point of concern in Chaudhary's illness. He thinks he has murdered (accidentally) Mahatma Gandhi. From there, the movie proceeds towards how this man is cured from his illusions. In the final minutes, the professor's illness serves as metaphor to the illness of the contemporary "non-idealistic" generation and suggests that we, like the professor, are also ill and need a cure.
Anupam Kher pulls off a crackling performance as the ageing man whose mental balance is getting out of his control - especially in the scene when his daughter comes to his room and apologises to him (which he seems to be unaware of) for being cross with him, he is a class act. Urmila Matondkar gives a decent performance as the caring daughter. Rest of the cast did not have much to do.
Jahnu Barua has written and directed this venture. Overlooking Barua's accomplishments one can say he has done a commendable job. But I wish I could catch his Assamese films which, I presume, must have been much better than this effort.


  1. Am one of the junta who got misled by the interesting title, thought it would be similar to Hey Ram. Should see this movie sometime soon, just not getting the enthu to see it.


  2. Narayanan,
    Welcome. It's an interesting movie. But, I would not place it up there as a very good one.

  3. hey,

    did you listen to RDB music. It is good. have written a revu on my blog.

  4. when it comes to the debate of whether films shall teach or preach:yeah they should not preach, but just teach.

  5. It was really good movie I like the acting of Anupan Kher. He is excellent actor thanks a lot for this nice information about "maine gandhi ko nahimara". This type of movie tells the people how Mahatma Gandhijis thoughts affects the people.

    I am very thanks to the both the author of this movie and also the director of this movie. Thanks a lot for nice blog one again.

    Smith ALan

  6. It also revolves around Trisha (Urmila) and the diffculties she is going through to take care of her old father, and that's told in a compelling fashion.