On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Bollywoodlife digs down deep into the mentality of B-town filmmakers to find out why there are no films on Gandhi's life in Bollywood
October 2 is here. While most of us will be packing our bags for a long weekend or lazing around on the couch switching through TV channels, Bollywoodlife decided to bring up an interesting fact to the notice of our readers. On the 145th birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, we shine the light on the fact there hasn't been a single biopic on the father of our nation in Bollywood. While the great man has been immortalised in our currency note, it is surprising to see that Indian filmmakers have shied away from portraying Gandhi's life on the celluloid.
Bollywoodlife gives you three reasons why the B-town filmmakers preferred to make biopics on Bhagat Singh, Milkha Singh and Mary Kom, instead of making a film on Mahatma Gandhi's rather interesting life:
Fear of attracting controversies
While it is beyond any doubt that Gandhiji was one of the greatest leaders India has ever had and his principles are revered by many, there have been a lot of controversies surrounding his life. While films like Lage Raho Munnabhai depicted Gandhi in positive light, there have been a handful of films in the past like Hey Ram which blamed Gandhi for India's partition. In fact, even today a section of society does not like Mahatma and hold him responsible for Bhagat Singh's death and India's partition. In the past, questions have been raised on Gandhi's celibacy oath, as the great man spent last years of his life surrounded by young women. We believe it would extremely difficult for any filmmaker to make an unbiased biopic on Gandhi's life, as the margin for error is nil, given that the topic is extremely sensitive and could hurt people's sentiments.
No 'main stream' actor can pull off Gandhi
In 1982, late Richard Attenborough made the cult classic Gandhi in English, which is still regarded in high esteem by movie buffs even after three decades. While Ben Kingsley's portrayal of Gandhi was incredible, we feel there aren't any mainstream cinema actors who can pull off the role of Mahatma himself. There is no lack of talent in Bollywood with young talented actors giving seasoned stars a run for their money. But, one just cannot think of a commercial hero who could step into Gandhi's shoes. While few veterans like Naseerudin Shah or Anupam Kher may just do justice to the role, we don't think B-town producers would want to dish out a huge amount with no big stars to attract the audience.
Gandhi's ideologies not in sync with today's youth mentality
We have had a plenty of films of Shahid Bhagat Singh in the past. We had films of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose's life and Sardar Vallabhai Patel's life too. But no one has ever dared to make a film out of Gandhi's life. We wonder if Bollywood considers principles of ahimsa and satyagraha propagated by Mahatma outdated... While the young generation is driven by aggression, some believe that Gandhi's ideologies will not connect with youngsters. As we all know that filmmaking is a business and no filmmaker would want to risk his money on a film which does not appeal to the core crowd comprising of youths.
But if someday, some brave filmmaker dares to make Mahatma Gandhi biopic, who do you think is the best actor to portray the legend onscreen? Vote!
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