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Bollywood and its experiment with the Mahatma's truth

CNN-IBN
Oct 03, 2009 at 03:59am IST

Mumbai: When Munnabhai met the Mahatma, Gandhism was reinvented as Gandhigiri. Filmmaker Raj Kumar Hirani's experiment with truth had a winning formula which brought back the icon out of the History books.

Now Hirani is working on the third part of the series Munnabhai Chale Amreeka.

Getting under the skin of the Mahatma is the challenge that film directors love. Add to that his troubled personal relationship with his family, and you have a life tailor-made for drama, as seen in Mahatma v/s Gandhi.

Popular culture has iconised him in films like Gandhi, and humanised him in the Making of the Mahatma.

"Here was a huge conflict between Harilal over principles and Kasturba was caught between the two. It was a deep pain that Gandhi carried. Here was a Gandhi who carried that pain and the audience could understand that,” director of Mahatma v/s Gandhi Feroz Khan said.

Khan brought this troubled relationship from the stage to the silver-screen with Gandhi My Father. The film went on to win two National Awards for the year 2008, including best screenplay for Khan and best supporting actor for Darshan Zariwalla who plays Gandhi.

Be it the biopic on Gandhi starring Ben Kingsley or films like Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara or Hey Ram that go beyond Gandhi, the Mahatma's life, his political career and complex personal relationships have inspired many films.

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