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Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh review: Rajkumar Santoshi’s film loses its track midway that is never found again

With the political drama Gandhi Godse - Ek Yudh, Rajkumar Santoshi makes his eagerly anticipated comeback. It emphasises that what if scenario and the disagreement between Nathuram Godse and Mahatma Gandhi. 

2/5rating
Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh review: Rajkumar Santoshi’s film loses its track midway that is never found again
Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh Poster
  • Reema Chhabda

Last Updated: 05.51 AM, Jan 26, 2023

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Story:

With Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh, a story based on opposing ideas, National Award-winning filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi makes a comeback to directing after ten years. The film is a fictional account that centres on Mahatma Gandhi, who survives Nathuram Vinayak Godse's attack and expresses his desire to meet the latter in prison shortly after his recovery. Godse rejects Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's ideas in spite of Gandhi's best attempts. But a bit later, the two find themselves confined together, where they engage in a number of discussions and exchanges of ideas in an effort to comprehend one another's viewpoints. 

Review:

Gandhi Godse - Ek Yudh is a highly rare concept. It is written by Santoshi with dialogue assistance from Asghar Wajahat, whose play the movie is an adaptation of. Rare because the sensitive element of the story is so controversial that merely bringing it up can start a fight, let alone affect the entire plot. Two of the hottest ideologies are at odds with one another. The communists, who want to colour the entire country the colour they worship, and the liberals, who wish to coexist peacefully. In the scenario that Mahatma Gandhi survives the attack and faces Nathuram Godse, all of this is hypothetical. Full points for the courage and creativity alone.

But when Santoshi tries to convert all of it onto the big screen, he completely loses the track. A movie about the struggle of ideas arrives at its central conflict too late. The screenplay ends up spending too much time on how the society was continuously shifting in its bias in favour of and against Gandhi, despite the fact that this is what we are taught. And when it does decide to have the real conversation it has promised, it breaks it up into episodes where the issue is brought up and dealt with fast.

These are the men with huge different schools of ideas. Godse is utterly opposed to Gandhi. How is it possible to picture him saving Mahatma even in a made-up story? Even if you ignore that, the fictional universe practically portrays the Father of the Nation as a self-centered, spoilt, and obstinate child of a wealthy family who acts without considering his surroundings. The movie discusses slavery, inequality, and many other topics, but it muddies the message with accidental humour. This everything seems so forced and heavy-handed, even in how it treats Mahatma Gandhi's ideas on chastity and the mending of it. Nothing about it feels natural, but it appears as though someone is merely making a point.

What I find to be most powerful in Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh is the visual presentation of the movie, and the production designer Dhananjay Mondal, cinematographer Rishi Punjabi, and director Rajkumar Santoshi deserve all the credit for it. Several of the jail's and the village sequence's wide-angle shots are masterfully crafted. I believe that the about 30- to 40-minute stretch following the interval to be unnecessary. The director is attempting to describe and elaborate on the personalities and viewpoints of his two main characters, but this section might have been cut by at least ten minutes. The second half of Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh could have utilised a little more sharpening.

Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh (Source: Twitter)
Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh (Source: Twitter)

Deepak Antani's portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi will win your heart. His acting is relatively understated yet has a major influence throughout the entire film. He is, in my opinion, the movie's highlight. Also outstanding is Chinmay Mandlekar's performance as Nathuram Godse. He has consistently maintained a fairly controlled performance throughout the endeavour. Jawaharlal Nehru is excellently portrayed by Pawan Chopra, and the rest of the actors also delivered flawless performances.

To the technical teams: a perfect score. The soundtrack is by AR Rahman, and it works nicely for the film. But it doesn't appear like the recall value is that high.

Verdict:

Overall, the film boasts several standout performances, but it suffers from a shoddy screenplay and a confusing plot.

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