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It was Richard Attenborough's lifelong dream to bring the life story of Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi to the screen. When it finally reached fruition in 1982, the 188-minute, Oscar-winning Gandhi was one of the most exhaustively thorough biopics ever made. The film begins in the early part of the 20th century, when Mohandas K. Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), a British-trained lawyer, forsakes all worldly possessions to take up the cause of Indian independence. Faced with armed resistance from the British government, Gandhi adopts a policy of "passive resistance,"… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"In playing Gandhi, an actor must be less concerned with physical verisimilitude than with spiritual presence, and here Kingsley is nothing short of astonishing."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Its faults rather pale beside the epic nature of its theme, and Kingsley's performance in the central role is outstanding."
‑ , Time Out
"Tthe film Gandhi is more stuffy than stately, more prestigious than prodigious. It never quite captures the essence of Gandhi, or the influence he exerted on other leaders, including Martin Luther King. It's a broad but shallow river of information."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"While Kingsley (who took one of eight Oscars) is the glue that holds this epic piece together, you must relish a cast that includes John Gielgud, Edward Fox, John Mills, Martin Sheen and Roshan Seth."
‑ Andrew Collins, Radio Times
"Brilliant biography will engage preteens and up."
‑ Liz Perle, Common Sense Media
"Once in a long while a motion picture so eloquently expressive and technically exquisite comes along that one is tempted to hail it as being near perfect."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A remarkable experience."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Above all, Kingsley's astonishing performance, capturing both Gandhi's divine light and his irresistible simplicity, inspires this ambitious film."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"It's a slow, reverential biopic, but it compensates for its sedate pace with a dry, gentle humour and a humanity that befits its extraordinary subject."
‑ , Total Film
"Attenborough's crowning achievement as a director."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Attenborough's work lacks even the undercurrent of personality that David Lean brought to his films: the film has no flavor but that of the standard Hollywood hagiography."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"[Of] importance is the possibility that the film will bring Gandhi to the attention of a lot of people around the world for the first time, not as a saint but as a self-searching, sometimes fallible human being with a sense of humor as well as of history."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Attenborough shows once again his skill in managing the big set-piece."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Richard Attenborough's Gandhi is every bit as sumptuous as everyone had expected."
‑ Robert Hatch, The Nation
"Ben Kingsley's title performance is amazing, particularly in the way he ages across the five decades which the film depicts."
‑ Douglas Pratt, DVDLaser
More reviews for Gandhi on Rotten Tomatoes

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