Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh Review: Rajkumar Santoshi’s film has good performances but is let down by weak screenplay
Name: Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh
Director: Rajkumar Santoshi
Cast: Chinmay Mandlekar
Rating: 2 / 5
National Award winning filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi returns to direction after 10 years with Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh, a story that is based on conflicting ideologies. The movie is a fictional narrative focussing on Mahatma Gandhi, who survives Nathuram Vinayak Godse’s attack, and soon after his recovery, expresses his desire to meet the latter in prison. Despite Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s efforts, Godse refuses to accept Gandhi’s views. However, a while later, the duo end up sharing the same prison cell, where both indulge into several debates and exchange of thoughts with an attempt to understand each other’s perspectives. Whether they finally reach that point, is for you to see in the film.
What works the best for me in Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh is the visual presentation of the film, and full credit for it should go to director Rajkumar Santoshi, cinematographer Rishi Punjabi, and production designer Dhananjay Mondal. Some of the wide shot scenes filmed in the jail, and in the village sequence are canned beautifully.
Furthermore, the first half of the film takes you on a roller coaster ride, which begins with intrigue, then a few questions, then some confusion, and by the time it reaches the interval point, it gives clarity on what the film is trying to achieve. This transition, though not the best form of narrative, keeps you hooked to the subject. Rajkumar Santoshi’s screenplay manages to keep you engaged in these first 60 minutes, however, it is the second half where the film falters. More on it, in the next section. AR Rahman’s background score helps to lift up scenes, which are struggling to make an impact on their own merit. The end message is also really noble and important.
What Doesn’t Work?
What doesn’t work for me are the approx 30 to 40 minutes post the interval, which seemed like an unnecessary stretch. The filmmaker here is trying to explain and elaborate on the nature and perspectives of both his central characters, however, this portion could have definitely been brought down by 10 minutes. Rajkumar Santoshi and Editor A. Sreekar Prasad could have focused a bit more on sharpening the second half of Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh.
Additionally, the overall script seems a little stretched, not in terms of its run time, but in the scope of the story itself. Dialogues penned by Asghar Wajahat and Rajkumar Santoshi are also forgettable.
Deepak Antani truly wins your heart with his performance as Mahatma Gandhi. Throughout the movie, his performance is extremely subtle yet hugely impactful. For me, he is the highlight of the whole film. Chinmay Mandlekar as Nathuram Godse is also equally impressive. He has delivered a very controlled performance, and has maintained that throughout the project. Pawan Chopra as Jawaharlal Nehru is splendid, while the rest of the cast too have played their parts to the T.
Overall, the movie has some memorable performances but is let down by a weak screenplay and a stretched storyline.
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