After watching this epic film, I could see why it was the winner of multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture. I have to thank Columbia-Tristar for presenting this film in a DVD release that actually enhances the viewing experience of this amazing picture. Sure, the 190 minute running time is not for those with no patience, but it is definitely worth watching.
The biography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, who rose from a small-time lawyer to India’s spiritual leader through his philosophy of…non-violent but direct-action protest.
Again, for an older film, the sound on this DVD was really good. Columbia-Tristar did a good job of re-mastering the soundtrack, but they could have done more. The 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track was good, but I would have liked to have seen a lot more use of the rear channel. One scene stands out to me of where they could have done much more with the sound… Gandhi was making a speech to a large crowd, and the microphone was echoing over the crowd. The echo and reverberation of Gandhi’s voice would have converted beautifully into the rear speakers, but the 5.1 mix totally excluded the surround channel for this scene. This was done often, and even though the soundtrack was very effective, they could have improved the effects.
Also include on this disc are 2.0 audio tracks in both English and French. Unfortunately an audio commentary was not included on this disc. With a 3+ hour film, it must be hard to record a full-length commentary track, but an epic award Winning film such as this still deserves a commentary.
Gandhi is another fine example of what the DVD format can do to restore a classic film. This film is not arriving at its 20th anniversary, and it has never looked this good. The colors are extremely vibrant, the transfer is near flawless and there is minimal granulation in the picture. It is crazy, but this transfer looks better then some films that were just made and this film is 20 years old! The transfer is a beautiful anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and this disc does not include a full frame aspect ratio.
This DVD has many great special features, which really add to the DVD viewing experience. The menus are the nicest I have seen to date by Columbia-Tristar, they are beautifully animated with theme oriented material, and they are very easy to navigate.
Ben Kingsley won a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi, and my favorite special feature on this disc is the interview with this amazing actor. Ben Kingsley talks about his portrayal and his preparation during the film’s production. He gives insight into the film and the story, and that is almost as important as a commentary track. This feature was very effective and important to this disc, and is definitely worth watching.
This disc includes a series of original newsreel footage clips that shows the real Gandhi in action. The clips show the response that his followers gave him, and the effect that his words had of the people of India. The clips were quite dated in terms of quality, but that added to the effect.
A few other notable special features that are include on this disc are a photo montage from the making-of Gandhi, a collection of words spoken for the mouth of Gandhi, Theatrical Trailer, and Production notes.
If you like award winning epic films then run, don’t walk, to pick up a copy of Gandhi. This DVD release was great. The picture quality was amazing for a 20 year old film, the sound was not great but good, and the special features were quite nice. The presentation is enhanced by the beautiful packaging and animated menus. It may take you a few sittings to get through the extremely long film, but this disc even includes an intermission so you can replenish your snacks halfway through the film. This is definitely an owner, so what are you waiting for??? Go out and buy it today!
Special Features List
- Ben Kingsley Interview
- Original Newsreel Fooage
- Making Of Gandhi Photo Montage
- Production Notes