Oscar-winning British film director, actor and producer Richard Attenborough, who reinvented Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, in his Hollywood movie GANDHI, died in London at the ripe age of 90.
Though Sir Richard Attenborough has an immense contribution to Hollywood but he shall always remain a darling of India for his intimate biopic GANDHI (1982), which played a vital role in bringing Mahatma Gandhi close to the lives of millions of the young Indian, who have been born after Independence.
Among the film celebrities’ actor and filmmaker Anil Kapoor paying tribute to the great filmmaker rightly said, “I learnt more about the Mahatma from Attenborough's GANDHI than the history lessons in school. The movie is truly unforgettable, honest and inspirational!”
Renowned author, Shobhaa De in her condolence said, “Richard Attenborough convinced the world that a Mahatma did indeed walk the earth.”
Milap Zaveri, an Indian young film writer and director in his tribute aptly says, “Sir Richard Attenborough...Now the "Mahatma" can personally congratulate you in heaven for telling his story so brilliantly.”
True indeed! Because Sir Richard Attenborough’s GANDHI, is regarded as the best ever film made on the life of the great Indian freedom fighter. Readers would be rather surprised to know that it took Richard Attenborough 20 years to make the film. Though the movie was released in 1982 but it was conceived more than 20 years ago as it was the dream project of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. In fact Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru himself had met filmmaker Richard Attenborough and briefed him about Mahatma and the quality of biopic.
The movie was an Indo-British production. India’s NFDC had financed the film and from Britain, Hollywood producers were reluctant to finance as they felt there would be no audience for “a little brown man in a sheet carrying a beanstalk. Hence Sir Attenborough ended up producing it himself. It is said Attenborough had mortgaged his house in a London suburb, sold works of art and invested everything but made no compromise in making the film.
The result was GANDHI was not only a blockbuster in India but was globally declared money grosser. The movie was nominated in 11 categories for Oscar Award and won 8 awards including best picture, best director, best cinematography, best original screenplay and best actor.
Raaga.Com pays homage to the legendary filmmaker and prays his soul rest in peace.