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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Historical > British > India > Gandhi (1984/Sony Blu-ray)

Gandhi (1984/Sony Blu-ray)

 

Picture: B+ ††††Sound: B††† Extras: B+†††Film: A-

 

 

Alas Gandhi arrives to us in celebration of the films 25th Anniversary and fans have something to rejoice about!Finally there is an edition of the film that the films mastery is worthy to be seen on, Blu-ray.The film is truly an event, itís an experience much like the amazing epic films of the 1960ís and is an unforgettable story of Mohandas Gandhi captured in this biographical film directed by Richard Attenborough.The film would be garnered with 8 Academy Awards and weaves together a brilliant story of politics, freedom, and religion, but it also showcases the inner turmoil and feelings of the man himself and examines the life of Gandhi with emotion, which makes the film all the more memorable.

 

Much like the work of other prolific actors Ben Kingsley gives a performance of a lifetime as he embodies the title role with so much conviction that just a few minutes into the film you forget that you are watching Ben Kingsley, in many respects it reminds me of George C. Scottís embodiment of Patton (http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/7039/Fox/MGM) or even Anthony Hopkins in Nixon (http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/7427/Oliver+Stone).His Oscar-Winning performance will live on as long as there is film.

 

The film runs a total of 3-hours, but the Blu-ray is a 50GB disc, which allows the entire film to be put onto disc one, which features the film along with some minor supplements including an introduction by Attenborough along with his feature-length commentary track.There is also a picture-in-graphics supplement that is a Blu-ray exclusive and helps add depth and historical context to the film, which are informative and engaging.

 

Disc two contains vintage newsreel footage, Kingsley talking about his role, a reflections featurette, several in-depth featurettes on various aspects of the production, plus the making-of, and several other great publicity items that give fans the type of supplements that truly feel special.

 

Most importantly though is the fact that now the film has been released with a transfer that showcases the films Oscar-Winning cinematography shot by Ronnie Taylor and Billy Williams who would help give the film itís highly memorable look and feel, which was captures using Panavision lenses, the film was even given 70mm blow-up prints to certain theaters as well.The film is presented on Blu-ray with its 2.35 X 1 framed transfer showcased in glorious High Definition 1080p.Never before has the film looked this good for home viewing with accurate detail and color, despite some minor softness here and there.This only indicates that the films source material may not have been preserved as well as we had hoped, but the Blu-ray still captures the films stunning look and offers impressive depth to the films unique palette of color.This is a film shot with loads of wide-shots to showcase the locations of India unlike ever before and finally the Blu-ray delivers the scope of these shots where the DVD was always lacking with a standard definition transfer that never seemed lifelike.The Blu-ray on the other hand manages to capture not only the wide shots with the abundance of location detail, but even the closer shots with skin tones, fabrics, and other small details that often were lost on the DVD.Whites were also a problem on the DVD edition and the color looked more off-white or even turning yellow, but here we get a pristine and true looking white and other colors like red or yellow are not bleeding, but stay solid and vibrant.Overall a great transfer for a film of this age and condition, a full-restoration might be in order to really get the film looking much better, but again that might be a tall order depending on what the sources condition looks like.

 

Ravi Shankarís music and the score by George Fenton are well captured by the Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1, which brings great resolution to the film and while the film still shows a datedness in its sonic performance, this is still a great step about the lossy Dolby mix on the previous DVD.The majority of the film utilizes the front soundstage and the surround channels are only used sparingly to add some minor ambience, but overall everything is fairly clean and clear, even in times of congestion within the mix.

 

 

-†† Nate Goss


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