Orientalism in Ghandi

The movie “Ghandi” is a prime example of the different ideas of orientalism in India. Particularly the character that portrays Ghandi and the changes that he undergoes as the movie progresses. My question in this portrayal of Ghandi is what point the author is trying to make to his audience and what point did Ghandi make when he changed the way he looked through his clothes or lack there of. I would first like to answer the why Ghandi choose to change his attire from the English lawyer suit and tie to the skimpy loincloth that he wears near the end of his death. In his mind this act is a way to show his Indian heritage and to prove that in order to live life properly simplicity is key. The director plays on this garb change and many times in the movie they place Ghandi next to Nehru to show this distinct contrast in what they wear. They also portray Nehru in a somewhat negative like compared to Ghandi, which makes the way he dresses almost a detriment to his character. The author is trying to provoke the image of Ghandi to the audience and trying to appeal to the visual distinction Ghandi has from the rest of the wealthy and powerful figures in the movie.

Its interesting to compare and contrast Indian Jones and Ghandi when it comes to how the natives are portrayed. In Indiana Jones the loincloths the Indians wear are supposed to make them appear more savage. However, that is in sharp contrast with the attire Ghandi wears which are supposed to show his wisdom in matters of life. There is a definite difference in these films based upon the target audience I feel like. Indiana Jones is made for the american viewer while Ghandi was made for the Indian viewer. In either case, the loincloth is symbolic for both movies and plays a crucial role in how the audience views the characters.


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