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January 21, 1983 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-21
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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Great
soul
Gandhi'
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Candice
Bergen, and Martin Sheen
Written by John Briley
Directed by Sir Richard Attenborough
Movies at Briarwood
By Richard Campbell

AYEAR AFTER Reds, what many
Adescribed as the kind of epic no
one makes any more, Gandhi comes to
town.
The film lasts three hours (plus in-
termission), traces two-thirds of Gan-
dhi's 79 year life, follows him from his
struggle against apartheid in South
Africa during the 1890's to his
assassination in 1948, boasts a number
of well-known stars in bit parts, and is
credited with having 300,000 extras in
the funeral procession scene.
So much for the demise of the epic.
With such cinematic excess it's a
wonder that Gandhi doesn't fall into the
trap of deifying the man who, through
patience and a firm committment to
non-violence, helped to engineer in-
dependence from Great Britain.
Starring as the Mahatma (Great
Soul) is a newcomer to the screen, Ben
Kingsley, a successful British actor
who was a member of the Royal
Shakespeare Company. His Gandhi
captures the innocence and naivete of a
young lawyer fighting racism and tran-
sforms, without resorting to spasms of
godliness, that character into a simple
man capable of bartering for India's
freedom.
Kingsley's performance is
remarkable and does much to
humanize Gandhi. With sparkling eyes
and a quick wit, we readily see the
humor that lurked behind his in-
domitable will.
But for all the film's attempts to show

Gandhi as both man and myth, John
Briley's script and Sir Richard Atten-
borough's direction do little more to
round out or give depth to his story.
The film opens with the words "No
man's life can be encompassed in one
telling. What can be done is to try to
find one's way to the heart of the
man ... " It's a nice sentiment, but no
excuse for the episodic nature of the
film. Sure, it is undoubtedly difficult to
condense a turbulent 56-year political
career into one film, but Gandhi ends
up as little more than a series of
historical anecdotes.
It is to Kingsley's credit that these
episodes appear to fit together, that the
movie manages to give a sense of Gan-
dhi. Unlike, say, David Lean's Lawren-
ce of Arabia however, which combined
both history and a compelling portrait
of a man, Gandhi tends to be lazy in its
portrayal. At one point, Gandhi travels
around to India to learn about the land
and its people. The film resorts to sim-
ple close-ups of Kingsley riding on a
train and pretty panoramas of the coun-
tryside to mark this important personal
odyssey.
In spite of the spectacle of Gandhi's
life and India's struggle, Atten-
borough's direction never wavers from
the traditional style of his earlier films
Young Winston and A Bridge Too Far.
Shunning the technical virtuosity of
today's whiz-band directors, he prefers
to be more concerned with story and
character.

However, with stars like Martin
Sheen, Candice Bergen, and John
Gielgud in and out of the narrative, At-
tenborough comes dangerously close to
destroying the film's painstakingly
developed verisimilitude.
Despite these shortcomings, Gandhi
does a good job of depicting at least the
outline of one of the more important
people of the century. It is a
meticulously constructed film, and the
first filmed biography of the man.-
By the end of the film, with Gandhi's
words echoing amidst a soundtrack co-
written by Ravi Shankar, the lingering
impression is not so much of the film,
but of the man.
Attenborough apparently made the film
to spread Gandhi's message. Perhaps a
smaller work, concentrating on a single
event in his life, might reveal more
about his personality and his
philosophy. Yet it might be that only an
epic film, even one with certain
limitations, could leave one with the
proper awe concerning this man's life.
Columbia Pictures, distributor
for 'Gandhi,' recently flew Daily
Arts editor Richard Campbell to
Los Angeles for a screening of the
movie. See today's Daily for an in-
terview with Sir Richard Atten-
borough and Ben Kingsley.

cracing
The Cracked Crab
112W. Washington
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thur-
sday; until midnight Friday-Saturday;
4-10 p.m. Sunday
By Kent Redding
AFTER DUTIFULLY handing out
the menues at the Cracked Crab
restaurant, the waitress kindly intoned,
"I'm sorry, but we're out of crab legs
tonight." What? The Cracked Crab has
no legs? It was a rather inauspicious
beginning to what was otherwise a
pleasant dinner.
Upon entering the Cracked Crab, one
is struck by the open floor plan, which
along with a tile floor and brick walls,
tends to make dining a little less in-
timate and a bit noisy. But the grand
marlins on the wall are real and the rest
of the seafaring decor combines with
subtle lighting to produce an authentic,
but simple seaside atmosphere.
If you find yourself craving seafood,
the Cracked Crab offers a wide variety,
from the haute cuisine of Belgium
mussles to the rather mundane, but
popular, fish and chips.
If seafood is not your fare, however,
your choice will be limited to two en-

trees: the Chicken Paprikash, gently
fried in an iron skillet and garnished in
a Hungarian style sauce, and the Rib
Eye Steak.
The wine list offers recent vintage
imported wines running from the Fren-
ch Beaujolais to the fruity German
white, all priced from $7 to $12. A real
treat was a bottle of Chelsea Ale made
by the Real Ale Co. of nearby Chelsea.
The beer looks a little funny because of
it red color and cloudiness but was sur-
prisingly smooth and rich tasting.
The appetizers should be ordered
only if you skipped lunch for they are
,both delicious and bountiful. The
Cracked Crab has dutifully mastered
the technique of deep-frying
mushrooms in light batter without
making them overly greasy. The
Belgium mussles are an extravagance
($4.25) but after dipping them in a light
butter, one can see they are a must for
any venture to the Cracked Crab.
Entrees varied in price from $5 to $20,
with the standard fare Fish and Chips
at the bottom running all the way up to
top price for two lobster tails. The
Dungeness Crab (served either half or
whole) can be deliciously spiked with
curry and 20 other spices and was ex-
cellent.
The Beer Battered Ocean Fish,
however, was a bit of a disappointment.
Although it was delicately fried in a
light batter, the fish was a bit bland
though the chips served with both
meals were crisp and delicious.
With wine, appetizers, and an entree,
dinner at the Cracked Crab might be a
little expensive for student types. But
for the most part the entrees are
reasonably priced and that combined
with generally excellent seafood and a
relaxed, casual atmosphere makes the
Cracked Crab a good choice - with or
without legs.

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Gandhi: Epic life

Open 7 Days
C CFor Your Cof
Cracked Crab: Sea food

Info: 763- 5924
4 Weekend/January 21, 1983

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