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The British Empire And Characters In "Gandhi" And "The Patriot".

900 words - 4 pages

Essay # 1Humanities 105Compared Films: "Gandhi" & "The Patriot""Non-violence is the greatest force of mankind; it is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of men." - Mahatma Gandhi."This war will be fought, not on the frontier or on some distant battlefield, but amongst us, among our homes. Our children will learn of it with their own eyes. And the innocent will die with the rest of us." - Benjamin Martin.The British are coming ! To a theatre near you...An Essay By Henning ThielThe British have often been depicted as oppressors in feature films. In 1980 Richard Attenborough filmed "Gandhi" and more recently, in 2000, Roland Emmerich filmed "The Patriot". Both movies can be analyzed in regards to the oppressors, the oppressed and the tactics of resolving the conflicts. While "Gandhi" tries to stay true to historical events, "The Patriot" uses history as a back-story to a fictional Hollywood tale of revenge. Because of this difference, the individual characters and the British Empire are portrayed differently, though there are similarities as well.The films neither glorify nor demonize the British Forces as a whole, however both movies have a specific British character that stands out. In "Gandhi" the antagonist is the entire British force, however they use General Dyer as an extremist, when he shoots 1516 Indians with 1650 bullets at the Amritsar massacre. General Dyer is shown remorseful in the following court martial scene, while Colonel Tavington from "The Patriot" is demonized beyond redemption when he kills Benjamin Martins son Thomas. Both films redeem some British characters by having them sympathize with the oppressed. In "Gandhi", a judge clearly doesn't agree with a sentence he has to put upon Mahatma and in "The Patriot" there are several scenes where not all soldiers agree with Colonel Tavington's orders to shoot the wounded or burn the church.The Oppressed do not have as many similarities as the Oppressors. We are comparing a country of 350 Million Indians to 13 colonies in early America. Gandhi forces the British to act by undermining their economy, for example by having all of India burn their English clothes and making their own homespun instead. The Indian masses in general are portrayed as poor people. In "The Patriot" the oppressed feel that the colonies should govern themselves and they are angry about "taxation without representation" as Benjamin Martin proclaims in the court scene. As war breaks out, Benjamin Martin only enters the fight, because Thomas gets killed. He is a multi-layered character as he has a dark side that is best...

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