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Nine Hours to Rama Reviews

Based on the nine hours spent by assassin Naturam Godse (Buchholz) before he murdered India's greatest spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi (Casshyap), this film is a startling study of India and the turmoil between its two vying religious sects, Hindu and Moslem. Buchholz is a Hindu, a member of Gandhi's own party, who believes that the religious leader, in preaching non-violence, has allowed the Moslems to seize control of the country. He fanatically believes he must kill Gandhi to save India and sets out to shoot him. Buchholz has been carrying on an affair with beautiful Gearon, a married woman, but they argue about Gandhi--she being a firm supporter of the leader--and split up. Feeling rejected (Buchholz has also been turned down in his application to the British Army because of his Brahmin ancestry) the fanatic spends a little time with attractive prostitute Baker but returns full of remorse to Gearon, who again sends him on his way. At this moment Buchholz decides to kill Gandhi. En route to Gandhi's retreat, Buchholz thinks back on his life, which is shown in flashback: the killing of his father and child bride during a riot, his vow to his mother to see justice done by violence, and his enrollment in a fanatical group dedicated to Gandhi's extermination. While Buchholz is traveling toward his goal, Ferrer, the local police chief, learns of the assassination plot and warns Casshyap (who is almost a doppelganger for Gandhi), but the great leader will do nothing to alter his routine and rituals. Buchholz simply shoots the inspired pundit and allows himself to be dragged away by police, knowing he will pay with his life for the crime. Although Buchholz, Baker, and Gearon all seem to be miscast, the film is well-directed and -written, although it could have been shortened by twenty minutes. Arnold's score is moving and dynamic, and Ibbetson's camerawork is outstanding. The 64-year-old Casshyap, a former teacher, is amazing in his resemblance, speech, and manner to the great Gandhi.