It revolves around two of the most talked about people in world history — Mahatma Gandhi and Adolf Hitler — apart from being the first Hindi film based on World War II. This makes Gandhi To Hitler a piece of history on the silver screen, of course, with some cinematic liberty.
“Initially, the script wasn’t just about Hitler or Gandhi, but about the clash of ideologies of two very important leaders — one advocating violence and the other, non-violence to bring some status quo in the warring world,” explains producer Pallavi Mishra, adding, “And as the world is on the verge of turmoil once again, there continues to be relevance.” Connecting the two leaders in the film is the Azad Hind Fauj and the countless Indian soldiers who fought under the leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Quiz Pallavi on what made them decide on the talented Raghuvir Yadav to play Hitler and she says, “Firstly, their stature is very similar and after the look test, we realised that Raghuvir is the only actor who can pull off Hitler. Moreover, there’s no doubting his acting prowess.” Hitler’s love interest, Eva Braun is being essayed by Neha Dhupia, who, says Pallavi, convincingly looked very Western and suited the part. What not many people know is that when Hitler was advised by close associates to escape from Berlin to a safer place, he was joined in the bunker by Eva, whom he married a day before they committed suicide.
Much hyped internationally, Gandhi…, will be dubbed in French, German, English, Tamil and Bengali to cater to a larger audience.
But what about the viability of a film on a piece of history? “Films aren’t always for profit,” states Pallavi, adding, “There’s something called corporate social responsibility too.” In fact, when it’s a slice of history being presented on the silver screen, even the credibility needs to be in place. “Of course, we have taken historical incidents between 1939 and 1945 and that required a lot of research. But we are making a feature film, not a documentary, hence some creative liberty has been taken,” informs Pallavi. And to give it an Indian angle, the film goes forward through a series of letters shared between Balbir and Amrita, followers of Netaji and Gandhiji respectively.