Review: 'Gandhi to Hitler' is an assault on senses and cinema

Friday, 29 July 2011 - 7:18pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The film is rancid, futile and unnecessary to the past, present and future of sanity, let alone to cinema.

Film: Gandhi To Hitler
Cast: Raghuveer Yadav, Neha Dhupia, Aman Verma, Nassar Abdulla, Avijit Dutt, Nalin Singh
Director: Rakesh Ranjan Kumar
Rating: *

If ever there is an award for Consistent Ambiguity, Gandhi to Hitler’s director Rakesh Ranjan Kumar will be the strongest contender. Nah, give it to him already. From the title to the subject and the intention to the universal India-ness in each of the characters (German, Russian and everybody in between), Kumar presents an account of history, botched up and ineffective.

Chronicling -- or aspiring to and failing miserably -- the last days of Germany’s Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler (played by the overly emphatic Raghuveer Yadav), Gandhi To Hitler is seemingly ambitious. The filmmakers want to show Hitler, Gandhi and their ideologies on the screen, not once thinking of the assault on the senses of the viewer. The film even has a subplot of a Gandhian Punjabi housewife longing for her soldier husband to return from the warfront. They even have a Holi dance, singing about the significance of the tricolor. Phew! And I’m still figuring why every character, including Hitler, is played by an Indian.

For starters, in the film, Hitler’s the power-crazy, bad guy and Gandhi the bare-feet saint, propagating non violence and peace. Thank you Mr Kumar. That adds volumes to our existing knowledge.

The title essentially refers to Gandhi’s correspondence with Hitler in a bid to make him have a “change of heart” and give up the idea of war. Gandhi himself employed the same principles in his fight for freedom from the British rule in India. Gandhi wrote the first letter on July 23, 1939, before the invasion of Poland and the start of World War II, while the second was written on Christmas eve in 1940.

As we all know, the letters did not make any difference to Hitler and the way he went about “fighting” for the Third Reich. Hitler’s most trusted propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels (played unconvincingly by Nalin Singh) stands by him till the end, meeting the same fate as Hitler and his mistress-turned wife Eva Braun (a hideous Neha Dhupia, with even more hideous wigs).

The wigs will remind you of your own hair, which by now will have been subjected to pulling and tearing by you or your cinema hall neighbour.

Gandhi To Hitler is rancid, futile and unnecessary to the past, present and future of sanity, let alone to cinema.

Avoid this one at all costs.

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