Dear Friend Hitler
|Dear Friend Hitler|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rakesh Ranjan Kumar|
|Produced by||Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma|
|Screenplay by||Rakesh Ranjan Kumar|
|Story by||Nalin Singh
Rakesh Ranjan Kumar
|Editing by||Shree Narayan Singh|
|Distributed by||Amrapali Media Vision Pvt. Ltd.|
Dear Friend Hitler (Hindi: प्रिय मित्र हिटलर) released in India as Gandhi to Hitler  is a multilingual Indian drama film based on letters written by Mohandas Gandhi to the leader of the Nazi Party and Chancellor of Germany Adolf Hitler. The film, starring Raghubir Yadav as Adolf Hitler and Neha Dhupia as Eva Braun, was directed by debutant Rakesh Ranjan Kumar and produced by Anil Kumar Sharma under the production house Amrapali media vision. The film's promotion was screened at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival where it received positive reviews. Film Business Asia quoted that "despite the provocative title, the film is not a tribute to the murderous Führer". The film was scheduled to release on July 29, 2011 in India.
The film is set during World War II and centres upon the letters written by Mohandas Gandhi (Avijit Dutt) to Adolf Hitler (Raghubir Yadav), and around the relationship of Hitler with his long-term lover Eva Braun (Neha Dhupia), whom he married in his final days in the Berlin bunker in which they died. The film depicts the difference between the ideologies of Gandhi and Hitler and claims the superiority of Gandhism over Nazism.
The main cast of the film is:
- Raghubir Yadav as Adolf Hitler
- Neha Dhupia as Eva Braun
- Nalin Singh as Joseph Goebbels
- Nasir Abdullah as Albert Speer
- Lucky Vakharia as Amrita Kaur
- Nikita Anand as Magda Goebbels
- Bhupesh Kumar Pandey as Subhas Chandra Bose
- Avijit Dutt as Mohandas Gandhi
- Hanuman Pd Rai as Gunsche
Anupam Kher had originally agreed to play the role of Hitler, but he later backed out after Jewish organisations in India condemned him for playing the part because of Hitler's massacre of millions of Jews. The filmmakers accused Kher of not returning the 4 lakhs he had been paid after signing the contract and consequently sued him for 2.5 crores. However, Kher perceived it as a way of filmmakers to promote their film before the release.
Criticism and controversies
British newspaper, The Guardian, declared the film to be profoundly misguided and to show a shocking ignorance of history. Noah Massil, president of the Central Organization of Indian Jews in Israel (COIJI) stated that "he would write to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in order to prevent bringing disrepute to Indian entertainment industry", but the filmmakers claimed that the film does not glorify Hitler, but rather juxtaposes him against Gandhi's ideology of peace.
|“||We clarified that the movie is not about Hitler's ideology, but how his ideology of violence conflicts with Gandhi's ideology of peace. There is no glorification of Hitler's character.||”|
The film was met with negative reviews. Times of India gave the film 2 stars out of 5, calling it an "unnecessary play with history". DNAIndia.com gave the movie one star. NDTVMovies.com criticized the movie for using Indian actors to play all non-Indian characters, using India itself as a stand-in to Europe, and for its "strands". Koimoi.com gave the film 0.5/5; although it praised Yadav's performance as Hitler, it criticized the film's script, direction, technical values, soundtrack, and the performance from other actors.
The film's theatrical poster also used a still from Downfall, specifically the scene where Mohnke's group approaches the square, as pointed out by members of a Downfall fan community. So far the producers of the movie have not commented on this issue. Several scenes including the often parodied scene of hitler throwing a rage on hearing that Steiner did not attack were directly lifted from Downfall.
- "Opening Credits". dearfriendhitlerthefilm.com. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
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- Entertainment Desk (2011-03-05). "Berlin cleared misconceptions about ‘My Friend Hitler’: Scriptwriter". Banglanews24. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- TNN (2011-02-22). "Hitler goes to Berlin". The Times of India. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- "Indian Hitler film gets Berlin launch". 2011-03-24. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Indiantelevision.com Team (2011-03-10). "Dear Friend Hitler to release in May". Indiantelevision.com (Zee Cinema). Retrieved April 17, 2011.
- "Synopsis". dearfriendhitlerthefilm.com. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
- "Cast and Crew". Amrapali Media Vision. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
- "Anupam Kher bows out from Dear Friend Hitler". Bollywood Hungama News Network. Bollywood Hungama. 2010-06-19. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- "Anupam Kher's backout hurt Neha Dhupia". Indian Express Agencies. Indian Express. March 7, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
- "Gandhi To Hitler filmmakers to sue Anupam Kher". The Hindustan Times (New Delhi). July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Tunzelmann, Alex von (2010-06-11). "Why Bollywood's film about Hitler is profoundly misguided". The Guardian (London). Retrieved April 17, 2011.
- "Planned Bollywood movie ‘Dear Friend Hitler’ angers Indian Jews". World Jewish Congress (New York). 2010-06-16. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
- "Gandhi to Hitler - The Times of India". The Times Of India.
- "Review: Gandhi to Hitler is an assault on senses and cinema - Entertainment - DNA". Dnaindia.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Gandhi to Hitler - NDTVMovies.com". Movies.ndtv.com. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Gandhi To Hitler Review". Koimoi.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Dear Friend Hitler copied from Downfall". Retrieved 1 April 2012.