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
|Starring||Nalin Singh Raghubir Yadav|
|Edited 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 Rakesh Ranjan Kumar and produced by Anil Kumar Sharma under the production house Amrapali media vision. It was screened at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival where it received negative reviews. Film Business Asia quoted that "despite the provocative title, the film is not a tribute to the murderous Führer". It premiered in India on 29 July 2011.
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.
- Raghubir Yadav as Adolf Hitler
- Neha Dhupia as Eva Braun
- Nalin Singh as Joseph Goebbels
- Nasir Abdullah as Albert Speer
- Jatin Sarna as Shaqir
- Lucky Vakharia as Amrita Kaur
- Nikita Anand as Magda Goebbels
- Bhupesh Kumar Pandey as Subhas Chandra Bose
- Avijit Dutt as Mohandas Gandhi
- Hanuman Prasad Rai as Otto Günsche
Anupam Kher had originally agreed to play the role of Hitler, but he 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 lakh(400,000 rupees) he had been paid after signing the contract and consequently sued him for ₹2.5 crore (25 million rupees). However, Kher perceived it as a way of filmmakers to promote their film before the release. It is the only mainstream Bollywood film to refer to the Indian Legion, a Waffen-SS unit recruited from Indian volunteers.
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 our 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. The Times of India gave the film 2 stars out of 5, calling it an "unnecessary play with history". The Daily News and Analysis gave the movie one star. NDTV criticised 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 gave the film 0.5/5; although it praised Yadav's performance as Hitler, it criticised the film's script, direction, technical values, soundtrack, and the performance from other actors.
- "Opening Credits". dearfriendhitlerthefilm.com. Retrieved 17 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
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- Entertainment Desk (5 March 2011). "Berlin cleared misconceptions about 'My Friend Hitler': Scriptwriter". Banglanews24. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
- Times News Network (22 February 2011). "Hitler goes to Berlin". The Times of India. The Times Group. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
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- Bollywood Hungama News Network (19 June 2010). "Anupam Kher bows out from Dear Friend Hitler". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
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- "Anupam Kher".
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- Tunzelmann, Alex von (2010-06-11). "Why Bollywood's film about Hitler is profoundly misguided". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Planned Bollywood movie 'Dear Friend Hitler' angers Indian Jews". World Jewish Congress. New York. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Gandhi to Hitler". The Times of India.
- "Review: Gandhi to Hitler is an assault on senses and cinema". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Gandhi to Hitler". NDTV. 29 July 2011. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Gandhi To Hitler Review". Koimoi. Retrieved 13 July 2012.