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Mayank Shekhar's review: Gandhi To Hitler

movie reviews Updated: Jul 30, 2011 13:23 IST
Mayank Shekhar
Mayank Shekhar
Hindustan Times
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The turd reich

Gandhi To Hitler
Director: Rakesh Ranjan Kumar
Actors: Raghuveer Yadav, Neha Dhupia
Rating: *

“Dr Goebbels ko bulao,” Adolf Hitler yells from his study. “Bulao” (bring ‘em on), you say (in your head). Given ‘Mungeri Lal’ Raghuveer Yadav is the Hitler in blue contact lenses, you wonder if ‘Dr Dang’ or ‘Gabbar’ will land up for Dr Goebbels. He’s an Andheri actor all right, lieutenant to the Fuehrer of the Third Reich in his final days at the bunker.

It’s roughly the film’s first scene. The stage’s set. You know. This is a fancy dress show. Naseer (pedophile from the movie Page 3) plays architect Albert Speer. He shakes his head when Hitler commands, “Yeh saare pull uda do (blow up all the bridges).” Uda do. Seriously.

The bunker bears a dull, grey tone. It seems cold in here. Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds) seems to have that effect on all filmmakers worldwide, B-grade, A-grade, who cares. The ones here are original.

The Fuehrer, as you’d know, was a shamed failure to his nation. Just as Gandhi was father to his. We watch Mahatma’s pravachans (preachings) on non-violence, while Hitler, the maniac, faces his death. Gandhiji is also in the process of posting a letter to Hitler.

But this is not the only letter being read out through the movie. There are quite a few actually, which a Punjabi soldier (Aman Verma) reads out in his head to his wife back in the village. Punjabi soldiers? Yup. They belong to Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army. With the fall of Berlin, they’ve decided to walk it back to India!

What do these characters – Gandhi, Hitler, Aman Verma -- have to do with each other, or the film itself? Doesn’t matter. It’s sheer genius that the filmmakers find enough in this time-space continuum to break into an upbeat Holi song here, a couple of good quality ghazals there....

Hitler’s nervous. You can tell. Towards the end of the movie, his body shakes like he’s getting epileptic fits. His partner, Eva Braun, that’s Neha Dhupia, of course, can’t see him like this anymore: “Some music, my Fuehrer? Main aapko aisa nahin dekh sakti.”

Theek hai, says Hitler. “Kuch acchha sa laga do! (Put on something interesting).” This stuff’s hilarious. If only one didn’t have to watch a whole frikin’ film for it.