I Will Never Heil Again

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GANDHI TO HITLER

DIRECTOR
Rakesh Ranjan Kumar

STARRING
Raghuvir Yadav, Neha Dhupia, Nikita Anand, Avijit Dutt, Nalin Singh, Nasir Khan

The Plot
Mahatma Gandhi wrote two letters to Adolf Hitler addressing him as “My Dear Friend”, suggesting he mend his ways. All manner of narratives could have addressed this historical Ripley’s Believe it or Not item. The one chosen is college-circuit drawing room tragedy. Gandhi walks about. Hitler rants as the Reich collapses. Indian National Army (INA) soldiers run about hungry and angry. Eva Braun tries to Make the Best of a Bad Situation.

By NISHA SUSAN

-10 For Being An Unintentional Parody. But plus three for having greater ambitions than Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, the historical blunder freshest in our memories.

-5 For Letting Nikita Anand As Magda Goebbels talk in English. This cast pretending to be German was weird enough without Nikitaji asking her troubled husband (Nalin Singh) in penetrating accents: “You mean traitors?”

-8 For The Badly Patched Plot Strand about INA officer Balbir (Aman Varma) missing his wife, remembering their Happy Holi times and their disagreement about Gandhian ways

+5 For The Astonishingly Retro Soundtrack full of clanging emphases and maudlin strings. Thankfully, Bollywood has done away with the orchestra-as-metaphor.

+10 To Neha Dhupia for playing a fun-loving Eva Braun who smokes, dances and sort-of kisses Hitler without looking stupid.

+3 For the line:Eva Braun tumhari saali hai. It may inspire a David Dhawan film.

-5 For Hitler’s Sudden Discursion on Marxism, capitalism and national socialism. It has the strange twang of King Henry telling Thomas More that his ideas are too utopian.

-5 For The Inexplicable Couple saying goodbye (fatally) next to an unmanned cannon. Where are they and why are they the most idiotic cannon fodder ever?

+10 For The Crazy Maggi Noodles Interlud with the arrival of the Goebbels children and the woman who chirpily offers them “phataphat khane ka intezaam”.

+5 For The Scene In Which Albert Speer, the Third Reich’s architect, apologises to Hitler for not following his orders to destroy all the infrastructure. This scene gives you a hint of the ambition with which this film was conceived.

+2 For The Boring Bureaucracy of the wedding.

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