Bollywood’s Hitler biopic with Indian twist
London: Bollywood filmmaker Rakesh Ranjan Kumar is making a romantic biopic on Hitler, titled ‘Dear Friend Hitler’.
The film is based on the Nazi ruler’s relationship with his long-term mistress, Eva Braun.
“It will be a romance but not in the typical sense,” the Times quoted Kumar as saying.
He added that the film “aims to capture the personality of Adolf Hitler”.
“As a leader he was successful. I want to show why did he lose as a human being? What were the problems, what were the issues, what were his intentions?” said Kumar.
The film draws comparison with ‘Springtime for Hitler’— the fictional Nazi musical at the centre of Mel Brooks’s Broadway and film comedy The Producers.
“Eva had been Hitler’s girlfriend since she was 17 years old. The film shows how she comes in his life in his last days,” said Kumar.
The project will be Kumar’s directorial debut and stars Anupam Kher as Hitler.
Former Miss India Neha Dhupia will play Braun and she has said that she has researched widely to prepare herself for the role.
“How do you marry the most hated man in the world? I think it’s by taking each day at a time,” she said.
But, the film will not be a regular Hindi melodrama, replete with song and dance.
Kumar is apparently aiming for something closer to ‘Downfall’— the heavyweight German film lauded for its insight into Hitler’s psyche — albeit with an Indian twist.
Dear Friend Hitler, due to be released at the end of the year, will tell the story of the fascist leader’s final days in his Berlin bunker.
It was there, while the Soviet Army bombarded the German capital, that he married Braun in a brief civil ceremony about 40 hours before he killed himself on April 30, 1945.
The couple met in October 1929 but the existence of Braun — she is said to have reminded Hitler of his mother — was kept from the German public until after the war.
There are no plans for any musical routines in the film.
The film will also focus on the fate of the Free India Legion, an armed unit made up of Indian soldiers that was raised in 1941 and attached to the German Army.
The project is thought to be the first Bollywood film that will focus on Hitler, who chose the swastika, an ancient Hindu symbol, for his Nazi emblem and with whom many Indians are fascinated.
According to Kumar, his film’s title alludes to two letters that Gandhi wrote to the dictator. Gandhi addressed Hitler as “Dear Friend” before begging him not to go to war.
The director said that his film “shows Hitler’s love for India and how he indirectly contributed to Indian independence”.