Gandhi to Hitler

wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)

quick review:

A complete waste of time. The performances are annoying, the characters lack depth. And we are talking about Gandhi and Hitler here!

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Running time: 110 minutes
Genres: Docu-drama, History
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Gandhi to Hitler - Preview

- meeta, a part of the audience

Within the first few minutes of Gandhi To Hitler, you know that any expectations you might have had of it being a decent film are going to be mercilessly squashed. Sure, if you sit through almost two hours and you could attempt to appreciate what the film might be trying to do. It tries to bring out what any war film worth its salt would want to demostrate - the futility of war. And it tries to say that even the worst of human beings, is after all, human. But arriving at these deductions requires a lot of effort and patience.

While trying to talk about what I didn't like about Gandhi To Hitler, I'm going to try and ignore the laughable use of language. I take a HUGE leap of faith, when I hear Hitler speak a mix of Hindi and Urdu with what is supposedly a German accent. And I don't know if that is worse or better than Raghuvir Yadav quote Shakespeare with awful diction. Each one of the actors, except maybe Neha Dhupia made me want to cry out of despair.

Yet, let's say we let that go. And it does become easier to let it go, with the distorted narrative, hotchpotch editing, and convoluted connections in the story. Gandhi To Hitler is set between 1939 and 1945. I guess it tries to display the devastation of Hitler's reign. But how am I supposed to appreciate what he went through when he was betrayed by his senior officials when they have shown me nothing about their loyalty or his trust. What do I care about his breakdown, when I know nothing of him from his heyday?

And the distractions from what seems like the main story are extremely annoying. The shift of focus from Hitler or Balbir (a soldier from Subhash Chandra Bose's army) to the angst that the ones who love them go through doesn't serve any purpose. But to draw the parallel, that both these men who believed in violence didn't really have any redeeming quality that would make them lovable. They seemed largely inconsiderate towards their women. And in between a war film, you have characters preaching love and family values.

The umpteen voiceovers, text superimposes, the stock footage, the grainy and sepia texture all made Gandhi To Hitler look and feel like a documentary. How I wish, it was a well-made, adequately-researched, thoroughly-thought-out documentary. Gandhi's track was almost 100% voiceover. Hitler's track had too many people with a layer of thick, visibly bad, make-up. Not to mention costumes in this period drama that most likely didn't belong to the period. I'm no expert, but crisp, cotton, chickenkari dresses (for the children) looked out-of-place in Germany of the 1940s. And Balbir's track - if I don't feel empathy when Indian soldiers are being shot at, and they are in an awful situation for no fault of theirs, what has the film achieved? Are we sure the main reason for this track was not to elongate the run-time and make room for some lip-sync song-and-dance routines?

And pushing itself forward to seek your attention is a fourth track - the background score. It had an agenda of its own. I couldn't figure what it was though.

That is exactly what Gandhi To Hitler felt like. A deliberate or even desperate trial at joining the dots between whatever little we know about the last few months of Hitler's life. A forced attempt at making a connection between Gandhi and Hitler. An aimless account in the endeavor to be "different".

I feel sad for the writer and the director. They thought they set out on a project that would bring a lot of meaning to the people who indulge them. But, this indulger came out feeling pity for them.

- meeta, a part of the audience

19 reviewers(?) - 0 yays 0 so-so 19 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs down, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...farcical and ludicrous... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...An amateurish attempt made without any vision or skill. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...fails to connect. ... full review

Thumbs down, Daily Bhaskar : ...It’s extremely confusing, as till the climax, you don’t get the point that they are trying to make through this biographical movie, where not even a single character sketch is clear.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nandita Dutta, DearCinema : ...entertainment that won’t make history... full review

Thumbs down, by Mehul Suri, Desi Martini : ...Enter At Your Own Risk! ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rony D'costa, Desi Martini : ...Bunkered... full review

Thumbs down, by Blessy Chettiar, DNA : ...an assault on senses and cinema... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...The turd reich... full review

Thumbs down, by Mrigank Dhaniwala, koimoi : ...Only if you like taking risks with your time and money.... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...Raghuveer Yadav is the only pillar valiantly trying to stop the house from crashing.Though he is undone by his North Indian accent when quoting Shakespeare in English... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...History's most hated despot is played by a far-too-twitchy Raghuvir Yadav.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com : ...when an Indian troupe of soldiers that runs from Germany to return to India reaches the France border, you cannot say that theirs any difference between the French men and Indian soldiers! ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Incoherent and accidentally humorous... full review

Thumbs down, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...the worst film of 2011... full review

Thumbs down, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...A poor cinematic experience.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The only person who seems to get a slight hold on her character is Neha Dhupia who doesn't reduce Eva Braun to a parody unlike the other historical figures. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Reel Reptile, Upper Stall : ...Kumar may have been inspired by the brilliant and delicately balanced Der Untergang (The Downfall) about the last days of the dictator in that infamous bunker, which is obvious from the elaborate production design and familiar framing/lighting of most scenes. ... full review

Thumbs down, by SpiceZee Bureau, ZEENEWS.COM : ...director Rakesh Ranjan has made a brilliant effort in terms of character regeneration of Adolf Hitler played by Raghuvir Yadav and that of Mahatma Gandhi essayed by Avijit Dutt.... full review

4 tweeters(?) - 0 yays 0 so-so 4 nays

suryayyaar: Gandhi to Hitler has been added to my "worst-movies-in-a-lifetime" list.

rohitink1: Gandhi to Hitler is Bit of a Non Sense | Movie review http://boxofficereport.net/gandhi-to-hitler-is-bit-of-a-non-sense-movie-review/ via @rohitink1

RavinaRawal: YUCK. How embarrassing that we made this movie. This is my full review of Gandhi to Hitler.

lucky20I: Most boring charecter in the movie GANDHI TO HITLER is itself GANDHI JI.

4 readers - 3 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by grilledvegetables.net

Yay! Thumbs Up, by jay : promotes peace...(atleast gives some messages)...

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Perder 10 kilos

Yay! Thumbs Up, by s.singh : It is really wonderful movie.It really requires clear non prejudice vision to appreciate the film.

So-So, by Triactol : Not just average WW II movie. I can't see must see, but could indeed.

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

What did Hitler go through in the last few months of his life? Here's one hypothesis.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • The opening shot. Calling Punjab Polland is just not done! Not to mention the blood splash was way too amateur.
  • The jis in Amrita's letters to Balbir.
  • The whole Russian army is 500 meters away deal - came across as too juvenile.
  • I think I spotted mehendi (Henna) on one of the kids' hands, when they are on their bunk beds talking to their dad.

Nitty-Gritty

This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • How come Balbir never runs out of ink to write letters to Amrita?

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of war scenes.
  • Language: clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A few scenes with people making out.
  • Concept: the futility of war
  • General Look and Feel: grainy, dull, sepia.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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Gandhi to Hitler - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
110 minutes
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