Anupam Kher who was set to play the role of Hitler in Rakesh Ranjan Kumar’s Dear Friend Hitler has turned down the project.
Apparently, his decision was made after speaking to two women – Soni Razdan’s mother and Sister Doloros who works with him.
Soni’s mother, a German, told Kher, “It’s not only the Jews who suffered because of Hitler. The Germans too suffered. I’m one and I know what I went through. Please don’t do anything to further the name of that blot on history.”
Speaking from Scotland, Kher told IANS, “I had taken up the role as I considered it a challenge, and after carefully monitoring the portrayal of the character. However, considering the ill-will that the project is generating among my fans, I wish to withdraw from it as I respect their sentiments.”
Media reports claim that the Indian Jewish Federation, headed by Jonathan Solomon was “outraged” to know that an Indian film director would be depicting how the tyrant “indirectly contributed to India’s independence.”
“I am deeply moved by the outpouring of messages on social networks, the letters which I have received and the protestations I have heard about from organizations in many countries in the past four days about my role as Adolf Hitler in a forthcoming film,” Kher said.
The actor confirms that the film does not romanticize the role of the dictator in India’s independence struggle.
Despite Kher publicly declaring his decision to quit the film, producer Anil Sharma of Amrapali Media Vision has another take on the story.
“I have spoken to Anupam Kher. Actually, the international media is a bit confused with the script. He will do the film for sure. We have sent him the view and motto of doing the film and clarified that we are not doing the kind of film the international media is highlighting. The film is not portraying Hitler as great leader,” he told IANS.
Dear Friend Hitler is said to show the clash of ideologies of two of the most talked about personalities in world history – Adolf Hitler and Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, the film’s title refers to letters from Gandhi to Hitler.
Reports say that Neha Dhupia will still portray the role of Eva Braun, the Nazi leader’s longtime companion who he married just hours before they committed suicide in April 1945.