There’s no other way to put this: it’s Adolf Hitler, and he appears to be Indian

Seemingly unsatisfied that the Downfall internet meme phenomenon has rendered Herr Führer sufficiently ridiculous, Bollywood director Rakesh Ranjan has stepped up to the plate to deliver Gandhi to Hitler, a new film which was being demanded by … well, nobody, it seems.

The film focuses on two letters written by Gandhi to Hitler in which he urged the German leader to pursue his goals via peaceful means. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the film has been panned to smithereens by critics, damned as bombastic, confused and unintentionally funny. To wit, an extended quote from The Hollywood Reporter which really, really made me laugh:

“As the Fuhrer, diminutive Indian actor Raghuvir Yadav’s histrionics exceed even Charlie Chaplin’s lampoon of the murderous dictator. With his hair dyed a jet black that you usually encounter only at third-rate Atlantic City casinos, and packed into an array of off-the-rack-like suit coats, you might not guess this guy was Hitler at a Halloween party except for the square brush ‘stache. Although Hitler was not a towering figure, having a guy who is just a couple inches out of the midget range play him truly over emphasizes his physical shortcomings. In keeping with the dummkopf creativity of the casting, a tall, dark and handsome Indian actor (Nalin Singh) plays propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who was hardly the ideal poster boy for Aryan supremacy”

None of this is to say that all actors must be physiologically similar to their real-life counterparts, and in fact there’s nothing essentially wrong with a national cinema keeping things in-house in what is essentially a make-believe medium, but still, you have to admit this is pretty funny.

Ben Kingsley was unavailable for comment.

Here, if you can bring yourself to watch, is the trailer.

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