Anupam Kher has pulled out of Bollywood film "Dear Friend Hitler" saying his fans are not happy with its theme but the producers are hopeful of convincing the veteran actor to reconsider his decision.
The 55-year-old actor, who was to play the Fuhrer's role in the movie directed by Rajesh Ranjan Kumar and produced by Anil Kumar Sharma and Nalin Singh, said he decided to walk out respecting the feelings of his fans."Sometimes human emotions are much more important than cinema. When I signed the film, I did not expect that it will make so many people unhappy," Kher told PTI.
He also twitted his decision saying, "After 400 films in 26 years, I have the right to be wrong and still be happy."
"Dear Friend Hitler" looks at Hitler's personality as well as his relationship with Eva Braun, to be played by Neha Dhupia, and other associates as the Third Reich collapsed. According to director Kumar, the film's title is a reference to the two letters written by Mahatma Gandhi to Hitler before World War II broke out in which he referred the Nazi dictator as "my dear friend", before pleading that he avoid starting a war.
The launch of the movie was covered by international media and invited strong reactions from the Jewish community in India and abroad. But co-producer and scriptwriter Singh says they have not given up on Kher and have requested him to reconsider his decision. Singh blamed the Western media for misquoting them and thus creating a wrong impression about the story, which in no way glorifies Hitler.
"They come and make a Gandhi here, and make our slumdogs speak in English and we don't object but when we decide to make a film on Hitler, they have a problem," Singh told PTI."Kher has said that he has a 'right to be wrong' because he has read the script and knows that we have no plans to twist history. We respect his feelings.
I would have done the same thing if I was in his shoes but we want to clear the misconception about the film and are hopeful that Kher will return.We have not given up hope," said Singh, adding he spent two years researching on the project. The scriptwriter said his film shows Hitler as a person, who loses everything.
He said the producers of the film wish to assure Jonathan Soloman, chairman of Indian Jewish federation that there is no glorification of Hitler. "If there is any hero in our movie it is Gandhiji," he said. "How can anyone appreciate an eccentric monstrous character like Hitler responsible for so many deaths show him as a hero," Singh asked. PTI