Auschwitz: The Musical

Leave it to Bollywood. Someone actually went and did it. At least “Springtime for Hitler” was satire. This wasn’t, I don’t think. Yesterday I was eating lunch at one of the fast-food curry joints in Little India (Lexington Ave. in the 20s) and the song-and-dance romantic extravaganza on the video screen was a (presumably unintentionally) surreal offering called Lucky, No Time for Love, that got more disturbingly bizarre the longer I watched. It is actually set in present-day/near-future Russia, but the visual references are all straight outta the Final Solution. Near as I could tell (the dialogue is in Hindi without subtitles, tho I’m not sure that even makes much difference) it concerns a Hot Young Thing named Lucky (Sneha Ullal) and her older Prince Charming (Salman Khan), the offspring of Indian diplomats caught up in the chaos when a fascist uprising breaks out, and their struggle to escape the country as Russia plunges into civil war. They find the time to repeatedly break into spontaneous song and dance while trudging endlessly through war-ravaged snowclad landscapes and fleeing and fighting off jack-booted Russo-Nazi thugs. (Prince Charming inexplicably has all the martial and acrobatic skills of a James Bond, tho I don’t think we are ever told he is a secret agent.) This trailer emphasizes the goo-goo-eyes mushy scenes and dance routines, giving only fleeting glimpses of the cheerfully grim sets that dominate the second half of the film—including concentration camps and terrified peasants being forcibly transfered to God-knows-where in cattle cars. In fact, the big climax is Lucky’s rescue by Prince Charming from a sealed box-car full of deportees with long white beards, babushkas and teary-eyed children. (Hey, as long as Hot Young Thing gets away, who cares about the rest?)

Just to make the whole thing a little more perverse, at least from an American perspetive, is the lolita angle: Lucky is supposed to be so young that she’s jailbait—as this titillating dance number makes all too clear.

Is this a part of the same phenomenon that gave rise to a (now fortunately abandoned) Hitler-themed restaurant in Mumbai last year?

Shlomo Svesnik for WW4 Report

See our last posts on India, the media culture wars and the legacy of fascism.