New Delhi: Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor’s ‘Bawaal’ has been getting a lot of flak since its release because of how it has blended the tragedy of the holocaust in its narrative. A Jewish organisation has written an open letter to Prime Video to take down the movie.
In the film, Janhvi plays an epileptic young woman facing emotional abuse from her husband, played by Varun. The film takes a unique turn as the couple travels to Holocaust sites in Europe, leading to a shift in their strained relationship. Dialogues like, “We’re all a little like Hitler, aren’t we?” and “Every relationship goes through their Auschwitz” have been called out by the audience for trivialising the enormity of the horrors of the Holocaust.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), an NGO for the memory of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust, has asked Prime Video to remove the film Bawaal. SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action, Rabbi Abraham Cooper has written an open letter to the streaming giant for the removal of the film from the platform.
The statement read, “Directed by well-known Indian filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari, the film’s storyline which is set in contemporary times, leads to scenes in which the protagonists enter a gas chamber in Auschwitz and are suffocated while wearing striped clothing. Hitler is used as a metaphor in the movie for human greed, with the main protagonist, saying to his wife, ‘We’re all a little like Hitler, aren’t we?’ Auschwitz is not a metaphor. It is the quintessential example of Man’s capacity for Evil. By having the protagonist in this movie declare that ‘Every relationship goes through their Auschwitz,’ Nitesh Tiwari, trivialises and demeans the memory of 6 million murdered Jews and millions of others who suffered at the hands of Hitler’s genocidal regime. If the filmmaker’s goal was to gain PR for their movie by reportedly filming a fantasy sequence at the Nazi death camp, he has succeeded. Amazon Prime (Prime Video) should stop monetising Bawaal by immediately removing this banal trivialisation of the suffering and systematic murder of millions of victims of the Nazi Holocaust.”
In a recent interview with Pinkvilla, director Nitesh Tiwari responded to the criticism around the film. “You can question the creative process, you can question the creatives, but please do not question the intent. The moment you start questioning the intent, it becomes hurtful. It puts a question on your credibility, which has taken so many years of hard work to build. That is something that I think should be avoided. I’m all for criticism, but it should be a conversation.” Taking about his career, the filmmaker said, “I have faced criticism on all my movies. Even Dangal. Some people called it patriarchal, and asked how (Aamir Khan’s character) could force his opinion on the girls. On Chhichhore, some people called it insensitive. Can you believe it?,” he told Pinkvilla.
Web Title – Jewish Human Rights Group Slams Varun Dhawan, Janhvi Kapoor Starrer