New Delhi: Bawaal, a romantic drama by Nitesh Tiwari, has been the centre of attention ever since it debuted on Prime Video India last Friday. Nitesh and stars Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor reacted to criticism for making an unrealistic and offensive comparison between the lead couple’s romance and World War II in a new interview with Pinkvilla.
One of the problematic lines in the movie quotes a Holocaust survivor who states, “Every relationship goes through its Auschwitz,” alluding to the notorious concentration camp in Nazi Germany where many Jews were eliminated. Another divisive statement made by Janhvi’s character claims that because everyone is greedy, they all possess the qualities of Adolf Hitler.
During the interview, Varun Dhawan made a point of saying that while he isn’t always responsive to criticism, he is steadily improving in this area. On being asked about the debate going on around the Auschwitz controversy on social media, Varun said, “Some people got trigged or sensitive about this. But I don’t understand where does that sensitivity or trigger go when they watch, suppose an English film, I’m saying for example. They’re allowed to do everything there, they’re allowed to take leaps and they’re allowed to show things in a certain way, but you’ll find that correct. I know people have got very triggered after watching a small scene in a brilliant film, recently released. It’s a scene that’s important to our culture and our country. But that’s okay for you. You don’t feel they should be more sensitive to you? So where does your criticism go then?”
Varun seems to be alluding to the contentious Bhagavad Geeta sequence in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which was released in theatres on the same day as Bawaal. The scenario depicts J. Robert Oppenheimer, the film’s title character, reciting the Bhagavad Geeta after engaging in sexual activity with his lover. Varun seems to argue that the film hasn’t received enough criticism for its insensitivity to Indian culture, even though many have protested to the sequence and I&B Minister Anurag Thakur reportedly called out the Central Board of Film Certification for it.
Reacting to the criticism, filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari said, “You start looking at a film with a magnifying glass, you’ll find problem with every piece of work created. There’s no piece of work without problem if you decide to watch it with a magnifying glass, which is not how a film should be watched.”
‘Bawaal’ is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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