'Bawaal', starring Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor, and directed by Nitesh Tiwari, has stirred a massive controversy over the leads drawing comparisons between their rocky love life and Adolf Hitler's atrocities during the World War II. Several dialogues in the film have been labelled as 'tone-deaf' and the makers have been criticised for using references of Adolf Hitler, Auschwitz concentration camp and the infamous gas chamber to build up a love story in the film.
Janhvi's character Nisha can be heard saying to Varun's Ajju, "Har rishta apne Auschwitz se guzarta hai" (Every relationship has its own Auschwitz). In another scene, she tells him, "We all are a bit like Hitler".
After causing an uproar in India, the film is now creating a buzz in the international market as well, with a Jewish human rights body demanding its removal from the OTT platform where it premiered.
Jewish human rights group slams Bawaal
'Bawaal' released on Amazon Prime Video on July 21. Jewish human rights body Simon Wiesenthal Center recently issued an official statement condemning the usage of World War II references in the film.
"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, trivializes and demeans the memory of 6 million murdered Jews and millions of others who suffered at the hands of Hitler’s genocidal regime," the statement by the Jewish body read.
Blasting Nitesh Tiwari, it further mentioned that if his goal was to "gain PR by filming a fantasy sequence at the Nazi death camp", then he has succeeded at it.
"Amazon Prime should stop monetizing Bawaal by immediately removing this banal trivialization of the suffering and systematic murder of millions of victims of the Nazi Holocaust," the human rights body demanded.
Varun Dhawan, Nitesh Tiwari defend Bawaal
Meanwhile, the team of 'Bawaal' finally broke their silence recently amid the brewing controversy. Tiwari told in an interview that being insensitive was never the intention and that they made sure that the subject was treated with utmost sensitivity.
"Don’t we see Ajju and Nisha getting completely troubled and moved by what they see in Auschwitz? They do. They see the prisoners, they see how they were stacked, they see how they were exterminated. Are they being insensitive about it? No. They are moved to tears," he stated.
Varun, on the other hand, engaged in whataboutery, and questioned those targetting 'Bawaal' that why did they not raise their voice when Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' showed the lead reading verses from the Bhagavad Gita while having sex.