Controversial Film ‘Bawaal’ Faces Backlash for Trivializing Holocaust: NGO Urges Removal from Prime Video
The recently released film ‘Bawaal,’ starring Janhvi Kapoor and Varun Dhawan, has stirred up a storm of criticism due to its portrayal of sensitive subjects. Janhvi’s character, an epileptic woman, faces emotional abuse from her husband, portrayed by Varun. The plot takes a unique twist as the couple embarks on a journey to Holocaust sites in Europe, leading to a transformation in their strained relationship. However, the film has faced severe backlash for its dialogues that seemingly trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust.
Audiences have been particularly critical of lines like “We’re all a little like Hitler, aren’t we?” and “Every relationship goes through their Auschwitz,” which have been accused of diminishing the gravity of the Holocaust’s immense suffering. The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), an NGO dedicated to preserving the memory of Holocaust victims, has taken a stand against the film and called for its removal from Prime Video.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action at SWC, addressed an open letter to Prime Video, expressing concerns over the movie’s inappropriate use of Holocaust imagery and metaphors. He stressed that Auschwitz should not be treated as a metaphor for everyday struggles or human greed. Instead, it must be recognized as a symbol of the heinous capacity for evil that must never be trivialized.
In response to the mounting criticism, director Nitesh Tiwari defended his work in a recent interview with Pinkvilla. He urged critics to question the creative process and choices but not to doubt the filmmakers’ intent, as such assumptions could be hurtful and undermine their credibility. Tiwari also reflected on past criticisms he faced for his other films, such as ‘Dangal’ and ‘Chhichhore,’ emphasizing that constructive criticism is welcome, but it should be approached as a conversation rather than an attack on the filmmaker’s integrity.