Controversial Film ‘Bawaal’ Under Fire: Simon Wiesenthal Center Urges Prime Video To Cease Monetization

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Mumbai, 27th July 2023: The Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor starrer film “Bawaal” has encountered significant controversy. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights body dedicated to preserving the memory of Holocaust victims, has expressed deep disappointment with the portrayal of the World War 2 tragedy in the film directed by Nitesh Tiwari. The organization has urged Prime Video to immediately cease monetizing “Bawaal” due to its perceived trivialization of the suffering and systematic murder of millions during the Nazi Holocaust.

The centre’s statement highlights a specific dialogue in the movie where the protagonist likens every relationship’s challenges to “Auschwitz,” thereby trivializing and demeaning the memory of the 6 million Jews and countless others who perished under Hitler’s genocidal regime. They accuse the filmmaker of exploiting the Auschwitz death camp for sensationalism, undermining the gravity of the historical events.

In “Bawaal,” Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor’s characters visit the gas chamber in Auschwitz during a dream-like sequence, struggling to breathe. The centre’s Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, emphasizes that Auschwitz should never be used as a metaphor and remains the epitome of humanity’s capacity for evil.

Varun Dhawan responded to the criticism, defending the film by comparing it to English movies and questioning the varying standards of sensitivity and portrayal in different films.

Nitesh Tiwari, the film’s director, also defended his work, expressing disappointment with how some people interpreted it. He clarifies that the intention was never to be insensitive, pointing out that the characters in the film react with deep emotion and compassion upon witnessing the horrors of Auschwitz.

The controversy surrounding “Bawaal” continues to spark debates about the depiction of sensitive historical events in films and the responsibility of filmmakers to handle such topics with utmost respect and accuracy.