Remove Bawaal from OTT: Jewish human rights group slams Varun Dhawan film | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Remove Bawaal from Prime Video: Jewish human rights group condemns Varun Dhawan film's 'outlandish abuse of Holocaust'

Jul 27, 2023 12:23 PM IST

Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor's film Bawaal has upset a Jewish organisation, which slammed the makers for filming a fantasy sequence at a Nazi death camp.

Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor's Bawaal was slammed by a section of the audience for its scene that drew inspiration from the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. Now, a Jewish organisation has written an open letter to Prime Video to take down the movie, urging the OTT platform to stop monetising Bawaal, which trivialises the 'suffering and systematic murder of millions of victims of the Nazi Holocaust'. Also read: Varun Dhawan on flak for Bawaal's Auschwitz scene

Janhvi Kapoor and Varun Dhawan in a still from their film Bawaal.
Janhvi Kapoor and Varun Dhawan in a still from their film Bawaal.

Open letter to Prime Video

The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), a human rights NGO dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust, urged Prime Video to remove the film Bawaal 'due to its outlandish abuse of the Nazi Holocaust as a plot device'.

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The statement said, "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?’”

Film demeans memory of 6 million murdered Jews

Slamming the film and director Nitesh Tiwari, SWC's Rabbi Abraham Cooper, said in the open letter, “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.”

Further speaking about how the film trivialises the murder of millions during the Holocaust, he said, “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."

Bawaal's Auschwitz analogy

Soon after the film was released last week, social media users shared their reactions to the film drawing a far-fetched and insensitive parallel between the lead pair's romance and World War II. In Bawaal, Janhvi Kapoor and Varun Dhawan imagine themselves as people entering the gas chamber at a Nazi camp. The two actors are dressed in striped clothing. Hitler is used as a metaphor for human greed in the film.

One of the characters says that every human has a Hitler within because they're greedy. Another contentious line in the film was one that says, "Every relationship goes through its Auschwitz," referring to Nazi Germany's infamous concentration camp, where countless Jews were killed.

Varun on Bawaal's Auschwitz scene being slammed

In a recent interview with Pinkvilla, 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?”

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