Home » Bawaal

In the first half of Bawaal by Nitesh Tiwari, it is refreshing to witness a movie that has a unique premise. I was waiting for the moment when the statement “aren’t we all like Hitler” would be said in the film. 

The story follows Ajay (Varun Dhawan), who only cares about himself and his reputation, which he has built on lies and deception. When Nisha (Janhvi Kapoor) enters his life, he sees her as the perfect wife for him.

But his life isn’t perfect and neither is he: when Nisha falls ill, it messes up all of his plans so he tells her she can never leave their house or else people will see them together. He’s written as less smart and driven than her; he spends most days pretending to teach history at a local school.

Eventually, something happens to push them into taking a trip around Europe. While there, Ajay hopes to regain some sort of good image by teaching his students about World War II and specifically Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler. 

The beginning does make sense if you can get past your disbelief — like I said earlier on this paragraph the first half is genuinely interesting. It goes beyond marriage being happily ever after and brushes against how far abuse runs down its roots. 

However, the second half doesn’t hold up quite as well. True to form, Ajay couldn’t care less about history or what it should teach him; Nisha is more intuitive and affected by war crimes.

But it’s odd that for once in his life he feels out of place – what with looking for familiarity in his strained marriage abroad after forbidding his wife from leaving her family behind to go anywhere with him other than back inside their own home could be read astutely.

This is where Nitesh Tiwari and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s touch peeks through in some scenes. 

Ajay goes through a character change as he imagines (and physically is) some of WW2’s most significant moments and locations, like Anne Frank’s house or the Normandy Beach. 

They use gut wrenching visuals representing D-Day landings on Omaha beach during Operation Overlord 1944 by Allied forces against Germany led to nothing but more loss; however having Ajay and Nisha meet again in Auschwitz gas chamber is just… no.

A man’s ego ruining his marriage compared to what happened during Holocausts shows lack of sensitivity but with all that in mind if it made sense at least a little bit there needed be some sort of finesse which this movie lacks.

It is true that there is still evil out there – anyone could figure this out just by watching the news. But saying Hitler was ‘greedy for someone else’s stuff’ pushes it a bit (a whole lot).

The best thing about Bawaal is that the actors pull their weight. As Ajay, Varun Dhawan is so believable it’s almost irritating; and I think that’s a win for the actor because it means he did his job. It also doesn’t hurt that they have chemistry.

They have Janhvi Kapoor as Nisha, who does a good job with what little she’s given as a character. But what she does bring to Nisha is this kind of spirit that makes you root for her most of the time.

Her eyes light up with a sense of wonder as she takes in Europe for the first time after being locked inside four walls for a year. It’s in these moments that the movie shows potential — really, it just makes you want her to leave this marriage and find happiness somewhere else.

Then there are Manoj Pahwa and Anjuman Saxena as Ajay’s parents, who are so lovable together that you almost wish the movie were about them trying to raise a child instead. 

But if there’s one performance I’m leaving with, it’s Pratiek Pachori as Ajay’s friend. He has every right to steal scenes because everything he says comes from such an honest place.

There are some effective scenes here – like one between Nisha and her mother talking about all the things wrong with her marriage – and some not-so-effective ones, like when Ajay and Nisha bond over Amsterdam at night.

Bawaal is the type of film that believes its own BS: its pretty pictures are supposed to distract from how poorly written it becomes by act two, but they don’t even do that much.

Watch free movies on Fmovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top