The recently released film 'Bawaal,' starring Janhvi Kapoor and Varun Dhawan, has come under scrutiny after drawing the ire of a Jewish human rights organization. The specific scene in question showcases the characters played by Varun and Janhvi visiting a gas chamber in Auschwitz, struggling to breathe, and another scene where Janhvi's character makes a reference to human greed, comparing it to Hitler.
The Jewish human rights organization, Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), expressed strong disapproval of the references made in the film. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action, raised concerns and reportedly asked the streaming platform to "stop monetizing" the movie. He emphasized that Auschwitz should not be used as a metaphor and is a poignant reminder of humanity's capacity for evil.ALSO READ: Katrina Kaif, Janhvi Kapoor, Kriti Sanon & others illuminate B-Town's Navratri style quotient in Kerala - PICS
Cooper criticized the film for trivializing and demeaning the memory of the 6 million Jews and countless others who suffered under Hitler's genocidal regime.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Cooper further stated, "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."
Director Nitesh Tiwari had previously defended the World War 2 reference in 'Bawaal,' explaining that the film explores themes of love versus hatred, empathy against indifference, and fake versus real. Tiwari asserted that WW2 played a crucial role in the movie's narrative, and the Holocaust cannot be separated from it. However, the organization believes that the references made in the film are highly inappropriate and diminish the gravity of the historical tragedy.ALSO READ: Karwa Chauth 2023: A peek into Sidharth-Kiara, Vicky-Katrina, Parineeti-Raghav & others' festivities