Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan has addressed the controversy surrounding his film “Bawaal,” directed by Nitesh Tiwari, which has faced criticism for its portrayal of the Holocaust. The movie incorporates the tragic historical event as a plot point, drawing comparisons between a troubled marriage and Hitler’s regime, including concentration camps like Auschwitz. Janhvi Kapoor’s character, Nisha, is seen stating, “Hum sab bhi toh thode bohot Hitler jaise hi hai na (we all are a little bit like Hitler),” adding to the contentious nature of the film.
In response to the backlash, Varun defended his character, Ajju Bhaiya, who is depicted as a negative and grey character from Lucknow. He emphasized that the intent was not to portray the character as a hero but rather as someone with problematic traits. Varun highlighted that praise has been received for his portrayal of a negative character, which was a refreshing departure from his usual roles.
While acknowledging that everyone has the right to their opinions, Varun expressed confusion over the varying standards of criticism. He pointed out that certain scenes in English films may also evoke sensitivity among viewers, but they are not subjected to the same level of scrutiny as Bollywood films. He urged for a consistent approach when judging movies, stressing that different yardsticks should not be applied based on cultural backgrounds, as mentioned in NDTV.
Varun’s comments come amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Hollywood release “Oppenheimer,” with the actor seemingly unaware of the specific details of the criticism surrounding that film. Nonetheless, he called for a fair and unified standard for evaluating films, respecting cultural sensitivities while acknowledging artistic expression. The debate surrounding controversial scenes in movies remains a sensitive issue, sparking discussions about artistic freedom, cultural sensitivity, and the responsibility of filmmakers to portray historical events with accuracy and respect.
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