Bawaal (2023): Every Love Story Has Its Own War!

Bawaal Movie Review

I am back to review a confusing film released by Bollywood on Prime Video. Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and directed by Nitesh Tiwari, “Bawaal”, which was released on the OTT platform on July 21, 2023, has truly lived up to its name. It is a pathetic romantic drama with its confusing and disordered screenplay. I have to tell you from the very beginning itself, this World War II-laden love story can cause boredom. If you are thinking that this is another of Varun Dhawan’s lively comedies, then you are wrong!

A still from Bawaal
Bawaal (2023): Starring Varun Dhawan as history teacher Ajay Dixit a.k.a Ajju Bhaiya!

Ajay Dixit (Varun Dhawan) is an image-conscious history professor who pretends to be happy. He has a beautiful and intelligent wife named Nisha (Janhvi Kapoor) who suffers from epilepsy. So Ajay is unable to bring her before the public as he feels that her sudden seizures can cause him embarrassment.

Bawaal (2023): Presenting Varun Dhawan And Janhvi Kapoor!

A still from Bawaal
Varun Dhawan as Ajay Dixit and Janhvi Kapoor as his wife Nisha in Bawaal (2023)

But one day, when Ajay was in a bad mood, he happened to slap his student when that student asked him a question about World War II. To his ill fate, the student happened to be the local politician’s son. To escape from the politician’s wrath, Ajay and his wife leave India on a Europe tour. Now from here, the screenplay gets utterly confusing. As Ajay’s and Nisha’s story in Europe moves on, and they visit various locations of the World War II era, there is an analogy between what transpired during World War II and what is presently happening in their married life. So, when Ajay and Nisha visited Hitler’s concentration camps in Germany, their marital life was depicted as suffocating as the concentration camps where the World War II prisoners were tortured. Pretty confusing, huh? Watch the movie to find out if Ajay and Nisha can give their love story a happy ending among all the “Bawaal”!

Bawaal (2023) Official Trailer:

The Good:

A still from Bawaal

I enjoyed certain hilarious moments in Bawaal where Varun Dhawan can be seen messing up with some comical Gujarati guys inside the plane and also in Europe. These scenes can make you giggle.

Some of the songs in Bawaal are melodious, and I really enjoyed the love song “Tumhe Kitna Pyaar Karte” which was truly enchanting with the magical voice of Arijit Singh.



The Bad:

Truly a Bawaal! Trust me; the screenplay of this movie has nothing special. It only shows Ajay and Nisha’s marital differences and how they patch up later on. And to add to it, the presentation is extremely dull. This was least expected from a Bollywood movie that casts a comical hero like Varun Dhawan. I mean, if you look at any of his past movies, you will find them extraordinarily colorful, comical, and lively. Compared to those, Bawaal simply doesn’t seem to stand up.

A still from Bawaal

The sudden confusing patches depicting World War II scenes in the screenplay made the movie even more monotonous. The screenplay started comparing the marital lives of Ajay and Nisha with that of the Nazi Holocaust victims. At first, even I was unable to make out what was actually happening. I bet the average person will surely find it hard to make out certain sequences in this confusing screenplay.

The fact is that the story of Bawaal leaves every other aspect aside and just moves on with a married couple’s differences. I mean, certain aspects like the politician seeking vengeance on Ajay for slapping his son, were simply made to fade away. This surely makes the audience lose interest.

Varun and Janhvi’s performances were very plain. That can be understood as the script of this movie was not very remarkable. As a matter of fact, this movie focused more on marital emotions rather than comedy and liveliness. Even the cinematography and visuals of the movie were not fascinating, which could have caused excitement while watching.

The Verdict:

One of the lines Varun Dhawan delivers in Bawaal states that “Every relationship goes through their Auschwitz” which has created a lot of controversy. Through this dialogue, the filmmakers have been said to have demeaned the millions of Jewish people who were tortured and murdered during the Holocaust.

Behind the scenes in Bawaal
On the sets of Bawaal: From Left: Varun Dhawan, director Nitesh Tiwari, producer Sajid Nadiadwala, and Janhvi Kapoor

I criticized the screenplay of Bawaal but I must tell you, even if the story is boring, we have something to learn from it. The thing is, we need to embrace acceptance. Ajay Dixit had not accepted his wife just because she suffered from seizures and believed that she could cause public embarrassment to him. But later, he did have a realization after they became close during their Europe tour. He accepted her for the way she was as he got to know how much she loved him. Similarly, all of us need to accept things and situations in life that may not seem pleasing to us but can turn out to be fruitful later.

Bawaal poster

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  • Acting - 5.8/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6.2/10
  • Setting/Theme - 6.2/10
  • Watchability - 6/10
  • Rewatchability - 3.5/10
User Review
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About Subhadeep Kumar Ganguli

Meta film critic. Never make the same mistake twice. Make it three or four times just to be sure 😉