Bawaal: A Poignant Journey of Love, War, and Self-Discovery

A small-town man who falls in love with the most beautiful girl in town. He wants to marry her one day because marrying her can raise his social position.



Bawaal movie review (2023)

Director Nitesh Tiwari‘s Bawaal offers audiences more than the typical romantic travel movie. With postcard-perfect sites, adventure, romance, and heartrending moments, the film skillfully weaves a story that balances love and war, while imparting valuable life lessons. Kudos to Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, renowned for her quirky films, for her exceptional writing and direction in this film.

The story revolves around Ajay Dixit, alias Ajju (played by Varun Dhawan), a charismatic middle school teacher from Lucknow who has lived a life of pretense, obsessively guarding his image. He marries Nisha (portrayed by Janhvi Kapoor), a vibrant and bright woman, as he believes having a trophy wife will enhance his social standing. However, he becomes paranoid about Nisha’s potential to tarnish his perfect image after witnessing something on their wedding day. Consequently, he confines her to their home and mistreats her.

Ajay’s life takes a drastic turn when an incident at his school results in his suspension and impending disciplinary action. In a bid to divert attention, he devises a plan to complete his History syllabus on World War II by conducting classes from the sites in Europe where the events occurred. Since his parents fund the trip, Nisha reluctantly joins him. The rest of the movie follows their journey as they relive the agony of soldiers and war victims, and it becomes a voyage of self-discovery for Ajay.

The film’s initial build-up is a bit sluggish, dwelling too much on Ajay’s fabricated image and mistreatment of Nisha. Some scenes feel long-drawn and lose their impact over time, such as the recurring dry snacks exchange among a Gujarati family on the plane or Ajay’s unintended visit to an opera instead of a museum.

However, the movie truly captivates after the interval when the recreation of World War II takes center stage. The sequences at Omaha Beach, Anne Frank’s house, and the concentration camp are intense and splendidly portrayed. Director Nitesh Tiwary, along with cinematographer Mitesh Mirchandani and editor Charu Shree Roy, showcase their prowess, particularly in the seamless transitions between the 1940s and the present day. The gas chamber sequence, towards the end of the duo’s trip, will undoubtedly send shivers down the viewers’ spines. Daniel B George’s background score effectively complements the scenes, and the hummable tracks by Mithoon, Tanishk Bagchi, and Akashdeep Sengupta further enhance the film’s emotional impact.

While the concept of rediscovering love amidst the backdrop of World War II is fresh and promising, the writers, including Nitesh, Piyush Gupta, Nikhil Mehrotra, and Shreyas Jain, fall short in fully exploring the romantic encounters between the lead pair and Ajay’s transformation. Nevertheless, Nisha’s life lessons are well-executed, highlighting the true war of seeking happiness externally and our insatiable greed.

Varun Dhawan delivers a compelling performance as a mediocre and self-centered individual solely fixated on maintaining his image. He flawlessly portrays scenes where he confronts his flaws, particularly the poignant moment when he imagines being a war victim with limited time and belongings. Janhvi Kapoor shines in her role as a bright and humble woman holding onto the hope of finding love in her husband. Her portrayal during the painful historical revelations of World War II is commendable, and her dialogue delivery is impeccable. The supporting cast, including Manoj Pahwa and Anjuman Saxena as Ajay’s parents and Mukesh Tiwari as the MLA, offer skilled performances, adding depth to the narrative.

In conclusion, Bawaal is a must-watch film for history enthusiasts, especially those interested in World War II and the haunting recreation of the Holocaust. Moreover, Varun and Janhvi’s stellar performances make the movie an emotionally enriching experience, despite some minor shortcomings in the screenplay.

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Country: india

Genre: , ,

Director: Nitesh Tiwari

Writter: Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Mehrotra

Actors: Varun Dhawan, Janhvi Kapoor, Parth Siddhpura

Duration: 2h 17m