Bawaal review: This film will suprise you and catch you off guard in the craziest way!

Sakshi Sharma
Updated On
New Update
Bawaal review

Bawaal review: Based on the generalised idea of a dumbed-down version of equating World War to regular life struggles, Bawaal is a surprisingly captivating mellow dramatic film with a few faults of its own!

Bawaal review: Honestly the idea that the problems of an arranged marriage could be equated with horrors of World War II is too far-fetched for anyone to come on board. But as Ajju Bhaiya states "idea krantikari hai open-mind se suna", hence this film is something that you would have to watch keeping aside the already bias created in your mind. Though in the wake of being "open-minded," it also tests your patience as it stretches the exaggeration a bit too much! It gets too busy with "mauhal aisa banao ki mauhal yaad reh result nhi" that it falls short of being a 'Bawaal'.

As a middle-class person who is also in the middle of the class not at the top or bottom, I connected to Bawaal in a very different way because it felt like a near-perfect representation! Ajay (Varun Dhawan) takes great efforts to maintain the so-called image that he has built with intricate details. He owns fancy clothes, spectacles, a bike, and all those things that make him look like a very important person. Because as a middle class, you never have enough money to own such fancy things but you definitely like to maintain an image! When he goes to Europe and counts the taxi fare by converting pounds into rupees, and goes in to buy clothes and only buys underwear is so damn relatable. Varun Dhawan with that perfect balance of wit and sensitivity reminded me of Badri from Badrinath ki Dhulanaia! He has nailed this terrible character of a man-child who thinks too much of himself but in reality, really needs to grow up and realise he is the problem!

To keep his image intact he marries Nisha (Jhanvi Kapoor), a big dreamy doe-eyed girl who has epilepsy and is a topper. This young girl built on the ideologies of society where the bare minimum is the acceptable norm is someone who we have all seen around. She compromises but isn't a sacrificing devi! And inspite of being independent and accomplished, she feels inadequate because she isn't desired. So when Ajay shows up as an arranged marriage prospect and doesn't run away hearing of her epilepsy she is hopeful. Nisha still hopes that her marriage will work out if she just agrees with her husband and stays exactly the way he wants because she gets that he is not a perfect husband but he is not a bad person either. This helps us understand why she doesn't get divorced even when her mother presents this idea to her. This makes me wish I could have gotten a little more insight into her! Nevertheless, Janhvi Kapoor works diligently well with what she is given and essays this optimist intelligent woman whose eyes shine bright as she roams around the streets of Paris alone.

Also Read: Barbie review: What seems like a glamorous pink slumber party on the surface is actually a profound yet comforting watch for everyone!

There is a vast difference between accepting someone for their shortcomings and dealing with it especially when it's a disease that is not even one's fault! Ajay, though not bad of heart but emotionally inept cannot accept Nisha after seeing her epilepsy attack and thinks she is "defective". He acts emotionally abusive towards her because he is afraid of ruining his hard-built image. But he never inflicts toxicity on her on the pretext of love! So what doesn't get sorted and worked out in India in a strange occurrence of events that leads to realisations in Europe! The idea of Ajju Bhaiya, the incompetent history teacher, going to Europe just to provide his students with a real history class about World War II, is as funnily crazy as it is interesting. After all, for all of us, 10,000 soldiers dying in Normandy during World War II is just a number, not 17-18-year-old young boys dying in a war at an age when they had their whole life ahead do them!

Contrasting the journey of important things of WWII from the least affected Paris to largely affected Auschwitz with Ajay's coming-of-age redemption arc and hence fixing his marriage is an absolutely absurd idea that Nitesh Tiwari and his group of writers make believable. From an alone man roaming around in an unknown country compared with a wife coming to an unknown house to watching the suitcases of Jew children and wondering what you would've packed if you were in a similar situation. As Ajay gets a deeper knowledge of the history and horrors of it he starts unearthing himself as well as his marriage. The Normandy's open beach, Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam, Auschwitz's concentration camp and gas chambers to making Rajma Chawal in the washroom, and having a rapid-fire round over beer, all of it sensitively and organically flows while making sense!

She is a Tagore reading, mountain climbing girl and he is a Chacha Choudhary, beaches kind of boy, hence poles apart from each other but does it matter?! What seems extremely troubling is Varun and Janhvi showing up in the black-and-white visual representation of the wars (probably inspired by Schinlder's List) as this insinuates insensitivity and was quite unnecessary to do so. Also, the last half an hour of the movie is too dramatic and feels redundantly force-fed. To say that every relationship has its own Auschwitz aka struggles to go through is stretching it too far and an abhorrent idea to gulp down!

With a talented supporting cast of Manoj Pahwa, Anjuman Saxena as Varun's parents, and Prateek Pachori (Panchayat, Clutch) as Vaun's best friend and the apt comedy moments, Tiwari created the "mauhal" of the film so well that the idea of all of us being Hitlers in a sense "where we are not happy with what we have but want what something else haves" doesn't seem too far-fetched. Though the lack of Chemistry and the curve balls of absurd ideas after each other make it hard for a convincing experience.

Bawaal's idea of comparing the trials and tribulations of human suffering during World War II with the testing times of an arranged marriage might not be for everyone but could definitely be something that could be thrown around casually or used as a reference in a middle-class house! There'll be many who would be taken aback by the ludicrous nature of this film. But you can't deny that we all visit a war museum or historical place to have fun or an outing with family only to have some life-altering experience after gaining some knowledge. If that has happened to you then you'd surely buy into the extremely ambitious idea of Nitesh Tiwari where he has converted Europe, a honeymoon destination to a life and marriage transformation place. It's like a normal simple lifestyle and a common man's casual thoughts get a Bollywood makeover just as the one that keeps going on in our heads with black and white and colored contrasts! After all who doesn't have a 'Gujarati' food passing experience on a plane!

I liked the idea of how sometimes to realise what is going on deep within you have to get out of your privileged bubbled comfort zone. Just as Ajay has to get out of Lucknow in order to leave the chasm of Ajju Bhaiya behind! Yet this film stylised quite after Rang De Basanti kind of effect or inspired from it is miles away from having a very profound experience! 

For more binge-centric content and reviews, follow us on @socialketchupbinge.

Varun Dhawan jhanvi kapoor Amazon Prime Video Bawaal Nitesh Tiwari