“Bawaal” Movie Review: A Missed Opportunity to Create a Truly Different Love Story


Nitesh Tiwari’s directorial venture, “Bawaal,” starring Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor in the lead roles, promised to offer a fresh take on the classic story of transformation through love. However, despite its potential, the film falters in navigating a convoluted plot, leaving audiences wondering when our films will truly come of age.

The narrative revolves around Ajay, known as Ajju (played by Varun Dhawan), a brash and self-absorbed individual living in Lucknow. Spending most of his time polishing an image of a charismatic man about town, Ajay takes pride in his swag, overshadowing his actual job as a history teacher in a local school. Yet, his knowledge appears to be lacking, and he often wastes time in futile pursuits, much to the chagrin of his family and close friend.

Fate takes an unexpected turn when Ajay crosses paths with Nisha (played by Janhvi Kapoor), a sensible and grounded woman. As they embark on a journey together to various European cities linked to World War II, their lives take an unforeseen twist. The intent to create a profound and transformative arc for the characters is evident, but unfortunately, the film struggles to find a coherent direction for its ambitious plot.

Before the story reaches its predictable conclusion, the duo traverses significant historical sites such as Paris, Amsterdam, Normandy, Berlin, and ultimately, Auschwitz. The purpose behind this journey is Ajay’s upcoming history class, wherein he intends to teach about World War II. In a rather bewildering move, Ajay decides to capture his experiences in front of these iconic monuments, intending to create educational reels for his students back home. However, the decision to portray these significant historical events in a light-hearted and flippant manner undermines the film’s serious undertones.

The film also attempts to incorporate comic relief through a recurring gag featuring a group of Gujarati travelers and their love for khakras and flashy shirts. However, this comedic element falls flat and adds little value to the overall narrative.

While the film showcases a unique premise with the potential for introspection and character development, it falls short of capitalizing on these opportunities. The central love story could have served as a powerful backdrop to explore deeper themes of personal growth, understanding, and transformation. Unfortunately, the movie lacks the depth needed to elevate it beyond a mere surface-level romantic comedy.

Despite the impressive performances by Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor, the script’s inadequacies hinder their ability to fully flesh out their characters and convey emotional depth. As a result, the chemistry between the lead pair feels somewhat superficial, failing to leave a lasting impact on the audience.

In conclusion, “Bawaal” may have aspired to be a groundbreaking love story, but it ultimately falls short of its potential. The film’s attempt to intertwine history, romance, and comedy leads to a convoluted and disjointed narrative, leaving audiences longing for a more cohesive and emotionally resonant experience.

As the Indian film industry continues to evolve and experiment with new storytelling techniques, there remains hope that films like “Bawaal” will inspire filmmakers to push the boundaries and deliver more mature and thought-provoking narratives. Until then, audiences eagerly anticipate the arrival of films that truly come of age, engaging them in profound and meaningful ways.

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