What we learnt from the Dubai launch of Bollywood film Bawaal

Screening on Amazon Prime, the film stars Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor

Dubai has first taste of Indian film Bawaal

Dubai has first taste of Indian film Bawaal
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Romance, comedy, time travel and war. These are some of the eclectic elements in the trailer for Bollywood film Bawaal.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime from July 21, a global premiere for the teaser was held on Dubai’s QE2 cruise ship on Saturday featuring the cast and crew.

Joining stars Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor was director Nitesh Tiwari and producer Sajid Nadiadwala as they finally unveiled one of this year’s most anticipated productions.

Judging by the enigmatic and globetrotting trailer, not to mention recreations of an important Second World War battle, there is plenty to see when Bawaal hits the small screen.

Here are four things you need to know about the film.

1. It is a film that will ask deep questions

While the trailer is action-packed, the central plot of the film has been deliberately shielded, Tiwari said.

From what we gathered, Dhawan plays a history teacher in rural India.

After marrying his sweetheart, played by Kapoor, the couple travel to Europe with stops in Amsterdam and Poland.

These images of picturesque European locations then make way for a growing tension in the marriage and somehow, Dhawan finds himself in the battlefield of the Second World War Normandy landing with the allied troops.

Tiwari acknowledged the trailer “keeps a lot of cards to its chest", and predicted the pay-off will arrive in the discussions it will spawn.

As the director behind Bollywood’s current highest grossing film, 2016’s Dangal, he says the new project also asks probing questions about society and how we live.

He hopes Bawaal will have "some positive impact on the people; the way they think and behave".

2. Dhawan says it is one of his best performances yet

As one of Bollywood’s most bankable actors, Dhawan described Bawaal as one of his most assured performances.

"It wasn't very challenging to play the character because of this man (Tiwari) sitting next to me," he said.

"He made me feel so comfortable with his humility and the way he treats everyone on the set.

“I can say confidently that this is a very good performance of mine.”

Kapoor explained the instant connection she felt when meeting Dhawan is translated on screen.

But that on-screen dynamic came after a struggle to convince producers she was suitable for the role.

"I was pinching myself every day when I was on the set because it was such a big opportunity for me," Kapoor said.

"I tried really hard to convince them to take me in the film. I chased them and stalked them quite a bit.

“But when I finally got in the film every day was special to work with such talented people."

3. There will be plenty of songs

The Bawaal trailer launch was preceded by the release of Tumhe Kitna Pyar Karte, a song from the film performed by Arijit Singh.

The trailer promises more lavish tracks and choreography set in an opulent wedding.

Dhawan said Tumhe Kitna Pyar Karte would be fully appreciated when heard in the context of the film.

"It's my favourite right now and it is a song that will keep growing and transcend," he said.

"And there is another song which will come out later. There are many different genres of songs within the film and as a dancer I get many opportunities to express myself in all of them."

4. It offers an important focus on history

The horrors and lessons from the Second World War are key themes of Bawaal.

"The most challenging moments for me was recreating those portions of history because we wanted to be not only factually correct, but also correct in terms of production and costume design," Tiwari said.

"Creating something of that magnitude is never easy and there was no way we could afford to go wrong."

Dhawan said these themes were explored for more than entertainment.

"To prepare for our future we have to learn from history and that is a part of Bawaal is all about."

Updated: July 10, 2023, 6:37 PM