Cine Stuck: 2 Years After Release, My Apologies For Praising Kabir Singh - Opinion

Kabir Singh, the character, comes from a place of complete toxicity. He does exactly what he wants, including performing a life-saving surgery in an inebriated condition.

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Cine Stuck: 2 Years After Release, My Apologies For Praising Kabir Singh - Opinion
When Kabir Singh was released  on June 21, 2019, I didn’t realize there could be anything deadlier than the Covid. How could I? Covid was a good 8 months away. Regrettably I praised the  film for its gumption and audacity for  daring to show its protagonist as a sodden, drugged zonked out chauvinistic sexist  pig who doesn’t think before slapping his girlfriend for  defending her father whom  Kabir Singh (nee Arjun Reddy) had just insulted.

Kabir Singh comes from a place of complete toxicity. He does exactly what he wants, including performing a life-saving surgery  in an inebriated condition. This  man should have been barred  from not just the Medical Association but from being part of any cinematic narrative and  discussion. Also read: Ahead Of 2 Years Of Kabir Singh, Shahid Kapoor Drops A Video Of Him Riding A Bike While Flaunting His Long Hair; Kunal Kemmu Jokes 'Aadho Ko Looks Se Maardo Baakiyo Pe Bike Chadha Do'

Yet we celebrated him, not once but twice. When Vijay Deverakonda showed up as Arjun Reddy, there was a rebellious underbelly to  the  character, as if there was some  dimension to his personal history that we were missing  out on, and which made him the obnoxious creature that he  appeared to be on screen. Also read: 2 Years Of Kabir Singh: ‘Gold Didn't Click So Much But This Film Got Me The Recognition I Was Looking For," Says Nikita Dutta - EXCLUSIVE

When two years  later Shahid Kapoor  played the same  character it was unpardonable from both ends, his playing such a creepy stalker/junkie  and our approval and appreciation of the  film which  changed  its title  from Arjun Reddy to Kabir Singh. But nothing else had changed. Vijay Deverakonda and Shahid Kapoor were  soul twins, the one as  obnoxious  as  the  other, if not more.

When I had asked the  director  Sandeep Vanga about the level  of toxicity  in Arjun/Kabir his  response, “One needs  to be fully honest in a committed relationship. And that honesty  can take  on a violent form. And why is only Kabir slapping his girlfriend Preeti being talked about? What about the fact that she too slaps him back? It works both ways. In a true relationship  the emotions can get raw and  violent. My film went beyond the reviews. It has connected so  deeply with the  youngsters that such reviews didn’t matter at all. No one is flawless. Even the  biggest  heroes of  our country have flaws. It  is what makes them human. The level of success and  the volume of hatred  both took me by surprise. Arjun Reddy got  a lot more  love  from the Telugu critics. A very senior Telugu  critic took her 14-year  old daughter  to see Arjun Reddy. That  was my best review.And she  is  a true feminist ,not a pseudo-feminist. After the  love given to Arjun Reddy I  wasn’t ready for the bashing that critics gave Kabir Singh. 

I disagree with Vanga  vehemently. I feel somewhere  the artistes and his art are one. Lata Mangeshkar couldn’t have sung Allah tero naam if she wasn’t a pureheart. Hrishikesh  Mukerjee couldn’t have made  Gangs Of Wasseypur and Ram Gopal Varma wouldn’t dream of doing  Munnabhai. AnuragKashyap would never be able to make Anand.

Incidentally Vanga’s  next film is  called Animal. It  was earlier titled Devil.

Arjun  Kapoor's father Boney Kapoor had flown to Hyderabad to meet  Sanjeev Vanga for the remake  rights of  Arjun Reddy for his son. But Vanga was committed to Shahid Kapoor. 

Today when  I  look at Kabir Singh, I see a  “hero” who is so drunk he wets his own pants  and chases his  female house help  out of his home  down  the road, actually  got rewarded at  the end the  film  for his  behaviour. His  girlfriend now married and pregnant, forgives  him and takes him back. And  they lived happily ever after?!

Image source: IMDb