Shahid Kapoor’s latest release Kabir Singh may be doing wonders at the box-office, but his portrayal of toxic masculinity has initiated a debate on social media. While the Udta Punjab actor is being badly criticised for not selecting stories responsibly and also glorifying toxic masculinity and violent character, his mother and veteran actress Neliima Azeem has come out in support of his son.

Speaking to Mid-day, Neliima Azeem said, “Actors have the freedom to play morally controversial characters because they make for meaty roles. Tomorrow, if you play a psychopathic serial killer, will everybody watching the movie become one? Dilip [Kumar] saab and Rajesh Khanna played grey roles in Amar and Red Rose. Are you suggesting that every grey role be scrapped? In Hollywood, actors have won Oscars for characters like these. If we can't make such movies, then we will have to scrap films like Marlon Brando's A Streetcar Named Desire, Godfather and Heath Ledger's Joker [The Dark Knight]. One needs to understand that it is a story and not a lecture on morality."

When she was asked how the movie celebrates his misogynistic attitude instead of condemning it, she continued saying, "It is a hard-hitting film, and shows [the protagonist's] arc — he changes from the [brash] student at the university to the one who returns home after his grandmother's demise. He suffers because of his attitude. The film is not glorifying the character. Instead, it warns you against becoming like Kabir Singh."


Not only this, when asked about a scene where Kapoor's character is about to rape a woman at knifepoint, she concluded saying, "He is about to [rape her] in the dark. As soon as the light comes on, he realises [his folly] and throws the knife away. It's symbolic in that sense." 


Images Source: instagram/shahidkapoor
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