Over the past few years, the only Bollywood movies that have generated any amount of discussion or debate are those which were politically inclined to the Left or the Right or were commented on by people from the Left or the Right e.g. Padmaavat, Uri and PM Narendra Modi. However, for the first time in a long time, Kabir Singh is polarising people on the basis of how it has depicted its central character. And singer Sona Mohapatra has found herself smack in the middle of it.
Kabir Singh is a remake of the Telugu film Arjun Reddy which shows its titular character courting a girl, getting separated from her due to their parents, going into a downward spiral and, due to a turn of events, eventually marrying that girl. The trajectory of this character and how it has been visualised on-screen has faced a lot of praise (for being an apt description of modern day romance and spectacular handling of a flawed human being) and criticism (for not being an apt description of modern day romance and poor handling of its female characters).
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In a now deleted tweet, the chairperson of the National Commission of Women India, Rekha Sharma was found lauding the movie. And Sona Mohapatra gave her a stinging reply.
Didn’t notice the deeply misogynistic & patriarchal narrative? Just intense acting? That is truly deeply disturbing. That you are the the chairperson of the @NCWIndia , makes me wonder about what we can hope for when it comes to women’s place in #India . 🔴 https://t.co/zxcLWVFuiO
— SONA (@sonamohapatra) June 21, 2019
She questioned Shahid’s responsibility as an actor and called him a “creature of ambition.”
“& how can we keep such deeply disturbing , dark & dangerous politics ‘aside’? Does the actor have no responsibility for choosing to play a part in a narrative that can set us back as a society? Is that all we have become? Creatures of ambition? #LetsTalk #India #KabirSingh (sic),” Sona Mohapatra tweeted.
In another tweet, Sona Mohapatra called out Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of the National Commission for Women, for praising Shahid’s performance in Kabir Singh.
Sona tweeted, “Didn’t notice the deeply misogynistic & patriarchal narrative? Just intense acting? That is truly deeply disturbing. That you are the the chairperson of the @NCWIndia, makes me wonder about what we can hope for when it comes to women’s place in #India (sic).”
Indian television actor Nakuul Mehta set the movie’s ‘politics’ aside and lauded Shahid Kapoor’s performance. However, Sona held Kapoor responsible for taking on a role that propagated negative messages about how people should treat the women in their society.
— Nakuul Mehta (@NakuulMehta) June 21, 2019
Then the whole discussion took a weird turn as netizens started taking shots on her work. But Sona wasn’t one to let it slide and informed them about the false equivalence in their argument.
U are the nth moron trying to make such a false equivalence. A woman singing lustily & celebrating her own sexuality isn’t likely to cause violence & isn’t the same thing as a man grabbing a woman without her consent,kissing her apart from several other such toxic masculine acts https://t.co/d0efQmxKbV
— SONA (@sonamohapatra) June 23, 2019
here is another runt trying to bring me down for criticising a film character/narrative that I didn’t like. 👇🏾I have no issues singing ‘Bhojpuri’ songs btw. I start some shows with poetry written by the brilliant Bhikhari Thakur. 🙏🏾🎶 https://t.co/Ym39RHYEds
— SONA (@sonamohapatra) June 24, 2019
Kabir Singh is an official remake of 2017 Telugu film Arjun Reddy. Shahid earlier said that one can draw parallel between Devdas and Kabir Singh as both the stories revolve around self-destructive men.
“I’ll take that as a compliment because Devdas is a classic film, which is the story of a self-destructive man, as the hero was mad about his love. So yes, if you look at it in a generic way, you can draw some parallels,” he told PTI.
Earlier Shahid had defended his choice of doing Kabir Singh by saying, “It’s a movie. It’s not real life. So, people should focus on the wrong things that happen in their life.”
While Kabir Singh is receiving flak for being a misogynist film, it is doing great business at the box office. In two days of its release, the film has already crossed the Rs 40-crore mark. In fact, Kabir Singh has emerged as Shahid’s biggest opener so far.
Directed by Sandeep Vanga Reddy, Kabir Singh also stars Kiara Advani.