It has been more than a month since Kabir Singh released, and yet the film continues to stir up debates. The Sandeep Reddy Vanga film, starring Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani, has faced heavy backlash from critics for glorifying violence and misogyny.
Opening up about the criticism, Shahid told Hindustan Times that Kabir’s aggression was “across the board” and that the criticism was rather misplaced. He also brought up the film Sanju starring Ranbir Kapoor, which crossed Rs 300 crore last year. “So I frankly felt that the criticism [for Kabir Singh] was a bit misplaced. There have been films in the recent past which had characters exhibiting similar traits but no one really picked on them this way. To be candid, Sanju had a scene where the guy is sitting in front of his wife and saying he has slept with over 300 women. No one picked on it the way they went after Kabir Singh,” said Shahid.
However, Sanju was called out for the glorification of Sanjay Dutt’s life, but a lot of it was overlooked since it was a biopic.
Shahid hastily added that he enjoyed Sanju. “And this is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Sanju. I thoroughly did, because I didn’t watch it to see how people should be, I watched it to see how that character’s life is. The fact that people loved Kabir Singh has just told me that people watch the film for what it is. We were always honest, right from the very first promo of the film that it’s a fictional account of a very flawed character. There is no protagonist or antagonist in the film. Kabir is the protagonist, he is the antagonist. So all the issues lie within him.”
All said and done the film crossed Rs 260 crore at the box office. Shahid was asked if if this film feels like a vindication of sorts. He answered, “You can’t take a simplistic view of a very complex character like Kabir. There are many layers to him. Some layers are deplorable and terrible. And some layers are actually beautiful. The layer of unconditional love, of love in which you are ready to destroy yourself was actually a very beautiful layer. The layer of violence and I never saw this as misogyny- because Kabir Singh’s violent streak was not towards any particular sex. His aggression was inherent in his personality, it was not gender related.”
Shahid said that they were not trying to be politically correct with the film and that it might be “refreshing” to watch a film that’s “raw and bare”.
Kabir Singh, the Hindi remake of Arjun Reddy, tells the story of a surgeon who takes to substance abuse after his girlfriend gets married to someone else. The Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy starred Vijay Deverakonda in the lead role.