Recent film Kabir Singh has been making a lot of noise on the internet. A remake of Telugu film Arjun Reddy, Kabir Singh has crossed Rs 100 crore collection at the box office. Both the movies are the same portraying romance and passion, with a message to support love. The message that was to be conveyed gets lost in the way the movie is presented.
The Hindi version by Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani. To call both problematic is an understatement. Directed by the same director, Sandeep Vanga, it was evident from the trailer itself that the movie is a near exact copy of the original. The film has received immense criticism for being the most horrific, harrowing, horrendous odes to misogyny and patriarchy ever created by Indian cinema in any language - humourised and romanticised for our viewing pleasure.
In a society that is already battling misogyny, this film only acts as a fuel to the meninist incels who want an excuse to justify their behavior. Here is why our society does not need a film like Kabir Singh today.
In the beginning for the film, he threatens a woman for not having sex with him. Yes, he later realizes he is wrong but that does not remove the fact that his first instinct was to threaten her for refusing sex.
When he is unable to have sex, he rushes out and asks his friend to set him up with a girl - a request his friend categorically refuses. Consequently, Kabir decides to stuff ice down his pants - in the middle of the road - to control his sexual urges.
He enters a classroom and ‘claims’ a girl as ‘his’ when he does not even know her name. Later about 50 minutes in the film the girl is shown to seek his approval by asking, ‘What do you like in me Kabir?’
And when he is angry, it is glorified and justified as ‘okay’ and that he is ‘crazy in love’ even when he tells the girl she is nothing but his girl, that is her only identity.
His anger management issues are problematic right from the start. And yet the film claims he is not 'a rebel without a cause'. He also disrespects his professor but claims that his own actions were driven by pride in his college. And that apparently dissolves him of any blame over his actions.
He commands a 'healthy' girl to sit with Preeti and orders them to be friends. Because he claims the only way two girls can be friends is if one of them is pretty and the other is healthy.
We're not even paraphrasing here. He explicitly informs a girl in the class to sit next to his love interest Preeti because he thinks the only way two girls can be friends is when one of them is pretty and the other is 'healthy'. Because healthy girls are like 'teddy bears'.
He is shown to be a high-functioning alcoholic and his actions are constantly glorified than showing them in a completely negative light as it should be. According to the maker, entitled behavior and ignoring social and moral conduct is considered to be the birthright of men, especially Kabir Singh. And because of the conventional happy ending everyone seems satifsief conveniently ignoring the self-destructive behavior of Kabir Singh. They only view his 'passion' and 'heartbreak', not his misogyny, aggression, or general rudeness. Yes, the country is free for all creators to show whatever they wish and have every right to present flawed characters - but not to make them a hero and worship them.