Shahid Kapoor Wants To Know Why People Are Okay With Baazigar And Not Kabir Singh. Because That Was A Crime Thriller. Yours Is A Love Story
It’s been three months since the movie Kabir Singh released and the buzz around it is still strong. The nation is divided in two when it comes to the movie – one that loved it and one that absolutely despises the toxic masculinity depicted in it. Either ways, it’s still being spoken about, the debate refuses to die down. People like me, who are against it, will never buy into any explanations given to justify the characters. So when director Sandeep Reddy Vanga had called all that abuse an act of love, he received major flak from netizens. I mean, I get that you’re trying to combat the negative reactions you’ve been getting, but at least choose your words wisely. At India Today Conclave, Shahid Kapoor spoke extensively about the critical response the film has received. His words, though more wise and polished weren’t convincing.
Addressing the argument that Kabir Singh is setting wrong example, Shahid said, “If you think cinema is an educational institution that you’re taught what you should or should not to do, that’s your choice. Cinema is meant to mirror life. It’s about representing the truth. It’s an adult film, for adults, who can distinguish between right and wrong. Are you telling me that Mr Bachchan is someone who taught people to be a thief?” First of all, huh? And second of all, what are you smoking?
I understand he believes in his movie, quite strongly and but his utter failure at understanding the impact it can have on society reeks of insincerity. Does he not know that both art and politics have a major role to play in the society? Movies are art – in fact, in India, it’s one art form which has the maximum power to influence people. If cinema isn’t able to do that, then were people fooling around with movies like Padman, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, Angry Indian Godesses, etc? I think Kabir Singh is way behind its time, because we’re in an era, which requires revolutionary movies – the kind that makes you want to bring about a change. We’ve been fighting misogyny since decades and a movie comes along and reassures all those men, that no, it’s really alright to treat your women like cows. In fact, the character is not just a threat to women, but a social hazard in general – who is violent and also abuses his medical degree.
I’d like to ask Shahid, has he not seen the several social media posts that glorify what Kabir Singh did? Has he not seen the posts that say every girl should be like Preeti? This is a woman whose entire screenplay involves nodding her head to everything, has no personality to speak of and opinions? She doesn’t have those. The least you could do is accept the fact that Kabir Singh is not a hero, and it’s not cool to try these stunts at home. It should be made clear that the character is flawed and uncool and shouldn’t be portrayed as a victim. The movie should come with a statutory warning, something like “Smoking kills.”
Not accepting any responsibility for his character, he further added, “You know you’re going to watch a movie right, it’s fiction right? I’ve seen situations like this in life. When a couple fights, if a third person views it, they’ll have a different idea. Fundamentally, they’re in love. I’ve seen independent women date simple boys, and vice versa. That’s how life is, it’s unpredictable. Why is there a problem? You choose to take away what you want from the film. That’s what democracy is all about.” Democracy is having the right to make a shitty movie. Democracy is having the right to criticise a shitty movie. And democracy is having the right to defend your shitty movie. We’re all being constitutional here but that’s not the point of Kabir Singh. In fact, Kabir Singh, the man, doesn’t believe in respecting choices (from almost raping a woman at knife-point to threatening to hit anyone who doesn’t comply with him). But we’ve criticised the film enough, so I won’t invest my jaded efforts into that direction again.
Shahid Kapoor, in a very poor attempt at saving Kabir Singh, said, “The film is about a flawed character. Preeti (Kiara Advani) is a stronger character than Kabir. Kabir doesn’t know how to handle himself. Every Kabir needs a Preeti in his life. No one brought up Baazigar, when SRK kills Shilpa Shetty. No one said anything about putting a commode seat on Sonam Kapoor’s neck in Sanju. Sab Kabir Singh ke peeche kyun pade hain?” I am sorry but how delusional is Shahid? Wikipedia says Baazigar is a crime thriller, and Shah Rukh Khan is an anti-hero in it. The fact that you’re comparing Kabir Singh to a crime thriller speaks for itself. If you can list Kabir Singh as a psycho-thriller, then the debate can be settled. Except, I don’t see them doing that. And also, there’s really no thrill in watching an hour long footage of Shahid drinking at different locales or creepily putting ice in his crotch.
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The reason Kabir Singh was such a major hit, is that India has a huge population of creepy men, who believe that it’s okay to treat their women like that. And this movie just validated their beliefs. Honestly, keeping all the debate aside, the movie isn’t even entertaining. I mean, to pay money to watch a love story (if you can call it that) between a compliant cow and a kegerator is a bit much and kinda questions my sanity.