The film is a crash course in Copy-Paste as no scene, no shot in the film is not derived shamelessly from the Telugu original.
By Chetan Mehrishi
Let me introduce you to Mr. Kabir Singh, a man who never thinks twice before making a rash move. A man who doesn’t care of the consequences of his actions. A man whose behaviour is anything but justifiable. Yet here we are applauding to everything he does.
In the few minutes in the movie, you see said “hero” almost raping a woman at knifepoint. Later you see him chasing his househelp down the streets for she accidentally broke a glass. The audience in the hall is laughing and applauding. And I think to myself “God I hope they don’t replicate this outside!”. Here’s my review for this week’s Kabir Singh..
What’s The Story Morning Glory?
Kabir Singh, a remake of the blockbuster Telugu film Arjun Reddy, is an unapologetic celebration of toxic masculinity. The ‘hero’, if you’d like to call him that, played here by Shahid Kapoor, is an obnoxious, entitled bully with anger issues. He’s a ticking time bomb who can go off anywhere, provoked by just about anything. He gets into violent scrapes on the football field, he has scant respect for authority, and zero understanding of consent.
Early on in the film, while he’s still a final year MBBS student on campus, he spots a girl that he likes and immediately marks his territory, warning the rest of the college that she’s off the market. The girl in question, a first-year student, Preeti (Kiara Advani), is the polar opposite to Kabir. The girl gives in to his “persuasions” as she is kissed without consent, kidnapped from her college and slapped around. She doesn’t even mind that she doesn’t get to speak before an hour into the movie.
Her parents don’t approve of their burning passion for each other and the girl is married to someone else. Kabir then becomes even more angrier, even more violent, and even more misogynistic. And all you must do, as an audience, is to sympethize with him!
On The Upside
No doubt, Shahid’s performance takes the cake here. The movie rests on his shoulders and delivers what the makers ask of him. Soham Majumdar who played Shiva, the only voice of reason in Kabir’s life, has done a fabulous job.
I would restraint from commenting on Kiara Advani as her character has not been given any more attention than a doormat. The actor is only as good as it’s character.
On The Downside
The story, screenplay, dialogues, cinematography, all have been done exactly the same as the original Telugu film. Even the leading lady’s name is the same! It seems that the director has only made this movie in hindi for a pan-India reach and has given no importance to amending the characters or the story to make it feel like more relatable. Another drawback is the film’s length. The movie is almost three hours long which makes the audacity of this overgrown, angry brat even more unbearable.
The last problem I have with this film is the portrayal of a guy like Kabir Singh. I’ve seen some vile characters in movies throughout my life. Colonel Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds, Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men, etc, etc. They are bad because they can’t be someone else. But on the flipside, they are some of the brilliantly written characters. Kabir on the other hand, feels incomplete. Why is he always angry? Why hasn’t someone counselled him yet? These questions are left unanswered just like others such as Why does Preeti want to be humiliated by this bully over and over? Why isn’t she letting him do this to her? And why are we rooting for this guy?
All in All
Kabir Singh is an unsettling movie, but not in a good way. The actions of the protagonist can never be justified in real world and personally, I can’t sympethize with someone who slaps his lady love and treats her like dirt.
That’s not cool. If you’re mature enough to take this film with a pinch of salt, go ahead. But the fact is that most of us aren’t. I’m afraid we would make him our idol. I’m afraid that most men would not see it as a movie but rather a justification to their own actions which they needed all this long. And that’s why I can’t give it more than 2 out of 5.