- Critic's Rating - 7.3/107.3/10
Director Sandeep Vanga in 2017 made a movie in Telugu named Arjun Reddy, in possible hopes of attracting viewers with a college love story of this era. The movie was fairly successful, but it’s cult impact grew enormously. It was probably this which gave him the idea to remake this film in Hindi, and boy what the results have been. Kabir Singh the remake is set on to become the most successful movie of this year, which surprised many and subsequently turned many eyes upon it. What worked so much in its favour, despite being rejected by critics, is something interesting to discuss.
First of all, the movie is an official remake, directed by the same artist. This has been done before as well, with Salman Khan’s Wanted. Coincidentally that movie revived Salman Khan’s career as well, after more than a dozen flops in series. Even after a decade the same trick worked for Shahid Kapoor, as this has become his biggest movie as a solo star. People are not shying away from a re-watch, and this includes a good chunk of people who have watched Arjun Reddy as well.
If we discuss the movie as a standalone, it’s a strange mixture of mediocre story with a wonderful performance. Kabir Singh is an aggressive college student who is also an academic Acer, and belongs to a wealthy family. All in all, the guy many viewers want to be. His life changes when he spots a fresher student in his college, and instantaneously falls head over heels for her. Using his immense influence in college he segregates the girl from any other male communication and charms(sigh) her with his bossy attitude. The girl agrees to everything he says and does, which is quite sad, and has disappointed many viewers as well. Their love story is lit through both of their college life, and is quenched badly after her parents find out. She is married off to a different guy, and an already bad influence Kabir Singh sinks further with the help of substance abuse.
Despite the movie’s success there are a few opinions of mine which are needed to be mentioned direly. Kabir Singh is not a good character. He is aggressive to the point of being abusive and controlling, and has no second thoughts for his decisions whatsoever the outcome maybe. But then again, this is a fiction, where characters such as Hannibal Lector have been immortalized. Which is why judging a movie based on the moral scale of the character is unfair. The character of the female lead is so bland that it’s disappointing to no end. Yet the movie is a sensation hard to miss. This is because almost every guy has a fantasy to live like Kabir Singh. His rage and alcoholism is justified by his pain and his skill. Which male would not want to be an alpha with no responsibilities. Kabir Singh dominates, intimidates, and controls, but he is a hero because he is wounded, and he excels in his work. His passion for ‘ his’ woman makes women swoon for him, and they ignore his abusive tendencies. And that is okay, till the point where even a scene where Kabir uses a knife is justified by over the top fans. I want to use this blog as an opportunity to make the statement that Violence against women is not justified by any cause, especially in this time where crime against women is almost unstoppable. Also, women having no say in choosing a man is disheartening. The only hope of light character in the movie is Kabir’s best friend Shiva, and his elder brother, who never gives up on him. Another important factor giving the impetus to this movie is its relatibilty with the internet users, and ease to spark fun. The machoism is called Toxic masculinity, yet it cannot be ignored that it’s a wet dream for boys and teens all around.
All in all, Kabir Singh should be treated as a movie and not a social lesson. And yes , Shahid Kapoor delivers a fantastic performance.