No matter how much we adored Shahid Kapoor and his brilliant performance as Kabir Singh, it is one movie which must not impact its watchers and it must be realized by the people that it is mere reel play.
While the film didn’t fail to pop miniscule disclaimers and warnings on the bottom of the screen whenever any scene involved alcohol consumption, smoking or drug intake, we believe that the movie required such precautionary warnings whenever toxic masculinity and blatant patriarchy was being exhibited and surprisingly persuaded.
The question as to why Shahid Kapoor chose to play a role saturated with misogyny, sexism and utter rage was asked while the promotions of Kabir Singh were ongoing, to which the actor very precisely answered with regard to his unique capability of portraying flawed characters commendably well.
It was commonly known by all that the exact script of Telugu original “Arjun Reddy” is being literally mirrored by the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga with the only difference of Kabir Singh being in Hindi. The Indian film industry has been undoubtedly accepting such flawed and misogynist character since times immemorial, however, what raised doubts in this film was that the protagonist reflected such an inferior character, whose enraged behavior was further glorified as at the end he achieved all that he wanted to. It was appalling to see that the movie involved no mention of a rehab center or stress laid on the reformation of the shoddy character of Shahid Kapoor.
The script circumvents around male chauvinism and machismo so much that Kiara Advani, known as Preeti in the film had her first dialogue after Kabir slept with her. Until that stage, she has been depicted as a mellowed down and awfully shy girl who wouldn’t bother to question, interrupt or even have an inch of belief in the power of her consent in the mute and one-sided relationship that she had with Kabir Singh to which she did not explicitly consent even once.
There are innumerable scenes in the film where the actor has palpably objectified her apparent girlfriend whose consent wasn’t even taken into regard.
The film contains scenes when Kabir Singh has commanded his girlfriend to dress modestly as soon as her dupatta slipped an inch from her shoulder.
The actor didn’t miss a single time to not let Preeti pick her own bag up to justify his male-centric brawniness.
While the developed segment of society is consistently urging the people to grow and develop their mindsets in the feministic direction, this film has taken two steps back and instead of leaving a moral or developmental message in the heads of the viewers, it has taken the viewer back by 35 years when women were vastly objectified and their status was way too much weaker than men.
As other movies in Bollywood have been impacting the watchers vividly, it would be a request to all the men from the whole female community to not fall for the apparent whims and fancies of the script wherein Kabir Singh one-sidedly got involved with a girl and became an unquestioned heroic figure all around In lieu of his bully and toughie character. Though a woman might not mind the charming looks of Kabir Singh; no women in 2019 is seeking a man who is even remotely similar to the character of Kabir Singh and such dominant and possessive approach is no girl’s approach.
Yeah, I know, you’ll find a few girls too who are pretty ok with men dominating them, although it’s not their personal choice, blame it on the societies norms and traditions where girls are taught “Men will be Men.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Ragini Juneja, our intern. Ragini is a student of law in Amity Law School, Delhi (Affiliated to IP University). She lays immense emphasis on awareness of one’s own rights and entitlements as a precondition for confidence, self-esteem, and dignity. Her words strive to help women in unclasping their latent strengths which have been suppressed by male chauvinism.