Kabir Singh Movie Review: Romanticising Abuse
This official remake of Telugu hit movie Arjun Reddy starring Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani is a classic case of dystonic excess being palmed off as a heart-deep romance.
U/A: Action, Drama, Romance
Director: Sandeep Reddy Vanga
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani
This official remake of Telugu hit movie Arjun Reddy, is a classic case of dystonic excess being palmed off as heart-deep romance. The original movie was equally unpalatable so one doesn't know why any self-respecting filmmaker would want to rehash something so deplorable and reprehensible. The remake of Arjun Reddy points to a systemic malaise within the Bollywood industry – one that ignores social obligations and ethical considerations for wanton pecuniary gain. Even in terms of representation of gender and the value system, this film is regressive - with every aspect of its representative machismo throwing up questions that the excess glorifying narrative refuses to answer.
Kabir Singh(a living it like it is Shahid Kapoor) a post graduate Medical student from Delhi Institute of Medical Sciences revels in excess. In an inter-collegiate football match, he prefers to use his fists rather than foot, to prove a point to his opponents. The opponent is left shell-hocked and bloodied and vows revenge. Cut to a scene where a fresh batch of MBBS entrants are being ragged by their seniors. Peachy punjaban Preeti Sikka (a demure tongue-tied Kiara Advani) catches Kabir's eye and he instantly lays claim to her as his possession. Preeti has nothing to say and even her anxious father is shown seeking Kabir's father's (Suresh Oberoi) help in saving his daughter's blushes from that of heartless raggers. Little does he know that he has served his daughter up as fresh meat for the lion in his very den. It's a classic Stockholm syndrome set-up where the captive falls for her captor. Can this be called love?
Check out the trailer of Kabir Singh:
For most of the narrative we see his parents condone his extreme behaviour, his college Dean(Adil Hussain) and associated staffers pat him on the back rather than rusticate him from the Institute, his older brother Karan(Arjan Bajwa) look on his excesses with a 'Men will be men' benevolence, his nursing assistants pander to his every whim, and his best friend Shiva(Soham Majumdar) sacrifice his own career ambitions to lend him the incessant back-up support needed to keep this abusive addict and bully out of the crosshairs of justified retribution. The message being sent down is that if you are a meritorious top-ranking student then everything else, character flaws, criminality et al can be overlooked. In fact, it takes more than three-fourths of the trying, energy sapping runtime to provoke a conscience within Kabir and make him willingly surrender to the consequences of his actions. But by then it's already too late for the unreasonable film and its shell-shocked audience.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Kabir Singh Public Review: Did the audience like Kabir Singh or not?