Shahid Kapoor: The audience is viewing films in right context
With Kabir Singh racing past Rs 200-crore mark despite severe backlash, Shahid Kapoor says viewers are mature enough to accept flawed characters
If Kabir Singh has left a section of the audience appalled at its misogynistic attitude, one can't deny that the film has also managed to resonate with several cinegoers and mint over Rs 200 crore in the process. Shahid Kapoor is in a happy place as he enjoys his biggest hit as a solo hero. "The love that the film has got is way beyond its box-office numbers. I am grateful to the audience for the kind of love they have given to the film," he beams.
A remake of the Telugu hit Arjun Reddy (2017), the Sandeep Reddy Vanga-directed venture has been criticised for glorifying toxic masculinity and endorsing violent behaviour towards women. In a recent interview, the director defended the film, claiming that it isn't true love if one doesn't have "the liberty of slapping each other". Vanga has since been slammed by netizens for his remarks.
Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani in Kabir Singh
Kapoor, on his part, observes that the film's protagonist is far removed from the goody-two-shoes heroes that Bollywood depicts. Stating that the toxic hero was bound to elicit polarised reactions, he adds, "The fact that audience is accepting flawed characters shows that they have an appetite for all kinds of parts. They are viewing films in the right context. It is encouraging for this generation of actors. We don't need to feel burdened by the fact that if we are the hero, we have to be perfect. Today, the audience is mature and loves characters like Tommy Singh in Udta Punjab  and Kabir Singh."
In an earlier interview to mid-day, he had stated that he doesn't endorse his characters' behaviour but merely plays them as an artiste. He maintains the same approach when prodded on Kabir Singh's problematic attitude. "Any character that allows me to break new ground is exciting. It may come with its potential issues. But as an actor, you need to have that skill set and be ready to give the audience a new experience."
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