Tackling criticism for promoting chauvinism in Kabir Singh, Shahid Kapoor says cinema must 'mirror life'
"Isn't it wrong to expect an actor to always be idealistic," reasons Shahid Kapoor, as he discusses his upcoming film, Kabir Singh. Recreating the Telugu drama Arjun Reddy that sees its protagonist become aggressive and an alcoholic after a failed romance, Kapoor finds himself battling the same questions on chauvinism that plagued the original film.
By pointing out that not all creative pieces must be utopian, he makes a case for himself. "I am not expected to be idealistic. I am expected to be real; mirroring life, representing all shades of people in their entirety. Once we become adults, we are on our own, drawing heavily from popular culture. But, we must represent grey shades of human beings in films to represent life."
Unlike the group of cinephiles nitpicking the flaws in his role, Kapoor says he doesn't turn judgemental about the characters that land in his lap. "The aim is to make the right impact. In that process, my characters will be hated and loved, in equal measure, based on the film's [premise]."
But before his audience settles for hatred, he hopes they could, at the very least, watch the film first. "Kabir Singh is a phase in everyone's life. We all [become] self-destructive when we feel like we've fallen apart. [One may feel] empathy for him because, in all his misgivings, he is vulnerable. It's a cathartic journey of a man, and a cautionary tale. It made me feel that I never want to become this person."