Kabir Singh: Package of Maligned Notions



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‘Kabir Singh', Hindi adaptation of the Telugu movie, ‘Arjun Reddy', was a phenomenal blockbuster gathering a whopping 379 crore rupees. Yet it’s one of the most problematic movies to come across in a long time. Read on to know the reasons why.

Kabir Singh, a proper Bollywood masala movie, released on 21st June 2019, took the box office collection by storm and this fact is enough to tell how mindless the Indian youth is. How the youth idealized such toxicity and arrogance is par understanding and even shameful. The movie was equally thrashed by critics for glorifying the fact that if you are a genius and a man, you can do all the ridiculous things and easily get away by quoting, “I am not a rebel without a cause”. Read the reviews from Hindustan Times and The Hindu. The movie refutes all the changes that were brought in Indian cinema, from the angry young man era to the soft caring image for a hero, mocking the positive transition.

Since the movie was ‘A’ certified, we know this was not a movie to be watched by children and family. But it was also not to be watched by people who respect women, who have access to the right judgement of wrong and right or those who are in their right minds. This was not a movie to be enjoyed with a rational mindset. Following are the reasons to support the aforementioned arguments:

Toxic Masculinity:

It was really hard to believe that this movie wasn’t following the storyline of a cliché 90’s story where the man controlled everything while the woman was just a means to showcase his machoism and satisfy his needs. Kabir behaves in a non-gentlemanly way with the actress and his maid. The way Kabir controlled Preeti as he owned her is sickening. Since he is a man, arrogance is his ornament. 

He feels entitled to make sure how 'his' girl dresses, whom she meets, and with whom she studies, everything! He marks her like she is some property that needs a nameplate of ownership. Who gave him the right to do so? In his senseless rage, he drops a time bomb on a girl to convince her orthodox family to their alliance without understanding or contemplating a traditional girl’s situation. This is utterly problematic considering today’s times.

Misogyny and Weak Female Characters:

The way Kabir, the womanizer objectifies women as a way to vent out his sexual frustration is hideous. He almost rapes a girl at knifepoint. The biggest flaw of this movie is the weak portrayal of women. Preeti is spineless. When Kabir arrogantly states that she has no identity in college without him, she readily agrees. Seriously! How can a rank holder girl deem this true? What Kabir gloated was itself a slap to all the feminists who have fought for their identities. 

Women are displayed as petty beings who submit to this man’s hotness. Actress Jia, empowered and famous, was used and thrown by Kabir. How dumb it was of Shiva to offer his sister like a sacrificial goat, to Kabir for marriage, who himself had an existential crisis. The women of this movie let these things happen to them, being meek, submissive, having no identity or will of their own, like a 19th-century damsel in distress.

Promotes Violence:

The usually angry Kabir is always ready to pounce on someone or the other. Easily provoked, he often gets involved in a brawl, which is hauntingly glamorized by the movie as a heroic act. Whether it’s a football field, his brother, his maid, or anyone who dares move against his will, the movie allows the 'hero' to thrash anyone.

The way Kabir slaps Preeti while dropping a six-hour insane ultimatum is the most common type of violence inflicted on the women but usually ignored. Preeti also slaps Kabir, twice in the movie out of hurt but Kabir’s intention was sheer dominance. Slapping or any form of assault is wrong, no matter what the intention or situation is; hence both of them are at fault. What’s enraging is the director’s attitude who justifies violence as an act of 'love'. Read the director's defence to widespread criticism. 

Encourages Intoxication:

The movie is suffocating because, for 90% of the time, Kabir is either drinking uncontrollably, has a cigarette permanently stuck between his lips, or knocks himself out on drugs. This onscreen glorification of intoxication can drive the mindless youth towards a dark well of destruction. People usually follow the hero as ideals. It encourages the youth to opt for intoxication to escape their problems and destroy them as well as their family’s life. This movie goes to the extent of stating that one’s mind can work better under the inebriated state. WOW!

Demeans Medical Professional:

Can someone drive or even stand properly under the influence of alcohol? Probably not, but guess what, our admirable hero Kabir performs surgeries only while he’s intoxicated. Too much for respect to the medical profession! This movie demeaned the doctors who show utmost sincerity towards their profession. It shows how easily one can endanger someone’s life because of their personal issues. 

Celebrates Obsessive Love:

Soon after the movie released, few idiotic girls swooned and wished for obsessive lover Kabir. This movie propagated the idea of obsessive love, which is toxic and devastating for both Kabir and Preeti. The youth must not forget that they have a life beyond their love interests. If it's an obsession, it’s not love. Love shouldn’t be a conquest of win and lose and the youth needs to learn that. While ‘Kabir Singh' simply inspires us to lose ourselves and get destroyed if we don’t conquer our love. This sick mentality shouldn’t be propagated at all.

Kabir’s infallible care towards Preeti, their intense love for each other, and Shiva’s impeccable friendship, the few positives of this horrible movie, cannot cover the problems that it inflicts towards the society as a whole. It lauds all the wrong practices and presents the wrong image of love, masculinity, and expression. It’s high time for the audience to understand the difference between reel and real and judge accordingly, so as not to take a lesson NOT to become the next Kabir Singh.

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Written by – Saakshi Priyadarshini

Edited by- Sravanthi Cheerladinne

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