Shahid Kapoor has sparked a new angle in the ongoing discussion surrounding his 2019 hit movie, Kabir Singh. The film upon its release drew immense flak for 'promoting toxic masculinity'. He's said that while he gets the criticism of love being equated to physical abuse in the film, he believes that “everyone deserves a second chance” when in love.
Four years ago, the release of Kabir Singh, Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Hindi adaptation of his Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy, made a significant impact on Bollywood discussions. Despite its tremendous box office success, the film received criticism for its portrayal of the main character, Kabir Singh, as an aggressive individual engaged in a physically abusive romantic relationship with Preeti, portrayed by Kiara Advani.
In an interview with Mid-Day, Shahid Kapoor addressed the criticism surrounding Kabir Singh, acknowledging his own firsthand experience of witnessing physical abuse during his childhood. He said, “I've seen physical abuse as a child. I understand what you're talking about” and explained that the film portrayed a dysfunctional love story between a simple girl and a talented yet troubled and aggressive individual, emphasising that such situations occur in real life on a regular basis.
He further clarified that he did not perceive the character of Kabir Singh as either a hero or an anti-hero but simply as the protagonist of the story. He drew a parallel to other iconic characters like Devdas, acknowledging that not all protagonists are inherently good. He clarified that Devdas, like Kabir Singh, displayed flaws and engaged in physical abuse towards Paro. However, Kapoor was careful to note that he still considers Devdas to be a great film.
Shahid Kapoor emphasised that his intention with Kabir Singh was not to portray the character as a perfect individual. He acknowledged that everyone makes mistakes in love and believes in giving people second chances, even if they have flaws. The film's promotional material clearly established Kabir Singh as a disturbed, self-destructive character with anger management issues, signalling that it would explore such complexities.
Kapoor expressed that the film aimed to depict various aspects of life, where not everything fits neatly into neat categories of right or wrong.
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