Arjun Reddy made its blockbuster impact and kindled its Bollywood remake- Kabir Singh. Shahid Kapoor breathes life into the character, but are we get the right message from it?
Passion, obsession and maniacal infatuation, the perfect ingredients forming the core of a twisted psyche, breathtakingly portrayed by ace Bollywood stars. Adding an riveting galvanization to the standard, friendship, passion, heart-break and enemy-tumbling anctics that the indian cinema has conditioned its viewers to adore.
Along the same tangent, Kabir Singh brings us testosterone blinded, self-destructive toxic masculinity at its zenith. Powered by Shahid Kapoor’s brilliant acting acumen, the viewers are thrilled to witness the skewed appropriation and propagation of patriarchal dominance.
The furore arises not with the dramatic depiction of a neurotic love saga but the glorification and upliftment of it. The problem arises when such flawed characters are celebrated for their socially inappropriate and borderline criminal acts. Leading to confabulation in the viewers that if the lead character can get away with it all, why can’t they.
As a matter of fact, Bollywood has perpetuated a similar act for a few decades now. Somewhere around Darr, Baazigar and Tere Naam, the notion of female consent and empowerment was diluted in the male masochism. It had been made easy for the prototype lover to believe that they will win their girl with the wrong acts too.
Bollywood has supplied a considerable amount of such flawed characters that qualify as examples for a substantial section of the society. Actions of the infamous protagonists, conveniently accepted by the society on the silver screen, when in reality, these lead to strict legal actions and infringements of the basic fundamental rights.
But within the indie sensibility of the movie, lies its most dubious intention. Masquerading as a raw, honest portrayal, the movie goes to great extent in lionising its eponymous protagonist. The problem isn’t that the movie centres on a selfish, short tempered and abusive character. Indeed, as trolls have pointed out, many movies and TV shows exist that have been driven by complex, morally grey characters. But while those works have attempted to tell those stories by fully fleshing out the context, and the consequences this harmful behaviour has on others, Arjun Reddy is content with giving its hero alpha moments full of guttural, impulsive, violent reactions
Their realistic interpretations is where Bollywood is going so wrong. At this standpoint, come the mature audiences who defend the movie for its dystopian presentations.