Kabir Singh: 2019

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With all the myths circumventing around this movie, I wanted to give it a try. Although, I don’t like watching romantic drama, unless it has some comic angle like Jab We Met. And yes, I like Shahid Kapoor’s acting performances in Haider, Kaminey, Jab We Met, and Udta Punjab. One more motivating factor to watch this movie was my 9-months daughter. My wife and I have been engrossed in watching Charlie Puth’s videos almost all day long for months now. It’s not because we are some big fan of him but because our daughter is just addicted to his music and puts a smile on her face when she sees him. In all, it became an honest urge to take a break and watch something else for a change. Luckily, I saw Kabir Singh’s preview on Netflix and decided to put my daughter to sleep early.

The basic dilemma has been its misogynist angle for most viewers which I failed to find in the entire movie. In bits and pieces, the male anger has been depicted as a cool thing. But the price the main character pays because of his anger is also something that needs to be acknowledged. Sandeep Reddy Vanga, himself, having studied physiotherapy must know the details of what not to do as a medical practitioner. And he depicted well in the movie.

Let’s dissect this movie as a reviewer and not as a surgeon. This movie has three phases. The first phase is a portrayal of men’s innermost desire and fantasy of living a college campus life similar to that of Kabir Singh. A life where he could be the smartest in the room with an attitude to conquer over people. He takes pride in his temperament and could put a finger on a girl and that girl will belong to him only. The anger that the character shows mostly comes from his self-respect but he easily sidelines it when his ego is on the cards. He blurs that fine division between self-respect and ego. This is evident when he visits his girlfriend’s house and meets her father. He just couldn’t take abuse from her father and instead of realizing the situation, he puts his relationship with his girlfriend at danger. That’s the main thing viewers complained of and I found it amusing for the character.

The director, Sandeep Reddy Vanga, spun it in a way that the character pays a heavy price for his ego. The second phase starts with this only. Instead of understanding the full situation, he angrily assumes that his girlfriend had ditched him. He then went on to become a Devdas. Abhay Deol also played that role in Dev.D. But the performance pulled out by Shahid Kapoor is commendable. He looks more original.

The third phase is more of director’s urge to show that everything will be alright and the end should always be beautiful. This is where I found this movie the most annoying. It’s unreal and highly Bollywood style. But that’s how most people like it too.

The acting performances are great in the movie. The one character I liked the most was the friend who stayed and helped Kabir Singh to get out of his bad phase. He could take abuses and will still stay and support him. In real life, it’s not easy to find a friend like him and that’s the main thing the main character banked on. Soham Majumdar performed it beautifully. The relationship with father and brother has also been done right by Suresh Oberoi and Arjan Bajwa respectively. Kiara Advani also did what she could do best in this male-centric drama.

The movie in itself has nothing to offer. The story cannot be idolized, the moral cannot be easily deduced, and that the main character can neither be categorized as protagonist nor as antagonist. I can empathize with viewers on this. There’s no clear cut demarcation on the main character’s personality. But that’s how normal people could be. And I rightly don’t mean to say that’s how people should be.