Kabir singh controversy

Since the  1st day of release of the movie “Kabir Singh”, the movie has found itself in the midst of controversy. While many have loved the movie, there is a section who is not impressed with the storyline and portrayal of the character played by Shahid Kapoor. Let’s analyse whether Kabir Singh controversy is worth it?

Kabir Singh, regardless of the fact that it has had the best opening for a Shahid Kapoor starrer, has been panned by critics for its misogynistic and toxic male lead role. 

Even before its release, Shahid Kapoor was faced with this question as one reporter took him on about him playing a character who slaps women and generally behaves in a manner that cannot be an example for others. 

Shahid Kapoor was, however, unfazed, and he said, “I have to play characters for their good and bad. I have to represent them honestly. That is what acting is all about. Otherwise, I am just wanting (people) to like me.”

Shahid may have silenced his interlocutor with his smart, matter-of-fact reply, but things did not end there, as overzealous adherents of political correctness seem set out on ‘cleansing’ every kind of communication because political correctness posits that any kind of expression or attitude, be it in fiction or real life, that discomfits others should be excised at all costs.

That is why you increasingly find movie reviewers unhappy with characters (and hence unhappy with the film) that tend to cross the line of acceptable behaviour. Many movies from yesteryear are now seen as not being legitimate as yesterday’s passionate lover is today’s creep.

With the time the movies have also evolved. In contrast to earlier movies where character of lead actor was written unidimensionally, now their character are so written so as to incorporate more than one dimension. At instances they may behave in a particular way reflecting their weaknesses. Some of their traits may not fit into the framework of morality created by society.  This makes the character more realistic and hence more relatable. So if a movie is negatively reviewed just because it is not morally correct is not justified.  It should be realized that if characters were to be justified then there would have been no Amrish Puri, Pran and many other legendary actors who chose to play negative in the reel life.

Nevertheless the character of Kabir Singh cannot be justified in the light of above argument. A drunkard, drug addict and over aggressive person is anything but justifiable. Dialogues such as – healthy girls are not attractive actions such as – kissing without one’s consent, are beyond any rational explanation. There are many such instances in the movie where you may feel uncomfortable by the amount of objectification, preeti sikka, the character played by Kiara Advani, is subjected to by male protagonist. Character of Kabir Singh is what you should never be like-there is no two ways about it.


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