Kabir Singh

​Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Suresh Oberoi, Kamini Kaushal, Arjan Bajwa and others.
Sandeep Reddy Vanga
Misogyny (drama/action)

If you have enjoyed Rowdy Rathore, Wanted, Tere Naam kind of cinema, you might enjoy Kabir Singh too. Kabir (Shahid Kapoor) has an anger management issue. Despite being a medical student, he has given this issue a free hand to run his life and that of the world around him. Nobody’s safe from his ire. He loses it on everyone, even his housemaid. Mistakes are not allowed, none that discomforts Kabir in anyway. He is used to people trembling in their boots when he walks past and does appear to enjoy that power.

It is with this disregard for other people’s opinion and wishes, that Kabir Singh falls in love with a junior in his medical school. His avid interest in Preeti (Kiara Advani) makes her tremble yet everyone and everything around her tells her that she should be glad that Kabir has singled her out. She has to be grateful that he has taken it upon himself to give her lectures, away from the classroom of course; not only in medicine but also on subjects such as friendship. It is Kabir who dictates who she should befriend etc. With time Kabir’s obsession grows and Preeti acquiesces.

Their love is not precisely what love is supposed to be, but it seems to make both of them happy till such time that the girl’s family decides to get her married off to someone else. The wedding shatters Kabir completely. He cannot get over Preeti and nothing seems to be worth it anymore.

What begins is an unsteady decline of an already unstable man. With his anger, his alcoholism, his drugs and more, Kabir might still be a top surgeon but he is a skeleton of man. How does he come around? For someone who is unforgiving of others, how does Kabir manage to forgive himself… and more makes the rest of the film…

What is best about Kabir Singh, is undoubtedly the music. The songs haunt you, drawing you in the helplessness of love, be it returned or unrequited. They almost make Kabir’s bizarre behaviour seem acceptable and justified, but then the music dies and you realise that Kabir is nothing but a tyrant who is used to having things his way.

As an actor, Shahid Kapoor has given Kabir Singh all the justification that he could, but Kabir Singh still looks like a spoilt brat who should not be getting things as easy as he does in the film. Writer-Director Sandeep Vanga who made Arjun Reddy, the Telegu film from which Kabir Singh is inspired clearly believes that it is acceptable to make a hero out of a loser. While the film does lean a little towards the likes of say a Devdas, giving the film a glorified ending makes the misogyny angle predominant than the repentance. As a dialogue in the film points out… “It’s 2019 how can they speak about caste” … and yet, we have a film which completely brings back the abla naari from the yore. Kiara Advani, does portray her part beautifully, nevertheless. You don’t see the Kiara you saw in Lust Stories or even Kalank for that matter. The girl is steadily moving ahead on the chart. For Shahid though, Kabir Singh might be more beneficial. The film, despite its regressive nature, plays to the gallery very well and there are moments, especially around the songs, that you forget why were you cringing just a minute ago. The only regret one has as a viewer is that never in the course of 175mins is Kabir Singh made out to be what is truly is, an egoistic addict. Here’s hoping we find cinema with such good music but a better moral soon.

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