Kabir Singh (2019) – Movie Review

Kabir Singh is a romance drama film written and directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga. It is a remake of his own Telugu film Arjun Reddy (2017). The story of Arjun Reddy and resultantly Kabir Singh is partially inspired by Vanga’s life as a physiotherapy student. He worked on the script for two years and it took four to five years for the film to materialize.

The film tells the story of title character Kabir Singh (Shahid Kapoor), a high-functioning alcoholic practicing surgeon who has anger management issues. The film depicts the self-destructive path which he chooses to take after the marriage of his longtime girlfriend Preeti (Kiara Advani).

As portrayed in the film, Kabir Singh is an alcoholic, drug addict, womanizer, hateful, toxic, short-tempered, controlling, obsessive, abusive character; and surely he is all of that. And so many reviews are coming up around as why to represent such a controversial character as a ‘Hero’. But having said that, in my opinion, this highly unlikable, unconventional, and unreasonable lead character still keeps the audience engaged till the end. And that’s what the film’s objective is to make a captivating and engaging drama. In some moments, he even does some things, which are highly questionable; but why can’t we accept the fact that he’s a human after all, and people are bad and flawed like everybody else, in their own way, and such characters do exist in the real world, no matter how much we deny it. But as a viewer, if you are whistling and clapping and making noise for his questionable actions, then you need to look inside yourself, and need to get rid off that Kabir inside you. It is like people just want to see the brighter stuff, and whenever something darker comes up they choose to change the TV channel.

The film is definitely not trying to glorify such bad character; it is just telling a tragic, hateful, and unapologetic story. And how many times we see such a complicated character getting alive on screen, not many. The efforts which makers have put in to create this character are great. The performance of Shahid Kapoor is powerful and impacting, he definitely belongs to that talent pool of the industry, he has clearly slipped into the veins of this character. Soham Majumdar as Shiva, Kabir’s best friend, has done a brilliant job, he never leaves Kabir alone in any situation, no matter how worse it gets, that’s one of the good takeaways of the film. But while making the lead character so solid, the makers have left some gaps in other characters, like the character of Priti played by Kiara, she just seems shallow to me, she does not have much to do or express. And, in the film, when their love gets so intense was also left unexplained. I wasn’t much convinced with the intensity of their relationship, which also made me less interested in romantic songs (which are actually good if you don’t relate it with the film or its characters). But the overall background score of the film is effective and it keeps the story gripping.

I haven’t watched the original one, as I wanted this one to hit me directly in a raw state, without comparing it with the original, and without having any idea about the character or the overall story. And yes, the film does an interesting character exploration supported by Shahid’s performance and made me uncomfortable with some really unsettling moments.

Verdict : The film does justice to the story and its characters. It is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. Be ready for some unconventional and unsettling romance drama.

Rating : 4/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiANSSgCuJk

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