It’s been around five months since Shahid Kapoor starrer Kabir Singh hit the theatres to criticism for being misogynist and romanticising violence in a relationship. The film, however, went on to become one of the biggest grossers of the year. Filmmaker Nandita Das has spoken out on the same now. The director of critically acclaimed films Manto and Firaaq recently talked about Kabir Singh and the kind of success it received at the Box Office in an interview. She didn’t mince her words in saying that the audience’s reception to the Sandeep Reddy directorial only shows how numb we are as a society towards misogyny. Nandita called Kabir Singh a ‘regressive film’ and said it absolutely shows that validation of a kind of male narrative according to which being violent towards women is ‘okay.’
Nandita is known for her work as an actor in films like Fire, 1947 Earth, Kamli and Bawander among others. In the light of Kabir Singh, she also questioned the kind of films that are offered to the audience. Nandita said while the audience has a choice of not watching a film that promotes sexism and toxic masculinity, it is also important to realise that such films are being made because they somewhere reflect the society. She said the acceptance of a film like Kabir Singh is the proof of society’s ‘complacency’.
Nandita told Huffington Post: “The success is, in straightforward terms, indicative of societal numbness, apathy and brutal celebration of misogyny. The success just validates a certain male narrative where you’re okay being violent towards women.”
She went on to assert that no filmmaker, in the name of freedom, should go on to promote and make films with hate speeches, propaganda and misogyny. She said, “If such a film is being made and it does well, what does that say about us? The audience is complicit.”
Earlier, when asked about the criticism received by Kabir Singh, both its director and actor maintained that they showed what exists in the society. Shahid tried to justify the film by taking examples of popular Hindi films from the past in which misogyny was celebrated. Director Sandeep Reddy maintained that he doesn’t believe there’s love in a relationship if the man has no right to slap his female partner. “If you can’t slap, if you can’t touch your woman wherever you want, if you can’t kiss, I don’t see the emotion there,” he said.
Your thoughts on Nandita’s statements against Kabir Singh?