KARACHI: Despite having a 7.4/10 IMDB rating, Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Kabir Singh has been subject to a lot of criticism since its release in June of this year. Now that it’s also on Netflix and reaching wider audiences, there has been an active debate occurring on the main character of the film, Kabir Singh, played by Shahid Kapoor.
We’ve listed some of the most toxic traits of the character that no man (ever) should look up to and no woman should ever tolerate. Also we should warn you, there may be some spoilers up ahead.
The character is highly narcissistic from the first two minutes of the film. There’s an obvious superiority complex that Kabir Singh displays throughout the film. He is unable to accept that any woman could deny/reject him when it comes to sex and proceeds to attempt to rape a girl at knife-point. He makes everyone succumb to his wants and needs otherwise he’ll erupt into a temper tantrum that is tolerated by everyone around him (which is highly confusing). The character is also highly patronising to the the hospital staff that he works with- often telling the nurses that they don’t know how to do their job right.
Kabir Singh’s character is the perfect representation of discrimination against women. The first scene of the film shows Kabir mindlessly hunting women to sleep with as if they are his next meal, depicting women to be worthy of one purpose only. This attitude is prevalent up until the end of the film as he proudly mentions that he’s slept with his love interest Preeti over 500 times (disgusting that he was even keeping count).
This leads us to how he treats Preeti. When he first sees her, he immediately feels the need to call ‘dibs’ on her by making an announcement to all the boys in the school that she is ‘his girl’. All this is done without ever having spoken to Preeti or asked for her consent. He then proceeds to kiss her, again without consent and then literally dictates her on how to live the remainder of her life, as though she’s a mindless follower. We don’t even actually hear Preeti speak up until the second half of the film as she is busy being traumatised and silenced by Kabir Singh in the entirety of the first half. There are a number of instances when he also belittles her by making fun of her clothing, asking her to constantly cover up.
3. Control freak
The man just can’t have it any other way but his own. The film received a lot of criticism because of this, with some people stating that there was a glorification of a man being angry after not getting what he wants. Kabir Singh tends to control everything; he controls his love interest by choosing what friends she should have, he controls where she should live, he controls who is allowed to speak to her, he controls what she wears, how she studies and dictates every aspect of her existence. His character demands people to succumb to him with people in his school shown to be afraid of him. Lastly, he has a weird control over his teachers as well- he is able to break all school rules without anyone protesting because they’re too scared to be beaten up by him.
4. Sickeningly regressive
Kabir is a man who believes that women and men can’t be equal. He sleeps with several women yet he believes that marrying a woman who has already slept with a man is not worthy of marrying. He is someone who does not believe that mental health problems are real and instead indulges in self-destructive tactics of injecting himself with morphine, snorting cocaine and drinking himself silly as the correct way to handle depression. He is also someone who believes highly in domestic violence, normally slapping the girl he proclaims to ‘love’ to knock some sense into her. Kabir Singh thinks that traumatizing women is okay.
But none of these things are okay!