Preeti Sikka

I wasn’t going to write a review on a movie like Kabir Singh. But today, I had another discussion with a friend who liked the movie. I don’t consider it to be a good movie. Socially or technically. The movie should actually be called Preeti Sikka. Because let’s face it, the person who breaks the fourth wall is her.

I know where the movie goes wrong. So many places. But look at the way it seems to be earning bucks. Most of the people on social media seem to be loving it. It was made with a budget of 60 crore and it earned 380 crore at the box office. What was I missing?

I decided to save my opinion until after I saw the movie. I first started watching Arjun Reddy on Netflix, and then after a while, the subtitles and what was going on was too much to process for my mind, so I switched over to Kabir Singh. The same director directed the two and the scenes have been replicated to a letter, so I don’t suppose I missed out on nuances in the original. Though I have been told by a director friend, who has seen both, that Vijay Devarkonda version has portrayed sensitivity – attributing it to Vijay’s depiction of the character. I don’t think I shall be able to see Arjun Reddy though.

Most of the vignettes (if I can call them that) in the movie reek with such machismo that it sets feminism back several decades. I have been told of the culture of med college life, but first year college girls, walking like subjugated slaves, (the heroine in virginal white) isn’t something that I can still quite get over. The movie is like the over-the-top, male-dominated Hindi movies you watch, where the brash hero is filled with such ego that the match stick he flicks from his lips can skewer the villain standing yards away. I guess it’s a different sort of fantasy genre.

Maybe not.

Maybe these things actually happen in our society. Where a woman is taken over without a by your leave and branded as a Texan cowboy would do to his cattle. It’s a fair analogy. Because that is exactly what Preeti becomes, essentially.

If I may, psychologically dissecting the character, her father seems to be no better. So she was raised to be subservient? And of course, when hero and father meet there is a furthering of catastrophe. And then there is a slapping episode. Again, I must note, the scene seems to be the rage on tiktok, with most influencers on tiktok, using Kabir’s dialogues, castigating Preeti. (Sometimes, I wonder if the dark ages really left.) No one really thinks about how overwhelming his ego is. And if they do, they are actually celebrating it. Not a very healthy phenomenon.

I am say that this is also really worrisome, because this sort of thing actually happens. People go catatonic after a break up. I know I did. Of course, I am a different breed, because I didn’t go tearing into my ex’s life, demanding an explanation. I did not demand that he choose between his family and my love … I just realized that people love differently, some not so strong enough to withstand pressures of the world, and I let it be at that.

There is that kind of love that makes you break all bonds of sanity and society and head into a turmoil of passion. Some would say, that is what passion and love are. Haven’t romance novels written copiously of strong, hot headed heroes lifting girls and carrying them off to their castles? I should know, I used to read them by the dozen. Have society and age influenced me so strongly that I have forgotten what it was to be in the grips of passion? Of course, if I met my ex, I may ask for an explanation. Because I don’t believe that true love ends. It carries on.

Which is the only part of the movie I liked, the fact that he overcomes his ego enough to take on the girl and her baby – even if it was not his own. And then the about turn by Preeti. Seriously though, the movie should have been named after her. The only character that sticks to her guns and lives by her code. I mean, she could have started drinking and hooking up, too… but I guess that is just too much to ask – to even be thought of for a woman to do. Or maybe, let’s just face it, the movie wanted to portray that women aren’t stupid enough to be so utterly selfish and self-destructive.

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