In one particular sequence of Kabir Singh, a furious and dejected Shahid Kapoor confronts a devastated Kiara Advani. 'Kaun janta tha tujhe campus mein? Koi nahi. Kabir ki bandi hai bas tu', he hurls. This follows with a tight slap. The sole worry of the film underlies in the above two sentences. A rather unfair sense of custody over the romantic partner that one can't empathise with.
Kabir Singh, a Hindi remake of the Telugu super hit Arjun Reddy, chronicles a meritorious medical student and later a proficient doctor's journey, who, in his personal sphere, is heading to self-destruction by being an angry young man. His love for his college junior Preeti (Kiara Advani) is unquestionable. It is the kind of love that wants to make way, despite all odds. A rift in their relationship puts Shahid through an emotional detriment that he doesn't know how to heal. There begins the shattering of his real self.
A flawed character is probably more lovable than one with no blemishes. Shahid breathes life into Kabir Singh who loves wildly. On days, his love is bright. On days, it's grim. And it starts looking problematic the moment he, in his gloom, resorts to cringe-worthy misogyny. He loves his Preeti but owns her even more. He protects her fiercely but possesses her even more. So much so that Preeti is rather comfortable being meek. You are initially in awe of the vehemence of Shahid's passion. But the normalisation of supremacy and dominance is a scar, especially in the first half.
Kabir Singh, however, is a man of integrity. He would have the black and white truths than the colourful bubbles of indecision. He'd not hide behind lies to escape the realm of hurt, which, in his case, is the reality. We can't help but love him for that.
Shahid is the driving force of the film, whose aggression is rightly soothed by Kiara's calmness. The futility of a broken heart and the angst of being oblivious are beautifully brought alive by the actor. Kiara gets into the skin of a tranquil Preeti quite decently but gives away a handful of moments that could truly belong to her.
Parallel to the love story, there are other humane bonds that keep the film going. The most stirring among them is between Kabir and elder brother Karan (Arjan Bajwa). Amidst the harshness of a separation, Kabir is shielded by Karan's no-question-asked shoulders. Always. Soham Majumdar, as Shahid's friend Shiva, is another important addition in the sphere of people who've made the watch worth it. After all, they say you seldom walk alone!
Watch Kabir Singh for a splendid deliverance by Shahid, for he shines.Read More