Actress and filmmaker Nandita Das recently said in an interview that Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani starrer Kabir Singh's success was a celebration of misogyny. The Manto filmmaker, who did not mince her words, said that the film's success at the box office, where it made around Rs 380 crore, was a depiction of the society we live in.
“Whether it’s a propaganda film or a regressive film like Kabir Singh, there are two ways. One, where we look inwards: can we become more discerning? Can we choose not to watch it and enable more of the same? If I don’t like a Kabir Singh, I will talk about how misogynistic that film is. I will express dissent. But at the same time, cinema is also a reflection of society. If such a film is being made and it does well, what does that say about us?" she said, in an interview with Huffington Post.
"The audience is complicit. Even politically, there’s a complicity in all of us if we’re letting it—whatever that is going on—happen. It’s a scary, slippery slope: in the name of freedom, we don’t want hate speeches, we don’t want propaganda, we don’t want misogyny,” she said.
“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 further added.
Nandita Das recently helmed Manto, a biopic on the writer Saadat Hasan Manto, who fought for freedom of speech. She also said that she did not think that censorship of cinema was an answer. She gave an example of her own son and made a parallel comparison with films like Kabir Singh and over-reliance on gadgets. She said that she tried her best to give her son other options to spend time such as going to a museum.
"So in terms of cinema, we ought to create alternative narratives. Give people more options. That’s how you cultivate a discerning culture. When people have the ability and the choice to weigh a misogynistic film with something that isn’t, a film that shakes you up and makes you ask questions. If nothing, maybe they’ll have debate,” she said.
Kabir Singh received a lot of criticism for romanticising violence and obsession in a relationship.
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