The jury is out but the debate rages on. Kabir Singh has invoked so many arguments, ruffled so many feathers and triggered an avalanche of war of words in the online world, and all of it continues till date. Undeterred by the barrage of negative criticism, Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani starrer Kabir Singh has set the box office on fire which was looking gloomy after the massive failures of Kalank and India’s Most Wanted. It has brought the audiences back to Bollywood movies which wanted something different from its cine industry after witnessing an awe-inspiring Hollywood Behemoth Avengers: Endgame. Kabir Singh is “different” and how! Since Padmaavat’s Jauhar scene debate triggered by Swara Bhaskar’s open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bollywood and fans have never been so divided. From being labelled as a “toxic display of masculinity” to “promoting misogyny and violence against women” to “patriarchy”, Kabir Singh was bombarded with never seen before criticism. Film’s director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, in a series of interviews to media houses, hit back saying these reviews are more harmful to the movie industry than piracy and reviewers should also have some ethics while describing a movie. Vanga said their choice of words was objectifying the women more than the film itself. Vanga has vehemently defended his movie. His interviews have also not gone down well with some commentators…Enough of that already!
Kabir Singh has been declared an all-time blockbuster and is eyeing to cross Rs 250 crore mark at the box office. Braving competition from new Bollywood and Hollywood releases including Spiderman – Far From Home, Kabir Singh saw a massive footfall in its third weekend, especially in multiplexes. In a short span of time, Kabir Singh has attained a “cult” status mirroring the success of its original Telugu version Arjun Reddy which is said to be partially inspired by the life of its director Sandeep Reddy Vanga. We take a look at some of the reasons behind the monstrous success of Kabir Singh and why negative criticism failed to keep the audiences away from the magnetism of Kabir Singh.
Why Kabir Singh worked at the box office?
The exuberance of youth
India is a young country and the young energy catches anything that talks to them in their language. In Dumbledore’s words, “Oh to be young and to feel the keen sting of love”. Audiences have felt that sting – of young college students madly in love, unaffected by the surroundings or by the shackles of the society painting town/s red with their passionate romance. They are free-spirited and they don’t care about anyone or anything that does not matter to them. Just the like the film!
Love, intellect and career can co-exist
The young generation is career-oriented. They do fall in love but that does not make them fall out of their studies and career path. (Spoiler Alert) Though Kabir Singh’s self-destructive lifestyle does harm his career eventually but he was always passionate about being a surgeon. He was meritorious, intelligent and sharp. But that was after his love was snatched away from him. While they were together, they were growing in their respective careers quite smoothly.
College days nostalgia
As they say, school or college life is the golden period of an individual’s life. The movie takes audiences down the path of college and hostel life. It was very different from how Aamir Khan’s 3-Idiots addressed it. It was about how the protagonist feels about it. It was more close to his reality and since audiences got connected with his story, they brought his ideas as well. It also showed how senior-junior dynamic works out in the real world.
Dil Dosti Yaari
Kabir Singh’s story has literally no narrative without the character of Shiva played by Sohum Majumdar. Shiva is the best friend of Kabir Singh. Shiva goes where Kabir Singh goes. He fights with him, he laughs with him and he cries for him. He is ready to make any sacrifice for him. Shiva is every individual’s dream friend. In a recent interview, Majumdar said that he followed the passion of his director. It clearly shows on screen. Some viewers have liked the chemistry between Shahid and Sohum more than Shahid and Kiara’s. Shiva can get a film for himself!
The moral compass
Humans are not black and white. That’s Zebra. Most of us live a life neither full virtues nor of sins. It is somewhere in between. Life is grey, so are human beings. We react to situations as per our understanding. Shahid Kapoor’s Kabir Singh is not a typical hero. He is also not a villain either. He has his own virtues and vices. Discussions on his vices have been done to death. There are two instances in the movie where Kabir displays his morality. (Spoiler alert) When Preeti’s father sees him smoking and asks him whether his parents know about it, Kabir tells him the truth and says he wont lie to his family about his habit. In another scene, Kabir Singh accepts the fact that he was under the influence of alcohol while performing a critical surgery much to the dismay of his family and friends. He rejects the idea of saving himself from punishment using unfair means.
Music to ears!
In Bollywood, a film’s success is also determined by how popular the movie’s songs are. Kabir Singh’s music is topping the chart from the day of its release. Kabir Singh’ music by Mithoon, Amaal Mallik, Vishal Mishra, Sachet – Parampara and Akhil Sachdeva has made its way into every playlist. Film’s songs like Bekhayali sung by Sachet Tandon, Kaise Hua sung by Vishal Mishra, Mere Sohneya by Sachet and Parampara and Tujhe Kitna Chahne Lage by Arijit Singh, etc. are chart-busters. Film’s catchy music also has a young feel to it and it helped the film get a head-start at the box office.