Kabir Singh is a strange film about a very strange man. The way his character is written, the things he does, he’s begging to be judged. An obsessive lover with anger management issues, a man unable to let go of the past.
No wonder his life is a downward spiral, a self-propelled tryst with destruction. Alcohol, cocaine, cigarettes, sex. The makers have given you every possible cue to judge his character. If he’s not a bad guy, who is?
Amidst the expletives, the bursts of anger, intoxication and inebriation, and the insufferable alpha male behaviour, the director quietly also puts forth other parts about Kabir Singh’s character. Watch him through a prism of pre-conceived ideas about good and bad, and you may forget these pointers very quickly, so far and few are they.
They reveal an idealistic personality, a man with a Howard Roarkian sense of objectivity of the world he inhabits.
He is unable to find a contrast between the impeccable dedication for his patients and the abandon towards his own well being. He is unable to fathom why anyone should view his relationship with the love of his life with anything but a pure eye. He is a person who has let go every control over his own self (including his bladder!), and yet has the unfaltering precision of a master surgeon when in the operating theatre. He is seemingly misogynistic but is never seen treating a woman against her will. And he is unwaveringly, unapologetically honest about himself.
Shahid Kapoor plays Kabir Singh with a hard-nosed determination. Physically, he is a good choice for this contradictory character. He is able to switch between the soft romantic to obsessive lover to a depressive maniac convincingly. In no small measure, this is thanks to director Sandeep Reddy Vanga and his writing team. They create a mesmerising, unorthodox character inhabiting a world full of conventions. There are sparks every time the two clash. For sheer originality, kudos to the creators of the film.
Kabir Singh is the rare instance where the character and the movie are intertwined in their final judgement. They are both hard to swallow, and often repulsive to see. But they are undoubtedly fascinating to watch, as they unfold in front of our eyes.
Hindi, Drama, Color