Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, who had also helmed and directed the Telugu version, 'Arjun Reddy' spoke candidly about the controversies surrounding his film 'Kabir Singh' in an interview with Anupama Chopra.
Three weeks after Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani starrer 'Kabir Singh' hit the screens, director Sandeep Vanga Reddy sat down with Anupama Chopra and opened up about his thoughts and opinions regarding the film, his life and love in general.
Sandeep, who had also helmed and directed the Telugu version, 'Arjun Reddy' spoke candidly about the controversies surrounding 'Kabir Singh' in his interview to Chopra's YouTube show "Film Companion".
Talking about the backlash faced in Bollywood, he said that he felt it was a 'bizarre' reaction towards the film as the character is deeply flawed and should be looked at through that lens only. He went on to say that even though 'Arjun Reddy' faced criticism too, it was much worse for him in Bollywood.
In response to critics who called out the film on its glorification of misogyny and toxic masculinity, he ridiculed them by calling them "parasites who are the real threat to the film industry," and stated that they must not have "experienced love in the right way."
When Anupama Chopra tried to reason with him in regard to the comments by the critics, he said that if the movie had not been such a huge hit at the box office, the criticism for his film would have doubled. However, now that the film has earnt over Rs 200 crores, he does not want to concern himself with reviews which only gave his films 2 stars.
In a 35 minute chat, he managed to not only justify each and every scene of the film but also dismissed all negative arguments towards it. In turn, he blamed the audience for having such negative reactions.
When asked about a particular scene in the movie where Shahid Kapoor physically assaults Kiara Advani's character, Preeti, he said, "She slapped him without a reason, at least Kabir had a reason to slap her. If you can't slap, if you can’t touch your woman wherever you want, if you can't kiss, I don’t see the emotion there."
Watch the interview here:
Suffice to say, people were not happy with Sandeep's views and many took to Twitter to express their discontent:
By promoting movies like Kabir Singh and directors like Sandeep Reddy Vanga, we are indulging a highly destructive catharsis that will hurt everyone in its path. It is not art, but abuse of cinema to normalise violence against women https://t.co/BFAXTmSEp5
At one point Anupama Chopra calls Sandeep Reddy Vanga 'Kabir' by mistake and quickly corrects herself. Don't think that was necessary. This is #KabirSingh we are looking at, one who thinks those who have never physically assaulted their partner have never been in love. https://t.co/4gIwqpcz8Y
One of the users even narrated her own story with a real-life Kabir Singh:
I knew a Kabir Singh in college and I shudder at the thought of revisiting memories from that time of my life, all thanks to him. Didn't think I will muster the energy to put this out but Sandeep Vanga's interview triggered stuff even watching Arjun Reddy for context couldn't. /1