Shahid Kapoor’s recent movie ‘Kabir Singh’ is a rage amongst the masses. Starring Shahid Kapoor in the lead role, and directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, the movie, based on the director’s own Telugu movie ‘Arjun Reddy’ has been overwhelmingly praised by the audience, with most of the shows running housefull even today. According to film trade analyst Taran Adarsh, Kabir Singh has earned a whopping total of Rs. 235.72 crores just domestically, and has earned the status of an All Time Blockbuster.
However, not everyone was pleased with this movie. A lot of left-liberal critics, especially pseudo-feminists, bashed the movie left, right and center for its alleged ‘glorification of toxic masculinity’. Some even accused this film of promoting ‘rape culture’ and ‘kidnapping’, apart from bashing the movie for glorifying ‘physical assault’.
As such, when the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga sat down with one such left-liberal critic, Anupama Chopra, everyone expected him to present his side of the story. But he just did not present his side of the story; he took such pretentious critics to the cleaners, lashing out at them for talking about everything but his own film.
To begin with, when Anupama Chopra asked him about what did he mean when he termed the criticism as pseudo, Sandeep replied nonchalantly, “I feel it’s pseudo because when you’re deeply in love, when you’re deeply attracted to a woman or vice versa.. There’s a lot of honesty in it. If you don’t have the liberty of slapping each other, then I don’t see anything there.” He further added about the difference between the criticism of Arjun Reddy and Kabir Singh, “In Telugu you know, the difference was that they were criticizing on too many aspects, but here they were focusing only on the feminist side, and nothing else.”
He then went on to expose the hypocrisy of notorious critic Rajeev Masand, who has been criticized for downgrading good movies while unfairly upgrading pathetic movies on the other hand. Sandeep Vanga said, “There’s one fat guy who reviewed my film, the one with salt and pepper hair. He gave 2 and audience gave 200 crore plus, so I don’t see a point. These people don’t know the difference between description and objectifying. If you don’t understand these basics and yet you call yourself a critic, it’s very sad. I feel these guys are a threat to the film industry, and not piracy.”
Sandeep wasn’t far from the truth, since Rajeev Masand has been criticized for his extremely biased criticism. On one hand, he didn’t deem a film as remarkable as ‘Uri’ for anything more than 3 stars, but he had no qualms in giving movies like ‘Article 15’ and ‘Mulk’ more than 4 stars. Fun fact, he even gave Sanju, which was way more misogynistic than Kabir Singh, 3.5 stars out of 5.
However, Sandeep didn’t just stop here, and to the surprise of one and all, he openly roasted another notorious left liberal critic, Sucharita Tyagi, who is a co-critic on Film Companion, the channel managed by Anupama Chopra. He criticized Sucharita for her venomous review, where she accused Kabir Singh of promoting ‘kidnapping’ and ‘rape culture’. He revealed his own work with rape victims as a physiotherapy intern and mocked Sucharita for trivializing their ordeals, saying that ‘these folks probably don’t even know the spelling of rape. They talk about films and have become famous because of such films. In a very softer tone, I would term them as parasites’. Probably Sandeep doesn’t know how Sucharita mocked the emotional scenes in ‘Uri – The Surgical Strike’, having the gall to call it ‘manipulative’.
Sandeep Vanga even went on to the extent of bashing ‘Sanju’ on the same show for its promiscuous content, which was quite ironic, given that Anupama’s own husband Vidhu Vinod Chopra had backed and financed this movie. No wonder why the entire left-liberal cabal, led by Sucharita Tyagi, went completely aghast on the brilliant roasting done by Sandeep Vanga, and they had the following to say about him –
Feminism asks for equal rights.
It’s not OK for anyone to be slapped. It is not OK for any person of any gender to be in a toxic relationship.
I do know that most women and men who use feminism in a negative context don’t know what it stands for and that’s OK.
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) July 7, 2019
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
— Vasudha Venugopal (@vasudha_ET) July 6, 2019
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
— Shephali Bhatt (@ShephaliBhatt) July 6, 2019
In case anyone was still wondering if Kabir Singh was celebratory or cautionary, you don’t gotta wonder no more.
— Sucharita Tyagi (@Su4ita) July 6, 2019
Movie was a movie…but justifying physical abuse?? If u love someone u have the right to slap? Gosh…this guy needs to be shown all the love without physical hurt!! Pathetic!!
— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) July 7, 2019
However, Sandeep is equally resolute and totally unconcerned about the backlash. To quote his interview to Times Now, “Go, watch it and enjoy. If you don’t like the film then fine. You took me completely wrong. It’s not assault. When you’re so close to each other, when you can’t handle your worst thing with each other, and you don’t have the liberty of showing your worst side… The worst thing is not like ‘iss din daaru peeke aake maar rha hai’. It’s about the liberty of the expression between a couple who is deeply connected. It works for a woman also and it works for a man also. I spoke for both the sides. But sadly, they are quoting in a very wrong way (sic).”
This was probably one of the main reasons why despite the ‘liberal’ backlash, the masses were resolute in their support for Sandeep throughout.
In an age, where left-liberal intelligentsia continuously bullies people to toe to their diktats of ‘political correctness’, it is heartening to see people like Sandeep Reddy Vanga stand up for what is right, even if it makes the intelligentsia unhappy. After Aditya Dhar, Sandeep Reddy Vanga is probably the second person who has openly taken on the left-liberal critics and has won the battle hands down, both with the masses and in terms of financial performance.