'Kabir Singh' starring Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani in pivotal roles is one of the most anticipated films of the year, and as we all know it is the official remake of Telugu blockbuster 'Arjun Reddy'. The film revolves around an ill-tempered man (Shahid Kapoor) whose an obsession for the love of his life, his girlfriend (Kiara Advani) leads him to self-destruction. So were the lead characters able to do justice to this true blue remake of the Telugu blockbuster? Let's find out
Portrayed as an aggressive, obsessive boyfriend is Kabir Singh (Shahid Kapoor). At first, he is shown as a medical professional, who is amazingly good at his job but has one problem- Alcohol abuse. However, a few minutes into the film, the crevices of Singh's past are displayed. As a senior and a topper of one of Delhi's prestigious medical institutes, he wields immense power. There are hardly a few who would mess with him. By his own admission, he is a rebel with a cause and the main story starts when he lays eyes on Preeti (Kiara Advani) and decides that it is love at first sight. Although their typical love story may have a lot of romantic toppings, it is not all flowers and roses for the couple. After graduating and surviving long distance, the two decide to take the next step. However, Kabir's unsettled and self-destructive streak manifests, which is also the beginning of the real journey of his character into the deep dark abyss of chasing the love of his life. The first half revolves around womanizing, drug addiction, alcoholism and brash male toxicity, which due to Shahid Kapoor's tremendous performance seems justified but definitely raises an eyebrow for the viewer.
"I am not a rebel without a cause," Kabir Singh ( Shahid Kapoor) tells his dean (Adil Hussain) when questioned about the brawl at an inter-collegiate football match. With the same passion, he woos this ever-silent meek girl Preeti Sikha (Kiara Advani) in what feels like minutes. The two are quick to fall in love, although given Singh's brazen attitude, the viewer at one point might laud Preeti's patience and be completely stunned by how in the 21st century, a woman follows a man when she is told to, even if its fiction. Being the typical tragic love-story, the problem starts when the couple decides to take the next step, and tie the knot. However, Singh's anger manifests to a point, where he no longer has control over himself and after a certain turn of events, takes the self-destructive path.
The tale stays afloat with Shahid Kapoor being the sole driving force of this 3 hour, 10 minutes long film. Kiara Advani on the other hand, is not too bad given the fact that she is left to use silence as her only tool for performance. With such limited scope, she never really gets a chance to shine. The remake stays true to the original. However, in the Telugu blockbuster, the chemistry between the lead actors was better, which gave the viewer a sense of realism. One can say that although the film is a fresh take on the stereotypical love story, this genre still needs some time getting used to.
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Nikita Dutta, and Arjan Bajwa
What works: Shahid Kapoor's power-packed performance, music sequences
What doesn't work: Chemistry between the lead actors, normalising the use of alcohol, drugs, etc.
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