Directed by: Sandeep Vanga
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Suresh Oberoi
Genre: Drama, Romance, Action, Thriller
Release date: 21 June, 2019
Running Time: 118 Minutes
Kabir Singh is a remake of a south Indian movie Arjun Reddy (2017), where a short-tempered house surgeon gets used to drugs and drinks when his girlfriend is forced to marry another person.
Kabir Singh is an upcoming Indian Hindi-language drama film written and directed by Sandeep Vanga. It is a remake of his own Telugu film Arjun Reddy (2017). Jointly produced by Cine1 Studios and T-Series, the film stars Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani. It focuses on the title character, an alcoholic surgeon who goes on a self-destructive path after his ex-lover marries someone else. Principal photography began in October 2018, and ended in March 2019. The film is scheduled for a theatrical release on 21 June 2019.
Kabir Singh Movie Trailer:
After the success of the Telugu film Arjun Reddy (2017), its writer and director Sandeep Vanga wanted to remake it in Hindi with Ranveer Singh. When it did not work out, he approached Shahid Kapoor. However, producers Murad Khetani and Ashwin Varde of Cine1 Studios, who acquired the remake rights for Hindi, wanted Arjun Kapoor to play the male lead. Disappointed, Vanga said, “I’ve come to know that the remake rights of Arjun Reddy have been sold and it would star Arjun Kapoor. I am caught in a dilemma, as I’ve already locked Shahid for the role. It’s a very embarrassing situation for me. I don’t know how I’ll face Shahid.” In April 2018, however, it was officially announced that Shahid Kapoor would star, with Vanga returning as director. Bhushan and Krishan Kumar of T-Series co-produced the film.
Vanga was confident that the remake would be even more hard hitting: “When I made Arjun Reddy, I wasn’t sure where to draw the line in terms of representation of certain things. I don’t think I’d have to restrict myself when it comes to the Hindi version. I believe I’ll have more freedom in Bollywood.” Tara Sutaria was initially announced as the female lead. However, due to the postponement of her debut release Student of the Year 2, she exited the film. The makers then hired Kiara Advani to play the role of Preeti, after Vanga saw her performance in M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016). According to Vanga, “Kiara epitomises the female character in the film to the T. She has the perfect combination of innocence (in terms of looks) and maturity (in terms of performance) that’s so important for the character”.
The makers considered beginning the shoot in August, but it was delayed to September as Vanga wanted Kapoor to grow his beard more for the role. Principal photography eventually began on 21 October 2018 at Mumbai, and the title Kabir Singh was revealed on 25 October. Vanga explained his reasons for choosing this title: “When we started work on the Hindi script, it was a very exciting journey. Kabir Singh, as the protagonist’s name, came naturally, considering the character’s graph. Kabir Singh has the same punch and madness of Arjun Reddy.” Santhanakrishnan was selected as the cinematographer.
Kapoor dons three different looks for the film. Regarding this he said, “There’s a certain mind space and the present which the character is in and there’s also the past which he has been part of. Along with this, there’s the culmination. So, there are three distinct energies that the film needs.” Principal photography wrapped on 29 March 2019.
The soundtrack is composed by Amaal Mallik and Vishal Mishra.
Kabir Singh is scheduled to be released on 21 June 2019. Khetani refused to release the film in Pakistan, following the 2019 Pulwama attack.
The official teaser of the film was released on 8 April 2019 by T-Series.
Kabir Singh Movie Review:
There are so many shots of cigarette smoking in Kabir Singh I’m surprised they didn’t rope in Akshay Kumar for a supporting role, to keep reminding the film’s leading man to replace cigarettes with sanitary napkins. Substance abuse is the least toxic thing about this sickening film, the most misogynistic Indian film in a long time. This is a film about a bully, an abuser of women, an alcoholic surgeon, an insensitive lout, and a foulmouthed hothead — and that’s just the so-called hero.
Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, remaking his Telugu hit Arjun Reddy, gives us a character who nearly rapes a woman at knife-point, and later pees his pants. This is not traditionally heroic behaviour, which is why I assumed Vanga was making a cautionary tale. Instead, Kabir Singh actually applauds its pathetic protagonist, and ends up an obnoxious celebration of toxic masculinity.
Shahid Kapoor plays the perpetually furious Kabir like a hand-grenade who lost his pin hours ago. He’s always seething, even on the football field, and I hoped this film may dissect the performative aggression popularised in children by sporting icons like Virat Kohli, (complete with repeated use of that unimaginative swearword that makes the curser appear like he’s invoking Ben Stokes), but no such luck. He mouths off to the dean, proprietorially stakes his claim on a girl he has only stared at, and bullies anyone in his path as he moves her into the boys’ hostel.
It’s a shame, because there’s some sharpness here. Kabir’s riposte to the dean is scathing but smart — “You’re the dean of the college, just an employee doing his job. I’m a student of this college, and this is my college” — a fine line showing the character’s need to wear entitlement with pride. The film looks slick, and is smartly shot by Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran, who captures obvious places in intriguing ways, like stairways and, in one memorable shot, a two-man fight on a single mattress. These good bits are overlooked, however, when Kabir slaps the heroine, saying “Who knows you in college? Your identity is that you’re my girl.” Ugh.
At some point, Kabir loses ‘his’ girl — played simperingly by Keira Advani, who it’s hard not to feel sorry for — but Vanga continues to project him as hero, turning him into a ‘genius’ surgeon who operates only when drunk. Later, when confessing to this unforgivable behaviour during a medical negligence hearing, he does so with wounded nobility, like a man who thinks the Oath doctors take means they must act Hypocritical.
Kapoor is solid even as Kabir acts more repulsive by the scene, but other characters thinking he’s wrong doesn’t help when the creators don’t agree. A cautionary tale can’t end with the villain getting what he wants, while Kabir Singh rewards his sins with a happy freeze-frame. The best lines come from the boy’s grandmother, played by Kamini Kaushal, who wisely says, “Suffering is very personal. Let him suffer.” If only.