Kabir Singh director Sandeep Reddy Vanga says he was misquoted in controversial interview: ‘It’s not assault, it’s liberty of expression’
After defending his film, Kabir Singh, director Sandeep Reddy Vanga must now defend his equally controversial statements, made in a recent interview. That’s exactly what he has done.
After attempting to defend his controversial film Kabir Singh in a recent interview and digging himself into a deeper hole, director Sandeep Reddy Vanga has now defended his earlier defence. In a statement, the filmmaker has said that he was misquoted by the press, after appearing in a video interview and seemingly condoning physical assault in the name of love.
He told Times Now, “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.”
Speaking to journalist Anupama Chopra, Vanga had defended his film against allegations of toxic masculinity, after which two of his statements seem to have hit a nerve among the public. “When you are deeply in love and deeply connected to a woman (and vice versa), if you don’t have the liberty of slapping each other, then I don’t see anything there,” the filmmaker had said. Later in the same interview, posted online on Saturday, speaking about a particular scene in the film, in which Shahid’s Kabir Singh 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 emotion there.”
Asked about his apparent endorsement of physical violence, Vanga told Times Now, “I’m not endorsing that. I can’t reply to everybody in this world. When people are deeply connected in love they should not shy away from the fact that they can show their worst side to each other. That’s what love is all about, when you can’t handle the person in their worst side.”
Both Kabir Singh and Vanga’s statements in defence of it have been strongly criticised online. Several people took to Twitter after the Film Companion interview to express their disgust at Vanga’s comments. The filmmaker had also called out film critics for panning his film.
But despite the negativity, Kabir Singh is a box office success, having made ₹226 crore so far, making it the biggest solo hit of Shahid’s career, the second-biggest Bollywood hit of 2019, behind Uri: The Surgical Strike.
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