Shahid Kapoor’s mom Neelima Azeem defends Kabir Singh: ‘Actors have won Oscars for characters like these’

After Ishan Khatter, Shahid Kapoor’s mother Neelima Azeem speaks up for Kabir Singh and says that the film doesn’t glorify the character, instead it warns of not becoming like him.
Kabir Singh stars Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani in lead roles.(Instagram)
Kabir Singh stars Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani in lead roles.(Instagram)
Updated on May 26, 2020 09:23 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Actor Shahid Kapoor’s latest offering Kabir Singh has started a rather heated debate on misogyny and its depiction of women. After his half-brother Ishan Khatter defended Shahid’s portrayal in the film, now his mother Neelima Azeem has jumped to his defence.

Speaking to Mid Day, she said that actors love to play morally controversial characters as they are meatier and that in Hollywood, actors have won Oscars for such roles. “Actors have the freedom to play morally controversial characters because they make for meaty roles. Tomorrow, if you play a psychopathic serial killer, will everybody watching the movie become one? Dilip (Kumar) and Rajesh Khanna played grey roles in Amar and Red Rose. Are you suggesting that every grey role be scrapped? In Hollywood, actors have won Oscars for characters like these. If we can’t make such movies, then we will have to scrap films like Marlon Brando’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Godfather and Heath Ledger’s Joker (The Dark Knight). One needs to understand that it is a story and not a lecture on morality,” she said.

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When asked about the issues with the central character, Neelima said the film was a ”hard-hitting” one and showed the protagonist’s arc change from “the (brash) student at the university to the one who returns home after his grandmother’s demise”. She added how “he suffers because of his attitude” and that the film “is not glorifying the character”. Instead it warns one “against becoming like Kabir Singh”.

On the tricky issue of depiction of violence against women, with particular reference to Kabir Singh’s character nearly raping a woman at knifepoint, she said: “He is about to (rape her) in the dark. As soon as the light comes on, he realises (his folly) and throws the knife away. It’s symbolic in that sense.”

Despite being panned by critics, the film has set the cash registers ringing. The film has crossed the Rs 100 crore mark with ease having already made Rs 120.81 crore at domestic market.


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Monday, November 29, 2021