He decides who she should be friends with, what classes she should take in college and what she should wear, yet he is glorified on screen and cheered endlessly by cinemagoers. Moreover, actor Kiara Advani called him a "protective lover," however, if a woman was portrayed the same way of the screen, she would be branded a psychopath who needs to be sent to the madhouse.
Men are glorified as heroes even they are obsessive
"The things people do when in love!" However, this goes beyond it all because traditional men in India have always been viewed and portrayed on screen as protectors and have also abused their power in these roles. While both men and women have a tendency to become possessive, obsessive of a romantic partner, a majority of the time, it is seen as toxic only when it is a woman. However, if it's a man, Indian society sees it as macho and the way men should mark their territory. Obsessive women in Bollywood films have never got their happy ending, they either have been put in mental asylums or have had to walk away or have taken their own lives because of the men that they love, like in 'Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya', ' Armaan', ' Aitraaz' and more. The important question to as here is that why are men glorified as heroes even in 2019 when they show toxic obsession while women are branded as insane and fallen if they display the same behavior?
There's no such thing as consent in the film
Whether one accepts it or not, there is a strong theme of 'Patriarchy Wins' in films like these, not to mention the age-old "boys will be boys" adage. Moreover, the portrayal of women in Kabir Singh shows that they are mere chattel to be used and abused, but in spite of this loves the man who has damaged them; one might also call it a version of the infamous "Stockholm Syndrome". Moreover, the character of Preeti, his love interest is a woman who has never heard of the word 'consent' and neither has a mind of her own; she is perfect prey for a predator. One would never tolerate such a man in the real world, but Indian cinema keeps on putting such men on screens to be lauded and applauded by audiences; one news report revealed that in a scene where Kabir scene forces a woman to undress at knifepoint, the audience laughed. So, if you see something like this tomorrow as you go about your day, would you cheer that person, or applaud him?
Image credit: IBTimes India