Nandita Das Shares Her Thoughts on Shahid Kapoor’s Kabir Singh and Cinematic Freedom
Nandita Das, in a recent interview, has spoken about the commercial success of Shahid Kapoor’s Kabir Singh and how cinema is a reflection of society.
Nandita Das has shared her views on Shahid Kapoor’s recent blockbuster Kabir Singh, which minted INR 380 crore at the box office but has been criticised for being regressive and promoting misogynistic views. In an interview with Huffington Post, the actress-filmmaker said, “Whether it’s a propaganda film or a regressive film like Kabir Singh, there are two ways. One, where we look inwards: can we become more discerning? Can we choose not to watch it and enable more of the same? If I don’t like a Kabir Singh, I will talk about how misogynistic that film is. I will express dissent. But at the same time, cinema is also a reflection of society. If such a film is being made and it does well, what does that say about us?"
Kiara Advani and Shahid Kapoor in 'Kabir Singh'
She further said that the audience is ‘complicit’ and added, “Even politically, there’s a complicity in all of us if we’re letting it—whatever that is going on—happen. It’s a scary, slippery slope: in the name of freedom, we don’t want hate speeches, we don’t want propaganda, we don’t want misogyny.”
Nandita spoke about the need for ‘alternative narratives’. She said Kabir Singh’s success was ‘indicative of societal numbness, apathy and brutal celebration of misogyny’. She said the film’s success provided validation for a ‘male narrative’ which believes violence against women is okay. The filmmaker -- who recently directed a biopic on Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto and highlighted his fight for freedom of speech -- also spoke about how politicised Bollywood has become and said that more people were needed to dissent. She added, “I was very glad to see that people banded together and wrote a letter to PM Modi about the rising cases of lynchings. I was quite happy to see names that weren’t there before. I’m an optimist.”