Why Kabir Singh Was Glorified If Safeena Wasn’t?

Shahid Kapoor starrer film, Kabir Singh had stirred up public opinions for being problematic. It had toxic masculinity which was marketed as ‘manliness’. However, the film went on to become a huge hit just like the original film, Arjun Reddy.

Well, we already had a counterpart of Kabir Singh in Bollywood. She was none other than Safeena (Alia Bhatt) from Gully Boy. As the film marked 2 years of its release on this Valentine’s Day, I thought about how Safeena was treated by other characters in the film as well as the audience. Safeena was jealous, aggressive, disrespectful and impulsive. I am not comparing the two characters as they both were flawed. While we all knew that two were wrong in their actions, they were perceived differently by the audience. Kabir was problematic protagonist, Safeena was a flawed love interest of the protagonist, yet Kabir was glorified by many and Safeena was shamed.

My question is why weren’t they treated equally? The answer lies in these films. Kabir’s toxic behaviour was hardly called out by Preeti, while in the case of Safeena, Murad and her parents spoke against her troublesome behaviour. That’s what the audience followed. So did we normalize a man’s toxicity?