Seems like the debate over Arjun Reddy and its remake, Kabir Singh is nowhere close to settling down. It was recently when actors like Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vijay Deverakonda, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Alia Bhatt, Manoj Bajpayee and Vijay Sethupathi sat down for a conversation and expressed their opinions about the misogyny debate.
Parvathy keeping her thoughts on the issue said, “It is a very fine line reflecting what’s there in the society, showing what misogyny is, and glorifying it. It’s entirely up to the writer and director how they glorify it. When a man is being misogynistic and is being…you know…abusive, and you show that in a way that incites applause in the audience, then that’s glorification. And at the same time, you make the audience think whether he’s done the right thing or not, then there you are collaborating with the audience. There, there is a cinema, it’s a dialogue.”
To which Manoj countered and said, “I work for myself. Once you are in front of the camera, you cannot think what someone will say about it. I loved the film (Arjun Reddy), there was so much of the misogyny debate but I loved the film. And this is what matters to the audience.”
“Arjun Reddy or Kabir Singh both had a visual grammar of glorification and Joker did not. Joker literally just showed us, this is what happened. There was no point I felt I was supporting Joaquin’s character. When you see people talking about it in the comments and applauding it, you see there are engaging in it in a mob-like manner. That is a mirky space, I cannot be the judge of how to fix that,” replied Parvathy.
The spotlights then turned to Vijay who clarified his stand with his film and said, “I feel like the world is f**ked, by making a better film, can I save it? I just see it going downhill, be it pollution, water, people’s behaviour, policy, for me it’s really glooming. When it comes to films, I’m in between. I’m not like this is the role I want to do it and I will do it, neither am I like (into) social responsibility… it’s too much of a responsibility.
Just a film doesn’t decide your behaviour. It’s your family, parenting, schooling.. it is multiple things that will lead a person to behave a particular way. It can’t be ‘I saw it in a film, chalo (let’s do it). I’ve seen films where actor smoke, I’ve seen murders, I love songs and dance but I don’t dance”
To which Ayushmann voicing his opinion said, “The primary goal of a film is entertainment and engagement. Message will not carry entertainment but entertainment will carry a message. Films of course influence you.”
Manoj disagreed to Ayushmann and said that films may influence your style or fashion but not your morals.
Deepika Padukone who was observing the conversation, in her neutral take said, “In our country cinema has the power to influence. May not be the only reason for influence. Yes your upbringing, yes your schooling, yes your peers. Whether we like it or not, cinema and cricket are the two most influential things and got do that responsibly. I think that is a choice each one has to make individually.
The panel then came to the conclusion that there is no end to this debate and they put an end to it.