Soon after watching the trailer of ALTBalaji’s Broken But Beautiful 3, one wonders if they are stuck in 2019 when Kabir Singh with its toxic masculinity and hyped machismo still went on to do surprisingly well at the box office.
In Broken But Beautiful 3, we see Sidharth Shukla, the former Bigg Boss and Fear Factor winner, play Agastya Rao a raging alcoholic, who is aggressive, angry, abusive and violent. Seeing him, we couldn’t help but draw parallels between Agastya and Kabir Singh.
This leaves us wondering whether the show is yet another presentation romanticizing toxic masculinity made famous in films like Fifty Shades of Grey, Kabir Singh and Netflix’s 365 days. Are we watching a repackaged, more polished version of Kabir Singh? Can obsessive and abusive behaviour be passed off for romance and intense love?
Do our screens need any more bouts of drunkenness, offensiveness and rage which isn’t just normalized but glorified and glamourized?
ALTBalaji is known for the nature of its controversial content, which is often hungrily lapped up by its audience. However, as we slowly move towards untangling gender norms and stereotypes, popular shows such as these continue to depict misogyny and masculine stereotypes.
Broken But Beautiful 3‘s tag stating ‘Sometimes the things you want are not the things you need’ has us questioning whether we need some more toxic masculinity on the small screen in 2021.