In an industry where most professionals prefer to remain ‘apolitical’, lest their politics get in the way of box office success, director Vikramaditya Motwane has taken a stand. Quoting Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s tweet about the recent Hyderabad case where a Vet was raped and murdered, Motwane took a sly dig at the Kabir Singh director’s personal politics. Vanga said how ‘fear should be the new rule’ for men even thinking about committing an act of sexual assault, and Motwane replied asking – ‘Will that FEAR stop them from slapping her?’
Will that FEAR stop them from slapping her? https://t.co/dgOIHyTWlU
— Vikramaditya Motwane (@VikramMotwane) December 1, 2019
For some context, Vanga had earlier defended and rationalised slapping each other in romantic relationships. Kabir Singh was heavily criticised (especially and also) by female critics, who thought the film was, intentionally or not, endorsing rape culture. Many critics voiced their displeasure about Vanga and Shahid Kapoor’s shameless glorification of an individual battling with immense rage, alcoholism and authority. To which Vanga had responded that those criticising the film hadn’t experienced ‘true love’.
Motwane’s dig could also be perceived as a slap on sections of mainstream Bollywood promoting a culture that either endorses male violence or propagates the legend of the male saviour. Films like Rohit Shetty’s Simmba, Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Kabir Singh/Arjun Reddy have upheld patriarchal notions, while also coming up with laughably simplistic ‘solutions’ like… fake encounters et al.
As women’s safety is being pointed out as a concern (once again!), it is the film industry’s duty to round up colleagues who don’t spend enough time on their film’s messaging. Given how effective films are in determining behaviour of those in an impressionable age, it’s time filmmakers stopped catering to the popular sentiment and showed more responsibility by projecting the moral thing.