‘Kaabil’ was supposed to be the second coming of Hrithik Roshan after ‘Mohenjo Daro’ bombed at the box office. And while its trailer looked smashing, its storyline seems to have completely failed to woo the modern youth. Released on January 25 alongside Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Raees’, ‘Kaabil’ has not matched up to ‘Raees’. So what’s the reason?
On first impression, ‘Kaabil’ is not really a bad film. In fact, being differently-abled is something that Hrithik is an ace at. Remember ‘Koi Mil Gya’ in which he played a mentally disabled person and then ‘Guzarish’ where he played the role of a paralyzed person? Yami Gautam plays a blind girl’s role well. However, the film has a major issue with its plot, which is based on the age-old rape-and-revenge formula of the 80s.
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Seriously, who makes a film like that anymore? The story is that of a highly optimistic and independent blind girl and a blind guy who go on a blind date and get married after a couple of dates. But as the plot demands a shock moment, two goons rape the blind girl. And then the blind guy played by Hrithik goes in vendetta mode, while completely becoming apathetic to the blind girl and neglecting her state.
The film promotes the idea that the victim of rape is not the actual victim, but that it is the people who love her who are the victims in true sense. In the movie, the victim constantly blames herself for causing so much trouble to her husband and finally commits suicide to relieve him of all the pain. What a typically, ’80s saga! While this formula worked two to three decades ago, in today’s generation, it is striking all the wrong notes — victim-blaming, suicide, social stigma, etc.
While the audience is still in thrall of women-centric films like ‘Dangal’ and ‘Pink‘, ‘Kaabil’ took us two steps back and we are left thinking whether cinema really is a reflection of society? Or should we really expect social responsibility from cinema because in the end it is just about entertainment?
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But no! The response on social media and the public does say a lot about what it really wants from the filmmakers. And it definitely is not a portrayal of an independent-turned-sacrificing woman who decides to die because of an atrocity. And certainly not a man who thinks his dignity has been compromised to bits because his wife was assaulted.
Picture credit- YouTube