“Kabir Singh”, (Shahid Kapoor), if you are willing to sit through almost three hours of waterboarding torture, focusing on the most despicable character in 2019’s filmdom, the final fifteen minutes, partially placates the pain that preceded the finale; Kabir, a third-year medical student, dictates, threatens, with bodily harm, anyone who comes near “Preethi” (stoically dull, Kiara Advani) a first-year medical student, implausible that she had the wherewithal to pass the entrance exams; leashed, manipulated, grossly pejorative, she acquiesces, wordlessly, to a sexual relationship; a love story in the most prurient sense; a picketing offence, deserving Me-too championship.
Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga disparages, denigrates Bollywood’s tradition of non-kissing; Kabir and Preethi pulverize the aesthetic with enough kisses to compensate for a thousand bygone romances. Lacking subtlety, the film reeks of sensationalism.
Kabir and Preethi after years (seemed like centuries) of a “married” lifestyle are denied parental permission to marry; Kabir, a surgeon (inconceivable) wallows in self-destructive moral turpitude, egregiously imbibing in alcohol, drugs, operating under the influence; his grossly appalling obnoxiousness, instead of eliciting sympathy, garnishes disgust.
“Kabir Singh” with promise, suffers a premature death, procuring a prime plot in the graveyard of “Disastrous Duds”.