Arjun Reddy actor Vijay Deverakonda was on TV9 recently for an interview. The show began with the anchor, Devi Nagavalli, asking him about the film's poster that shows the two leads kissing and if he'll be okay with other films inspired by this one promoting "sex" on their posters. The question was quite 'sanskari' in tone and Vijay explained to the anchor that he didn't consider kissing to be sex or that there was anything wrong in people seeing such a poster.
"We haven't shown shots of a woman's cleavage or anything like that anywhere in the film," he said.
The actor was then asked about a word in his film that was muted - a term that is derogatory to women, mothers specifically. While the censor board beeped the word, the actor has been outspoken in his defence of the abuse in the film.
When the anchor, Devi Nagavalli, asked, “How can you justify the dialogue, which abuses a mother?” Vijay was defiant, and said that the dialogue was completely justified in the film as he used it for someone who molests his girlfriend.
“For centuries, this is how people have been venting their anger,” Vijay said.
“If somebody makes nasty comments about my mother, I won’t go and appeal to them in a humble manner, asking them not to make such comments. If somebody touches us we won’t say, “kindly remove your hand.” We directly abuse them in these [muted] words. This is something we took from life and used in our film. So, let’s not be hypocritical about why we have used it in the film. And, it is justified,” he said.
The CBFC authorities muted the dialogue, despite giving the film an ‘A’ (adult) certificate.
Vijay further claimed that since men are “possessive” and regard their mother or sister highly, they get aggravated when someone abuses them.
“Men don’t get aggravated when someone abuses them. But when you abuse their sister or mother, they get affected. It is because they regard them highly and are possessive about them. So, it hurts them the most, if they abuse them, I think,” Vijay said.
When the anchor persisted with questioning the content of the film, and asked why 90% of the film was about drugs, alcohol and kissing, Vijay shot back asking, "Your focus was on that. Do you like it? Are you a smoker?” He asked Devi.
Though taken aback, the anchor, maintaining her calm said that she was a non-alcoholic and non-smoker. She said that after watching the film, that’s what was stuck in her mind. She reminded Vijay that she had every right to criticise the film.
“That’s your opinion. You liked those scenes, and you focused on them. Many people have liked many other things. Two or three people like you won’t like it,” he shot back.
He further went on with a justification that sounded suspiciously like ‘boys will be boys’: “You have to remember, this is a film, this is a character, Arjun will behave like that only.”
Watch the interview here:
Note: This story has been edited to include more content from the interview.