That we live in a misogynistic and highly patriarchal society should come as a surprise to nobody. But here's more evidence if one's not convinced. Days after Sandeep Vanga Reddy, the director of Kabir Singh and the Telugu original Arjun Reddy, gave a shocking interview to Film Companion where he justified violence in intimate relationships, a hashtag supporting the filmmaker trended on Twitter.
The #Wesupportsandeepvangareddy trend appears to have been triggered by actor Samantha, who is a popular name in Tamil and Telugu industries, posting on Instagram that she found the views expressed in the interview to be "deeply disturbing".
In the interview with Anupama Chopra, Sandeep had brushed away the criticism his film received for glorifying toxic masculinity as "pseudo".
"I feel it's pseudo because...you know...when you're deeply in love, deeply connected with a woman and vice versa, there's a lot of honesty in it. And if you don't have that physical demonstration of...if you don't have the liberty of slapping each other, then I don't see anything there," he'd said.
He'd further gone on to say, "If you can't slap, if you can't touch your woman wherever you want, and if you can't slap, you can't kiss, you can't use cusswords, I don't see emotion there."
Apart from Samantha and scores of social media users who slammed the director's misguided views on love and romance, singer Chinmayi and badminton player Jwala Gutta also expressed their disagreement.
Chinmayi, in a series of tweets, said that a man beating a woman is not a sign of love, but rather a sign of abuse. Taking references from the movie, she further wrote, â€śA man who gets a woman to remove her clothes at knife point is a troubled man. Yes, such men can be in love and their stories can be told. I have known of women who are in abusive relationships/marriages with men. But *glorifying those men as Gods* is the problem (sic).â€ť
This thread is for women.â€” Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) July 7, 2019
Please watch this video. pic.twitter.com/eVY8KYMnL5
Jwala Gutta termed Sandeepâ€™s comments as "sadistic" in a post she tweeted on Saturday.
Soon, an army of Sandeep Reddy Vanga's supporters (and there are many of them, let's remember that the film has made a whopping Rs 200 crore) began trolling the women for expressing their views.
Though Samantha was quick to reply that according to her it was not the movie but Sandeepâ€™s comments that were problematic, trolls dug out an old tweet where Samantha had written in appreciation of Arjun Reddy and called her a "pseudo-feminist". Juxtaposing a scene form Rangasthalam where Ram Charan slaps Samantha, people questioned her "double standards".
Dear @Samanthaprabhu2 @Chinmayiâ€” Narenderreddypalredd (@narenderreddyp2) July 7, 2019
this pic says everything what sandeep vanga said...don't over react without watching his full interview & stay away from suedo feminists..keep your good name..nee movie theatres lo undhani gurthunchuko..#WeSupportSandeepReddyVanga pic.twitter.com/kKGQcT8vx6
These feminists dont even know what they speak and what they exactly stand for they just go with the flow like a flock of sheepsâ€” Nenorakam (@Nenorakam) July 7, 2019
em natakale babu mivi
rojukokalaga thu #wesupportsandeepreddyvanga #DearSamChinShutUp pic.twitter.com/HG6VQ0bPdk
Chinmayi, who has always been vocal in her opinions on womenâ€™s issues, was trolled for a scene where her husband and actor Rahul Ravindran slaps another woman on screen. Jwala Gutta too faced backlash after Sandeep fans dug out a tweet from 2017 in which she had expressed her appreciation for Arjun Reddy.
To all those Pseudo feminist der @Samanthaprabhu2@Guttajwala
Wat an acting u ppl are
Bro @imvangasandeep we #maheshbabu fans are with u.. Go on bro #wesupportsandeepreddyvanga pic.twitter.com/NErQZ8Mex2â€” Venkat Bandari (@VenkatBandari3) July 7, 2019
@Samanthaprabhu2 @Chinmayi even this is wrong then.. oo sorry this is fine as the actor is @23_rahulr #WeSupportSandeepReddyVanga pic.twitter.com/0aahp0BOMjâ€” Adithya (@urs_chintu) July 7, 2019
Kabir Singh, a remake of the 2017 Telugu movie Arjun Reddy, was panned by critics for its portrayal of toxic masculinity on screen. Calling these critics a "curse" to the film industry, Sandeep repeatedly justified the violence exhibited by his film's hero as "love" and made personal attacks on those who had slammed the film, particularly Rajeev Masand.
Kabir Singh has already raked in more than Rs 200 crore at the Bollywood box-office. Its Tamil version titled Adithya Varma, starring Dhruv Vikram, is scheduled to hit screens soon.