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Opinion: Why ‘Haseen Dilruba’ Is Not Another ‘Kabir Singh’ Despite Loopholes

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Trigger Warning: Mention Of Domestic Violence

I watched ‘Haseen Dillruba’ on the first day of its release, and after finishing, I decided to write a review. I liked the overall storyline of ‘Haseen Dillruba’. Actually, it is just like a pure thriller novel and youngsters who are in their twenties, like me, have hardly read Hindi thriller novels, so ‘Haseen Dilllruba‘ satisfied our hunger for the thrill.

I was well prepared to write about my thriller experience. Accidentally, I read a review where it was written that ‘Haseen Dillruba‘ glorifies domestic violence and it is just anotherKabir Singh‘.

After reading experts’ reviews, I started questioning myself, I started questioning my idea of feminism and called myself an unaware self-proclaimed feminist. I kept questioning myself for a week. Finally, after a week I can defend my feminist self in front of me.

Haseen Dilruba vs. Kabir Singh

Critics are saying that accepting domestic violence by the protagonist Rani shows that Indian cinema is glorifying domestic violence again. Many people are comparing ‘Haseen Dillruba‘ with ‘Kabir Singh’. In my opinion, ‘Haseen Dillruba’ & ‘Kabir Singh’ are not the same.

Let me defend myself by the pointers now:

  1. In ‘Kabir Singh’, Preeti gets slapped by her boyfriend because she is not ready to go against her father and after the slap, she decides to stand against her father.
  2. In ‘Kabir Singh’, we are introduced to Preeti as an ideal woman. She always accepts the toxic masculinity of her boyfriend.
  3. The last point is that, Kabir is a flawed character but film portrays him as an intense lover and in the end he gets everything whatever he desires for. The movie portrays his girlfriend Preeti as a mature and stable girl but still she accepts all the toxicity of his boyfriend, which is unjustifiable.

In ‘Haseen Dillruba’, situations are very different.

Still from ‘Haseen Dilruba’. Photo: Netflix
  1. The protagonist, Rani is having an extramarital affair. She unapologetically accepts that to her husband Rishu, which simply shows that Rani is bold enough to accept her choices.
  2. In the film, Rani is not introduced to us as an all-good human being. Rani’s character is grey and the writer Kanika Dhillon has presented that grey side very clearly.
  3. Rani is a hopeless thrill fiction lover who is fascinated by unrealistic relationships. She can do anything to get that fictional lifestyle & lover in her life.
  4. Rani is not the character which gets reward in the end of the film. She is an openly flawed person and as a result, if she accepts violence for the sake of love, then according to the approach of the movie, that is justified.

I agree that, every film should convey the right message to society but, in my opinion, here the problem is that we are interpreting ‘Haseen Dillruba’ in the the wrong manner.

Let’s describe ‘Haseen Dillruba’ in this way. Whenever we watch any movie where the villain does something wrong like loot, rape, etc., then, we never say that the filmmaker should not show any humankind doing such horrible things. Now you might be thinking, what the hell I am talking about!

But just think for a while about this weird example. While watching the movie we know that they are a villain and a villain is meant to do wrong things but while watching ‘Haseen Dillruba’, we are forgetting that Rani, though a protagonist, is a grey character.

I agree with the fact that they could have portrayed the issue of domestic in a more nuanced way because domestic violence is a very serious issue in India but the approach of the movie doesn’t seem wrong to me. In the conclusion, I admit another fact that ‘Haseen Dillruba’ has many loop holes yet I disagree that it is glorifying domestic violence with some particular incidents.

We cannot ask a grey/negative character to make all the right decisions. A wrong character can consider wrong decisions as right and we can not argue that. All we can do is we can hate that character for doing such wrong things. I guess we were expecting some bold actions from Taapsee because of her previous films’ image.

P.S. – It’s my understanding of the movie, If any reader finds it wrong then feel free to tell your perception about this thought.

Featured image is for representational purposes only.
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