Film critic Anupama Chopra had a round-table chat show discussing the 100 Greatest Performances of The Decade. Several prominent names from Indian cinema were a part of the discussion, including Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpayee, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vijay Devarakonda, Vijay Sethupathi and Parvathy Thirovothu.
The discussion veered towards one of the highest grossing films of the year Kabir Singh and its Telugu original Arjun Reddy. “There is a very fine line, reflecting what’s there in society, showing what misogyny is and glorifying it,” said Parvathy in the discussion. She further spoke against the portrayal of violence and abuse in the film, quoting from an instance in her personal life.
When Anupama Chopra asked Vijay Devarakonda to respond to the arguments posed against Arjun Reddy, which he had played the lead in, he said, “Firstly, I don’t have any answers, I have more questions. I feel the world is f****ed. I feel like by making a better film can I save it? I see it going downhill everywhere. Be it like pollution, water, people, everything. For me its really gloomy.”
He further said that only a film doesn’t decide your behaviour and it is really a combination of many things such as your family, parenting, schooling, education. The actor further elaborated on his personal views on roles that he chooses to play, saying, “If I really like a role, I’ll justify it to myself. We all want the film to fit into our lives and our opinions. If a couple is completely in love, and if they give each other little hits and stuff, and they completely understand and they’re still in love.”
When Deepika Padukone heard this argument, she couldn’t help but stifle a little smile. Vijay Devarakonda went on, “And there may be another case where I was a kid and I saw my father abusing my mother. When I come from a background like that and I see a film like Arjun Reddy, I find it scary. But when you come from a relationship where you feel that way, then it works! The director is making what he believes in, and I bought it completely.”
Deepika Padukone retaliated to his argument saying that cinema is one of the most influential things in our country, which is why there is a responsibility on the makers to make cinema which is relevant.
In our country, cinema has the power to influence. It may not be the only reason for influence. Yes your upbringing, yes your schooling, yes your education, all of those things are important. Whether we like it or not, cinema and cricket are the two most influential things. And you’ve got to do that responsibly. I think that’s a choice individually that you have to make of that opportunity that you’re given. But you cannot deny the fact that cinema hugely influences society.
The actors then concluded by saying that the discussion on the topic could be endless, thus preventing any further tiffs. But we wonder what would have happened if the discussion had gone on?