Back in 2007, when Sandeep Reddy Vanga's 'Arjun Reddy' released, the film created a storm in the Telugu film industry. A boy meets a girl. Falls in love but tragedy strikes, and the two are separated. What follows next is the boy's journey of self-destruction to get over the messy break-up.
The story sounded quite familiar. But what made a lot of difference was the way, Sandeep carved his characters. They were real people with real emotions. A far outcry from the star-studded commercial mainstream Telugu flicks. Some termed it a breakout moment in Telugu cinema.
Meanwhile, the film also earned its share of brickbats for glorifying toxic masculinity and tones of misogyny. Despite all the nays-says, Arjun Reddy shattered all box office records and became a 'craze'.
So much so that it caught the attention of Bollywood too and thus, 'Kabir Singh' was born. Unlike some of the major south remakes in the past, this time, the original director was retained.
Kabir Singh is nearly a frame-to-frame replica of Arjun Reddy with a few minor adjustments. The setting is now shifted from Hyderabad to Delhi. Arjun Reddy becomes 'Kabir Singh' and Preeti Shetty is 'Preeti Sikka'.
Despite the similarities, there are a few moments where the contrasting shades between the two films are quite evident. Let's find out here- [ MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD]
Kabir Singh Vs Arjun Reddy
In one of his interviews, Sandeep Reddy Vanga had revealed that he had bounced the idea of Arjun Reddy to Allu Arjun and Sharwanand, but things didn't work out. Finally, the role fell in Vijay Deverakonda's lap and the rest is history. The actor became an overnight sensation with his portrayal of Arjun Reddy.
For the Hindi version, Shahid stepped into Vijay's shoes and it was a right choice considering the actor had already dabbled with complex, layered characters in films like 'Kaminey' and 'Haider' and shone in all of them.
The Football Match Scene
This is the first time we get a glimpse of the protagonist's rage issues in the film. While Vijay Deverakonda totally nailed this scene in 'Arjun Reddy', Shahid Kapoor in 'Kabir Singh' too gets to score a goal here.
The 'Other Side' Of Our Rowdy Hero
From uncontrollable rage to exposing his vulnerable side, this is one of the most crucial scenes where we get to witness the other side of the temperamental hero in this one-take shot.
Vijay Deverakonda played a masterstroke with this scene in Arjun Reddy. In contrast, Shahid in Kabir Singh shines as well, but not enough to leave you with goosebumps.
The 'Confrontation' Point
Yet another turning point in the film where Arjun/Kabir's temper reaches its peak after getting insulted by his lady love's family and he ends up giving Preeti an ultimatum of 'six' hours to decide the future of their relationship.
Vijay Deverakonda owned every moment in this scene with his portrayal of unhinged, seething anger. Without being over-the-top.
On the other hand, it takes a little more effort on Shahid's part to draw you into this scene. We ain't used to watch him angry on-screen.
Kabir Singh's Preeti Vs Arjun Reddy's Preeti
It becomes difficult to buy into Kiara Advani's sunder susheel act first in 'Kabir Singh'. The actress looks a tad confused in terms of balancing the emotions. She does get better a few scenes later. But, that's nowhere close to Shalini Pandey's Preeti. The latter was a whiff of fresh air and perfectly balanced the volatile side of Arjun Reddy. Their chemistry had its own 'spark', which is missing in Shahid-Kiara's Kabir Singh.
Vijay Deverakonda's Arjun Reddy broke the shackles and traditions of the traditional Telugu cinema and gave birth to a new age hero whose emotions were as real as they could get. Shahid Kapoor's Kabir Singh too has his hero flawed.
Both the characters deserve their own place on the big screen. You can love or hate them, but you just can't ignore them!