The film’s focus on personal space is further shown in different ways. When others start interfering in the fight between Kabir and her father, Preeti tries to ward off everyone by saying, “Yeh mera personal matter hai.” It is my personal matter. After Kabir is accused of medical negligence, his senior friend says, “Bhai ki shaadi me jo morphine vala kaand kiya woh personal tha, yeh professional hai.” That morphine episode at his brother’s wedding was personal. But this is professional. The impact of Kabir’s actions were impacting the lives of others, not just his personal space. There is also a weird recurring motif in the film related to another private space of a man—the penis. Kabir is shown peeing many times in the film; at one point, he pees in his pants after he overdoses on a drug concoction. He often puts ice cubes in his groin area. At another stage, he tells Shiva he is hurting and he needs love and care the same way that women need love and care during periods. Moments later, he shaves the penis area and starts bleeding mirroring his own words that he said to his friend (as if he is on periods and needs care). Other characters also talk about something similar. A patient before a surgery asks Kabir as to why was his penis area shaven when the surgery is not going to take place there. After the football fight, Shiva also asks his other friend to protect his privates.
As Kabir’s personal space is sacrosanct for him, he also refuses to compromise with his personal beliefs. Early in the film, Preeti’s father asks him if his father knows about his habit of smoking. He replies that his father does not but will not lie to him if he asks. During the in-house court proceedings, Kabir again refuses to lie risking his career, the only thing he was proud of in his life. Earlier, he was willing to get permanently suspended from college because he refused to write an apology letter. A college worker advised him that it was just a letter but he was adamant. It is only because he saw Preeti, he changed his mind to not leave college, a decision which eventually changed his life. In addition, at least twice, Kabir’s senior friend chides him for not shaving because doctors are not supposed to look haggard as the outside world judges them based on appearance but Kabir refused to shave and dress properly. In Bekhayali, he says, “Ye nakaam pyar mein, khush hai yeh haar mein, in jaisa kyun banoon.” They have failed in love. Yet they are happy in their defeat. Why I should be like them. He refuses to become of them.
Kabir does things the way he wants at the spur of the moment. He asks his brother as to when he is going to have a kid, who replies that he will plan after some time. Kabir tells him that one cannot plan these things which makes his brother wonder if that is indeed true for some moments. Kabir believed that if he and Preeti were together, they would have had a kid by now. It becomes true when it is revealed that he was the father of Preeti’s baby. His grandmother also says something similar at the beginning of the film when she explains the couplet by Saint Kabir. Life is unpredictable and plans are bound to fail, she says. Kabir also scoffs at the idea of arranged marriages because as per him, love cannot be planned and arranged.
In the end, it is revealed that Kabir was the father of Preeti’s baby. I had imagined that the child would not be his and given Kabir’s nature, he would have had no issues in accepting the child because to him, the baby was Preeti’s flesh and blood. But the film took an easier route in this aspect.
One of the other noteworthy scenes in the film was the way the interval was shown. Kabir takes a drug concoction and passes out. He pees in his pants and then everything turns upside down, just as his own life has taken an altogether new turn. Also, instead of the interval, his name appears and mirrors the dampness in his pants. It is a competently made film with good performances from the cast members. Shahid Kapoor is great. Sohum Majumdar is splendid but I was irritated by the character of Shiva as to why does he do this much for Kabir who treats him so badly. Shiva is willing to go to any extent for Kabir, even asking his sister to marry him, despite knowing that Kabir won’t be able to love any other woman. It was another form of selfless love that Kabir does not see. Kabir really had all the best people around to care for him. And, it is always a pleasure to see Kamini Kaushal on screen and she played the wisest character in the film. Kiara Advani was dull which was more a consequence of the way her role was written.
Enough has already been written on Kabir’s issues, especially, related to his lack of understanding of consent. There were five scenes in the first half that made even me uncomfortable watching them. But there are some other scenes that don’t seem to fully work in terms of story structure. For instance, when Kabir and his friend come to threaten students to not look at Preeti, they take the teacher’s permission to speak in Punjabi. It feels out of place for a college in Delhi. The fight scenes during Holi were also quite bizarre. The film has a quite generic first half but I felt there were some interesting things to write about the film in its second half.
Whenever I watch movies based on passionate love, I wonder if this kind of love exists or not. Itna pyaar hota bhi hai kya or koi kaise kar sakta hai. Kabir is not the kind of person I could relate with or would be friends with. Instead, I often think about Abhi of Meri Pyaari Bindu who was also unable to move on from Bindu. In my post on the film, I had written that I was glad to see that Abhi makes other girlfriends. He does not become a Devdas and goes on to do the things that he always wanted to do. There is heartbreak for Abhi, but at the same time, it feels that he will be fine. We saw what eventually happened to both Kabir and Abhi. Kabir ends up with the person he loved, while Abhi was left alone. Even his film flopped. Maybe Abhi was not passionate enough to fight for his love. Or maybe, the saying that nice guys finish last is actually true. But it is fine. Life might not give everybody what they want but there are enough things to be happy about. Like the beautiful ending of Meri Pyaari Bindu which I am now going to start again, and smile and cry all by myself while watching it for the umpteenth time.