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Arjun Reddy, and Now Kabir Singh, have put a glamorous role model in front of kids that is all wrong – a toxic, entitled, violent man as a hero. How does one parent them?
At the outset, I want to make it clear that this is not a review of Arjun Reddy /Kabir singh. I do not have the interest or the intellect (sarcasm intended) to talk about the movie.
Being a Mom is nothing short of being a preacher, more so when you have a son who is a teenager.
I don’t preach every day now, it’s only need based, and very brief and to the point. Sometimes he just nods his head in affirmation and sometimes he argues. I try to understand his perspective and he understands where I am coming from. And both of us have agreed that we would not be talking about the same thing twice.
I did not know that I would be breaching our agreement.
But I should have known that Arjun Reddy will be made again considering the huge amount of money it made in Telugu. How did I think that our film makers in Mumbai would let go of an opportunity like this? Kabir Singh’s box office collection for the first two days are a testimony to this.
When Arjun Reddy first hit the theaters, my son was two years younger and he was fascinated about all the talk about the movie. I did not allow him to watch the movie then, but we did speak about it. He knew so much about the movie even without watching it, via his friends and the social media.
Vijay Devarakonda who played Arjun Reddy became the role model.
At that time I asked him why he and his friends liked the movie and wanted to watch the movie. He said because he is cool, he is perfect, he is intelligent, he is successful and he does everything as he likes.
I said, that’s not cool. Yet, how do we define cool, How do we, as parents, navigate this topic of image in today’s celebrity obsessed world?
I spoke to him at length about the movie, I told him. How uncool it was to ruin your career, how uncool it was to always abuse, how uncool it was to treat a woman with out respect. How uncool it was to behave like a psychopath.
I promised to him that I would watch the movie with him when he was ready and I did watch it with him.
I wanted to scream at the top of my voice but controlled and we both had a very healthy discussion after that and I am glad we watched the movie so I could clearly teach him how not to be.
But now our discussions are very adult like and I enjoy talking to him.
After reading reviews of Kabir Singh, I spoke to him about the movie again today, and I asked him: why do people of your age like this movie?
He said “Not everyone likes it. Most boys just enjoy the movie for that moment. We don’t carry so much baggage. That said, most boys like the character because it is always the bad boys who get girls. ”
I said that’s not true. He gave me some examples of his friends. I said it is not always like that. He laughed and said “Mommy, girls always date bad boys and get married to good boys. And don’t worry, I am not the Arjun Reddy type, and I don’t like such movies.”
While I was very happy that he is very clear about how not to be, I was a little worried about his idea of what girls for look in boys. Will talk to him about it later, but for now I am relieved.
So, my dear moms, no matter how many more times Arjun Reddy is made, it will not effect you, if you instill the right thoughts in your child.
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