When Arjun Reddy director Sandeep Vanga decided to tweet against the heinous Hyderabad rape and murder, he probably thought all the allegations of misogyny levelled at him after Arjun Reddy would magically wash away. Instead, the opposite happened.
Vanga was trolled savagely for speaking for women’s safety after making the world unsafe for women in Arjun Reddy and its Bollywood twin Kabir Singh. Director Vikramaditya Motwane questioned Vanga on his slap-happy hero in Arjun Reddy.
In fact, we don’t know if Vanga knows this, but many top actors are shying away from working with Vanga in his next project entitled Devil. Mahesh Babu said no to it. Then Vanga took Devil to Bollywood, where Ranbir Kapoor showed a keen interest. But after the initial enthusiasm, Ranbir has stayed away from the filmmaker and is unlikely to greenlight the project. We hear even Vijay Deverakonda, who played Arjun Reddy, is not keen on working with him.
It looks like it would be a while before the director can live down his reputation of a misogynist filmmaker. Defending the violence shown between the lovers in Arjun Reddy, Vanga had once said in an interview: “I never said one ‘needs’ to slap. All I meant was, one needs to be fully honest in a committed relationship, and that honesty can take on a violent form. And why is only Kabir slapping his girlfriend Preeti being talked about? What about the fact that she too slaps him back? It works both ways. How they express their love is their choice. Why are some people judging them? And judging me for the way the characters behave? My point is, in a true relationship, the emotions can get raw and violent.”
This begs the question: Would Vanga resort to violence with his own partner? “I would do anything and everything with my partner to make sure I am my real self. I would drop all defences, put down all my guards. For me, the essence of a strong relationship is honesty. I wouldn’t say I’d slap my partner.
Even in the film… how do I explain to the idiots that Preeti ne pehle mara hai, phir Kabir ne maara (Preeti hit him first, then Kabir took his shot). It’s pointless to harp on the slap,” he concludes....