Though both the Telugu and Hindi versions were blockbusters, the films faced massive criticism as people alleged that the lead character was misogynistic and the film glorified toxic masculinity. On the fourth episode of Koffee With Karan 7, Vijay Deverakonda, who shared the couch with Ananya Panday, addressed these issues and said that he still doesn’t feel that the film was anti-feminist.
“First thing, as an actor, my job is to empathise with the character and not judge him. If I’m judging him, I can’t play him. Any role that’s bought to me, I try and empathise with the character and if I can, I take that role. If something about it is very conflicting and I don’t understand it, or I don’t agree with it, I won’t do it. So if I did Arjun Reddy, I empathise with him. I understood why he behaved the way he did and the relationship he had with Preeti”, stated the Liger actor.
He further continued, “I didn’t find it misogynistic or anti-feministic or something. It seemed like two people who had a very unique relationship. That was their relationship and to them, it was love.” When the show’s host Karan Johar asked him if his character raising a hand on his girlfriend was okay, Vijay replied, “I am no one to say if it’s right or wrong but they did it and they had a happily ever after life. They had a kid. You see the movie ending with a kid. But I’m not saying nobody should have a problem with it. You should have a problem with it.”
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The actor then accepted that people can hate the film if they watch it after being in an abusive relationship. “Imagine you have been in a relationship which was abusive and then you see this film, it’s painful to watch this happening on screen. These are your worst nightmares as a woman, as a wife, or as a girlfriend and you see it playing out on a screen. You f**king hate it. And I understand that you disagree with it and I respect that you don’t like it”, said the actor.
Deverakonda ended by saying he would never become like his character in Arjun Reddy and would never raise his hand on a woman. “If it reached a point where I feel such anger towards a woman, I will walk out. It’ll never reach a point where it gets any abusive in nature. You don’t need that stress in life, if something is stressful, walk off”, concluded Vijay.
Originally published at www.dnaindia.com