'Kabir Singh's is the official remake of Sandeep Reddy Vanga's blockbuster 'Arjun Reddy'. But right from the trailer, you go in ready for the thing that this is a film that's nothing but a frame-to-frame reworking in the North Indian context. This film is so simplistic and universal that if Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani, and Sohum had dubbed for Arjun, Preethy and Shiva, it would have looked the same.
This is a problematic celebration of tight misogyny of its protagonist- a deplorable, bland jerk, disruptive but frightening. He might be real, but so was 'Arjun Reddy', which was original and way more compelling than this piece of poop.
What worked for me however, and the reason why the film is perfectly watchable inspite of it's toxic masculinity is the romance: Kiara and Shahid have lovely chemistry, tuned in with Jubin Nautiyal and Arjit Singh's lovely songs: 'Bekhayali' might have the best lyrics of a film this year. I also liked the carefree number 'Tujhe Kitna Chahne Lage'. Added to that is the skilled performance of Shahid Kapoor: he is super competent. He doesn't match the youthful beauty of Vijay Deverakonda which uplifted the film to near-perfection, but he is so good, he is ultimately transformed. Also a word for Sohum Majumdar's Shiva, who adds necessary humour to the film.
Don't mistake the film's directorial conviction. It's nothing more than a faithful remake, sans the strong screenplay or passion of the original. Infact it's so forgettable and deplorable, it's not worth more than a shot. And you can also skip it.