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Bollywood thriller ‘Hume Tumse Pyaar Kitna’, scheduled to release in the UAE on June 27, has been postponed by a week in the UAE and India due to the success of ‘Kabir Singh’, lead actor Karanvir Bohra told Gulf News tabloid!.

“‘Kabir Singh’ surpassed everyone’s expectations at the box office. We felt we would get a better opening if we pushed our film by a week. ‘Kabir Singh’ will get a preference naturally if we released it this week as planned,” said Bohra in an interview.

‘Kabir Singh’, which is Shahid Kapoor’s biggest opener at the box office and has amassed more than Rs700 million (Dh36.9 million) in India, has been slammed for glorifying toxic masculinity and male privilege.

Kapoor plays an abusive, alcoholic surgeon who gets unhinged when his love life gets disrupted. Despite mixed reviews, ‘Kabir Singh’ has got a better opening than his previous controversial period romance ‘Padmaavat’, in which he played a dignified king. The dichotomy between public opinion and the box office collection has triggered dialogues about toxic narratives.

“We just changed the dates of our release dates of my film an hour back ... My film has a toxic character as well. We need a movie like ‘Kabir Singh’ to push a movie like mine. Its success will only help our film which also has a toxic character ... It’s a win-win situation for us,” said Bohra.

In ‘Hume Tumse Pyaar Kitna’, Bohra plays an obsessive lover who cannot handle being rejected by a woman when he professes undying love towards her. He’s also a billionaire who has power on his side to intimidate the woman.

Aren’t such narratives archaic and regressive? Does Bollywood need another obsessive lover in a country marred by increasing violence against women and children?

Bohra claims that an actor, including Kapoor, shouldn’t be blamed for choosing negative roles.

“It’s not Shahid who’s negative, it’s his role. You have to know the difference ... If we start thinking on those lines [actors have a greater responsibility while choosing narratives] then our jobs as actors are in jeopardy. It’s not fair that he is being criticised for his role,” said Bohra.